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Treadmill

I'm going to buy myself a treadmill for Christmas. What does everyone have/recommend?
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Replies

  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,023 Member
    If you are a runner (not walker) or a heavier person you need to spend real $$. Budget >$2k. Also, plan for regular maintenance as they tend to need work about once a year with regular use.

    I only really feel comfortable on the gym-quality units, which are usually Life Fitness and/or Precor ($$$). The Peloton Tread would be really fun ($$$). The Woodway's are truly amazing ($$$$). But all are out of my price range and I have only used them at the gym or "run clinic" (pre-quarantine!).

    For at-home prices, NordicTrack or Sole look fine. I've only tried them in the shop, but the better ones seems ok.
  • brianpperkins131
    brianpperkins131 Posts: 90 Member
    What is the maximum you're looking to spend? Are there any must have features you want?
  • magster4isu
    magster4isu Posts: 611 Member
    I'm trying to keep an open mind with my budget (won't know final budget until they announce if I get a Christmas bonus at work). I know the more features there are the more it will cost. I will be using this to both run and walk. I'm wanting to run another half marathon next year and I want to be able to train at home when I don't feel like dealing with bad weather. Ideally I would like an incline and decline feature, but the most important feature is sturdiness.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,004 Member
    In present world scenario this is may not be possible... But I bought a treadmill on Amazon years ago, and first tried out the EXACT same model in a sports authority type store to get a real feel for its tread length/width and shock absorption. I bought in January, when many fitness items are on sale to attract the New Year's resolution shoppers. I am not sure if that will happen (sales on fitness products) in the next couple of months since fitness products have been in demand lately from gyms closing.

    Mine is a Proform 995C which is no longer in production. Do some research on brand names. Sometimes one manufacturer will sell under different names, one at a higher price point and one at a lower: to catch more buyers. With very little difference between the two.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,585 Member
    Check craigslist, Facebook marketplace for used commercial units (many gyms closing). You can get a great deal on a commercial unit; however, commercial units don’t fold so make sure you have space for it. And you will need a truck/trailer to move it (or you have to take it apart and then reassemble).

    A commercial treadmill will last you forever and running on a cheaper unit probably won’t go well.
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 2,875 Member
    There was another recent treadmill thread that might be helpful. I'm looking at one for my wife. Here's what I found so far.

    Peloton -- Their Tread is expensive (around 4K) but supposed to rival the Woodway. Peloton is releasing a newer model in Spring 2021 that will be cheaper. Obvious advantage is interactive classes.

    Horizon -- Ranked best budget model by nearly every runner's publication. Have a new "interactive" series that you can plug and play with Zwift Runners, which looks great. Their interactive series runs from 1K to 2K.

    NordicTrack -- carry the largest screens and IFit (owned by NordicTrack). IFit has really nice interactive training, classes, Google Maps. Probably the class of the interactive right now unless you're a real data geek (and it sounds like you're a serious runner, so Zwift might be more appealing). My wife likes this one the best because the visuals of the training programs and Google Maps. Great incline options too.

    Proform - lower end models that also offer I-Fit (NordicTrack owns ProForm). ProForm was offering a deal where if you buy the I-Fit subscription for 3 years, you get a treadmill for free (like $39 a month).

    Sole, like @Jthanmyfitnesspal mentioned, is a good quality home brand. Just no interactive features. The downside, I found out to the interactive features (and the big screens) is a bit less reliability.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,487 Member
    I suggest that you compare the price of a good treadmill to the monthly cost of a gym near you. You may be surprised by the time it takes to repay to cost of the treadmill. Good ones are expensive, less expensive ones aren't worth it.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,004 Member
    Gyms are not presently available in many areas.
    pondee629 wrote: »
    I suggest that you compare the price of a good treadmill to the monthly cost of a gym near you. You may be surprised by the time it takes to repay to cost of the treadmill. Good ones are expensive, less expensive ones aren't worth it.

  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,585 Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    I suggest that you compare the price of a good treadmill to the monthly cost of a gym near you. You may be surprised by the time it takes to repay to cost of the treadmill. Good ones are expensive, less expensive ones aren't worth it.

    Many people don’t have gyms open in their area and/or don’t feel safe going to them. Plus, a commercial treadmill should last a lifetime (even a used one).
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,223 Member
    I got a Nordictrack 1750 a year ago (almost exactly - during last year’s Black Friday sales). It has incline and decline (decline is why I chose it). I’ve run about 1000 miles on it over the last year-including training for 2 marathons and a 50k (obviously lots of outdoor runs as well).

    Except for the dust and spiders, it looks, acts and runs like brand new. It’s solid, large, quiet, has ifit integrated and did not require a second mortgage.

    Nordictrack is part of icon fitness (which is the parent company of a whole slew of brands-including proform).

    I know a number of other runners who have this same treadmill and quite a few others who have a Sole.

    Decide up front if things like real-time interactive online “racing” is what you want (stuff like Peloton, zwift) or trainer led workouts (ifit) or if you’re looking to log miles and watching movies is a better (and less expensive) option than attempting to race all your training. I do enjoy the ifit map integration-but 90% of my running is slow and easy or I’m doing a structured speed workout that I’m going to manage myself. The interactive things add considerable cost (up front and a continual subscription). If you’re just looking to log miles/workouts that you can’t do outside - you can save some money by skipping those programs.

    You want something heavy (stable for running), the biggest belt you can fit in your space, the strongest motor you can afford. Everything else is bells and whistles.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,445 Member
    I currently have both NordicTrack and Sole machines in my house. In my personal opinion, NordicTrack has better bells and whistles, while Sole has better build quality and solidity. I have had LifeFitness gear too, and have belonged to various gyms, and I would say Sole is closer to "commercial" or "light commercial" (hotel gym, physical therapy office, etc.) quality while NordicTrack truly is home/consumer.

    Nothing beats Life Fitness or, especially, Woodway, if you can afford it. If I win a lottery tomorrow I am buying a Woodway.

    Buy quality, not gizmos. As someone above noted, the interactive, web, TV type stuff can have reliability issues and leave you with an expensive headache. If what you want is a machine to run, jog, and walk on, as @duckpuddle said - big belt, heavy, strong motor.

    I think the Sole F80 has a nice mix of build quality, solid construction, and minimal but necessary features for the right price point.
  • Ironwoman1111
    Ironwoman1111 Posts: 3,304 Member
    I love my NordicTrack! I’ve had it for 8 years and I’ve only recently had to apply lubricant to the belt and tighten it too. I do it myself. However, if you walk on it for over 90 minutes they automatically shut down to let the motor cool down, it’s a safety feature.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,585 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I currently have both NordicTrack and Sole machines in my house. In my personal opinion, NordicTrack has better bells and whistles, while Sole has better build quality and solidity. I have had LifeFitness gear too, and have belonged to various gyms, and I would say Sole is closer to "commercial" or "light commercial" (hotel gym, physical therapy office, etc.) quality while NordicTrack truly is home/consumer.

    Nothing beats Life Fitness or, especially, Woodway, if you can afford it. If I win a lottery tomorrow I am buying a Woodway.

    Buy quality, not gizmos. As someone above noted, the interactive, web, TV type stuff can have reliability issues and leave you with an expensive headache. If what you want is a machine to run, jog, and walk on, as @duckpuddle said - big belt, heavy, strong motor.

    I think the Sole F80 has a nice mix of build quality, solid construction, and minimal but necessary features for the right price point.

    I got a super cheap life fitness from a personal training studio the day after Xmas a few years ago. By far the best treadmill I have ever owned and way more than I need for personal use, but it was about $300 and in excellent condition. I would have paid a lot more for a new low end machine. I will own it for the rest of my life 😂
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,445 Member
    Dogmom1978 wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I currently have both NordicTrack and Sole machines in my house. In my personal opinion, NordicTrack has better bells and whistles, while Sole has better build quality and solidity. I have had LifeFitness gear too, and have belonged to various gyms, and I would say Sole is closer to "commercial" or "light commercial" (hotel gym, physical therapy office, etc.) quality while NordicTrack truly is home/consumer.

    Nothing beats Life Fitness or, especially, Woodway, if you can afford it. If I win a lottery tomorrow I am buying a Woodway.

    Buy quality, not gizmos. As someone above noted, the interactive, web, TV type stuff can have reliability issues and leave you with an expensive headache. If what you want is a machine to run, jog, and walk on, as @duckpuddle said - big belt, heavy, strong motor.

    I think the Sole F80 has a nice mix of build quality, solid construction, and minimal but necessary features for the right price point.

    I got a super cheap life fitness from a personal training studio the day after Xmas a few years ago. By far the best treadmill I have ever owned and way more than I need for personal use, but it was about $300 and in excellent condition. I would have paid a lot more for a new low end machine. I will own it for the rest of my life 😂

    I think buying used Life Fitness is really something to consider when buying exercise equipment. My Life Fitness elliptical lasted 11 years of daily use by 2 people, with zero maintenance and just one part replacement, and was still going strong when we sold it. My Life Fitness recumbent was around for 15 years and NEVER had a problem or even got maintenance, and was running like new when we sold it. It's just a different level than the consumer brands.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,585 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    Dogmom1978 wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I currently have both NordicTrack and Sole machines in my house. In my personal opinion, NordicTrack has better bells and whistles, while Sole has better build quality and solidity. I have had LifeFitness gear too, and have belonged to various gyms, and I would say Sole is closer to "commercial" or "light commercial" (hotel gym, physical therapy office, etc.) quality while NordicTrack truly is home/consumer.

    Nothing beats Life Fitness or, especially, Woodway, if you can afford it. If I win a lottery tomorrow I am buying a Woodway.

    Buy quality, not gizmos. As someone above noted, the interactive, web, TV type stuff can have reliability issues and leave you with an expensive headache. If what you want is a machine to run, jog, and walk on, as @duckpuddle said - big belt, heavy, strong motor.

    I think the Sole F80 has a nice mix of build quality, solid construction, and minimal but necessary features for the right price point.

    I got a super cheap life fitness from a personal training studio the day after Xmas a few years ago. By far the best treadmill I have ever owned and way more than I need for personal use, but it was about $300 and in excellent condition. I would have paid a lot more for a new low end machine. I will own it for the rest of my life 😂

    I think buying used Life Fitness is really something to consider when buying exercise equipment. My Life Fitness elliptical lasted 11 years of daily use by 2 people, with zero maintenance and just one part replacement, and was still going strong when we sold it. My Life Fitness recumbent was around for 15 years and NEVER had a problem or even got maintenance, and was running like new when we sold it. It's just a different level than the consumer brands.

    I agree 100%. All of my cardio is used commercial and 90% of my strength equipment is used commercial. Especially right now, with so many gyms going under, you can get good (if not great) deals on used commercial equipment. The only downside to used cardio, is that it generally requires more space and man are those suckers HEAVY! 😜
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,023 Member
    This has been a great discussion. In terms of electronics, I only need the thing to tell me speed and grade. If I wanted to join a group thing, I'd connect to an external service via a tablet or computer, which is replaceable and has other uses. I'm afraid the built-in electronics cost more than they add.

    Even better if it would transmit both speed and grade in Bluetooth to my phone or watch. Then you could connect to all sorts of services. (I haven't seen that feature yet, but some must have it.)
  • rfsatar
    rfsatar Posts: 593 Member
    Don't know what country you are in but I bought a foldable treadmill (ex 400m hurdler having to rehab thanks to no cartilage left in my knees).
    I spent about £300 (I am sure you can work that out in $ if you need to) and I bought it years ago together with a refurbished ex-gym Kaiser M3 spin bike.

    They have been downstairs, been in storage through house refurbishment, and now installed in my office and it is still going strong. Basic but I have a TV I have on in the background while I do the session... job's a good'un!

    I use it every week - and it has been a godsend during lockdown.
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 2,875 Member
    edited November 2020
    This has been a great discussion. In terms of electronics, I only need the thing to tell me speed and grade. If I wanted to join a group thing, I'd connect to an external service via a tablet or computer, which is replaceable and has other uses. I'm afraid the built-in electronics cost more than they add.

    Even better if it would transmit both speed and grade in Bluetooth to my phone or watch. Then you could connect to all sorts of services. (I haven't seen that feature yet, but some must have it.)

    That's precisely why I'd go with a Horizon treadmill if it were up to me (because of Zwift). It has a nice tablet holder and is made ready to integrate with Zwift with one touch, using your own tablet. But the treadmill decision is my wife's, so we'll likely go with the NordicTrack with the giant *kitten* screen that will likely break in five years... But she'll be happy in the meantime walking on trails in Australia on a 22 inch screen.

    Happy wife, happy life.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,445 Member
    This has been a great discussion. In terms of electronics, I only need the thing to tell me speed and grade. If I wanted to join a group thing, I'd connect to an external service via a tablet or computer, which is replaceable and has other uses. I'm afraid the built-in electronics cost more than they add.

    Even better if it would transmit both speed and grade in Bluetooth to my phone or watch. Then you could connect to all sorts of services. (I haven't seen that feature yet, but some must have it.)

    I reached much the same conclusion when I was purchasing a new recumbent bike last month. After all these years of struggling with connectivity, electronics, and whatnot, I decided I wanted a bike that gave me the least possible amount of information: time, pace/speed, watts, hill profile, heart rate display from my Polar strap, that's about it, though I would be tolerant of the usual inflated calorie display, since they all have it. I specifically avoided any machine that offered more information than that, connected to web apps, or had a big TV set attached to it. The day it arrived, I propped my tablet on it and get all the entertainment options I need.

    To me the only things a piece of exercise equipment MUST have is HR display, watts, and a shelf to prop a tablet on. The less beyond that, the better.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,585 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    This has been a great discussion. In terms of electronics, I only need the thing to tell me speed and grade. If I wanted to join a group thing, I'd connect to an external service via a tablet or computer, which is replaceable and has other uses. I'm afraid the built-in electronics cost more than they add.

    Even better if it would transmit both speed and grade in Bluetooth to my phone or watch. Then you could connect to all sorts of services. (I haven't seen that feature yet, but some must have it.)

    I reached much the same conclusion when I was purchasing a new recumbent bike last month. After all these years of struggling with connectivity, electronics, and whatnot, I decided I wanted a bike that gave me the least possible amount of information: time, pace/speed, watts, hill profile, heart rate display from my Polar strap, that's about it, though I would be tolerant of the usual inflated calorie display, since they all have it. I specifically avoided any machine that offered more information than that, connected to web apps, or had a big TV set attached to it. The day it arrived, I propped my tablet on it and get all the entertainment options I need.

    To me the only things a piece of exercise equipment MUST have is HR display, watts, and a shelf to prop a tablet on. The less beyond that, the better.

    Yes to the shelf!!! My life fitness treadmill has “trails” with some nice graphics and they’re fun every now and then, but I mostly pop my tablet up there and enjoy reading (the reading can be tricky at 3.4 mph incline of 10) or watching tv while working out.