Treadmill Lubrication - Ya Gotta Grease The Skids
Treadmill lubrication on many treadmills is a necessary part of equipment maintenance and care. Failure to regularly lubricate the treadbelt will result in increased wear, substantially shortening its lifespan.
Though you may not think about such things when choosing among treadmills, lubrication is an important matter to consider.
The treadbelt revolves around rollers and over the treadmill deck creating friction and heat and causing wear on the belt itself. When you walk or run on it, wear and tear on the treadbelt increases substantially. Lubrication greatly reduces the friction.
Not all treadmills require lubrication. Some, usually those in the higher price brackets, are equipped with treadbelts made of materials that are essentially 'self-lubricating'.
Manufacturers advertise them as 'self-waxing' or 'guaranteed for 10,000 miles'. But others require lubrication to keep moving parts working properly.
Only A Rube Fails To Lube
Treadmill lubricants are either wax or non-petroleum-based silicon, depending on the model. Treadmill manuals usually indicate which is the proper lubricant to use and some will specify a brand, like Performant or Lube-N-Walk.
It's essential that the proper lubricant be used to prevent treadbelt degradation or wax build-up that affects performance and increases wear. Improper lubrication might invalidate the warranty.
Care and maintenance kits are available at most fitness equipment retailers and online suppliers. They include cleaning supplies, which should be used whether the treadmill requires lubrication or not.
Dirt and build-up increases friction, which wears on the treadbelt, and heat that deteriorates the treadbelt material. Regular cleaning prevents these problems and should be done prior to lubrication, as well.
Remember that exercise equipment takes more of a beating than you do using it. It's better that way, but good maintenance and timely lubrication will keep your machine running and running well.
Steve Ecclestone is webmaster at Best Treadmill Guide