Currently available for £1499.00 from Sweatband.com
NordicTrack ACT Commercial 7 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
NordicTrack needs no introduction. They’ve been building quality machines for the home fitness market for longer than your reviewer has been living on planet earth and somehow, for all that time, have consistently managed to get it right more often than they’ve got it wrong. Their machines are usually packed with features and have a spec at the price point that is usually superior to their competitors. They have certainly caught our interest with their ACT Commercial 7 Cross Trainer. So what’s the low down?
With an RRP of £1899, the ACT Commercial 7 is at the premium end of the home fitness market, and despite the name, this model is definitely a domestic machine, making it a high-end piece of kit. It’s designed to provide as close to a gym experience as possible with what is still a far less expensive option than a full-blooded gym machine.
Putting this substantial elliptical together isn’t as bad as it first looks in the instructions but it does involve applying grease to various components. It’s not just ‘plug n play’ and while it isn’t complicated in itself, for those who aren’t already good at flat pack furniture we suspect that it’ll be a bit more time consuming than your average cross-trainer. In short, it’s not too bad and as long as time is taken over each step most people will be fine with the build.
Once built the ACT Commercial 7 looks the business. It looks solid, it looks substantial, it looks like you could hammer the living daylights out of it. More than that, it looks like it WANTS you to hammer the living daylights out of it. While it’s unlikely to win any design awards for finesse it does look industrial which, of course, is the point here. The clue is in the name! The other immediate thing that hits you when you stand back to take a look at what you’ve just built is the size of it. No, not huge, the exact opposite! As compared with pretty much any other substantial elliptical out there at this price point at the moment, the footprint of this cross trainer is far smaller. At just 182 x 81 x 170cm (LxWxH) it’s small enough to fit into most homes, unlike most of its direct competitors which usually demand a good amount of space.
Once set up it’s worth taking the time to note a few things before you get on for the first time. The stride length on the ACT Commercial 7 is adjustable. This adjustment allows you to set the stride length between 18″ and 22″ (46cm x 56cm) meaning that by far and away most people will be able to set it to a length that’s comfortable for them. However, there’s another side to this adjustment. The longer the stride length you set, the flatter the ellipse so at maximum, the motion of the ellipse is very much your typical cross-trainer. Set the stride length to the minimum however and you get a more pronounced circular ellipse creating more of a stepping motion. This feature means that not only can you set this up to be pretty much perfectly suited to your own body but as the stride is between 18″ and 22″ (a range that will be fairly comfortable for the majority) you’ll also get to exercise different muscle groups a little more than others depending on the setting. The overall effect is to provide a way of working the widest range of muscle groups possible. We definitely like this. The action of both min and max stride length settings feels very good and you can feel it working different muscle groups so this isn’t just theory, it works in practice and it works well.
Setting the stride length is done manually on this elliptical via the two conspicuous dials on either side of the machine. The dials are quite stiff but in a very positive way. They feel strong and very well built, adding to the impression that this cross trainer isn’t going to fall apart any time soon. You do need to take care to set them to the same length else you’re in for an odd ride, but in truth, the dials are so positive and clearly marked as to make this a formality. In addition to setting the stride, it’s possible to adjust the heel to toe angle of the pedals. There are three stages and it’s very quick and simple to do. Once this is done you’re ready to go.
And so, onto the million-dollar question – how does it feel to use? Well, it feels very good. The first thing that strikes you is just how solid and stable it feels. How smooth it feels. How secure it feels. It really is one that you have to get on to appreciate. This is no small part due to the way that the mechanics on this elliptical work. Looking at the specs we noticed that there’s a nice heavy 11kg ‘flywheel stated so the bottom line is you get an excellent, smooth action but also increased stability due to the distribution of weight. We can certainly vouch for the result of this set-up and it’s darn good. The stability and the comfort of ACT Commercial 7 really is outstanding, as is the action, and it certainly makes it feel worth the money being asked.
Away from the action and moving onto the features we go back into a rather more familiar world that we’ve become used to seeing from NordicTrack. There are 24 levels of resistance with the option of increasing a level at a time or jumping quickly to the desired level using the one-touch controls. The upper end of the resistance should be enough for all but the most fanatical of gym bunnies to get a decent workout and the transition between min and max is pretty good making it feel nice and responsive. The training data including calories, calories per hour, pulse, RPM, speed, distance, watts and time is clearly displayed on the 7” full-colour touch-screen display.
There are no “on-board” workouts here but instead more than 50 workout videos are streamed to the console via the web. There’s also a map-based workout that’s updated daily. You will need a good internet connection for this to work smoothly but assuming you have one of those, then the experience is smooth and fast. All are easily accessible through the familiar, if a little tweaked, NordicTrack interface. This provides a really good range of workouts and should be enough to keep things interesting but if you need more the ACT Commercial is iFit enabled and comes with a 1-year iFit Coach subscription included. For more information on iFit we’d recommend you visit the iFit website
In terms of other goodies, there’s an input for your MP3 music player, speakers, tablet holder, and a water bottle holder. The ACT Commercial 7 comes with NordicTrack’s 2 year parts and labour on-site warranty though you need to register within 28 days of purchase to get the 2nd year of coverage. This is free so there’s no excuse not to do it!
All in all, this is a very good elliptical that stands out in terms of stability and smoothness and one that we’re very happy to recommend if you’re in the market for a high-end home cross-trainer.
The NordicTrack ACT Commercial 7 elliptical is designed around user comfort and stability. It really does feel very good to use and comes packed with features. It made a good impression on us and we'd say that if you're in the market for a top home use cross trainer then this is a very solid choice, especially at the current price. There's very good reason why this chunky machine made such a good impression on us!
NordicTrack ACT Commercial 7 Specifications
- 11kg (24.3lbs) effective inertia flywheel
- 24 levels of computer controlled Silent Magnetic Resistance™ (SMR) + digital OneTouch™ resistance controls
- 18” (46cm) – 22” (56cm) adjustable stride
- 7″ full colour capacitive touch display
- Feedback: Calories, distance, pulse, resistance, RPM, speed, time, Watts
- Access to 50+ video workouts and a daily updated map-based workout + manual mode
- All programmes, as well as iFit® Coach require a Wi-Fi based Internet connection
- iFit® Coach Enabled (1-year Family membership included)
- Heart Rate Measurement via EKG™ pulse grips + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest belt included)
- Audio: music port for iPod/mp3 player + dual 2” speakers
- Conveniences: AutoBreeze workout fan, tablet holder, water bottle holder, levelling feet, transportation wheels
- Adjustable oversized, cushioned pedals
- Soft Touch upper body grips
- Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 182cm (71.6”) x 81cm (31.8”) x 170cm (66.9”)
- Product Weight: 107kg (235.9lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
- Power: Mains
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)
NordicTrack ACT Commercial 7 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
NordicTrack ACT Commercial 7 Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews
- Fantastic stability
- Good build quality
- Huge range of ways to train with awesome workout videos
- iFit family subscription included for 12 months
- If your internet connection is not up to the task then the experience can be less than premium
Currently available for £1499.00 from Sweatband.com
Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer Comparison Table
Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer