How to adjust a belt on a treadmill

How to adjust a belt on a treadmill
If you own a treadmill, at some point, you may need to learn how to adjust the belt. This is a regular part of maintenance for your treadmill that should be assessed regularly. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your treadmill belt’s alignment (six to twelve months) or something seems a bit off with the belt tension, it’s time to grab your user manual and start adjusting.

Adjusting Your Treadmill Belt

With most treadmill models, all you need to get started is an allen wrench or hex key. This small tool often comes with your treadmill, or you can dig into your bike or garage tools and probably find this hexagonal shaped tool. Then, since each treadmill model will vary slightly, it’s always good to have your user manual out and turned to the appropriate page for reference.

There are two primary ways to adjust your treadmill: with it on or off. While you can find instructions for both, it is recommended to adjust your treadmill with it powered off and unplugged to prevent unnecessary damage to the treadmill or injury to yourself.

The one benefit for adjusting your treadmill when it’s on is when you can’t quite seem to get the belt in the right spot, even after several attempts. With the treadmill on (set at 3 miles per hour or less), you can adjust and assess in real-time.

The Basic Steps

Adjusting your treadmill belt is pretty straightforward with the right understanding. Here are the basic steps to keep in mind to get started:

1. Assess. Before unplugging your treadmill, turn it on to a slow walking pace and note any alignment issues as you walk on it. Is there an area that the belt loses tension or is wrinkled or bubbled up? When you look down at your feet, are they aligned, or are they being pulled to one side? You should be able to walk comfortably without slipping or feeling crooked.

2. Adjust. Turn off and unplug the treadmill first. Then, use your allen wrench to loosen the bolts at the back of the treadmill- typically, there is one bolt on each side that needs to be adjusted. Once loose, manually adjust the belt to where it appears to be centered and smooth. Secure the newly aligned belt back into place by re-tightening the bolts until there is adequate and even tension in the belt.

3. Reassess. Plug the treadmill back in and turn it on to see if your adjustments are complete and accurate. If you notice the belt is too loose, you may need to tighten the bolts slightly. If it still feels out of alignment, you may have to do some more adjusting and then re-check again. Keep in mind that you might also need to adjust one bolt more than the other to find the appropriate centered tension.

With these simple instructions, you should be able to keep your treadmill belt well-maintained. It’s always important to refer to your specific user manual for any specific instructions or nuances to be aware of with your model.

If you are still struggling, you can always call your treadmill manufacturer for further support- whether it entails further instructions over the phone or they recommend someone to help service your treadmill.

Ultimately, regular maintenance is vital for minimizing unnecessary wear and keeping you safe on your treadmill. This will ensure more years of life for your treadmill to stay active and work toward your health and fitness goals.

18 Sep How to properly tighten and adjust a treadmill walking belt

How to adjust a belt on a treadmillIdeally, a fitness company is there for you before and after the sale. They’re helpful before the sale to point out key information and can answer questions afterward.

When it comes to issues such as adjusting the treadmill belt, treadmill belt tension and centering the treadmill belt, there always seem to be questions. Unfortunately, not a lot of good information is out there to help troubleshoot in these areas.

That is, until now. Here’s a short Q and A session designed to inform people how to properly tighten and adjust a treadmill walking belt:

Question: Do new treadmills need a treadmill walking belt adjustment once you get them to your home or gym?
Answer: Treadmills obviously vary by model and company, but some may need to be adjusted when they’re brand new. Others will work just fine. If you are walking or running on your treadmill and the belt seems to pause, stall or slip, then it most likely needs to be tightened. Another sign that a belt might need to be adjusted is if it works fine with a lighter person, but slips with a heavier user. That’s also an instance when it needs to be tightened.

Question: What if you own an older treadmill and tightening the belt does not improve the performance?
Answer: If you own an older treadmill then it’s possible that your belt has stretched to its maximum length. If that’s the case, you may actually need to replace the treadmill walking belt and deck. In this type of scenario, consult with a trained fitness service technician.

Question: Can you over-tighten a treadmill belt tension?
Answer: Most definitely. When it comes time to adjusting the walking belt tension, it’s very important to not “over tighten” the tension bolts because it can cause damage to the walking belt. It’s recommended to only adjust the belt in 1/4 turn increments. After making each 1/4 turn adjustment, do a test walk at approximately a 3.0 speed before considering making another adjustment.

Question: It seems pretty straight forward how to correct “pausing” or “slipping.” What if tightening the bolts doesn’t work and the treadmill belt is off-center?
Answer: If your belt is not working correctly after simply turning the left and right tension bolts with 1/4 rotation clockwise adjustments, then it could be out of alignment.
If you need to align the walking belt from left to right, always adjust the left side bolt only (the tension bolts are located to the left and right side of the rear roller, inset into the rear end caps).
The simple rule of thumb for aligning the belt is this: working from the user’s left side bolt, if you need to move the belt to the right, “tighten” the bolt (turn to the right in 1/4 turns only). This will move the belt slightly to the right. If you need to align the belt to the left, “loosen” the left side bolt (turn the bolt to the left in 1/4 turns only). This will move the belt to the left.

Question: Is there a recommended speed to test the treadmill at?
Answer: Yes, as mentioned above, try it with the treadmill operating at a 3.0 speed. Also, be aware that adjustments can take up to 30 seconds to alter the position of the belt so be patient.

18 Sep How to properly tighten and adjust a treadmill walking belt

How to adjust a belt on a treadmillIdeally, a fitness company is there for you before and after the sale. They’re helpful before the sale to point out key information and can answer questions afterward.

When it comes to issues such as adjusting the treadmill belt, treadmill belt tension and centering the treadmill belt, there always seem to be questions. Unfortunately, not a lot of good information is out there to help troubleshoot in these areas.

That is, until now. Here’s a short Q and A session designed to inform people how to properly tighten and adjust a treadmill walking belt:

Question: Do new treadmills need a treadmill walking belt adjustment once you get them to your home or gym?
Answer: Treadmills obviously vary by model and company, but some may need to be adjusted when they’re brand new. Others will work just fine. If you are walking or running on your treadmill and the belt seems to pause, stall or slip, then it most likely needs to be tightened. Another sign that a belt might need to be adjusted is if it works fine with a lighter person, but slips with a heavier user. That’s also an instance when it needs to be tightened.

Question: What if you own an older treadmill and tightening the belt does not improve the performance?
Answer: If you own an older treadmill then it’s possible that your belt has stretched to its maximum length. If that’s the case, you may actually need to replace the treadmill walking belt and deck. In this type of scenario, consult with a trained fitness service technician.

Question: Can you over-tighten a treadmill belt tension?
Answer: Most definitely. When it comes time to adjusting the walking belt tension, it’s very important to not “over tighten” the tension bolts because it can cause damage to the walking belt. It’s recommended to only adjust the belt in 1/4 turn increments. After making each 1/4 turn adjustment, do a test walk at approximately a 3.0 speed before considering making another adjustment.

Question: It seems pretty straight forward how to correct “pausing” or “slipping.” What if tightening the bolts doesn’t work and the treadmill belt is off-center?
Answer: If your belt is not working correctly after simply turning the left and right tension bolts with 1/4 rotation clockwise adjustments, then it could be out of alignment.
If you need to align the walking belt from left to right, always adjust the left side bolt only (the tension bolts are located to the left and right side of the rear roller, inset into the rear end caps).
The simple rule of thumb for aligning the belt is this: working from the user’s left side bolt, if you need to move the belt to the right, “tighten” the bolt (turn to the right in 1/4 turns only). This will move the belt slightly to the right. If you need to align the belt to the left, “loosen” the left side bolt (turn the bolt to the left in 1/4 turns only). This will move the belt to the left.

Question: Is there a recommended speed to test the treadmill at?
Answer: Yes, as mentioned above, try it with the treadmill operating at a 3.0 speed. Also, be aware that adjustments can take up to 30 seconds to alter the position of the belt so be patient.

By: Trisha Bartle

Published: 13 November, 2009

Over the years, the walking belt on a treadmill can become loose or crooked. This is probably the case when you notice the belt skipping or becoming sluggish when you use it. Since a crooked belt can shorten the life of the treadmill walking belt, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible. Be sure to take out the key and unplug the treadmill before performing any maintenance on the machine.

Incorrect Belt Tension

Incorrect belt tension is often one of the main culprits of treadmill problems. When the walking belt is loose, the machine can be sluggish. If you’ve noticed that the speed slows down when you stand or walk on the moving belt, the belt is most likely loose.

There is a conclusive way to see if your treadmill walking belt is too loose or too tight. On the side of the machine, lift up the walking belt as far as you can from the middle of the deck. It should lift up three or four inches. If it lifts up higher than this, it’s too loose. If it doesn’t reach three inches, it’s too tight.

To tighten your treadmill belt, use an Allen wrench to tighten the two bolts and the very back of the treadmill on either side of the rear roller. Give each bolt a quarter turn to the right. Check how high the side of the belt lifts up. If it needs more tension, keep giving each side a quarter turn until the belt lifts up between three and four inches.

It’s important not to overly tighten a treadmill walking belt. Tight belts can cause the motor to burn out, creating more damage and a high-cost problem to fix. To loosen the belt, do the same technique as tightening it, except move the Allen wrench to the left in quarter turns for each bolt.

Crooked Belt Centering

When a treadmill belt is crooked, it can become frayed on the edges and may break. While it’s natural for the walking belt to become worn over the years with daily use, a crooked belt will break much sooner.

Fixing a crooked walking belt is done much in the same way that you loosen or tighten the treadmill belt. Rather than use an Allen wrench on both bolts at the rear of the deck assembly, you alter just one bolt.

If your belt is running to the right of center near the rear roller, use your Allen wrench on the left bolt, turning it a quarter turn to the left. Plug in your treadmill and turn it on to a speed of one mile per hour without walking on it. If the walking belt is still crooked, turn everything off and give the Allen wrench quarter turns until it is fixed.

If the belt moves to the left near the rear roller instead, use your Allen wrench on the left bolt and turn it to the right, using the same methods as above.

Introduction

This page explains how to adjust a treadmill belt to ensure that it is correctly aligned on the running board. An adjustment will be needed if the belt is not in the centre of the running board to avoid touching the sides of the footrests.

How to centre the treadmill belt

If the treadmill belt is touching the sides of the footrests or is not centred to the running board follow the steps below to make the needed adjustments:

  1. Remove the safety key and UNPLUG THE POWER CORD.
  2. If the belt has shifted to the left (viewed from the back), use the 6mm hex key to turn the left idler roller screw clockwise ½ a turn
  3. If the belt has shifted to the right (viewed from the back), use the 6mm hex key to turn the right idler roller screw clockwise ½ a turn
  4. Plugin the power cord, insert the safety key and run the treadmill for 5 minutes at 16 km/hr (10 mils/hr).
  5. Check that the belt is running approximately in the middle of the running board and not touching the sides of the footrests.
  6. If not in the centre repeat step 1-5.

Note: If the belt alignment is significantly off centre first set the belt tension equally on both sides as per the instructions below.

How to check and adjust the treadmill belt tension

It is important to check the belt tension from time to time as an important maintenance requirement as well as addressing belt slip.

CAUTION: Be careful not to overtighten the belt as it might reduce the longevity of the bearings.

How to check the belt tension

The correct belt tension will ensure that the rollers get much-needed traction on the belt. It also ensures that not too much force is placed on the roller bearings ensuring they have a long service life. Follow the steps below to check the tension:

  1. Remove the safety key and UNPLUG THE POWER CORD.
  2. In the middle of the belt lift each edge.
  3. Measure the distance from the running board to the bottom of the belt.
  4. If the distance is 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) the tension is within tolerance.
  5. If not, please follow the tightening or loosening steps below to make adjustments.

How to adjust a belt on a treadmill

How to tighten the belt
  1. Remove the safety key and UNPLUG THE POWER CORD.
  2. Tighten the idler roller screw ½ a turn using a 6 mm Allen Key by turning it clockwise. Ensure to tighten both sides the same.
  3. Plugin the power cord, insert the safety key and run the treadmill for 5 minutes at 16 km/hr (10 mils/hr).
  4. Check that the belt is running approximately in the middle of the running board and not touching the sides of the footrests.
  5. In the middle of the belt lift each edge.
  6. Measure the distance from the running board to the bottom of the belt.
  7. If the distance is 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) then the tension is correct.
  8. If not the measurement is still more than 4 inches (10 cm) repeat step 1-6 until within tolerance.
How to loosen the belt
  1. Remove the safety key and UNPLUG THE POWER CORD.
  2. Loosen the idler roller screw ½ a turn using a 6 mm hex key by turning it anti-clockwise. Ensure to loosen both sides the same.
  3. Plugin the power cord, insert the safety key and run the treadmill for 5 minutes at 16 km/hr (10 mils/hr).
  4. Check that the belt is running approximately in the middle of the running board and not touching the sides of the footrests.
  5. In the middle of the belt lift each edge.
  6. Measure the distance from the running board to the bottom of the belt.
  7. If the distance is 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) then the tension is correct.
  8. If not the measurement is still less than 3 inches (8 cm) repeat step 1-6 until within tolerance.

Troubleshooting

The belt keeps slipping no matter the belt tension

The slipping of the belt is a result of the front roller not getting the needed traction on the belt which can be caused by the following:

  1. Over lubrication. Too much lubrication will make the belt slip over the front roller. Try and remove as much of the excessive lubrication as possible using a dry clean cotton cloth.
  2. Incorrect lubrication. Never use anything but treadmill silicone lubrication.
  3. Tension adjustment. Check your belt tension is within tolerance.

The belt is stuttering

This indicates that the motor torque setting needs to be optimised.

How to adjust a belt on a treadmill

Everyone is familiar with the treadmill, a staple exercising machine. It is a perfect machine for walking, running, and jogging purposes. If you are too lazy to dress up and go out for a walk, you can always hop on your treadmill with your pajamas. When it comes to the treadmill, there are plenty of things that you must be careful about, maintaining and caring for your machine – for instance.

The treadmill h with several important components that add up to its efficient performance. The belt is one such imperative part of your treadmill that needs to be taken care of. It is a rotating belt that allows you to walk over it. You need to maintain the right tension level in order to ensure that your belt is working properly. There are plenty of complications that can arise if you don’t consider the tightening of the tread belt.

Can You Over Tighten Treadmill Belt?

Certainly, there are plenty of ways in which you can end up over tightening the belt tension. However, it is highly important to not over tighten your belt as it can damage the walking belt and make it inefficient. It can also result in hazards that can even be dangerous to your health. It is b to put the belt tension in ¼ turn increments. You must also conduct a test walk at 3.0 speed before making further adjustments.

How to Tighten The Tread Belt?

It is important to learn how to tighten the belt by yourself. Adjusting the tread belt is super simple if you follow the right steps. Here are a few easy steps that you must follow to adjust the tension of your tread belt.

Step 1

First, you must run a test to ascertain whether your belt needs an adjustment or not. For this, walk on the treadmill at the lowest speed. You must be able to walk over the belt without slipping; also, you will witness ridges and grooves if the belt is too loose. While walking, check your feet to ensure if the alignment is off or not. This examination will give you an idea of where to start and how to make the best adjustment.

Step 2

Once ascertaining that your tread belt needs adjustment, you must begin with conducting the tension adjustment. Before you start any maintenance practice, it is important to turn off the treadmill and unplug it from the socket. You need to work with the internal parts of the machine, and a little charge can lead to fatal shocks.

Step 3

Next up, you need to look for the belt adjustment bolt that is found at the base of your treadmill. Typically, you can find the bolt at the rear of the treadmill deck. If you cannot find the belt, don’t waste much time on it, and refer to your owner’s manual to find the right spot. Without spotting the right location of the adjustment bolt, you won’t be able to go further.

Step 4

Now, use a wrench to lose the belt in case the alignment of your belt is off. When you loosen the belt, you will be able to move the belt left or right. Try to adjust it properly according to your preference. Try to align it with the treadmill deck to make the slightly off alignment perfectly alright.

Step 5

You need to reach the same wrench to the bolt and give it a ¼ tun in the clockwise direction to fix the tension issue. Adjust it according to the losing or tightening of the belt. You must check how much you need to tighten and then move the bolt accordingly in the right direction.

Step 6

After doing all the steps, you must recheck the tension of the belt. Now, you need to plug in the treadmill and conduct a test run before you can start using the machine again. Set the treadmill to the lowest setting and start walking on it. You must not feel slippery while walking and must not see ridges on the surface. If there is any issue, you must start all the process again.

A bare minimum tension adjustment can be don’t by yourself. However, if the issue is severe and you think you won’t be able to handle it, you must seek help from a technician.

What If Tightening Doesn’t Improve The Performance?

There are instances where just tightening can help you improve the situation. You will need to do something extra in order to get things right. For instance, if you own an old treadmill, there are majority chances that tightening won’t help your case. Older belts tend to stretch out to the maximum, and you cannot possibly tighten them. In such cases, it’s better to replace the belt altogether. You must also seek guidance from a treadmill technician who can better inspect the issue and find the right solution for it.

Do New Treadmills Require Belt Adjustment?

Treadmills vary from model to model, and generally, new treadmills don’t require a belt adjustment. However, there are some belts that need a little tweak before starting to walk on them. Hence, it is best advised to run a test walk before you exhaust your treadmill. When you buy a treadmill from a dealer, you must ask them about all the details regarding the belt adjustment. Only then will you be able to make the most of the product.

Why Is Your Belt Slipping?

The slipping of the treadmill belt is a major issue that will haunt you. Every now and then you need to run a test to ensure that your belt is in the right condition. But what actually causes the slipping of the belt? Here are a few common reasons why it might be happening:

  • Your belt needs lubrication
  • The drive belt is completely loose
  • The front row pulley might have lost all the grip
  • The walking belt may be loose

These are some of the commonly witnessed reasons that you might be aware of. You must never ignore the signs that your machine gives regarding slippage, as it may lead to severe issues that can be detrimental to you and your machine.

What To Do If The Treadmill Belt Is Slipping?

Slipping of the treadmill belt is a common issue found in the machine. It is important to address the issue at the earliest before it can damage your entire machine. If there is a slippage issue, you must align and tighten the running belt. Generally, the belts tend to slip when there is a lot of friction or when the belt is overly tight. You can also check if the belt is too tight for the deck. Just lift it from the center and see if there is a gap of approximately two-three inches. If there is not enough gap, you must try to loosen the belt a bit and make sure it perfectly aligns with the deck.

How Often Should You Change A Treadmill Belt?

Not just checking the belt’s tension, it is also important to inspect it for wear and tear at least once in three months. This will allow you to understand placement and the condition of your belt and ascertain whether the belt needs to replace. You can check the belt by running your hands underside of the belt and check if it is worn and rough from beneath. If you see issues in your belt, you must not wait and replace it at the earliest. Having a loose tread belt can disrupt your walking experience and damage your motor as well. You must conduct regular care and maintenance practice to ensure that everything is under check, and you are not running on a worn-out belt. So, it is highly essential to change the belt whenever needed.

Maintaining proper walking belt tension is one of the most important things with your treadmill or incline trainer for multiple reasons. First and foremost for your safety; if the walking belt is too loose it will feel similar to walking on ice, and we all know that’s not the most comforting feeling.

Maintaining the proper tension is easy and the only tool needed is the Allen Wrench or Hex Key that came with the treadmill or incline trainer. This was the tool that you would have used during the assembly.

As always unplug the treadmill or incline trainer before making any of these adjustments, again for your safety! With the treadmill or incline trainer unplugged you can start making some small adjustments to your idler roller. The idler roller is at the opposite end of your motor. When making these adjustments keep in mind a little adjustment makes a big difference overall.

(Example picture of a treadmill)

There will be a couple of holes providing access to the Idler Roller adjustment bolts

Using the Hex Key, turn both idler roller screws clockwise 1/4 turn. When the walking belt is correctly tightened you should be able to lift each edge of the walking belt 2 to 3 inches off the walking platform.

An important tip to remember is that you make the same adjustments on both sides, this will help the belt stayed centered.

Once you have made some adjustments plug your treadmill or incline trainer back in, insert the safety key, and press start. Carefully walk on the treadmill or incline trainer for a few minutes. If you feel like you are still walking on ice repeat these steps until the walking belt is properly tightened.

by JLL Fitness · Published March 10, 2014 · Updated June 5, 2015

After a period of time, you may feel a pause sensation whilst running on the treadmill. This is caused
by a loose belt. Running belt can loosen and stretch a bit over time causing a slipping sensation if it is
not adjusted and tightened when is needed. If the belt is too tight, this may cause harm to your motor
and/or roller. A belt too loose or too tight can cause wear and tear of both the belt and the board.

No worries, that does not mean that you have to throw your running machine away and buy a new
one. You just need to tighten the running belt. The method of solving this problem is pretty easy; you
just need to tighten an adjustable bolt, which is respectively in the left and right end of the treadmill,
until you no longer experience this sensation.

How to check if the running belt is loosen:

  • One way of checking is every day you use the treadmill, stand on the sides of the treadmill
    (frames) and set the speed of the running machine around 1-2 kilometers per hour.
    Walk on the machine and try to stop the running belt with your feet while holding the
    handrails and pulling your body on the opposite direction. If the belt does not stop, means
    that it is tighten for using. But, if the running belt stops while you do it, the belt is loosen and
    you have to tighten it.
  • Another way is checking the gap between the running belt and the running board. If that gap
    is between 5 to 6 millimeters means that the belt is tighten for using. But, if the gap is smaller
    than that means that the running belt is loosen.

How to tight the running belt:

Power off and turn the two belt adjustment screws, located at the rear, clockwise to tighten
the belt slightly by quarters.

How to check if the running belt is loosen:

  • One way of checking is every day you use the treadmill, stand on the sides of the treadmill
    (frames) and set the speed of the running machine around 1-2 kilometers per hour.
    Walk on the machine and try to stop the running belt with your feet while holding the
    handrails and pulling your body on the opposite direction. If the belt does not stop, means
    that it is tighten for using. But, if the running belt stops while you do it, the belt is loosen and
    you have to tighten it.
  • Another way is checking the gap between the running belt and the running board. If that gap
    is between 5 to 6 millimeters means that the belt is tighten for using. But, if the gap is smaller
    than that means that the running belt is loosen.

How to tight the running belt:

  1. Power off and turn the two belt adjustment screws, located at the rear, clockwise to tighten the belt slightly by quarters.
  2. Get back to the treadmill and check it again if belt is loose or not. If still loose, readjust the belt screw by another quarter: Untill you get a tighten belt
  3. Run the machine on its own for 1-2 minutes to see if the belt keeps in the middle. If the
    running belt is still in the centre, we can use the treadmill straight away.
  4. Do the last test. After tighten the belt, you should check if it is in the centre. For that reason
    leave the machine running for a couple of minutes at high speed, between 6-8 kilometres
    per hour.

How can I fix the belt when is not in the centre (bear left or right):

You can see a gap between the frames and the running belt which is approximately 5-6
millimeters in both sides. If that gap has different distance means that the belt is eccentric. So we
have to put it back in the right position by following these easy steps:

  • Power on and set the speed on 2-3 kilometers per hour and adjust slowly the screw, which is
    at the end of the treadmill, with an accompanying tool included in the box.
  • If the belt slants to the left, please adjust the left bolt in a clockwise sensation or adjust the
    right bolt in a counter clockwise sensation. If the belt slants to the right, it needs to be
    adjusted in the opposite manner.
  • At the same time you screw, you must check if the gap of difference has disappeared, if it is
    still there, screw again. Repeat this procedure until you get the running belt in the centre.
  • Set the speed on 6 kilometer per hour to check if the running belt is still in the same
    position. Once you checked that, the treadmill is ready for being used.