So I'm finally pulling the trigger on a treadmill. I'm fairly positive I'm sold on a proform brand but...
My primary questions are
1). What brand and why? (And model if you feel so inclined)
2). Best place to buy and why? (Discounts/free shipping/delivery, etc)
I do want to get a new one so I can get a warranty as well. Is that dumb?
i like the following
folds up for floor space as this will be in my office w my desk and bike trainer at home.
being able to program a route via google maps.
Being able to run on a decline
Port and speaker for music connectivity
Thanks for always being a valuable resource.
In my experience you have two types of treadmills - 1) Made for residential, and 2) Made for commercial (gyms)
The residential ones are roughly 1/2 the price of a comparable commercial with similar tech specs (motor size, roller size, belt size, incline range). They will have options a commercial do not need (e.g. better speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, browsers, WiFi, iFit), but are made to accommodate less hours of use. But the commercial ones are built more solidly to accommodate hours and hours of consistent use.
For your specific situation:
1) It will be in an office and you want to fold it. Will you use the space where it was? I thought I needed a folding one as well, but never used the space because it got to be burdensome to fold/unfold every use. Folding ones will always be less sturdy than their counterpart.
2) The speakers that come on any treadmill will never be close to what you can get externally. The vibration from the machine will affect the volume and quality of sound from speakers if they are part of it. I use sport blue tooth earphones.
3) Don't let connectivity make or break your decision, you can always get a screen in front of you for YouTube, real courses, or Netflix. After a couple thousand miles you will want variety.
4) If you get a residential machine, spring for the extra $ and get the longest warranty they offer. It often comes with annual maintenance as well. I've had two machines and the warranty saved me on both of them. If/when you have a warranty issue be prepared for a fight with (any) customer service - it took me six months but I got one completely refunded and the other had a new motor installed. These are complex machines that we are beating up with every use and can break in a thousand different ways.
Additional questions you may want to ask yourself:
1) How many users at what weight will use the machine? I'm a lightweight and my $1K machine still has problems maintaining consistent speed with a 3hp motor
2) How often will you use it? I use mine 3x/week, but lighter use would let me get away with a cheaper machine.
3) How important is quiet operation? Commercial machines are just built more solidly. Mine shakes and squeaks, and the noise from my footfalls can be heard throughout the house. The matrix or precor I use at the gym would be nearly unnoticeable behind a closed door in my house.
4) Will you do intervals and need quick speed changes? It takes mine about 30 secs to go from 0-8 mph, and another 10 secs to go to 10 mph. Also, faster pace is harder on it.
5) Is your electrical system prepared? I had to get a surge suppressor to keep my circuit breakers from tripping.
If I had to buy again I would double my budget and get a refurbished commercial machine with a 2yr warranty from a dealer.