Treadmill belts can and do wear out and it’s not unusual that you’ll need to replace your belt after two years, or even a year with heavy use. If the belt is curling up on the outer edges, if it is otherwise worn and won’t stay aligned, or if the belt speed noticeably slows when you step on it, it’s time to replace it.
In any case, it is important that you replace the belt to alleviate the strain on the motor - otherwise you may have the expense of replacing the treadmill motor along with the belt!
Some manufacturers offer extended warranties on many treadmill parts, including the belt, so be sure to check your manual to see if you can get it replaced if it’s defective before purchasing a new one.
You can find a number of makes and models for treadmill belts at Amazon starting at $80 and up. They are supplied by Treadmill Doctor and are covered by a generous one year warranty. The belt is pre-lubed and is even shipped with an additional application of Treadmill Doctor’s World Famous Treadmill Lube.
Some treadmill belts can be easy enough to install but you should refer to the manual before you get started to see what kind of work it entails. Some machines, like the Proform Space Saver treadmill, require removal of just about everything on the frame -- including trim pieces, the tension bolt, and the gas strut for the fold-up option -- just to get the deck free to remove the belt.
And no, you can’t just cut the old belt off; you have to remove the deck from the treadmill to get a new belt on and properly aligned.
If you’re wondering if you can you install the latest in triple-cushioned, 4-ply, deluxe, smell-free, shock-absorbing belt on your old treadmill as long as it is the proper size, the answer is, well, yes and no.
Orthopedic belts in particular are comfy but they need to be installed on treadmills equipped with larger rollers, at least 2.4”. An orthopedic belt can cause excessive wear on the roller bearings because of the increased weight of the belt, plus they hold heat in which can shorten the life of the belt.
The standard replacement belts are often better quality than the factory-installed belt your treadmill came with, so you’re going to get a good performance belt by ordering from them. Save your money on the pricy orthopedic belt and get a good pair of running shoes with support cushioning.
Routine maintenance can go a long way to extending the life of treadmill belts. And take the time to wax the deck before putting the new belt on it.
Refer to your owner’s manual about proper waxing or lubrication (some don’t need lube at all), as well as cleaning, and your treadmill belt will give you years of trouble-free use.