NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i Elliptical Review 4

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i Elliptical Rating

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Pros This trainer offers an incredibly long stride of 38 inches, which is auto adjustable. A longer stride means the ability to increase your cardio workouts, and its ideal for taller people in general. In addition, this trainer allows users the ability to drop the incline to -10 degrees or increase the incline to +10 degrees; a rare option on any elliptical trainer.
Cons Just like the FS7i, which is less expensive, the FS9i has a light flywheel at only 20 pounds, but a higher weight capacity of 400 pounds. A lighter flywheel and heavier weight capacity does make a good combination because the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride. For the price, this machine should have a much heavier flywheel to accommodate such a weight capacity.
Summary The FreeStride Trainer FS9i is expensive at $2,999, but it is also a unique trainer that is really like three machines in one. The extra-long stride and adjustable incline from -10 to +10 degrees makes this trainer easy to use and comfortable, especially for taller people, but also allows users to increase their cardio challenge and lower body toning in a way that a traditional elliptical trainer would not allow. The flywheel weight should be heavier for the price, as the heavier the flywheel the smoother the feel of the machine.

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NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i Elliptical Detailed Overview

The FreeStride FS9i is the elite trainer in the brand new center drive series of the FreeStride Trainer by NordicTrack. The unique and innovative 3-in-1 design of this trainer makes it very easy to get an efficient workout that works multiple muscle groups, with the ability to use the trainer as a stair climber, elliptical trainer or basic treadmill.

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer

Perhaps two of the most impressive features on this trainer are its 38 inch maximum stride length, which is auto adjustable with one click on the handlebars or the console, and the also adjustable incline that goes from negative 10 degrees up to positive 10 degrees incline. With a decline and incline option, it’s easy to target multiple muscle groups that trainers offering only an incline feature would miss. The incline isn’t too impressive, but the -10 decline definitely is.

Another impressive feature on this advanced trainer is the console, which comes with a 10-inch full color touch screen display that is also web enabled, making it easy to check email, surf the web or stay connected with social media. The console is equipped with iFit, an app that allows users to create their own workouts using Google Maps, or choose from hundreds of workouts designed by celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels. In addition, users can also choose from 38 built-in workout programs. This console comes with all of the basic amenities (water bottle holder, fan, etc.), and features integrated quick touch controls via the console for easy incline and resistance changes. When it comes to other entertainment features, this trainer includes two 3 inch speakers, larger than other NordicTrack trainers, as well as a music port with MP3 compatibility. For additional workout tracking options, this trainer not only comes with built in heart rate sensors but also a wireless heart rate tracking system for hands-free monitoring. NordicTrack offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, five years on parts and two on labor, which is a great warranty that would be expected for a trainer at this cost.

Our Favorite Features

  • iFit enabled this trainer is designed to work with the iFit app which offers access to professionally designed workout programs, Google Maps workouts and advanced training and goal setting options
  • Snap assembly for easily assembly in just three simple steps
  • 38 inch auto adjustable stride knocks all other trainers out of the running for the longest stride on the market, beating out other trainers at similar price points by at least 20 or more inches
  • 10 inch full color touch screen console features an impressive 38 workout apps from heart rate programs to workouts designed specifically for fat and calorie burning
  • Web-enabled console allows users to access email, favorite social media sites and personal playlists
  • Range of -10 decline to +10 incline (to easily target multiple muscle groups of the lower body)
  • Wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring is included with this trainer, for easy and hands-free monitoring that is also accurate and easy to track using one of the built-in workout apps
  • Unique floating suspension design/ center drive design create an ergonomically sound trainer that offers an incredibly smooth, natural stride that’s easy on the joints and low back

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i Elliptical - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:No
Incline:-10% to 10% Power Adjustable
Stride Length:38 inches
Flywheel:20 LBS
Programs:38 Workout Apps
Weight Capacity:400 LBS
Dimensions:68.4" L x 28.5" W x 62.0" H

Our Least Favorite Features

  • iFit module not included ($99/year subscription fee required)
  • Lighter flywheel at only 20 pounds
  • Bulkier and less compact design makes it difficult to store or use in smaller spaces
  • Non-adjustable pedals
  • Only a +10 degree incline (compared to other elite trainers offering 20 and up)

 The Bottom Line

The NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i is pricey, but worth it if you’re looking for a top of the line machine. If you are looking for a basic elliptical trainer with a few customizable options, you can find trainers that are much more affordable, but of course you don’t get the “three-in-one” movements of the FreeStride Trainer. If you like the Free Stride concept (which we do), check out the little brother of the FS9i, the FS7i, where you’ll give up 3 inches in the screen, a couple workout programs and the decline, but you’ll save $1,000.

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