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Fitness equipment is designed to last well beyond the warranty period. Experts say regular maintenance can extend the life of out-of-warranty fitness equipment by as much as 35 to 40 percent.

With proper upkeep, older equipment can still look and feel fresh and up-to-date. Members will be pleased with “like new” performance on their favorite machines. Equipment will be safer, reducing potential injuries in the gym. And budget-conscious managers will love the savings.

Maintaining older fitness equipment is not difficult thanks to the many free, online resources offering diagnostic, troubleshooting and other repair help. Qualified service technicians are just a click or a phone call away in most places. Spare parts are available at substantial cost savings from OEM and aftermarket suppliers. For some of the most costly replacement parts, repair services or refurbished options are available for electronics, monitors, displays and TVs, providing savings of up to 75 percent off the price of new.

Give your older cardio models a new lease on life with these tips:

Keep it clean. Keep it tidy. If nothing else, keep all equipment clean, dust-free and perspiration-free. Regularly vacuum units inside and out. Clean and polish the hood, frame and covers with products designed for fitness equipment. For treadmills, keep the belts and decks clean — dirt between the belt and the deck cause both to wear out faster.

Give it a facelift. Replace worn keypads on consoles, foot treads on ellipticals and steppers, and pedals and cracked seats on bikes. Grips get gummy on all types of cardio equipment, and are quick and inexpensive to replace. Repair or replace upholstery on benches at signs of wear and tear.

Safety inspections are a must. Check cables and belts on selectorized strength equipment, and replace both at the manufacturer suggested interval or at the first sign of wear. Keep guide rods clean and lubricated per the manufacturer’s specs. On treadmills, belts and decks, rollers and wax systems are all vulnerable for breakdown under heavy use. Cross-trainer flywheels and drive linkage should be checked and adjusted regularly. Review the condition of springs and chains on stationary bikes, steppers and spinners.

Test electronics on all cardio equipment. Check error codes and logs. Compare performance against factory settings.Test battery life, switches and electrical connections. Replace frayed cords.

Following these steps and using the many products and resources available, facilities managers can save money while extending the life of fitness machines well beyond the warranty period.


Jon Webster is the president of National Gym Supply. He can be contacted at jwebster@gympart.com, or visit www.gympart.com for more information.


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