3 Key Tips To Finding Your Best Home Treadmill
The number 1 question I get on this site is “What’s the Best Treadmill?” And it’s understandable.
Nobody wants to buy a dud and end up using it as a clothes hanger while your friends mock you endlessly.
However the bad news is that there is no one best treadmill – because everyone is different. What is best for a runner is not best for an occasional walker.
What is best for a total ADHD exerciser is not best for someone who walks to get their Zen on.
However, do not fear, treadmill shoppers. All is not lost.
The good news is while there is no one best treadmill – there are are many AMAZING treadmills. I get excited because treadmills are getting better and better every year (and because I’m just a complete nerd).
I will be posting several reviews of what I think are some of the top quality treadmills in the next few weeks. (and yes, that is a shameless plug to make you keep coming back to this pathetic blog)
However here are 3 key tips in the meantime to help you find your best fit for a home treadmill:
#1 Read Expert Reviews
There are some great expert reviews out there. Some of the top consumer magazines like Consumer Guide usually come out with their best recommended treadmills around January or February of each year. These can give you a great idea of the strengths and weaknesses of different models.
However there are a few things you nee to know.
First of all, these magazines can’t possibly test out every treadmill that’s on the market – so they only test out a limited number of brands and units. And they don’t always have the magazine space to give you all the details you want to know on each model – so further research is a must.
Also, most of these ratings come out at the beginning of the year. Most new treadmill models are released at the end of the year (around Sept – November).
So for example, a treadmill that’s rated as a ‘best buy’ in January of 2012 may actually be discontinued (or even replaced by a newer model) by December of 2013.
And most of the time, the newer models are usually better than last years models – meaning they offer you more for the money like better motors, more fancy gadgets, etc.
Back in 2010 for example, one particular treadmill got a Consumer magazine “Best Buy” rating. This particular treadmill is still being sold through a few stores – however because it hasn’t changed in 3 years, there are actually ‘better’ treadmills out there – newer, more up-to-date models.
So this treadmill isn’t really a ‘best buy’ when you compare it to today’s similarly priced models. But people are still buying this treadmill, probably based on an old “Best Buy” rating.
#2 Read User Reviews
I know, I know. I’m always cautioning you against user reviews because so many of them are faked. But if you sift through them, you can still get some genuine reviews.
You can find user reviews on many different sites including epinions and even some treadmill sellers websites.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many user reviews are done almost immediately after the buyer has received the treadmill (1 week, 1 month, 3 months, etc.).
This gives you a great picture of what to expect from shipping and setup of the treadmill, but it doesn’t tell you how the treadmill holds up over the long run.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting treadmill, look at other factors besides user reviews like construction quality (size of bearings, deck and belt thickness, motor strength, etc.) and brand reputation.
#3 Decide For Yourself
After you’ve read reviews – take some time to educate yourself on what to look for when buying a treadmill. Then look at different treadmill specs and offerings.
After you’ve done this, you’re in a great position to decide for yourself which treadmill would best suit your needs.
For example, if you’re a runner you’ll probably be looking for a strong deck, high-powered motor and good cushioning. If you get bored easily you may want lots of entertainment options like iPod docks, specialized fitness programs or even a built-in TV.
Everyone is different so while finding out which treadmills rank highly can give you an idea of which treadmills are quality machines – the final decision is up to you.
You are the expert on what you need and want. If you’ve taken the time to do your research, you’re well on your way to finding the best treadmill for you. Good luck and happy shopping!