The Finest Nordictrack Ellipticals: A Mannequin Comparability Information – SI Showcase

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NordicTrack is one of the leading brands for at-home fitness equipment, with a reputation for manufacturing high-quality, technology-driven cardio machines such as treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines. When choosing the best NordicTrack elliptical machine, there are six products to choose from, representing three different types of ellipticals. The NordicTrack FreeStride line includes the FS14i and FS10i, the NordicTrack Commercial line includes the Commercial 14.9 and the Commercial 9.9 and the NordicTrack SpaceSaver line includes SE9i and SE7i.

Ultimately, the NordicTrack ellipticals span the gamut in terms of design, build, price range, technological capabilities, performance specs and features of the machine. All NordicTrack ellipticals have iFit integration, allowing users to stream interactive guided workouts or workout in virtual courses across the globe using Explore the World. In this article, we review and compare all of the NordicTrack elliptical machines to help you choose the best elliptical machine for you.

The Best NordicTrack Ellipticals

FS14i Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: FreeStride trainer elliptical, combines three cardio machines in one (stepper, elliptical and treadmill)
  • Max user weight capacity: 375 pounds
  • Unit weight: 287 pounds
  • Stride length: 32-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: Power-adjustable incline from -10 percent decline to 10 percent incline
  • Resistance levels: 26 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 14-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 58.5 inches long (front to back), 29.5 inches wide (side to side) and 74 inches tall
  • Flywheel: 20-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty
  • Price: $2299

The NordicTrack FS14i elliptical machine is the top-of-the-line elliptical from the entire NordicTrack lineup with the highest price point and most features. Like the lower-priced FS10i, the FS14i is considered a FreeStride trainer elliptical, which means that it effectively combines three cardio machines in one: a stepper, elliptical and treadmill. It has moveable handlebars with comfort grips, enabling a full-body workout.

As the most robust NordicTrack elliptical trainer, the FreeStride FS14i has a commercial grade solid steel construction, allowing for a maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds. This is the highest user weight limit of all the NordicTrack ellipticals, making it the best elliptical machine in the lineup for users who weigh more than 325 pounds. The FS14i is also ideal for those who are taller because it features a 32-inch auto adjustable stride. This is significantly longer than the stride length on the NordicTrack SpaceSaver or Commercial models. Shorter users can still feel comfortable as well, as the stride length will adjust down to what your natural movement pattern entails.

One of the best features of the FS14i is that it has a power-adjustable incline from -10 percent decline to 10 percent incline. Being able to replicate downhill training (as well as uphill) allows you to target different muscles and add more variability to your workouts.

Workout intensity can also be modified using the 26 digital resistance levels.

Like the higher-end models in each of the three categories of NordicTrack elliptical machines, the FS14i has a large 14-inch smart HD touchscreen, whereas the lower-priced FreeStyle trainer has a 10-inch display. The touchscreen display provides an immersive training experience when streaming iFit guided workouts or enjoying any of the virtual courses with Explore the world. Customers receive a free 30-day membership to the iFit app when purchasing the machine, but you will have to pay for an iFit subscription for ongoing use of guided on-machine and off-machine exercise classes. The touchscreen display also shows workout metrics such as your distance, resistance level, workout time, incline and calories burned.

One of the benefits of the FreeStride ellipticals vs. other elliptical machines for home gyms is that the unique design gives the machine a more compact footprint. The marching measures 58.5 inches long (front to back), 29.5 inches wide (side to side) and 74 inches tall. However, like other ellipticals, you’ll need additional room in front of and behind the machine to accommodate the moving foot pedals when you are working out. The FreeStride ellipticals cannot be folded, and the unit is super heavy due to the commercial grade steel frame, weighing in at 287 pounds.

As a FreeStride machine, you can simply switch your natural motion movements pattern by adjusting your stride. You don’t have to press any buttons to access the stepper movement pattern vs. elliptical or treadmill running or walking. The machine intuitively follows your movement, giving you the versatility of three cardio machines and increasing the functionality of the unit. You can engage different muscles and have more variety from workout to workout while still getting a low-impact, joint-friendly cardio workout.

Unique to other elliptical machines for home use or commercial gym use, the NordicTrack FreeStride series are center-drive ellipticals, meaning that the flywheel is located in the center of the machine rather than the front or back. This helps keep the design compact and allows for the smooth intuitively-adjusting stride based on your movement pattern. The flywheel itself is a 20-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel. In a head-to-head comparison of NordicTrack elliptical models, this flywheel weight falls right in the middle of the lighter 18-pound flywheels on the SpaceSaver models and the heavier flywheels on the Commercial series. A 20-pound flywheel should provide a smooth foot pedal stride, even at vigorous intensities especially because the center-drive design positions the flywheel right in the middle of the stride path.

As with most NordicTrack exercise equipment, the FS14i has numerous built-in comfort and convenience features. There are one-touch handle controls to easily change the resistance level and ramp incline. This means that you do not need to take your hands off the movable handlebars to change the intensity of your workout.

It is also Bluetooth-enabled for audio, so you can use your iPhone or Android to play your own music through the two two inch digitally-amplified speakers. There are adjustable oversized cushioned foot pedals, a water bottle holder and an AutoBreeze™ workout fan for temperature control.

Additionally, the machine comes mostly assembled, and just requires a couple of steps of assembly at home. With that said, because it is so heavy, assembly usually does take two people, at least to take the elliptical components out of the shipping box.

Pros

  • Highest maximum user weight limit with a commercial-grade solid steel frame
  • Combines stepper machine, treadmill and elliptical trainer into one for a greater value
  • Smaller footprint than most at-home cardio exercise equipment
  • Convenient one-touch ramp and resistance controls built into the movable handlebars
  • Immersive 14-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • iFIt-enabled for interactive training, Explore the World and Google Maps compatible
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Features a range of -10 to 10 percent power incline for maximum versatility in targeted muscles
  • 26 silent magnetic resistance levels
  • Longest stride length will accommodate users of all heights

Cons

  • 20-pound flywheel isn’t as heavy as the commercial series
  • Expensive

FS10i Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: FreeStride trainer elliptical, combines three cardio machines in one (stepper, elliptical and treadmill)
  • Max user weight capacity: 375 pounds
  • Unit weight: 284 pounds
  • Stride length: 32-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: Power-adjustable incline from 0-10 percent grade
  • Resistance levels: 24 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 10-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 58.5 inches long (front to back), 29.5 inches wide (side to side) and 74 inches tall
  • Flywheel: 20-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year Frame Warranty, two year Parts Warranty and one year Labor Warranty
  • Price: $1799

The NordicTrack FS10i elliptical machine is the lower-priced FreeStride trainer elliptical. Like the premium FS14i, the cheaper FS10i combines a stepper, elliptical and treadmill cardio machine into one and has the moveable handlebars to work all the major muscles in your body. Like the more expensive model, the NordicTrack FS10i has the same 32-inch auto-adjustable stride and the machine again intuitively adjusts the stride length based on your movement pattern so you don’t have to deliberately select whether you want to use it as a stepper, treadmill or traditional elliptical. You just move the way you want to and the machine stride length and movement pattern responds in turn. This maximizes the versatility of the type of exercise you can perform on the unit and challenges different muscle groups while still affording a low-impact but high-intensity cardio workout.

Like the FreeStride FS14i, the FS10i has a commercial grade solid steel construction, and a maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds. It weighs 284 pounds.

The biggest difference in performance and functionality between the two NordicTrack FreeStride machines is that this lower-priced model only has an incline ramp for 0-10 percent grade; there is no decline (the FS14i has a power-adjustable incline from -10 percent decline to 10 percent incline). Although the incline on this more budget-friendly model will still allow you to target different muscles and is still sufficient to provide a challenging workout for users of all fitness levels, you are unable to able to replicate downhill training, so you won’t be able to target certain muscles (such as the quads) as effectively, and there will be slightly less opportunity to add more variability to your workouts. With that said, as a three in one trainer, you still get much more versatility in your workouts than with even the best elliptical machines with a standard design.

The other difference in performance specifications between the two NordicTrack FreeStride machines is that this unit has 24 digital resistance levels instead of 26.

In terms of the differences in technology-enhanced features, this lower-priced FreeStyle trainer has a 10-inch smart HD display rather than the more immersive 14-inch display on the FS14i. With that said, this model is still iFit enabled and has automatic trainer control during your guided workouts, meaning that as with other NordicTrack exercise machines, you can enjoy hands-free training as the machine will automatically adjust the resistance level and ramp incline in accordance to the iFit live or on-demand workout you are following or the virtual course you are running or walking along with.

The machine comes with the same free 30-day membership to the iFit app and you’ll need to pay for the iFit subscription after that. You can use the trainer without an iFit subscription, but you won’t have access to the trainer-guided workouts, interactive training, Google maps courses or Explore the World global routes. The touchscreen also displays your workout stats.

As a center-drive elliptical, the footprint of the FS10i is identical to the other FreeStride model, featuring the compact dimensions of 58.5 inches long (front to back), 29.5 inches wide (side to side) and 74 inches tall. It also features the same 20-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel.

Although most of the convenience features are the same on the two NordicTrack FreeStride trainers, such as the Bluetooth-connected speakers and workout fan, the FS10i does not have the handy one-touch handle controls to easily change the resistance level and ramp incline. This means that if you are not following an iFit guided workout or iFit virtual course, you will need to take your hands off the movable handlebars to change the intensity of your workout.

Pros

  • Highest maximum user weight limit with a commercial-grade solid steel frame
  • Combines three cardio machines in one for more workout variety
  • Smaller footprint than most at-home cardio exercise equipment
  • 10-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • iFIt-enabled for interactive training, Explore the World and Google Maps compatible
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • 0-10 percent power incline
  • Longest stride length will accommodate users of all heights

Cons

  • No one-touch handlebar controls
  • 20-pound flywheel isn’t as heavy as the commercial series
  • Expensive
  • No decline like the FS14i

Commercial 14.9 Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: Front-drive elliptical machine
  • Max user weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Unit weight: 210 pounds
  • Stride length: 17.5-18.7-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: Power-adjustable incline from 0-20 percent grade
  • Resistance levels: 26 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 14-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 67 inches long (front to back), 29 inches wide (side to side) and 69 inches tall
  • Soft Touch™ grips
  • Flywheel: 32-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty
  • Price: $1599

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical is one of the most popular and highly-rated NordicTrack ellipticals. The NordicTrack Commercial elliptical series (the budget-friendly 9.9 and upgraded Commercial 14.9) are ellipticals with a front drive design, which makes for a more compact footprint and better incline capabilities, but often operates a bit louder and some discerning users say that front-drive ellipticals don’t feel quite as smooth and natural as rear-drive elliptical machines.

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical is designed to strike the balance between comfort, performance and engaging functionality. Features include oversized and adjustable foot pedals, Soft Touch™ grips, one-touch control, moveable handlebars with cushioned, ergonomic grips grip and a study frame.

There is a large 14-inch touchscreen display that not only shows workout metrics but also can be used to stream iFit guided workouts, Explore the World virtual training courses or even movies and TV shows. The elliptical comes with 30 days of the iFit subscription for free, and then you must subscribe if you want to continue streaming on-demand or live classes. There are also off-machine workouts for total-body strength training, yoga, HIIT, weight loss, cardio and recovery.

The performance specs of the Commercial 14.9 Elliptical are particularly impressive. There’s an automatic adjustable that ranges from 0 to 20 percent, 26 SMR™ (Silent Magnetic Resistance) levels and an adjustable stride length. These features makes this machine appropriate for all fitness levels, and affords varied workouts both in terms of intensity as well as the targeted muscle groups. The adjustability in terms of difficulty and stride length also make the Commercial 14.9 Elliptical a great option for households where multiple users with varying fitness levels, goals and body sizes intend to use the machine.

The biggest benefit of the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical machine is the heavy 32-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel. This is heaviest of all the flywheels offered on any NordicTrack elliptical, and is heavier than even many commercial-grade machines found in most gyms. It is seven pounds heavier than the lower-priced Commercial 9.9.

The machine itself is also heavy, weighing in at 210 pounds thanks to the solid steel construction frame. The frame does not fold, but there are front transport wheels to help you move it around. The maximum user weight capacity is 350 pounds.

Pros

  • Relatively compact footprint
  • 0-20 percent automatic incline
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels using SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • Heavy 32-pound flywheel for super smooth operation
  • 14-inch smart HD touchscreen for immersive training
  • Very positive customer reviews on the manufacturer’s site and third-party sites like Amazon
  • Adjustable stride length
  • One-touch controls in the comfort-grip handlebars
  • iFit enabled for hands-free training and access to thousands of live and on-demand guided workouts

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • Doesn’t fold up
  • Shorter stride length may not be as comfortable for tall users compared to FreeStyle line
  • Must pay for iFit subscription after 30 days

Commercial 9.9 Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: Front-drive elliptical machine
  • Max user weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Unit weight: 244 pounds
  • Stride length: 17.5-18.7-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: Power-adjustable incline from 0-20 percent grade
  • Resistance levels: 22 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 7-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 68.25 inches long (front to back), 28.75 inches wide (side to side) and 68.5 inches tall
  • Flywheel: 25-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty
  • Price: $999

Like the top-of-the-line Commercial 14.9, the lower-priced Commercial 9.9 elliptical machine is a front-drive elliptical trainer. This means that the flywheel is located in the front of the machine rather than the back. The benefits of front-drive ellipticals are that they tend to be more compact than rear-drive machines and allow for a higher incline range. However, operation is said to be noisier and the stride path of the foot pedals can feel slightly more awkward than rear-drive ellipticals. A lot of the commercial gym ellipticals are rear drive, but this is not to say that you can’t have a comfortable, smooth front-drive machine.

Given the front-drive operation, the Commercial 9.9 has a fairly compact footprint for an elliptical trainer. Although it doesn’t fold up, the assembled dimensions measure just 67 long (front to back), 29 inches wide (side to side) and 69 inches tall, which is the same as the upgraded 14.9 elliptical model.

Both the NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 and 14.9 ellipticals have a 17.5-18.7-inch automatically-adjustable stride length, a 350-pound maximum user weight capacity and power-adjustable incline from 0-20 percent grade. The biggest difference between the lower-priced 9.9 and high-end 14.9 elliptical machines are that the Commercial 9.9 has only 22 digital resistance levels (versus 26 on the 14.9) and the console is half the size. The 9.9 has a seven inch smart HD touchscreen while the smart touchscreen on the 14.9 has a 14 inches.

Additionally, the budget-friendly Commercial 9.9 elliptical machine has a 25-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel, which is seven pounds lighter than the super heavy, smooth flywheel on the upgraded Commercial 14.9 machine.

The heavier the flywheel, the smoother the operation, even during high-intensity workouts moving at fast speeds. Budget ellipticals for home use often have a flywheel in the 18-20 pound range, but these can feel jerky and may wobble at fast speeds, especially for heavier users. A heavier flywheel also tends to be more durable over time. With that said, the 25-pound flywheel even on this entry-level Commercial elliptical is heavier than the flywheel on any of the other NordicTrack ellipticals (other than the 14.9) and heavier than the flywheel on most home ellipticals from competitors.

Most of the comfort and convenience features are the same on the two NordicTrack Commercial ellipticals, including the Bluetooth-connected speakers, but the 9.9 model does not have the convenient one-touch handle controls to quickly the resistance level and ramp incline. Therefore, if you’re doing a manual workout, you will need to take your hands off the movable handlebars to change the intensity. However, when following an iFit class or Google Maps course, there is automatic trainer adjustment for incline and resistance so you can enjoy hands-free training.

Pros

  • 22 levels of digital resistance
  • 0-20 percent power incline ramp adjustability
  • 25-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel for a stable stride
  • iFit-enabled interactive training with automatic trainer control
  • Budget-friendly lower price point

Cons

  • No one-touch handlebar controls
  • Shorter stride length may not be as comfortable for tall users compared to FreeStyle line

Spavesaver SE9i Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: Rear-drive elliptical machine with a Vertical SpaceSaver™ Design
  • Max user weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Unit weight: 218 pounds
  • Stride length: 18-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: Power-adjustable incline from 0-10 percent grade
  • Resistance levels: 24 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 14-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 80 inches long (front to back), 32 inches wide (side to side) and 67 inches tall
  • Flywheel: 18-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty
  • Price: $1499

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i elliptical machine is the premium model of the two NordicTrack rear-drive Vertical SpaceSaver™ ellipticals. The machine can easily collapse when not in use. Although this does not decrease the dimensions of the actual footprint of the machine on the floor (80 inches long front to back by 32 inches wide side to side), it does decrease the height down from its normal 67 inches.

It’s a hefty machine, weighing about 218 pounds due to the solid steel frame. The machine has a maximum user weight capacity of up to 325 pounds. To help move the machine, there are rear-mounted transport wheels to help you move it around.

The major difference in performance features that heavier users or more advanced athletes should consider when choosing between buying the NordicTrack SE9i vs. SE7i elliptical machines is that the SE9i has a 0-10 percent power incline, allowing you to adjust the incline and target different muscles. The cheaper SE7i does not have any adjustable incline. Therefore, you can get a more varied and challenging workout on the NordicTrack SE9i compared to the SE7i. Although the 10 percent maximum incline is less than you will find on the NordicTrack Commercial series elliptical machine, it is on par with most commercial grade rear-drive elliptical trainers.

Plus, compared to the other SpaceSaver model, the NordicTrack SE9i has a few extra levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance (24 on the SE9i vs. 22 digital resistance levels on the less expensive SE7i).

For these reasons, although this high-end SpaceSaver SE9i model is appropriate for all fitness levels, it’s an especially better choice for fitter individuals whereas the SE7i is better for beginners who may not need the extra levels or incline if they are using the machine for lower-intensity workouts.

One of the potential downsides of the SE9i elliptical machine is the 18-inch auto adjustable stride. Although this is longer than most compact elliptical trainers for home gyms, it is a bit shorter than elliptical machines found in most commercial gyms, and might be a bit restrictive for taller users (above 70 inches or so), feeling a little bit choppy and unnatural. Customer reviews seem a bit mixed on this. The negative reviews regarding the stride length are from tall users, whereas petite or average height adults seem to feel that the stride length feels quite natural and comfortable. It is something to consider if you are of above average height. You might want to upgrade to one of the NordicTrack elliptical models with a longer stride length, such as the FreeStride trainers.

Additionally, both the SpaceSaver SE9i and SE7i NordicTrack ellipticals have only an 18-pound effective inertia-enhanced flywheel. This is on the lighter and for what you would expect of a premium elliptical for home use. The heavier the flywheel, the smoother the striding motion, especially at high speeds and high-intensity levels. Although an 18-pound flywheel is decent, and most of the user reviews note that the stride feels smooth, if you are a heavier user or plan to do vigorous workouts at high speeds, you might want to consider buying the Commercial 14.9 elliptical instead. It has a much heavier flywheel. Plus, the incline on the NordicTrack Commercial ellipticals can be adjusted from 0-20 percent grade rather than just 0-10 percent. Depending on your body size, fitness level and the intensity of the workouts you plan to do, the differences in these performance specs are important considerations.

One of the other differences between the two SpaceSaver NordicTrack ellipticals is that the SE9i features a large 14-inch smart HD touchscreen while the lower-priced SE7i has a 10-inch touchscreen display.

The touchscreen can be used to stream all of the iFit on-demand and live workout classes. The machine comes with 30 days of a free iFit trial, but after that, you will need to pay for a subscription to continue following guided running, walking or elliptical workouts or take advantage of any of the other iFit classes such as strength training, cardio workouts and yoga. With iFit integration, the SE9i featured hands-free interactive training with automatic trainer control, so the resistance level and incline are automatically adjusted based on the gradient of the virtual course you are following if you are using an Explore the World or Google Maps global route or the workout instructions from the iFit trainer during guided workouts.

Like other NordicTrack elliptical machines, the SE9i has plenty of comfort and convenience features. For example, it is Bluetooth-enabled for audio, so you can play your own motivating music through the two two inch digitally-amplified speakers from Spotify, Apple Music or other playlists. There is an AutoBreeze™ fan, adjustable oversized cushioned foot pedals and a water bottle holder. Plus, there are integrated handle controls for one-touch easy adjustment of the resistance level and incline, making it so that you do not need to take your hands off the handle bar and manipulate the screen in order to change the intensity of your workout.

Additionally, the machine comes mostly assembled, and just requires a couple of steps of assembly at home. With that said, because it is so heavy, assembly usually does take two people, at least to take the elliptical components out of the shipping box.

Pros

  • 24 SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance levels
  • Easy assembly
  • 14-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • iFit compatible with hands-free training
  • Collapses down
  • Built-in one-touch controls on the moveable handlebars
  • 0-10 percent power incline

Cons

  • Lighter flywheel may not be as smooth
  • Shorter stride length may not be as comfortable for tall users compared to FreeStyle line
  • Lower maximum weight capacity compared to other NordicTrack ellipticals
  • Collapsing doesn’t reduce the footprint of the machine

SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical_NordicTrack

Key features

  • Type: Rear-drive elliptical machine with a Vertical SpaceSaver™ Design
  • Max user weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Unit weight: 215 pounds
  • Stride length: 18-inch auto adjustable stride
  • Incline: None
  • Resistance levels: 22 digital resistance levels
  • Console: 10-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 80 inches long (front to back), 32 inches wide (side to side) and 67 inches tall
  • Flywheel: 18-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled
  • Workouts: 30-day iFit trial included with automatic trainer control
  • Warranty: 10-Year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty
  • Price: $1199

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i elliptical is the entry-level model of the two NordicTrack ellipticals featuring the Vertical SpaceSaver™ Design, which means that the back of the machine can be lifted with a one-touch easy-lift hydraulic mechanism to collapse the machine down. This is somewhat odd in terms of foldable elliptical machines because it only reduces the height dimensions but keeps the footprint of 80 inches long (front to back) by 32 inches wide (side to side).

Weighing about 215 pounds, but the sturdy steel frame supports a maximum user weight of up to 325 pounds. There are rear-mounted transport wheels to help you move it around, but it’s still a bit cumbersome to move.

This is a rear-drive elliptical with a smooth stride. It has an 18-pound effective inertia-enhanced flywheel, which is on the lighter end of what you’d want for a smooth ride, especially if you are a heavier user or intend to use the machine for high-intensity training at fast speeds. This is the primary difference between the high-end SpaceSaver SE9i model and this budget version. You’ll get a significantly heavier 25-pound inertia-driven flywheel with the upgraded model, affording a smoother pedal stroke.

Unlike the NordicTrack Commercial series, there is no adjustable incline capabilities on this model, which is fairly typically for rear-drive ellipticals. Previous versions of the SE7i did have a 10 percent incline but there is no longer an incline. If you want to have an adjustable incline, you will need to upgrade to the SE9i, which does have a 0-10 percent power incline.

Even though there is no adjustable incline on this model, with 22 levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance, users of most fitness levels should still get a challenging low-impact, total-body cardio workout using the moveable handlebars. Most customer reviews note that the range of resistance is great. With that said, you will miss out on the opportunity to target different muscle groups by changing the incline of the ramp.

Like the SE9i, the SE7i elliptical machine has an 18-inch auto adjustable stride, which is longer than compact home ellipticals, which typically have a stride length closer to 14-16 inches. These machines can feel more like a stepper motion, particularly for taller users. The 18-inch stride length on the NordicTrack SE7i should feel pretty fluid and natural for most users, but is on the shorter end of commercial grade elliptical machines you find in most gyms. Petite users should find this stride length plenty long—and actually more comfortable than 20+ inches, but taller elliptical users might feel slightly confined by the stride length.

One of the main differences between the two SpaceSaver NordicTrack ellipticals is that the lower-priced SE7i has a 10-inch smart HD touchscreen display rather than the large 14-inch touchscreen on the upgraded SE9i model. The older version used to only have a five inch LCD screen and you had to use the tablet holder with your own tablet to stream iFit workout classes, but the LCD screen has been swapped out and upgraded now to the 10-inch smart HD touchscreen, meaning you don’t need your tablet. The display also shows your workout metrics like your workout time, speed, distance, calories, resistance level and calories burned.

You can stream all of the iFit on-demand and live classes, though you’ll need to purchase a subscription after the free 30-day iFit trial elapses. The machine also has the iFit-enabled, hands-free interactive training with automatic trainer control, so the resistance level will be automatically adjusted for you based on the instructions from the iFit personal trainer you are following if you are doing a guided workout. The machine is also Google Maps enabled, so you can exercise along virtual courses around the world that you chart out on your own.

There are some nice little comfort and convenience features like an AutoBreeze™ workout fan, adjustable oversized cushioned foot pedals and a water bottle holder. It is also Bluetooth-enabled for audio, so you can stream your own music through the two 2-inch digitally-amplified speakers. Plus, assembly is very simple, especially compared to nearly all other commercial grade home ellipticals.

Pros

  • 22 SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance levels
  • Easy assembly
  • 10-inch smart HD touchscreen
  • iFit compatible with hands-free training
  • Collapses down to improve aesthetics of the home gym space

Cons

  • Lighter flywheel may not be as smooth
  • No incline adjustability
  • Shorter stride length may not be as comfortable for tall users compared to FreeStyle line
  • Collapsing doesn’t reduce the footprint of the machine

NordicTrack Elliptical Drive System Types

FreeStride

The NordicTrack FreeStride machine series features a center drive, which means that the flywheel is positioned in the middle of the machine rather than located in the front or back.

Front drive

The NordicTrack Commercial series ellipticals have a front drive. This means that the flywheel is located in the front of the machine under the main post that holds the touchscreen. An elliptical trainer front drive typically affords greater incline capabilities with the ramp or allows for a more compact compared to a rear-drive machine, but, the front-drive design is said to be a bit noisier and may not provide the same smoothness and natural fluidness than with the flywheel located in the back of the machine.

Some users say that the flywheel in the front lends itself to a slight forward pitch of the body as you work out. This is not inherently problematic, but it does slightly change the body position relative to normal running or walking so it could take a little bit of time to adjust to the movement pattern.

Rear drive

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver trainers have a rear drive, so the flywheel is in the back of the unit. This enables very smooth, stable and quiet operation but does not allow for as much of an incline on the ramp compared to front-drive ellipticals.

How to Choose a NordicTrack Elliptical

Choosing the best NordicTrack elliptical from the company’s lineup of six machines depends on your budget, fitness level, intended workout style and available space. Because all of the NordicTrack ellipticals are primarily designed to be used with the iFit fitness app, it makes sense to consider the iFit subscription fee into your allotted budget when choosing which elliptical you can afford. With that said, unless you are a beginner who plans to do mostly low intensity workouts, in most cases spending a couple hundred more dollars to upgrade to the higher-end version of whichever type of NordicTrack elliptical suits you best is usually a valuable investment. The more expensive elliptical model in each category will not only have the larger touchscreen for more immersive training, but better performance specifications, such as additional resistance levels, a heavier flywheel in certain cases, the option for incline or more levels of incline and the one-touch controls built into the handlebars for seamless adjustment of the incline and resistance level of the machine.

Beyond these overarching considerations when choosing the best NordicTrack elliptical series (FreeStride, Commercial or SpaceSaver), you should think about the performance features that are most important to you.

If you want maximum versatility in terms of the type of movement pattern, workout style and muscle groups you can target, the FreeStride trainers are the best choice. These machines are also ideal for those who have limited floor space, as they have the most compact footprint. They also have the commercial Grade steel frame, so they support the highest maximum user weight of 375 pounds, so if you have a heavier body weight, this is another benefit of these multi-use cardio machines.

If you are looking for a great all-around elliptical machine with lots of levels of resistance and the highest incline potential, the NordicTrack Commercial series is best. These machines also have the heaviest flywheels, even the lower priced option, so they deliver a smooth ride even during HIIT workouts at a fast cadence. However, they do not fold up at all and although the footprint is smaller than many premium home ellipticals, the machine is still certainly quite sizable. If you need a very small elliptical for basic physical activity rather than a total-body workout, consider an under desk elliptical.

Finally, the NordicTrack SpaceSaver models offer the ability to collapse the machine down. This can improve the aesthetics, so if you don’t have a designated garage gym or a basement gym, and you exercise in your living room, you might prefer the ability to collapse the machine down. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the footprint of the machine isn’t actually reduced because the machine is not folding upwards. These are also rear-drive elliptical machines, which some people say afford the most natural, low-impact stride but there isn’t any scientific evidence to necessarily substantiate that so it may be a matter of personal preference. The SpaceSaver ellipticals have the lightest flywheel and the lightest maximum user weight, so this is another thing to keep in mind when purchasing the machine. The stride length is also not adjustable, and at 18 inches, it might feel a little bit restrictive for users with long legs.

NordicTrack Elliptical Warranty

Like most of the NordicTrack exercise equipment, all of the elliptical machines are covered by a standard 10-year frame warranty, two year parts warranty and one year labor warranty. This is a decent warranty, though some competitors offer a lifetime frame warranty on cardio equipment.

NordicTrack Ellipticals vs Other Elliptical Brands

NordicTrack vs Bowflex Ellipticals

Bowflex does not have traditional elliptical machines. Instead, the cardio machine lineup includes a series of Bowflex Max Trainers, which are considered to be a high-intensity, low-impact hybrid cardio workout that combines an elliptical trainer and stair climber machine movement pattern into one. The Bowflex Max Trainers have a compact footprint and can provide an efficient HIIT workout. The unique movement pattern has a much shorter stride length than a traditional elliptical and you’ll target the lower body posterior chain muscles (glutes, hamstrings and calves) more than a regular elliptical. However, if you want a standard elliptical exercise motion, the NordicTrack ellipticals are better than Bowflex Max Trainers.

Much like the iFit app with NordicTrack and ProForm exercise equipment, Bowflex has interactive and guided workouts through a workout app called JRNY. One of the benefits of the Bowflex vs. NordicTrack ellipticals is that the touchscreen on the Bowflex Max Trainers enables users to the stream other entertainment apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu even while following JRNY classes, so you watch your favorite movies and TV shows while working out.

NordicTrack vs Sole Fitness Ellipticals

The biggest difference with NordicTrack vs. Sole fitness equipment is the warranty and price point of the exercise equipment. Sole exercise equipment is considered to be top-of-the-line home cardio equipment. All of the Sole ellipticals are backed by a lifetime frame warranty, five year electronics and parts warranty and two year labor warranty. There is also a 30-day trial period, after which you can return the machine if it does not meet your expectations. All of the Sole ellipticals are essentially equal in quality to commercial gym ellipticals with performance features such as an auto-adjustable stride length, power incline, silent electronic magnetic resistance levels and foot pedals that can be adjusted laterally to best match your biomechanics to reduce strain on your hips, knees and ankles. The adjustable foot pedals can make Sole vs. NordicTrack ellipticals better for petite users with narrow hips because the foot pedals can be placed closer together. This feature is also helpful for larger users with a wide frame who would feel more comfortable with foot pedals spaced further apart than on a standard elliptical machine.

Like NordicTrack, there are streaming workout classes you can follow, but Sole fitness equipment uses the brand’s STUDIO workout class streaming service instead of iFit. However, there is no built-in touchscreen display; instead, there is a tablet holder so you have to supply your own tablet to stream fitness classes.

Unlike NordicTrack, Sole ellipticals don’t include a built-in touchscreen. Instead, there’s a tablet holder with a USB port and integrated Bluetooth speakers, so you can still access STUDIO from your own device while you work out.

NordicTrack vs ProForm Ellipticals

NordicTrack and ProForm are owned by the same parent company, so there are some similarities in the function and features of the elliptical machines. Both ProForm and NordicTrack are on the iFit app platform, so you’ll have access to the same library or live and on-demand workouts and personal trainers on an elliptical from either brand. However, in general, when comparing NordicTrack vs ProForm ellipticals, the NordicTrack ellipticals tend to be higher-end with better features and a higher price range than the ProForm elliptical machines. The stride length tends to be shorter on ProForm vs. NordicTrack ellipticals. If you are on a budget or looking for more of an entry-level elliptical trainer, the ProForm models should suffice, but if you want top-of-the-line features, the NordicTrack ellipticals are usually better than the ProForm models. There are also ProForm HIIT trainers that are more along the movement pattern of stair climbing or Bowflex Max Trainer rather than a traditional elliptical stride.

NordicTrack Elliptical FAQs

Can you use NordicTrack ellipticals without a subscription?

Yes. If you choose not to pay for an iFit subscription, you can use NordicTrack ellipticals in manual mode with the onboard workouts. However, you will not have access to guided workouts or interactive training.

The iFit library is a robust collection of thousands of studio and outdoor workouts you can stream. Pretty much any conceivable running, elliptical exercise or walking workout can be found in the app, along with other workouts, such as strength training, HIIT and Pilates that take place off the machine

Customer reviews of the NordicTrack ellipticals note that one of the best features of the machines is definitely the vast library of HD workout videos, the option to train with celebrity personal trainers and the ability to download personalized workouts every day to follow. After your workout is over, your workout metrics will be automatically uploaded to your user profile and your iFit account. You can also target your training to specific fitness goals and workouts will be recommended to you based on these goals and your previous performances.

However, after the 30-day free trial that comes with the purchase of a NordicTrack elliptical, you need to purchase an iFit subscription, which costs $15 per month or $180 per year for an individual membership or $39 a month ($396 a year) for the iFit Family Membership.

What is the best NordicTrack elliptical for home use?

The best NordicTrack elliptical for home use really depends on your budget, fitness goals, available space and fitness level. If you are a beginner, you can usually save money by purchasing the lower-end model of the type of elliptical machine you are most interested in. Advanced users looking for maximum performance and versatility should consider spending a bit more to upgrade to the higher end version of the model that best suits your needs. If variability in your workouts is your primary goal and you have a higher budget, the best NordicTrack elliptical will be one of the FreeStride machines. These are also the best ellipticals for those with limited space. Although the SpaceSaver ellipticals collapse down, the necessary footprint on the floor remains the same, so they mostly just improve the aesthetics of the room by decreasing the “eyesore“ of having a large exercise machine in your living room, but you aren’t going to save any floor space.

The best NordicTrack elliptical for athletic users who want to perform high-intensity, yet still low-impact workouts, is the Commercial 14.9. It has the heaviest flywheel, and tons of resistance levels and incline levels to challenge even competitive athletes.

Are NordicTrack ellipticals worth it?

Although NordicTrack ellipticals are expensive, most user reviews note that the Machines are well worth the investment. The machines are durable and designed to last, high-performing and packed with features to improve comfort and usability.

Customers are particularly happy when they purchase a subscription to the iFit app and continue using interactive training and guided workouts from the expert iFit trainers. Because the iFit platform includes on-demand workouts and live classes for total-body training, you can have expert-led workouts for your entire fitness routine. This means that not only can you have guided elliptical workouts, but you can also stream exercise classes for strength training, bootcamp, HIIT, yoga and recovery. You can select iFit workouts based on your primary goal, be it weight loss, building strength, improving endurance or just developing a consistent workout routine. You can also choose workouts based on the muscle groups you want to target, working your lower body, upper body, core muscles or engaging in a full-body workout.

Depending on your fitness goals and how you structure your overall exercise routine, purchasing a NordicTrack elliptical with the ongoing iFit subscription can provide you with a well-rounded fitness routine on and off the machine, negating the need for a gym membership. Because at home fitness is more convenient, this may ultimately not only save you money and prove to be a great value, but may make it easier to be consistent with your workout routine to better achieve your fitness goals.

Final Thoughts

Overall, although the NordicTrack elliptical machines can be expensive, they are very highly rated and reviewed and should provide an excellent low-impact, joint-friendly cardio workout for home users. Choosing the best NordicTrack elliptical is a matter of considering your budget, fitness level, goals, needs and space. Ultimately, however, NordicTrack ellipticals are designed to be used with iFit, so it makes sense to consider the iFit subscription fees when calculating the purchase price.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.

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