NordicTrack has been helping people get low-impact aerobic exercise since 1975. The American brand first gained fame for its cross-country ski simulators, but today it includes NordicTrack elliptical trainers, treadmills, and other fitness equipment.
NordicTrack ellipticals include economy and mid-priced machines. They wouldn’t be mistaken for commercial gym equipment, but they have some praiseworthy “extras” and generally offer good value. The machines fall into three lines: the Power Ramp, Commercial, and Free Strider Series.
Elliptical Hits: Nice Features on NordicTrack Cross Trainers
- Smooth glide – Most NordicTrack cross trainers are renowned for providing smooth elliptical motion.
- Adjustable and extra-long strides – Most of the newer NordicTrack ellipticals have adjustable strides. The Pathfinder and the AudioStrider 990 PRO have 18”-20” adjustable strides, the A.C.T. Series members have 18”-22” strides, and the FreeStriders have up to 35” stride lengths. For a shorter stride with a more stairclimbing-like feel, see NordicTrack’s E5Vi.
- Incline training – Some of NordicTrack’s current offerings have power inclines. The PathFinder, for instance, has a 15°-35° power ramp. Other options with inclines include the Commercial 1300 Elliptical and the AudioStrider 990 Pro.
- Programs – These cross trainers offer excellent programming. Users can choose from at least 15 built-in programs, plus they can use iFit to download additional training programs.
- Heart rate monitor – These machines include dual grip pulse monitors and/or wireless heart rate monitors.
- Compact design – Two NordicTrack ellipticals, the A.C.T. Commercial Elliptical and the A.C.T. Pro Elliptical, are ultra-compact at just 47” and 51” inches long, respectively.
- Upper body workout – These machines have movable arm bars to provide upper-body exercise.
Elliptical Misses: Where NordicTrack Went Wrong
- Difficult assembly – A somewhat common complaint is that machine parts don’t line up correctly during home assembly.
- Cheaper parts – Some NordicBrand ellipticals have been criticized for having cheaper plastic parts instead of metal components.
- Short warranty – These ellipticals have lifetime frame warranties but just 1-year warranties on other parts.
Overall Rating for NordicTrack Ellipticals
NordicTrack offers some very good values to people seeking good quality (but not commercial quality) fitness machines. Some of their equipment has been criticized since production facilities were moved overseas, but some of their elliptical trainers continue to get great reviews. Special features available with this brand include power incline ramps, variable strides, extra-long strides, and iFit compatibility.