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NordicTrack Elite 12.9 Review

Quick Summary

Designed for a wide range of skill levels and body types, the NordicTrack Elite 12.9 elliptical is a top recommendation for many shoppers with a $1,299 budget in mind.

It offers a stride range of 20″ to 21″, a smooth and heavy drive, a touch screen for navigating workouts and the Internet, and other high quality specs that say “Bring me home!”

Learn more from our full review of the NordicTrack Elite 12.9 below.


Model NordicTrack Elite 12.9

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

List Price

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

Best Price

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


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.

Silent Magnetic Resistance
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).

20" - 21"

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

Adjustable & Oversized

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

3-20 degrees

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

20 lbs.

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

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.


Elliptical 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 it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs

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

67.1" x 25" x 69.1"
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.


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.


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).


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: 89.5%

Our Rating

Rating: 89.5/100. The Elite 12.9 is one of NordicTrack’s highest quality front drive elliptical trainers, yet it’s sale priced at just $1,299 online. (Full retail price is $2,299.) This elliptical for home gyms is inspired by those made for health clubs. Examples of its higher quality components are a 32-pound drive and a 20″ to 21″ stride, which changes with incline. These features add to the price but help make the Elite 12.9 a comfortable ride with just the right amount of challenge for most trainees.

The Elite 12.9 elliptical console is equipped with newer tech. A full color 7″ touch screen serves as the control center for workouts, plus the touch screen has an Android web browser. The console also has a tablet computer holder, iPod compatibility and a large workout fan.

Here are points to consider before bringing the Elite 12.9 home.


  • 32-pound flywheel
  • 26 resistance levels
  • Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR™)
  • 20″ to 21″ stride, depending on the incline (Likely ideal unless you’re short or very tall)
  • Power incline of 0 degrees to 20 degrees
  • Resistance and incline controls on handlebars
  • 35 built-in workouts
  • iFit-enabled
  • Full color 7″ touch screen to show workouts and data
  • Web browser
  • iPod-compatible (2″ speakers)
  • Wireless heart rate monitor (Chest strap included)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Long warranties on parts and labor


  • NordicTrack’s customer service often gets low marks from customers
  • Not a SpaceSaver although it has transport wheels (Footprint is 80.25″ L x 25.75″ W)


With it’s new sale price the NordicTrack Elite 12.9 is a top elliptical among the $1,299 options. Inspired by club quality elliptical trainers, it supports an ergonomic 20″ to 21″ stride and offers smooth resistance from one of NordicTrack’s heaviest drives. Most adults will find that the Elite 12.9 is a great fit in terms of stride length, weight capacity, smooth performance and challenge.

Besides having high quality performance, the Elite 12.9 shows off NordicTrack’s latest tech for workouts and entertainment: an iFit-enabled console, iPod-compatibility, a touch screen with web browser, and more.

Workout Programs

The NordicTrack Elite 12.9 is preloaded with 35 workouts. Each was designed by a certified personal trainer and looks great on the console’s 7″ full-color touch screen display. These programs make it easy to get a smart training session by automating the elliptical machine’s magnetic resistance and incline. They fall into four categories: Ramp, Calorie, Intensity and Performance.

For unlimited workout variety the Elite 12.9 is iFit-enabled. Using the console’s 7″ touch screen you can access iFit’s ever-growing library of high definition video workouts, which feature world-class personal trainers. With iFit you can also download a new and custom-tailored personal trainer workout every day. Most exciting though for many trainees is iFit’s Google Maps™ feature. The Elite 12.9’s touch screen can show an interactive Google Street View for any route you draw, plus the elliptical will change its incline to simulate the landscape.

iFit subscriptions cost $99/year and each allows four user profiles.

NordicTrack Elite 12.9 Features

This NordicTrack Elite elliptical has a 20″ to 21″ stride. It isn’t power adjustable but shortens as the incline increases, just like your own natural stride.

The flywheel weighs 32 pounds, which is robust for such a feature-rich $1,299 elliptical trainer, and is part of a quiet magnetic resistance system. You can choose from 26 resistance levels. To add more resistance, adjust the automated incline by up to 20 degrees. This feature helps you avoid fitness plateaus! Benefits of incline training include a metabolic boost and targeted muscle toning.

The digitally controlled incline makes this elliptical an especially good match for iFit Google Maps™ training.

The control center for workouts and entertainment is a 7″ touch screen. It’s the full color display for built-in workouts, downloaded iFit workouts and other iFit features. The touch screen also has an Android web browser.
For heart rate monitoring the Elite 12.9 is compatible with a wireless chest strap, which is included. It also has contact heart rate sensors on the handlebars.

The NordicTrack Elite 12.9 is compatible with iPods and other MP3 players. It has a port and Intermix Acoustics 2.0 speakers.

Warranty & Guarantee

The NordicTrack Elite 12.9 elliptical warranty is an especially consumer-friendly companion for a $1,299 product. It includes:

– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 5 Years
– Labor: 2 Years

NordicTrack also includes a 30-day money back guarantee.


On sale for $1,299 the NordicTrack Elite 12.9 is a best buy elliptical for many shoppers. It’s the complete package with high quality basics, modern tech for training and entertainment, and a long warranty.