Out with the old, in with the (hopefully new) treadmill!
June 12, 2011 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a low-maintenance treadmill I won't break within a few years that I can run, jog, and walk on at home at varying inclinations and speeds. Difficultyfilter: Must offer in-home delivery and professional assembly and be able to hold hardcover books up to ~800 pages in thickness, if such a thing exists.

Background: I currently have a treadmill in my den and the belt has gone out. It's 10 years old, so I'd like to buy something I can reliably use for another ~6-10 years or so rather than trying to repair it.

I typically alternate intervals of running, jogging, walking, and using different incline settings every few minutes for up to 90 minutes at a time. My experience with the ProForm 545s I own has been OK, but I'm prioritizing stable running surface over anything else on its replacement. (Both myself and my spouse will be using it. I'm 5 foot 1 and 123 pounds; husband is about 150 pounds, if that matters.) Some days I prefer walk on the treadmill and read for as long as I can, hence the need for a sturdy book ledge/holder that could hold, say, the Walking Dead Compendium, Volume 1.

I've had some bad luck with NordicTrack in the past (they are owned by Icon Fitness and have terrible repair/warranty/customer service issues), so that brand's off the table.

We'd prefer not to transport it ourselves as we have very compact vehicles. My husband and I put together our elliptical after having it shipped to us in the box brand new, and it was difficult but doable. I fear a treadmill might be more than we can handle.

Reading the suggestions in the Runner's World forums is confusing, though I've gathered that a refurbished Precor 9.23 or LifeSpan TR3000i might do the trick. We live in the Dallas area, if that helps. Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences? Thanks so much!
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You might find the report at ConsumerSearch.com on treadmills helpful at sorting through the options. Be sure to click on the "Full Report" tab and read it for an explanation of what's on the market. Their method involves sorting through all of the pro and consumer reviews of a category to try to work out what the consensus best products are.

Full disclosure: I used to work for ConsumerSearch (but don't anymore.)
posted by Andrhia at 1:37 PM on June 12, 2011

We have a Nordic track That we purchased from Sears. The delivered it, they put it together and they set it up where we wanted. I don't use it as much as I should but it's going on 10 years old. Does all that you wanted including a small shelf for books. We got it as a closeout from Sears.
posted by JohnE at 3:23 PM on June 12, 2011

We have a PaceMaster Gold that we love. BUT, it would not hold a large book or even a small book; the knob things that you put reading material on are too narrow. I'm sure that rules it out for you, but I'll still say more about it below.

I did the research at the time and was impressed, and it's lived up to expectations. It has a 10-year warranty. It was faulty out of the box (somebody at the factory was having a really, really bad day), and I was angry at first that they refused to replace it outright, but they were excellent about fixing it, and we have had them out to do work on it recently. It's extremely stable and sturdy. Was delivered and assembled by them.
posted by kitcat at 8:05 PM on June 12, 2011

How much does an 800 page book weigh? I bought a treadmill that does not have a place for books like that, or my laptop. I then went out and bought an aftermarket book/laptop holder, which is great. I watch TV while I run. My shelf holds a 5lb laptop OK, but I added some strong clips to the straps for a little extra security.
posted by Joh at 9:17 PM on June 12, 2011

Response by poster: Ah, Joh, that's a good point - not every book will be super-heavy, it's the thickness of the folded pages I was worried about. I'll check out some aftermarket holders, too, I just haven't had luck with any I've found in-store.

Andrhia - I'm reading through the link you posted and it's very helpful, thank you! Still hoping for a few more recommendations, keep'em coming!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:24 PM on June 13, 2011

We have a Landice L7 and it comes with a lifetime warranty on parts (you still have to pay labor). We've had it for 7+ years and it shows no signs of stopping.
posted by mmascolino at 2:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Mmascolino, I looked at those and they are the Cadillac of treadmills, but I can't quite spend that much. I did buy one today using helpful research thanks to Andrhia's link, so I'll mark that as best answer.

FYI, I chose the Sole F63 with delivery and assembly from Sears, so I might update with any relevant details after I've tried it out. Thanks y'all!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:08 PM on June 16, 2011

Response by poster: One last update: the delivery guys were pretty unclear on the fact that assembly is included when you choose the "home delivery" option from Sears (if you look through their customer service page, it's hard to figure out whether assembly's included - it is). This is the link to the page explaining that policy - it doesn't apply to their other fitness equipment, JUST treadmills.

I'm posting this mainly because our delivery guys at first refused to assemble it, then after a couple of phone calls did so begrudgingly, constantly reminding us that "people pay a lot of money for this service" and in many ways it felt as though they were trying to scam us into paying them cash to assemble it (not just tip them) or get out of putting it together and removing the box's packing materials.

Having tried out the Sole F63 for two days now on various settings and inclines, I'm very happy with my choice and will be buying an aftermarket book shelf/holder that kitkat and joh mentioned to supplant my giant-book fetish. (It holds magazines just fine, though.) Thanks again, everyone!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:04 AM on June 27, 2011

« Older "Well, he can't make a resume..."   |   Day Trip to Montreal Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.