Saturday, December 1, 2012


Those who know me know that I have a love/hate relationship with my treadmill (and there ain't so much love involved). I've had a LifeFitness T55 treadmill for a while and never felt we've gotten the value that we paid for it. It was expensive.

A couple of years ago when I ramped up the use of it we had issues where the treadmill would randomly shut off mid "run." It would immediately turn on when you repressed the start button but was very annoying. My wife called for service and was told that it was still under warranty for parts but not for labor. The tech came and told us we just got it in before our warranty expired. He did his magic and while the problem still randomly occurred it was usable. He said that there may be a problem with the quality of the power but we never looked into it.

Last week while I was on it for a very casual workout, it died again. This time there was a slight smell of smoke and it would not power on again. It was dead and I have to admit I had mixed feelings.

If the 'mill was just under the warranty last time there was no way it was covered now. We decided to go look at the new treadmills to see how the offerings have changed. My wife and I both consider ourselves technologically savvy. We believe that there is a change upcoming where tablets (iPads or the like) will be used to control this type of equipment. There will be a software revolution that additional capabilities with updates to a controlling app. There will be the treadmill equivalent of a CompuTrainer where the incline will adjust to a video to give a virtual reality feel. This revolution will also cut down on the cost as the electronics wouldn't need the initial investment by the treadmill manufacturers.

Unfortunately, we are more innovative than the equipment manufacturers. We found they are going that way but very slowly. Also, treadmills are not cheap. We were originally looking in the $4k and up range but got a little frightened to what the "and up" turned into. Our quest turned to the internet since we didn't want to make a large investment into something that would be rendered obsolete shortly.

My wife found out some of the next generation treadmill information. It seems like LifeFitness was one of the more innovative companies so she called to see when these products would be available. Their road map was long with the first step on this journey happening later in 2013. While on the phone she tried to get an estimate on fixing our existing one.

Their first estimate was about $750 with the caveat that no one checked out the unit in question. Some newer treadmills have lifetime warranties (excluding labor). The person on the phone said that ours came with 5 years and since we bought it in mid 2006 it was out of warranty. My wife noticed in the instruction book where she got their number it said we had a 7 year warranty.  If 7 years, we are covered! The person on the phone said if our book says 7, we get 7. Seems odd but we'll go with it. It'll be about $200 for the labor but that beats thousands for a new one.

They said a tech will contact us. We asked to have him bring all the parts that went into the $750 estimate. Out treadmill is dead. I hope it gets fixed soon.

Once fixed, I can start hating it again.


TriMOEngr said...

My husband sold our (not nearly so expensive) treadmill out from under me when we finished the basement and it hadn't been used in a few years (several years ago). I was a little annoyed, but truthfully, I'm not sure how much I would use it. I like being outside more, but when it gets super cold, it would have been nice to have. Hope the fix actually fixes it and maybe you can hate it less (though annoying to spend that much money and have so many issues).

Patrick Mahoney said...

Quality of power...what a "hey, look over there!" statement.

I'm on one 1, 2x a week these days. Not so bad, but the next gen stuff will be interesting. Maybe someone will do a Boston Marathon one like that TdF bike...

Anonymous said...

At least you have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. I have a hate/hate relationship!

Michael said...

I totally have a love/hate with my treadmill too. I don't use it very often, but when I need it I sure want it to be there. Hope they can fix it...or maybe if they can't since it's still under warranty maybe you'll end up with a new one :)

Ransick said...

Hope your dreadmill is still under warranty. I have heard of some treadmills needing a power conditioner being plugged in the socket then the mill being plugged into it. You might want to ask the tech or do some googling.

I avoid the treadmill as much as possible though I recently found that if I watch something on my iPad, I don't find myself staring at how long I've run so far every two minutes.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

At least it is under warranty. Thats good news

Dont buy a new one, hit the garage sales, let someones else expensive clothes hanger become yours for pennies on the dollar. I have not spent more then a $100 on a dreadmill. My current one, I stole for $25 at a garage sale and it has lasted me 2 years so far. Sure it isnt fancy, but it gets the job done

adena said...

I love my treadmill.. Hope yours recovers.