How much "bang for the buck" can you get from a cheap treadmill?
Consumer / Home grade treadmills from many "manufacturers" are commonly outfitted with some of the most inexpensive and lowest quality components possible on the basis of "minimal use". Corners are cut, at every angle, to drive down the "cost of production" to the lowest possible dollar. Conversely, MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) is then projected at the highest point possible to maximize profits and reduce risk for warranty fulfillment costs. For example, ProForm offers some the most beloved and best-selling treadmills on the market in the $400 to $700 price range. They provide a very cost efficient machine for consumers on a thrifty budget. The ProForm Crosswalk GT "Dual Motion Cross Trainer" Treadmill was one, if not the very first, of a hybrid design which incorporated "Upper Body" exercise on a treadmill platform. In 1992, there weren't many innovations that sought to bring the "arms" aspect into any cardio machines other than strength-specific items. Even early generation elliptical and bikes were solely "lower body" at this time. They brilliantly introduced a "wanted" feature that wasn't very costly, and that many people had never seen before on a treadmill. ProForm has always been very creative in their design and marketing to provide a model with all the "right features at the right price".
Some compromises can come at a cost to the consumer in the overall quality and value offered in their machines. Walking belt wear and failure is the #1 cause of treadmill "break down" and ProForm certainly saves a few "bucks" on these items. ProForm OEM single-ply walking belts have a tendency to "cast off" black shavings as they wear and as the materials age. These issues cause an excess of particulate dispersion into the drive system, belly pan area, and underneath the walking belt. The "black dust" likes to collect on the roller and motor drive pulleys along with the main control board. These "shedding" issues cause noises, slipping, and premature wear that typically require the replacement of these belts in a shorter cycle than some other products.
"Walking Belt Maintenance" is the absolute key to the performance and longevity of every treadmill. Installing a new walking belt is the most common repair that every treadmill will need at some point in its life cycle. Treadmill Doctor has been a fore-runner in the design, testing, and sales of aftermarket replacement walking belt and decks. Through years of studying "trends" and "experimental" designs, it has become clear that a two-ply, carbon fiber / PVC interwoven belt that utilizes a silicone "slip coat" or impregnated silicone substrate, is now the industry standard (consumer or commercial) that nearly every manufacturer has adopted. Pairing these two components with a phenolic coated, dual sided, MDF (medium density fiberboard) core deck has also prevailed as the most reliable and cost effective package for every treadmill, at any cost.
Treadmill Doctor Pro Walking Belts are made of the highest quality materials in the industry. They consistently provide the lowest drag and amp draw ratings of any other professional grade walking/running belt on the market. In the field, many customers and techs alike have seen for themselves the overall longevity and cost savings with these crucial maintenance components. New OEM walking belts from many companies can cost anywhere between $100 and $600 with a very limited warranty.
(1 year / 90 days). Treadmill Doctor Walking Belts cost $99 and include a Lifetime Warranty (see details below**) when properly maintained with their "World Famous Treadmill Lube". Installing a walking belt and many other parts can be a daunting task, but their website offers a wealth of videos and technical support (live or web-based) at www. TreadmillDoctor.com. They have everything for the "do it yourself" up to the "Pro Tech" who needs to maintain, fix, and troubleshoot any treadmill or elliptical.
(**Lifetime Warranty excludes belts not properly installed and lubricated with Treadmill Doctor World Famous Lube. See website for full warranty details.)
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