The Proform Treadmill Problem – It’s true, they stink

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Your Treadmill Sensei will be doing a review later on today, but first I wanted to post what I believe is one of my favorite emails that I’ve received here at the DOJO. This note actually came in a last year and was the first of many that I have received on this problem since.

Let’s see what Scott has to say:


We purchased a Pro Form Treadmill almost a year ago. We ran on it for several days and a bad BO odor began to smell. My wife blame me for the odor. After this, it continued after we clean the belt and did some research. Nothing got the smell out. We found out, this was very common on Pro Form Treadmills and there was nothing we can do about it. Is this true? I am considering taking this back to Dicks Sporting Goods. We also have an extended warranty.

Is there anything we can do to fix this problem? If not, do you know of a treadmill that we can buy that will not have this problem (that’s not to many $$$$). Our current treadmill is in the basement and it makes it smell even worse. Very embarrassing when having guess over.

Please let me know what we can do.

Thanks for your time and help in advance. – Scott


If you’ve had a chance to check out my 2006-2007 Ichi-Ban Awards then you’ll know we’ve already talked about this a bit. This does indeed seem to be a fairly common occurance with Proform Treadmills for some reason, although I’ve never heard of it going on for as long as a year. In the past year I’ve received at least 20-30 emails from people with the same smelly treadmill problem. Unfortunately, we don’t get in enough Proform units here for me to have figured out what the issue is but, from the description, it sounds like a motor or drive system issue. The description leads me to believe that it is something burning off of the motor or it could be the lubricant they use (as it heats up from the friction of use, it emits that marvellous smell you describe).

I hate to say this, but my only advice is to take the unit back to where you bought it and see about getting a less-stinky version…perhaps from another manufacturer. I will definitely keep my eyes and ears…and my NOSE…open for solutions to this problem and will post any findings here on the site.

Well, there you have it, folks. Consumers think Proform stinks.

-The Treadmill Sensei

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About Treadmill Sensei

Treadmill SenseiThe Treadmill Sensei has been in the fitness industry for several years. He is familiar with several brands of fitness equipment and has written several reviews of many different treadmills and elliptical machines. You can see what he thinks are the best treadmills or you can get help choosing a treadmill.

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About My Treadmill Reviews

TreadmillMy treadmill reviews are both subjective and objective. They are objective in the sense that I will provide you with information about each machine, such as motor, weight capacity and other features. But they are subjective in the sense that I am really giving my opinion of each treadmill. You may agree or disagree with my opinion, but my hope is that my elliptical and treadmill reviews can be helpful to you in making a decision on what to buy. Remember that each review is just what I think. You can always check out Treadmill Doctor, Treadmill Review Guru or these other treadmill reviews if you want another opinion.