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With all the different types of treadmills, it can be confusing and very time consuming to educate yourself on the pros and cons of each, and then go ahead and weed out the good treadmills from the bad. Our goal at PricenFees is to provide you with all the information you need when shopping for your home-bound treadmill. In this one-stop-shop, we break down the various kinds of home treadmills, briefly explain the function of some of the important parts of a treadmill, and explore the features you can expect in a top-quality treadmill. Additionally, we went ahead and organized the best treadmills for home use into an easy-to-read chart below, which is then proceeded by their reviews.
If you’ve ever done a quick google search for workout equipment, you most likely soon realized it is not as simple as it used to be. Treadmills are no exception – they come in a variety of sizes, and utilize different parts and mechanisms of functionality. Often times they are equipped with a variety of additional features, like a heart rate monitor or calorie tracker, fans, or even speakers or other audio equipment. Others may allow a vertical incline, ranging from 15% to 25% incline capability, while others maintain their 0% incline horizontal form. Generally, those treadmills with all the bells and whistles tend to cost more. Sometimes, its important to consider what it is you’re looking for and how you plan to use your treadmill, rather than just spend the most money and expect to get the best.
Our goal in this article is to help you sort your way through the mess of treadmills out there, and guide you to comfortably explore some of the most important features out there. In this way, you can figure out in a matter of minutes, exactly what you will use and what you deem unnecessary. No need to hop from one website to another on this journey, we’ve got all the information you need right here!
Why Buy a Home Treadmill?
Treadmills are widely available and highly popular cardio exercise machines that can be found in gyms and homes across the world. Whether this is your first piece of home gym equipment or you’ll be placing it right next to your weight bench and squat rack, home treadmills are a convenient option for those looking to get back in shape or maintain their overall level of fitness. Your ability to workout and maintain your physique is no longer dictated by a work schedule or weather conditions when you purchase a treadmill for the home. Another advantage top-quality treadmills have compared to the typical outdoor run is better shock absorption and overall less impact stress on the joints. Sidewalks made of cement and concrete are very dense and absorb little to any of your body weight while running. On the other hand, the best quality treadmill may have more “give” and may function to absorb some of the shock when your feet make contact – this means you may be less inclined to an injury from long-term running on concrete or asphalt.
Before the Purchase
Before you begin your treadmill search, there are several questions and issues to address regarding what you expect out of your treadmill and how/when it will be used. This will hopefully get you the most bang for your buck, so to speak, rather than spend more than intended on a treadmill that comes filled with bells and whistles that you don’t even need. Treadmills aren’t the cheapest when it comes to workout equipment, so taking a few moments to read through this guide and honestly answer some of these issues is highly recommended and in your best interest financially.
Who Intends to Use the Treadmill?
One of the most important questions to consider is whether or not someone other than you plans to consistently use the treadmill. If you have more than one person in the home, take a moment to consider how often that plan to use it, the features they are looking for, and even their estimated weight. These are all equally important and depending on how you answer, you should adjust your search and plan accordingly. Treadmills have different weight limits, so you need to ensure that you pick a treadmill that can accommodate the weight of not only you, but your partner or anyone else who will be using it. Someone who weighs more than is recommended for the treadmill is more inclined to wear out parts, resulting in expensive tune-ups that could have been easily avoided with some proper planning. Aside from that, the treadmill will not function as well as it could if the weight limit is exceeded.
Company Support, Warranties and Maintenance
Most people would prefer not to think about their big purchase breaking or having issues down the line. If you’re going to spend this kind of money though, you should always take a few moments to verify whether warranties or manufacturer guarantees are included with purchase. Different levels of support are offered by various manufacturers – some provide you with the bare minimum, while others provide you with many years of in-depth coverage for broken parts and repairs. Your best bet is to find a treadmill that needs very little maintenance on your end. Requiring lubrication after every workout should be a no-no. A reversible deck is a plus, and allows you to flip it over after normal wear and tear. Not only in this convenient but it can save you money in the long-run – In many cases, this can double the lifespan of your treadmill surface. For those that don’t know, the deck of a treadmill is located directly below the belt and takes the brunt of most impact during a run. Decks can range in size from around 47-inches up to 67-inches or greater. The longer the deck, the more wiggle room you’ll have during the workout. The belt can wear out over time and may need to be replaced. Single ply and double ply belts are available, and out of the two choices, double ply is more durable. The belts range in widths of around 15-inches to 22-inches or more. The width of the belt is important as it is responsible for compensating the user’s natural side-to-side movements and irregularities.
Highly Desirable Treadmill Characteristics
There are a variety of features that treadmills can be equipped with and it is important to determine those additional features that you’d find useful, and those that you can do without. Also, plan for the future – treadmills can last many years with proper use and upkeep. If you want the calorie tracker or the fan and know you’ll use it, don’t hold back out of concern you are wasting money. A treadmill is an investment, and it would be best if you are completely happy with your purchase rather than wishing you had more a few years down the line.
Intuitive buttons and console: A large digital readout that can be navigated and utilized without taking much practice or thought after only a few minutes of first-use. You shouldn’t be scrambling to find the off button or increasing incline or speed while using the treadmill. It should be easy to use and largely intuitive.
Effective shock absorption: This should really be mandatory. The deck should not be too firm nor too bouncy – regardless of your chosen speed, you should feel as if you are running on a firm and stable surface, but can handle some of the heavy impact that you’ll throw at it on a sprint. This is essential to avoid joint injury from over-use or heavy impact running. Too much shock absorption is almost as bad as too little. Anything with too much bounce or cushioning is bad for the knees and ankles and could actually cause problems rather than prevent as it should. On the other hand, you don’t want your treadmill to feel like you are running on concrete or asphalt, as this brings with it many problems of its own. If you’re buying online and can’t try out the treadmill yourself, be sure to find reviews that address important issues like shock absorption.
Motorized: Most people would automatically assume that all treadmills are motorized. Unfortunately this is not so. Manual treadmills, while less common that previous years, do still exist. They tend to me small, lightweight, and much more portable than their motorized counterparts. They are limited in their function, and require the user to almost push the belt into motion. Not exactly what most fitness buffs want to invest in. On the other hand, motorized treadmills are self propelled through one form or another and are the most popular of the two. Motorized treadmills are smooth and efficient, and allow the user to adjust belt speed in minor increments. Motorized treadmills are also generally better equipped with other electronic features and are therefore usually more expensive.
Electronics: The higher-end treadmills often come equipped with a variety of different electronic features that are there to grab your attention (hopefully they enhance the consumer experience as well). The best electronic features are those that enhance comfort (fans for example), and those that help maintain motivation and are able to continually challenge you over time. Some of the best rated features that you should look for include access to interval programs, various quick-start workouts or fitness test options, and the ability to save your workout progress or program into the console specific user IDs. This is a convenient way to store your past workouts and track your progress.
Measuring your heart rate is of the best ways to track progress and to ensure that you are reaching proper workout intensity. The best treadmills come with intuitive heart rate (HR) interactivity. Everyone has a target heart rate that depends on gender, age, height and weight. The most advanced treadmills not only track your heart rate but can adjust the speed of the treadmill accordingly, allowing you to maintain your heart rate within that target range. Some treadmills also adjust degree of incline to maintain your target heart rate. For those who are uncomfortable with automatic adjustment of both speed and incline, we recommend you go for a treadmill that automatically adjusts for incline only – speed adjustments can be made manually and give the consumer a bit more control over their workout.
One of the more common reasons for quitting a workout program that we have heard is that they just got bored. If you find yourself reaching boredom more easily, it is essential that you find a treadmill that comes equipped with pre-set workout programs to keep things challenging and interesting. Interval training combines periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity cardio – a very effective way to get in shape and one example of how pre-set workout programs could enhance your treadmill experience. Some of the better quality treadmills even have a pre-set program that essentially functions as a fitness test, which is another great way to measure your progress and boost your motivation. These tests measure a multitude of variables including heart rate, speed, and distance, and are able to estimate your level of fitness.
Having separate profiles can be a great way to measure progress, and even build up a bit of competition between husband or wife, and other family members. Individual user IDs allow you to keep a timeline of your workouts and other data, making it more easy to customize your own workout program.
Safety: Safety should be a priority while running on the treadmill. Make sure ergonomic handrails are built into the frame. Are they comfortable? Do they get in the way when you walk or run? Are they easy to grab and hold onto? You want them to available, but you also don’t want them to impede your workouts. Some of the more basic features that people often overlook are safety keys or large on/off buttons. Additionally, you want a treadmill that adjusts speed and incline gradually. An abrupt stop or too great of an incline in short notice could lead to injury.
1. Sole F85 Review
Sole home treadmills come highly recommended for many reasons as they are equipped with many high-quality parts. The Sole F85 is no exception. The F85 has a weight capacity of 400 pounds, a quiet 4.0 CHP motor, and a track that is generous in width. This is one of the highest quality folding treadmills made for the home that you can buy. Many treadmill owners complain about the frequent maintenance needed with the belt track or shock absorption functionality.
With the Sole F85, you can rest assured that minimal maintenance is needed with your treadmill. The F85 boasts increased durability with a two ply design that glides over extra wide rollers. Sole’s CushionFlex technology has demonstrated a 40% reduction in joint impact compared to running on the road. This exceeds impact reduction claimed by many of its competitors. To be frank, the Sole F85 is exclusive gym and hotel quality. Customers claim they are recipients of the best customer service when it comes to Sole, as this brand stands for top-notch workout equipment.
Workout data is displayed on the 9-inch LDC screen and comes equipped with six standard programs, including two heart rate programs as well as the option to customize two of your own. The F85 is equipped with speakers and playing music from your iPhone or other audio device is simple. This is a plus for many, as some consumers prefer not to use headphones or earbuds in order to maintain their pace while breathing. Overall, the console is intuitive and fun to use. The heart rate monitor is claimed to be 99.9% accurate and automatically calculates your target heart rate. The console fan works like a charm and helps keep you cool.
Incline (up to 15 degrees) and speed controls are built into the armrests and in a location that just seems right. The running surface is 60-inches by 22-inches which is a nice size, paired with the 400 pound weight limit, could accommodate just about anyone. To top it all off, Sole includes a top of the line warranty, which features a lifetime warranty on the deck, frame and motor in the treadmill. Additionally, a five-year warranty is included for electronics and other parts, and two years of in-home maintenance if needed. When you’re done with the workout, the F85 can be folded vertically to help save some space.
2. ProForm 705 Review
This treadmill has a powerful 4.0 CHP Mach Z motor that is an excellent pick for serious runners. Its deck is rather large, measuring in at a generous 66-inches in length and 22-inches wide. The ProForm Pro 7500 has a recommended weight limit of 300 pounds, and can have you running up to speeds of 12 miles per hour with up to a 15% incline. To make things interesting, you can even decline your track to -3%. This is a great feature to have for those who want to spice things up or for those inclined to train for various terrains. To top it all off, the treadmill has a shock absorption function which happens to work very nicely.
The Pro 7500 has a 7-inch colored touchscreen that is easy to use and pleasing to the eye. Being that it is iFit enabled, this treadmill is equipped with 34 workout apps and has a variety of other useful features. If you’re getting bored with the included software, simply find a different video workout on the internet and watch it on your beautiful display. With iFit, you can walk, jog, or full-on sprint around a customized route with help from Google Maps integration software. If at any time you’re interested in your stats, swipe the screen for a display of all the essentials.
An unlimited number of users can make profiles. Each unique user ID can create their own custom workouts and can be used to track your progress and manage your fitness goals. Heart rate monitoring is available in two forms: wireless chest strap, or sensors built into the handle grips. In addition to the audio port for your headphones are some built-in speakers that happen to sound pretty good. Two fans are included in the design and work as intended and keep you cool.
A notable warranty comes with purchase, and includes a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor. Additionally, there is a five-year warranty on electronics and other parts, and a two-year warranty for any needed labor. ProForm is one of the leading treadmill manufacturers. While they do want to make a buck, they also want to keep their customers happy.
3. Bladez Fitness Review
Whether you plan to only occasionally use your treadmill for rainy days or late night running, or you’ll be on it everyday training for a marathon, even without some of the bells and whistles of the higher-quality treadmills, the T500i will surely help you reach your desired level of fitness. The Bladez Fitness T500i has a large deck suitable for up to 350 pounds and is equipped with a 3.5 CHP motor. This is more than enough power for even the most frequent long distance runners. The motor is efficient and quiet, and built-in shock absorption keeps the joints happy.
Heart rate monitoring is available and you can choose between the standard grip monitor or a wireless chest monitor. There are 16 pre-included workout programs within the console, with one slot to create a custom session. Built in speakers are included in the design, and are better than most pre-included audio systems we have reviewed. Plugging in your audio device and playing music is a breeze, as is the cooling fan. Unfortunately, internet connectivity is lacking, and so you’ll have to use your iPhone or other smart device to utilize your favorite workout videos online. Another downside for some is that the treadmill only allows for one user profile. If your family members plan to use the treadmill and would actually utilize those features that come with additional user ID capabilities, you might want to take another look at one of our other top-picks.
The warranty that comes with purchase is respectable, with a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor. In addition, electronics and other parts are covered for three-years, and labor is included for one year. If you don’t mind the lack of internet connectivity or multiple profiles, the large deck and the intuitive design make the Bladez Fitness T500i one of the best home treadmills you can buy.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]