Nordictrack elliptical trainers grew out of the company’s original, unique exercise design, the Nordic ski machine. You might remember these from the many infomercials on television back in the 1980’s. The company has since branched out into a variety of types of exercise equipment and even sports apparel.
In the process, they’ve developed a solid, mid-range line of Nordictrack elliptical machines that focuses on the same blend of stylish design and comfort that their earlier ski machines did.
The company offers over a dozen different styles of Nordictrack elliptical trainers ranging in price from $799 to almost $2999, although the ones that are around $1,000-$2000 are by far the most popular with buyers.
Nordictrack’s philosophy and goal remain the same as it always has...making a competitively priced exercise machine with all of the features and capabilities the user could want, whether it's a beginner or a seasoned athlete. They cater to all levels of fitness, and that's what makes them so popular.
The current 2018 lineup consists of front drive, rear drive and mid drive models.
Front Drive Models
The front drive ellipticals require less space than the rear drives, yet do not fold up. On a front drive machine you are leaning slightly forward, as opposed to a more straight posture on a rear or mid drive. However, it is not a significant difference.
You have the C 7.5, C 9.5, C 12.9 and Commercial 14.9, with 19"-20" strides, up to 20 degrees of incline and plenty of built in workouts. All models except for the C 7.5 have touch screen consoles.
Rear Drive Models
The rear drive NordicTrack ellipticals are called SpaceSavers, because they can be folded up after use and are good for those with smaller workout areas. A rear drive model puts you in a more stable position, as opposed to the slight lean forward of a front drive machine.
You have the SpaceSaver SE7i and SE9i, both with power incline and plenty of workouts. The SE9i adds a touch screen display. Note that the SpaceSaver models have the shortest stride length of all, only 18", so they are not ideal for taller/larger individuals.
Mid Drive Models
The mid or center drive NordicTrack ellipticals have the smallest footprint, but also offer the most generous stride lengths. You have the ACT series and the very popular Free Stride Trainers.
The Commercial ACT Base, 7 and 10 give you an 18"-22" adjustable stride and plenty of workouts. However there is no incline capability.
The FreeStride Trainers, including the FS5i, FS7i and FS9i ellipticals, give you the most freedom of movement of the entire lineup, making them the most popular choice. The FS5i gives you up to a 32" stride; the FS7i gives you up to a 38" stride and a 10 % incline. The top of the line FS9i also has a 38" stride but also gives you 10% decline that no other NordicTrack elliptical offers.
There are certainly a lot of choices and it can be difficult to decide which one to choose. The rear drive SpaceSavers are ideal for those who want to fold up their machines after a workout. However, their 18" strides are among the smallest, so taller individuals will be better off with a Front or Mid Drive elliptical.
The FreeStride trainers, as we've mentioned, give you the largest stride ranges, so you can really stretch out. Those who prefer to stretch out and run like you are on a treadmill will really enjoy this series. However, they are also the priciest of the NordicTrack ellipticals.
As such, budget is also a concern. Each series has an entry level and up-level choices, usually adding more workout, more resistance levels and sometimes more incline, as well as a touch screen, as you move up. So consider how much you actually have to spend.
Our experts top choices: FS7i and FS9i FreeStride Trainers and the C Series front drive models. See if any of these models appeals to you. But you really can't go wrong with any of them.
Consumers tend to be very pleased with their Nordictrack elliptical trainers, as they have features that are typically only found on much more expensive trainers. Besides the great prices, here are the main attractions of the brand:
Huge Workout Selection - no other ellipticals give you as many different built in workouts that NordicTrack does. Although the amount varies from one model to the next, they all give you plenty of programs to choose from, including intervals, heart rate, distance, calories, and more.
Stride Length Variety - whether you like fixed or adjustable, are short, average or tall, there is a machine that will fit your needs. They offer a wide range of stride lengths so everyone gets the perfect fit.
Advanced Consoles - the consoles on all NordicTrack ellipticals are user friendly, with one touch controls and plenty of workout feedback. The more expensive models even have touch screens with internet access, which you don't even find on some commercial trainers.
Plenty of Resistance Levels - Even the lower priced models give you a ton of resistance levels to choose from, so even if you go with a manual program you can ramp up your training and work your way up through all of the different levels.
iFit Technology - all of the ellipticals from NordicTrack now come with iFit Coach, a unique suite of tools including personal trainer workouts, nutrition plans, tracking/sharing and Google maps to train anywhere worldwide.
Solid Warranties - A good sign of a company's confidence in their products, the newest NordicTrack ellipticals come with lifetime coverage on the frame and extended coverage on parts and labor as well.
Tons of Extras - all ellipticals come with extra features like music compatibility, speakers, workout fans, moving handlebars, heart rate monitoring and plenty of other comforts.
So there's plenty to like here, and reviews from both users and industry experts have been quite favorable.
The few customers that do complain about their Nordictrack elliptical machine are those that have mechanical issues...but keep in mind this is the case with any brand as there are always going to be a few machines that are "off" for one reason or another.
The company sells tens of thousands of these machines each year, so the likelihood of a bad machine is much greater than it would be for a company that only sells a few hundred.
ICON's customer service isn't the greatest, but the quality of the machines has improved greatly, eliminating much of the need to speak with customer service in the first place. So in all likelihood this will not be an issue for you at all.
An interesting note – personal trainers and other fitness professionals are great fans of the NordicTrack brand of elliptical machines for the at-home user. They highly recommend them for the little extras such as a higher display screen and better incline adjustment, and feel that they offer a near-gym quality for a moderate price.
Most trainers suggest that between a low-end $700 elliptical and a moderate NordicTrack, the Nordictrack is worth the extra cost, but that going to the highest end to true commercial quality isn’t necessary for most people – they feel that Nordictrack elliptical trainers are an excellent choice.
Below you will find in-depth reviews of all of the current models, including specs, info, pricing and more....
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i - A new addition to the popular FreeStride series, this one is a more affordable option with a 32 inch adjustable stride, iFit and an integrated tablet holder.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i - The mid range model in the front drive series, this one is web enabled with incline, iFit and a lot of great features.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i - The top end model in the series with incline and decline, plus a 10" web-enabled touch screen and a 38 inch adjustable stride.
NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial (Base Model) - The entry level mid drive model in the series, this is a great value at just under $1000 on sale and packed with features.
NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial 7 - Unique center driven mechanism for a different workout experience.
NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial 10 - Another center drive elliptical with a smaller footprint.
Front Drive Series
NordicTrack C 7.5 - A new model replacing the E 8.9, this entry-level offering has Bluetooth iFit and plenty of incline and resistance levels.
NordicTrack C 9.5 - A step up from the C 7.5, this model has web-enabled touch screen, iFit technology, 32 workouts and power incline.
NordicTrack C 12.9 - Another new model joining the front-drive lineup, this one is web-enabled with a heavy 32 pound flywheel, power incline and a free wireless chest strap for accurate heart rate readings.
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 - the new top-of-the-line front drive elliptical with a 10" touchscreen, loads of workouts, Bluetooth wireless heart rate and iFit technology.
Rear Drive Series
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical - New model has a great range of features and its slim line design allows you to store it almost anywhere.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Elliptical - Folds up with the smallest footprint yet and enables the user to go online with a fully web enabled touch screen display.
NordicTrack ellipticals are currently on sale
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