NordicTrack is the premium treadmill brand of Icon Fitness, which is the world’s largest treadmill manufacturer. They make other popular models like ProForm, FreeMotion, Reebok and Epic. NordicTrack has recently received two “Best Buy” ratings and a “Recommended” rating on three of their treadmills from a leading consumer magazine.
I recently visited NordicTrack in Logan, UT. They have an impressive operation. This is one of the few treadmill companies that actually builds their machines in the U.S.A. The company has approximately 5,000 employees and a massive manufacturing and corporate complex.
NordicTrack Treadmills On Sale!
They have a 30-Day Low-Price Guarantee so they will match any lower price that appears on their site during this busy shopping season. So you can make your purchase with confidence.
I’ve met with various directors, managers and VPs, and overall was impressed with their focus. They devote considerable resources into the construction, design and innovation of NordicTrack treadmills. In fact, they have a room designed to mechanically abuse their machines. Heavy weights are continually dropped on the deck and motors are run at high speeds for hundreds of hours.
One of the major focuses of NordicTrack treadmills is innovation, and this is where they excel. Their iFit technology, adjustable cushion decks, full color displays with Internet browser, and incline trainers are several reasons why NordicTrack is so popular.
iFit Live – Run the World
iFit Live is an interactive technology designed to further motivate you in achieving your fitness goals. I have had the opportunity to test it out and was thoroughly impressed. Basically, it allows for a 2-way communication between your treadmill and the Internet (Wi-Fi is required). There are two main elements to iFit Live.
Customized Workout Programs — The most popular aspect of iFit Live is the ability to have personalized workout programs loaded onto your treadmill based on your fitness goals. For example, let’s say you want to lose 10 lbs. in three months. You go to iFit.com and define your goals, and iFit Live will design a series of customized progressive exercises. They will control the speed and incline of your treadmill and provide audio coaching from your choice of personal trainers, including Jillian Michaels. As you workout, your treadmill feeds vital stats back to iFit.com, so you can track your progress. If you find the workout does not satisfy your desired level of exertion, you can increase or decrease the intensity.
Google Maps — NordicTrack worked with Google in providing an interactive experience that allows you to virtually run throughout the world. In the process your treadmill will simulate the terrain by changing the incline, while you can visualize the experience through Google Maps.
This is how it works. You map out a route, either on streets or paths. If Google has a street view you can actually watch as you are running down the street, otherwise you can get the satellite or terrain view. To utilize this aspect of iFit Live you need a browser display. For most of the sub $1,500 treadmills that means you have to either place your laptop or smart phone on the console. All NordicTrack treadmills in excess of $1,499 come with a built-in tablet with an Android browser.
I tried this intriguing feature and was able to run down a street in my locale and I could see my neighbor’s homes. Meanwhile the treadmill adjusted the incline as I ran up hills. There is also a library of popular routes through city-scapes and National Parks.
Competitions – One last feature of iFit live is the ability to compete with others runners. NordicTrack runs regular races where you can compete against other iFit users. You can view your position in relation to the leader and the pack. Their last race had 2,000 participants. iFit Live has an HD video Library of world famous trails through National Parks and walks along popular city-scapes. Your speed is synced with the video, and like Google Maps the treadmill will simulate the terrain as you run.
The NordicTrack Incline Trainers have been a huge success. There are currently several models. All three allow you to raise the deck up to a 40% incline. Two allow you to decline the deck so you can simulate walking up and down hills or mountains.
The advantage of an incline trainer is that you can get an intense cardio workout without the pounding and stress that comes with running, since you primarily walk. You also can target and trim more of your lower body muscles. Each model come with speakers and MP3 input. See the reviews on their premium NordicTrack X9i.
It should be noted that many of the major components like motors, belts and rollers and developed in house and are built specifically for their products. This compares to other fitness equipment manufacturers that typically buy components off the shelf.
When comparing specs you will find NordicTrack has some of the largest and most powerful motors for the price. Their motors go through stringent testing for fail safe, sound immunity and brush life. In general, they provide higher output at cooler temperatures and are backed with a lifetime warranty. I was in the test room where they torture the motors to verify their durability.
Larger Running Surfaces
Like their motors, NordicTrack offers some of the longest running surfaces for the price. Furthermore, they define the length as running surface, not treadbelt. Often manufacturers use the term “Treadbelt” to define length, but do not mention that 1″-3″ of that belt could be covered with shrouds.
Color Touch Screen Displays
The majority of treadmills in excess of $1,299 come with a color display. A nice touch over a drab blue backlit display. An example is the NordicTrack Commercial 2450 treadmill with a 10″ full color touch screen display powered with a Google Android browser. This allows you to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi where you can read your emails, check in with friends on Facebook, listen to music on Pandora.com, catch up with the news, and more. You can also visualize the Google Maps features on iFit Live without a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Sound Systems with MP3 Input & Cooling Fans
Although speakers are becoming a standard feature on many treadmills, NordicTrack offers the best sound systems. I plugged in my iPod when I was at their facilities and was impressed with the quality and the clarity of the sound. In addition, most treadmills include cooling fans that actually work. Many treadmills have fans that are almost worthless. They have a couple of models where the intensity of fan adjusts to your level of exertion.
Volume Sales = Value
Because of the sheer volume of sales, NordicTrack and their parent company, Icon Fitness, can offer some excellent value. You need to pick and choose because they change up their sales and discounts weekly. One of their current deals is the NordicTrack Commercial 1750. It includes color touch screen display, iFit Live, a powerful 3.5 HP motor, 20″ x 60″ treadbelt, built-in fans, a premium sound system, 30 workout programs, the ability to decline the deck 3%, and 5-yr parts and 2-yrs labor warranty all for $1,599 with shipping. Not bad!
Until recently the warranties on NordicTrack treadmills were sub-par. Recently, they have increased the coverage on most of their models and are more inline with the competition. These extended warranties also suggest that the quality of their machines have improved.
Note: All treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the motor.
In the past, there were issues with NordicTrack’s customer service. Due to the volume of NordicTrack sales it could be difficult to get through to their service department. I met with Dan Jones, Director of customer service and we discussed the issues. He agreed there had been a problem that was being addressed. They recently added more staff to answer phones, and have committed $2 million to improve the situation. In the last several years their service has significantly improved. Lately, I’ve been impressed with their ability to answer questions quickly and effectively.
User Weight Limits
One of my concerns is their suggested weight limits. In my opinion, just about every manufacturer overrates the weight capacity of their machines, and that is also true with NordicTrack. Use common sense. If you are over 300 lbs., a sub $1,000 treadmill is probably not going to cut it.
Often the decks are too thin to accommodate the weight, and the motors are not powerful enough. Also, if you are planning on running (Speeds of 7 mph or more), consider spending in excess of $1,200. You want a motor that does not strain at higher speeds, and you want a deck that can withstand the harder impact and provide adequate shock absorption.
Like the American auto industry, NordicTrack has redefined itself in the last several years. In the process it has become a dominating force in the treadmill industry. That is due to the fact the company offers quality machines with some very innovative features at a valued price.
In general, the competition does not have the financial resources to compete at this level. There are companies that build treadmills comparable in quality, but none can match the specs and features found on most NordicTrack models.
Note: I monitor their prices daily, so watch for our recommendations on great deals. These are models that are below their typical selling price. Sometimes there are killer deals. NordicTrack changes prices twice a week.
Consumer Magazine Review
A popular consumer magazine gave the NordicTrack C1650 a “Best Buy” Rating. They rated it “Excellent” for ergonomics and exercise range and “Very Good” for construction. The NordicTrack C970 PRO was rated a “Recommended Buy”. They also rated it “Excellent” for ergonomics and exercise range and “Very Good” for construction.
RW rated the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 as one of their top choices. They particularly like the iFit Live and the ability to virtually run in famous places around the world.
Below are our list of NordicTrack Treadmill Reviews. These are the typical prices, click to see discount prices, if any.
NordicTrack X7i Incline Trainer – $1,599 – LCD display
NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer – $2,499 – Internet Browser
NordicTrack C 700 Treadmill – $799
NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill – $999 – “Value Buy”
NordicTrack C 1650 Treadmill – $1,299 – Internet Browser
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill – $1,499 – “Best Buy“
NordicTrack Commercial 2450 Treadmill – $1,799 – Internet Browser & HD TV
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill – $2,299 – Internet Browser & HD TV
NordicTrack Desk Treadmill Platinum – $1,499
Go to www.NordicTrack.com to learn more!*
Also see our NordicTrack Elliptical Trainer Reviews. NordicTrack elliptical trainers offer innovative features in addition to being iFit Live compatible.