Tedd Falk

  1. The Three Rs: Reconditioned, Refurbished, Remanufactured

    Shopping for a used piece of fitness equipment can at times feel a little overwhelming, especially with all of the different terms being thrown around to describe the condition of the equipment. Reconditioned, refurbished, and remanufactured are the big three when it comes to fitness equipment terms. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between each one:

    Reconditioned: Reconditioned equipment typically means there was little work done to bring the machine back to proper working order. A reconditioned machine is typically tested, reassembled, lubricated, and cleaned. Reconditioned might sound a little more risky compared to a refurbished or remanufactured machine, but what it really means is that the machine was in pretty good working condition in the first place. It can also be the best value because the dealer will have less investment, or costs, into the machine so it can be sold for less.

    Refurbished: Like a reconditioned machine, a refurbished piece of fitness equipment will go through a testing, reassembly, lubrication, and cleaning process. However, refurbished fitness equipment will have non-functioning parts replaced. This does not typically include cosmetic items such as upholstery or shrouds unless they are severely damaged.

    Remanufactured: Remanufactured equipment is probably the closest you can get to a “like new” machine, and also consists of the most work. Nearly all parts, shrouds, and upholstery will be replaced and in some cases the machine will be repainted. While typically remanufactured equipment will be more expensive than reconditioned or refurbished equipment, it is still a great value for someone looking for the true “like new” machine.

    Lastly, one thing to keep in mind is that “as is” warranties will vary by condition and dealer. Typically, you will see anywhere from 30-90 days. Some reconditioned, refurbished, and remanufactured equipment will also have the option to add an extended warranty plan for 1-2 years.

    You can visit our used equipment here: shopused.2ndwindexercise.com

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  2. A Quick Buyers Guide: Understanding Treadmill Specifications

    It is important to learn the basics about treadmills so that when you're comparing different treadmills, you'll know what you're looking at. All treadmills have the same basic components: a motor, frame, deck, belt, rollers, flywheel, and display console but not all treadmills are built with the same quality.


    The motor is what delivers power to the belt system of the treadmill. All home treadmills now are made using DC (Direct Current) motors. Treadmill motors are measured in horsepower and usually range anywhere between 1.5 and 3.0 horsepower. DC motors only operate at their full capacity when running at their top speeds. Larger motors allow for a higher user weight rating, have a higher top speed, reduce component fatigue and make for a more stable running experience. When looking at HP pay close attention to “peak horsepower” this label lists the maximum power not continuous power which is what’s important for running. Also beware of cheaper motors that are using high RPM’s to increase the listed HP. Faster RPM’s means the motor is spinning faster which will cause it to burn out quickly. Don’t consider any motor that comes with less than a ten-year warranty.


    Frames are made from either steel or aluminum. Steel frames feel more spring-like when your foot strikes the deck, and tend to lend themselves to a tighter, quieter treadmill. Aluminum frames are strong and last just as long as steel, but aluminum treadmills have a deadpan feel because aluminum treadmill manufactures use rivets to hold the frames together opposed to the uni-body steel-welded frame. Steel frames have been criticized for rusting but a properly coated steel frame in a residential application is unlikely to have that issue. However, make sure you are not purchasing a bolted steel frame treadmill; be sure to look for a welded frame.


    The deck is the part of the treadmill that you run on, directly under the moving belt. The deck will eventually wear out because of the friction between the moving belt and the deck surface. A thick deck will generally provide more support, cushioning and durability. Some decks are made from layers of laminated wood while others are constructed of synthetic materials, check the grade of the plywood. Most of the top treadmill manufacturers are using 3/4”-1” thick solid wood decks that are typically mounted on elastomer rubber grommets on top of the steel frame. Some decks are reversible, which will double the life of the deck.


    Most high-quality treadmills have a two-ply belt consisting of a black polyurethane top-layer and an under-layer made of a nylon-polyester weave. Look for an appropriate length and width for your size, if the belt is undersized you'll bang your feet on the machine or trip. The width will vary from about 16 inches to over 20 inches and lengths from around 45 inches to over 60 inches. Look for a diagonal cut seam as they have extra bonding area and create a stronger belt. Diagonal seams also pass over the rollers more gradually so the belt runs smoother and quieter.

    When it comes to the weave of the belt material check for a tight weave. A tight, soft weave on the bottom will last longer. Also check the material for polyester or polyester blend. It is cheaper to use only nylon. However, nylon gives off a buzzing sound due to the increased friction of a cheap belt. Nylon will feel rough and it will eventually wear away the deck’s top coating and also cause the treadmill to run hot and shortening its life, you want to make sure the underside of the belt is smooth. Some top manufacturers such as Cybex also use covered belts to prevent dirt from getting into the treadmill, a common cause of service issues.


    Rollers are long tube-shaped parts that provide underlying support for the belt. There are two rollers, one on the front and one on the back of the machine. The belt wraps around the rollers, which allows the belt to revolve around the deck. Good treadmill rollers will help reduce the amount of wear and tear on the belt and motor. If the rollers are low quality the belt will constantly move away from being centered on the rollers and will require continuous adjustments. Look for a roller that is at least 2”-3” in diameter although be aware that bigger rollers are not necessarily better. High-end treadmill machines have several features like crowned rollers, rubber-coated front rollers or even auto-tracking computerized rollers.


    The flywheel in your treadmill helps to regulate the speed and consistency of the belt and helps keep the belt from moving when you step on it. The flywheel also helps the machine from overheating and wearing out quickly and prevents the treadmill from causing sudden jerky movements when you stop. Good quality flywheels typically can be found in treadmills that cost $1,000 or more. Inexpensive treadmills will have an unsteady, lurching motion, due to a poor quality flywheel.

    Display Console

    Don’t get over excited by the display console and forget about all the other important factors but use the console options to help meet your needs. Most importantly, the console buttons for changing speed and incline should be easy to read and reach with your fingers, and should respond quickly to selections.


    Each treadmill has both an upper electronics package, called the console, and a lower motor control board which is the brain. Electronic problems such as faulty wiring or a fried circuit board in the console are some of the most common problems. The lower control board of the treadmill is typically the most serviced part. Look for at least a three-year warranty on your electronics. I would suggest looking for 1 year on parts & labor and 10-20 years on the frame and motor.

    For example the Life Fitness T5 carries a lifetime warranty on frame and shock absorbers, 10 years on motor, 7 years on electrical and mechanical parts, and 1 year on labor, which is a great warranty. Comparably, the Vision T9600 carries a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, 5 years electronics/parts and 2 years labor. If you’re looking for a quality treadmill, then it’s going to run you over $1000 so look for extended warranty programs from your retailer and protect your investment!

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  3. Proper Treadmill Set Up & Care

    Get the most out of your purchase by caring for your treadmill correctly


    When you first set up your treadmill use a level to make sure that is on an even surface and be sure to purchase a treadmill mat! The mat makes it easier to clean around the machine and can also help to smooth out any small dips in the floor. Do not place your treadmill on carpet as this will cause friction and ultimately burn out your treadmill, also running a treadmill on carpet is likely to ruin the carpet. If you must place your treadmill on carpet then a mat is an absolute must-have to protect both your treadmill and your carpet! If possible, keep the door to your exercise room shut to keep pet hair and dust away from the treadmill and keep the console out of direct sunlight.


    It’s important to keep your treadmill clean as dust that works its way under the belt or into the motor housing can make the machine run hotter and significantly reduce its lifespan. Try to keep a separate pair of sneakers for use on the treadmill that you don’t wear outside. Do not use soaps, rubbing alcohol or solvents to clean your treadmill, these solvents will eventually dry out the rubber and plastic parts of the console. To clean your treadmill use a water-dampened soft cloth and once a week, vacuum around and under the treadmill. It is suggested that roughly four times per year you lift the motor hood and vacuum out the dust in this area as well.


    Your treadmill is unlikely to need lubrication within the first year but after that you may need to lubricate twice a year or quarterly. You will have an easier time if you select a treadmill that is lubricated strictly with silicone compared to one lubricated with petroleum or paraffin wax. To test if your treadmill needs to be lubricated lift the sides of the belt and feel the surface of the deck. If the deck feels dry you need to reapply lubrication.

    To lubricate position the belt so the seam is on top and in the center. Lift the side of the belt and position the spray nozzle between the belt and deck, about 6” from the front of the treadmill and spray from front to back for 5 seconds. Move to the other side and repeat then let set for 1 minute.

    Belt Adjustments:

    When running many people favors one leg over the other and this gradually moves the belt to one side and causes it to rub against the side rail or end caps. Uneven flooring can also cause this issue. To test it run the treadmill on a low speed and check to see if the belt has shifted slightly to one side. If it has shifted then unplug the treadmill find your drive roller and turn the roller adjustment bolt 1/4 turn clockwise on the side toward which the belt has shifted. Similarly if you feel the belt slipping under your feet, then it needs tightening. Rotate both left and right roller adjustment bolts the same amount.

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