Buying A Treadmill?
Take A Look At Our Buyer’s Guide To Help You Choose.
Buying a treadmill is a big decision to make as you could spend anything from around £200 to well over £5,000! But what needs to be considered when making the decision to buy one? Are they a good substitute for running? Does buying an expensive model ensure quality? And where to buy a treadmill so you get a good warranty and customer service.
If you buy the wrong model all your good intentions will be undone, just take a look at how many second hand treadmills are for sale on ebay with the description ‘hardly used’! If you think cars depreciate in value quickly, cheap treadmills run them a pretty close second.
See our treadmill comparison table to check the price verses features for each brand.
See our best treadmill of the month here.
Why Buy A Treadmill?
Think for a moment why you want to buy a treadmill? What are your goals? Do you want to lose weight, get fit, recover from an illness or train for a race?
Your reason for buying will determine which model is best for you.
Try these questions below :-
1. Do you run at present?
If the answer is NO, can you be sure it won’t end up as an expensive clothes hanger gathering dust in a few months time. Try a treadmill at your local gym first and maybe go for a run around a park and see which you prefer.
If you answer YES and have already made a long-term commitment, appreciate that road running and using exercise treadmills are quite different activities. There are some very good reasons for using a treadmill, but bear in mind a treadmill can never match a run on a spring morning in the great outdoors :0)
2. What are your reasons for running?
If you are running to lose weight (see starting a treadmill training programme ) then treadmills are popular as you may feel self-conscious about running in public or at the gym. A treadmill offers a great way to start.
If you are running to keep fit and you feel safe running in your local area then roadrunning may be a better option. However, if environmental conditions make training difficult at times, buying a treadmill gives you an alternative to keep your moving.
3. Can you use your local gym?
It would be difficult to find a gym that doesn’t have a treadmill and you’ll have dozens to choose from offering all sorts of different programmes. Of course you still have to pay gym membership or an entrance fee but you do have other exercise machines to use. They may even have a swimming pool for a cool down following your run.
But again you may not want to run in front of all those fit individuals or your gym is inconvenient to get to when you fancy a quick jog in the evening. Having a treadmill in your home does mean you can run when you want for ever how long you want.
4. Do you have the space? Where would you put it?
Obviously if you answer NO a treadmill is not an option. Unless you have a very dear friend
who will house it for you.
Even folding treadmills take up space. Non-folding treadmills take up a considerable amount
of a room. If you have got space, what type of room is it. Some use their garage, others prefer
the bedroom or somewhere near a TV. Where ever you consider putting it, is it a room you
would like to spend a considerable amount of time in? Consider you may eventually be training
up to two hours at a time!
We advise people to place their machine either facing a window or mirror – a mirror will help you assess your running technique. If you are running toward a blank wall it can be incredibly dull :0/ Watching TV is a popular option but we feel it can distract you from your training which is not a good idea.
How Much Should You Spend?
If you decide to go ahead and buy a treadmill be prepared to spend at least £400. In our opinion if you buy a cheaper treadmill it can be false econonmy. A basic machine may not provide you ith the features that will maintain your interest and therefore keep you training.
If you spend more you will get extras such as heart monitors, running programs, stopwatches and tilting surfaces for hill running. An increasing range of budget treadmills are now available with some pretty impressive features but do check the warranty and service agreements first.
Check the treadmills specifications:
It’s not necessarily true that you get what you pay for in this market. Some brands can charge more because of their reputation but may not have the features of a much cheaper brand. Here are what we consider to be the minimum requirements from a machine:-
- An absolute minimum of 1.5 horsepower (hp)
- Capable of speeds of at least 10 mph for running or
- 8 mph for walking/ light jogging
- A belt at least 120cm (48″) long
- A belt at least 40cm (16″) wide
- On site 2-year labour and parts warranty
You don’t want to be growing out of your machine in just a few months time after spending
all that cash!
If possible you should try out a model before you buy one – you may use an online provider but always check the same model for yourself first. Make sure you can reach and use the control panel with ease and feel comfortable running on the machine. Test run for at least 10 minutes and listen for any changes in the noise of the motor. Is it quiet? It may sound okay in a large sports store but
what about in your garage?