Treadmills are the most popular home exercise machines. It's easy to understand why; Next to good running shoes, a treadmill may be the single most important purchase fitness trainers, runners or joggers can make.
Practically anything your cardio training demands - hills, tempo, intervals, long distance - you can do on a treadmill. And you can record walking and running distance while watching Seinfeld re-runs or keeping an eye on your kids, without worrying about heat, cold, wind, rain, darkness or damaged footpaths. Before we explain more, though, a word of caution: Treadmills can be expensive, and they're complex. A bad buying decision may leave you with one more inactive machine lying in the corner of your rumpus room. So tread carefully as we steer you through Choosing the best treadmill.
First off, remember as with most things, you get what you pay for. A $1000 treadmill may serve you well, but a $3000 treadmill is likely to perform better for a longer time. The price is indicative of the quality: stronger frames, stronger motors, wider and longer running area, and larger, more dynamic computer consoles. In Summary, for home treadmills:
The average time-frame for the life of a treadmill is 10 years, with some going for 12 years or more. With proper care, some treadmills far exceed the average. Dust and belt friction are the primary killers of treadmills. Once a week, wipe the treadmill of any dust. Also, vacuum the area around and under the treadmill on a regular basis. Remember to lubricate the between the belt and running deck with a silicone lubricant.
Generally, the longer the warranty, the higher the treadmill's quality and price. The motor is the most expensive part of the treadmill, and that component must be covered by the warranty. Ensure the motor has at least 10 years coverage. Ideally, you should look for a warranty of 2 years for parts and 1 year for in-home labour. If any problems appear, it us usually in the first 90 days of use, and usually these are minor issues. Most warranties will not cover wear-and-tear, only manufacturing faults. However, Infiniti Fitness Systems offer their Exclusive Full-Circle Warranty that offers Lifetime motor coverage plus the 5 years inclusive of wear-and-tear.
Horsepower (H.P) is a measure of the motor's power. These measurements can be either Continuous Power or Peak Power. Be wary of manufacturers that list Peak Power. Peak Power are higher numbers and sound impressive, but all Peak Power indicates is a motor's maximum power before failure, not it's sustained output (Continuous Power). You will want at least 1.5 C.H.P (continuous horsepower) for a home treadmill. Ideally, a 2 C.H.P is suited to home joggers and runners. The stronger the motor, the heavier a person the treadmill can carry, and the faster you can run! In general, the motor size is directly related to the price of the treadmill. A treadmill advertised as a 6 H.P motor available for $900 on auction sites are quoting Peak Power and mislabelled.
The size of a running belt is related to stride and natural side-to-side movement of runners. The taller a person is, the longer their running stride. Gait (side-to-side walking movement) also is important for determining the width of the running belt. Ideally, you want a running belt size of at least 45cm wide by 130cm length. The longer and wider a running belt is, the more comfortable and confident you will feel on the treadmill. Larger running belts are 55cm by 150cm.
Often overlooked by buyers, is the treadmill deck. The deck is often made of laminated wood, coated with lubricant to minimise friction between the running belt and the deck, which in turn reduces strain on the motor. The deck rests on shock absorbing pads that provide the suspension. Consequently, deck construction influences how smooth or hard your treadmill feels to run on, and how well it absorbs shock. Look for thicker decks, and soft shock absorbing pads. The average treadmill deck is 16mm, with better treadmills having 25mm decks. The new Infiniti Sport Series treadmills have 25mm decks.
The computer console displays your running information and is your interface to your treadmill. Features that are essential are accurate feedback including running time, distance, speed, incline and heart rate. The computer console should also include a variety of in-built training programs to keep your workouts interesting. The more programs, the better. The treadmill should include Heart Rate Training programs. The most modern console feature Web-browsing capabilities, music and video.
The best treadmill is one that meets all your criteria for a good treadmill - value, specifications and warranty. The Fitness Market choice for best treadmill is:
There are many criteria to look for when buying a treadmill. Some are unnecessarily complex. We have attempted to list the most important criteria when buying a treadmill. To summarise, the main criteria are:
We hope this information assists you in making the right choice for your treadmill.
Should you have further questions, the friendly, expert Fitness Market staff are willing to help you. Call us on 1800-635-685