Treadmill motors power the running mat and a good motor can make the difference between a quiet and smooth machine and one that is going to overheat and burn out.
When comparing treadmill motors only consider the continuous horsepower rating. Continuous horsepower is a measure of the power the motor can deliver for sustained periods during normal use. While there is no industry standard, look for continuous horsepower ratings of 1.5 – 2.0hp and above.
RUNNING SURFACE SIZE
The size of running surfaces will vary depending on whether you want to walk or run. If you intend to walk opt for treadmill surfaces 40cm plus wide and 125cm in length. If you want to run or jog go for 43cm or wider and 135cm in length.
As a running mat wears it puts pressure on the motor and becomes rough on the underside and starts to stick to the board supporting them. The thicker the mat the better quality it is and the longer the mat will take to wear. Check your treadmill running mat is made of a 2 ply construction minimum.
It is important to keep the area between the mat and the running board underneath lubricated and cleaned regularly to ensure as little friction as possible. Ensure you protect your investment by reading the owner’s manual and familiarise yourself on how to maintain your treadmill.
The bigger the roller the better!! These provide the smooth drive from the motor to the running mat. The bigger the roller the less tension there is reducing wear on the mat, roller and bearings.
Most treadmills are supplied with 2” rollers so look for products that come with 2.5” rollers as this will dramatically improve the life of the treadmill.
CONSOLE CONTROLS AND DISPLAYS
Control panels can display in LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or LED (Light Emitting Diode). You can choose different colours, shapes and sizes; view programs to include speed, distance, time, laps, incline, calories burned, heart rate and more. It all comes down to personal preference. Be aware that more programs and electronic gadgets do not necessarily mean a better product.
Variety is the spice of life say so having a choice of programs enables you to mix up your workout. You can choose from pre-installed programs such as the Fuel 12 Treadmill, controlling the speed and incline of the machine, stimulating various workouts such as hill climb and interval training.
Some treadmills will have software to enable the user to personalise their workouts and create their own program or record a workout to be repeated in the future. Achieve’s Spirit CT850ENT Treadmill can personalise and record workouts.
HEART RATE CONTROL
If you have weight loss goals heart rate monitoring can help you achieve them. When set on the HRC (Heart Rate Control) program the treadmill will raise and lower the intensity of the workout to maintain the heart rate of the user within a pre-set zone as with Achieve's Spirit CT800 Treadmill.
Basic treadmill models have sensors for the user to grip which shows a read out of the heart rate while exercising. Better models have in-built receivers which receive messages from a wireless chest strap; the information from a chest strap is more accurate than hand sensors.
Achieve has treadmills with both grip sensors and those that connect to wireless chest straps.
After sales service and customer support from the company that supplies you the treadmill is the most important consideration when investing in your machine.
Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier (whether online or in store) and ask them how they can help you maintain your treadmill. Do they carry adequate stock of spare parts and do they employ trained technicians? Check the warranties and make sure the supplier has the ability to back them up. Warranty promises are only as good as the company making them.
WHICH IS THE BEST TREADMILL FOR YOU?
We have created an interactive tool to help you take the guesswork out of selecting the best treadmill for you.
Follow the 4 easy steps to find the perfect product for you and then view the results based on your responses.
Happy treadmill hunting!