Treadmills are a large investment financially and in your fitness, therefore much thought and preparation should go into the purchase of your new treadmill.
Having your treadmill motor blow up or your belt warp severely after only a few months use is not something you want, so here are a few basic treadmill buying tips.
Warranty - Any treadmill brand worth its weight will offer a nice warranty on their product. Usually the motor, parts, and labor will be covered under different warranties. Make sure you get at least a 5 year warranty on you motor. After the treadmill purchase make sure you abide by the warranty and send in any user registrations if required.
Walking Surface - How big is the surface you actually walk or run on? My first treadmill had a 16 inch width that seemed fine in the store, however after further usage I found myself always aware of where the sides were and extra careful not to "step off the edge". Make sure the width of your treadmill will be comfortable for everyone in your household (I prefer 20 inch widths) and also the length is long enough for the long legged members of your family.
Weight Limit - Most treadmills have a weight limit. Too much weight can put a strain on the frame, belt, and especially motor of the treadmill. Make sure your potential treadmill has a weight limit to accommodate all of its potential users to avoid putting undue wear and tear on your new treadmill.
Test Things Out - Get on your treadmill and give it a test drive. Does everything work as the advertisement states? Try the heart monitor if it's a feature, does it appear to be working properly? Is the treadmill quiet to your liking, or will it be an annoyance when home? Are the displays big enough for you to see easily?
Safety - Make sure your new treadmill has an emergency stop mechanism. This can help prevent serious injuries during malfunction or accidents.
Additional Features - Treadmills come in many shapes and sizes with various features. Some additional features you may look for are a water bottle holder, calorie counter, book stand, incline, and preset and programmable workout routines.
Once you've made your final treadmill buying decision, make sure you shop around for the best price for your new treadmill. Getting all the features you want at the price you want makes for happy treadmilling!