These are both popular, affordable, front-drive elliptical trainers that look very similar
But what about when you pit them against each other?
How do they compare?
And which is best for you?
Well, this really depends on what you’re looking for.
This post will give you a review of the main differences between them so that you can find the best fit for your needs.
Nordictrack C 9.5 vs C 12.9: Price
When it comes to affordability, the Nordictrack C 9.5 has a slight edge here.
It comes in direct from the Manufacturer at $999 with Free Shipping here.
The Nordictrack C 12.9 is the next model up with a few more features. You can get it for around $1299 with Free Shipping here.
So is it worth the extra for the C 12.9 elliptical? Let’s look a bit deeper.
Nordictrack 9.5 vs 12.9: Flywheel
A heavier elliptical flywheel helps to give you a smoother-feeling ride, especially between resistance transitions. A heavier flywheel can also help anchor the machine for a more stable feeling ride – even when you pick up your pace.
The Nordictrack 9.5 elliptical comes with a very respectable 25-pound flywheel – which is excellent for a machine under $1000.
However the Nordictrack 12.9 elliptical comes with a heavier 30-pound flywheel. So it’s going to feel a bit smoother and more stable than the 9.5 model.
This also makes it a better choice for multiple-user families where the trainer will get more wear and tear.
Nordictrack C 9.5 vs C 12.9 – Resistance
You get 24 resistance levels on the Nordictrack 9.5 elliptical – which is pretty good. The Nordictrack C 12.9 elliptical gives you a bit more – 26 resistance levels.
While it’s not a huge difference, that does mean you have a bit more room to grow with the Nordictrack 12.9 trainer as your fitness levels improve.
Nordictrack C9.5 vs C12.9 – Stability
As you might suspect from the difference in flywheels, the Nordictrack C 12.9 elliptical is a bit heavier and all-around more stable than the C9.5 elliptical. You get a heavier machine weight and a higher user weight capacity (375 pounds) vs the Nordictrack 9.5 (350 pounds).
So this means that again, it will hold up a bit better to heavier – or multiple-user-use than the Nordictrack C 9.5 trainer.
You can also see this in the length of Manufacturer’s Warranty on each. The C9.5 model only gives you 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor whereas you get 5 years on parts and 2 years on labor with the C12.9 model.
Nordictrack 9.5 vs 12.9: Handlebars
The Nordictrack C 9.5 has curved, rounded handlebars as you can see above. This is pretty good as the curved portion gives you a few more places to grip (which helps you work different upper body muscles).
The handlebars on the C12.9 elliptical are straight and not curved – so you don’t get as many positions to grip.
However if you look closely you’ll see that the handlebars on the C12.9 are a bit more padded (and thus more comfortable to grip) than the C9.5 model. So while there are benefits to each, it really depends on what you want.
Ease of Assembly
This may or may not matter to you – depending on how handy you are. But the Nordictrack 12.9 elliptical comes with easy out-of-the-box assembly, meaning there are only a few parts to snap together – vs many.
The Nordictrack C 9.5 elliptical comes with regular assembly – so it might be a bit trickier to put this trainer together. Again, it’s a small thing, but worth noting.
I was actually surprised that that the Nordictrack 12.9 didn’t come with more “Bells and Whistles” than the Nordictrack 9.5.
In fact they both give you the exact same size of HD, full-color, touch-screen console with iFit Coach. You also get the same tablet holder above the console. So you can attach your tablet and watch TV shows or YouTube videos as you run.
You also get the exact same 20 degree power incline on both machines.
The real difference between these crosstrainers is in the construction. The Nordictrack 12.9 has the heavier flywheel and higher stability. It’s built to take a bit more use – and abuse.
It also carries a few more resistance levels and softer, more comfortable hand grips.
The Nordictrack 9.5 however is a fantastic deal giving you everything you need for a good workout – and some fun entertainment options into the bargain. Plus it comes in a few hundred dollars less – making it great if you’re on a budget.
So at the end of the day it depends on what you’re looking for.
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