While some purchases will let you off with a simple price comparison, this would not be as effective when you’re out in the market for a treadmill. Prices range from below $500 to over $9,000, and when it comes to heavy-duty exercise equipment, a cheaper price tag doesn’t always mean you save more in the long run. Neither would simply picking the most expensive treadmill of the bunch work very well.
Treadmills are more versatile than most people give them credit for. Some treadmills are more suited for weight loss and fitness enhancement, while others are especially designed to train competitive runners. In making treadmill comparisons, you have to know what your specific needs are. If your exercise needs aren’t too demanding, you can win out by choosing one with less elaborate features than by paying excessive sums for a machine you will only use once or twice a week.
Venturing on such an expensive investment means that you want to own a machine that will let you reach your workout goals without worrying about maintenance and future repairs. Here is where you become a stickler for quality. Review each treadmill component, with particular focus on the motor’s continuous duty, a measure of how much constant power will be supplied while running. The rule of thumb is to pick a treadmill with a high continuous duty horsepower.
Another desirable feature to look out for is a thick deck, as this lends the machine more durability. Reversible decks are a plus. Wax-impregnated and pre-lubricated decks also tend to have longer life spans. When it comes to belts, two-ply belts are generally better than single-ply ones. There are no exact rules for dimensions, as the best measurements will depend on your comfort and freedom of motion. Other things you will want in a treadmill is a user-friendly console, speed and cushioning adapted to your running needs, incline adjustment, and if necessary, a heart rate monitoring system. Electric rack and pinion motors are generally considered the best incline adjustment methods, while chest strap monitors are best for monitoring heart rates.
Last but not least are the warranty and treadmill service. You’ll want a warranty that can guarantee at least five years for your motor and at least a year of service. When comparing treadmills, do a bit of research on the company from whom you will make your purchase, as customer reviews and testimonials can also tell you plenty about the quality of the service offered.