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NordicTrack Review

Sunday, April 18th

2021 Elliptical Machine Reviews

NordicTrack Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $1,299 to $3,299

NordicTrack has a certain reputation within the fitness industry: if you've seen a commercial advertising equipment for home use, chances are good it was NordicTrack. The company is one of two in the Icon Health and Fitness brand family featured in our review; compared with its sister brand ProForm, NordicTrack elliptical machines tend to be slightly larger, with more robust features, and with the price tag to match.

Equipment Overview:

  • Stride Motion: Flywheel and magnetic resistance (varies by model)
  • Price Range: $1,299 to $3,299
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Levels: 22-26 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: 30 days, fees of $250 for return shipping + 10% restocking
  • Warranty: 10 years on the frame, 2 years on parts, 1 year on labor
  • Shipping: Up to $199, free on some models

Not The Most Or Least Expensive

Prices on NordicTrack elliptical machines are mid-range: $1,299 for their most basic model, up to $3,299 for the most fully-featured. On the lower end, the SpaceSaver SE7i has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars out of more than 200 user reviews. It comes with incline capabilities up to 10%, 22 digital resistance levels, auto-adjustable 18" stride, and a 325-lb. user weight capacity. Compared with many rival retailers' ellipticals at that $1,299 price point, the NordicTrack has much more to offer with respect to tech and functions.

3-in-1 Training Options

What about the other end of the spectrum? Is the FS14i worth the extra $2,000 compared to the SE7i we described? Maybe. This elliptical machine gives you 3-in-1 training with a changeable stride path that lets you choose a traditional elliptical path or motion that more closely resembles a stair stepper or a treadmill. You can access a stride length ranging from 0-32", making it extremely customizable for multiple users in a household of different heights and workout preferences. When you factor in the Bluetooth audio capabilities, the increased user weight capacity (375 lbs.), and the 14" Smart HD touchscreen, you may indeed decide that it's a good use of the extra money to get NordicTrack's most advanced elliptical machine.

Complimentary 1-year IFit Subscription

All NordicTrack elliptical trainers come with a complimentary one-year family subscription to iFit. If you love the idea of having access to thousands of studio workouts, including live options where trainers actively control your incline and resistance, you'll get all of that and more with the iFit subscription. You can even take classes off the elliptical, like yoga, boot camp, or weight lifting. Your membership lets you have up to 4 profiles, so you can keep your household members' workout preferences and history separate from one another.

Best Elliptical Machines

Might Have To Wait A Few Weeks

You might have a challenge finding a NordicTrack elliptical machine that's available for immediate delivery. At the time of this review, there were only two models (FS10i and FS14i - the two most expensive ones, of course) that were in stock. The other four had estimated ship dates ranging from three weeks to almost three months into the future!

Expensive Return Policy, Good Warranty

How about returns? NordicTrack ellipticals have a somewhat average return policy: you have up to 30 days to request a return, but you'll pay $250 to ship the machine back to the company plus a 10% restocking fee. On the other hand, the warranty is slightly better than many retailers of elliptical trainers, with 10 years of coverage on the frame, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labor.

Strong Reputation Overall

NordicTrack and its parent company, Icon, have a solid reputation. The BBB gives the business an "A+" rating, and we were pleased to see that customer complaints were answered quickly and in a friendly way. The only negative feedback we spotted frequently was regarding the bundling of the iFit membership; some customers didn't realize that the subscription is optional, or felt that they wound up paying for a plan they didn't want (or even know they had!).

Terrific Value

The elliptical machines offered by NordicTrack offer a satisfying blend of pricing, features and technology that's hard to beat. If you're willing to wait a little while for the equipment you want, you'll get a fantastic elliptical trainer with enough features to keep you entertained, progressing, and healthy for many years to come.

Where Can You Buy the Best Elliptical Machines?

On the market for more than two decades, these versatile pieces of workout equipment are some of the most popular in fitness centers and home gyms alike. Why? First of all, many people prefer the motion of an elliptical trainer over treadmills because of the decreased impact on joints. Not everyone can hop on a treadmill and run a 5K with painful knees and ankles; using an elliptical machine gives you a high level of cardiovascular exercise without as much strain.

Another advantage of using an elliptical trainer is the ability to get a full-body workout. Although using the handles is optional, most exercisers like to use the push-pull motion to strengthen muscles in the arms, abs and back at the same time as the lower body. Who wouldn't benefit from the efficiency of working out multiple muscle groups at once?

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Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, many elliptical machines can be used in different ways: some combine a traditional elliptical system with a recumbent or upright bike, while others let you change the stride motion to more closely resemble a stair stepping machine or even a treadmill. This flexibility makes it likely that you'll use your elliptical trainer for a long time, because you can change the workout to match your mood, your physical capabilities at the moment, your fitness goals, or the other users in your household.

And, if you think that elliptical machines have been left out of the live streaming workout craze, think again! Some of the most advanced models offer large touch screens that can deliver real-time coached workout sessions - and may even allow a trainer access to change your resistance levels or incline during the workout! Even if your elliptical doesn't come with that built-in feature, almost all brands and models have a tablet holder, allowing you to choose your own workout platform and go for it (or just binge a few episodes of your favorite TV show: your choice!).

When choosing the right elliptical machine for your home gym, how can you tell which retailer should get your business? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Selection. How many elliptical trainers does the store carry? The broader the selection, the more likely you'll be able to get exactly what you want without paying for features you don't need.
  • Price. Speaking of features, how much will you spend for an elliptical machine at the retailer you're browsing? Is shipping included? Will you have to pay extra to get a more up-to-date console or a different frame color?
  • Availability. Home fitness equipment is more popular than ever, and many businesses are feeling the strain of keeping up with demand. Are the ellipticals the retailer advertises actually in stock? Be sure to check delivery timeframes: some stores show that certain models are available for purchase, but when you add one to your cart you might spot some fine print that says that delivery may take up to three months!
  • Return Policy. What happens if your elliptical machine is delivered and it doesn't fit where you planned to put it? Or your significant other is too tall (or too short) for the stride length? Not every retailer will allow you to send it back for a refund.
  • Reputation. What do other people say about their experience, both with the elliptical machines themselves and with the company overall? Customer reviews and a rating from the Better Business Bureau are two reliable ways of determining how well a retailer is living up to shoppers' expectations.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best retailers of elliptical machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right equipment for your home gym!

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