Here’s a question many people ponder; is it worth buying a budget/entry level exercise bike? At $599, the NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro costs less than half some of the top tier performers in the category, but how good or bad could it possibly be?
We’ve had a look. We’ve examined and compared, and though its not less than half the bike, it certainly has its quirks (as well as a few perks). If you’re the type to invest in equipment and want something long-term that will last for ages, you’re going to want to step up and spend more on things like the NordicTrack Commercial VU19, or the Sole LCB.
Read on for the full NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro bike review, including pros, cons, and more.
|Model||NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro|
|Resistance Type||19 lb. Flywheel|
|Seat||Oversized & Cushioned|
|Heart Rate||CardioGrip Wireless & Wireless Strap Compatible|
|Display||5" Backlit iFit LCD|
|Max. Weight||300 lbs|
|Dimensions||60" x 24.8" x 41.25"|
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 1 Year
Rating: 69.8/100. Though it has “Pro” in its name, the NordicTrack’s GX 4.4 Pro is definitely an exercise bike for beginners. Its $599 sale price is very affordable–most exercise bikes cost double or more–so what should you expect? There’s a pattern we’ve observed over years of preparing exercise bike reviews. A cheap stationary bike can have some (but not all) of these qualities: a heavy drive for smooth cycling and good resistance, several built-in workouts, flashy features, and a decent warranty. When it comes to the GX 4.4 Pro, NordicTrack wins a few extra brownie points by making compromises in each area without going completely overboard.
Highlights of this upright exercise bike include a respectable drive size, built-in workouts (plus iFit with additional membership fee), and a two-year parts warranty. Here are pros and cons to consider.
- 19-pound drive (Good for beginners)
- 28 built-in workouts
- Enabled for iFit (Shown on a low-tech 5″ screen or your own computer)
- Built-in tablet holder
- Auxiliary audio input
- Built-in speakers
- Wireless heart rate receiver (Chest strap sold separately)
- OneTouch™ controls (No scrolling to change resistance)
- Workout fan
- Water bottle holder
- Low price ($599 on sale, $799 MSRP)
- Two-year parts warranty
- Good size for most homes (Footprint is 60″ x 24.8″)
- iFit-enabled but the display is minimal (best to run on tablet)
- In-console tablet holder design is awkward and impractical
- Not powerful enough for stronger cyclists
- Seat is hard and uncomfortable (Can be covered or replaced)
- CardioGrip™ heart rate sensors on handlebars aren’t very accurate
- Lower quality parts could break (Plastic flywheel cover, for example)
- Handful of negative reviews about build quality, seat, fan noise, etc.
Our review of the NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro continues below, but in case some of the notes above have you thinking of alternatives, we’ve got you covered. Two suggested upright bikes are sale priced at $799. Although they cost more upfront, they are better values in the long run.
– Sole B94 – Noted as the highest rated Upright exercise bike under $800, the B94 comes with a gel seat, 26-pound flywheel, wireless heart rate control, 10 programs, 3-year warranty on parts and electronics.
— Diamondback 510IC – More of a spin-style indoor cycle, the 510IC delivers great value for dollar. 16 resistance levels, 12 workout programs, a thoughtful display console, and much more sturdy construction for the price.
The NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro is a bargain basement upright exercise bike that offers good resistance and training programs for less experienced cyclists. One selling point is its 19-pound drive, which is relatively light but fine for beginners. Additionally, a significant plus for the bike is the volume of pre-loaded workouts in its console. Read on for details about the workouts and other features.
What are your fitness goals? The assortment of training programs built into the GX 4.4 Pro can help you lose weight, build endurance, and improve your performance. There are 28 workouts to choose from. Ten are focused on calorie burn, nine are for performance, and nine are for endurance. These are all displayed on a backlit 5″ LCD.
Unlimited workouts from iFit are available too, should you choose to go that route, though with this bike we wouldn’t recommend it. To properly enjoy the benefits of iFit, you want either a high definition display on the bike, or a better tablet mount. The way your tablet mounts into the GX 4.4 Pro is cumbersome, and not particularly cohesive to any of the cross training options that are available with iFit. Furthermore, because the $39 monthly fee is not included in the bike, your first year of ownership will cost you an additional $468. At a total of just over $1,000, there are better bikes out there that include a year’s membership to iFit, including the sleek NordicTrack Grand Tour.
Stationary Bike Features
Tablets, smartphones, and other devices are all invited along for the ride, as this stationary bike has an auxiliary audio input that connects to a pair of 2″ speakers.
To help you exercise efficiently, this exercise bike is compatible with Bluetooth smart chest straps for wireless heart rate monitoring. Another pulse monitoring option (which we’re not wild about) is the CardioGrip™ heart rate monitor. It’s convenient to use, as your heart rate is read via sensors built into the bike’s grips, but it’s not medically accurate. If anything this feature provides you an approximate benchmark of increase in heart rate from start to peak, rather than an actual valid readout.
Staying hydrated and cool are keys to a good workout experience. To that end, the 4.4 Pro has an integrated water bottle holder as well as a built-in cooling fan. The fan can automatically adjust its strength as you speed up or slow down. As noted above, we have seen some complaints about the noise levels of the built-in fans, however the simple fact that they’re included at all at this price point is a nice surprise.
Warranty & Guarantee
The NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro upright bike warranty includes:
– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 2 Years
– Labor: 1 year
NordicTrack also provides a 30-day money back guarantee.
Realistically there are two ways to look at this. If you’re desperately wanting to get into a home fitness routine and $599 is the absolute most you can afford, the NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro is a good option, but know that you’re not getting a piece of pro-grade equipment here. As professionals having dealt in the industry for quite some time now, our advice would be to save a little longer in order to slightly increase your budget. Exercise bikes in the $799 to $1,000 sale price category are more highly recommended, and at the end of the day you’ll get better quality and a longer life span out of your exercise bike in the end.