Buying used treadmills can be a risky business, and unless you do your homework, you will probably buy yourself a white elephant. While most people just look at the cosmetic aspects of a second-hand treadmill, the real problems are rarely cosmetic. In fact, many machines that look shot are probably still perfectly fine and can be still be used for years to come. What you should consider.
Things to consider
The drive motor is at the heart of the machine, and it is the most important thing to look out for. As a rule of thumb, any machine with a motor that has a capacity of less than 1.5 horsepower (CD) won’t last, and most used treadmills with small engines are probably worthless.
The drive belt
The belt forms the running surface and is subject to a lot of wear and tear. Once the belt starts tearing and threading, it is inevitable that it will need to be replaced. The smallest tear can start opening up and once this happens it can start damaging the motor. Check the belt carefully and if there are any tears in it (particularly on the sides) it’s no good anymore.
Treadmills are subject to a lot of corrosion, and with sweat dripping on the frame, it can become corroded. Once the frame starts corroding, it will just keep going and eventually go straight through. Aluminum frames don’t corrode, and if you spot any corrosion, then it’s probably a steel frame which is cheaper and a lot less robust. It is heavy though which makes, generally speaking, for a more stable treadmill.
Benefits of buying a used home treadmill
- Obviously, the main benefit is that you can save quite a bit when you buy fitness equipment second hand. You can often get 20-50% off department store prices
- You can often haggle with them and talk the price down even further.
Drawbacks of buying your treadmill used
- You don’t know how much tear and wear it’s seen.For example, one treadmill could have been used for gentle walking by one owner three times a week for a year. Another treadmill could have been used for heavy running by two owners seven times a week for three years.
- When you buy a used treadmill, you are usually responsible for transporting it back to your home.
- Most brand warranties do not extend to second-hand buyers.
Buying second-hand fitness equipment can save you quite a bit – but there are also hazards. Despite what you choose to buy, remember to put the needs of everyone in your family who will be using the treadmill before you buy.