Cheap Manual Treadmill Buying Guide

  1. ASUNA 7700 Manual Self-propelling Treadmill

The heavy duty Asuna 7700 is a high performing self-powered treadmill designed to out-perform its rivals. It is a product of Sunny Health and Fitness, a brand that is well respected in the fitness community for providing cutting edge fitness equipment.

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First impression about this unit is that it is a high-quality treadmill. Unlike other units we tested, it is apparent that Sunny Health and Fitness went all out to ensure the Asuna 7700 is among the best manual treadmills when it comes to its build quality.

 

Features at a glance

  • Sturdy high-grade steel frame and support handle bars
  • Rubber-coated handle bars
  • Ability to incline the deck for optimal work-out
  • Dual flywheel system
  • Integrated transportation wheels
  • Foldable design
  • Large, slip resistance running/workout deck or surface
  • 8-way adjustable resistance levels on the running deck

 

 

What we liked:

What’s not to like about the Asuna 7700? First and foremost, unlike other manual treadmills, the 7700 Asuna model looks and feels sturdy. On top of that, it has many useful features such as foldable design and wheel attachments that make it easier to move and store.

Walking, jogging, and sprinting are the routine work-out procedures on manual treadmills. The 7700 offers a large, slip resistance running deck that allows you to spice up your fitness routine. For instance, backward jogging and side squats engage your calves, hamstrings and leg muscles.

Lastly, we also liked the versatility of this fitness unit which allows it to be used as a full-body fitness treadmill with arm workout. One of the greatest upper body workouts we tried was placing our hands on the running deck and pulling the deck towards us. It proved to be a great core and arm workout that is worth a try.

 

What we didn’t like:

The only complain we have about the Asuna 7700 treadmill is its weight. At 167-pounds, this falls on the heavy side of the manual tread mills we have tested. However, this is a livable trade-off considering its sturdy build quality, foldable nature and transportation wheels.

 

What’s the bottom line?

All treadmills featured in this review are great in their own right, especially when it comes to personal home use. That said, not all of them can cut it in the commercial space. That is where the Asuna 7700 treadmill comes in. We highly recommend it to people that own community fitness centers or gyms where the build-quality of these machines is put to test every single day.

The 7700 Asuna is one of the most reliable treadmills out of all the manual treadmills discussed in this review. Its heavy-duty all-inclusive steel structure build means that it can comfortably cope with the constant day-to-day work-out routines of its users.

 

 

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Treadmill

The SF-T1407M is yet another manual treadmill from Sunny Health and Fitness. Unlike the Asuna 7700 model reviewed above, its design is cleaner and features a more light-duty build quality. It weights up to three times less than the 7700 unit making it ideal for personal use than commercial use.

 

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Regardless of this fact, it is much more compact and lightweight than the Asuna 7700 series. This makes it is easy to carry and store away once you’re done with your workout routine. Tech-wise, the SF-T1407M is much more advanced than the 7700 Asuna series. It comes with a LCD interface that allows you to preset your fitness goals and track it for your workout sessions.

 

 

Features at glance

  • Fixed incline angle on the running deck with slip-resistant surface
  • Slim, minimalist, compact design with light-weight build construction
  • Built in LCD digital monitor
  • Foam-coated handle bars for maximum grip and comfort
  • Comes equipped with transportation wheels
  • Foldable design
  • Dual flywheel design

 

What we liked:

When it comes to technology and practicality, the SF-T1407M rates among the top of our review. Its lightweight nature and foldable design coupled with its transportation wheels makes this unit highly usable especially in snug spaces. You can’t also forget about its user-friendly LCD interface which allows you to set and monitor your progress throughout your fitness routine.

We also liked its affordable price. It makes it easier to store it away for months without worrying that your hard-earned money went down the drain making the purchase. This model of treadmills is particularly ideal for impulsive buyers who want a manual treadmill to satisfy their short-term goals.

 

What we didn’t like

There is no doubt that the SF-T1407M is a great fitness treadmill especially for beginners. However, its lightweight nature raises doubts over its long-term reliability especially when subjected to extensive fitness exercises.

 

What’s the bottom line? 

From our extensive use of the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T1407M, we came to the conclusion that this treadmill model was designed for sporicidal fitness practitioners. It is an entry level treadmill that is great for beginners who wish to begin working out.

 

The SF-T1407M treadmill also comes highly recommended for the elder generation who need to stay physically active. This manual treadmill can easily cope with the simple fitness exercises done by beginners and the elderly.

 

 

 

  1. ProGear 190 Manual Powerless Treadmill

 

There are many lightweight manual treadmills in the market. However, it is hard to come across a model that’s as accomplished as the ProGear 190. Weighing at just 49 pounds, it is one of the lightest small manual treadmills you can buy. Its minimalistic design and technological simplicities make it the perfect fitness tool to burn off excess calories.

 

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Despite its compact and light-weight build, the 190 series comes with a sturdy frame that can support a weight of up to 230-pounds. We also found out that this unit is super-easy to assemble for all generations. Its lack of electrical parts makes assembly and disassembly that much easier for users.

 

Features at glance:

  • Easy, simple, minimalistic design
  • Sturdy steel frame that can support more than 5 times its weight
  • Dual cast iron flywheel assembly
  • Snug, tight surface area to occupy less space
  • Adjustable inclement on the running deck coated with non-slip material
  • Foam-coated handle bars for maximum comfort and grip
  • Non-slip surface on its running deck
  • User interface LCD screen
  • Features integrated transportation wheels

 

What we liked:

The ProGear 190 offers a perfect harmony of light-weightiness, simplicity, technology and user friendliness. For instance, its long, coated handle bars provide unparalleled comfort and grip when working out on this machine. We also like the ability to adjust its running deck which means you can control the intensity of your fitness regime.

Unlike the SF-T1407M model above, the 190 ProGear provides a wider and longer running deck thereby providing more space for all body shapes and sizes. We also liked the fact that belt rollers are slip resistant, and can be adapted for upper-body workout regimes.

 

 

What we didn’t like:

Despite being sturdy for most people, the ProGear 190 felts a little flimsy to people that weigh above the 200-pound mark. That said, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T1407M and this model are very identical and it comes down to personal preference.

 

What’s the bottom line?

If you are looking for a light-duty manual treadmill, you cannot go wrong with the ProGear 190 model. And while it is very similar to the SF-T1407M model above, this model provides a much larger workout surface. This makes it the ideal manual treadmill for taller users.

Despite the similarities with the SF-T1407M model above, this model 190 ProGear is engineered for taller personnel. Its running deck provides enough space for much taller legs compared to the former model. And while it is more convenient for taller people to train on, its portability is limited by its huge dimensions compared to other brands.

 

 

  1. Fitness Reality TR1000 Portable Manual Treadmill

 

Who needs a health and fitness coach when you can have the TR1000 series by Fitness Reality? Not only is this spectacular treadmill cheap but it can support up to five times its weight thanks to its lightweight but rigid build steel frame and its dual flywheel support structure.

 

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When it comes to design and technology, the TR1000 model is up there with there with the best of the best manual treadmills. This is thanks to its foldable design feature and incorporation of transportation wheels. Its programmable LCD computer display makes it the complete package for people that want to keep track of their fitness routines.

 

Features at glance

  • Robust steel-frame assembly with long handle bars
  • Powder coated finish on the handle bars for maximum grip and sweat absorption
  • LCD computer display for setting fitness goals
  • Foldable frame for better storage
  • Wheel assembly for better portability
  • Twin cast iron flywheels
  • Non-slip rubber material on the running deck
  • Twin level adjustable running deck

 

What we liked:

We really liked the slim, compact design of the Fitness Reality TR1000 model. Its compact design means that it does not take up much space when in use. Its foldable design and transportation wheels make it even much more desirable when you want to store it when not in use.

Apart from the standard slip-resistant running deck but it also offers long handle bars that are powder coated for maximum grip, comfort and sweat absorption. We also liked the fact that you can set your fitness goals in the TR1000’s LCD user display. On top of that, you can adjust its running deck angle to raise itself and give you a steeper slope to push yourself even harder.

 

What we didn’t like:

We cannot recommend the TR1000 manual treadmill to plus-size people that weight over the 230-pound mark. However, this handicap can be forgiven given that a majority of people fall below this weight-class.

 

What’s the bottom line?

The Fitness Reality TR1000 model impressed us with its sheer capability and its all-round usefulness. Weighing at just 49-pounds this model is one of the standout manual treadmills when it comes to the ratio of its weight versus its maximum weight capacity.

Not only is it ideal for people that live in snug apartments but also for people that have fully equipped gyms in their houses. It lets you achieve your health and fitness goals at an affordable price and without taking too much of your space.

 

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723 Force Fit Manual Treadmill

The SF-T7723 is yet another manual treadmill from the Sunny Health and Fitness brand. You get a minimalistic but sturdy and carefully constructed feel when you first lay eyes on this treadmill with its chain of aluminum links and handles.

 

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When it comes to its price point and features, you will feel disappointed that it does not offer an LCD display computer and an adjustable incline running deck. That said, the SF-T7723 is the perfect manual treadmill if you have a personal trainer and care about long term reliability.

 

Features at glance

  • Long, handle bars for maximum comfort and support
  • Sturdy, lightweight aluminum build frame
  • Dual-flywheel system for maximum resistance and rigidity
  • Large running deck finished with slip resistance rubber material
  • Multiple support bars for extra weight
  • Foldable design with transportation wheels
  • Fixed incline angle of the running deck

 

What we liked:

As fitness enthusiasts, we liked the simple minimalistic design of this unit. We also feel that most fitness trainers would recommend this particular unit for its simplicity, hefty feel and long-term reliability. With an above-average running deck size, you can fold and roll away this 110-pound manual treadmill into storage to save space in your home or gym.

With a fixed 13.5-degree incline running deck, the SF-T7723 constantly offers the same level of intensity for your leg muscles. This allows you to gradually increase the frequency of the workout over time.

 

What we didn’t like:

Compared to rivals in its class, the SF-T7723 fell short in two key aspects. First, it does not offer an adjustable running deck like its rivals. Secondly, it does not offer an LCD computer display for tracking fitness routines. This makes it the ideal fitness tools for experienced fitness gurus who train clients of different weight classes.

 

What’s the bottom line?

Based on our extensive use of the SF-T7723 model, we can conclude that it is designed for both home and commercial use. It is best applicable in community-based fitness centers and gyms based on its minimalistic technology and rigid aluminum structure.

The lack of an LCD display and adjustable running deck means that it is less breakable compared to its rivals. Meanwhile, its rigid aluminum frame gives it strength to withstand weights of up to 300-pounds for extended periods of time.

 

 

  1. EFITMENT T017 Manual Treadmill

 

Like most treadmills featured on our list, the Efitment T017 offers every possible feature you could need from an entry level manual treadmill. As the least equipped model of the T-series lineup, the T017 is a quite impressive treadmill especially when it comes to technology.

 

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Some of the technological features you can expect in this unit include an advanced biometric system and a clever design structure. The biometric system records all output exerted by the body when exercising while its adjustable design allows you to alter the shape of treadmill to maximize its use.

 

Features at glance:

  • Simple, compact design
  • Manual lever offers up to 3 levels of adjustable incline angles on the running deck
  • Hi-tech LCD control panel with biometric sensors
  • Foldable design with transportation wheels
  • Slip-resistant running deck
  • Ergonomic handle bars that adjust according to arm-swing
  • Dual flywheel system supporting the running deck

 

What we liked:

Most manual treadmills share the same design cues and the Efitment T017 is no different. For instance, most manual treadmills utilize a gear-like lever to adjust the inclination angle of the running deck. Conversely, the Efitment T017 is a treadmill with moving arms. It uses a hand-controlled lever system that is much more intuitive to use.

 

What we didn’t like:

When it comes to weight, the Efitment T017 is at least two times heavier than its rivals. This is a huge disappointment considering it costs the same as units that weigh half its price with the same features and the same load-bearing capacity. Luckily it is foldable and offers transportation wheels for easy movement and storage.

 

What’s the bottom line? 

The Efitment T017 is a high-performance entry level manual treadmill like the majority of entries in this review. However, it ranks as the most technologically advanced unit in this line up. This is largely thanks to its hi-tech LCD monitor that comes equipped with biometric sensors.

The biometric sensors track various things including time, speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate among other variables. This feature alone effectively makes the Efitment T017 the ideal unit for self-trainers that rely on personal statistics to set their fitness goals.

 

FAQ SECTION (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

What is a manual Treadmill?

Like the name suggests, manual treadmills are solely operated by the power exerted on the deck by the operator. The momentum created by your hands or feet is transferred to the running deck which in turn moves the belt to keep the deck spinning.

 

Which are the best cheap manual treadmill?

  1. ASUNA 7700 Manual Treadmill
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Treadmill
  3. ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill
  4. Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill
  5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723 Force Fit Manual Treadmill
  6. EFITMENT T017 Manual Treadmill

 

How does a manual treadmill work?

A manual treadmill works through the effort you put in either with your feet or hands. Once you start walking or running, the energy is transferred to the running deck which turns the belt and flywheel then back to the running deck.

 

Where to buy a cheap manual treadmill?

The reviews we’ve done and the Amazon links we’ve provided can act as your buying guide.

 

Do treadmills use a lot of electricity?

Manual treadmills do not consume electricity. On the other hand, electric treadmills consume electricity, but at different rates depending on the model and frequency of use. It also goes without saying that your electric bills will be higher during the cold winter months.

Having an electric treadmill in a typical home is like having an electric pressure cleaner. The power bill will not hurt your pockets. On the other hand, large gym establishments with lots of customer traffic and long hours of active electric treadmills will receive bloated power bills.

 

How to fix a treadmill belt that is folded

A folded treadmill belt is caused by one of two reasons. Either the bolts securing it in place are loose or the belt is too creased and needs to be replaced. If it’s the former, check and tighten all the bolts holding it in place. However, if it’s the latter, you need to take out the belt and replace it with a new one.

 

How much does it cost to move a treadmill?

One of the advantages of owning a manual treadmill is that it cost nothing to move it. They are sleek, compact and light-weight due to their lack of an electric motor. Additionally, most units are foldable for easy storage and come equipped with swivel wheels for easy transportation.

 

How fast should I walk on a manual treadmill?

You can walk or run at any pace you desire. Once you get the treadmill’s running deck rotating, you can regulate its speed by varying your running or walking intensity. Most manual treadmills allow you to adjust the incline level of the running deck to achieve the intensity of thee exercise.

 

How many types of treadmills are there?

There are two main types of treadmills in the market; manually-operated treadmills and electrical/motorized treadmills.

 

what is the difference between a manual treadmill and an automatic?

  • Manual treadmills: As tackled in the first FAQ question, they use human-generated energy instead of artificial energy such as electricity to operate. The very first versions of manual treadmills were first developed as a form of cereal grinder. They were popular in prisons as punishment equipment that yielded grinded cereal.

Fast forward to now where these past few years have seen an increase of demand for these manual treadmills. However, most buyers barely know their interesting origin story. Most consumers are attracted by their simplicity, affordability, practicality and as a way to achieve their fitness goals.

  • Electrical/motorized treadmills: Also called automatic treadmills, they are the most common type and can be found in most gyms. These use some kind of artificial energy to operate. In most cases they use electrical energy to power their motor which in turn rotates the belt and consequently the running deck.

 

According to a research done by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, manual treadmills increase concentric ratio in hamstrings muscles while electric treadmills decrease the concentric ratio. For an ordinary trainer, an increase or decrease in this ratio is negligible to their fitness goals.

However, an increase or decrease of concentric ratio in professional sportsmen and women matters depending on their type of sport. The Wentworth Institute of Technology conducted a research that elaborates on the effects of increasing or decreasing concentric ratios in muscles.

 

How to use a manual treadmill properly

  • Step 1: Develop a workout routine
  • Step 2: Inspect the belt and other moving parts before every training
  • Step 3: Set and keep track of your fitness routine via the inboard LCD computer or through fitness apps in your phone or computer
  • Step 4: Increase the intensity of your workout
  • Step 5: Greasing, lubricating and other maintenance routines should be followed as specified by the manufacturer

 

How to adjust the belt on a manual treadmill

  • Step 1: Set the treadmill in motion
  • Step 2: Dismount the deck and carefully inspect the belt to see if its misaligned
  • Step 3: Check whether your unit comes with adjustment knobs for the belt. If so tinker with it while moving the belt to make sure that the gaps on either side of the belt are equal. If your treadmill, does not have the adjustment knob/lever proceed with the following steps.
  • Step 4: Tighten or loosen each adjustment bolts located on the rear roller using an Allen wrench. The goal is to make both gaps equal.
  • Step 5: If satisfied, get back on the treadmill and set it in motion for a couple of minutes then dismount and re-check if both gaps are aligned

 

How to make the belt run smoothly on a manual treadmill

Manual treadmills have many moving parts. As such, it is important to comply with the manufacturer’s guides on the ideal way to use it. That said, here are some universal tips you can employ to prolong the life of your treadmill and ensure it is running smoothly:

  • Tip 1: Stick to the recommended weight capacity. Do not overload it
  • Tip 2: Safely store it a safe, favorable environment if not in use for long periods
  • Tip 3: Lubricate the belt and other moving parts with grease or silicone lubricants especially if it has been in storage for a long time

 

How to walk on the best manual treadmill for walking

  • Step 1: Wear appropriate training gear and other PPEs before your workout for safety reasons. Rubber shoes are highly recommended to provide maximum traction on the running deck.
  • Step 2: Set your fitness goals and monitor it on the treadmill’s LCD screen or phone/computer.
  • Step 3: Set up a music playlist based on your favorite songs to help you focus on your target. Additionally, mount a TV screen in front of the treadmill and project your ideal walking trail.
  • Step 4: Adjust the incline level of the running deck based on the intensity of your choice. Remember to start mildly and gradually increase the intensity levels. This will help you reach your fitness goals without straining yourself.
  • Step 5: Use the handle bars for extra support especially when mounting and dismounting the running deck

 

 

Overall Final verdict

A great treadmill is a vital equipment to start your personal health and fitness journey. It is in that spirit we dedicated our time and expertise to review some of the best manual treadmills the market has to offer. This guide has everything you need to know about the latest manual treadmills. It is the one stop shop for discovering the best models for personal fitness journeys, professional trainers and professional sports athletes.

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