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You Shouldn’t Buy A Used Treadmill Until You Read This

Thinking about buying a used treadmill? If you are looking to get into better shape, improve your physique, and exercise in the comfort of your own home, this might seem like a great idea. After all, a used treadmill will come at probably around half the price of a new one – or somewhere close to that, so why not? Most of you are all about saving money, so this would seem like a wise choice.

But, there are some important things that you will want to consider before purchasing a used treadmill. In some cases, you can end up spending money and not seeing many benefits because of it.

So this said, let’s look at some of the most critical things to know and remember regarding buying a used treadmill so that you can ensure you make a wise decision.

The Technology Factor

The first thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that treadmills are constantly being updated. New technology and design is enabling us to see models on the market now that we never saw before that are completely revolutionary and comfortable to use.

If you are a heavy runner, logging many miles per week, small differences can add up. For example, one treadmill that has a bit better of a shock absorption can easily help reduce overuse injuries that you would otherwise begin experiencing.

Without that shock absorption, you might find your joints, lower back, or muscles ache after each run you do. With it however, you can run seemingly endlessly without experiencing any pain.

Likewise, a longer belt, which is usually available on newer models also caters towards someone who’s stride is greater and should be considerably more comfortable to use.

If you’re buying a used treadmill, there’s a very good chance that you will get a very outdated model, thus this new technology and design will not be in place.

It may seem like a good deal, but if you’re running on it for hours each week and aren’t as comfortable as you could be, is it really that good of a deal?

The Repair Work Completed 

Another thing to consider is that there may have been repair work completed that you don’t know about. While it’s great if the seller kept the treadmill up and got the necessary repairs done when needed, it’s not so great if the treadmill has undergone a number of repairs.

This illustrates that either the treadmill itself may have been a lemon model and prone to breaking down, or there are parts that could be malfunctioning in the future. While usually one can repair a treadmill to the point where it’s functioning nearly as good as it always does, rarely does it ever get to be as good as when originally purchased directly from the manufacturer.

The seller is not going to give away all the details of the repair work as it will make the treadmill appear used and run-down, so this is something that you need to think about carefully. You can’t trust you are giving all the information you need, so you are going in with a bit of a blind eye.

The Belt Condition

Another thing to think about is the belt condition. Replacing a belt on a treadmill is not a cheap process and this is one thing that you can’t really look at when shopping for a used treadmill.

While you can obviously inspect the belt from the outside and see how it’s looking and whether it looks beat up and run down, you aren’t able to determine how the belt looks on the underside. Unless you take the treadmill apart, which obviously you aren’t going to do, you have no way of knowing how worn it is.

And how worn a belt is all depends on how much the treadmill was used and the weight and running pattern of the users.

Sellers will not always be honest in telling you how much a treadmill was used, so you could get one treadmill that’s a year old that’s been beaten daily for an hour or a treadmill that’s five years old but was used more as a close hanger than anything. These two treadmills, despite one being much older, will not be in the same condition at all.

Your best bet if you are going to buy used and are concerned about belt quality is to hop on and go for a test run for at least five minutes or so, if the seller will let you. This way you can at least feel how the belt is moving under your feet. If you feel any friction at all or the belt sounds noisy, this could be an indication that the belt is starting to get worn out on the underside.

It’s also a smart idea when looking at used treadmills to put the treadmill on a high speed and let it run. If you notice the belt skips at all while doing this, that’s another bad sign. If it does this while you are on it, this could become downright dangerous quite quickly, so it must be avoided at all costs.

Often if you do end up with a belt that is malfunctioning and have to pay to have someone come in and fix it, you’ll spend more on the repair job plus the cost of that treadmill than you would have had you had just purchased new in the first place.

No Warranty Support

The next big issue that will prove to be a rather large drawback with purchasing a treadmill used is that you will get no warranty support. Even if the treadmill is quite new, often the warranty will only cover the original buyer, so as soon as it passes hands, that warranty is no longer valid.

And, many treadmill companies don’t offer extended warranties for everything, so if the treadmill is over a year or two old, you may not be fully covered for most of the things that could go wrong with the treadmill in the future. As a result, you are going to be out the cash as soon as it does need a repair.

If you are concerned about this, it is best to ask the seller if they have any warranty left and then give the warranty company a call to see if they will do owner transfers. This extra step is the best way to prepare yourself against any unwanted surprises.

Checking The Motor

It’s also very important to check the motor before taking that used treadmill home. If the motor isn’t in good shape, which tends to occur when the treadmill has either been heavily used or else because the treadmill was stored in a dusty area and this dust has now gotten into the motor, you are going to be out a lot of money if it starts to malfunction.

With used treadmills, the unfortunate thing is that sometimes the motor can seem okay when you first use the treadmill for half an hour or so, but then it will start to die out when you begin going for longer runs, or multiple users are doing treadmill sessions.

One of the biggest differences between higher quality new treadmills and lower quality used ones is that they can support more total run time each week.

One quick test for the motor you’ll want to do is simply run the treadmill at increasing speeds and see how noisy the motor gets. The louder it gets, the older that motor is and likely, the poorer condition it is in as well.

Incline Test

Another thing that often goes with treadmills is the ability to put the treadmill on an incline. If you are looking at used treadmill, you’ll want to get on it, start walking or jogging at your typical speed and then incline as high as you can go. See if the treadmill can support this incline.

Make sure that you also return back down on the incline as well as sometimes treadmills go up fine, but down is another story. If the treadmill jerks at any point on the decent or begins to falter when ascending, this is a good sign this feature is not going to be working soon.

If you never plan to walk or run on an incline, this may not be an issue for you, but adding that incline is one of the best ways to customize your workout so I would highly recommend that you get a treadmill that can do this with ease.

So there you have all the things to keep in mind when purchasing a used treadmill. In theory, it seems like a great plan since you will save money and complete your home gym. But, in many cases, you really are better off saving up a bit more and getting a new treadmill. It’ll give you the peace of mind in knowing that you are getting the best of the best.

Photo credit: marienalien/Shutterstock; adriaticfoto/Shutterstock; MiniStocker/Shutterstock; Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock