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Old 09-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
VickiHD
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Treadmills

We're buying a treadmill for home.

I would love to hear from anyone who has a home treadmill about the brand they have and likes and dislikes.

Thanks
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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I have the Sole brand. My wife uses it way more than I do (I run outside as much as I can). The main like is that it has been durable. We have had it for a few years now, and it works really well. I believe Sole is built for "commercial" use as opposed to home use. Meaning that it is built to be used alot. I really have no dislikes about it. You can probably find some cheaper ones, but with treadmills, you probably get what you pay for.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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Go with the biggest DC motor, widest belt and most steel you can find/afford. Prioritize on these then look at the gadgetry

A True Model, the LifeFitness Model 7 or better are the two that I was split between. I went with the LF Model 7.0.

There a a 'consumer reports' type site - ignore it. It only pushes you to a certain brand and when you dig through IP addresses, you will see that the alleged CR is owned by that company. Runner's World has an annual breakdown.

You need to get up early and head to a Sports Store that has inventory plugged in. Bring your runners and spend 3-10 minutes on mills you think you can afford. I think I spent 3 hours in the store before narrowing to the two I liked best. You need to push speed out a little faster than a long run pace and you should also cycle your run from 0% up to 4-8%. Usually by 4% you will get a feel for that uneasy bounce. This is probably the test that will rule out the most units. It is also important as you really want to run at a 1-2% inclines on a mill to negate the motor effect.

As far as gimmick(gadgets), you really do not need these. It may be nice to have a fan in the control panel, but really, you are going to put a fan (or 3) in the room to move the air. A mill will make the coldest room hot in an hour. Though, I will say that a feature on the LF model helped push it in my mind. Most mills come with a max time of 99:59 before powering off. The LF has marathon mode. You can start the belt then push the time to marathon mode and it will run until you give up.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cewait View Post
Go with the biggest DC motor, widest belt and most steel you can find/afford. Prioritize on these then look at the gadgetry

A True Model, the LifeFitness Model 7 or better are the two that I was split between. I went with the LF Model 7.0.

There a a 'consumer reports' type site - ignore it. It only pushes you to a certain brand and when you dig through IP addresses, you will see that the alleged CR is owned by that company. Runner's World has an annual breakdown.

You need to get up early and head to a Sports Store that has inventory plugged in. Bring your runners and spend 3-10 minutes on mills you think you can afford. I think I spent 3 hours in the store before narrowing to the two I liked best. You need to push speed out a little faster than a long run pace and you should also cycle your run from 0% up to 4-8%. Usually by 4% you will get a feel for that uneasy bounce. This is probably the test that will rule out the most units. It is also important as you really want to run at a 1-2% inclines on a mill to negate the motor effect.

As far as gimmick(gadgets), you really do not need these. It may be nice to have a fan in the control panel, but really, you are going to put a fan (or 3) in the room to move the air. A mill will make the coldest room hot in an hour. Though, I will say that a feature on the LF model helped push it in my mind. Most mills come with a max time of 99:59 before powering off. The LF has marathon mode. You can start the belt then push the time to marathon mode and it will run until you give up.

Hope this helps.
Yes !! You have been very helpful. Thanks
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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Agree with Charles. Buy the best you can. Nothing worse than a cheap treadmill. You'll end up using it as a clothes hanger.

I have a Nordic Trac, not sure of the model but it's pretty sturdy. Sears actually sells them, that is where I got mine.

Be prepared to spend $1200+ for a good one.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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We have a NordicTrack C2255 that we bought on craigslist. You can check the mileage counter if you consider buying used. Ours only had 25 miles on it but we bought it for $325 opposed to the retail prices of $999-$1299. We really love it. I'd buy from craigslist again now that I know what we like, but I wouldn't want a really used one. The belts can wear out. Ours have an iFit program chip thing, but we never use it. I also think the calorie counter is way off, but it might be a setting we need to adjust. Overall we love it and it works great. Oh, it's a fold-up model too.

A tip for training on a treadmill is to put it at a 1% incline to help build better resistance. I always train at 1% incline and my pace is very similar to my road pace. However, now that I've been running for a while, I way prefer outdoor runs!
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
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I wanted to add that when we were searching for used treadmills, there were LOTS of junkers. I had to do a lot of research until I got a better feel for what a good quality one would look & feel like. Be prepared to wait and sift through lots of old junk to find a gem.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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The heavier ones are by far the best. You lose more calories moving it from room to room and in and out of the basement!!

Seriously, unless you are a hard core fitness devotee, get a used one off of craigslist for pennies on the dollar. If you find you are really into home fitness, then you can plan on upgrading.

We have a $350 no frills model which is holding up well and we use it about 2-3 times a week for the past 5 years.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
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I have the Nordic Track Commercial 1750. It's not the quality of a Precor or others found in gyms, but it is great for household use. I agree on not purchasing based on the gadgets, but I really like the wireless feature that connects to iFit. I can run anywhere in the world and the TM adjusts the elevation to the actual topo. That being said, my TM has low miles because I get bored running inside so it is used mostly to hang stuff on instead of a drying rack.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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Forgot to mention. Originally I bought a $200 used treadmill just to see if we would use it. Had it for a year and once we found out we would use it a lot we bought a better one.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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Not a fan of used equipment - unless you are willing to part with the outlay. (or as above, you understand the button sequencing to find the odometer) Too many things can go wrong behind the control panel, with the motor and with the bed. My last mill worked perfectly until I moved, then within a couple weeks of use - it died. The circuit board behind the control panel was a rusted hulk as well as the motor panels. While the motor seemed strong, the panels cost as much as a mid level box store machine - so I upgraded. Seems like the jostling shorten something out.

Let me say that a home mill must be maintained. First, the mill should be placed on a rubber mat. This keeps the dust bunnies and worse, the carpet fibers out from under the belt. Understand if you should lube your belt. Some do not require any lube, some require an annual lube and others have a lube reservoir. Also, open the panels and check the regularly. I did that for the first year but then never did. That may have been the reason it failed (or we may have discovered the issue and had to retire the unit earlier in its life - sell).

Learn how to maintain the belt. It is not rocket science but it will keep the belt in the roller center and keep you the runner safe.

Oh, Finally, if you do decide to go with a used mill, NOW is the time. Folks are looking to off load their clothes hangers in an effort to make floor space for winter.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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Stay. Away. From. Pro-Form.

I thought I got a great deal on it. Read reviews that it was one of their better models (later found out that the review site is a site that SELLS Proform treadmills... ugh). It had a VERY limited warranty and after the 90 days were up, the controller started acting funny.

The treadmill wouldn't start up properly, I couldn't use the fraction speed up and down buttons when it WOULD run and every once in a while it would speed up to 12MPH without touching anything!

Turns out this is a common issue with their treadmills and I found a site later that gave tips if you're brave enough to take the thing apart and fiddle around with connections in the controller. I've managed to get the treadmill to work enough that I can use it for training purposes when it's not suitable to run outside. Right now I still cannot adjust the incline up or down, but at least I can speed up and down as I wish.

I regularly bellyache and complain about the treadmill-o-doom on my blog when I have to use it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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I have a Golds Gym I bought at WalMart for about $277. Have not had any trouble with it...it's wide and long and it folds up for storage. It also comes with 8 preloaded routines you can try, up to 10mph, up to 10% incline.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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We bought a FitLine almost six years ago. From what I read (at the time), if you could get a deal (like 40-50% off) a Fitline, they were fine; otherise, you were paying too much. Well, we got the last one in stock (and I know, since I had to go in the back and help load it onto the minivan), so we got that discount.

It's okay - not much in the way of bells and whistles, but I've done 16+ mile runs on it, and never had a serious issue. I keep hoping that it will die - it aquired a permanent 2% incline one of the times we moved it, which is kind of annoying.

Anyway - as others have said. Do your research. Buy the best hamster pad that you can afford. Continuous motor, wide and long belt - those are the biggies. Any place that won't let you try them out for 5-10 minutes per mill, walk away from. I'll run mills up to maximum speed, try out the inclines, see how hard the mill is to operate while running. Is there somewhere I can place my water? Does the control pad seem overly complicated?
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