With the launch of the NordicTrack FS10i it’s clear that the brand continues to keep its eyes set on the elliptical trainer market. The FS10i is what the brand calls a ‘FreeStride Trainer’; it’s based on the swing/rotational motion of an elliptical trainer, with the ability to modify its stride. While we think that the brand’s use of the line it’s an elliptical, a treadmill, and a stepper all in one is a bit of a stretch, the machine does deliver a much more versatile range of workout options, targeting much more of your body than a conventional elliptical does. It certainly has the capability to replicate the movements of an elliptical and a stepper, thanks to is adjustable stride and incline, however the claim of treadmill I’d almost say is closer to that of a cross-country ski trainer. keeping vertical movement to a minimum, the FS10i is somewhat able to replicate the motion of running, though by keeping your feet on its footrests it never quite delivers on a full running experience.
It’s worth noting that the FS10i is the new replacement for the outgoing FS9i, that is now being discontinued. The differences between the two units are fairly minor overall, with a few added upgrades to this machine over its predecessor, and a modest $200 price increase on its full retail sticker price ($3,999 versus $3,799). At the moment the FS9i is on closeout and significantly discounted here so if Bluetooth connectivity and other upgrades are less important, you might be able to snag the older model at a significant discount.
|Stride Length||0" - 32"|
|Pedals||Cushioned & Oversized|
|User Profiles||4 Users|
|Heart Rate||Contact Grips + Bluetooth Enabled|
|Display||10" Web-Enabled Color Touchscreen|
|Max. Weight||375 lbs|
|Dimensions||58.5" x 29.5" x 74"|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 Years|
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 1 Year
Pros & Cons
- Supports very low-impact exercise
- Addition of Bluetooth compatibility for audio and BT heart rate monitors
- Wide range of iFit classes available, with new classes added daily
- Center drive design makes it easy to stay balanced
- Good diversity of workouts from a single machine
- 35 built-in workout programs (no iFit required)
- Can target more muscle groups than a conventional elliptical or stepper
- 32″ adjustable stride for three workout styles
- Moving handlebars for total-body workouts
- 10 degree power incline for extra calorie burn and toning.
- Silent Magnetic Resistance with 24 resistance levels
- 10-inch HD touchscreen
- Built in 2” speakers
- Durable design and long parts warranty
- Large hand grips aren’t comfortable for everyone according to customer reviews
- Switching stride length isn’t easy during workouts, so it’s best to choose one workout style per session
- Steep sticker price versus older models from the brand—watch for discounts
The NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i is an interesting offering in many respects, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s easy to see why it could be perfect for many. If you’re a running enthusiast, stick with a treadmill (0bviosuly), but if you’re looking to shed some pounds and hate the monotony of doing the same thing over and over at the gym, you’re on the right track with a FreeStride trainer. Depending on how much space (and budget) you have allocated to your home gym, packing multiple cardio machines into your home might not make sense. This is precisely where the FS10i comes into play. One day you might want the burn of a stepper, and the next a low-impact hustle of an elliptical.
Beyond that, as we’ll get into in a second, the inclusion of iFit programming (1st year subscription included) makes a world of difference when it comes to not getting bored doing the same old workout day in and day out. The FS10i’s 10-inch HD touchscreen makes following classes easy, especially when following one of the ‘Around The World’ programs, where an instructor leads you through beautiful scenery from a variety of global locations.
When we first looked into the new NordicTrack FS10i we were surprised that there is no mention on their pages about any built-in programming, however we’re happy to report that we have confirmed that the new machine has the same number of built-in workout programs as its predecessor, the FS9i. In total 35 built-in programs are available on the FS10i, so after your year-long trial of iFit ends, you won’t be short on workout programs if you choose not to continue with the subscription.
When it comes to iFit Coach, one of the biggest benefits you get is the fact that your workouts will never feel like ‘the same old routine’. New workouts are being added all the time, and with thousands of programs/workouts to choose from you’ll never get bored. For example, each day you could try a new Google Maps workout, and with different routes you will gradually increase your challenge in terms of distance, calorie burn, or elevation. There’s also the option of building your own custom programs as well, which can be helpful once you’ve gotten more comfortable and familiar with the machine.
iFit Coach includes three kinds of workout programs: Google Maps workouts with views and incline settings to copy terrain, high definition video workouts featuring celebrity personal trainers, and programs built with graphs for speed and incline. As for the 35 on-board workouts, these were designed by a certified personal trainer to maximize your workout time for different goals. Choose from routines optimized for calorie burn, intensity, and performance with different durations and difficulty levels.
The NordicTrack FS10i, much like the rest of the FreeStride lineup, has a center-drive elliptical design. Compared with a typical front or rear-drive elliptical, this style of machine helps promote balance, all while reducing the overall footprint of the machine.
What makes a FreeStride machines unique is its adjustable stride length, which has an adjustment range of 32 inches. Not only does this play a part in the machine’s ability to operate similarly to a stairclimber, but it also allows the machine to accommodate a wide range of users (both short and tall).
Pinnacle to the machine’s design is its 10-inch high definition touchscreen display. This allows for easy navigation between programs, as well as crisp and clear viewing of the variety of iFit classes on offer. It also has an Android web browser.
As part of this machine’s upgrade, users can now connect their smartphones or tablets to the machine via Bluetooth, and play their favorite workout playlists via the machine’s pair of 2-inch speakers. Sound output won’t rival your home theater setup by any stretch, but it will be plenty adequate for powering through your daily workout routine.
Warranty & Guarantee
NordicTrack FS10i warranty includes:
– Frame: 10 Years
– Parts: 5 Years
– Labor: 2 Years
NordicTrack gives a 30-day money back guarantee on all home fitness machines.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainers remain a fun treadmill alternative for runners and walkers interested in cross training (although at 32 inches the exercise is more glider-like than treadmill-like in terms of motion). The FS10i is the top-line offering in the category at this point, and though there’s a bit of sticker shock, the fact that you’re getting several machines in one helps to justify the cost/value equation. Further to this, NordicTrack often has deals and promotions on their machines, so we’ll be sure to keep you up to date of any discounts coming down the line.