Treadmills, easily customized to personal goals and fitness levels, have long been a favorite of cardio lovers and those who want to skip the gym, but not their workout.
However, for first time home gym shoppers, the different options and broad price ranges can be confusing and cause you to tread lightly. To help you take the step forward that you need, we have broken down the top five features that affect the price of your treadmill.
One of the ways you can choose a treadmill that fits your needs is by looking at the continuous horsepower (CHP) of the machine. The CHP is the measure of how much power the motor maintains throughout the workout, and the higher it is, the more expensive the treadmill will likely be.
The CHP you need will depend on how many hours you plan to log on your machine. Casual users who won’t put as much strain on their motors could use a machine with a lower CHP. Those who are looking for a treadmill for frequent, lengthy workouts will want more horsepower. Generally, high-powered machines also allow for higher weight capacities. Alternatively, manual options without a motor are available at low price points.
The belt or deck size of your treadmill is the measurement of the treadmill’s running surface and another determining factor in price. The bigger it is, the bigger the price tag. Those with a long stride will need a longer running surface and those with a larger frame may prefer a wider space. Walkers can get by with a smaller deck size than those who want to run a lot on the machine.
Today, the controls of many treadmill machines are managed through a console screen. While machines show varying vital statistics and offer different features, the console display size is the element most contributing to the cost of your treadmill. Larger displays can be easier to read and offer the ability to show more information at once, therefore contributing to a higher cost.
The fourth contributing component to the price of treadmills is the weight capacity. This is the max user weight suggested by the manufacturer. Some small and low-cost trainers have weight capacities of under 250 pounds while more expensive options have limits of up to 400 pounds.
When purchasing a treadmill, warranty offers are often included by the manufacturer. The length of the warranty may differ based on the components of the machine. Some vendors have separate warranties offered for frame, motor, parts, labor and electronics. The longer and more encompassing the guaranteed coverage, the more expensive the machine can be.
To find the perfect treadmill for you, there are a few other elements that you may want to keep in mind.
- Size and Space – Finding the perfect fit in a cardio machine is sometimes about the literal fit itself. Treadmills vary in frame size, so be sure to measure out space in your home to see what size machines you can accommodate.
- Belt Thickness – Treadmills with thicker belts are designed to help cushion your step and provide greater shock absorption. The cushions offered vary across brands and models.
- Adjustable Workout – Many treadmills come with automated incline features, but the maximum incline percentage may vary by machine. Most home treadmills also include built-in programs that can vary speed and incline as well.
- Technology and Features – The ability to monitor and save vital measurements, WiFi capabilities, touchscreen console, built-in fans, Bluetooth capability, speakers and accessory trays all vary between machines and may be important to consider depending on your convenience needs and fitness goals.
Finding your perfect treadmill can be the first step in starting — and maintaining — your at-home fitness. Equip yourself with these Pro Tips to take the next step and choose what’s best for you.