Treadmill Comparison - What To Know When Comparing Treadmills

By: Vienna Miller

If you're buying a treadmill, no doubt you'll want to do a treadmill comparison and get the best deal. Enter the Internet.

With the wealth of knowledge you can find online, treadmill buyers can get a much deal than they used to get at their local department store.

So what do you need to know when doing treadmill comparisons? While the treadmill market is getting crowded, there are some simple things you can look for to find the best value models.

This article will give you 7 main features to look at when comparing treadmills along with where to make easy treadmill comparisons.

1) Motor - The motor is the heart of your treadmill - and often the most expensive part to fix. You want a motor that has enough power to easily withstand the intensity of your workouts.

Choose a motor power of at least 2.0 Continuous Duty Horsepower (or HP for short) if you're planning on walking or power walking. For runners or frequent treadmill users, choose at least a power of 2.5 HP. (Keep in mind that for example, a 1.5 HP motor has to work twice as hard as a 3.0 HP motor so it will not last as long.)

Motors are also built with different quality parts and sizes. A good rule of thumb is to look at the motor warranty as an indication of the quality of motor (compare a motor with a 90 day warranty to one with a lifetime warranty and there's a big difference in quality!)

2) Belt - Average treadbelt widths range from 17" to 22" and lengths from 51" to 61". Never go below a belt width of 16" as it's way too narrow; and make sure that the belt is long enough to accommodate your stride.

So, for example, if you are tall and/or have long legs, it's better to go with a longer belt (54" or more). Make sure you also consider anyone else who will be using the treadmill and their height as well.

3) Warranty - All manufacturers offer some type of warranty with their treadmills (this is different from the added warranties you can buy at checkout).The extent of manufacturers' warranty often tells you about the quality of parts used to build the treadmill.

Warranties cover different parts of the treadmill for different lengths of time. A decent warranty will cover the frame for at least 5 years, the motor for at least 3 years, parts and labor for at least 1 year. Anything above this and you've got an excellent warranty - and probably a decently built treadmill.

4) Cushioning - Cushioning is the ability of the treadmill to absorb the force of your step. It's extremely important to have a good cushioning system as poor cushioning can end up damaging your knees, hips, back and ankles.

Look for a highly rated cushioning system to lessen the impact on your joints and ligaments. A general rule of thumb is that the higher end models usually offer the best cushioning systems

5) Stability - Stability is one of the most important features of a good treadmill - you don't want the machine to shake or wobble as you pick up your pace.

Signs of good stability are price (generally higher end treadmills are more stable than economy machines), user weight capacity (higher is better) and unit weight (higher unit weights make for more stable machines).

6) Incline - Standard inclines are 10% but if you're looking for advanced training, you might want to consider a 15% incline.

7) Price - A quality motorized treadmill will cost you at least $800. Runners or frequent users should expect to spend more($1500+). With treadmills, you usually get what you pay for - but if you buy direct from the manufacturer, you can sometimes save up to 45% off retail price

Keep these things in mind when making treadmill comparisons and you're well on your way to choosing the best treadmill for you!

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