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    02 / Mar / 2022

    Treadmill Motors: Everything You Need to Know

    One of the most important parts of your treadmill is the motor. The motor is a central hub of your treadmill and does the majority of the heavy lifting when your treadmill is operating. However, not all treadmill motors are the same. 

    Treadmill Motors: Everything You Need to Know

    When it comes to home gym equipment, treadmills are some of the most popular cardio machines on the market. 

    That’s because treadmills serve a variety of different purposes for users, and depending on the model, they can offer many different features as well. Users can walk, jog, and run safely within the comfort of their own homes. 

    Further, many treadmills also include heart rate monitors, incline adjustments, and video consoles that stream anything from workout programs to third-party apps, such as Netflix or YouTube.

    Given that treadmills are so common and can offer so many features, they also can be expensive. Purchasing a treadmill is a big investment and it’s important to know what you are investing in before you open up your wallet. 

    One of the most important parts of your treadmill is the motor. The motor is a central hub of your treadmill and does the majority of the heavy lifting when your treadmill is operating. However, not all treadmill motors are the same. 

    In this article, we will explore key details you need to know about  treadmill motors and while doing so, we will also debunk a few myths. 

    In this article: 

    1. What Is a Treadmill Motor?
    2. Types of Treadmill Motors
    3. Treadmill Motor Energy
    4. Rotations Per Minute (RPM)
    5. Factors That Affect the Motor
    6. Purchasing Your Treadmill at Akfit

     

    What Is a Treadmill Motor?

    As mentioned above, the treadmill motor is the central part found in an electric treadmill which does the majority of the mechanical work.

    It is responsible for the rotation of the belt while taking on the wear and tear of high-impact contact from users. If the motor is weak or worn down, the belt won’t move.

    The motor is most commonly located inside the front end of the treadmill right near the edge of the walking belt and underneath the console. 

     

    Types of Treadmill Motors

    There are two different types of motors found in treadmills:

    • Direct Current Motors (also known as DC motors)
    • Alternative Current Motors (also known as AC motors)

     

    Direct Current Driven Motors

    DC motors are most commonly found in treadmills built for home use. These motors convert direct electrical energy into mechanical energy. 

    DC motors tend to start slower than AC motors but provide a consistent response to speed and incline adjustments. They are also built with fewer internal parts than AC motors, which could save you some coin if your motor is in need of replacement. 

    DC motors also tend to run quieter compared to AC motors.

     

    Alternative Current Motors

    AC motors are electrical motors that produce mechanical energy by using alternative current combined with magnetism. 

    These types of motors are more commonly found in commercial treadmills and will generally start your walking belt up at a quicker speed compared to DC motors. While they start off stronger, a treadmill with an AC motor is still safe for you to plug directly into an outlet at home. 

    Treadmill Motor Energy

    The energy of your treadmill motor will be measured in horsepower (HP). Horsepower is a measurement of power or the rate at which work is done. 

    The general formula for horsepower can be defined as the force in pounds multiplied by the distance in feet, and then divided by time in minutes. 

    However, there are different types of horsepower, such as: 

    • Mechanical horsepower
    • Metric horsepower
    • Electrical horsepower 
    • Boiler horsepower 
    • Hydraulic horsepower

    For treadmills, expect your horsepower rating to be referenced as mechanical or electrical. 

     

    Rating Systems the Horsepower of Treadmill Motors

    A common myth or misconception is that all treadmill motors are rated the same. However, this isn’t the case. Two different 3.0 HP motors can provide different results. 

    These rating systems can be broken into two categories:

    • Peak duty
    • Continuous duty

    Peak duty refers to the highest HP the treadmill motor will reach. Motors that are rated by their peak performance are generally the weakest. 

    Continuous duty horsepower is defined as how much power can be maintained throughout your cardio workout. 

    Manufacturer’s can sometimes be misleading with their horsepower rating, so it is very important to know the difference between peak and continuous duty. 

     

    How Much Horsepower is Necessary?

    For a long-term return on investment, a 3.0 HP motor within your treadmill is the most appropriate. 

    However, a general rule to follow is that if you weigh over 200 pounds and plan to use your treadmill regularly, you should find a treadmill with a motor that provides an extra 0.5 HP. 

    Alternatively, if your treadmill is not going to be used heavily or frequently, you can still get away with a lower HP. 

    Generally the amount of HP you will need goes as follows:

    2.0 HP: A motor this low in horsepower on continuous duty should only be used for walking.

    2.5 HP: A motor with 2.5 HP on continuous duty can suffice for joggers.

    3.0 HP: The recommended amount of horsepower on continuous duty for your treadmill if you plan to use it for running. 

    A common misconception is that you need to have a treadmill motor with more than 3.0 HP to use it for running. This is not true! As long as you have a 3.0 HP continuous duty motor for your treadmill and you weigh under 200 pounds, this amount of HP will work.

    Rotations Per Minute

    Horsepower ratings aren’t the only metric you should pay attention to when you are checking out the details of your treadmill motor. Rotations per minute (RPM) will inform you of how much torque your motor has. Simply put, the amount of power it requires to turn the belt.

    If your motor doesn’t provide enough torque, you’ll begin to experience lag with the belt. When you compare treadmills, it’s best to check out the RPM ratings. 

    For example, a continuous horsepower motor that has a RPM rating of over 8000 means your motor is working too hard. This can ultimately reduce its lifespan

    It’s best to find a treadmill that has a RPM rating of below 5000. This will still provide enough power to run your treadmill smoothly while increasing the longevity of your motor. 

     

    Factors That Affect the Motor

    Another common misconception is that the majority of issues with treadmill motors is that they just simply burn out. While this can happen, it is extremely rare

    Of course if your motor is low-quality, the chances of it burning out or needing repair is increased, but this isn’t the case for high-quality treadmills.

    Moreover, be sure to double check the manufacturer’s warranty on your treadmill motor. Many reputable fitness brands offer longer warranties on higher-quality motors. 

    The most common factors that will wear down your motor the most over time are as follows: 

    • Dirt and dust buildup
    • High resistance due to lack of lubrication
    • The use of extension cords, power bars, and surge protectors
    • Overuse

    You should be performing proper maintenance on your treadmill to increase the longevity of your motor. Neglect will be the first reason why your motor won’t function properly. 

    Click here to check out a step-by-step process on how to lubricate your treadmill

    You can also read up more on how to properly maintain commercial gym equipment and what your expectations should be for how long your gym equipment will last you

    Purchasing Your Treadmill at Akfit

    While there are multiple treadmills on the market, what you choose ultimately depends on preference. However, it can still be difficult to figure out which treadmill may be the best fit for you.

    Thankfully we're here to help. Since 1989, Akfit has operated as a Canadian specialty fitness store in Sudbury, Ontario. We work  closely with our local clients within northern Ontario, the rest of Canada, and beyond. 

    To get started, check out our Top 5 Best Selling Treadmills at Akfit.

    If you are still not quite sure what treadmill to invest in, or which one best fits your needs and is within your budget, we highly recommend reaching out to us. 

    Our fitness professionals will share their expertise with you and provide you with all the knowledge you need to know about your future treadmill. 

    You can visit us in-store at our Sudbury location or schedule a virtual meeting with us to discuss any of your fitness related questions. We also specialize in commercial gym services so don’t hesitate to reach out. 

    If you have already decided you purchase a treadmill from us, you can also request a delivery here. Our service doesn’t stop there either. Our experts not only offer to deliver your equipment, but they can install it and show you how to safely use it too.


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