Since COVID-19 hit the U.S. in March, we have received thousands of requests to repair old fitness equipment. Due to many gyms remaining closed or having to open and close again, frustrated fitness enthusiasts have been buying new fitness equipment at record numbers, causing a shortage in the market. In turn, many consumers have decided to brush off old equipment or buy previously owned residential and commercial equipment.
There is nothing wrong with using old equipment, and we understand the desire to get it working before investing a substantial amount of money on a new machine. However, if you are trying to repair an older treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike or rower, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Models improve over the years and the corresponding parts change slightly as well. This makes finding parts for the original older model more challenging.
Old Parts Are Scarce.
We spend an incredible amount of time checking all of the authorized vendors for parts. We not only try the original manufacturer but also numerous aftermarket suppliers. After approximately seven years, most manufacturers stop producing parts for a model. We have heard from some customers that they found a replacement part on eBay. We do not purchase parts from eBay because we don’t know about the quality of the part and it does not come with a warranty. Can you get lucky? Sure, but we aren’t willing to gamble at our customer’s expense.
Wait Times Are Long.
There are long wait times for delivery of parts right now due to reduced operating hours at the manufacturer, closed plants and employee furloughs. Sometimes we’re on the phone waiting on hold for an hour, only to be told that it will take several weeks for a part to come in.
The New Part May Point Out Another Problem.
Sometimes we cannot tell what the actual problem is until the new part is put in. This can be frustrating to customers, but one part can affect another and the new part can sometimes draw attention to the real problem. This unfortunately can drive up the cost of the repair, so we encourage you to be aware of this potential and recognize that this is, unfortunately, beyond the technician’s control.
The Overall Health of the Machine May Be Poor.
Pieces of the machine become worn over time and more susceptible to breaking during a repair. We are always extremely careful, but the age of the machine and extreme wear-and-tear over the years can be tricky to deal with when taking the machine apart and putting new parts on. Plastic can break or crack or screws might be stripped.
Overall, you may have a machine that can still be repaired and, before you invest in new equipment, it is worth investigating the condition of your current machine. Since we have examined and repaired so many older machines recently, we can usually determine over the phone if your equipment is worth repairing.
Be advised, however, that if you still want yours assessed, the cost and scarcity of parts may ultimately make the machine not worth your while to repair.