Treadmill Belt Slippery and Sticking Issue: 10 Reasons To Consider

Treadmill Belt Slipping and Sticking
Treadmill Belt Slipping and Sticking

Running on treadmill is one of my favorite exercises.

I have a NordicTrack treadmill setup at my home.

Sometimes, I noticed that the belt tends to slip under the bottom of the belt.

I could feel that the belt would stop for a second and continue again.

This would cause I lost my running momentum and inertia if happens too frequently.

Another scenario is that the surface of the treadmill belt become slippery and sticking as my sweat start dropping on it.

In this post, I will talk about these 2 scenarios:

  • Under treadmill belt slipping – Stop for seconds and continue
  • Surface of treadmill belt become slipping and sticking

Related: Troubleshoot Treadmill Keeps Stopping Suddenly Issue

Treadmill Belt Slipping and Sticking

Under treadmill belt slipping – Stop for seconds and continue

  1. Lack of belt lubrication

I believe this would be the most common reason that makes the belt to slip.

You would need to lubricate it regularly as friction between the running deck and the belt will make belt not able to run smoothly.

Hence, high friction causes the bottom belt surface to stick on the running deck, get hot easily and make the belt to slip.

I would suggest you to use a professional treadmill belt lubricant for this purpose.

The image below shows the lubricant that I am using for my treadmill belt lubrication purpose.

treadmill belt lubricant good normal oil bad

Do not use general lubricant oil for the pneumatic tool for the treadmill, use special treadmill lubricant instead!

  1. Belt tension and alignment issue

The tension and alignment of the treadmill belt play an important role.

You should keep the belt tension at an optimum level, neither too loose or nor too tight.

Or it will cause many treadmill belt related issues like belt curling up on sides, folded up, etc.

Besides, you should always keep the belt aligned at the center of the running deck as shown in the image below.

nordictrack treadmill belt centred

To adjust the tension of treadmill belt, you could use a HEX key, find the tension screws (normally located at the back side) and adjust it.

nordictrack treadmill hex key adjust belt

My experience told me that the treadmill belt tends to slide to the side with LESS tension.

Read this post or watch my video below to find out how to solve the treadmill belt slid to one side issue.

Here’s the table summarize how to adjust the tension of treadmill based on your treadmill condition.

ConditionWhy This happens?Rotate Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise?
Belt slide to the LEFT side- Tension at the left side is too low
- Tension at the right side is too high
- Rotate the tension screw at the left side Clockwise to increase the tension


- Rotate the tension screw at the right side Anti-Clockwise to decrease the tension
Belt slide to the RIGHT side- Tension at the right side is too low
- Tension at the left side is too high
- Rotate the tension screw at the right side Clockwise to increase the tension


- Rotate the tension screw at the left side Anti-Clockwise to decrease the tension
  1. Treadmill motor and worn motor belt

My treadmill comes with a 2.75HP motor as shown in the image below.

nordictrack treadmill motor

Normally this motor is sufficient to drive the treadmill belt smoothly.

However, if there is treadmill motor issue like insufficient power, or worn motor components, the motor might not be able to operate smoothly.

Sometimes you could feel that the treadmill slows or stops when you step on it.

Any stoppage or speed issue on the treadmill motor would cause you to feel that the treadmill is slipping.

Besides, the motor belt “connects” the motor and the front roller as below.

nordictrack treadmill electric motor belt

The video below shows how the motor drives the front roller using the motor belt:

If the motor belt is worn or too loose, it won’t have enough traction or friction to move the front roller smoothly and causing the belt slipping issue.

The motor belt issue is easier to be resolved as you can just simply buy a new motor belt and replace it.

  1. Power Fluctuations

As the electrical components of the treadmill need stable power input to operate, any power or voltage fluctuations would affect its operation.

Yeah I know that sometimes we are unable to control the electrical power that comes from our home outlet.

To solve this problem, I used a voltage stabilizer or voltage regulator as shown in the image below.

nordictrack treadmill voltage stabilizer front

It helps to provide stable voltage to my treadmill and reduce the chances for the treadmill slipping to occur.

  1. Worn Roller and Uneven Deck

As the image below shows, this is the front roller of my treadmill.

treadmill roller bearings inside

The treadmill belt is laid on it.

When the roller starts rolling, the treadmill belt rolls too.

Make sure there is not any foreign object or debris stuck between roller.

You could also use a HEX key to adjust the alignment of this roller if it is out of alignment.

Besides, if there is roller bearing issue, it would affect how smooth this roller can roll.

Hence, the treadmill belt would feel “Slipping” if there is an issue with this roller.

There is one another component that you need to check – the running deck.

The running deck is normally made of wood, and wood tends to crack if too much impact on it.

This is how my treadmill deck looks like after the removal of running belt on it.

Yeah the shiny part is because of the treadmill belt lubricant.

treadmill deck without belt

Check for any crack on the surface of the deck and make sure the surface is even without debris.

  1. Weight Limit and Weight Distribution of User

Each treadmill has its own limit to operate.

If the user exceeds the weight limit the treadmill can handle, the treadmill motor won’t provide enough force/torque to drive the belt continuously.

Hence, you would feel that the treadmill starts to slip for seconds, and continue again.

I compiled a list of Weight limit of NordicTrack Treadmills and Sole treadmills based on treadmill models, please have a look if your treadmill model is in it.

Otherwise, you could just search for weight limit of your treadmill model on the web.

The most ideal way to use a treadmill is to stand and run at the center of the belt.

Avoid putting excessive weight on one side as it might cause the belt to slip.

For example, do not run solely at the left side or the right side of the treadmill.

Surface of treadmill belt become slipping and sticking

  1. Sweat drop on the surface of the belt

For my case, I sweat a lot when running on my treadmill.

I could simply see my sweat dropping drop by drop on the treadmill belt.

Overtime, more sweat accumulates on the surface and it becomes wet.

This makes it become more slippery and even sticking when you run on it.

Or sometimes my sweat could even drop on the console, here’s the video of how I used cellophane tape to prevent my sweat from penetrating through the console buttons.

Sometimes I could hear the sound “itch“, which is caused by the sticking of my shoe on the belt surface.

clean nordictrack treadmill

To solve this, I would recommend you to use a clean or soap water to clean the surface of the belt each time after you use the treadmill.

  1. Belt tread pattern degraded

Most treadmill belt designed with suitable tread on its surface to make it ideal for running.

As you can see from the image below, there are treads on my treadmill belt.

tread on surface of treadmill belt

Overtime, the belt would start to worn out and the treads might be damaged during our running process.

This makes the surface of the belt becomes more smooth and less friction when we run on it.

Hence, you could feel the treadmill belt is so slippery.

I would suggest you to replace the treadmill belt with a new one to solve this problem permanently.

Here’s the image of comparison before and after I change my treadmill belt, it worth every penny I have to say.

nordictrack treadmill before vs after belt replacement comparison

  1. Unsuitable Shoe Surface

Yes, it is common for your shoe surface to lose its tread after long time of use.

You might feel it to slip if there is not enough friction between the shoe surface and the treadmill belt.

surface of running shoe

Or are you using a suitable type of shoe for running?

Some shoes are not designed to run on a treadmill.

For example, do not wear a football shoe or shoe that designed to run on a grass field for treadmill.

Always choose suitable type of running shoe to run on your treadmill.

  1. Moisture around the treadmill

Is the place that keeping your treadmill too humid?

As you know high humidity might also cause the treadmill to rust and corrode easily.

If the environment surrounding the treadmill is too humid, the belt would feel the moisture too and become slightly wet.

This would cause both the slipping and sticking issue.

If you do not wish to move the treadmill to another place, please consider getting a dehumidifier as shown in the image below.

The dehumidifier normally is quite efficient in getting the humidity level back to an acceptable level, that’s under 80%.

As you can see from the image above, the captured moisture would be stored in a tank and keep your treadmill environment at lower humidity.


I have talked about the most possible reasons that cause the treadmill issue like slipping and sticking.

I hope you find this post useful and feel free to share your similar experience regarding the treadmill slipping concern in the comment box below.


  • Hadwin Blair

    Hi, I am Hadwin, a Gym lover and have set up my own home Gym for daily use. Empower Gym Equipment! I share my real personalized experiences on the Gym equipment!

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