After having great success with their innovative ski machine, NordicTrack moved on to manufacture low-priced and mid-priced elliptical trainers. The NordicTrack CX 985 is a hard-to-find home elliptical machine that’s been discontinued. It’s rather basic, lacks upper body motion and gets average reviews. Owners like the stability but comment that NordicTrack clearly saved money on the simple console. The
CX 985 originally retailed for $999 and now sells for less online.
Features of the NordicTrack CX 985 Elliptical Trainer (Discontinued)
The NordicTrack CX 985 provides good value for beginners when sold for about $700 or less. The features include:
- 18” stride
- 10 intensity levels
- Silent magnetic resistance
- Quick Ramp adjustable incline
- 8 preset programs
- Pulse rate monitor
- Cool-Aire fan (4 speeds)
- Dot-matrix console
- Carb counter readout
- iFit card reader compatibility
- 1 year parts & labor warranty
The 18” stride is just right for shorter and average-height trainees. More advanced elliptical trainers offer variable strides, but this trainer gives a similar effect with its incline.
Some signs that this is a very basic trainer include the few resistance levels, the lack of moving handlebars and the light programming. On the other hand, the power incline is an excellent feature. This trainer also has a few hidden surprises, such as a setting for the fan that makes it adjust with the intensity of your exercise.
Popular Opinion of the CX 985 Elliptical Machine
This trainer rates well among buyers for its smooth, full stride and power incline. Many were sold on this unit because power inclines are hard to come by on budget elliptical machines. Customers report that the power incline keeps working for at least a few years and that the trainer has good quality overall. Also, the iFit card compatibility helps keep owners committed to elliptical training over long time periods.
Customers who regret this purchase wish that they’d chosen a trainer with optional upper body exercise. It’s rare to get an elliptical without moving
handlebars. Another drawback mentioned in customer reviews is the console’s small data screen.
Our Overall Review
NordicTrack’s CX 985 elliptical is a fine purchase for those not interested in a trainer with movable handlebars. Because of the power incline, it can definitely help tone the lower body efficiently. You can expect this model to work well for several years. By that time you’ll likely want to sell it anyway; you just might “graduate” from its top resistance level.
Still, most customers might as well find an elliptical that has movable handlebars. Using these can double your calorie expenditure and help tone the back, shoulders, chest and arms. You have plenty of options in the sub-$1000 price category. NordicTrack and Ironman are two affordable brands that stand out for their durability.