Wondering about the Nordictrack Freestrider? Looking for a fair, balanced Nordictrack Freestrider Review?
You came to the right place!
The one machine I get asked about the most on this blog is, without a doubt, the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer.
It makes sense really since this is a totally new type of elliptical trainer.
This post will seek to answer your questions about the Freestrider trainer below.
But the main thing you need to know about the Freestrider is this: It gets around one of the BIGGEST problems you find with traditional elliptical trainers: the stride length.
But first here’s a full Nordictrack Freestrider Review with what you need to know before you buy:
Nordictrack Freestrider Review – What Is It?
The Freestrider is a new kind of elliptical trainer. Unlike a traditional elliptical, the pedals on the Freestrider ride on belts, rather than the traditional rails attached to the crank.
This gives you more of a feeling of “running on air” and is smooth with nearly zero impact.
So you don’t have the traditional rails-and-rollers-design that you typically see on other crosstrainers like the Nordictrack C12.9 below:
This is important to keep in mind for later.
Another thing that sets the Freeestrider apart is that – unlike the traditional elliptical, it is not a set stride length. Stride length is the furthest distance between the two pedals.
As you can imagine, a longer stride length feels more comfortable (as it more closely mimics a running motion) than a short, choppy stride length.
But there are two problems with having a set stride length. First of all, everyone is different. And the most comfortable stride for you may not be the most comfortable stride for me. And vice versa. So if you have multiple users in your home, what are you going to do?
How do you find a stride that feels comfortable for everyone?
The second problem with a set stride is that your body can adapt very easily (because you’re doing one set motion over and over again). You can get around this a bit by adding things like incline and resistance. However you’re still limited by the set stride length.
The Freestrider gets around both of these issues because the stride length is adaptable. This means that YOU set your own stride by how hard you push down on the pedals.
So you can choose to do short, stair-stepping strides, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling type strides. Or anything in between. In fact while most elliptical trainers give you stride lengths of 18 – 20 inches, the Freestride trainer gives you strides of up to 38 inches – which is amazing.
It also means that everyone in your home can choose the right stride for them.
Nordictrack Freestrider Review – Main Benefits
As stated above, the stride length is adaptable which gives you the advantage of choosing your own stride. The main benefit to this is that your body can’t adapt and get more efficient at burning less calories.
So by always changing up your stride (as you would tend to do anyway if you were running outside), you’re constantly challenging your body to burn more calories.
Another benefit is that this design is ultra-low impact. So if you tend to have joint, knee or hip problems, this is a great option.
A final benefit relates to the design I mentioned above. One of the problems with traditional crosstrainers is that they have the track and roller design (which you don’t have on the Freestrider – see pic above). All too often the track can get dusty or dirty and the rollers can stick after a while or not work as smoothly.
Or if you have a cheaper elliptical you can have a single roller (not dual roller) design – which means the roller is much more likely to come off the track. And then you’re looking at a costly repair – or you have to get an entirely new trainer.
So because the Freestrider doesn’t use this type of design, you have less of a worry about having to fix these common problems.
Nordictrack Freestrider Review: Which is Best for You?
Currently there are 3 different Freestrider models: the FS5i, FS7i andFS9i. The FS5i is the simplified version of the trainer. You can read more about it direct from the Manufacturer here.
It has a dual color console with a scrolling message board and a 16 pound flywheel. You can read the full review of the Freestrider FS5i here.
The next model up is the FS7i – which is the one that started it all and the most popular model in the series. It comes in around $1999 with Free Shipping here.
It steps up from the FS5i model with a full-color console that also houses a built-in web browser. So you can surf the net, read emails or watch YouTube videos as you workout – very cool. It also has iFit LIVE built-in, so you don’t need to buy the extra iFit module as you do with the FS5i (if you want to try iFit).
The Fs7i also comes with incline which changes the slope of your running pathway and helps you to better crosstrain, something you don’t get with the FS5i.
It also steps up to a 20 pound flywheel which helps make it a bit more smooth and stable feeling – and great for heavier usage.
Finally the last model is the FS9i – the premium version with all the bells and whistles. It comes in around $2999 with Free Shipping here.
The FS9i really ramps it up. You get the full color web browser like on the FS7i. But the window is larger. So it’s easier to see the web screen.
You also get incline AND decline on this trainer, something you don’t find on the other two. You also get more resistance levels than the FS5i model.
The Nordictrack Freestrider gives you some incredible benefits over a standard elliptical trainer. By constantly changing your stride and motion, you can burn a lot more calories and get a better workout overall.
Plus everyone in the home can choose a stride that feels most comfortable for them – which means less strain on the hips and soreness post-workout.
There are a few downsides of course – the Freestride trainers do not fold up as some ellipticals do. And the motion itself takes a bit of getting used to – especially if you’re used to working out on a standard elliptical.
But overall, if you’re looking for something beyond a traditional elliptical trainer, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Want to learn more?