4 Features You Must Check When Buying Used Treadmills

Tips For Buying Used Treadmills

in home exercise equipment, home gym, treadmills, Used Treadmills Buying Guide

You can get a great deal on a treadmill by buying a used one. But you have to be careful that you are getting a quality machine that will last — you want to avoid used treadmills that are at the end of their life. When deciding whether or not buy a specific machine, there are a few important treadmill features that you must be sure to check before you buy it and get it home. Use these tips to evaluate a used treadmill before you buy it, and you’ll increase the chances that your purchase is a good one.

First, Find Out How Much Treadmill Has Been Used

It’s important to find out how much the treadmill has been used. Ask the current owner how much they used it and why they want to sell it. Many people are overly ambitious about their home exercise plans and soon find themselves with expensive equipment they’ve never used. That’s the perfect person from whom to buy. On the other hand, if they used it for an hour every day for the last five years, then you might want to think twice about buying that one.

Once you feel comfortable that the treadmill hasn’t been used to it’s breaking point, check out the following items to help you assess how much life is left in it.

Used Treadmill Motor

1. Check Out the Treadmill Motor

It’s very important to make sure the treadmill’s motor is still in good shape. After all, it’s an electric treadmill! Run the treadmill all the way from warm-up to maximum speed. It might get a little louder as the speed increases, but it shouldn’t get too much louder. And it should sound just as smooth at every level. You don’t want to hear any new noises or thumps as the speed increases.

Once you’ve tried it with no one on it, turn it off, get on it yourself, and try it out starting at warm-up speed. (You should definitely have brought your running shoes with you to check out the treadmill.) Crank it to whatever top speed you feel you can safely handle. Make sure the motor still sounds good at all the speed levels.

2. Check Out the Treadmill Belt

Used Treadmill BeltThe next most important feature is the belt. With the treadmill off, inspect it carefully all the way around and check for any fraying –especially around the edges on both sides. Watch it carefully at higher speeds and check for sliding or skipping. If you see it sliding or skipping, don’t buy it. A skip at high speed can be very dangerous because it might cause you to slip or trip. You could get really hurt if that happens. Also check to make sure the belt is not rubbing against the frame anywhere. It likely won’t be worth the time or money to fix it if you find that the belt needs to be replaced. This is a treadmill running machine, and without the belt you won’t be running anywhere!

Used Treadmill Features: Incline

3. Test the Incline

Don’t buy a treadmill without an incline. The incline offers many benefits from burning more calories to building more muscle. The steeper the incline, the more you’ll build and tone your calf, thigh, and buttocks muscles. In fact, University of Georgia researchers found that each stride of running uphill works 9% more of your muscles than the same stride and effort at a level run. And if you’re still not convinced, researchers in England discovered that if you want to match the energy required to run on a flat, level surface outside, you need to set your treadmill incline at 1% incline. Otherwise, it’s like running downhill.

So, be sure to check out the incline! Your treadmill should go up to at least 10% incline — preferably a little bit more. As the treadmill moves up, make sure it goes smoothly with out bumping or jerking. Test it while the treadmill is running at a moderate to high speed, both with and without you on it.

4. Test the Display

Used Treadmill Features: Display ConsoleThe final important piece to test is the display. First, be sure that the display is practical and easy to use. Can you read the displays well? Does it clearly show the time, speed and incline? Are there easy-to-use buttons to set the time and manually adjust the speed and incline?

Does this electric treadmill have pre-programmed workouts? Pre-programmed treadmill workouts automatically adjust the speed and incline to target your specific workout goals, such as losing weight, burning fat, or building endurance. This variety can be a great way to keep your workouts interesting and fun, which will hopefully help keep you motivated. If the treadmill has pre-programmed workouts, briefly try a few of them. (You won’t have time to run the full workouts.)

While you look at the display, check it for signs of wear or damage. Used treadmills can take a real beating on the display from dripping sweat and spilled beverages. While it’s OK if the surface of the display is a bit scratched, make sure that the electronic part of the display is clear and bright. If it’s hazy or foggy, there might be sweat or spilled drinks getting into the display and damaging it.

Be Happy With Your Treadmill Running Machine

Buying a used treadmill can really be a great way to save some money. But remember, this treadmill will be your running machine, and you want to make sure that you will be happy and satisfied using it for running. So check it it carefully and make sure you’ll be happy with it. Can you live with a broken cup holder if it saved you a bundle? Or will you be annoyed every time you see it? Are the buttons easy to use, or will they frustrate you and prevent you from enjoying your workouts. You don’t want anything that might zap your motivation. And of course, you want it to last — a broken treadmill won’t give you a workout! So use these tips to help increase the odds that you’ll make a good choice and be happy with your purchase. No matter how good a deal you get, it’s still going to cost you a fair amount of time, effort, and money — so go about it thoughtfully and well informed.


  • Runner’s World: “Buying A Used Treadmill”
  • eHow: “How to Buy a Used Treadmill”
  • LIVESTRONG.com: “Benefits of Incline Treadmills on the Muscles”
  • Men’s Health: “To Hill and Back”
  • Consumer Reports: “Treadmill Guide – Treadmill Features”

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