My wife and I are looking for a good, low-budget treadmill. Do you have any suggestions on which brands, models, etc?
Dave from Tulsa, OK
As with any purchase made within a market that has such a wide range of quality and price, it would entirely depend on how you intend to use the treadmill as to what "low budget" would really mean. There is alot of relatively inexpensive equipment out there, then the range goes into the thousands if you were to require commercial quality equipment. Simply put, if you are going to use the machine for walking occasionally, then definitely go with a piece from a department store, or even from the classifieds or a yard sale. But if you intend to use it daily for running, then you will need to increase your budget to get a quality machine that will take what you give it. We recently bought an Icon Healthrider machine from Sams Club because it featured all the requirments of our exercise routine and it was a very reasonable price...$800. From the internet research we've done about all thats available within our price range, and about this machine in particular, it seemed to be a great value. It remains to be seen, if indeed, we are correct. Definitely do some shopping around and tell knowledgable sales people what you are looking for...see what they would suggest you look for. You don't have to buy from them, but you can certainly glean alot of information from all of them.
One important aspect of the treadmill is the amount of cushioning underfoot.
If it's not well cushioned (or doesn't have a great set of springs), you aren't going to be very happy after a few weeks and the treadmill is going to become a dust catcher.
Suggest you check them out with non-athletic soled shoes so you can really feel the cushioning or lack thereof.
I have one that wasn't cheap, but I like it. Healthrider s300i. Good rebound underfoot.
It's a model from a few years ago, and you might want to see if there is an updated version.
Also check into good used equipment.
A friend of mine checked into used sporting goods stores and found out that a lot of people buy treadmills with good intentions and then don't use them. You will find a lot of new-ish models that are barely used and 1 or 2 years old. Also very reasonably priced.
Try Freecycle or if your local paper has free ads, check them out. I see them every once in awhile for free or less than $80. I was given one and not able to use it. We couldn't sell it at a yard sale,so we gave it to a neighbor that said she used it $40. worth LOL.
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