NordicTrack will come up a lot if you’re looking for any kind of decent cardiovascular equipment. They are one of the biggest new names on the scene, with a reputation for putting fantastic kit out there on the market.
Their ellipticals are something of a staple. I personally love them.
Elliptical trainers in general are fantastic – they offer a low impact, low stress way to use pretty much your full body through a protracted, steady state workout. They are perfect for anybody with any kind of joint concerns, as the impact going into the knees, ankles and hips is almost negligible (unlike running, for instance).
They are also great for anybody looking to warm-up or get their cardio in without affecting performance in their main training – weightlifters can use them without worrying that their muscles and joints will be too tired to lift afterwards, for example.
NordicTrack’s take on the elliptical is usually great, too, with well-built, well-designed machinery purpose built to give you a very, very good level of utility and customer satisfaction.
The NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i has two things going for it. First, of course, it is a space saving option. Second, at a little under a grand, it’s set at a sub-premium price point, whilst seeming to come with plenty of bells and whistles.
It may just be perfect for your home gym. Let’s find out in our full NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i review.
First Impressions Of The SpaceSaver SE7i
Don’t panic when the SpaceSaver SE7i first arrives. You will wonder where the hell you are going to put it – it really doesn’t look like a space saver when you see the box! It’s massive.
However, there is a good explanation for this. Where many models would resemble flatpack furniture upon arrival, with all their parts crammed on top of one another, NordicTrack send you the whole thing, upright, in a box! The SpaceSaver SE7i comes pretty much fully assembled. Packing is therefore necessarily inefficient.
Anxiety over, you can then stand back and take a look at the SpaceSaver SE7i itself.
It’s a very neat design, in its own way – very mid-noughties bachelor pad, with plenty of black moulding and lengths of chrome. This sounds more pejorative than I mean it to – it will look good in your home gym, elegant and pretty austere in a very nice way.
It also looks like it will be smooth to use and a bit techy to get into – in a good way. The console is large, accessible, and loaded with everything you could want from it (see below), and the oversized footpads look like they should be suitable for all comers.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Specs
The SpaceSaver SE7i’s console is impressive, with Interactive Coaching HD Touchscreen giving you In-Home Personal Training, a full 24 pre-set workouts built-in, as well as a manual mode and iFit capabilities, alongside the usual metrics you would want from a cardio machine – real-time data on things like calorie burn, distance, RPM, resistance level, pulse and so on. It can read your heartrate via its EKG Grip Pulse.
It also includes a lovely ‘power’ display, which shows both your target energy output and your actual energy output (which will keep you motivated no end). Everything is incredibly easy to view on a 5” backlit display.
The SpaceSaver SE7i offers 22 digital resistance levels and an ability to both hit 10% incline and decline, which means that you can make it as hard or easy as you like. Couple with a year’s iFit Bluetooth membership, you have plenty of training options with it.
Two 2” digitally amplified speakers, an integrated tablet holder and an auxiliary music port combine to give you all the entertainment you could want.
The SpaceSaver SE7i is also built for comfort during training, with an AutoBreeze™ workout fan and SoftTouch™ upper body grips. SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance keeps everything quiet, which is vital for any at-home gym equipment (your family and housemates will truly be thankful for this!).
The pedals are fully adjustable, very well padded and outsized, all to add to this comfort and the SpaceSaver SE7i’s usability.
True to its name, the SpaceSaver SE7i has been built with spatial convenience in mind. It has a vertical SpaceSaver® design and rear-mounted transport wheels, which means that you can easily store it away when it’s not in use. In use, fully assembled, it stands at 58L x 80W x 193H cm; folded it stands at 58L x 80W x 193H cm.
It’s well-engineered, too. Alongside the adjustable incline and decline settings, all of which are power adjustable, you get an 8kg effective inertia-enhanced flywheel. This gives a smooth, steady resistance and an even gait.
With a 135kg top user weight capacity, all but the heaviest of athletes will be able to use the SpaceSaver SE7i with confidence.
The SpaceSaver SE7i comes with a 5-year frame warranty and 2-year parts and labour warranty.
Using The SpaceSaver SE7i
The SpaceSaver SE7i is incredibly comfortable. The large footplates are well padded and easily adjustable, meaning that every size and shape of athlete will be well-catered to – you will be able to get everything perfect for your own frame and gait. Adjustment is made using a simple mechanism that allows for speedy change to the angle, allowing you to find a neutral position.
This has a knock-on effect that all good cardio machines should allow for. The body position you can find using these adjustments will put you in a completely mechanically advantageous position, which means that you can bring your full power to bear, really pushing yourself without fear of injury or lost effort.
The console works well, too. The display is incredibly easy to read and navigate, allowing you to make any adjustments you need mid-workout.
The resistance levels change quite sharply. There is an upside and downside to this. The downside is that it’s a bit choppy, where steadier state cardio might benefit more from subtle changes. However, it makes the SpaceSaver SE7i incredibly good for interval training, which is a rare bonus with an elliptical trainer.
As is pretty common with NordicTrack elliptical trainers, the SpaceSaver SE7i’s incline mechanisms add a great deal to any workout. They can lift the whole front end of the machine up to a maximum incline of 10%. This will allow you to change the angle of your stride, giving a broader range of resistances and working on different muscles, with different emphases. The ellipse doesn’t change with the incline, which is both very clever and very helpful – it means that you can keep to a steady gait.
All of this comes together to give you an incredibly comfortable stride, no matter how hard you are pushing yourself, across a very broad range of resistance levels and angles.
It’s also very quiet, which, as mentioned above, is key for any at-home fitness equipment. If you’ve got the kids in bed upstairs, you don’t want to begin squeaking, banging, and clattering about. You want to put some music on your headphones or watch some TV as you glide through a decent workout, without bothering anyone at all.
The various media available through the SpaceSaver SE7i won’t leave you disappointed in this regard, either. A wide range of mixed media, available through stereo speakers with audio input and/or the integrated tablet holder (which is especially useful when training with iFit), will be enough entertainment for anyone.
The only real downside I can see is the heft needed to work the space saving mechanism. The user manual says that you should be able to comfortably lift 45kg in order to safely carry out this process (I can only assume as a deadlift or front carry). Firstly, not everyone can do this. Nor should every elliptical user need to. Secondly, I’m not sure this is quite accurate – it seems to take a lot more effort than this!
However, if you’re able to lift this much, or you have someone to help you, you should be OK. Then lifting and storing the SpaceSaver SE7i will be easy and simple.
If you’re looking for a well-priced space saving elliptical, this is the machine for you. The SpaceSaver SE7i gives a very, very good workout, has all the bells and whistles you could ever want (– iFIT capability, mixed media, a full range of metrics, adjustable incline and resistance levels, full 24 pre-set workouts built-in and manual training mode), is practically silent in use, and is incredibly well-built.
It also does what you most need it to – it saves you space. Of course, this comes with a caveat. It is a little unwieldy unless you’re slightly above average strength, or unless you have someone helping you. However, with good wheels and a well-balanced, relatively compact frame, it should be simple enough to manoeuvre and store away.
All in all, the SpaceSaver SE7i is a very decent piece of kit. It does what’s asked of it for an incredibly reasonable price. I would thoroughly recommend it.