Which is Best?


nordictrack elite 16.7 flywheelA lot of people wonder if they should get an elliptical with the flywheel in the front – or the back.

Front-placed flywheel crosstrainers are called “front-drive ellipticals” whereas those with the flywheel in the back are called “rear-drive ellipticals”.

So which is best?

Actually I don’t think that one is better than another – but there are benefits to each. So it really depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Rear Drive

A rear drive elliptical like the Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7i below has a lot of advantages. For example, this type of design gives you more of a flat elliptical pathway to run.  So it mimics more of a running motion.

Contrast this with a Front Drive design which gives you more of a climbing elliptical pathway. Many people prefer a running motion over a climbing motion – so they prefer a rear-drive machine.

Another benefit to a rear drive layout is that you a more flexible design. So you can find a rear-drive machine that also folds ups (you can’t do this with a front-drive.

nordictrack folding elliptical

Rear drive ellipticals that fold up include the Nordictrack SE7i and SE9i.


Front Drive

As stated above, a front drive elliptical gives a more “climbing” elliptical pathway – so if that’s what you prefer, this may be the best choice for you.

Also, many higher end models use a front drive design, mainly because the placement of the flywheel in front acts as more of an anchor to the machine. So many people feel it gives a more stable elliptical overall (which is very important for heavy use.)

Example of a front drive elliptical include the Nordictrack Elite 12.7 and 16.7 with TV.



So those are some things you need to know about whether you want an elliptical with the flywheel in front or back. Each has it’s benefits – so it’s really up to you and what you want.

Click here for more information on Nordictrack Front or Rear-Drive Ellipticals


Nordic Track Ellipticals Direct


What Should You Look For In An Elliptical Flywheel


stride Elite 14.7If you’re buying an elliptical, you may notice that a lot of sales literature tells you the weight of the flywheel (and some products hide it).

So you may be wondering, “What’s the deal about the flywheel?”

Well, here’s the bottom line: All else being equal, the heavier the flywheel the smoother the ride you’ll get. So that means the heavier the better.

Again, that is all else being equal. There are also design constraints and stride lengths that also effect how smooth a ride you’re going to get.

So for example, a shorter 17 inch stride when you’re over 6 feet tall will still feel a bit jumpy and uncomfortable – even if you have a heavier flywheel.

However for the most part, a heavier flywheel gives you a much smoother ride – without the jerky stops-and-starts you sometimes get with cheaper ellipticals.

A heavier flywheel is also good for another reason – it anchors your crosstrainer. A heavier anchor also gives you a more stable-feeling machine.

This is great especially for heavier users or very intense workouts. You don’t want to pick up your pace only to feel the machine rocking back and forth in the wind. So a larger, heavier flywheel is good in that sense as well.

Nordic track elliptical trainer

Nordictrack ACT Trainer

Note that this logic doesn’t necessarily apply to center-drive ellipticals like the ACT since this design uses 2 smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals. In this case, the design of the elliptical itself helps to stabilize your trainer.

One thing I really like about Nordictrack ellipticals is that they’ve increased the weight of their flywheels over the years.

The average model has a 20 pound flywheel (with the heaviest being the Elite 12.7 with a 32 pound flywheel). Just to give you an idea, Horizon elliptical trainers – which are cost-comparable - usually carry around a 16 lb flywheel.

So these crosstrainers are on the high end in terms of flywheels.

Bottom Line? While the flywheel isn’t everything, it does count in how your elliptical stride feels an in terms of stability. Look for a heavier one especially if you’re planning on frequent every-day use of your crosstrainer.

Click Here for More on Nordictrack Ellipticals


Nordictrack Elliptical Coupon



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