NordicTrack S10i Review
NordicTrack have a fierce reputation built upon decades of success in the home and commercial fitness equipment market. The NordicTrack S10i is a flagship indoor studio cycle that the company will feel befits their solid reputation and takes one or maybe two steps further. The S10i is one of the most advanced indoor cycles available and despite its name, it is expected that this will be found in domestic settings more than commercial ones – although it can look at home in both.
Our NordicTrack S10i review aims to explore every aspect of this almost futuristic indoor cycle and bring you our full non-biased verdict. The specs are enough to have you salivating before you even set eyes on the bike, and our mouth was certainly watering at the prospect of testing the S10i for a few weeks.
Without further adieu, let’s get straight in to the S10i review.
NordicTrack S10i First Impressions
Anyone who has used an upright studio cycle will be excited upon first setting eyes on the S10i by NordicTrack. The heavy gauge black steel frame and solid base simply exude class and the prominent 10 inch touch screen display dominates the eye-line when seated.
The ergonomics of the bike instantly impress and the accented red colour lend the design an appealing but understated aesthetic. It is clear from the outset that no expense has been spared when it comes to build quality and the specs tell us it is just as impressive beneath the surface as it is on the outside.
When you first receive the S10i there is some light assembly but this is easy to follow thanks to the extremely clear instructions and you should be up and cycling in a matter of 20-30 minutes.
There is a good level of adjustability on the S10i including of course the saddle position and the screen also tilts to give you the perfect viewing angle. The sports style seat is comfortable to sit on for long periods but should you prefer a different style of seat it is removable and replaceable as are the standard pedals that come supplied. NordicTrack also kindly supply you with two 3lb dumbbells to allow you to work the upper body at the same time as the lower body.
On first impressions, it is hard not to be impressed by the S10i and it has to be one of the best looking indoor studio cycles we have seen and on looks and spec alone this bike is already in the top 2% of anything available on the UK market.
The S10i may be the entry level model in the NordicTrack S range of spin bikes but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well spec’d – in fact, we would go as far to say it is as well spec’d as anything else out there on the market perhaps with the exception of the other two models in the range.
There is an inertia-enhanced flywheel which makes for a realistic ride and one that is smooth. There are 22 levels of silent magnetic resistance which is all electronically controlled either manually or automatically depending on the mode you are using at the time.
The main computer console is centred around an impressive 10″ high definition touchscreen display and there are quick select buttons either side of this. There are two 2″ speakers built in and these are digitally amplified and are used when accessing the media rich content. You can also use the speakers to connect your mobile device or any other media device using the aux port which is ideal for music or video playback.
The dimensions of the studio cycle measure up at 140cm (l) x 56cm (w) x 141cm (h) and these dimensions are fixed as just like most spin bikes there is no way to fold it down. This is a very heavy duty bike but it does also have transport wheels so you can move it in to a different position in the room so you don’t have to work out against a wall where you might decide to store the bike. The maximum user weight is an impressive 150kg which speaks volumes as to the build quality.
The base of the S10i is incredibly stable and this is made more so by the fact you can adjust the feet to ensure you have a completely level base. They have a wide span and this gives a real sense of security when riding and also when standing and really pushing hard. The construction of the frame is made from commercial grade steel so you know this is going to last pretty much forever and with a 5 year warranty on the frame you are well protected.
The incline settings are digitally controlled and the incline of the bike will adjust as per the course you are riding. There is a maximum 20% incline and importantly there is also a 10% decline on the S10i – there are very few indoor studio cycles that offer a decline setting and so this is a very welcome addition. The incline and decline of the bike changes smoothly and can also be set manually using the quick select keys.
All of your key stats are displayed on the large screen and pretty much everything is controlled from here. There is a one year family plan for iFit included which gives you even more functionality, access to live workout sessions, more videos and app tracking for your progress. You can create up to four profiles on the bike and each user can then track their own progress over time.
Using The NordicTrack S10i
The S10i is a thing of beauty and it will sit pride of place in any home gym and would perfectly befit a modern spin studio. The reality is that you probably won’t see an S10i in a spin studio as it is so feature rich it would make the spin instructor redundant – and so, for home use it brings all the benefits of a group spin studio situation and adds all the convenience of working out from home – it’s a win win!
With so much technology packed in to the S1oi and with one of the best build qualities of any studio cycle we have used, it is fair to say that the first few times you use this bike you feel like a child at Christmas playing with their expensive new toys. It really is that nice to look at and that fun to use.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the NordicTrack S10i is all about the 10 inch HD touch screen and although this is integral to the usability it is in no way the only impressive feature.
The first thing we usually look for in a spin bike is comfort and the entry level NordicTrack model does not disappoint on that front. The padded saddle is ergonomically designed and really is comfortable to sit on. If you are not used to using a bike then you might experience some saddle soreness after the first few uses if you use it for 30 minutes or more but this is true of any saddle. The seat position is fully adjustable in terms of height and distance from the handlebars and it can be changed for any standard saddle which is a nice touch.
The handlebars are absolutely solid and have a comfortable rubber coating that ensures you have an excellent grip at all times. If you prefer to lean in to the bars then this is comfortable too and the curved designed means you will be able to find a comfortable position for your hands and arms depending on the ferocity of your ride. At the upper end of each side you will also find quick select buttons to change the incline position and increase or decrease the resistance. This is ideal as there is no need to remove your hands from the bars in order to change these settings if you wish to do so manually.
There are also one touch quick select buttons to the side of the display with incline settings to the left and resistance settings to the right. These are useful as you can just press the button once and go straight to that setting as opposed to the plus and minus buttons on the handles that you have to navigate through to find your required setting.
The pedals that come supplied are more than adequate and have straps to keep your feet in place. These work perfectly and the straps are of course adjustable but if you do prefer to attach SPD pedals to use your favourite cycling shoes then you can as like the saddle, the pedals are removable and replaceable. Another good touch from NordicTrack.
There is a large fan beneath the central console which can be controlled depending on how much you feel you need it and this is a welcome addition.
Using the S10i feels like using a premium spin bike and that’s because it is made with the highest specification in mind. The level of challenge found from the inertia enhanced flywheel is wide ranging and will provide more than enough challenge for spin fanatics as well as being accessible enough for beginners. The 20% incline really is tough and we challenge anyone to tackle 5 minutes on a high resistance level and on full incline without sweating – it’s a real killer (but in a good way).
The 10% decline is a feature added to the S10i that many studio cycles simply don’t have – and it makes a real difference, especially if you are performing high intensity interval training as it gives you more effective recoveries in your resting phases and thus allows you to push harder during your high intensity phases. It is also fantastic when using the video courses and you are riding downhill and actually get to experience the benefit of that descent having just climbed a mammoth ascent – with the fan blowing wind in your hair it’s about the closest thing you can get to riding through the Alps from the comfort of your own home.
It’s worth mentioning the warranty that comes supplied by NordicTrack as it is slightly better than some of its rivals. They offer a two year warranty on all parts and labour and a 5 year warranty on the frame. This extended parts and labour warranty is pleasing to see and gives us plenty of faith in the longevity of this bike.
The S10i and iFit
We have established that the S10i is a well spec’d studio cycle that is incredibly comfortable and very well made – now it’s time to talk about that impressive central console and incredibly cool 10 inch high definition display. To get the most out of the S10i you will need an iFit subscription and when you purchase using our link you will get a free 12 month iFit family subscription worth £349.
Although iFit does improve the range of courses and brings in a whole new level of interaction it is important to point out that it is not absolutely necessary to use iFit to follow video courses but it does give you a whole raft of new options to choose from. You also get the live coaches and the opportunity to race against others in some of the most exotic and hard to reach locations worldwide which is incredibly cool.
You also get full access to the app and can access information on your stats and progress as well as tips and tracking to help with your daily nutrition and sleep patterns – it really is worth exploring and the family membership makes it excellent value (and remember it’s free for the first year anyway).
There are new workouts added each day so you will never get bored and that really is the key to keeping on track with your fitness. The main reason why people love spin classes is that they are motivational and you have a feeling of being in it together – you get this from the S10i when combined with iFit and the new courses and new challenges keep you motivated.
You can also use Google maps to plan out your own routes and ride wherever in the world you want. You won’t get video with this like you will with the pre-made courses but there are literally unlimited options and you can track your progress on the map and tackle the inclines and declines with automatic adjustments made for these by the S10i.
NordicTrack S10i Verdict
The S10i is a premium level indoor studio cycle that is incredibly well made, comfortable to use and has an almost limitless number of possibilities when combined with iFit. If you need the added benefit of motivational coaches and want to be able to access some of the best rides on the planet then the S10i is more than up to the task. Despite being the entry level model in the S series it has a great spec with plenty of challenge for even the most experienced of riders, while still being accessible for those new to the sport.
In a word, we love the S10i and think it offers exceptional value for what you get and being from one of our favourite fitness equipment manufacturers we have classed this indoor studio cycle as a best buy.