Insider Secrets Most Buyers Don’t Know About the Worst Treadmills!
So you’re buying a treadmill and want to know – what are the worst treadmills? Which ones should you avoid like the plague?
While I generally like to keep it positive on this blog, this post is all about how to help you avoid those crappy treadmills.
These are the ones that will end up costing you MORE both in time, frustration and cold hard cash (because they break quickly and need you to fork out more money for a new treadmill – or a treadmill repair.)
In order to identify which treadmills are the worst, you have to understand a couple of things about this industry that most buyers don’t know:
#1 This Year’s Models are Better Than Last Year’s Models about 9 Times Out of 10
The industry gets better and better every year with newer technology, better cushioning, stronger motors, etc. And in the fiercely competitive environment that is the treadmill market – this means the companies are all trying to outdo each other to impress you – a very good thing.
How does this amount to a bad treadmill? Well basically in two ways – first of all a lot of stores try to pass off last year’s models (or even models from 2 years ago) to you. So while the treadmill isn’t necessarily bad – it’s just not AS good as you could be getting (for the same price).
The second thing is this – a treadmill that was rated a “Best Buy” 4 years ago – will not be a great deal today. This is because of the fact that treadmills tend to get better every year.
I remember the Bowflex Series 7 which snagged a “Best Buy” years ago. People were still trying to buy it 5 years after the Best Buy award. But the market had changed so much (and Bowflex had NOT updated the treadmill), that the Series 7 really wasn’t a good deal at all, compared to what you could get for the same amount of money.
#2 Some Brands Have Better Reputations Than Others
This is no secret – there are certain brands that just make stronger, better constructed treadmills. Some of the better brands are Sole, Nordictrack and Precor.
What people may not realize is that the market is always changing – and brands can change as well. So for example, about 10 years ago, Proform did NOT have a good brand name.
These were known as cheap, starter treadmills that broke pretty quickly. However ICON (the maker of Proform) did a huge about-face around 7 years ago and started making stronger, better treadmills with tougher motors, better cushioning and more toys.
The bonus for you is that – probably because of their previous brand association – they can’t charge as much for their treadmills. So they tend to keep prices lower than similarly-stacked treadmills with better brand names.
What are the worst treadmill brands?
Well (and this is JUST my opinion from my experience and years of customer feedback), the brands that tend to have poor reputations are Weslo, Stamina, Image, Merit, Confidence, and Phoenix.
That’s not to say you can’t find a good deal with these brands – you may just have to look very hard.
In all fairness, these are brands that also make treadmills for under $400 – so of course you’re going to get a low quality treadmill – and people will complain.
Here’s another tip: if you can buy the treadmill at a big box, discount department store (and even worse – take it home in your car) – it’s probably NOT a good treadmill. You are taking a risk.
So those are some ways to identify – and avoid the worst treadmills on the market. The good news is that if you do a bit of research, you’ll find it pretty easy to find a great treadmill. Today’s models are better than ever so you’re more likely to find a great machine!