Looking for a used treadmill?

For many, finding a good treadmill can be a time consuming and challenging task. There are many options out there. You can purchase new from a specialty store, box store or online store. Or you can look at the “used market”.

In the last 10 years I have purchased countless numbers of used treadmills, being armed with good information is key to getting a good buy. I am going to give you a list of things to consider when getting a used treadmill.

1. Who made the treadmill:  There are many different manufacturers of treadmills and each of them is going to have a different philosophy when making them. When looking for a used treadmill I try to look mostly just at treadmills that were made for specialty or high end use, usually these machines cost over $1800 when they were new.  Since these machines were made to go over 10k miles, they should still have a lot of life in them even if they were used regularly and if they need service they are usually pretty easy to work on. Economy treadmills (box store treadmills) on the other hand are not designed for the long haul, they are designed for affordability. They historically brake easily under strain and are in many cases surprisingly hard to fix. If the treadmill is over 5 years old I don’t recommend box store treadmills at all. If it was made after 2008 then the quality control of most companies have improved to the point were I would feel much more comfortable with there durability (still not nearly as comfortable as the high end companies).
Quick list of high quality manufacturers in the last 10 years: Bodyguard,  Landice, Lifefititness, Pacemaster, Precor and True.

2. How old is the treadmill: It is good to find out if how old the machine is for a couple of reasons. Newer machines usually have less use on them and parts are usually much easier to get. Surprisingly, with the higher quality machines, they really are not any more durable now then they were 10 years ago.. so as long as the machine is in great shape then age wouldn’t be a big detractor for me in terms of durability. However there can be differences in terms of features or noise (generally the older treadmills were a little noisier, has nothing to do with durability). If you go with one of the lower quality manufacturers I would try to find a treadmill made in 2008 or later, there quality has greatly improved as of late.

3. How much was the treadmill used: This is an important thing to consider. Some of the high quality treadmills actually have a built in odometer that can show how many miles were logged if you go into the diagnostics (I have seen home use Precor treadmills with close to 20k miles… amazing). Treadmills have a couple of wear components that are guaranteed to eventually need replacement, the more it was used the more likely those parts are slightly worn already.

4. Where was the treadmill located when it was being used: This can be important. I have seen treadmills that are over 10 years old and have been used almost daily that show very little signs of wear because the owners did a great job keeping it clean. I have also seen treadmills that were only used occasionally but stored in a dirty environment like a garage. These treadmills end up with dirt in the motor area and imbedded into the fibers between the belt and the deck of the treadmill. Nothing destroys a treadmill faster than a dirty environment.

5. Who used the Treadmills: Was the owner a 120lb jogger or a 320lb. walker. The heavier the user the greater the strain on the treadmill.

After considering those things you will eventually find yourself a used treadmill, before purchasing the treadmill make sure to check a couple of things before you make the purchase.

1. Make sure all the buttons on the display are functioning correctly.

2. Speed the treadmill all the way up and back down, listen for any odd noises coming from the drive system. The motor should have some “air noise” and should make some noise but you shouldn’t hear knocking noise squealing. Also listen for any noise coming from the rollers. Sometimes you can hear odd noises because of some moving part coming in contact with cosmetic piece like a roller end cap or front motor cover.. this is not a big deal and can easily be fixed by simple adjustments.

3. Give the treadmill a test run, adjust the speed and incline and look for any “odd noises” again, a treadmill does have a lot of moving parts so should have some noise.

4. Check the condition of the deck and running belt. This is A BIG DEAL and the 1st thing I check on any treadmill. TURN OFF THE TREADMILL and reach under the belt and feel the top of the running deck, look to feel any grooves or scratches on the surface. What you are wanting is a nice smooth surface. Next stand on the running belt and manually walk the running belt with your feet. (stand on the belt, hold onto the handrails and push with your feet). If the belt moves easily then the belt and deck are in good shape and your motor and electronics won’t be under any excessive strain. If it is difficult to move the belt by pushing it with your feet, the belt and deck are either worn or need of lubrication.. chances are they are already worn.

5. Last ask to see under the motor cover. Usually it’s just a couple of screws holding it down. When the cover is taken off you will see if the machine has properly been maintained. What you are hoping to find is a clean motor compartment, what you commonly find is a very dirty motor compartment.

If you go by the information provided you should be able to find a good used treadmill and not get a raw deal. After you get your treadmill make sure to keep it lubricated and clean.

The picture provided is one of me and a used treadmill we sold earlier this week. Feel free to contact us about purchasing used treadmills that are in great condition. We even provide a warranty with everything we sell.

 

 

Seasonal Athlete

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Seasonal Athlete
Depending on your tolerance for bad weather you probably find yourself using indoor equipment 4 – 5 months out of the year.  And depending your desire for new equipment you probably replace this equipment every 2 – 5 years.  If these numbers sound right to you then there just isn’t a reason for you to buy a treadmill when you can rent quality equipment when you want it.  Over the long haul it will save you money and you will always have a quality machine for your winter workouts.  Just for argument sake lets run some hypothetical numbers.

The average cost of a Rent a Tread level quality treadmill brand new is about $2000. However, we’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you are a bargain hunter and you are able to find a steal of a deal for $1500.  You like to stay on top of things so you purchase a brand new treadmill every 4 years. The downside is that you really only use your treadmill during the 3-4 Winter months of the year.  Even If you are renting our higher quality models at 54.99.  Then you will save yourself $600 dollars over the long haul of 4 Years.  Here’s the math 54.99 * 4 (months) * 4 (years) = 879.84.   Not only that, but should anything go wrong with your treadmill we offer free maintenance for anything that goes wrong with your treadmill.  So even if you are a bargain hunter and you do use your treadmill 4 months out of the year you are still coming out ahead by renting rather then purchasing your own tread mill.

For the Do it Yourselfer

Here is the latest example of how you can save some serious money with Rent-A-Tread service.

We had a customer from Bothell, Wa contact us because he saw that we were selling the exact same treadmill model that he currently owned and wanted some advice to see if he could fix his treadmill. His machine was having some problems with the belt slipping and although he was pretty mechanically inclined, he had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. After talking with him about his issue, I was pretty confident that the pressed on pulley connected to his drive roller was slipping. Usually a slipping belt is related to the tightness of the running belt or the drive belt, so this was a little unusual and commonly missed by the €œdo it yourselfer€.

Our customer was originaly thinking that his machine was going to be toast and that he was going to have to buy a new machine and he was planning on spending around $1000. However, after talking to him I let him know that I thought it could be easily fixed and that he could do it himself (he could do a repair on the roller or order a new one on-line for around $145 after shipping) or he could have us come out for a $75 trip fee (30 min free labor).

We ended up coming out and finding that he did have a bad front roller. Not only that, but he had also over-tightened the running belt to the point that it was going to damage other components on the treadmill if left that way.

We ended up replacing the front roller (we happened to have a half dozen of them in stock), and adjusted all the belts to the correct tension. His total bill was an even $100. We also took the time to explain how to do proper maintenance. With that information, I am pretty confident that his treadmill is going to run very well for years to come.

Physical Therapy

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Recovering from an injury is a mentally, physically and fiscally draining task.  Not only do we want to encourage you to stay on track and continue your therapy but we also want to provide you with a financially friendly solution.  If you are only planning on using your fitness equipment during the process of your recovery, then buying a treadmill or bike, might not make sense for you.