A treadmill reduces the impact compared to other surfaces and is excellent for heart health, muscle building, weight loss, and mental health. No matter how pricy or cheap a machine is, the treadmill belt will loosen or shift with continuous use and constant pressure. Learn how to tighten treadmill belt today!
There are numerous treadmills manufactured for commercial use and a home gym. The trained fitness service technician is most familiar with how to adjust a treadmill.
And for people at home who have just started their journey as fitness enthusiasts, it becomes mandatory to understand the basics of changing a treadmill belt.
It is not ideal to call a technician for minor adjustments and belt settings. The treadmill has various parts. The belt is a crucial component and must be fitted correctly to function properly. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand when the belt is losing and how to tighten the belt.
We have listed some of the critical information in context to tighten the belt, hoping this is beneficial.
A loose belt can be dangerous for exercising, and adjusting the strap could be quick and straightforward. Maintain your treadmill correctly and ensure a safe workout with our treadmill belt guide.
What Is A Treadmill Belt & Why Is It Important?
The treadmill belt is the running surface, walking belt, running belt, commonly known as track, used for running or walking on the treadmill. It is the surface on which your feet lands. The running belt is rolled over the treadmill deck, covering the front roller and rear roller.
There are a variety of treadmill belts in the market, and the material and quality determine the overall cost of the treadmill.
The belt glides over the rollers and is meant to provide a smooth movement. The belt plays a vital role in reducing the impact caused on joints and knees and offers protection.
There are different treadmill belt options; while the main component remains rubber, the thickness varies. Let us quickly take a look at the other tread belts.
Single Ply –
A single ply is one of the most common and cheap options for a treadmill belt. The single-ply is one solid piece of rubber wrapped around the deck, giving rise to a running board. This category of belt will be ideal for a lighter person. Not a lot of treadmills have a single play.
When it comes to a 2-ply running belt, one side is made of rubber or PVC rubber, and the other from cotton, polyester, urethane, mono-filament.The durability of the running board increases with 2-ply making it a bit heavier. The bottom layer of the belt slightly helps reduce the noise coming from the treadmill. So, experience a quieter training session with a 2-ply tread belt.
4-Ply ( 3-ply ) –
The 4-ply treadmill belt comes with additional layers and is expensive compared to average treadmills. The strap is way thicker than the previous belts mentioned. The belt is generally three-layered, but the manufacturers count the glue as the fourth layer.The layers make the treadmill extraordinarily durable and a great walking deck. The layers keep the machine excellent by absorbing the excess heat generated, and cushioning makes the machine quieter.A belt is a key in determining the lifespan of a treadmill, and choosing the right treadmill belt becomes a priority. An undermined belt can cause a negative impact on the body and a feeling of uncomfort.
Reasons Why Your Treadmill Belt Might Be Slipping
Before solving a problem, it becomes essential to understand its cause. Similarly, let us first check out the reasons that can cause a treadmill belt slip.
Loosening of the drive belt
The drive belt connects the front roller and the motor. The loosening of the drive belt results in the malfunctioning of the front roller.The front roller slows down and then speeds up randomly. This can lead to slipping of the walking drive belt and cause accidents. In such a scenario, tightening or replacing the drive belt is the best solution.
Loose walking belt
One of the most common reasons for slipping is the loose belt. The rubber used for the walking belt stretches over time, and it becomes necessary to tighten a treadmill belt.If the belt can be lifted for a few more inches from the treadmill deck. You will need to tighten the belt before hopping on it again.
The lubricant helps the belt to glide over the rollers. A silicone lubricant lasts for quite a long time but dries out. With the drying out of the lubricant, the belt will slip or jolt, and you might stumble. You can get a lubricant from the market and easily apply it to the belt. However, do not forget to check the compatibility of the lubricant with the material.
The pulley on the front roller
The pulley is meant to align the belt and keep the weight balance. When the pulley loses its grip, the belt tends to shift one side, and if unnoticed, the entire belt can slip off the deck. This can be dangerous; replace the rollers in the front as they will likely cause trouble.
The sticking or slipping of the treadmill belt can compromise the user’s safety. This indicates that the treadmill belt tension is not tight and can be harmful to muscles, joints, and the body.
How to prevent your treadmill belt from slipping?
If you feel a sensation while exercising and are worried whether the treadmill is working correctly or not, a minor treadmill repair sounds good enough. Treadmill belts tend to shift or slip when there is too much friction, or the belt is too tight.
Depending on the issue, you might need to tighten the belt, loosen it, or align it to the left or right. You can take help from a fitness studio, but learning to do it on your own and be independent is not bad.
Before starting fixing, get a tool to adjust the hex key. The manual comes with all instructions about settling the belt and could be of great help. Also, a good Allen wrench would be handy.
When the belt stops, first turn the idler bolts by half a turn and follow by one-quarter turn for more adjustments. A significant cause of concern for a slipping belt is a misaligned walking belt. Continue the steps till you fix the issue.
If you want to align a walking belt from left to right, only adjust the left side bolt. The left and right sides have the tension bolts into the rear end caps.
Adjusting Treadmill Walking Belt
When your feet tend to come down the treadmill belt as if the belt is stopping, you might feel uneasy. Falling from a treadmill could be very dangerous and cause severe damage to your back and skin. And you know it is the right time for service.
Ensure your clothes and hair do not get stuck in the rear roller. Also, apply lubricant between the deck and the belt. If the treadmill belt has proper tension, the walking belt will slip for a second and then grab.
A treadmill belt can be adjusted by tightening the belt, loosening the belt, aligning the belt. Let us understand the process in detail.
A part of maintaining a treadmill is adjusting the treadmill belt. You will need an Allen wrench for adjusting the walking belt that fits your machine. Test whether the treadmill belt needs adjustment or not.
Walk at low speed to see if the belt slips. The treadmill belt should be tight enough for you to walk without slipping down. Watch your feet closely to understand the alignment of the belt.
The rear roller adjustment bolts are located at the base of the treadmill. Use the Allen wrench for tightening, fixing the belt’s tension, etc.
Connect the power cord and evaluate the adjustment. The manual that comes with the packaging can be convenient as the adjustment process varies from model to model.
How To Tighten Treadmill Belt
A treadmill offers two styles of walking belt adjustments. If the bolt has an Allen wrench head, then it is the two adjustment bolt style, and if the bolt is a hex head, then it is one adjustment bolt style.
Two rear roller adjustment bolts
Most treadmills have two bolts – the left bolt and the right bolt present on either side of the back rear roller. You can adjust a treadmill bolt using an Allen wrench. Pull out the safety key and unplug the power cord to tighten the belt.
Allen wrench to turn bolt clockwise or turn bolt counter clockwise
Using an Allen wrench, turn rear roller adjustment bolts clockwise one-quarter of the turn. Insert the Allen wrench in the left rear roller bolt and repeat the same in the right rear roller bolt.
When the treadmill belt is tightened correctly, you will be able to lift the walking belt 2-3 inches on each side by putting your hand underneath. This was all about the two rear roller adjustment bolts style.
Your fingers will be able to reach the middle area if there is proper tension. Also, do not over tighten the belt as it will damage the motor. Put in the safety key, treadmill plug in the power cord, and run the machine until the walking belt tension is proper.
In the case of one adjustment bolt style, adjusting the suitable rear tension bolts can bring proper tension. Hold the tension nut and put a second wrench on the bolt head; now, turn the bolt clockwise for tightening the belt.
Adjust turn for a quarter at one time. Insert the safety key, connect the power cord and run the machine for a while till proper tension is achieved. So, you can adequately tighten the belt using the two rear roller adjustment bolts’ style and one adjustment bolt style.
How To Loosen A Treadmill Belt
Loosening the treadmill belt is the reverse of tightening the belt. Get hold of the Allen wrench and adjust the bolts by a quarter turn in a counter-clockwise direction.
Take note of the second wrench and power cord
Use the Allen wrench for fixing the treadmill walking belt adjustment on both the left and right sides.
Turn both the rear roller adjustment bolts counter-clockwise after taking off the safety key and power cord. Start with the right side and then the left side bolt. Keep doing it till you feel the belt is tight enough.
Put your hand underneath and see if the belt lifts 2-3″ of the deck; the problem is solved. Connect the power cord and safety key and run the machine till proper tension is achieved.
The incorrect adjustment of the treadmill belt can cause inappropriate running; it is pretty straightforward to fix the loose belt or properly tighten the belt in a few simple steps.
Learn these hacks, and you no longer need to call a fitness company guy for an issue as minor as this.
How To Align A Treadmill (Left Or Right)
The first step to align a treadmill belt will constantly be removing the safety key and power cord to avoid any accident. Now, determine which side the belt has shifted off-center.
Use the Allen wrench on the left rear roller bolt if the belt has shifted on the user’s left. If it has gone on the right rear roller bolt, do it on the right side. The roller bolts are located on both the left and right sides of the treadmill belt.
Try turning the left bolt a half turn on the right side of the belt has shifted towards the left. Turn the right roller bolts half turn to the left if the belt has gone to the right.
Adjust the belt and get the new treadmills in the older treadmill. Put in the safety key and power cord, check that the walking deck is centred or not.
How to adjust treadmill belt alignment
Before adjust the belt, ensure that the power cord is disconnected. Remove the dust from the visible parts using a vacuum cleaner.
A mildly damp cloth can remove the dirt from the fabric. Do not immerse any treadmill component into a liquid for cleaning purposes.
Tighten a treadmill belt for smooth function
It is essential for the treadmill belt to be centred for a smooth function. The difference between the method of walking on the floor and walking on the tread belt can be the reason for its non-alignment. When a belt is not aligned, it is necessary to work on the screws on the treadmill belt.
To fix the alignment of the walking belt, run the treadmill at a recommended speed of 5 km/hr. If you notice the walking belt moving to the left, adjust the left screw clockwise and the right screw about a quarter turn in the anti-clockwise direction.
If the walking belt shifts towards the right, the left screw goes for a quarter turn to the right, and the right screw quarter turns in the anti-clockwise direction.
Supervise the walking belt for about a minute and redo the steps if required.
Treadmill belt tension adjustment
Let us understand the basics to adjust the belt tension. Start the treadmill and speed up the walking belt at 1 km/hr. Release the strap fastening and apply more weight to the belt.
If you find the belt slipping, start with turning the left and right screw one quarter turn clockwise.
Observe the belt tension now and repeat the steps if necessary. Do not overload the strap. Remember the quarter turns, and if the belt still slips, you might have to grab a new one. This is how you can adjust the belt tension in a pretty straight-forward way.
However, you should keep a few things in mind while adjusting the treadmill belt tension. It is essential not to over-tighten the tension bolts as it can cause some severe damage to the walking belt.
Execute a quarter turn adjustment with the bolt and then go for a test walk at a speed of 3.0 before setting to adjust it again.
An incorrect tension is the cause of treadmill belt problems. The speed of the walking belt reduces and affects the quality of the exercise. Adjust turn, check off the centre problem, tighten or loosen the walking belt as per the requirement with an Allen wrench and you are good to go.
How to check if the running belt is loosened?
You can check whether a treadmill belt is loose or not in several ways. The first process to prevent a loose belt is by standing on the frames of a treadmill.
Turn the speed of the machine to 1-2 km/hr and try to stop the walking belt with your feet for a maximum length. Hold the handrails and pull your body in the opposite direction.
If the felt does not stop, it is not a loose belt. But if the belt stops, you need to tighten a treadmill belt.
Another way of checking the treadmill operating for an effective workout is the distance between the walking belt and running board. If the gap between the two is around 5-6 millimetres, the belt is tight enough. If the gap is smaller, then some tightening measures are necessary.
To tighten the belt, work on the adjustment screws on the rear roller. Do not forget to remove the treadmill plug. Do not turn the bolt counter-clockwise. After you finish tightening the walking belt, see if it is in the centre or not.
Run the machine for a few minutes; if the walking belt stays in the middle, you’re good to use the device straight away.
How to fix the belt when not in the centre?
The gap between the frames and the walking belt is around 5-6 millimetres. If there is any change in the gapping, the belt needs to be brought back to the correct position. Here are a few simple steps to fix the felt when not in the centre.
Plus, in the power cord, raise the speed to 2-3 kilometres per hour. Start adjusting the screw located at the end of the treadmill. You can use a tool from the toolbox.
If the belt is shifting towards the left, adjust the left bolt clockwise and the right bolt in the counter-clockwise direction.
If the belt shifts on the right side, then do the same process in an opposite manner.
Now, check the gap difference between the belt and the frames. Continue doing the process till you get the belt in the centre.
Turn the speed of the walking belt to 6 kilometres per hour and see if the strap remains in the centre or not. Once checked, the treadmill is ready for a workout.
Also, please do not overdo it. A few tries do not resolve the issue. There are numerous problems related to a treadmill, and it might not be possible to fix them all by yourself. Understand the right time to call for expert intervention.
How do you tighten the belt on the Proform treadmill?
ProForm treadmill is easy to adjust and can be done using an Allen wrench or a hex key. Remove the treadmill plus to reduce the risk.
You will find two idler rollers at the bottom of the treadmill and holes in the roller bolts. Take an Allen wrench or a hex key to turn each screw on the right side.
When the belt is tightened enough, you will be able to lift the belt approximately three inches from the treadmill deck.
If you use the Allen wrench or hex key on one side, do not forget to do it on the other side. Once you feel the belt is tight, connect the power cord and start walking on it.
You will feel the difference and experience a comfortable stride on the machine. Tightening a ProForm treadmill belt is not a straining task and can be done in a few simple steps.
How to tighten a Nordictrack treadmill belt?
A Nordictrack treadmill has idler bolts which are similar to roller bolts. You will need to tighten both bolts to tighten the belt.
Discard the power cord; now locate the bolts on the base at the rear roller, one on the left and one on the right. Use the Allen wrench to loosen the bolts by turning them by a quarter turn to the left.
Adjust a sequence and check the belt after each quarter. Continue doing the same until you can lift the belt and fit your hand.
The Nordictrack treadmill is of high quality, and the manufacturers ensure easy to follow instructions in the manual for convenience.
How do you test a treadmill belt?
A treadmill belt needs to test to check the friction present. Stand on a treadmill belt, move up and down, and see if the belt moves along with you.
Try and observe whether you can hold the treadmill handlebars and walk without any difficulty.
Put your hand under the treadmill belt and see whether it is smooth enough to glide over the platform or not.
Testing a treadmill will help you understand the cause of the problem and lead you towards your solution. You will be able to decide if the belt requires to be tightened, loosened, centred, lubricated or replaced if necessary.
Why does the belt on my treadmill move to the side?
The reason why your treadmill is going off-centred is its tightness. A belt moving to the side needs to be tightened and centred. When the roller bolts are tight enough, the belt does not slide away to one side.
The two hex head bolts at the end of the treadmill are roller bolts present at the foot rails on each side. Tightening or loosening of roller bolts varies from brand to brand.
For example, in the ProForm Treadmill, the Allen wrench needs to move in the direction you want to shift the belt. While in a few treadmills, you might have to do the opposite thing. Run your eyes over the manual for precise instructions.
When should I replace my treadmill belt?
The treadmill belt will start to give apparent signs when it needs to be replaced. The strap can be seen damaged on the outside; the worn-out edges, loose threads, etc., indicates the belt needs to be replaced.
The black rubber tends to appear dry. The portion where the belt is connected starts to come off.
The belt slips even after numerous adjustments; a white cloth under the walking belt is missing or damaged.
A walking belt is supposed to last for 300-500 hours, about 3-5 years. In these particular scenarios, you might need to get hold of a new treadmill belt.
What Indicates The Belt Needs Tightening?
If the treadmill movement is not correct, it might need to get tightened. It is too tight if you can lift 3-4 inches of the belt from the treadmill platform.
It is too loose if the belt goes higher than 3-4 inches from the deck.
You will experience jolts and feel the belt is slipping while you are running on it. Therefore, you will need to tighten the roller bolts, and the walking belt gets tightened automatically.
Also, do not over-tighten the strap as this can stress the motor and cause severe damage.
Maintaining the treadmill belt is key to maintaining the long life of the treadmill. Test the treadmill belt and understand what needs to be done to fix it.
People often misunderstand the belt adjustment and complaint about the quality of the treadmill. Certain belt issues can be solved by oneself without taking expert advice.
Follow our treadmill guide and learn the basics of treadmill belt adjustment. You will be confident enough to tighten, loosen or replace the belt when required.