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Iâ€™ve heard some good things about buying used, reconditioned Woodways, but thatâ€™s still around 5k or so. There are quite a few decent treadmills in the $1200-$1500 range (Sole and NordicTrack) when on sale. I guess it somewhat depends on what your budget is and how youâ€™ll want to use the treadmill.
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I had been looking at a lot more expensive Precor, Sole and Nordictrack treadmills but spontaneously pulled the trigger on this given the price. Not the fanciest gadget I own but seems to get he job done.
Love running on it. Utterly sublime to do intervals on. Built like a tank. Weighs about the same as one too. Only downside other than price for the Woodway is its weight. Looked at other brands but the quality of the Woodway belt cannot be beat. Personally, it is difficult for me to transition to running on the road after running on those treadmills that "flex" when you land. So much easier for me to transition from treadmill to open road on the Woodway.
Other reason for the Woodway was simplicity. The "extras" you get on other brands such as fans and speakers break repeatedly due to sweat and vibration. I use a Lasco fan with a remote switch and computer speakers that sit close to the treadmill but are not subject to sweat and vibration.
Iâ€™m currently stuck between an F80 or 85, and going reconditioned commercial, Star Trac or Life Fitness. About the same price, but I have NEVER had a bad run on a LF treadmill, so Iâ€™m really leaning that way if I can find one. I have a line on a reconditioned Planet Fitness one, but damn I donâ€™t want that purple in my house.
I have one that is 13 years old, used daily in the winter and works great. The touch screen went on it last winter and Landice replaced it under warranty (!).
Was waiting for someone else to post this so I can say :
Bought mine used for $500 (12 years old) it's a tank and gets the job done, keep an eye on Craigslist
Note that this does not mean necessarily that a $800 treadmill is 'crappy' and that you need a $4k TM to do quality workouts - TMs are so good nowadays that you can def get away with a solid $800 treadmill for legit triathlon/run training, even if you're fast.
What the extra money does go for, though is:
- More durable parts. TMs have moving parts and multiple wear points, including motor, deck, rollers, belt, console. I have literally replaced every single one of these on my 8 year old Sole F80 (like Lionel Sanders on his Nordictrac has!) and the only thing I haven't replaced is the frame. I'll guarantee that a $4k Landice will take a lot longer to wear out some of the parts compared to the Sole F80 (which I would still recommend and I still use happily - esp now that I know how to service it!)
- Better warrantee. Pay CLOSE attention to the warrantee, esp for <$2000 TMs, as there's a real chance you will have to use it. My Sole F80 motors (as are most TM motors nowadays) are lifetime warantee, they are sent out for free no questions asked, but I have had to pay for the belt and console replacement several years out. This is likely the real 'gotcha' about the cheap sub $1000 TMs - really limited warrantee and likely limited service access.
I still think that most TMs in the $1500 range are fine for most users, although you might want to consider stepping up to a pricier one if you run and sweat a lot on it every day and plan to do so for 8+ yrs (I do) or have it in a challenging environment (like mine - my garage causes the TM to get condensation buildup in the mornings which eventually shorts out consoles and rusts parts). My Sole F80 actually is more pleasant to run on that the $$$ Precor gym TMs and even the strange Woodway curve which I tried to like but ended up finding it more annoying than useful.
I canâ€™t recommend a specific brand, but when i have thought about buying before, I was going to ask at my gym if they had machines they would be replacing. Since those are designed to be ran on. I bought one years ago and it had a bunch of features. Then realized those features were best used for people who just want to walk (big digital interface, iPod docking (back when that was a new thing), etc).
But as others have said, if you are patient and scouting ads you might find one that was bought with enthusiasm and then set idle forever. But many of these personal ads on ebay and FB etc are often Superstores who sell through these portals.