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

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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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Should You Buy A Used Nordictrack Elliptical Trainer?

July 4, 2014

3 Things You Should Know BEFORE Buying a Secondhand Nordic Track Elliptical   Thinking of buying a used Nordictrack elliptical? It’s understandable. After all, you can get some great prices when you buy second hand. And everyone wants to save money these days. So it makes sense, right? But hold on there. There are a […]

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“How Do I Know Which Elliptical Stride is Right For Me?”

June 2, 2014

Elliptical Stride Length Explained   One of the greatest causes of confusion (and stress) with elliptical buyers is choosing the right stride length. This post will hopefully break it down for you and help you choose the right stride lengths based on your height. First of all, what is stride? Stride length is basically the […]

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Nordictrack Elite 12.7 Vs 16.7 – What’s the Difference?

May 27, 2014

Is the Elite 16.7 Worth the Extra Money?   The Nordictrack Elite series of crosstrainers is quite popular – because they are built with a more solid construction than the starter models. These are front-drive, heavy-flywheel trainers with luxurious 20 inch strides, extra long warranties, full color consoles and lots of bells and whistles to make your […]

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What Happened to the Nordictrack Audiostrider 990?

May 23, 2014

Clearing Up the Confusion on the Audiostrider 990   The Nordictrack Audiostrider 990 elliptical has been one of the most popular NT ellipticals for over 4 years now. Nordictrack does upgrade the trainer every year with the latest fitness gadgets, workouts, iFit LIVE, etc. However more or less, it has stayed one of the best-selling, under-$1000 ellipticals […]

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Nordictrack ACT Elliptical – Video

May 16, 2014

Pros and Cons of the ACT Center Drive Elliptical   Want to know more about the ACT elliptical (the most affordable of the Nordictrack center drive ellipticals)? Are you more of a visual person – than a reader. If so, the video below is for you. It lays out what I think are the most […]

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New Video For Nordictrack SE9i Spacesaver Elliptical

May 7, 2014

See More Clearly How the SE9i Works   Good news – Nordictrack has posted a new video showing you how their SE9i Folding elliptical works on the product page here. Warning – it’s very cheesy (‘cuz when I think about riding an elliptical, I want to do it in a remote desert somewhere – in […]

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Nordictrack E8.7 Video Review – Pros and Cons

May 1, 2014

The Nordictrack E8.7 Elliptical trainer is currently their most affordable model – great for those on a budget who still want a good brand name. You can currently buy it here for about $799 with Free Shipping. This makes it a very popular crosstrainer. Is it right for you? You can read my full review […]

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Nordictrack Ellipticals With Web Browsers

April 29, 2014

One of the best things that Nordictrack trainers have that many other brands don’t have is the built-in web browser. These are so cool – you can read your email or watch youtube videos from the comfort of your console as you workout. This alone is guaranteed to make your workout a lot more enjoyable! […]

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