How to measure your treadmill incline and adjust it| NoblePro

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to measure and adjust the incline of a treadmill. This is particularly useful when calibrated and adjusting your treadmill for use with apps that use incline data like Zwift.

Incline terminology

There are 3 different ways in which treadmill incline can be defined:

1. Levels (which is usually a number)
2. Percentage (%)
3. Degrees (°)


Levels are the number of stops between the minimum incline and the maximum incline of a treadmill. The level values do not necessarily directly translate to a percentage (%) or degrees (°) of incline and you will need to contact the manufacturer for the details. Some manufacturers use levels to enable granular control over the incline without the need to implement a digital system on the display screen.


The percentage incline is defined as, for every 100 metres forward, you climb ? metres up. So, a 2% incline means that for every 100 meters you run you will climb 2 meters vertically. Notably, this is the easiest way to think about incline.


The degree(s) of the incline is defined as the angle (in degrees) of the running board in relation to the ground. At 0° the running board is level with the ground and at 2.9° it will be 5.0% incline. The good news is that the use of degrees is uncommon however it is good to understand the difference between degrees vs percentage.

Degrees vs Percentage

There is a direct relationship between degrees and percentage incline which is defined as follows:

To convert from degrees incline to percentage incline use:

percentage = tan(x°) × 100

To convert from percentage incline to degrees incline use:

degrees = tan1(x%/100)

Measure your treadmill incline

What will I need?

To get an accurate incline measurement you will need an inclinometer, also known as a digital level that is accurate within 0.1° with inexpensive options commonly available online. Alternatively, most smartphones are compatible with apps that can measure the incline. We don’t have any specific recommendations for apps, so please search the App Store and Play Store for your favourite one. If you want a precise measurement, we recommend using a digital inclinometer.

How to measure the incline

All measurements will be in relation to the floor as this provides a consistent measuring point. We will be assuming that the floor is level on which the treadmill is placed. The inclinometer needs to be placed on a flat area on the treadmill and parallel (inline) with the foot rails.

Step 1 – Calibrate your incline

To get an accurate measurement it is important to calibrate your incline before starting. This feature is available on most good treadmills with step-by-step guides available for NoblePro treadmills here.

Step 2 – Measure the minimum incline

1. Turn your treadmill on.
2. Keep clear of the running belt and start the treadmill.
3. Put the treadmill on the lowest incline setting, typically “Level 0”.
4. Measure the incline and make note of the value.

Note: It is common for treadmills to have a minimum incline of between 0-2%  (0-1.2°) incline.

Step 3 – Measure the maximum incline

1. Turn your treadmill on.
2. Keep clear of the running belt and start the treadmill.
3. Put the treadmill on the highest incline setting, typically “Level 20”.
     Note: The maximum incline might not be available as a button on the screen so use the incline “+” until it does not change anymore.
4. Measure the incline and make note of the value.

Calculate the true incline

To make the calculations a bit easier we have created a spreadsheet for your reference that calculates your actual incline degrees and percentage based on the measurements in step 2 and 3.
(It’s all about the simple things!)

Download Link 

Automatic adjustment

To dynamically adjust the incline we have added an incline adjustment feature to our NoblePro Go app (Android, iOS) which will automatically adjust all the incline settings for you and any related statistics like elevation gained. This provides you with a greater deal of flexibility and more accurate running statistics.

NoblePro Go Android
NoblePro Go iOS

How to adjust your 0% incline

To more closely simulate the “energetic cost” or intensity of outdoor running, treadmills tend to have a 1-2% offset in incline. This means that the minimum level is can be between 1-2% when the treadmill is showing 0% or on level 0. If you prefer not to have this adjustment from the onset but the treadmill cannot physically reduce its incline further you can raise the rear of the treadmill to level it to 0%. We have developed our NoblePro Zero Shoes to do exactly this. By placing the Zero Shoes under the rear wheels it changes the incline to absolute 0%.

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