Needed: Ultra Compact Mechanical Treadmill Suitable for Walking Desk Use
May 11, 2015 6:12 PM   Subscribe

The treadmill under my walking desk has died. This was expected. I bought a cheap crappy treadmill that I knew would die, in part to be sure that I liked/would use the walking desk before spending real money. Now I'm willing to spend some money on something that will last more than a year, but I can't find anything that will fit my setup.

Here is a picture of my current setup. I have a confidence power plus treadmill now. Everything I read about it ahead of time suggested it would last about a year and a half, which is exactly how long it lasted.

The treadmill needs to be 55" at the longest and at most 22.5" inches wide. Keeping the height down is generally a good idea, too, since if I have to move my monitor up any higher I won't have a place for my subwoofer (for reasons of cord length, that's the best place for it, unfortunately). Also, of course, it needs to either have no arms and a detached control console or be easily modified to have no arms and a detached console.

Does anyone else make a walking treadmill that will fit in this setup?

Things I don't like about the current treadmill:
* Low durability
* A little noisy once it started to die, but not bad before that.
* No written warranty.

Additional other info:
* I'm very short, so the short treadmill is not an issue for me.
* I always wear the safety key.
* I tend to go about 1.3 -1.5 MPH while working or 2MPH if I'm just watching TV.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My condolences. May I ask, what was the cause of death? If the motor died, but the roller is working, you might be able to replace or repair the motor. Here's a blog post which shows the innards of what may be your model:

Is there a makerspace near you? Someone there might help you find and install a preplacement motor. And if it's the control panel, you might be able to replace/repair/substitute that.

Also, if you incline the thing, you might be able to use it unpowered, via gravity.

And another thought, leg lifts, standing on one leg, squats, burpees, jumping jacks, skipping rope, etc.
posted by at at 5:52 AM on May 12, 2015

Response by poster: It spent about two weeks frequently catching/jerking. This is the kind of thing that usually means it needs lubrication. Lubrication is normally a monthly thing, but I was doing it daily by the end. Then one day I stepped on and turned it on and it ran just fine. Then I stepped on it and it just stopped -- the motor still making noise, but the belt didn't move. Lubrication, tigthtening, loosening (the typical cures for this) didn't help. It just stops if I step on it.

I can't use a "manual" (legual?) treadmill because a) It requires incline, which is hard on my knee and hip and b) Doesn't work well with a treadmill desk. It requires you to think about it/remember to step, which takes attention away from working.

And yes, that's my model. Because it is cheap and (other than failing pretty quickly), well suited to treadmill desks, there are a bunch of blogs with instructions for modifying it for desk use. I followed this one , though I did not disable the timer or alarm sound.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2015

Aw dang. That's the one I have. I guess I have about a year left. :) (And I used the same modification instructions as you.)

One of my coworkers got this LifeSpan one:

but it's an inch too long for you. Can you eke out another inch?
posted by pyjammy at 2:57 PM on May 12, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, both of those are way too long (need to look at the dimensions for the whole thing, not just the walking belt). It looks like there are some suitable size-wise treadmills from Walmart but

A) That doesn't seem likely to lead to better quality.

B) They don't necessarily look like the consoles are convenient to detach.

But for future question readers, that might be one place worth looking if you need something very small.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:14 PM on May 12, 2015

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