NordicTrack’s top cycle trainer for 2021 is the Commercial S22i Studio Cycle with the iFit Coach app for personal training. A luxury model, the Commercial S22i provides NordicTrack’s widest display – a 22-inch HD touch screen – for virtual escapes to iFit Coach spin classes and for biking with interactive Google Maps Street Views. Another special feature is power incline and decline; this ride can tilt for uphill/downhill training! Overall the new S22i is a digitally connected exercise bike that’s optimized for workout variety. Details are below in our NordicTrack S22i review.
Commercial S22i Studio Cycle
|Resistance Type||Silent Magnetic Resistance|
|Seat||Adjustable horizontally and vertically|
|Pedals||Toe cages, universal design|
|Heart Rate||Wireless Telemetry and Grip Sensors|
|Display||22" HD touchscreen|
|Max. Weight||350 lbs|
|Dimensions||63" L x 22" W x 60" H Footprint|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 Years|
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 1 Year
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle: The Value Proposition
The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle picks up where the S15i leaves off as that brand’s entries into the race for home exercise bikes. A luxury ride equipped with a vibrant 22-inch swiveling screen built to view iFit Coach workouts, it also brings 24 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance to the home for $1,999. This price has to be considered along with the 30-Day iFit Family Membership which comes along with it. Given that, the S22i price stands tall amongst the competition. For those familiar with the S15i, consider this model as nearly identical except for the 22-inch screen as opposed to 14-inch, and 24 levels of resistance as opposed to 22. The S15i is priced at $1,599, less the 30-day iFit subscription. So for an extra $400, one gets eight inches of bigger screen and two more resistance levels.
Recently the MYX Fitness Bike entered the category as a more affordable alternative at $1,299 (read the full review of the MYX Fitness Bike here). We’d also suggest that the ProForm Studio Bike at $1,499 offers a good comparison/contrast with the NordicTrack bikes. In terms of value, the S22i does bring a solid 10-year warranty on the frame, two-year guarantee on parts, and one year on labor. Compared to other models these days, that’s very respectable, although everyone would love to see lifetime guarantees across the board. Built with comfort in mind, the 2021 model also features new Bluetooth headphone capability so riders can better interact with their live iFit training community, or enjoy music. A solid, commercial steel frame with a maximum user weight of 350 pounds, the S22i is certainly at the upper end of its category in terms of price, but it is bringing quality to the counter.
One of the most unique value-added benefits of the S22i is the fact that it features a -10% decline and 20% incline option which works in conjunct with the iFit program. For an inside studio bike to offer incline and decline is rare enough, but for it to work in conjunct with the trainer-controlled programming is quite impressive a feature. For serious riders seeking the hills and hollers of road bikes, this in and of itself may make the decision for them.
Bike Build Quality
NordicTrack brings a reputation for solid machinery, and in the case of the S22i that appears to be the case once more. The maximum user weight of 350 pounds serves as an indicator overall durability. Measuring 63 inches in length, the bike is 22 inches wide, and 60 inches high of commercial grade steel. A 22-inch Smart HD Touchscreen with tilting display and a full 360-degree rotation is also a big draw for the those seeking multiple uses of the bike. The tilt and rotation allow riders to hop off and perform floor work with the included three-pound dumbbells, or yoga, or simply stretching. The bike’s resistance is generated by way of Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR), and the 24 levels are digitally controlled. What this means is that as a magnet is drawn closer to, or pulled away from, the flywheel, the resistance changes. Magnetic resistance is rated as among the smoothest of styles on the market.
The bike is also built for comfort, equipped with an ergonomic padded saddle and vertical, as well as horizontal, seat adjustment. The non-slip, multi-position handlebar also helps ensure riders of varying heights can use the bike. The AutoBreeze Workout Fan is a nice touch, as are the two two-inch digitally amplified speakers. An upgrade for the 2021 model is new Bluetooth headphone and heart rate connectivity and twice the RAM as in previous models. For the price offered, one does expect and receive these types of features with the S22i.
The Experience: Resistance and Ride
The 24 levels of digitally-controlled magnetic resistance is a big draw for many, but the real gem here is the bike’s incline/decline option. Not many bikes offer this feature, but the S22i sports a -10% decline and 20% incline, and this can be controlled from remote by the professional trainers of the iFit community. When participating in iFit classes of any kind, whether with live trainers or pre-programmed, the bike can auto-adjust accordingly. With this incline/decline function, riders get the real feel of mountains, trails, or hills. New Quiet Drive technology makes this function smooth irrespective of the degree of angling or intensity of the ride. All of this is managed easy with One Touch controls.
Unlike older friction resistance models, the magnetic resistance is considered by quiet and smooth. With the bike’s measurements, one can gauge its stability as high. Regardless of one’s level of ability, the 24 levels combined with incline and decline options, pretty well guarantee a well-earned burn. With the 22-inch screen’s ability to swivel and tilt, combined with the adjustable seat and handlebars, users of any height and weight up to 350 pounds should be able to hit the workout as hard as they want.
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Bike Vs. The Competition
In the battle of the indoor bikes, the S22i is certainly among the higher-priced models, although not by much with all things considered. At $1,999, the purchase price comes with a 30-day iFit Family Membership. The other NordicTrack model, the S15i, is priced at $1,599 with the same iFit deal. For the extra $400, one gets an extra eight inches of screen and two additional levels of resistance.
We’d also mention the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 would serve as a comparison/contrast here. Priced at $1,299, the bike also comes with a 30-day iFit program, and in many ways, would seem like the same bike. Both offer 24 levels of magnetic resistance and a 22-inch screen which swivels, as well as other basic features. One big difference of course is the ProForm bike does not offer the incline/decline function, and instead of a 350-pound weight max, it offers 250 pounds. Both bikes even offer a set of three-pound dumbbells with the purchase and the warranty offered is the same. With this bike we’d say the big trade-offs would be the lower maximum weight and the fact that the S22i offers incline and decline in conjunct with the iFit program.
The MYX Fitness Bike is another lower priced alternative to the S22i (read the full review of the MYX Fitness Bike here). Priced at $1,399, the MYX Fitness Bike brings its own proprietary workout app with more than 500 classes as opposed to the iFit community’s trainer-led workouts. The MYX app is $29 per month, as opposed to iFit at $39 after the trial membership is up. Equipped with a 21.5-inch screen which swivels, its weight max is also 350 pounds. The big difference is in the resistance offered, as the MYX Fitness Bike uses a 41-pound flywheel, as opposed to magnetic. The warranty offered is also a big difference with one-year as opposed to the NordicTrack family’s 10 years for frame, two years for parts, and one year for labor.
- iFit Coach enabled for spin class videos and interactive workouts
- 22-inch touch screen with high definition
- 24 resistance levels
- Bluetooth headphones and heart rate connectivity
- Quiet magnetic flywheel system
- Slope settings from -10 to 20 percent
- Adjustable padded saddle with universal stem
- Caged pedals; also compatible with road bike pedals
- Multigrip handlebars
- Set of three-pound dumbbells for upper-body exercise
- Two water bottle holders
- Auto-adjusting workout fan
- 350-pound user weight capacity
- Transport wheels
- Costs a lot more than the average home exercise bike
- iFit Coach membership is required for using the model
- NordicTrack has a reputation for slow customer service
While the S22i comes with no built-in programs of its own, the bike can be used without the iFit Coach program in manual mode. Or, users could always park it in front of a smart television, or use another app. That said, the iFit program is successful for a reason.
With any NordicTrack cycle trainer, 24/7 personal training from iFit Coach is a highlight. The iFit Coach app is built into the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle, and iFit can be downloaded to iOS and Android devices. The mobile apps offer a host of benefits, effectively providing ‘round-the-clock health and fitness coaching. For starters, upon waking each morning one can check an estimate of calories burned while sleeping. The app also provides a calorie intake suggestion for the day and automatically calculates and logs calories burnt for walking, swimming and other activities if it’s paired with a wearable activity tracker.
The iFit program includes dozens of LiveCast spin class videos, plus an unlimited number of virtual outdoor bike workouts with Google Maps street views. All iFit Coach workout files, including the bike class videos, can control the S22i resistance and incline to support the workout goals. With HD resolution this extra-wide display can help riders immerse in studio bike classes or take mini-mental vacations with scenic Google Maps footage.
The outdoor rides are excellent with IFit Coach as you are riding behind a real rider in various locations around the world. The live-streamed rider/instructor advises on posture, cadence, resistance, and can adjust the bike’s controls from remote.
Fitness App Compatibility
On an exercise bike already fitted with an integrated screen and iFit streaming, there’s no need to start looking at workout apps that focus on training instruction of any sorts. That said, if you’re looking for more in-depth training metrics to complement your fitness journey, we have some options for you. At top of mind, the Strava App has become a go-to for cardio enthusiasts of all sorts. Runners and cyclists alike will use the app for tracking rides and runs. This app is especially helpful if you also enjoy running outdoors (weather permitting), both because you can compile all of your workouts in one place, and because the community aspect of the app will help outdoor runners find new and challenging routes that have been shared by other users.
In a similar vein, Google Fit—the simple fitness tracking software that’s compatible with countless Android smartwatches—could also prove useful to you. Use it to track your cardio and other workouts (yoga, strength, HIIT, and others), and maintain an easy-to-digest record of your progress. While both Strava and Google Fit are free, Strava does gatekeep some of its “premium functionality” for paid subscribers.
The most prominent feature of the S22i is the 22-inch swivel screen with full 360 degrees of rotation. That said, the bike also brings the unique offering of -10% decline and 20% incline which can be controlled via the iFit program, or manually. Built to work with iFit, the purchase comes with one year of the family plan. The bike can be used without it manually, or with another app, if the rider chooses to discontinue the service at some point.
In terms of the bike itself, the unit measures 63-inch x 22-inch x 60-inch and can support up to 350 pounds in user weight. Equipped with Silent Magnetic Resistance and 24 levels, digitally controlled, the 2021 model also brings Bluetooth headphones and heart rate connectivity. Built for comfort, riders will find an ergonomic seat, adjustable both vertically and horizontally, as well as two water bottle holders, and two three-pound dumbbells. Other added features include two two-inch digitally amplified speakers.
The new 2021 model also brings improved HD graphics performance with added processor cooling, as well as faster dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. Double the RAM and faster connectivity are also upgrades to this year’s model.
Warranty & Guarantee
The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Bike comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame, two years for parts, and one year for labor.
Is It Worth It?
Top-notch among NordicTrack cycle trainers, the Commercial S22i Studio Cycle has big appeal to luxury shoppers. It’s the only NordicTrack spin bike to supply a 22-inch HD monitor along with uphill/downhill slope to make the most of iFit Coach cycling workouts. This ride’s full price is high in relation to the warranty, but price isn’t the main concern of its intended riders. If you like this bike but balk at the price, maybe check out the cheaper S15i as a fun and effective alternative. Overall though we’d it’s worth it.
What’s Changed for this Year
Each year manufacturers upgrade their models by adding more features, particularly to the tech and screen elements. This can be confusing for those shopping online. Occasionally one might see the same bike offered with different features, and this might be what’s occurring. Below is a breakdown of the new features added to the 2021 model up from the 2020.
New for 2021 over 2020
- Better Screen: The 22-inch Smart HD Touchscreen features improved HD graphics and added processor cooling.
- Faster Connectivity: Improved dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi Connectivity make for faster performance, along with 2X more RAM.
- Improved Access: The 2021 model features improved Bluetooth headphones and heart rate connectivity.