Treadmill Buying Tips
Buying a treadmill is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. With many treadmills now costing well over $1,000 and each model having all kinds of different, innovative features, there’s a lot to think about before you part with your hard earned cash. In this article I aim to make your treadmill buying experience a little easier by focusing on the key things you need to look at and providing you with seven treadmill buying tips.
1) Set A Budget
The first and most important step when buying any treadmill is to set a budget. You may have found a treadmill that’s the perfect size, has all the features that you need and has five star ratings across the board but if it costs $2,000 and you can only afford to spend $1,000, all the rest doesn’t really matter. Determine how much you can realistically spend on a treadmill and then make sure the treadmills you are looking at fall within this price range.
2) Measure Your Workout Space
Once you’ve decided how much you can afford to spend, the next thing you need to consider is what size of treadmill you can actually fit in your home. If you have a large home gym with plenty of free space, treadmill size probably isn’t going to be an issue. However, if you’re planning to use the treadmill in a smaller room, make sure you measure the room and then choose a treadmill that will fit comfortably inside.
3) Check The Treadmill Specifications
Choosing a treadmill with the right specifications is another important step in the buying process. There are three main specifications you need to look at; the motor, the belt and the shock absorption. For the motor, make sure that it has a continuous duty rating of at least 1.5HP if you are a light user and at least 2.5HP if you are a heavy user. For the belt, make sure it’s at least 18 inches wide and at least 45 inches in length if you want to use it for light walking and jogging or 60 inches in length if you want to use it to run at full stretch. The shock absorption will vary by treadmill type and manufacturer but make sure whatever it offers is adequate to protect your ankles, knees and lower back from the impact of running.
4) List The Features You Need
After you’ve sorted your budget and treadmill specifications, you then need to decide what you want the treadmill to do in terms of performance. If you just want a model that allows you to burn a few extra calories while you watch TV at night, a basic treadmill will probably suffice. However, if you’re a fitness fanatic or have some serious weight loss goals, you’ll want to look at how fast the treadmill can go, what kind of inclines it offers and how many different workout programs it has. If you like to listen to music while you run, you may want to consider a treadmill with an MP3 docking station and built in speakers. Alternatively, if you don’t have much storage space in your home, you may want to consider a space saving folding treadmill.
No matter what you need, there’s likely to be a treadmill on the market that can provide it. So have a long, hard think about the exact features you want from your ideal treadmill, write them down and then find a few that match most of your requirements and that also fall within your budget and price range.
5) Check The Warranty
The warranty that comes with the treadmill is another important aspect of the buying process and as a general rule, the longer the warranty period is, the more confident you can be in your purchase. For peace of mind, make sure your treadmill comes with at least a 1 year on all its parts. Anything more is a bonus but anything less should be avoided.
6) Check Out Existing Customer Reviews
A treadmill may look brilliant based on the manufacturer’s description but existing customer reviews are the real acid test. Try and go for treadmills that have at least 80% positive feedback from existing customers. If there’s no treadmills that have the features you require with this level of positive feedback, make sure you analyze the negative feedback very closely before going ahead with your purchase as there could be some underlying issues which aren’t clear in the general product description.
7) Analyze The Pros & Cons
By this point you should now have a shortlist of treadmills to choose from. To make your final decision, write down all the pros and cons for each treadmill, based on the steps above. For example, treadmill A may have the best features but be the most expensive. Treadmill B might be missing some of the features you want but have the highest customer feedback rating.
Once you have your list of pros and cons, go for the treadmill with the most pros and the least cons. If it’s close, decide which one feature is the most important to you and then choose the treadmill that excels in that area.
I hope these treadmill buying tips help you find a high quality treadmill that provides you with the features you need at a price you can afford. So if you’ve not started looking already, re-read this article, put the tips into action and go find a treadmill that’s right for you.