How to Buy a Treadmill Online
When it comes to pieces of aerobic
equipment to buy, treadmills continue to be the most popular and the most
valuable. And why not? They are simple to use and naturally intuitive. They
burn calories effectively and offer a wide range of exercise options, whether
walking, climbing, or jogging.
In fact, the treadmill has so many
uses and so many benefits that many people want to buy it. For better or for
worse, this is also one of the reasons why it is the most saturated categories
in the fitness equipment industry. And also the reason why its difficult
to choose the right product for the right price.
Below are some
helpful tips to give you some idea on what to look for in a treadmill and
basically how to buy a treadmill online.
The first concern you should
have when shopping for a treadmill is your goal. Why are you buying a
treadmill? Is it because you want to be able to keep up with your running
routine despite the weather? Or is it because you prefer running indoors than
Consider how often you will be using your treadmill. If you
are only going to use it occasionally, then you might be better off with a
treadmill that comes at a decent price.
Also, consider other
potential exercisers in your home. Most families will have more than one
individual that will likely be using the treadmill. If your family is one of
these, then make sure that your treadmill answers their exercise needs as well.
When shopping for a treadmill, it is important that you consider the
reasons why youre buying a treadmill in the first place. Under-buying or
buying a low quality, under-powered treadmill that doesnt meet long-term
needs of all users in the household is a mistake you wont want to make.
However, if you are indeed looking to buy a treadmill, chances are
that you have already done a lot of research on your own. In fact, you probably
already know which features you want in a treadmill. But if you want a good
deal that wont turn sour in the long run, another consideration you
should have is not all treadmill brands are the same.
one situation, for example:
Choice 1: Brand X: 2.5 HP motor $975
Choice 2: Brand Y: 1.5 HP motor $799
Choice 3: Brand Z: 2.0 HP
The obvious choice would be Choice 1 because, as all
treadmill buying rules state, you should choose the treadmill that provides
more motor power for less. But you shouldnt limit your choice to that
single consideration alone. You cannot make a buy based only on motor power,
since that may not be enough of a guarantee that the treadmill is a good buy.
It is quite possible that Choice 3 is the better choice, considering
that Brand Z has a reputation for delivering quality treadmill with extensive
warranties. Although motor power is a good feature to consider when buying a
treadmill, you have to be careful. Look at it in the context of the whole
treadmill, including even the brand.
Another important tip in
treadmill buying is dont always believe what the salesperson tells you.
Of course, were not saying that salespersons are not to be trusted. But
in this day and age, its a smart buyer who gets everything in writing
first before committing to anything. After all, salespersons can make mistakes,
too, and sometimes these mistakes can end up costing you.
consideration that you have when shopping for a treadmill is the price. When we
say price, we dont mean the amount indicated in the price tag. In fact,
forget about the price tag all together and look at the real price of the
There is no doubt that price is one of the most important
factors when buying a treadmill. But sometimes, as you have probably
experienced before with a completely different product, price can be very
misleading. So when you are buying a treadmill, dont base your decision
on the price tag alone and consider everything else about the product to
determine its real price.
Whats in the treadmill
Perhaps the most important component of the treadmill is
the motor. In fact, as stated earlier, most people tend to base their decision
in determining good treadmills on motor power. So whats the deal with a
One difference in treadmill motors, which
isnt always reflected in the product literature, is whether the
manufacturer lists horsepower in terms of continuous duty or
peak performance. A manufacturer may be able to get a motor to
operate up to 2 HP at peak-performance levels, but that doesnt mean that
it will perform at 2 HP consistently. Some manufacturers actually claim that
theyve got a 1.5 HP motor, but when you push it, you find that the motor
can actually reach up to 2.5 HP at peak level.
If youre on a
budget and want a very inexpensive treadmill, our suggestion is you buy a
treadmill with a manual motor instead of an electric. The reason is simply that
manual ones are less likely to break down. However, the downside to this buying
choice is that manuals have the disadvantage of being slower and more difficult
to operate because the user powers the belt. And so, if the exerciser begins to
tire and slows down, the belt slows down, too.
On the other hand, the
belt of an electric model continues at the same speed, motivating the exerciser
to keep going as well.
Other Treadmill Features to
Treadmills vary according to the type of features they
have. Knowing what these features are can help you in buying a treadmill,
whether online or offline.
AC or DC motor Most home treadmill
units are DC. Commercial treadmills may have either AC or DC. AC treadmills
will likely require a dedicated power line, considering how their motors tend
to draw more power. Not only that, AC also tends to be noisier than DC.
The thickness of the running belt Admittedly, you cannot maintain a
straight line while running. If that were true, you can just go ahead and run
on a balance beam, six inches wide. That is why the thickness of the running
belt is an important feature to consider. In addition, two-ply belts are
stronger and less likely to curl at the sides than one-ply belts.
length of the running surface Next to the thickness is the length. If
you are a taller than average person, you might need more running surface for
you to make sweeping strides on your treadmill. On the other hand, if you want
to really challenge yourself with short, brisk strides, then get a treadmill
with a shorter running surface.
The minimum and maximum speed
Ask yourself whether youll be using your treadmill for walking or
running. Treadmills for walking start at 0 or .5 and go up to around 6 or 6
mph, while those for jogging or running generally start at 0, .5, or 1 mph and
go up to 8-12 mph.
The percentage of incline It can range from
a low of 2-4% to a high of 15%. The general rule is the bigger the better, but
there are exceptions to the rule: Not all treadmills with high percentage of
incline are good buys, especially if you take in all the other features of the
product. Commercial-grade treadmills often go as high as 25%.
type of incline adjustment The most high-tech incline adjustment is the
automatic incline. This type of incline changes depending upon the
exercisers heart rate, sometimes via a wireless monitor that detects the
persons heart rate and automatically adjusts the percentage of incline to
keep the person within the target heart range. Other treadmills have electronic
inclines that can be altered by pushing a button on the console, while less
sophisticated ones have either a manual hand crack or other manual adjustment
that has to be set before starting to exercise.
displays of speed, time, and distance On most treadmills, these are
generally standard, but some treadmills have added a few extras in their
feedback monitor. For instance, some treadmills can display the number of
calories burned or the users heart rate. In addition, most treadmills
offer preset and/or customizable programming capabilities. This is a pretty
nifty feature to have since you can now design your own program with the use of
the customizing capabilities of your treadmill.
Look for in a Good Treadmill
Sometimes, knowing the features of a
typical treadmill is not enough to help you determine a good buy. So below, we
have provided you with a list of features to covet in a treadmill:
Emergency Shut Off Usually, these are magnets or buttons you yank or
push to cut power instantly. This is very efficient if you get into trouble on
Hand Rails I know. Who wants to get hampered,
holding onto a rail while running? Well, consider what the hand rails are for,
first, before you dismiss the notion. You need at least one just for safety and
balance. If not, then at least get one with a slightly extended front rail.
Cushioning How much is based on personal preference. This is
for less impact and more comfort with each foot strike you make.
Safety Lock or Switch This is advisable if you have kids who love to
fiddle with things and accidentally start the machine.
At least one year manufacturers warranty on parts and labor. Most
companies these days offer various levels on frames, motors, parts and labor
that vary from 1-5 years, with some even offering 10 years or limited lifetime.
Check on the limits, though.
Now Comes the Features to Avoid
If there are features in a treadmill that you ought to covet,
there are also features that you need to avoid. These are the following:
Incline adjustments that require you to dismount and move pins or other
mounts on a support leg. This is very inconvenient and could even affect your
Non-motorized models. They are a strain on joints
and muscles and mean irregular speeds since you cant pull at
a steady pace with your stride, especially if you run where you spend a few
milliseconds on every stride off the belt in the air and obviously not able to
Start speeds of 1.0 mph or more
Surface areas that are short or narrow
Less than 1.5 HP
AC or treadmill-duty motors
rattling, or squeaking while you workout
And there. As long as
you keep these valuable tips and advice in mind as you shop for a treadmill
online, there is no reason why you shouldnt end up with a product that
turns out to be the best deal youve ever had.