The NordicTrack C 1630 Pro C Series is the top-of-the-line treadmill in a collection that also features the C 990, C 970, and C 630 machines.
But after seeing only minor upgrades between the C 970 and C 990, does the C 1630 really stand out as the best machine?
In this review we’ll be taking a look at the design features, console functions, entertainment options, and workout programs to help you decide if this is the best treadmill for your own home gym.
Design and safety features
Fortunately the NordicTrack C 1630 has seen upgrades across the board, with a more powerful motor, wider incline range, and a more advanced deck cushioning system.
A commercial-grade 3.25 CHP DurX motor now powers the treadbelt and incline, with a self-cooling system resulting in less wear on the internal components and a quieter workout.
The running area is an upgrade over NordicTrack’s’ entry level C 1630, but the same as the two middle-of-the-range machines. This isn’t something we’re surprised about, as the 60″ x 20″ running surface is already one of the largest in the industry.
The maximum incline range remains the same as the C 970 and C 990 too, at 15%. But what’s different is that you can also set the running deck to a 3% decline, making it the only treadmill in the C Series to offer this feature.
When you’re using an iFit workout, the decline and incline will automatically adjust to match the terrain of the route you’re running. Not only does this emulate the feeling of running outdoors, but it also allows you to place more of a focus on specific muscle groups.
Setting the running deck to a steeper incline and you’re using more of your hamstrings and glutes, while the flatter and decline settings will focus more on your quads. Your abs and back muscles will also be worked to a lesser degree at steeper inclines as you work to keep an upright posture.
Upgraded impact absorption system
Moving on to the deck cushioning, and NordicTrack have switched from their FlexSelect technology to a QuadFlex dampener system.
This involves four sets of cushioning points with spring encased dampeners at eight points across the frame to absorb the impact of your foot fall by as much as 30%. By absorbing this much of the impact you’re protecting your knees, ankles, and back more than you would if you were running on the road.
So we know about the incline range and cushioning, but what about the belt speed? How does this stack up to other NordicTrack treadmills?
At 12 mph it’s towards the top end of the industry, and an improvement over the 10 mph of their C 630 model. This is the same speed as their bestselling NordicTrack 1750 Commercial treadmill, despite it having a more powerful motor (3.8 CHP).
When you combine this speed with the incline and decline range, you’re not going to need a speed higher than this, and it’s not something that’s an option on any treadmill we’ve reviewed.
One final feature we wanted to mention is the 2.5″ precision machined non-flex rear rollers, which are designed with a larger diameter to help reduce wear on the treadbelt.
You also have the standard safety key for added piece of mind when you’re working out at home.
With one end clipped to your clothing and the other to the console, this is designed to detach in the event of a fall, bringing the belt quickly to a stop.
NordicTrack C 1630 – Features Summary
- CardioGrip™ Heart Rate Monitor
- 34 Workout apps
- 20″ X 60″ Quiet Treadbelt
- 0-15% 1-Touch™ Incline and -3-0% 1-Touch™ Decline
- 8″ Oversized Backlit iFit® Display
- 3.25 CHP DurX™ Commercial Pro Motor
- 2.5″ Precision Machined and Balanced Non-Flex Rear Rollers
- 0-12 MPH belt speed
One of the things NordicTrack do well is creating an intuitive button layout that gives you complete control of the settings without feeling cluttered.
This is helped by having the two sets of 1-Step quick select buttons for the incline/decline and speed settings, reducing time spent at the console and allowing you to focus more on the workout.
Combined with the powerful 3.0 CHP motor, this makes it quicker to switch between speed settings for more efficient interval training.
Touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring is also available via the built-in CardioGrip touch sensors in the handles, or by wearing a heart rate chest strap.
This feeds back your pulse rate to a receiver in the console, so that it can be displayed alongside your speed, distance, incline, time, and number of calories burned. There’s also a quarter mile running track that keeps track of the number of laps completed.
Wider viewing angle, but no touch screen display
The console screen itself remains backlit, but at 8″ measures slightly larger than the earlier C 970 and C 990 models (7″ corner to corner).
Unfortunately the full colour, web-enabled touch screen still hasn’t made an appearance, meaning you don’t have access to the full range of Google Maps and Street View features that iFit can offer.
If this is something you’re interested in, we would recommend taking a look at our review of the Commercial 1750 or Commercial 2450 treadmills.
An AutoBreeze workout fan is positioned near the center of the console to help keep your upper body cool while you run, and can be controlled in one of two ways.
You can either make manual adjustments to the fan speed using the controls on the console, or set it to the ‘auto’ setting for the power to change based on the speed of the treadbelt.
Boost your motivation with iPod compatibility
In terms of entertainment options, the NordicTrack C 1630 features an Intermix 3.0 Acoustics sound system and iPod / MP3 compatibility. This lets you listen to your favourite motivational workout music while walking, jogging, or running.
Unfortunately in the transition from the C 990 treadmill we seem to have lost the tablet mount that was previously attached to the top of the console. You still have a shelf above the fan, but placing a tablet here isn’t as close to eye level, and you’re covering many of the iFit workout buttons by using it.
Workout program selection
If you want to achieve your fitness goals in the shortest time, it’s important to have a wide range of workout programs to choose from.
Not only does this help prevent muscle adaptation, where you body gets used to the routine, but it also helps keep you motivated.
The NordicTrack C 1630 includes 34 onboard workout apps, split into four categories: 8 calorie workouts, 8 speed workouts, 9 incline workouts, and 9 intensity workouts.
Each program follows a set profile that automatically changes the incline and belt speed settings. If you want to override these settings you can do so for the current segment, but they will revert to the defaults when you reach the next stage of the program.
This is a clear upgrade from the entry level C 630 treadmill, which was limited to just 20 onboard fitness apps.
In addition to the onboard workouts, you can also connect to your iFit account to download personalized workouts straight to the console (providing you’re connected to a wireless network).
If you don’t have an iFit subscription and are looking for something more target driven, you can also choose from one of the ‘Set-A-Goal’ workouts.
These have been a feature throughout NordicTrack’s C Series of treadmills, and let you set a target for the number of calories burned, distance, or workout duration. These don’t follow any predefined profile, leaving you in complete control of the incline and speed settings.
So how does this compare to something like the NordicTrack 2950 commercial treadmill?
For the 2950 model the ‘Set-A-Goal’ workouts have been extended to include pace as a goal, and with the web-enabled 7″ touch screen console, iFit workouts certainly play a much bigger role.
You’re also getting 40 onboard workouts to choose from instead of the 34 available with the NordicTrack C 1630, but this is really secondary to the improved visual experience you’ll be getting from the full colour screen combined with Google Maps.
Ease of assembly / maintenance required
If you’re a little apprehensive about how much effort is involved in the initial setup, don’t be. NordicTrack have already assembled most of the larger components for you, including the running deck and console.
The user manual is also packed with clear written and visual explanations of how everything fits together, accompanied by a part identification chart.
Once the deck is in position there’s very little heavy lifting involved. However, you might find it useful to have someone to assist you with connecting the console cable through the upright supports, and with connecting the Storage Latch.
Overall, the assembly process is almost identical to the other treadmills in the NordicTrack C Series, with fewer steps than the C 990 model due to the lack of tablet attachment.
Curb side delivery is guaranteed, and in our opinion the instructions are easy enough to follow. But if you’re looking for a professional in-home assembly service, it really depends on the equipment you’re buying and the region you live in.
To find out more about this service it’s worth giving NordicTrack a call or checking on their website.
Folding and transport options
Since the C 970 model, NordicTrack have included a EasyLift Assist telescoping shock system to reduce the effort required when lifting and lowering the running deck.
Although this does an excellent job of securing the deck in an upright position, you’ll still need to be able to lift around 45 lbs to get the deck to lock with the latch knob.
From the folded position, transport wheels attached to the base make it easier to roll the treadmill between locations if needed.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and motor: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years