Understanding the inner workings of a treadmill is a great way to appreciate what you are buying and how to take it apart and repair it if any damage occurs. There is power in knowing how your equipment works. Every car is different. A better understanding of the details of parts of a treadmill can ensure that you are buying the right machine, this can help you troubleshoot any issues and can potentially extend the life of your treadmill.
Think of it as the anatomy of a treadmill. These are the parts of the treadmill machine, what they do, and how important they are to the overall performance of the entire treadmill system.
Different Parts Of A Treadmill (Names & Functions Explained)
1. Treadmill frame
A treadmill should be able to support your weight easily, so a quality frame is important. Most treadmill manufacturers use aluminum or steel to make their frames. Aluminum provides a firmer ride, while steel provides a firmer springy feel.
If you choose a steel frame, look for continuous welds when joining two pieces of steel. Cheaper treadmills are simple in design and often use spot welding that isn’t as durable or strong.
Your options for choosing a steel or aluminum frame will depend on your budget and home gym considerations, such for example, sound and space specifications. Therefore, it is very important to check the warranty before purchasing. Any manufacturer can claim their frame is reliable, but make sure it comes with a long-term or lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.
2. Treadmill deck
The platform of the treadmill is the base on which you run. You cannot see this part because it is under the belt strap which forms the upper layer of the deck. The quality of the deck can affect the life of the treadmill.
Inexpensive treadmills can use plywood and plastic, which do not last very long and warp over time. High-end treadmills, such as those found in Nordictrack and ProForm, use a wax-resin-glued wood called medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which resists bending. The decks of high-end treadmills are also covered with a synthetic polymer coating that protects them from wear and tear.
3. Treadmill motor
The motor is one of the most important parts of the treadmill that determines how much power you get during your workout. It is generally accepted that if the treadmill has good horsepower (HP), the motor is probably of good quality. While this statement is somewhat true, there are a few things to consider when choosing a good treadmill motor.
When reading the specifications of your potential treadmill, pay attention to the “hp” and “CHP” values. Top treadmills will most likely be around “2hp”, but that doesn’t mean they will maintain their speed throughout the workout.
Peak treadmills are a good option for those looking for a quick workout 2-4 times a week, but they use more energy and overheat with prolonged use. They may also require regular maintenance and repairs.
On the other hand, treadmills rated at “2 CHP” provide consistent performance at the advertised maximum speed. These types of motors are more powerful and ideal for those who want to exercise daily. It is common to find engines with a high “CHP” rating in gyms, but they cost more.
The last thing to consider when looking at treadmill motors is RPM and how it relates to power. If you have to choose between “Treadmill (A)” with 5 hp.
Treadmills with lower rpm provide optimal performance, increased torque, better overall performance, and longer life. Of course, this all depends on your expected training schedule, your budget, and the warranty that the treadmill manufacturer offers.
4. Running belt
The running belt is the top layer of the treadmill and is an important advantage for many manufacturers. They come in different sizes, which is important because you need a belt long enough to fit your crotch. For example, if you’re a tall runner, we recommend a 20″ long, 60″ wide belt that allows plenty of room to move freely.
Not only the length but also the material of the belt is important! There are single-layer, one-layer, and multi-layer belts that are composed of different layers. A single-layer belt is a single-layer belt that has little protection and is used in inexpensive treadmill models.
Double-ply belts are used on most treadmills and have an extra layer for cushioning, while multi-ply belts have two or more layers. The purpose of adding more cushioning is for one -layer so you don’t put extra stress on your joints.
One of the main components of treadmill maintenance is the use of lubricant on the treadmill to keep it running smoothly. Some belt materials are lubricated, but even they wear out over time. No treadmill requires maintenance, even if it is sold as such.
5. Motorized treadmill
We’ve already talked about the treadmill motor that turns the belt, but the treadmill may have an additional motor that you’re not aware of. Incline mode is an adjustment that raises the upper half of the treadmill at different angles.
Adjusting the incline on the treadmill can help you burn more calories and strengthen your hamstrings, calves, and glutes. It is important to mention here that there are different types of treadmills, so the incline system can be motorized or manual.
Some manufacturers use a “manual” incline system that requires you to physically change the incline of the treadmill, but the top brands include an incline motor. However, incline motorized treadmills are usually more expensive and you should be careful when purchasing them. A high price does not necessarily mean a quality engine.
When you check your treadmill’s spec sheet, look for the incline motor’s “traction rating.” While this could be 300 pounds, this should also include the weight of the treadmill.
So, if your treadmill weighs 250 pounds and you weigh 200 pounds, you have exceeded the traction limit. So you might want to look at brands like Precor that have treadmills that can handle up to 1,000 pounds. Alternatively, instead of spending a fortune on a cheaper automatic tipping system, be safe and opt for a manual tipping system.
Also, check the position of the tilt motor and bracket. If your treadmill comes in and you feel it wobble a bit when you adjust the incline, this is a good sign that the treadmill is of lower quality. Top-grade treadmill manufacturers put the incline motor in the middle of the treadmill. This keeps the treadmill stable and balanced when running on different inclines.
6. Mechanical components
Before diving in, keep in mind that manual treadmills don’t have many. Instead of relying on mechanical components to power the device, the wearer rotates the belt while running or walking.
However, with motorized treadmills, you will find that the mechanical components are located under the treadmill cover, which is often located in the front. These parts convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and control speed and incline.
As with all machines, these parts may require maintenance over time. So, have your treadmill’s manual and model number handy in case you need to order a replacement part.
7. Treadmill rollers
Rollers are one of the most important components of a treadmill, and for this reason, the possibility of their damage over time is very high. No matter how powerful and high-quality your motor is, if the rollers don’t turn, the treadmill won’t move.
So its purpose is to allow the belt to move smoothly and keep it centered at all times. What are the best treadmills? The answer is usually: rollers of considerable size and weight.
The reason for this is that the larger the diameter of the pulley, the greater the tension on the belt. Therefore, if the rollers on your treadmill have good dimensions, they will also increase the life of the entire drive system and keep the belt tension constant.
A small thing to keep in mind is that rollers work best when the treadmill is used regularly. Discontinuing the use of a treadmill completely increases maintenance and operating costs.
Pulleys also need to have some weight behind them because the heavier they are, the more inertia they have, which reduces strain on the engine. A good way to ensure the quality of your rollers is to check that they are made from one solid piece of solid steel. It also means they won’t wear out over time.
8. Display screen
This is the first thing most of us notice about a treadmill. Modern treadmills come with large screens, often with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and bright, beautiful colors.
That’s because many companies believe that while many of us want a treadmill, we need to be distracted the entire time we’re using it or we’ll get bored.
Your screen is as fragile as an iPad or Kindle Fire. Underneath this thin layer of glass (or plastic, depending on the price of the treadmill) are fragile wires that are easily damaged by moisture.
Also, if you accidentally touch your phone, TV remote, or emergency stop button, your screen is easily damaged.
Your monitor may or may not have audio hardware such as speakers or a built-in soundbar, although more expensive models usually do.
Many modern treadmills allow you to view the content of your tablet on the screen for better connectivity and use visualizers to listen to music when you want to watch something.
The screen is nice, but the main function is what makes your whole treadmill work in the first place. Screen controller
9. Screen controls
A screen controller is either a row of buttons next to a dimly lit LCD panel or a touchscreen such as an iPad or smartphone. Either way, this is where you control the treadmill’s performance, so don’t sweat it and use it with caution.
On-screen controls help with simple tasks like controlling music, video, and resolution. However, its main function is to control engine speed and governor tilt, and in some cases, it can even affect the damping system.
We will find out what it is later.
The touch screen model has its advantages and disadvantages, e.g. b. The ability to connect your phone through an app if the screen is broken or unresponsive.
It’s like having an extra remote control in your pocket. Screen control buttons can be removed individually. If one of them controls something as simple as screen brightness, it’s fine, but if the system controls tilt or damping, you’ll need to look for a solution.
If you’re still looking for a new treadmill, weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision. The buttons are less likely to break than the screen, but when they do, they are more detrimental to your workout and your ability to use the treadmill.
10. Emergency stop
We all know the funny key we used to play with on the treadmill as a kid. This is called an emergency stop.
This is usually a magnetic key that attaches to a small slot inside the console. It is located at the bottom, which provides easy access for the athlete while on the treadmill.
The emergency stop switch has a strap that attaches to a clip. The clip is attached to the clothes and the tip is slightly stretched. If you’re running it at high speed on a treadmill, the last thing you want is to keep rolling if you stumble or fall.
That’s what the emergency key is for. The clip on your clothes is stronger than the magnet failing, so the magnet will pull out, and then the treadmill will turn off. It used to take a few seconds, but now it happens almost instantly.
Just stick a magnet in there to make the treadmill work and hang it up. If the treadmill is intended for home use, most of the time you use the treadmill alone. Avoid getting hurt, don’t get seriously hurt.
As a warning, if you can avoid it, do not place the back of the treadmill directly against a wall.
The handrails are approximately 45 degrees on each side, providing a comfortable position for hand rests. Whenever you see a video or montage of people on a treadmill, their arms are always at a 90-degree angle to their sides.
This is a normal way to walk, but holding onto the railings can also have a positive effect. While holding on to the railing and walking or jogging, you rotate your arms, chest, and back, giving you a more dynamic movement and engaging more muscle groups.
It’s not a life-changing level of participation, but it still offers modest benefits. Also, your railings hold the heart rate knob, which is the last point on the console we need to touch.
12. Treadmill safety key
Most modern treadmills are equipped with a safety switch. The safety switch stops the treadmill immediately if the user falls and prevents further injury. Different brands of treadmills may change the size or style of the wrench/clamp, but the principle and function remain the same.
The treadmill security key is usually attached to gym members’ clothing or wrists. Unfortunately, the security key is rarely used, so most people haven’t really seen how it works. Attach one end of the safety key to your body/clothing and the other end to the front of the treadmill. The treadmill needs constant power and if the key/clamp is removed, the treadmill will turn off and stop moving.
The security key can be in the form of a thin card that is placed on the front panel or a magnetic key that attaches to the pad. Each of these constructions has its drawbacks: the card is more prone to breaking/bent, and the magnetic key is too sensitive.
Fortunately, treadmill safety switches are the cheapest parts to repair your treadmill when you need a new treadmill.
13. Metal heartbeat button
Part of the screen on the treadmill is primarily for monitoring your vital signs. You’ve seen them on every treadmill for the past twenty years and they haven’t changed much.
Metal plates with a smooth coating are attached at different points of the fences. Sometimes there are several, but often only two. This is where your hands need to rest so the device can detect subtle changes in your heart rate.
These pins are sensors that provide information to the console and then display it on the screen. This is another reason to hold the bars during intense workouts.
This information can alert you that your heart is beating too fast, detect irregularities such as arrhythmias, and help predict other problems.
These metal wristbands aren’t revolutionary, and like the FitBit or other personal medical devices, they’re never 100% accurate. However, the inaccuracies are within a reasonable margin of error, so you can still get a rough estimate of how your training will affect you.
14. Humidifying system
This will not be the case on all treadmills. Some thousand-dollar treadmills still don’t have this feature, so don’t expect it on every treadmill you have on your list.
The cushioning systems are located along the bottom guides that run on both sides of the tread. Often these parts are small and you will have one to four different parts on each side of the treadmill.
These are shock absorbers that help you run without the stiffness of poor-quality treadmills. When you go down and your feet hit the deck hard, you can feel those vibrations through your feet. It’s not a pleasant experience, and it can even hurt.
Cushioning systems help reduce impact when returning to the treadmill. This is especially important in the early stages of using the treadmill when losing weight because you need to get into your running rhythm.
In fact, if you’re shopping for a weight loss treadmill and you’re on a tight budget, it should be on your must-buy list.
You usually don’t need to replace the shock absorber system, and if it somehow breaks, it’s unlikely that a mechanic will be able to fix it easily. It is usually a specific shape and design. So as long as you’re not kicking the treadmill in steel-toed boots, you’re fine.
The bases of your treadmill are important. In fact, they’re often never good enough, especially when you’re dealing with a prop that adds more turbulence to your run. The higher running speed also causes him to swing uncontrollably.
Why are feet so bad? Because there is a whole market for treadmill mats and manufacturers know that if they don’t raise the price and give you a complete treadmill mat, they can’t make it on their own with rubber feet.
Mattresses are important on treadmills because they help stabilize, provide comfort, and “smooth” the overall treadmill experience.
Attach your feet to the cushioning system and that will help, but you’ll almost always need to put a mattress underneath. Warning: If one of the legs detaches from your treadmill for any reason (usually while running), it’s best to remove the rest and just lay it on the treadmill mat.
Glossary parts of a treadmill
Here are some key terms to know about treadmill parts:
- AC motor: AC motor. This motor uses magnetic fields and two switching currents to generate electricity. AC motors are used in high-end treadmills and are commonly found in gyms. They require a power supply and are usually noisier than other motors.
- Accessory Tray: This is a tray that usually attaches to the console and can hold keys, phones, water bottles, and more.
Continuous Horsepower: Also known as CHP, this is a measure of a continuous horsepower during use. In relation to fitness equipment, this means that the same force is delivered throughout the exercise.
- Cooling fans: Some cardio equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical machines, or step machines, may have cooling fans around the console. These small fans are a great addition to keep you cool during an intense workout.
- DC motor: DC motor. This type of engine continuously draws power from its source. This is the most common type of home treadmill.
- Horsepower: A measure of power used for motors and engines. It dates back to the days when horses did all the work. Simply put, horsepower is the speed at which work is done. It can be converted to other units: 1 horsepower is equal to 746 watts.
- LCD screen: liquid crystal display. This is what many treadmill monitors are made of. The light source passes through liquid crystals and color filters to create the image you see on the screen.
- LED: Displays light-emitting diodes. It is a layer of small, discrete lights that work in unison to allow light to pass through the screen and emit an image. They are generally a more energy-efficient option and offer better image quality than LCDs.
- Pulse Monitor: This is an optional feature on most health and fitness equipment these days. These bands have sensors and when you hold them, they read your heart rate and display your heart rate in beats per minute (BPM) on the screen.
- Shortcuts: These are quick access buttons on the handle or bottom of the console. They allow the user to easily adjust the incline and average walking speed. The style and location of these buttons vary depending on the manufacturer.
- Torque: Torque is the unit of force required to move an object at a fixed point. This causes the belt to spin around the pulleys, which signals the speed sensor and tells the computer how fast you are going. The amount of torque is directly related to power.
- Tracking: If the treadmill belt is not centered, tracking will help center it. This is often done with an Allen wrench and a few turns of the treadmill end cap. These adjustments will help you align the belt.
People also ask (frequently asked questions)
What are the parts of a treadmill?
The treadmill consists of many parts. They can be divided into treadmill structure, mechanical components, and electrical components. The structure consists of the frame, the deck, and the belt. The mechanics are the motor and the rollers, and the electrical part is the console and the safety key.
What is the part of the treadmill you run on called?
While the engine comes first, the belt comes second. The belt size is a huge benefit for many people, as using a home gym often means multiple users. The belt can run in a wide range of lengths and widths, with a standard size of 19″ x 50″.
What is the belt on a treadmill called?
Treadmill Doctor treadmills are manufactured to 2-ply commercial grade and are perfect for commercial and residential treadmills. These can also be referred to as striding belts, treadmill bands, running belts, jogging belts, etc.
How can I maintain my treadmill?
You can extend the life of your treadmill by performing basic maintenance. This may include wiping down the frame with a damp cloth; cleaning under the treadmill, and doing deck lubrication if required.
Should a treadmill be on a mat?
Yes, rubber mats can reduce the vibrations felt from the floor. If you want to minimize the noise, place rubber mats under the treadmill. A rug is not essential, but it can be useful if you live in an apartment surrounded by neighbors.
Can treadmills be repaired?
Yes, treadmills can be repaired, but the cost of parts and labor can be expensive and time-consuming. When buying a treadmill, it’s best to choose a model that has an extensive service and parts warranty. Premium treadmills also tend to use high-quality components, so fewer repairs are necessary.
What are the parts of a treadmill motor?
The drive motor is your power source for training! The engine consists of pulleys and a drive belt that rotate to generate mechanical energy.
These are the different parts of the treadmill. Specifically, we focus on the frame, motor, belt, deck, console, tilt motor, pulleys, and safety switch.
We hope you have a better understanding of what goes into putting a treadmill together and what parts to look for when buying and maintaining your home or commercial treadmill. As always, paying attention to the fine print, warranties, and quality parts will ensure a durable treadmill.
If you need to read about the most expensive treadmills, please read our article.