Sportsmith Blog

Keeping your Treadmills Clean

In most gyms, the equipment that sees the most use are usually the cardio machines, in particular, the treadmills. These machines are expensive, and require some regular basic maintenance and cleaning to keep running properly. Treadmills, more than almost any other piece of equipment, absorb a LOT of wear and tear. Just a bit of caution and common sense will keep your machine in top form (while it keeps you in top form!), and prevent you from having to buy expensive replacement parts, or even worse, a  new treadmill.

Whether your treadmill is in a gym or at the home, your best friend is going to be the operation manual. Whether in booklet form or on-line, make sure to read it thoroughly and see what the manufacturer recommends for regular maintenance and cleaning. If in doubt, either visit the company's website or give them a call for further information.

The cleaning supplies you'll need are simple. Some soft rags, a cleaning solution of some kind (mild, non-acid soap is best), some Isopropyl alcohol, and a vacuum with a hose attachment. That's pretty much it. Remember to observe proper safety. Turn off and unplug the machine before doing ANY cleaning to it.

Give your machine a wipe down after each workout. This keeps your body oils and sweat off the machine, which can corrode certain parts. A clean rag or equipment wipes will do the trick. Once a week, give it a more thorough cleaning, especially if it's in a gym environment. Take a mild soap and water solution and apply to a rag. Give it a once over, paying attention to the areas that are touched the most, such as the hand rails, the heart monitor grips, and the control console. Be sure the rag is damp, not dripping wet.

Dirt and dust are also a big issue with treadmills. The deck that the belt runs over needs a smooth surface to run correctly, and even small particles of dust collecting underneath the belt can cause big damage to the deck. To prevent this, all you need is a simple vacuum cleaner. If equipped, periodically raise the elevation, pop on the hose attachment and vacuum underneath the machine.  Hand dust any places the hose won't reach. Also, lift the motor cover and vacuum the exposed area. If the treadmill is in a gym, make sure that your patrons don't wear the shoes they came in off the street with on the treadmill. Proper workout shoes will keep the grime and dirt off the treadmill and decrease your maintenance issues.

The deck is one of the most expensive parts of any treadmill, and you want to keep it in good working order. Some decks require waxing. Depending on the machine, the wax is either applied automatically from an internal reservoir or the deck needs to be waxed by the user. Either way, make sure you do this! Keep the reservoir full, and make sure you have wax on hand if you have to do it yourself. Keep the surfaces of the deck clean from grime, and give it a good wipe down with a soft cloth once a week.

Cleaning the heart monitor grips is important, too, especially in a gym. Many people rely on these to check their heart rates during workouts, and since the grips are touched by many, many different hands, they can get dirty very fast. Combat this with a little Isopropyl alcohol or use a disinfecting wipe. Apply Isopropyl alcohol to rag and wipe down. Even if it doesn't look dirty, it probably is. Cleaning these grips once a week will keep them working like new.

Belt slippage is a common problem with most treadmills, but it's an easy one to fix if you know how. If you notice that the belt on your machine looks or feels  slippery, it probably needs to be tightened. At the rear part of the machine, there will be two large adjustment bolts. Find where these are using your manual. After getting the proper sized socket and wrench (something you should have in case of maintenance issues anyway), give them a quarter turn clockwise, then get on the treadmill and check if it still feels the same. Keep turning the bolts a quarter turn then checking until it no longer slips.

A treadmill is like any other machine. It needs a little TLC from time to time. Keeping it clean and maintained will make sure that it lasts you a long time.


How to Assemble a Sportsmith Wooden Plyo Box

Instructional Video about How to Assemble a Wooden Plyo Box by Sportsmith

  • In this video we show you how to to assemble a Sportsmith wooden plyo box
  • The first step is to unpack the plyo box and make sure you have:

- (4) Side Panels that include two marked "A" and two marked "B"
- (1) Bag of Hardware that includes 16 Screws
- (1) Top Panel

  • Note: Though wood glue is not included, it is highly recommended
  • Take caution when assembling parts
- You want the rough square edge of the panels to face the inside of the plyo box and the rounded smooth edge to face the outside, as demonstrated in the video
  • Using one panel "A" and one panel "B" lean them against each other as shown
- Be sure that the top edge of the two boards are lined up and that both boards are lined up straight
  • Using one of the included screws, install a screw into one of the pre-drilled pilot holes
- Do not tighten the screw completely; just install the screw about half way
- This will leave some play in the assembly for alignment of all the pieces
  • Once you have assembled one panel "A" to one panel "B", set it aside and assemble the other half of the plyo box
  • Now that you have both "halves" assembled place them together as seen in the video and start the six screws that will attach the two halves together

Be sure you have not tightened any of the hardware completely before the next step

  • NOTE: Though wood glue is not included, it is highly recommended for assembly of this Plyo Box
- It will greatly increase the life of the box
  • Set the top piece in place. Then align one edge and install a screw through the top panel using one of the pre-drilled holes
  • Now move to the opposite edge and make sure the top panel is aligned before installing the screw
  • Make any final adjustments to the alignment and install the last two screws into the top panel
  • Make sure all alignment is correct and then tighten all hardware
- Don't forget to tighten the screws in the top panel

Click here to view Sportsmith Wooden Plyo Boxes.


Fitness Equipment Repair Videos

You may not know it, but for several years now, SPORTSMITH has been producing instructional videos. Our resident tech gurus put in some long hours to bring our customers no-nonsense, how-to videos, on a variety of subjects. These videos are professional quality and made using the latest filming and editing equipment. We also host videos produced by the tech wizards at a variety of other equipment manufacturers, such as Schwinn and StarTrac.

What kind of videos are on the Sportsmith site? Well, we currently host about 100 different videos (with more to come!) and they cover a variety of technical and how-to subjects. Want to revive an old felt brake pad on your spin bike? We can show you how. Our tech videos range from simple, such as how to install a ramp sleeve on a Precor elliptical machine, to the complicated, such as replacing the running belt on a treadmill.

As always, we at SPORTSMITH strive to diversify and bring you, our customer, a full suite of services. We want you to get the most out of our service and your purchases. What better way to do that than show you how to repair and extend the life of those purchases. Just click on the “Need Help Click Here” button found on the top of the website. All videos are embedded, so you won’t have to leave the site to see any of them. We also have our own YouTube channel, so be sure to check out all fitness repair videos there as well!

What tech support videos would you like to see? Click here to tell us.


LifeFitness 95Xi Crosstrainer Battery Replacement

Battery Replacement Video for LifeFitness 95Xi Crosstrainer

  • The video shows how to replace the battery on a LifeFitness 95Xi Crosstrainer.
  • Tools required:
  1. Phillips Screwdriver
  2. T25 Torx Driver
  • Begin with the Phillips screwdriver and remove the main shroud as seen in our main shroud removal video.
  • Disconnect the red and black wires from the battery.
  • Remove the (2) Torx screws that are securing the battery to the drive module.
  • Install the new battery in reverse order.
  • Click link for more information and parts for the LifeFitness 95Xi Crosstrainer.