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NordicTrack Elliptical Trainer Reviews

If you’ve used an elliptical at your local gym, it’s likely to be either a front or rear drive machine. Although NordicTrack’s Elliptical Trainers include both of these types, you can also choose from a wide range of center drive designs that offer a longer stride length and greater variation in the stride path.

NordicTrack ellipticals also offer a variety of more advanced features, which can be used to either improve your workout performance, increase motivation, or both.

For improved workout performance, you could choose one of their FreeStride Trainers, with the extra long adjustable stride length. Together with their A.C.T. ellipticals, these trainers provide an adaptive stride motion that will automatically adjust to your desired range of motion. This could be stepping, walking, jogging, or running.

NordicTrack are also one of the best companies in the industry when it comes to workout variation, where most of their ellipticals will offer a choice of 30+ onboard programs, together with various goal setting options. If you want to track your workouts or go beyond these preset workouts, you can also download a more personalized fitness routine from iFit.

They’re also an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more enjoyable workout, with some ellipticals offering a web-enabled, full color touch screen display. In addition to this, a selection of their top-of-the-line models are fitted with a 15″ HDTV screen for watching your favourite TV shows and movies, which takes the place of their tablet shelf.

So why create this guide?

There are several important reasons. Firstly, NordicTrack change their elliptical collection on a regular basis, so we thought it would be useful to put together an in-depth review for each of their models. Most of these will be from their current catalog, but if they do decide to discontinue any, we’ll update the guide straight away.

Secondly, to allow you to make comparisons between specific models before reading more about them in their own reviews. Having a quick summary can help to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for, while the reviews focus more on comparisons with ellipticals from other companies, to assist with the final buying decision.

We hope this guide proves useful, and if you have any questions or would like to see a review of another NordicTrack elliptical, please let us know.

FreeStride Trainers

If you’re looking to achieve your fitness goals in the shortest timeframe, you have to vary your workouts on a regular basis.

Workout variation isn’t just great for increasing motivation, but it also helps protect against muscle adaptation. This is a natural process whereby you body gets more efficient at a particular task the more it’s repeated over a period of time.

NordicTrack’s FreeStride Trainers are designed to take this to a level beyond your standard fixed path elliptical, where you can switch between a short stepping motion, and a longer full-length running stride.

In fact, the FS7i and FS9i offer one of the longest adjustable stride paths in the industry, exceeding that of Precor’s AMT machines, and the CardioCore collection of ellipticals from Yowza Fitness.

Combine this with a range of resistance levels that make the walking, stepping, or running motion more challenging, and a 10% incline to shift the focus onto your hamstrings and glutes, and you have an efficient series of elliptical trainers that isn’t limited to a specific range of user heights. Perfect for family environments, or where more than one person will use the trainer in their fitness routine.

NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride Trainer

NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride Trainer

Review rating: 4.5 star review rating
Despite being the entry level machine in the FreeStride collection, the FS7i still offers many of the same impressive features as the later FS9i design.

This includes the full 38″ adjustable stride path and 10% incline. Although this may not be as steep as the 40% angle that’s available on NordicTrack’s incline trainers, it’s still enough to influence how much work is placed on each lower body muscle group.

The flat angle and shallower inclines are best for if you want to focus more on toning and strengthening your quads and calves, while the full 10% incline will activate more of your glutes and hamstrings. Add in the moveable handles, and you have an effective full body cardio workout that activates your biceps, glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, and back.

In terms of workout feedback and entertainment, the console is packed with features to make each workout productive and enjoyable.

  • Workout Apps: NA
  • Stride length: 38″ Auto adjustable
  • iFit: Enabled
  • Incline: 10%
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 7″ Web-enabled color touchscreen
  • Resistance levels: 24
  • Weight capacity: 375 lbs
  • Handle controls: Yes
  • Flywheel weight: 20 lbs
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

If you have a target you want to achieve, whether it’s to burn a certain number of calories or run a set distance, the full color screen and ‘Set-A-Goal’ workouts will support you with all the workout stats and goal tracking you need. When you complete the workout, you can view a history of your progress and log diet information using your iFit profile.

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NordicTrack FS9i FreeStride Trainer

NordicTrack FS9i FreeStride Trainer

Review rating: 5 star review rating
An upgrade to the earlier FS7i, the FS9i FreeStride Trainer features a touch screen display with a wider 10″ viewing angle, and an increased weight capacity of 400 lbs.

Although the stride length remains the same at a maximum of 38″, this isn’t something we would expect to change. There’s a limit to what’s effective and that’s determined by human anatomy – how long tall you are, how long your natural running stride is, etc.

A completely new feature for the FS9i is the addition of a -10% decline, which effectively doubles your choice of angles to run at, and allows you to emulate changes in outdoor terrain more accurately.

The number of resistance levels has been increased slightly (from 24 to 26), and you’re still getting the conveniently placed controls for switching between them. These have been integrated into the handles to reduce the time spent at the console, and can also be used to move between the different incline and decline settings.

  • Workout Apps: NA
  • Stride length: 38″ Auto adjustable
  • iFit: Enabled
  • Incline: 10%
  • Decline: -10%
  • Console: 10″ Web-enabled color touchscreen
  • Resistance levels: 26
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Handle controls: Yes
  • Flywheel weight: 20 lbs
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

Unfortunately NordicTrack’s FreeStride Trainers don’t offer the same 15″ HDTV screen as some of their Elite front drive machines, but there is a display shelf on the console for holding your tablet if you wanted to watch a movie or TV show while you workout.

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NordicTrack ‘E’ Series

This is NordicTrack’s largest and most affordable collection of elliptical trainers, ranging from the entry level E 5.7 through to the top-of-the-line E 14.5.

One reason for the price difference between the two collections is the design of the display console. Whereas the E Series machines provide you with a 5″ to 6″ backlit screen, their Elite models are fitted with a larger touch screen that’s both full color and web-enabled.

But NordicTrack continue to build on the design of the E 5.7, with nearly a dozen different models available for home gyms.

Of course, NordicTrack tend to hold only their latest designs on the official website, so you might have to shop around if you’re looking for one of the earlier designs.

But with so many improvements having been made to their most recent ellipticals, like the E 8.7 and E 12.7, it makes more sense to invest in a machine that offers a wider range of workouts, improved entertainment features, and a heavier flywheel.

We’ll be keeping the list below updated on a regular basis, with more reviews for new ellipticals available soon after they’re released.

NordicTrack E 8.7 Elliptical

NordicTrack E 8.7 Elliptical

Review rating: 4 star review rating
As a mid-range elliptical, the E 8.7 has some significant upgrades over earlier models like the E 5.9 and E 6.3, but you do miss out on some of the more advanced features.

The 5″ console screen is half the size of the one you’ll find on some of their Elite ellipticals, but the backlight helps ensure workout feedback remains clear and easy to read.

Compared to later models, you also have a smaller selection of onboard workouts to choose from, and the console itself isn’t iFit enabled.

Being iFit compatible means you can still take advantage of the personalized workouts and online workout tracking, but you’re going to have to pay a little more for the iFit module if you want to use it.

The resistance levels and incline give you some extra options for increasing the workout intensity, with the full 20″ stride path supporting a range of user heights to 6ft+.

  • Workout Apps: 26
  • Stride length: 20″
  • iFit: Compatible
  • Incline: 2° to 20°
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 5″ Backlit display
  • Resistance levels: 22
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Handle controls: No
  • Flywheel weight: 20 lb
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: No

Although you’re missing out on a few of the most attractive features, such as the 15″ HDTV screen (available on the 11.9 and 14.5 models), you still have a shelf to rest your tablet, and integrated speakers with iPod support for listening to your favorite music.

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NordicTrack E 11.7 Elliptical

NordicTrack E 11.7 Elliptical

Review rating: 4 star review rating
Another of NordicTrack’s front drive ellipticals, the E 11.7 is one of the earliest models to include SNAP assembly.

This cuts down the setup time to half that of the E 8.7, with a console upright that can simply be lifted into place after unboxing.

However, anyone thinking about buying the E 11.7 has a tough decision to make, as it’s the last elliptical in the E series to use the backlit display. The next model up (E 11.9) is the first in the collection to include NordicTrack’s immersive full color screen, and is iFit enabled.

But if this is outside of your budget, the E 11.7 does still have a number of useful features for helping you achieve your fitness goals, some of which we’ve listed below.

  • Workout Apps: 32
  • Stride length: 20″
  • iFit: Compatible
  • Incline: 20°
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 6″ Backlit display
  • Resistance levels: 24
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Handle controls: No
  • Flywheel weight: 28 lb
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes
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NordicTrack Elite Series

While the ‘E’ series ellipticals are great at providing the best physical features, like a long stride length and multi-grip handles, very few offer the same high quality entertainment functions as the machines in their Elite collection.

Because these are NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line elliptical trainers, you’re getting the best of both worlds. Not only will you benefit from a more varied and challenging fitness routine, with an average of 35 workout apps per machine, but you’re also getting an upgraded full color, web-enabled touch screen as standard.

This is something that we first started seeing on a couple of the top ellipticals in the ‘E’ series, and allows you to enjoy the full iFit experience. You can quickly download personalized workouts (all iFit enabled), then view your progress via StreetView with certain programs for a more realistic outdoor running experience.

If you’re looking for NordicTrack’s best front drive ellipticals, the Elite series is where you’ll want to start. You can find a summary of each model’s features below, as well as links to our in-depth reviews.

NordicTrack 12.9 Elite Elliptical

NordicTrack 12.9 Elite Elliptical

Review rating: 4.5 star review rating
Unless you want the 15″ HDTV as a second screen for watching TV and movies while you workout, the Elite 12.9 is often considered a more cost effective option to the Elite 16.9 elliptical.

Not only are you getting the same number of onboard workout apps, resistance levels, and incline settings, you’ll also be benefitting from SNAP assembly – NordicTrack’s advanced system that significantly reduces the initial setup time.

The 12.9 Elite is also fitted with a tablet holder attachment on top of the console, which is a feature you really want to look out for if you plan on using a tablet device. Although many ellipticals have a media shelf, if you do choose to use it then you’ll end up hiding important workout feedback.

  • Workout Apps: 35
  • Stride length: 20″-21″
  • iFit: Enabled
  • Incline: 20°
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 7″ Web-enabled color touchscreen
  • Resistance levels: 26
  • Weight capacity: 375 lbs
  • Handle controls: Yes
  • Flywheel weight: 32 lbs
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

The most obvious upgrade to the earlier ‘E’ series ellipticals is the console, with a web-enabled color screen that allows you to quickly navigate iFit and setup your next workout. But there’s also a collection of more subtle improvements that are key to helping you achieve your fitness goals.

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NordicTrack 16.9 Elite Elliptical

NordicTrack 16.9 Elite Elliptical

Review rating: 5 star review rating
As one of the top ellipticals in NordicTrack’s Elite collection, you have to expect something pretty special from the 16.9 if it’s to stand out from the earlier models.

But the truth is that it’s hard to improve too much from the 12.9 Elite, which already has an industry-leading range of onboard workouts, and challenging 20 degree incline range. Unless you’re using a FreeStride Trainer with an adjustable stride, you’re also not going to benefit too much from a stride path longer than 20″-21″.

That’s why NordicTrack chose to replace the tablet holder with a 15″ HDTV screen, allowing you to watch sports, movies, and TV while you workout. This is similar to the Personal Viewing System (PVS) on some of Precor’s center drive AMT ellipticals, but on a machine that’s a fraction of the cost.

  • Workout Apps: 35
  • Stride length: 20″-21″
  • iFit: Enabled
  • Incline: 20°
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 7″ Web-enabled color touchscreen
  • Resistance levels: 26
  • Weight capacity: 375 lbs
  • Handle controls: Yes
  • Flywheel weight: 32 lbs
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: Yes
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

So are the onboard workouts different to those on the 12.9 Elite, and do you have any additional options for the ‘Set-A-Goal’ programs?

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NordicTrack SpaceSaver Series

If you’re short on space but still want to experience the health and fitness benefits of an elliptical trainer, finding a design with a compact footprint is probably going to be high on your list of priorities.

This is one of the reasons NordicTrack created their SpaceSaver series of rear drive ellipticals.

The SpaceSaver® design and innovative SNAP assembly system means that you can fold the console and moveable handles down to rest against the base frame to reduce the height. You can then lift the front of the machine up so that it rests on a custom designed platform at the back of the flywheel casing.

It’s actually surprisingly rare to find an elliptical that folds, and it’s certainly not something we’ve seen from Precor, Sole Fitness, or Schwinn.

Despite the change in design, you can still experience all of the same workout and entertainment benefits as the equivelant elliptical trainers in one of their front drive collections, such as the E 8.7 and E 11.7.

Because these are rear drive machines the stride length is going to be a couple of inches shorter. This is due to the flatter range of motion created by having the flywheel behind you and shouldn’t deter taller users.

All SpaceSaver ellipticals also use a SNAP assembly system, which cuts down on the time it takes to get setup. This means none of the difficulty with threading and connecting console wires, and just three steps to follow in the user manual.

NordicTrack SE7i Elliptical

NordicTrack SE7i Elite Elliptical

Review rating: 4 star review rating
As the entry level elliptical in the collection, the SE7i is usually available for between $600 and $1000 less than the upgraded SE9i model. Although this makes it the most affordable option, are you missing out on too many of the features you need to experience an effective and enjoyable workout?

Both machines feature the same SpaceSaver design, SNAP assembly, and a certain level of power adjustable incline, but if you look a little closer you’ll notice some important differences.

As you might expect, the number of onboard workouts and resistance levels is slightly lower on the SE7i, but considering the price range, it’s still at the top of the industry in terms of workout program quantity and variation.

The workout stats displayed on the console are also virtually identical between the two ellipticals, but it’s the way in which they are displayed that’s different.

As we’ve seen in their ‘E’ series, the entry level machines are usually fitted with a fairly basic blue backlit LCD screen, which is later upgraded to a full color, web-enabled version with a wider viewing angle on later models.

  • Workout Apps: 24
  • Stride length: 18″
  • iFit: Compatible
  • Incline: 10%
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 5″ backlit display
  • Resistance levels: 22
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Handle controls: No
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lbs
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

This is the same for the NordicTrack SE7i, which offers a 5″ backlit screen integrated into an iFit compatible console. Being iFit compatible means you have to be prepared to pay extra for the iFit module if you want to experience the full range of workout benefits.

You can find out more about how the SE7i compares to similarly priced ellipticals from companies like Sole Fitness, Nautilus, and Precor in our in-depth review.

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NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical

NordicTrack SE9i Elite Elliptical

Review rating: 4.5 star review rating
Featuring the same Vertical SpaceSaver design as the SE7i, the top-of-the-line SE9i offers a compact solution for anyone that wants all the benefits of an elliptical trainer with the footprint of an upright bike when not in use.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind how much effort is still required to get to this folded position after a workout. NordicTrack’s own user manual recommends two people for doing the lifting and moving, and that you should be able to lift 100 lbs if you want to be able to lift the machine up onto its transport wheels.

But looking at the actual features, the SE9i is a clear upgrade over the entry level model, with an increase in workout programs and resistance levels.

The console has also been upgraded from using a backlit display to having a web-enabled, full color touch screen. This is designed to similar specifications as on their top-of-the-line 16.9 Elite elliptical, with a wider viewing angle (7″), and an intuitive menu system for accessing your workouts.

Unfortunately you don’t get the same 15″ HDTV screen as some of their Elite machines, but you do still have iPod/MP3 connectivity and the option to browse the internet during your workout.

  • Workout Apps: 30
  • Stride length: 18″
  • iFit: Enabled
  • Incline: 10°
  • Decline: No
  • Console: 7″ Web-enabled color touchscreen
  • Resistance levels: 24
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Handle controls: No
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lb
  • 15″ HDTV Screen: No
  • SNAP assembly: Yes

You can find out more information about the workout programs, assembly process, warranty coverage and more by reading our comprehensive review. Alternatively you can check the latest price using the link below.

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