If you’ve frequented the gym, you’ve seen that strange machine just past the treadmills. People on them seem to be running in slow motion, swinging the handles as their feet pump up and down. We’re talking, of course, about the elliptical.
Since the 1990s, the elliptical has been a staple of both commercial and at-home gyms. It offers a low-impact workout that’s great for improving cardiovascular health.
During the pandemic, the fitness industry lost 58% of its revenue. With so many gyms closing their doors, many people set up custom workout spaces at home.
As people are venturing out again, make sure your workout equipment is in good condition. If your ellipticals are starting to squeak, look at the tips below for getting it repaired.
Causes of a Squeaky Elliptical
Your gym likely faced unprecedented challenges this past year. Don’t add more to your list. Get your equipment serviced and repaired before you welcome back patrons to full capacity.
To start, make a note of any machines that are making noise while they run. Some machines, like treadmills, make a certain level of noise on their own. But if you notice squeaking, screeching, or louder-than-normal sounds, you have a problem.
1. Loose Bolts
One of the most common causes of squeaking on an elliptical is loose hardware. You want to go around to all the bolts and screws and make sure they’re secure.
These pieces can come loose through everyday use. It’s a good rule of thumb to check each machine once a month. If the problem persists, call a fitness equipment service.
2. Dust Build-Up
New ellipticals usually come with lubricant on their bolts and joints. This lowers the chance of wear on the machine’s hinges. It also keeps the machine from making noise as its pieces move against one another.
Over time, the lubricant can wear off. If the machine collects too much dust, that dust can dry out the lubricant as well.
Without lubricant, interconnected pieces of the machine will make noise as they move. Dust your machine often and, if necessary, apply added lubricant like Tri-Flow Silicone.
3. Faulty Equipment
If your elliptical starts to make noise soon after you buy it, you may have received a faulty product. Know what to look for when you’re buying a treadmill or elliptical. All machines should come with a warranty for parts and labor. Call the manufacturer immediately to have a service technician come assess the issue.
Other Issues to Look Out For
Squeaks aren’t your only issue when maintaining gym equipment. There are a few other common problems to look out for.
1. Loose or Broken Pieces
With moving parts comes the risk that something will break off or get damaged through use. It may be something small like the emergency cord on your treadmill. Or it could be something larger, like a panel on the side of your elliptical.
Usually, you can reattach these pieces. Consult the manual or call a repair service if you’re worried about its functionality. The safety of your patrons should come first.
2. Malfunctioning Screens
The screen on an elliptical is a great tool for patrons to track progress, check their heart rate, and view stats like distance and calories burned. Sometimes it’s hard to read these numbers as the screen gets warped.
This could be a structural issue if something’s been broken. Or, it could be a matter of keeping the machine dirt and smudge-free. If the numbers on your machine are flashing, the buttons stop working, or it’s hard to read, get it checked out.
Maintenance for Your Elliptical
There are simple ways you can keep your machines running as expected. Some you may want to tackle yourself. Others you should consider hiring a professional for.
1. Inspect Your Machines
You need to inspect your workout equipment often. If you have a high-traffic fitness studio or gym, look over your machines at least once a week. If you’re dealing with a smaller hotel or apartment rec room, every few weeks to once a month should suffice.
Call fitness equipment services if anything breaks down, or there’s excessive noise. Otherwise, keep your eye out for small issues that you can take care of yourself.
2. Make Small Repairs
For example, keeping things clean and in good condition. Exercise machines should be cleaned daily to remove germs and bacteria. Every couple of weeks, pull them away from the wall to dust hard-to-reach corners.
Tighten screws and reattach any pieces that are loose or coming off. And make sure everything is still working properly. The more you do upfront, the less you’ll have to do later on. But for more complicated elliptical or treadmill repair projects, hire a professional.
3. Contact a Service
Exercise equipment repair services are experts in maintaining gym equipment. It’s not always easy to distinguish what’s wrong with your treadmill or elliptical. After all, they have many moving parts (literally!).
Contact elliptical repair professionals as soon as a machine breaks down. While you wait for their help, rope off the machine or put a note on it saying it’s out of order. Even if the machine still works, you want to keep patrons off it until it can be looked at by a professional.
Keep Your Elliptical Running
Inspect your elliptical as often as you can for signs of wear and damage. Doing so will ensure your clients have a safe and satisfying experience in your gym.
Every three to six months, call in a repair service to do an inspection. Don’t limit them to cardio equipment, either. Have them check your weight machines, too.
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