Go online nowadays and you can find ten thousand sites all proclaiming to have the best treadmills for home usage. But with all that fluff and clutter, how can you be sure that you’re getting the actual best treadmill for home workouts? Well, ask any personal trainer in the know and they’ll tell you that there is really one key element that will let you distinguish the good treadmills from the great treadmills: the treadmill drive system.
Why is the Treadmill Drive System so Important?
The treadmill drive system is the component of the treadmill which is most often overlooked. In today’s consumer market of fancy bells and whistles (e.g. iPod docks, speakers, double-tread, retread, etc.), buyers are often distracted from what they’re really spending their money on. Of course, you should get every extra and perk that you want on a treadmill, especially if it’s going to help keep you motivated to workout.
But what you don’t want to overlook is the actual quality of the system. The truth is that home treadmill systems aren’t cheap, and while they are more affordable now than they’ve ever been, you still want to find the best treadmill for home use that you can at the lowest price. To do that, you’ll have to pay attention to what’s “under the hood” so to speak: the treadmill drive system.
This system is responsible for how your treadmill operates. It’s made up of two components: the drive motor and the incline motor. These two components need to be evaluated before any purchase, especially considering what type of workouts you are looking for. Finding the best treadmills for home workouts means that you’ll have to take into account whether you’ll be running, jogging, walking, cross-training, etc. Each of these different types of workouts requires different levels of operation from the treadmill, different aspects to each component and careful consideration.
Below, you’ll find an in-depth look at arguably the two most important parts of the treadmill operating system that you’ve never heard of: the drive motor and the incline motor. Together, they make up the treadmill drive system, something you can’t afford to overlook when shopping for the best treadmills for home.
Finding The Best Treadmill for Home: The Drive Motor
Probably the most important component of your treadmill when it comes to everyday use and longevity, the drive motor is the actual power source of the machine that propels the motion of the belt. You can break down the drive motor into two categories of classification:
• RPM: Stands for Revolutions Per Minute and refers to the motor axle
• Power Output: The total output of the engine as measured in horsepower
Motors which are lower in RPMs make greater use of their lower rotation distance (the distance the motor axle has to travel to make one full rotation), giving them a quiet and low-stress way to generate horsepower. The lower the exertion placed on the drive motor, the longer the unit will produce smooth, reliable service for all your workout needs.
Therefore, you should always look for a drive motor that has a low RPM number and a high horsepower number. The larger the discrepancy between the two, the better the drive motor inside the treadmill drive system is. Of course, it’s not always that simple.
Because horsepower comes directly from the magnetic field that is generated by magnets inside the drive motor, not only the RPM, but the size of the drive motor also affects the horsepower. Power is created by the spinning motor axle so in order to boost your horsepower output, you have to either boost the RPM or increase the size of the magnets inside the motor. As we’ve already mentioned, increasing the RPM also increases the strain on the system, so many of the best treadmills for home have to increase the size of the magnets to preserve longevity.
What this does is keeps the horsepower high, the RPMs low and the machine operating quietly, but it also increases the size and weight of the overall unit. Unfortunately, there is no way around this: the bigger and heavier the treadmill, the more sturdy and reliable it is going to be.
There is a simple trick here: when looking for the best treadmills for home usage, always be sure that the CHP number is higher than the THP number. The CHP is the continuous duty rating which means the machine is rated not only for home use, but acceptable in health-clubs as well. The standard treadmill duty rating (THP) should always be lower than the CHP when looking for quality in a home treadmill.
Finding the Best Treadmills for Home: The Incline Motor
The second major part of the treadmill drive system is known as the incline motor and is in charge of raising and lowering the treadmill deck. This serves to provide different levels of workouts for the beginning, intermediate and advanced exerciser. This also allows you to cross-train. For instance, jogging on a 10 degree incline is much more strenuous than running on a flat surface.
If you’re not worried about switching up your workouts and will not be using an incline, you don’t have to worry about an incline motor. In fact, buying a treadmill for the home without incline capability will save you money. Of course, if you decide that you want one at some point down the road, it’s always a nice feature to have available to you, providing you with versatility and more control options over your workout (something that prevents stagnation).
The bottom line here is fairly simple: always buy a direct thrust power system over the leverage system. The reasoning behind this is that direct thrust systems are extremely powerful and are capable of raising and lowering the deck without you having to get off of the treadmill. The direct thrust system also puts less strain on the motor, meaning more longevity; plus, it does this all much more quietly than a leverage system. Leverage systems are just plain not worth the money.
Getting the Lowest Price on the Best Treadmill for Home
To get started, you should look for some of the more popular brands of home treadmills such as Precor, Livestrong, Horizon, LifeSpan Fitness, Phoenix, ProForm, Endurance, Schwinn, Smooth and the ever popular, Nordic Track. Click here <INSERT LINK HERE> right now for today’s lowest prices.