Having a treadmill at your home is a good idea as it helps you to walk regularly after each meal. By doing this, you can burn more calories and meet your daily activity requirements (150 minutes of brisk walking every week).
However, choosing a treadmill is not as easy as it sounds. A cheap treadmill will not be as good as an expensive one. If you (or members of your family) plan to use your treadmill on a regular basis, pick an expensive treadmill. So, cheap vs. expensive treadmills: which one should you choose?
Generally, more expensive treadmills come with higher quality motors, last longer, and require minimum maintenance. And cheap treadmills use cheap plastic parts components, including gears on the incline motors, while quality treadmills use steel, which rarely fails.
Read on to find out how to choose a treadmill that fits your fitness needs, and if you are looking for a complete comparison of cheap vs. expensive, this guide is for you.
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Characteristics of Cheap Vs. Expensive Treadmills
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. This is also true when it comes to buying treadmills. Here are the characteristics of cheap vs. expensive treadmills.
Characteristics of Cheap Treadmills
A moderate-budget and cheap treadmill will have the following features:
1- Not Ideal for Overweight People
One of the reasons people invest in treadmills is to reap all the amazing benefits that running offers. In addition, a good treadmill can be a good option for losing weight.
However, cheap treadmills are light in weight, making them potentially unsuitable for overweight people.
Generally, cheap treadmills have a weight limit of under 250 pounds, while more expensive treadmills have a weight limit of up to 400 pounds.
2- Cheap Treadmills Generally Come With Cheap Components
A good and expensive treadmill will feature good and heavy components. But a cheap one will feature average manufacturing.
Generally, cheap treadmills come with cheap motors because manufacturers profit by cutting corners on components, particularly motors.
So, to manage its budget, a company may compromise on the manufacturing parts. They may use a low-quality or small motor that will not afford too much jogging daily.
3- Cheap Treadmill Have a Shorter Life
Different companies may go for cheap and average-quality components to meet the budget needs of the buyers. Cheap parts will be less durable than pricy or expensive ones.
After some use, cheap treadmills may prove expensive for you. It will need proper maintenance within a short time. So, such a machine will prove less durable than a good one.
4- Cheap Treadmill May Offer Limited Warranty
Good manufacturing companies of treadmills offer a good warranty. So, if your treadmill experience any dysfunction within a specified time, you can go to the manufacturer directly.
A cheap option will lead you to less or no warranty at all. So, keep this thing also on your mind while going for a cheaper one.
5- Poor Shock Absorption Feature
The main difference between running on sidewalks and treadmills is that the latter option has a shock absorption feature. Such a feature helps to relax your joints.
A good treadmill will have a good shock absorption facility than a cheaper one. So, this feature will also be poor on a tight-budget treadmill.
6- Close Walking Area
Along with many other features, a running belt or walking area is worth considering feature. This feature is one of the most important features that must be looked at when going for a treadmill.
A low-price choice will provide you with a small belt that may be dangerous. You may go off to the belt during jogging which may result in a particular injury.
Characteristics Of Expensive Treadmills
Here are some features that a good treadmill should have. However, such a choice will be relatively more expensive than the previous one.
1- Walking Area
The foremost and important feature of a treadmill is its walking area. While choosing anyone for you, you should keep in mind this feature.
For tall and short persons, this requirement is different. A tall person should go for a belt that is at least 52 to 54 inches long. However, a normal person may choose a 48 inches long and 18 inches-wide belt.
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2- Easy Usage
For safe runs, you should learn the working process of the treadmill. To make this thing sure, you should go for such a machine that features a good control panel.
Such a panel will be simple and easy to use so that a person may easily control his workout.
3- Shock Absorbing Feature
A good treadmill will feature good shock absorbers. Also, you should choose a machine that absorbs shock effectively.
A treadmill with a poor shock absorption system will affect your joints badly.
4- Weigh Capability
A good treadmill will be able to afford an overweight person too. So, go for such a machine that can afford 50 pounds weight easily.
The more expensive treadmills could hold more weight and have more heavy-duty motors. A heavy-duty motor will be quieter, more reliable, and last longer, depending on your weight.
5- Speed Limit
A cheap treadmill will be slow. It will not go more than 7 or 8mph. However, a good one can cross 10mph. So, choose one with the maximum speed limit.
Having poor manufacturing parts, a cheaper treadmill will last for less time than a good and pricy one. So, go for a pricey one.
Those treadmills that feature a long-lasting and durable material will be expensive. Also, such machines will have guaranteed parts, and in case of any breakdown, one may consider replacing them by complaining to the relevant company.
Is It Worth Buying a Cheap Treadmill?
The more you invest in a treadmill, the more durable it will be. If you are going to purchase a cheap one, it will be just like a disposable item. If you manage to invest up to $2000, you can purchase a good item.
If you use a treadmill to run and plan to use it frequently, you want to invest in a quality machine. If you use it to walk a few times a week, a cheap one is probably fine. Also, consider whether other members of your family will be using it or if it is just you.
Are Cheap Treadmills Bad For You?
Having a cheap treadmill may be a headache for you as it will feature a narrow belt, low weight carrying capability, average safety, and so on.
Whenever choosing a treadmill, whether it is expensive or cheap, looking for performance, comfort, quality, and durability is essential. You don’t want to be fighting your machine when you work out.
Why Are Some Treadmills More Expensive?
Assuming that expensive equals quality, a more expensive treadmill will feel more comfortable to use. In general, you can feel the difference between a harder deck and a more cushioned one. And while it may not make much difference to people who only walk 6 miles a week, it will make a massive difference to you if you run 30 miles a week or more.
A higher-priced machine will also come with more options, including something quieter, better controls, user profiles, or a built-in fan or television.
In addition, you will save on maintenance fees because you don’t need to replace the belt or the motor to keep it running.
Also, a more expensive treadmill will last longer, so you don’t have to purchase a new one every year or two.
However, I would start by buying a cheap secondhand one first to see how much you will actually use it. Many spend megabucks on exercise equipment only for them to become dust collectors. Generally, people perceive higher-priced fitness equipment as better quality.
What To Consider When Choosing a Treadmill?
- Maximum weight limit. Generally, cheap treadmills are not as sturdy and robust as expensive treadmills, but you expect at least a 220-pound (99.80 kg) maximum weight limit.
- Horsepower. Good treadmills need at least a 1.5 horsepower (hp) motor for walking. For running, choose a treadmill with at least 2.25 hp.
- Speed options. Cheap treadmills generally don’t offer high enough speeds for high-performance runners. If you are a high-performance runner, I recommend picking a higher-priced machine.
- Incline options. Cheap treadmills offer fewer to no incline choices.
- Belt width and length. Look for appropriate belts wide and length that can accommodate your walks and runs. Generally, walking belts are 13- to 16- inches wide and 46- to 50-inch.
- For runners, belts are 16- to 18-inches wide and 50- to 54-inches long.
Whenever choosing a treadmill, look for a machine that offers all the essential options. Many expensive treadmills come with unimportant, such as a built-in fan and headphones hookup.
What may be necessary for one person may not be great for another. The main idea of having a treadmill is to use it constantly.