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5 Signs Your Gym’s Treadmill Belt is Finished 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by SPORTSMITH.

On top of the list of things that annoy health club members is encountering an unoccupied machine with a sign saying, “Out of Order.” One popular article from Men’s Fitness magazine called “10 Reasons to Dump Your Gym” listed “broken equipment not getting fixed on time” at number one. 

Don’t Let ‘Out of Order’ Put You ‘Out of Business’

Chronic machine failures can cost you. Not only is membership satisfaction in play, but injury on faulty equipment is a major liability you can’t risk. Of course, there’s no avoiding breakdowns. Machines malfunction no matter how proficient you are at maintaining equipment. It’s how often it happens and how quickly it’s repaired that make a difference. This is why staying on top of equipment performance is one of the most important tasks a club operator performs.

Cardio equipment—particularly treadmills—are the most vulnerable for breakdown for the simple reason they’re used more often than other machines. And nothing gets worn down and abused more than treadmills, particularly the running/walking belts that absorb every footfall.

Pardon the pun, but you’ve got to stay on top of treadmill belts and know when to replace them before it’s too late.

5 Signs That Your Treadmill Belt Is Finished

How do you know when a treadmill belt is ready for replacement? Here are five things to look for before the worst happens.


  1. Check exterior belt appearance: Some belts look more worn than they are, but discoloration, deep cracks, and fraying edges are a bad sign.
  2. Check the mileage: You should have some idea how often the machine has been used without its belt being changed. How long is too long? Mileage varies, as they say, with some experts claiming that some commercial machines can last 20,000 miles if maintained properly. Which brings us to…
  3. Check the maintenance schedule: Are your treadmills regularly cleaned and lubricated? It goes without saying that high traffic clubs should keep their most popular machines well serviced to minimize breakdown.
  4. Check the bottom of the belt: If the belt is rough underneath, torn, frayed, or sticks occasionally, it may need to be replaced.
  5. Check for slipping. When in operation, does the belt slip, appear loose, or exhibit sluggish movement? Then it’s in trouble.


Usually a member will let you know if he or she feels a slipping or sticking sensation on machines, so make sure you have a system in place with your employees when they receive complaints from members. Take these complaints seriously.  

It’s also likely that if one belt is bad, most of the other ones are, too. You just can’t take a chance of having multiple treadmills going offline at the same time.

So Your Belts Are Bad.  Now What Do You Do?

Since minimizing liability risk and pleasing members require a cardio floor in top working condition, you don’t want to play a guessing game with your equipment. The best solution is a partner who can provide technical support along with replacement parts—and do it reliably without breaking the bank.

SPORTSMITH has been serving the health club industry for 22 years as one of the top providers of parts and services for health club equipment of all types. With an existing inventory of over 100,000 parts for major brands, SPORTSMITH offers parts to most commercial brands of treadmills. And as part of their “five-star customer service,” SPORTSMITH offers free technical support, so you’ll have experts on call to keep your equipment in excellent working condition. 

Some of SPORTSMITH’s signature parts include their selection of treadmill walking/running belts, which, like all of their parts and accessories, is aggressively priced and available with same day shipping. SPORTSMITH’s website has everything you need, maybe except “out of order” signs. But you shouldn’t be needing those anymore.