A treadmill reduces the impact compared to other surfaces and is excellent for heart health, muscle building, weight loss, and mental health. The treadmill belt will loosen or shift with continuous use and constant pressure, no matter how pricy or cheap a machine is.
The adequate reason for the belt to be proper is preventing the motor to get overloaded. It is the biggest reason why treadmills malfunction. It is vital to keep an eye on the belt for optimum performance.
The trained fitness service technician is most familiar with adjusting 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.
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.
Calling a technician for minor adjustments and belt settings is not ideal. We have listed some 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, and running belt, commonly known as track, used for running or walking on the treadmill. The running belt is rolled over the treadmill deck, covering the front and rear roller. It is the surface on which your feet land.
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 smooth movement. The belt plays a vital role in reducing the impact caused on joints and knees and offers protection.
Different treadmill belt options exist; while the main component remains rubber, the thickness varies. Let us quickly take a look at the other tread belts.
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 the belt will be ideal for a lighter person. Not a lot of treadmills have a single play.
Regarding a 2-ply running belt, one side is made of rubber or PVC rubber, and the other from cotton, polyester, urethane, and 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 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 harm the body and cause a feeling of discomfort.
Reasons Why Your Treadmill Belt Might Be Slipping
Before solving a problem, it becomes essential to understand its cause. In the same way, let us first check out the reasons that can cause a treadmill belt to 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 off the walking drive belt and cause accidents. Tightening or replacing the drive belt is the best solution in such a scenario.
Loose walking belt
One of the most common reasons for slipping is a loose belt. The rubber used for the walking belt stretches over time, and it becomes necessary to tighten a treadmill belt.
Suppose the belt can be lifted 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 shifts one side; if unnoticed, the entire belt can slip off the deck. This can be dangerous; replace the rollers in the front as they 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 harm muscles, joints, and the body.
How to prevent your treadmill belt from slipping?
A minor treadmill repair sounds good enough if you feel a sensation while exercising and are worried about whether the treadmill works correctly. Treadmill belts tend to shift or slip when 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 independently and be independent is not bad.
2. Before fixing, get a tool to adjust the hex key. The manual contains all instructions about settling the belt and could help greatly. Also, a good Allen wrench would be handy.
3. A significant cause of concern for a slipping belt is a misaligned walking belt. When the belt stops, first turn the idler bolts by half a turn, followed by a one-quarter turn for more adjustments. Continue the steps till you fix the issue.
4. Only adjust the left side bolt if you want to align a walking belt from left to right. The left and right sides have tension bolts into the rear end caps.
Adjusting Treadmill Walking Belt
You might feel uneasy when your feet tend to come down the treadmill belt as if the belt is stopping. 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 belt, and aligning the belt. Let us understand the process in detail.
A part of maintaining a treadmill is adjusting the treadmill belt—test whether the treadmill belt needs adjustment or not. You will need an Allen wrench to adjust the walking belt that fits your machine.
The treadmill belt should be tight enough to walk without slipping down. Walk at low speed to see if the belt slips. 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 to tighten 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 left and right bolts 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 the bolt clockwise or turn the bolt counterclockwise
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.
When the treadmill belt is tightened correctly, you can lift the walking belt 2-3 inches on each side by putting your hand underneath. This was all about the two-rear roller adjustment bolt style.
Put in the safety key, treadmill plug in the power cord, and run the machine until the walking belt tension is proper. Your fingers can reach the middle area if there is proper tension. Also, do not over-tighten the belt, as it will damage the motor.
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 to tighten the belt.
Adjust turn for a quarter at one time. Insert the safety key, connect the power cord and run the machine until 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 counterclockwise direction.
Take note of the second wrench and power cord.
- Use the Allen wrench to fix the treadmill walking belt adjustment on both the left and right sides.
- Turn the rear roller adjustment bolts counterclockwise 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 it 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 aligning 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.
- The roller bolts are on the treadmill belt’s left and right sides. Use the Allen wrench on the left rear roller bolt if the belt has shifted to the user’s left. If it has gone on the right rear roller bolt, do it on the right side.
2. 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.
3. Adjust the belt and get the new treadmills in the older treadmill. Put in the safety key and power cord, and check whether the walking deck is centered.
How to adjust treadmill belt alignment
Before adjusting 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
The treadmill belt needs to be centered for a smooth function. The difference between walking on the floor and 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 of adjusting 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, turn the left and right screws one-quarter turn clockwise.
Observe the belt tension now and repeat the steps if necessary. Do not overload the strap. Remember the quarter turns; if the belt still slips, you might have to grab a new one. This is how you can adjust the belt tension pretty straightforwardly.
However, keeping a few things in mind while adjusting the treadmill belt tension would be best. It is essential not to over-tighten the tension bolts as they can cause 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 it 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 the turn, check off the center problem, and tighten or loosen the walking belt as per the requirement with an Allen wrench and you are good to go.
Examine if the running belt is loosened
You can check whether a treadmill belt is loose 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 is operating for an effective workout is the distance between the walking belt and the running board.
- The belt is tight enough if the gap between the two is around 5-6 millimeters. If the gap is smaller, then some tightening measures are necessary.
- Work on the adjustment screws on the rear roller to tighten the belt. Do not forget to remove the treadmill plug.
- Do not turn the bolt counterclockwise. After tightening the walking belt, see if it is in the center.
- Run the machine for a few minutes; if the walking belt stays in the middle, you can use the device immediately.
How to fix the belt when not in the center?
The gap between the frames and the walking belt is around 5-6 millimeters. If there is any change in the gapping, the belt needs to be returned to the correct position. Here are a few simple steps to fix the belt when not in the center.
- Plus, raise the speed to 2-3 kilometers per hour in the power cord. Start adjusting the screw located at the end of the treadmill. You can use a tool from the toolbox.
- If the belt shifts towards the left, adjust the left bolt clockwise and the right bolt in the counterclockwise direction.
- If the belt shifts on the right side, do the same process oppositely.
- Now, check the gap difference between the belt and the frames. Continue doing the process till you get the belt in the center.
- Turn the speed of the walking belt to 6 kilometers per hour and see if the strap remains in the center. Once checked, the treadmill is ready for a workout.
Numerous problems are related to a treadmill, and it might not be possible to fix them all by yourself. Also, please do not overdo it. A few tries do not resolve the issue. Understand the right time to call for expert intervention.
FAQ: How To Tighten Treadmill Belt
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.
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.
How to tighten a Nordictrack treadmill belt?
A Nordictrack treadmill has idler bolts that are similar to roller bolts. You will need to tighten both bolts to tighten the belt.
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.
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 to observe whether you can hold the treadmill handlebars and walk without difficulty. Put your hand under the treadmill belt and see whether it is smooth enough to glide..
Why does the belt on my treadmill move to the side?
The reason why your treadmill is going off-centered is its tightness. A belt moving to the side needs to be tightened and centered. The belt does not slide away to one side when the roller bolts are tight enough.
When should I replace my treadmill belt?
The treadmill belt will start to show signs when it needs to be replaced. The strap can be seen damaged outside; the worn-out edges, loose threads, etc., indicates the belt needs to be replaced.
What Indicates The Belt Needs Tightening?
If the treadmill movement is incorrect, it might need to be 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.
What causes treadmill belt to slip?
Improper lubrication is the prime cause of treadmill slippage. However, the problem can be easily solved by applying the right lubricant.
How much does it cost to replace a treadmill belt?
It costs around $ 100 to $ 150 to replace a treadmill belt. Several factors, like brand, quality, treadmill model, can affect the cost.