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NordicTrack FS9i Review

Quick Summary

Treat yourself to three fitness machines in one! As the top model in NordicTrack’s unique FreeStride Trainer Series, the new FS9i combines a super-adjustable stride with the lineup’s biggest display screen for workouts and the web. Key specs include a maximum 38” stride path, a 10” touchscreen with web browser and iFit Coach, and incline/decline for the pedals. Get the details from our full NordicTrack FS9i review below.

Specifications

FitRated
Model NordicTrack FS9i
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

92.8%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,999
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the best price we've found.

$1,899
Resistance

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

26 Levels
Resistance Type

The type of resistance affects the performance of your elliptical. Magnetic and Eddy-Current are the most common types.

Magnetic
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

0" - 38"
Pedals

Elliptical pedals can be cushioned and adjustable for maximum comfort and minimum impact on joints for injury prevention.

Cushioned & Oversized
Incline

Some elliptical trainers can be set at an incline to increase difficulty and burn more calories.

-10 to 10 percent
Flywheel

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

20 lbs.
Programs

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

38
User Profiles

For each profile the elliptical allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

1 User
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Wireless Chest Strap Included
Display

Elliptical Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

10" Web-Enabled Color Touchscreen
Max. Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

400 lbs
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this elliptical will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

68.4" x 28.5" x 62"
Upper Body

Most ellipticals have handles to hold while you're working out that provide an upper body workout.

Accessory Tray

Some ellipticals include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Ellipticals that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (without headphones).

Cooling Fans

Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout on your elliptical.

Folding?

Some ellipticals are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.

Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 5 Years
Labor: 2 Years

Rating: 92.8%

Our Rating

Rating: 92.8/100. The NordicTrack FS9i FreeStride Trainer is among the most flexible elliptical machines on the market. Allowing stride paths up to 38″ long, it’s designed to fit anyone’s natural gait and let people of all heights take shorter steps or long glides to train their muscles differently. In effect it’s a very low-impact elliptical trainer and stepper, and it’s also advertised as a treadmill alternative.

Other special features on the FS9i are incline/decline and a 10″ web-enabled touchscreen. The touchscreen has an Android browser and a direct link to unlimited iFit Coach workout programs.

Pros:

  • Very low impact (Gentle to joints)
  • 38″ adjustable stride for multiple lower-body workout styles
  • Has moving handlebars for upper-body exercise
  • Power incline range of -10% to +10%
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • iPod-compatible with built-in speakers
  • 10″ touchscreen with high definition
  • Enabled for iFit Coach workout programs and fitness tracking
  • 38 workout apps
  • Web browser included
  • Shelf for a tablet computer or smartphone
  • Wireless chest strap included for heart rate monitoring
  • Water bottle holder
  • Transport wheels

Cons:

  • Upper-body ergonomics might not be ideal for smaller trainees
  • Costs more than standard NordicTrack ellipticals with comparable resistance

Introduction

The NordicTrack FreeStride FS9i is a deluxe home fitness machine for cardio with light to intermediate strength training. With a pedaling range of zero to 38 inches, it lets you train with any step length. It also lets you adjust resistance and incline. By changing the settings you can get the exercise effects of a treadmill, stair climber or elliptical with very little stress put on your knees and other sensitive joints. This unique cross-trainer provides a 10” touchscreen, a 20-pound drive, 26 resistance levels and automated incline/decline.

Workout Programs

Benefit from the expertise of a certified personal trainer! The FreeStride Trainer FS9i is stocked with 35 professionally designed workout programs. Organized by workout goal, they can help you efficiently train for calorie burn, intensity and performance.

For unlimited workout variety a subscription to iFit Coach Plus is sold with the machine. iFit Coach Plus members each get three customized workout program suggestions every day! You can virtually train along Google Maps routes and get scenic views on the 10” touchscreen, plus iFit Coach produces high-def video workouts with personal trainers. These videos are filmed in beautiful outdoor settings, and the scenery moves at your pace as with Google Maps workouts. For Google Maps workouts you can design or choose from unlimited routes. For high-def video workouts, the iFit Coach Library has hundreds of options.

With iFit Coach you can also design new basic-style personal training workouts anytime by adjusting speed and incline lines with the FS9i touchscreen.  

FreeStride Trainer Features

The highlight of a NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer is its 38″ stride. The adjustable stride lets the FS9i deliver the effects of a stairstepper, a full-body elliptical trainer and a treadmill. It operates even more smoothly than a traditional low impact elliptical too, thanks to NordicTrack’s “floating on air” belt system that replaces metal rails.

The FS9i’s control center is a full color 10″ touch screen. It not only shows workout programming but also lets you browse the web. Other entertainment support includes a tablet computer holder and compatibility with iPod. The console has an MP3 player port and 3″ speakers from Intermix Acoustics.

The NordicTrack FS9i has a center drive design. Compared with typical front drive elliptical trainers it makes it easier to keep a good posture during workouts. The center drive design also helps keep the FreeStride Trainer’s footprint small; the FS9i measures just 68.4″ L x 28.5″ W, which is rather compact considering that it can serve as a treadmill.

For accurate heart rate monitoring a wireless heart rate chest strap is included.

A water bottle and workout fan are also integrated with the trainer.

Warranty & Guarantee

NordicTrack FS9i warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime

– Parts: 5 Years

– Labor: 2 Years

NordicTrack sells its FreeStride Trainer with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Conclusion

The FS9i is NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line FreeStride Trainer. It costs more than a regular elliptical trainer with comparable resistance, but it far surpasses “regular” in terms of versatility. If this trainer fits your budget, then it’s hard to pass up! The many combinations of stride length, incline and resistance make it easy to target-tone your muscles while being good to your heart… and with iFit Coach Plus you can virtually experience a new outdoor path every day.

For a cheaper alternative, see the FS7i. It has a lower selling price and, unlike the FS9i, doesn’t require an iFit Coach Plus membership. You can train with a regular iFit Coach membership or just use built-in programs.