Need help deciding what treadmill you should buy? Our buyer’s guide runs through all the important specs and features you should look at before you buy a treadmill. It is important to understand what to spend your money so that you get a treadmill that is durable and will last a long time. It is also important to get the treadmill that will entertain you while you workout, or fits within your budget.
Motors are probably the most important thing to look for in a treadmill. The motor is what turns the rollers and makes you treadbelt move, thus the more power you have the smoother your tread belt will move. Another advantage to a bigger motor is that most treadmills with small motors tend to be very noisy making it hard to enjoy music or watching TV while you run.
If you plan on just walking, don’t spend money on a 2.75 – 3.5 CHP because all you will need is a treadmill with at least a 2.0 CHP motor. If you are a jogger get a treadmill with at least a 2.5 CHP motor.
Those of you that are runners I would get a treadmill with at least a 3.0 CHP motor.
Treadmill Decks and Treadbelts
Treadbelts come in many different sizes, but we recommend getting a treadmill with a treadbelt that is at least 55 inches long and 20 inches wide. Anything shorter than 55 inches makes for very short stride and is hard to take long running strides.
Also, treadbelts that are either commercial made or 2 ply will last much longer than those that are just 1 ply or not commercially constructed.
Trying to figure out cushioning can be very difficult. Why you might ask? All manufactures have different names for their cushioning and it is hard to determine what is what. The best thing to do is to decide if you want adjustable cushioning or not. Adjustable means you can change the cushioning from being to hard to soft. So, if there is going to be a lot of different people running on your treadmill go with adjustable cushioning. If it is just a few, then decide what type you like to run and then pick out the cushioning that best suits you. Those of you that have bad joints I would look for the softest cushioning you can find.
NordicTrack’s reflex deck cushioning is the softest cushioning I have seen. The deck is made from the wood they make snowboards with and is very soft and flexible, but also very tough and will last a long time.
There are many different gadgets on a treadmill ranging from TVs to fans. The best thing to do is to decide what is the must have features and then go from there. Typically, the treadmills that have TVs cost $100 – $300 more than an identical treadmill with out a TV.
iFit technology is perfect for those who don’t know what to do when they workout or struggle losing weight. iFit takes the guesswork out of your workout because the cards or iFit Live is like having a personal trainer in your home telling you exactly how fast to run, how long, at what incline and in fact, iFit actually makes it so that you don’t even have to touch any buttons as it controls the treadmill for you.