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Inexpensive Alternative to TreadDesk Treadmill

Hey all, I've been walking/working on my treadmill desk for over 2 weeks and I'm lovin' it.  I'm so glad I took the plunge!

Here's my setup: I got an IKEA Fredrik desk off of Craigslist for free (lucky for me, it still looks brand new) and I configured it for standing height.  Then, after standing for a week, I realized my feet actually feel BETTER moving and shifting weight, so a week later, I purchased a treadmill that I've had my eye on at Amazon for a while - the Confidence Power Plus Treadmill.  I gravitated toward it because: A) It was a really inexpensive NEW electric treadmill ($239) and none of the Craigslist options looked appealing to me, B) The footprint of it is really small and would fit under my desk nicely, C) It was advertised as lightweight (I hate bulky equipment) and C) The handlebars APPEARED to be easy to disassemble completely.  The only problem was, there wasn't that much information about it, especially for treadmill desk users.  Luckily, I was confident in Amazon's return policy so I thought I'd be the guinea pig for the treadmill desk community. :)

Verdict: I couldn't be happier!  The treadmill is super light yet sturdy, very quiet, and the console is small and was easy to disassemble from the handlebars.  Check out my photo to see it - I believe it's comparable to the $820 Tread Desk treadmill, yet the speed goes as high as 10mph.  The only downside is that it automatically stops after 30 minutes, but I don't mind this " feature" and I've grown to like it very much.  It reminds me to take a little break, stretch, and tally up all of the 30 minute sessions I've done for the day.  It goes as slow as 1mph, but I've gone as fast as 3.4mph when I'm doing less intensive tasks such as surfing the web or replying to casual emails. :)


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OK I could be mistaken. Since I took off the handlebars from the beginning, I may not have the understanding of how it works. From your pic, I thought that you have to release the latch pin (situated near the middle) and swing the handle bars in the up position before you start using it. That's the bending down part I was talking about, to release the latch pin. But if you don't do that and just step on the treadmill to use as in the pic with the handle bars sit in the back, I can see problem with that. Have you never slipped off the treadmill in the back? I've done that to just about any treadmill that I spent some time with including the Confidence. But since mine is between the kitchen counters, I just bumped against the counter when I slipped back. Sure, you're not supposed to be thrown off the treadmill like that. But sometimes people are on the phone or get distracted and weren't paying attention or just get dizzy. The handle bars toward the back of the belt would be a huge safety hazard for many people. You could trip and fall backward and really hurt yourself. I could be wrong, but that's just from my understanding of the pic of your setup. Other than that, it should work quite well for you and your wife.

I've been using my Confidence treadmill for a week. Like others described,the box was pretty beat up when it arrived, but there was no damage to the treadmill.  It was pretty easy to take off the handlebar and control panel, and the treadmill works great with my standing desk.  I have come to like the 30 minute automatic shut off, as that gives me a reminder to stretch a little.  Yesterday I did four hours total, and I'm getting used to the increasing activity level.  Who knew that walking at a slow pace could be a good workout?  With my standing desk, treadmill, and ergo keyboard, I've invested about $500 in my setup - well worth the health benefits, that's for sure. 

Be sure to unplug the power cord before you take the top cover off the Confidence. Someone mentioned bad experience with electrical shock near the circuit board, but I didn't heed the warning. I had the cover off and some of my junk fell into the opening. As I reached in near the cooling fins, I was zapped. It wasn't a nice experience at all. Please be safe and don't be an idiot like me.

Well I bought a confidence plus and started using it 12/31. The motor basically conked out on me in March so I didn't even get 3 months out of it and along the way I had a burning rubber smell anytime I used it for a 2nd :30 min segment. This weekend I bought a ProForm 11.5 competitor off craigslist and although it is MUCH bigger (I had to raise my desk up and it’s much long) WHAT A DIFFERNCE! It’s a folding treadmill so the handles were just as easy to remove and the console was even easier.


So I wrote about unplugging the Confidence before you open up the motor cover. Well, I had mine opened and a candy wrapper fell into it next to the aluminum fins. Before I reached in, I decided to check if mine was plugged in, since I wrote a warning about it. It was plugged in. So I unplugged it. But decided to fold an advertisement to reach in to get the candy wrapper instead of my hand. Sparks flew. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was unplugged. Since I'm not very good with electricity, I thought maybe there is still power because of the two capacitors (black cylinders on the circuit board). I've seen those of PC motherboards before, but they were small. These are huge. I decided to go to youtube university and searched for "capacitor shock" to see if there is such an animal. Lo and behold, someone posted a video on such a topic using only a small capacitor to demonstrate. No wonder sparks flew when the flier got near. Maybe the staple on the flier set it off. So here is another warning. Be sure to unplug long enough to let power drained from the capacitors, or you will get a jolt if you touch the aluminum fins or be near it. You have been warned. Good luck.

P.S. I expect other treadmills to have capacitors on their circuit board too. So be careful out there.

I can back this up, when taking mine apart to try and repair it, I got a shock too. Now I've had a chance to look though the board and the motor during my repairs, I can tell you that the capacitor and motor are running at mains voltage, and the motor is a 220-240V 500W DC motor. If you are planning on taking this apart, unplug it and leave it for at least 10 minutes so the capacitor can discharge, otherwise you are in very real and very serious danger.

I am ready to order my confidence treadmill but have one lingering concern...the amount of time this motor will run without burning up. I work 10 hour days and am tied to the phone. don't have any time to mess with an overheated motor, moving the treadmill out of the way etc. I would like to think it will last forever but over a year with lots of use would be good. any thoughts on this? thanks

Sandra, I truly don't think it will hold up to 10 hour days if you are really planning to walk on it more then 2 hours per day. I would look at something more substantial. I bought my proform off craigslist for $300  (it was 3 yrs old) and paid a treadmill repair guy to both set it up and give it a tune up, lube and oil ($125). The repair guy told me if you are walking on it every single day to lube it every two months (I can do it myself) and to never use a petroleum based lube (he recommended Landice). I think the treadmill that are marketed as "space saving" and "folding" generally come apart easily. He told me that mine should last practically forever if I take care of it. My confidence lasted 3 month's. I can't tell you how much more I love this "new" one.

got my desk on stilts today. looking at a proform 585 tomorrow! anyone have any input on the proform? it folds up. owner said she thinks the console will come off and is asking 400$ and her befriend may be willing to detach the console and deliver to my house. sounds good unless it is too noisy or won't go just 1 mp. exciting! gonna walk across America from my office.

If you're so concerned about reliability, why don't just buy a tread that is designed for this type of application? Most treads are NOT designed to run at slow speed for 8 hours or more a day. That's not what the market demands. Yes, it's expensive, but if you can afford it, your health is worth a lot more. Plus you get the full warranty and the console specially made for this.


$400 for a used tread sounds high to me. A general rule of thumb is 50% off as a starter at excellent condition. People just don't pay much for used exercise equipments. Not to mention, it doesn't get a good review here:


I use the Confidence as a testing machine to get started. People who don't have the technical skills, time or patience to play with it, should just buy the right equipment and stop messing around with trying to save money. Your health is worth a lot more providing that you have the cash.


All I can say is that I am glad I bought the tread-desk tread. I paid much but if it lasts, then I am sure the hourly cost will be low, and as mentioned the health benefits are the most important in the calculation. Who knows what savings on medical costs can be done for people using the treadmill continuously. Not to mention the quality of life, better sleep, better mirror image, etc.

Most makers of ready-made treadmill desks seem to ship only to the USA and Canada – a problem, as I live in France. Your post is particularly helpful, though, since I have access to the Ikea workstation and – via Amazon – to the treadmill you cite. Two questions: How soon after the 30-minute automatic cutoff can the treadmill be re-started? Where have you placed the treadmill’s controls? Many thanks in advance.



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