Treadmll Ratings: What Most Buyers Don't Know About Treadmill Ratings

By: Kathryn ONeill

If you're buying a treadmill, chances are you'll want to research before you buy. Everyone wants to get the best deal for a discount price. They also want to find the best treadmill to suit their workout needs.

So you'll probably be interested in looking at various treadmill ratings or reviews. But why are there so many different ratings and which one is the most accurate? Here's a few things most buyers don't know about treadmill ratings.

There are really 2 types of treadmill ratings:

1) Consumer Ratings

2) Expert Ratings

User Treadmill Ratings:

Consumer treadmill ratings are done by the layperson who has bought and used the specific treadmill. Many websites allow anyone to go online and post a review of their treadmill.

Customer reviews and ratings can be very valuable when searching for a treadmill - however keep in mind several things:

#1) No treadmill has a 100% perfect track record. Even the BEST treadmill manufacturers sometimes make a dud.

And it's usually the people that have had BAD experiences that leave negative reviews of their treadmills, not the many that have had good experiences with the same treadmill.

They have every right to do this and hopefully the treadmill manufacturers read these reviews and do something about them. Just remember that one bad review doesn't prove it's a low quality brand.

#2) The treadmill industry is growing more competitive each year. And marketing is a huge portion of the treadmill industry since treadmill manufacturers KNOW you're going to research treadmill ratings before you buy.

So while I'm not making any accusations, I have read 'customer reviews' that are clearly NOT written by the average buyer. They sound like they're written by somebody working for the competition - someone well versed in the art of sales psychology and who knows more about treadmills than the average person. Again, not making any accusations here - just keep this in mind when reading user ratings online.

Rule of Thumb: Use common sense. If it sounds like it's written by a treadmill salesperson, take the treadmill review with a grain of salt.

Expert Treadmill Ratings:

There are also expert treadmill ratings. These are the ratings written by the experts in the fitness industry. People like Consumer Reports, Runner's World, Consumer Guide, Men's Health, Prevention Magzine are just a few out there. These people rate and review various treadmills at various times in the year.

While these ratings are much less likely to be tainted by biased reviewers, here are a few cautions to keep in mind while reading them:

#1) Each rater has a different rating system and may rate treadmills on such factors as price, cushioning, stability, quietness, belt area, warranty, console, electronics, programs, incline and quality of parts.

So while one reviewer may put more emphasis on cushioning the other may put more emphasis on warranty. It's nothing to get confused over - just understand that different experts value different features. They'll usually have an area where they list exactly how they rated the treadmills and which features they valued highly in their review.

#2) Expert ratings also usually don't have time to look at EVERY treadmill brand on the market. Nobody does. We've been reviewing treadmills for over 3 years and we still haven't covered all the brands.

So just because a certain brand isn't in the ratings, doesn't make it a poor quality brand. Try to find other reviews on a brand if you can't find it in your favorite expert ratings list.

One last thing: Many treadmill ratings are also based on comparison to other similarly priced treadmills on the market.

So if you have a $1000 treadmill that gets 5 stars - that doesn't necessarily mean that it's better than a $2000 treadmill that gets 4 stars. It means that compared to other $1000 treadmills it is one of the best values.

By remembering these things when sifting through treadmill ratings, you're less likely to be confused. And it will be easier to choose the best quality treadmill for your needs.

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Kathryn O'Neill is chief editor for Treadmill Review, a consumer oriented website focusing on home treadmills. For the latest brand reviews & best buys, visit:

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