NordicTrack Elliptical Machine Reviews
Launched in the age of disco, NordicTrack is now a world-leading brand of home fitness equipment. The brand gained popularity in the late 1970s with its cross-country ski machines, then expanded in the 1980s to manufacture elliptical trainers, treadmills and other home gym equipment.
Today NordicTrack is part of ICON Health & Fitness, and produces a variety of elliptical trainers spanning a wide range of prices, power and size. NordicTrack elliptical trainers stand out for their ample workout programming and impressive entertainment features such as HD screens, iFit connectivity, and built-in speakers.
Ready to check out the best NordicTrack ellipticals for 2020? Below we’ve summarized their three elliptical series for 2020 to help streamline your shopping.
Types of NordicTrack Ellipticals
Elliptical trainers can be categorized in many ways, the most common one being by the drive location (where the flywheel for resistance is placed). Although this isn’t as exciting as other features, the drive location of an elliptical is important for many reasons. For one, it determines the machine’s size, which is a major factor for many shoppers.
- Rear drive ellipticals require the most space (unless they can be folded for storage).
- Front drive ellipticals need less space.
- Center drive ellipticals are generally the smallest.
Surprisingly, small elliptical machines sometimes offer a greater range of motion than larger trainers. Confused? To help make sense of it all, below are summaries of the current NordicTrack ellipticals categorized by drive.
Front Drive Series:
NordicTrack front drive ellipticals for 2020 (the C 9.5, C 12.9, and the Commercial 14.9) have 19” or 20” power-adjustable strides. This is a stellar selling point because not only does it ensure that just about everyone gets a natural-feeling stride, it also lets people of different heights choose from various elliptical paths to trigger different muscles. Talk about target-toning those muscles!
With maximum resistance ranging from 25 to 32 pounds, these residential trainers have the force of commercial ellipticals.
It’s worth noting that NordicTrack’s front drive ellipticals are not space savers, i.e. they aren’t foldable. The smallest models in this lineup are the higher-end C 12.9 and Commercial 14.9 machines, both sized at 68.3″ L x 28.8 W x 68.5 H.
All ellipticals in this series are compatible with iFit (and include a free, 1-year membership to the app) for unlimited workout downloads and personalized fitness advice. The Commercial 14.9 makes the most of iFit with its 10” Smart HD touchscreen display (the other two models have slightly smaller 7” displays).
Rear Drive Series:
Rear drive NordicTrack ellipticals for 2020 (the SE9i and SE7i) are called SpaceSavers. Although they’re 80 inches long when assembled, they can also be folded vertically after your workouts so you can reclaim your floor space. Even though these machines have large frames, they support relatively short 18” strides.
Both machines have a 10% power-adjustable incline and 18-pound flywheels as well as 22-24 levels of digital resistance and 24-30 on-board workouts.
Even though each model is feature-rich, the SE9i is a big step up over the SE7i. Both models are iFit enabled, but only the SE9i has a 7” Smart HD touchscreen and offers a year’s free membership to the service. The SE7i a has a 5” backlit display, which means you will need to use your own device for streaming iFit workouts. Both have aux music ports for you to plug in your device as well as a set of speakers for you to stream your favorite music playlists as you work out.
NordicTrack’s rear drive ellipticals are ideal for those who are new to using cardio machines because they make it easy to maintain good posture as you train, whereas the front drive machines require a bit more balance.
NordicTrack rear drive ellipticals are most comfortable for people with shorter strides and less body weight. The taller and heavier you are, the choppier the ride will feel. As one of the main benefits of elliptical training is smooth, low-impact motion (which is probably one of the reasons you are browsing ellipticals in the first place), it’s important to keep this in mind while shopping.
FreeStride Trainer Elliptical Series:
Even though NordicTrack’s FreeStride trainers for 2020 (the FS5i, FS7i and FS9i) have very compact footprints, they also have an impressive 32” adjustable stride. These unique ellipticals do double-time as low-impact treadmills, as they let you take strides with a max 32” elliptical path.
You can use iFit with all of these trainers, but the FS7i and FS9i take full advantage of it with their Smart HD touchscreens (7” and 10” respectively) and free, 1-year membership to the service. If you want to use iFit with the FS5i, you can dock your own device on the pivoting tablet holder and get to work!
What’s more, the FS7i and FS9i’s 10% incline (and FS9i’s 10% decline) allow you to experience the actual ups and downs of a terrain you are exploring through iFit’s Google Maps component. The incline/decline feature brings your running and walking trails around the globe to life as you feel the rise and fall of the terrain you are exploring on-screen.
- Resistance Ranges: NordicTrack ellipticals accommodate all skill levels and desired workout intensities.
- Stride Choices: Whatever your height, you’re almost guaranteed to find a perfect match. Some NordicTrack ellipticals are especially comfortable for shorter users (others for taller users) and some have very generous stride choices. FreeStride Trainers let you walk or run with a max 32” adjustable stride for low-impact treadmill-style training along with more traditional elliptical workouts.
- Moving Handlebars: All NordicTrack ellipticals for 2020 have moving arm bars to support total-body workouts.
- HD Displays: Top-of-the-line models for 2020 have 7” and 10” HD touchscreen displays.
- Consoles: NordicTrack elliptical consoles for 2020 are impressive at all price points. Even most of the lowest-priced trainers are iFit ready and have a variety of preset workouts, tablet holders, built-in speakers, workout fans and other amenities to help you stay comfortable and motivated.
- iFit: You can use iFit with all of NordicTrack’s ellipticals for 2020 (some with a year’s free membership included) for unlimited workout downloads, automated data logging, personalized fitness advice, and other benefits.
- Labor Warranty: In-home labor costs aren’t covered. You might need to ship the machine or pay for in-home servicing if repairs are needed.
NordicTrack knows how to build elliptical machines that keep people motivated. Whether you prefer a front drive, rear drive or center drive machine, you can find a reliable and affordable NordicTrack unit that fits your body and is ready to serve your daily cardio and resistance training needs.
We especially recommend this brand to shoppers who are looking for a machine that supports interactive training or for those that will benefit from entertainment extras like speakers and HD touchscreens to help stay motivated throughout workouts.
All NordicTrack Ellipticals
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