For many buying a treadmill is about finding a product with the best endurance, however, with the many different angles sales associates use to convince you of the “best” product mixed with your limited knowledge of treadmills (you just know the belt is supposed to move so you can run) you might get cajoled into buying a product that will be more of a hindrance than a help.
The most vital piece of the treadmill is the walking belt. You can’t use the machine if the walking belt is not there or broken. That’s why it’s important to understand the various parts of the belt and a few useful tips about what sort of belt you’ll want on your treadmill.
Depending on how frequently you’ll be using your treadmill and what purposes you’re going to use it for (walking compared to running) will depend on the sort of grade you want for your treadmill’s walking belt. The materials and layers make up the different grades.
PVC is generally the top layer of a treadmill belt and is commonly mistaken as rubber—though PVC is far more durable. Most people look at the condition of the top layer of a belt when, in fact, they should be concerned about the backing. PVC is rarely going to show wear and tear before the treadmill belt’s backing does.
The belt’s backing can be made from various materials all used for different purposes. Softer materials like cotton and polyester are used to dampen sound, however, because of the material, treadmill belts that use cotton often overheat. Currently many backings are now made with a cotton polyester blend.
Monofilament is another popularly used belt backing because it is a synthetic fiber that is harder than others and doesn’t connect with the treadmill’s deck as often. This means it’s less likely to cause overheating.
Urethane is also a common material to use for a treadmill belt’s backing. While this is the most expensive and noisiest, urethane backings usually last longer—especially if well maintained.
In an attempt to make the treadmill even better some companies tried and failed to use thicker belts. The thicker the belt the more heat produced. Having a four ply belt is worse than having a two ply. The reason is because the more layers the more insulation there is for heat so the machine often overheats and/or the belt disintegrates.
A common layer that captures the attention of many is the orthopedic belt which has a top layer that is thicker than normal that is also softer. Once again heat plays a major part in thicker layers. The simple facts are that a motor is going to have to work harder to move a heavier belt.
Treadmills are a great item to have in the home because they have diverse functions. That’s why it’s important to buy a treadmill that’s going to work the best for you. There’s no point in spending extra money on a product that isn’t going to serve your needs best. Understanding the various materials used to make a treadmill belt is a great way to ensure you’re finding the right product.