Fitness Brain’s home cardio specialist Matt Smith takes this cross trainer for a spin in our NordicTrack FS10i review…
Written by: Matt Smith
Fact Checked by: Editorial Team
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Regardless of whether you like cardio or not, a home gym is never complete without an elliptical machine. This is why NordicTrack has a range of machines that put most ellipticals to shame, with the FS10i being a notable name in this product line.
Here’s our complete NordicTrack FS10i review.
NordicTrack FS10i First Impressions
Upon laying eyes on and using this three-in-one machine for the first time, it’s easy to see why people describe it as ‘innovative’ and ‘premium.’
It’s quite a large piece of equipment, but for a good reason. In addition to the steel frame, it’s built from durable materials with premium hard and soft plastics used. It’s also incredibly easy on the eyes. The touch display makes it look modern and futuristic while enhancing the overall experience giving it the interactivity we expect from the likes of Peloton.
The initial setup can be completed by one person, but it is handy to have two people to build it if possible.
Quick Verdict: NordicTrack FS10i
NordicTrack FS10i Specifications
Here are the detailed specifications of the FS10i:
- Resistance levels: 24
- Resistance type: Magnetic
- Stride length: 0 to 81 centimetres
- Incline: 10 per cent power incline
- Flywheel: 9 kilograms
- Pedals: Oversized and cushioned pedals
- User profiles: 4
- Display: 25-centimetre, web-enabled colour touchscreen
- Maximum weight capacity: 170 kilograms
- Upper body: Yes
- Accessory tray: Yes
- Speakers: Yes
- Cooling fans: Yes
NordicTrack FS10i Features
The following are some noteworthy features that make the FS10i an attractive option. Please note that this list may not include all the features, so be sure to verify all extras with NordicTrack beforehand:
The 25-centimetre display gives users a high-definition image of their workout. It also has a camera on top of the display, but it currently doesn’t have any functionality. The camera may be a sign of features to come in future. The screen and interface allow the user to easily track performance metrics and usage data.
Heart rate monitor
Unfortunately, the FS10i doesn’t have any heart monitors built into the arms. However, it allows you to seamlessly connect a heart monitor via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth & audio
This product allows you to pair your Bluetooth headphones or use a headphone jack if you prefer wired ones. This is a particularly useful feature that can also be synced with your heart rate monitor to get a more accurate reading.
Additionally, NordicTrack preloads over ten different radio stations that play some of the most popular music, so you don’t have to worry about creating a playlist yourself.
There are two digitally amplified speakers located under the monitor. While it probably won’t blow you away, the sound system provides decent audio. This can be important for getting through arduous workouts!
The FS10i features a sturdy water bottle holder. There’s also a sizeable tray underneath the monitor in which you can easily place a large phone or tablet.
The Freestride Trainer has a built-in fan with four different speeds. The fan does a good job of keeping you cool during an intense workout and is especially useful for the warm-down phase.
Silent magnetic resistance
Considering the price, 20-plus levels of silent magnetic resistance is practically a steal. Apart from the trainer intuitively following your movements, your workouts will be kept smooth and quiet.
Adjustable stride length
One of the more unique features of the FS10i is its adjustable stride, which has an adjustment range of 81 centimetres. Beyond making workouts more dynamic, this adjustable stride also plays a key part in accommodating users of different height ranges.
With the Freestride Trainer, you won’t be restricted to just one workout style. Thanks to the multitude of built-in programs, you’ll be able to effortlessly switch things up and target more muscle groups.
One of the best features is the iFit companion app which gives you access to both home and studio workouts. You can stream workouts without even being on the machine, and the app also allows you to track your progress.
Pros & Cons Of The NordicTrack FS10i
- Provides lots of workout diversity for one machine
- Center drive design allows for easy balancing
- Moving handlebars for full-body targeting
- Durable design
- Built-in speakers and smart HD touchscreen display
- Integrated workout programs
- Incredibly low-impact
- Includes iFit 30 day trial
- Automatic incline adjustment
- High weight capacity
- Difficulty when switching stride length during workouts
- Large hand grips can be somewhat uncomfortable
- Adaptable motion takes some getting used to
- The flywheel is relatively light but can work well for beginners
Who Should Buy It
If you’re looking for a machine that’s versatile, then the NordicTrack Freestride Trainer is exactly what you need. It can function as a stepper, elliptical and treadmill.
It’s also perfect for those who need an instructor to keep them motivated during exercise and for people who want to burn calories without putting pressure on their joints.
Who Shouldn’t Buy It
Although it comes with many highly attractive features, the FS10i isn’t for those with a tight budget. In addition to this, it has a relatively big frame and long stride length. So, if you don’t have much room to work with, it’s going to take up a substantial amount of space in your home.
Lastly, given that it weighs 128 kilograms, the FS10i is on the heftier side. So, if you want a portable product, then this machine probably isn’t for you.
Price & Purchase
You can buy the FS10i directly from the manufacturer’s official website for around £1600. If you buy directly from NordicTrack, you may be able to take advantage of offers such as free shipping and iFit membership specials.
Do note that prices can always change depending on whether you opt for extras such as a three-year extended warranty and white glove assembly. This, in turn, can affect financing options. Luckily, NordicTrack can do all the calculations for you and provide you with a few plans to choose from.
Using The NordicTrack FS10i
The concept of three machines in one can initially be confusing. However, once you begin to fully understand the integrations and how to make them work for you, using the FS10i to its full potential becomes a breeze.
The cushioned pedals, in combination with the magnetic resistance, do require you to adjust slightly. However, once you’re used to everything, the overall experience is quite comfortable. The stride length is also longer than that of most machines, so taller people are able to stretch out properly during workouts.
What is iFit?
iFit Coach is NordicTrack’s online streaming service that’s designed to enhance your experience while using their compatible elliptical trainers. You can connect to the iFit program via the console on the FS10i to stream workout classes. You can also follow personal trainers or take iFit workouts focused on areas such as calorie burning and strength training.
Do I need an internet connection to use the FS10i?
An internet connection isn’t needed to use the FS10i. However, if you want to access features such as iFit, then you’ll need to have an active internet connection.
Does the NordicTrack FS10i come with preloaded workouts?
The FS10i comes with 35 preloaded workouts, so users aren’t forced to pay for iFit classes. In addition, the machine allows you to create your own manual workouts. You can craft these according to your workout style and all your fitness goals.
Are elliptical machines safe to use?
For the larger part, ellipticals are designed with safety in mind. They’re generally safe to use as they provide low-impact exercise that puts less stress on your joints in comparison to high-impact exercise. So, ellipticals are a safer option for people with musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or knee pain.
How long do elliptical machines last?
A high-quality elliptical can last you around 20 years or longer. The FS10i comes with a 10-year guarantee for the frame, two years for the parts, and one year for labour. Having your machine regularly serviced will keep it in the best possible condition and maximise its lifespan.
The FS10i is the very definition of a high-quality elliptical machine. It has a reasonable price tag that makes it extremely accessible to both professional athletes and those simply looking to keep fit. It may be slightly more expensive than similar products, but its robust suite of features more than makes up for this.
If the price tag is still off-putting, be on the lookout for the various specials that NordicTrack runs throughout the year. Or, simply have a look at other options in the range and find something that works for you.
Lastly, always bear in mind that equipment alone won’t help you reach your goals. If you don’t need all the extra trimmings that come with the FS10i elliptical, then consider a cheaper alternative that can get the job done.