Treadmill suggestions
February 7, 2014 9:11 PM   Subscribe

We are in the market for a treadmill and trying to figure out the best one.

We are looking to buy a treadmill and wanted some suggestion on models based on your experience. Budget is max $2K. Not a big fan of folding treadmills as space is not an issue. Something to run on/walk. Incline would be great.

posted by Greenlight2b to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It depends a great deal on the amount of use that you give them. If you are running 50 or more miles per week, you will probably find that you pretty much tear up a lot of the home treadmill models you will see. If you are running 6 minute miles, you will find that a lot of models struggle to keep up with your pace. I'm a fairly high-mileage runner and I find that even some of the treadmills I find in hotels (which probably all cost 4 or 5k) seem pretty flimsy and unpleasant to me.

If you are a "serious" runner (and maybe also if you are a bigger runner), I'd look very hard at the NordicTrak Commercial series or Precor. You should be able to find the 2150 for $1700 or so. I've found that I like the Precor brand the best in terms of overall bang for the buck. You can find some of their models under 2k as well. You will notice that some of their models run up to 4k or so and you can pretty much tell the difference, especially at higher speeds. Personally, I'd avoid models that have a lot of fancy program modes and built in TVs and concentrate more on sounder mechanicals -- look at engine size, belt size and build quality.

If you are primarily walking or running a small number of miles per week, you can focus more on price. Personally, I'd avoid models with shorter decks since they are really a pain in the neck to run on. You'll probably find any of the models under about 1k feel pretty wobbly and make a lot more noise. It is good that you don't need a folding model, because they never last as long or feel as solid.
posted by Lame_username at 10:44 PM on February 7, 2014

When you're looking to drop serious cash on a piece of equipment, I think the best route is to try to rent a machine (or two, or three), until you find one that really works for you.
posted by vignettist at 11:36 PM on February 7, 2014

Check craigslist or freecycle. A lot of people buy treadmills and never use them. I've heard you can get lightly used ones super cheap.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:17 AM on February 8, 2014

I recently purchased a Horizon T202, probably just over a month or so. So far I'm very happy with it, and it has all the features I wanted for a pretty decent price. The motor is quieter than some of the more expensive treadmills I've used in hotels, and the overall feel of the machine is solid. However, I'm only going to walk on this thing, I can't imagine that I'd ever use it for running. If I were a runner I think I would have looked more closely at the Norditrac or Precor models that Lame_username mentions above, but for what I wanted out of a treadmill those machines were too much bang for too much buck.
posted by ralan at 6:49 AM on February 8, 2014

I like the True and LifeFitness brands best, myself (and as someone who does a lot of treadmill running I've used them all). I do also like Precor, but less than the two brands mentioned above. You will want to invest in commercial models, but the lower-end commercial models without the computer screens and fancy gizmos. What you get with the commercial-tier stuff is sturdiness and reliability. Treadmills sold for the home market are largely junk, since the manufacturers know that home users rarely actually use the machines they buy.

And yes, if you live in or near a city and are willing to troll Craigslist for awhile, you can get an insane deal on equipment. To a first approximation, nobody uses the treadmills they install at great expense in their homes, so if you wait you can get a near-new treadmill for a song.
posted by killdevil at 7:18 AM on February 8, 2014

We bought a Landice about 6 years ago. It gets used just about every day - sometimes twice a day by my spouse and I.

In those 6 years, we've never had a problem with it and it's never needed any servicing.
posted by matty at 10:31 AM on February 8, 2014

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