NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i Review 4

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i Rating

Display Console
Customer Service
Overall Rating


Pros The most obvious “pro” to this model is it's unique floating suspension design that uses a center-drive design, auto adjustable stride, and power adjustable incline to create a 3-in-1 design that gives the feeling of floating in air! There is virtually zero impact; only smooth, unattached rotation. The 32” stride and -10%/10% incline/decline combine to give users tons of options on how they want to use the machine: as a stepper, an elliptical trainer, or a treadmill. In addition, there are also multiple comfort features, so overall this machine is comfort, top to bottom.
Cons There are not too many cons to speak of with the FS5i but a few to mention would be the basic console area that lacks any advanced options; however, if you have a subscription to iFit, you can access your information with the iFit enabled console. Other cons would be the lighter flywheel at just 16 pounds, which isn't terrible, but the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride. Average on a nice trainer like this one is somewhere closer to 20 pounds or more, which the FS7i has.
Summary The FS5i exudes comfort from it's floating suspension design to it's oversized, cushioned pedals. The user has a lot of options with this model giving it a lot of versatility and originality as a 3-in-1 machine. The console is just so-so, but if you have a subscription to the iFit program, you can access tons of professionally designed workout programs and even follow routes powered by Google Maps. But, if you don't, there are still over 30 built-in workout programs to choose from!

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NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i Detailed Overview

The FreeStride Trainer FS5i is the value-level addition of the incredibly popular line of ellipticals by NordicTrack (FS5i, FS7i,  FS9i) is built with an innovative design that features a floating suspension system with an ergonomically designed stride path, smooth unattached rotation, and virtually zero impact. In addition, this machine can be used in three ways: as a stepper, an elliptical trainer or treadmill, depending on how you adjust the stride and incline.

The FS5i comes with an auto adjustable stride of up to 32″, and the power adjustable incline runs from a -10% up to 10%. There is a 350 weight limit to this model, and the 16 pound inertia-enhanced flywheel is precision weighted and balanced for an even smoother and more natural feel. The center-drive design of this model puts the drive system to the center, evenly distributed unlike front-drive or rear-drive machines where the motor is only at the front or rear. This means that the FS5i is more compact, almost half of the size taken up by a traditional elliptical trainer or treadmill.

There are 22 levels of resistance on this model, and the integrated handle controls for ramp or resistance are easily accessible for fast, efficient changes. The oversized cushioned pedals are extra soft and wide and the SoftTouch(TM) upper-body grips comfortably complement your individual stride while also engaging the muscles of the upper-body.

The console area comes with a 7″ LCD backlit display that is equipped with 32 built-in workout apps and is also iFit enabled. If you like a better console, check out the higher end models form this line mentioned below. There are OneTouch(TM) controls for convenience, and there’s also an integrated tablet holder, Autobreeze(TM) cooling fan, water bottle holder, and an iPod compatible music port. The warranty on the FS5i covers the lifetime of the frame, 5 years on parts and 2 years on labor.

Our Favorite Features

  • Advanced comfort features like SoftTouch(TM) upper-body arm grips and oversized cushioned pedals
  • Program variety with over 30 built-in workout apps
  • iFit enabled console that gives you access to interactive workout programs and much more (iFit subscription required)
  • Auto adjustable stride up to 32″, second only to the FS7i or FS9i
  • Floating suspension design creates zero impact with smooth, unattached rotation
  • Compact frame with center-drive design, keeping the motor to the center of the machine
  • 3-in-1 machine combines the benefits of a stepper, an elliptical trainer and treadmill

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:No
Incline:-10 to 10% Power-Adjustable
Stride Length:32" Adjustable Stride
Flywheel:16 LBS
Programs:32 Workout Apps
Fan:Autobreeze Workout Fan
Weight Capacity:350 LBS
Dimensions:68.4" L x 28.5" W x 62" H

Our Least Favorite Features

  • Low flywheel weight at just 16 pounds, which can affect the overall durability and feel of the machine
  • iFit module is not included; subscription required
  • Lacks wireless heart rate monitoring options, no chest strap receiver included

The Bottom Line

The NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i is innovative, comfortable, and unique. It’s all around a great choice because you get a compact trainer that offers the benefits of three machines, in one. The console is not equipped with tons of bells and whistles really, but there’s great program variety and your basic options are covered. However; if you want the bells and whistles, the FS7i or the premium model FS9i comes with a web-enabled full-color touch screen display, so you might want to check out either of those models if so. We like the multiple comfort features and the overall center-drive design of the FS5i that is incredibly low-impact, smooth and easy to use. The bottom line: the FS5i is a great trainer that provides a 3-in-1 design that would be the ideal fit for almost anyone seeking a low-impact workout machine.

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