Curious about whether the NordicTrack FS10i is the right cardio machine for you? In this review of the FS10i, we take this unique elliptical trainer for a spin. Read on and see if it’s the right elliptical for you.
The NordicTrack FS10i is a versatile, compact, and relatively budget-friendly trainer for home gyms and killer cardio workouts.
The FS10i is a truly innovative low-impact cardio machine, being part elliptical, stepper, and treadmill, and it has a 10” HD touchscreen that is awesome for doing online classes with iFit.
But is the FS10i the right cardio machine for your weight loss and fitness goals?
In this review, we take the NordicTrack FS10i for a step/stride/run. We’ll cover the pros and cons of the NordicTrack FS10i, some things to be aware of, and compare it to other trainers on the market that are similar in function and price.
By the end, you will have an excellent idea of whether the FS10i is the right cardio machine for you and your workout goals.
Let’s get to striding!
NordicTrack FS10i – The Key Specs
- Price: $1,999
- Console: 10” HD touchscreen display
- iFit powered: 30-day free iFit trial with purchase
- Incline: Up to 10-degrees (powered)
- Stride length: Up to 32”
- 24 levels of resistance
- Footprint: 58.5” long x 29.5” wide x 74” high
- Machine weight: 284lbs
- Maximum user weight: 375lbs
- Flywheel: 20lb
- Warranty: 10 years (steel frame), 2 years (parts), 1 year (labor)
- In-home assembly: $249
NordicTrack FS10i – The Pros
Over the years, we have tested A LOT of elliptical trainers. (50 and counting, to be exact.)
We tested and evaluated the NordicTrack FS10i for several weeks, and as personal trainers and long-time cardio nerds, there are some things that we really liked about the FS10i.
✅ It’s the ultimate combo machine.
A NordicTrack fs10i review would be incomplete without mentioning the elephant in the room… the FS10i is not just an elliptical trainer… it’s also a stepper and sort of a treadmill.
The stride path of the machine adjusts automatically to your body within your workouts.
Shorten your stride and go vertical to use the machine as a stepper. Extend your gait for a motion that is close to running. Or use it as a compact elliptical trainer with an oval-shaped stride path.
When it comes to workout versatility and hitting more muscles and burning more fat than with just one type of movement, you really can’t beat this range of movements and the auto-adjustable stride length.
One of my favorite ways to use the NordicTrack FS10i is doing ten minutes of elliptical, ten minutes of stepping, and closing the cardio session with ten minutes of “running.”
In my experience, variety is king, and in my evaluation of the performance of the FS10i, this three-in-one functionality makes it superior to other cardio machines for weight loss.
✅ Exceptional workout functionality
To build on what we just talked about with the Nordictrack FS10i being a combo machine, the workout functionality is simply awesome on this machine.
It has a stride length that can extend up to 32” in length (!!!), which will be great news for taller users and people with really long legs.
There is also a power incline, which means you can crank up the incline to up to 10-degrees for added challenge and difficulty.
And with 24 different resistance levels, whether you are just getting started on your health and fitness journey or an experienced athlete, the NordicTrack FS10i has an appropriate resistance level(s) for you.
✅ Least expensive center-drive elliptical on the market.
Center drive ellipticals are the least common type of elliptical trainer on the market for home gyms.
They tend to be more expensive—the True Fitness PS300, for example, retails for over $4,000—as they have two drives, one on each side of the machine.
The NordicTrack FS10i is the least expensive center-drive elliptical on the market at $1,999.
You get the benefits of the center-drive elliptical—a more ergonomic and comfortable stride, better balance, and a compact footprint—without nuking your bank account.
✅ Big 10” HD touchscreen display
The display consoles on cardio machines for weight loss and building cardio have stepped up their game BIG-TIME in recent years.
Gone are the days of a basic LED screen. The age of the large and HD touchscreens is here and it’s here to stay.
The NordicTrack FS10i has a large 10” HD touchscreen that can access iFit’s extensive library of classes, workouts, “around the world” map packs, and the integration of Google Maps for exercising through your local neighborhood or in exotic locations around the world.
While not as large as the screen on the NordicTrack FS14i (more on the differences between the FS10i vs FS14i later), it’s still more than adequate for most users.
People who love doing online classes will love the FS10i as it provides a truly immersive workout experience. Trainer-led classes mean your favorite iFit trainers can take control of the resistance and incline of the elliptical (you can turn this feature off, too) for hands-free adjustments.
If you don’t want to use the iFit programming (it does cost $39 per month after the first free month lapses), the FS10i does have 35 programmed workouts on the console that can be done off-line. And if you just want to get on and do a manual workout, there is that option, too.
But really, if you want to get the most of this machine you kinda have to use the iFit membership.
✅ Comfort features for longer workouts
Comfort isn’t just a luxury when it comes to cardio machines. If you are comfortable on the machine, you are more likely to exercise longer and more frequently.
The NordicTrack FS10i elliptical boasts a comprehensive range of comfort features designed to enhance your workout sessions.
Oversized pedals – The NordicTrack Freestride Trainer FS10i has one of the most comfortable foot pedals on the market. The grippy texture makes for a slip-free workout.
Water bottle holder – An oversized water bottle holder (can hold water bottles up to 22oz in size) is located at the bottom of the console to keep you cool and comfortable during your long elliptical workouts.
Ledge for smartphone or tablet – Need to keep an eye on your emails and texts? The FS10i has a small ledge at the bottom of the console for parking a smartphone or tablet (the latter will block part of the touchscreen, however).
Adjustable fan – A four-speed fan gives you a mild to strong breeze while exercising. The fan settings are located on the console right above the one-touch controls for the incline setting.
Bluetooth connectivity – The FS10i has Bluetooth connectivity for pairing your smartphone to the speakers on the center console. Bluetooth can also be used to sync your workouts and progress across multiple machines (use of the iFit app is required for this to work).
One-touch controls — There are a LOT of controls on the NordicTrack FS10i. Jump buttons on the sides of the touchscreen quickly jump to specific speeds and inclines (perfect for increasing/decreasing resistance quickly–like during high-intensity interval workouts), and more gradual adjustments can be made on the controls on either side of the fan (including volume settings for the speaker).
NordicTrack FS10i – The Cons
While the NordicTrack FS10i is an absolute gangster in terms of performance, there are some users who this machine is not for.
Pricey for a pure elliptical.
If you are adamant about using the FS10i solely as an elliptical, it’s likely not worth the $1,999 investment.
There are excellent alternatives on the market that are less expensive and have heavier flywheels—the Sole E95 elliptical and the Nautilus E618 are two of my favorites—for people who want a pure elliptical.
To get the most out of the FS10i, you will want to take advantage of the stepper and treadmill strides.
Not easy to move (it’s heavy!).
The weight of the NordicTrack FS10i is a staggering 284lbs. On the one hand, this is great as the poundage makes the machine inherently stable when using it.
But if you have the kind of home gym that necessitates moving the FS10i frequently—multi-use rooms like bedrooms, for example—some users will find moving the FS10i difficult.
The FS10i does have transport wheels and a handle to tilt and wheel the machine around, but again, it’s heavy.
Additionally, the NordicTrack FS10i dimensions are misleading. While “just” 58.5″ long when not in use, it extends significantly when you use the full range of the stride length.
No USB or other inputs
One feature conspicuously missing from the NordicTrack FS10i are inputs such as USB, HDMI and ethernet.
Instead, the FS10i relies exclusively on Bluetooth for internet connection. The FS10i does have a headphone jack at the front of the machine for wired headphones.
NordicTrack FS10i vs. FS14i
The closest competitor to the NordicTrack FS10i is its big brother, the NordicTrack FS14i, another interactive elliptical machine.
The reality is that the FS10i (and FS14i) are wildly unique compared to other elliptical trainers on the market. There simply aren’t any other elliptical trainers with large screens and the 3-in-1 combo functionality.
The FS14i builds on the FS10i with a larger screen (14” vs 10”) and more range in decline/incline. And, of course, the FS14i is a bit pricier ($300 more).
Here is how the two FS machines compare against one another:
|Incline||0-10 incline||-10 to +10 decline and incline|
|Touchscreen||10” HD touchscreen||14” HD touchscreen|
NordicTrack FS10i – The FAQs
Can you use the NordicTrack FS10i without iFit?
The NordicTrack FS10i and the large HD screen it comes with is designed to be used with iFit.
But if you don’t want to pay the monthly or yearly iFit membership, you can train using the 35 different workout programs that are built into the console. These workouts can be used offline.
Can the NordicTrack FS10i be used backward?
Yes! The FS10i, like most elliptical trainers, can be used forward and backward.
Going backward on an elliptical is a great way to mix things up, better target your quads, and stimulate more muscles in your lower body when working out.
What is the weight capacity of the NordicTrack FS10i?
The weight capacity of the NordicTrack FS10i is 375lbs.
This puts the FS10i at the higher end of the range when it comes to ellipticals for heavy people and makes it very stable, reducing shaking and wobbling when in use.
How hard is it to assemble the NordicTrack FS10i?
The NordicTrack FS10i is straightforward when it comes to assembly. The elliptical comes with a detailed assembly manual and there lots of excellent videos on YouTube documenting the assembly process.
Mounting the uprights onto the frame of the FS10i will likely require two people. I shouldered through it on my own (I’m 6’4 and 290lbs, for context) and was able to complete the assembly in approximately 45 minutes.
What are other people saying about the NordicTrack FS10i?
NordicTrack FS10i reviews across the web are almost universally positive.
Satisfied customers love the variety of programming with iFit (including strength training, Pilates, and other classes), how quiet the magnetic drive was, and the 35 preloaded classes.
That said, some users reported not finding the FS10i as stable as commercial-grade ellipticals and limited functionality on the screen when not using iFit.
Are NordicTrack ellipticals good?
NordicTrack is one of the best names in the elliptical game. They have decades of experience constructing cardio machines for both commercial and residential settings.
For a more comprehensive review and comparison of all of NordicTrack’s elliptical trainers, read this guide.
Are center-drive ellipticals better than front and rear-drive ellipticals?
Front drive ellipticals stand apart from other elliptical drives thanks a smaller footprint, longer stride length, and a design that encourages a straighter posture.
Front drive ellipticals, where the flywheel is housed at the front of the machine, give you a sense of striding uphill and allow for more incline options.
Rear drive ellipticals, where the flywheel is located at the back of the machine, better simulate “level” ground striding. They are also the longest of the three types of ellipticals, making them a less suitable option for home gyms tight on space.
The Bottom Line
The NordicTrack FS10i is a phenomenal machine in a lot of ways.
It’s built like a tank, offers a huge range of workout functionality, and the 3-in-1 combo functionality is simply awesome. And if you are into doing online classes and using iFit, it’s going to be the perfect elliptical trainer for you.
|✅ PROS||❌ CONS|
|Budget-friendly center-drive elliptical||Fairly expensive if you just want an elliptical|
|Combo trainer; it’s an elliptical, stepper and treadmill||Not easy to move|
|Big 10” HD touchscreen; perfect for classes||No inputs/outputs|
|Tons of workout functionality|
|Comfortable for extended use|
|Auto-adjustable stride length|
+ Least expensive center drive elliptical on the market
+ Tons of resistance levels and power incline
+ 10" HD touchscreen
+ 20lb flywheel for a smooth striding experience
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