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How Tight Should A Treadmill Belt Be? Here’s Our Guide

Ask a dozen fitness experts how to tighten your treadmill belt, and you’re likely to get a dozen different answers. Most treadmills have a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, and a maximum incline of 10 percent. While some experts recommend tightening the belt until it is snug, others recommend tightening the belt until it’s just short of the point where it could fly off the machine. The safest way to do it is to tighten the belt just short of the slipping point.

A broken treadmill belt is a common problem, as the belts that power most treadmills are prone to stretching over time. If the belt is just a bit too loose, it might not properly support your stride. If your belt is too tight, it can do damage to the treadmill and you.

Treadmill belts should be tight enough that when you place a hand on the belt, your thumb and fingers touch without you having to lean your hand forward or backward. This ensures that the belt will be tight enough to hold you but not so tight that you feel uncomfortable.

Incorrect Belt Tension

If you are a fitness fanatic, you probably know that a treadmill is one of the most efficient ways of burning calories and staying fit. It is also one of the most dangerous. For this reason, you must always remember to set the treadmill’s belt tension level correctly. If you do not set it properly, you may be injured.

Treadmill belts wear out over time, and once they do, your treadmill will no longer give you a smooth and comfortable run. It is important to keep an eye on your treadmill’s wear and tear and change the belt or tension it as soon as it wears out.

How to Adjust the Treadmill Belt Properly.

Running on a treadmill, whether at the gym or at home, is a great way to get cardio exercise in your day. However, it can be dangerous if you don’t follow all safety guidelines. Let’s learn how to safely adjust the treadmill belt.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure your treadmill is unplugged. Next, look underneath the treadmill and find the locking mechanism. Slide the lock to the unlocked position. Before you adjust the belt, make sure the belt is clean and dry. It’s also smart to make sure your treadmill’s settings are set correctly.

For most treadmills, there will be a single bolt at each end of the running surface. Tighten the bolts by hand, using all of your weight to get a good grip. The bolts should resist, but not too much.

Common Treadmill Belt Problems

Here we’ll cover the common issues you may encounter with your treadmill belt, which are usually caused by one of three things:

  • improper maintenance.
  • wear and tear.
  • faulty parts.
  • Incorrect belt tension
  • Crooked belt centering

If you notice your belt slipping, or the machine skipping or jerking during use, this could be a sign that it’s time for a checkup and tune-up.

Improper Maintenance

Treadmill belts are very prone to damage if they are not properly maintained. This can be a serious issue as a damaged belt is oftentimes a useless belt. The treadmill owner is forced to buy a whole new treadmill so they are not left with a worthless treadmill.

Wear and Tear

Treadmill belts are complicated pieces of equipment that are subject to a lot of factors. Wear and Tear may be the number one cause of the treadmill belt problems that plague users across the nation. The question is what can you do to prevent such treadmill belt problems? The key is to make sure you’re taking care of your belt so that it will last as long as possible.

Faulty Parts

Most treadmill owners only think about their belt when it starts to slip or the walking space narrows. In most cases, you’ll need to replace your belt if the front roller of your treadmill isn’t turning when the rear roller is turning. This is a good time to also inspect the rear roller to make sure it isn’t bent or worn out. If your machine is giving you this problem, you should replace the belt.

Incorrect Belt Tension

You can be a runner, cyclist, martial artist, or plain old fitness enthusiast, but if you use a treadmill, you will have to learn how to keep your treadmill belt in the best condition you can. If you want to extend the life of your treadmill belt, you should be aware of treadmill belt problems because of incorrect belt tension

Crooked Belt Centering

The problem is that the treadmill belt is not centered on the machine motor pulley. The result is that the treadmill belt is not aligned with the tread belt floor track. The alignment will cause an uneven wear pattern on the treadmill belt. This will cause premature wear of the treadmill belt and motor pulley. It will also cause the treadmill to not track properly.

Tips to Maintain your Treadmill Belt

If you use a treadmill, you should know that your treadmill belt plays an important role in your safe and effective exercise. However, your treadmill belt is also a part of your treadmill that is vulnerable to damage. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent problems with your treadmill belt from occurring as well as keep it in top condition.

These things include:

  • monitoring your treadmill belt and lubricating it properly.
  • You should also clean your treadmill belt and check it for wear and tear in order to prevent any damage.

So, how long do treadmill belts last? Most good treadmills will come with a standard warranty that includes a two-year or longer belt warranty. This means that the belt is covered for the first two years of use.

Last Words

For those of you who don’t use a treadmill in your daily fitness routine, you may be wondering why your treadmill belt tension needs to be adjusted. Treadmill belt tension is essentially how tight the belt is. Most treadmills allow you to adjust the belt tension by using a dial or an adjustment knob on the front of the machine. This allows you to make the belt tighter or looser depending on how you like it. The most important thing to remember when making the adjustment is not to over-tighten the belt. You want the belt to be loose enough so that your feet can properly grip it.


Randy Lucas

Randy here - Fitness enthusiast and avid runner - besides running I also love playing with my two German Shepherds Peter and Bruce - oh and I love cooking. I am the Webmaster over at where I ramble about all things fitness in an effort to make the world a healthier place.