Elliptical Flywheel – Front Or Back?

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.

nordictrack Se7i
Nordictrack SE7i Elliptical

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.

nordictrack elite 12.7 elliptical
Nordictrack Elite 12.7 Elliptical

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.


Nordictrack Elite 16.7 Elliptical Trainer
Nordictrack Elite 16.7 Crosstrainer


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


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