A cheap manual treadmill can be a great way to do some exercise indoors. These models tend to have several general characteristics that make them identifiable. They don’t have a motor, the user must provide the power. They are often light weight and foldable. They generally have a short running board that is less than 50 inches long. They tend to lack high tech features for measuring your exercise patterns and they tend to be the only treadmills for sale for under $200 from new.
These cheap treadmills are best for walking exercises but not recommended for running. This is because running boards generally are not long enough to accommodate a runners stride and the machine is not stable enough in use without motor power to run the belt.
The best models will be cheap, stable, foldable, have as long a running board as possible and as many electronic features as possible. There are a number of popular models available on the market at the moment, so lets compare them.
Best Manual Treadmills:
Cory Everson Manual Treadmill – Cushioned deck 42 inches long, folds, max user weight 220 pounds, LCD monitor measuring time, distance, speed, calorie count, one incline setting, water bottle holder, single flywheel and side handlebars. RRP $180. This machine gets a 3.5 out of 5 rating from users. The best features of this machine is that it is solid, folds well and is notably quiet in use. The worst features are that the incline is not adjustable on this model and the electronic components have a reputation for being faulty and poor quality. Although Cory Everson indicate in promotion information that the machine can be used for running most users indicate this machine is not suitable or safe for running on. Click here to get the best price cory everson manual treadmill.
Stamina Inmotion II Manual Treadmill – 42 inch long running deck, two incline positions, folds, 1 year warranty, dual weighted flywheel, LCD monitoring – time, distance, speed and calories. Comes complete with repositioning wheels. RRP $250. Amazon users give this model a 4 out of 5 rating. There are no outstanding problems with this machine although some users identify that the running belt can be difficult to keep in line during use. Most users identify this treadmill as being quiet in use, easy to assemble and rugged build quality.
Phoenix 98516 Easy Up Manual Treadmill – 41.4 inch running board, LED measuring time, calories, distance and speed. Single incline setting, folds, max user weight of 250 pounds and comes with a one year warranty. RRP $170. This machine is rated as 3.5 out of 5 by buyers although there is a distinct 50:50 split between happy users and downright disappointed users. Those who hate the machine tend to be six foot tall and suffer problems with the belt resistance on the running board which might indicate this model has a frame capacity of 250 pounds but the rest of the machine is not great quality. Click here for the Phoenix 98516 Easy Up Manual Treadmill Review.
Well, what we can see is that each model has it’s limitations. The Cory Everson is highly rated but the LED monitor is poor quality, the Stamina has occasional belt problems and the Phoenix leaves users split. Our choice would be to go with the Cory Everson on the basis of low price and good reports on operational use, we think we could put up with a faulty LED. The stamina runs a close second but is just to far out on price. The stamina’s variable incline settings seems a bit of a gimmick as manuals are pretty hard to use anyway and extending duration of the exercise would achieve better results. The pheonix is the lowest price model and seems to behave accordingly, just not worth the risk with other similar priced models available. All the prices listed are RRP so models may be available at discount prices at some outlets. Check the link at the top of the page to browse these and other models and get the latest prices.