Treadmills are generally pricey and can cost $1000 or more. And so, home users naturally expect an exercise machine to last for a long time. But how long do treadmills last exactly?
Treadmills, or any exercise machine, do not last forever, that’s for sure. Several factors affect their lifespan. In this article, let’s find out what these factors are. Then, we’ll identify what we can do as buyers or owners to ensure a long-lasting treadmill.
How Long Do Treadmills Last?
Manufacturers say that treadmills generally last for 7-12 years. Ten years would be the average lifespan of a treadmill. However, this is only an estimate.
Some budget-level treadmills might have a shorter life, whereas branded ones may last 20 years. NordicTrack treadmills, for example, have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years but can extend up to 15 years, depending on various conditions.
Why Do Some Treadmills Last Longer?
Several reasons can affect treadmill lifespan. Here are some of them.
1. Machine Quality
Treadmills with durable construction typically last longer than those with low-quality parts. It’s mainly because higher-quality materials do not wear out that easily and can withstand prolonged use.
But how will I know if my treadmill is top-quality or not? One clue is to check the motor and its continuous-duty horsepower (CHP). A powerful treadmill motor with 2.5 to 3 chp, for example, should be able to withstand frequent workouts or training.
Another clue is the cost. Price typically dictates treadmill quality, and better-quality construction materials are more expensive. So, expect to pay a bit more if you want a long-lasting machine.
However, it does not mean that you have to purchase the most expensive model available. Research should help you find a good-quality treadmill that suits your budget.
2. Frequency of Use
How long do treadmills last if their users exercise often? If you run on the deck for several hours a week, you’ll likely need to replace some of its parts sooner.
Doing an intense workout daily on a mid-range machine would also have a similar result. On the other hand, casual runners will not have the same issues.
Ideally, your treadmill motor capacity should match your workout frequency and type of exercise to make the machine last longer.
If you do not take care of your exercise machine, dust and grime can quickly build up. These will affect the motor and electronics, clog the rollers and wear out the belt. Eventually, the machine will start performing poorly before shutting down completely. Keeping your treadmill in top condition longer means cleaning and maintaining it regularly.
4. Machine Type
There are two basic types of treadmills: manual and motorised. Both are excellent exercise machines and should last longer with proper care and use. However, as manual units lack electronic parts, this type typically has a longer lifespan.
Consider checking the warranty options to answer “how long do treadmills last”. Generally, an extended warranty is a good indicator of quality and longevity.
Most models have warranties of 1 to 5 years, but these depend on the treadmill manufacturer. As buyers or users, it is necessary to know what they cover and how long. Ideally, there should be a 2-year warranty for labour, a 5-year warranty for electronics and a lifetime warranty for the motor.
Labour warranty is especially vital as it is the most expensive component of treadmill repair.
How Can I Extend the Treadmill Lifespan?
Based on the factors discussed, it is clear that lifespan depends on how you pick your treadmill. So, if you are just about to buy one, here are some things to remember to find your long-lasting fitness equipment.
- Research your options first. Compare and contrast different models. Reading treadmill reviews and buying guides can help you understand the factors that make good-quality equipment. Also, check the ratings and feedback from other customers. I find watching demo videos helpful, too.
- Match product specs with your fitness goal. If you’re into intense training, choose a machine with a suitable motor. Then, trim down your choices based on other features and your budget. For beginners and casual users, start with budget-level treadmills. You can always progress later with a better machine or create a routine with other exercises.
- Check the product warranty coverage. Also, when you can, go for an established brand or company. Check if they are easy to contact or have local offices in your country. And go for brands with readily available replacement parts and accessories as well.
The life of a treadmill also depends on how you care for it. So, after buying your ideal machine, remember that regular maintenance should now be part of your routine.
Here are some reminders:
- Wipe down your treadmill after every use. Make sure to vacuum the area, too, to prevent dirt build-up.
- Inspect the treadmill belt and running deck from time to time. Check for lumps or bumps. Also, realign the belt when needed. Ensure that there are no loose screws as well. Do you have a NordicTrack treadmill at home? You can refer to this maintenance guide for NordicTrack treadmills or check their website for details.
- Lubricate the treadmill belt as needed. Typically, belt lubrication should be done every three months. However, it depends on how often you use the machine. Check your manual to know which lubricant to use and how to apply it.
The Bottom Line
So, how long do treadmills last? Most have an average life of 10 years. But it varies and depends on how you select, use and maintain your machine. While manufacturers can give you a lifespan estimate, it is up to you to follow or go beyond it.
Running on a treadmill can help you stay fit and healthy. But this machine is also an investment. So, make sure to choose wisely. Pick a model that matches your preferences, needs and budget range. More importantly, be ready to commit to several years’ worth of proper cleaning and maintenance.
With a little TLC, your treadmill will be in tip-top shape for a long time. Read on to know when to replace your treadmill.
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