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NordicTrack Commercial VR21 Review

Quick Summary

For comfortable biking with a low upfront cost, the NordicTrack Commercial VR21 is a new top choice in 2017. At just $699 on sale ($999 full price) the VR21 is the lowest-priced recumbent bike in NordicTrack’s three-member series. Key features are a high-backed mesh seat, a 23-pound resistance system, 32 workout apps and an iFit Coach Ready console. Read our full VR21 bike review for help deciding whether it’s the best recumbent exercise bike for your budget.

Specifications

FitRated
Model NordicTrack
Commercial VR21
Rating

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

89.5%
List Price

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

$999
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

$699
Resistance

The flywheel in an exercise bike is what creates resistance. You can choose the level of resistance to increase your workout intensity.

25 Levels
Resistance Type

The type of resistance shows what kind of flywheel is being used (if any), and its weight if the manufacturer provides it.

Balanced Flywheel
Type

Type refers to the style of the ride: Recumbent bikes allow you to lay back, while Upright bikes are more like road bikes (lean forward).

Recumbent
Drive System

The bike's drive system is how your pedaling interacts with the rest of the bike (flywheel) to give you a good workout.

23 lb. Flywheel
Frame

It's important to choose an exercise bike that will last, and the material of the frame determines how durable the bike is.

Recumbent
Seat

The most important part for comfortability during your workout, the seat should be adjustable and have ample cushioning.

Adjustable w/ Lumbar Support
Pedals

Pedals are the driving force for an exercise bike, and should be comfortable, adjustable, and easy to control without slipping.

Extra Wide Ergonomic
Programs

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

32
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.

Pulse Grips & Wireless Chest Strap
Display

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

5" Backlit iFit Display
Max. Weight

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

350 lbs
Dimensions

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

59" x 22.25" x 52"
Accessory Tray

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

Speakers

Cooling Fans

Portable?

Some exercise bikes can fold up and/or have wheels that make it easy to roll them around for convenience and to save space.

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 1 Year

Rating: 89.5%

Full Review

Rating: 89.5/100. The easy-to-ride Commercial VR21 debuted as the most affordable NordicTrack recumbent bike for 2017. Sale priced at just $699, it’s also one of NordicTrack’s cheapest solutions for cross-training that puts minimal pressure on your joints. With the VR21 you can expect to get a year or two of comfortable workouts for calorie burn, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and toning your lower body. The bike may also be useful for physical therapy after an injury. It has an effectively 23-pound flywheel and lets you alternate among 25 resistance settings.

With the Commercial VR21, NordicTrack provides a drive that’s heavy enough to be respectable, yet not so heavy that it jacks up the machine price. The same goes for the electronics: You won’t pay for a flashy console, but 32 workout apps are included — plus you can add your own tablet computer to run iFit Coach and other apps.

Here are pros and cons to consider about choosing the NordicTrack Commercial VR21.

Pros:

  • Commercial steel frame
  • Step Thru™ recumbent frame design (Easy on, easy off)
  • Low impact exercise
  • Padded seat with airflow and back support
  • 23-pound resistance system
  • 25 resistance settings (Digitally controlled)
  • 32 workout apps
  • Ready for iFit Coach (Shown on your mobile device)
  • iPod-compatible (Port and 2” speakers)
  • Wireless heart rate receiver (Chest strap sold separately)
  • Grip pulse sensors on handlebars
  • Workout fan (AutoBreeze)
  • High weight capacity (350 pounds)
  • Low sale price ($599)
  • Two-year parts warranty

Cons:

  • Not the best match for advanced cyclists
  • Not built for long-term durability
  • NordicTrack’s customer service frequently gets negative reviews

Introduction

Pedal through an effective workout without hurting your sensitive joints or back! Recumbent exercise bikes like the new NordicTrack Commercial VR21 let you burn calories, tone your lower body and build cardiovascular endurance… all with low impact and high comfort compared with upright stationary bikes.

The VR21 is one of the cheapest recumbent bikes of 2017, just $699 on sale, but it provides a useful mix of power and workout programming. It’s also entertainment-friendly with a tablet shelf and iPod-compatible sound system.

Nordictrack VR21 Workout Programs

Bike with the wisdom of a pro trainer’s knowledge. The VR21 has 32 workout apps designed with a certified personal trainer. Each app can control the bike’s pedal speed and resistance. For each bike session you can focus especially on a calorie goal, cardio endurance or performance training.

The Commercial VR21 is also ready for iFit Coach. With an iFit Coach membership you can get ever-evolving coaching not only about biking, but for your fitness-related activities around the clock. iFit Coach also lets you download new customized programs every day, access a library of HD video workouts featuring celebrity personal trainers, and virtually ride outdoors along any Google Maps™ route. If Google Street View is available for your route, it can stream to your tablet computer as you ride.

VR21 Features

Special features on NordicTrack bikes can bring extra motivation and enjoyment to your fitness regime. On the VR21 you’ll get an eye-level shelf for your tablet computer, so your computer can serve as an iFit Coach monitor and/or run your favorite mobile apps. For the extra push of music, you can connect your MP3 player to the bike console. A set of 2” speakers with digital amplification lets you leave headphones or earbuds behind.

To help you train in your target heart rate zone, the VR21 has grip pulse sensors on the handlebars. For better accuracy you can wear a wireless chest strap. (Chest straps are sold separately here, but are included with the VR23.)

Other console features to note are a 5” data window with crisp display, an auto-adjusting fan and a water bottle holder.

Warranty & Guarantee

The NordicTrack Commercial VR21 recumbent bike warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 2 Years
– Labor: 1 Year

A 30-day money back guarantee is provided for factory-direct purchases.

Conclusion

At the very low end of the price spectrum, shoppers shouldn’t expect very long-lasting exercise bikes. For the $599 sale price though, the NordicTrack Commercial VR21 looks like one of the best recumbent exercise bike deals of 2017. This brand-new model provides comfortable seating and joint-friendly pedaling; has useful and varied workout apps; and can integrate iFit Coach, your tablet computer and your favorite audio files.

Owing to its so-so resistance system, the VR21 is most suitable for light and moderate intensity cardio training. To get a more powerful and durable bike, generally you’d need to spend at least $999.