Summary: The FreeStride FS9i from NordicTrack is a hybrid machine. It looks like an elliptical trainer (albeit and impressive, large one). It triples-up as an elliptical, treadmill and stepper – maintaining the impressive NordicTrack quality across all 3. There is more than just the smooth action and tough, quality built to the FreeStride. You get a 10-inch HD screen, which works with the iFit training programme. This machine comes with a 1-year subscription.
This is an impressive machine, providing a versatile workout with a smaller footprint than you might expect. See the pictures and video of this in use (and check out the iFit) over on this dedicated page at NordicTrack.co.uk now!
You get a heavy machine with the FS9i. It weighs 109kgs, and is 148cms long, 75cms wide and 188cms tall when assembled. With commercial quality steel construction, this elliptical could not be more different than the no-name models that are so common these days.
NordicTrack recommend a maximum user weight of 170kgs for this machine. That is heavier than the normally conservative recommendations for their treadmills and bikes. In old money, it is over 26 stone.
The flywheel itself is 9kgs – big enough to provide stable, powerful resistance.
All NordicTrack fitness equipment comes with a warranty. Note that you do need to register within 28 days of purchase to activate this. The main warranty is 2 years for all parts and labour. The frame gets even longer, with 5 years of cover.
For fans of elliptical cross trainers, nothing is more frustrating than a short stride length. This holds back your effort just when you want to ‘go for it’. With the NordicTrack FS9i Elliptical, you get a 32-inch stride length. This is plenty for even the tallest of users. This unit will automatically adjust the stride length, depending on your programme used. The curved handlebars not only look stunning, but they also make brilliant use of space.
More impressive for me is the addition of 10% incline. Most ellipticals don’t include this, it will make things tougher, giving you a powerful workout. The controls are via the 10-inch HD screen, and are all one-touch (see below).
Stepping and treadmill workouts will vary your routine. They provide a strong cardio workout, as well as targeting slightly different groups of muscles. If your main goal is running, then the incline trainers (for example the Commercial 11i Treadmill) are your best bet. For an occasional change-up from cross trainer workouts, the FS9i works brilliantly.
There are two parts to the tech. The most obvious is the high-definition touch screen, though there are important technical enhancements adding to the quality from behind the scenes too.
The screen will connect the iFit Programme. This is Nordic Track’s own training system. You get a huge library of workouts and can track your progress as your fitness improves. These are led by celebrity trainers. You can also work out on scenic routes – adding a sense of adventure to your elliptical sessions.
You get I year of ‘Family’ membership with the FS9i. This gives access and tracking for up to 4 people.
Less obvious enhancements make all the difference. They include a fan, tablet holder and Bluetooth connection, chest-strap (which can feed back into he controls), silent magnetic resistance and oversized pedals which are slightly cushioned.
Users of the iFit training programmes have left glowing feedback for this model – having a real trainer obviously makes a big difference to both enjoyment and to motivation levels. Of the limited feedback comments from buyers, the positives continue. One buyer got one after shopping for a different brand (that was not available that day) and was impressed by the quality. This does tie in with other feedback for NordicTrack equipment.
Two key audiences for this model. Commercial gyms and fitness rooms in hotels (for example) are the first ideal buyers. Home users that want an elliptical trainer, with some flexibility to use as a treadmill or stepper are the other.
While more expensive than many knock-off no-name ellipticals, NordicTrack equipment is an investment. It will last for years, paying for itself in improved health and in durability.
That iFit membership that comes with the FS9i is a big plus – you’ll get trainer led sessions which will push you in ways that are difficult to do on your own.
Check out the full spec (and see the video!) for yourself now, over on this dedicated product page at NordicTrack.co.uk
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