Currently available for £1499.00 from Sweatband.com
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
If you’ve been researching your first elliptical or if you’ve been looking for a replacement or an upgrade to your existing cross trainer your reading will have brought you, sooner or later, to a NordicTrack offering. Whether you’ve been looking for an all singing all dancing state-of-the-art model, or trying to find a high-quality entry-level machine, it’s likely that you’ll have seen at least one or more suitable models from this highly respected manufacturer. It’s been some time since we took a look at one of the models from the high end of the NT range, so we got in the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 to see just what comfortably breaking the 1k barrier will get you these days.
Our test unit arrived in one piece with all the parts in situ as they’re supposed to be. Of course, this is to be expected, but it’s worth noting that packaging a 98kg (216.7lbs) bulky, yet relatively delicate, machine in such a way as it’s able to survive the journey through multiple courier networks is no mean feat. This is made possible because of the thoughtful and ‘no-risk’ approach NordicTrack has taken in ensuring that their product reaches the end customer in pristine condition. It can’t be cheap to do this and upon unboxing the C14.9 it’s clear that this manufacturer really has spared no expense on the packaging. And if they’re willing to go this far on the box, then what of the elliptical itself?
Like all cross trainers, the C14.9 requires assembly. The good news here is that all the steps for assembly are simple and the manual is very clear with well-written instructions accompanied by clear diagrams meaning that this model doesn’t require a professional to set it up for you. There are a few steps in the process and some require greasing of parts prior to putting them together (the required grease is supplied in the box) so assembly took us about an hour. All in all, it’s well worth the extra little bit of attention as our test unit performed outstandingly with no squeaks or creaks or any other unwanted noises.
In our experience NordicTrack ellipticals have never been ground-breaking in their aesthetic design – and the C14.9 is no exception to the rule, though it does look industrial in a very reassuring way. This hefty front-wheel based elliptical looks neat and tidy and as if it’s made to work, hard. It’s clear that a lot of effort has been channelled into the most important aspect of any cross trainer – how it functions. With a profile of 178cm x 73cm x 177cm (70” x 28.7” x 69.6”) LWH, this isn’t a small machine by any definition so it’s not too hard to imagine that if it was painted bright orange and fluorescent green it would completely dominate any room it was placed in. The subtle and non-offensive colour scheme does a lot to reduce the visual impact of this cross trainer which is no bad thing if you intend to place this machine into a room of your home, rather than a dedicated home gym. After all, various shades of grey will match pretty much anything!
A quick glance at technical information sheet of the C14.9 makes for impressive reading but it’s not just the data that’s impressive. What the data on the spec sheet promises here actually translates into reality when using this elliptical. The seriously hefty 15kg (32lbs) flywheel ensures just as smooth a ride throughout the entire cycle as it promises to on paper, making the experience of training on the C14.9 an enjoyable one right from the get-go. There are absolutely no detectable variations in speed as you journey around the ellipse even on the lightest resistance level of the 26 available. It’s completely fluid from start to finish and while we shouldn’t be surprised at this given the manufacturer and the weight of the flywheel, it’s still a very satisfying experience. There’s a 0-20° adjustable powered incline function which makes it possible to change the length of the stride and the shape of the elliptical path that the padded, oversized footplates will take. This incline function enables the user to change the length of the stride from 46cm (18”) to 51cm (20”) while switching seamlessly from a flatter, longer ellipse to a shorter, rounder ellipse. The benefit of this is that not only can the stride be adjusted to suit a particular user, but it can also be changed so as to target different muscle groups allowing for a greater all-around body workout. There are two sets of handlebars, one set fixed and one set moving. The fixed bars help you to target the lower body and are home to the hand-pulse sensors (though there’s a built-in wireless Bluetooth receiver which we’d strongly recommend if you want to monitor your pulse) while the moving handles have several different grip points enabling you to target different upper-body muscle groups. The large adjustable footplates have a very low Q-Factor (the distance between the pedals) providing excellent ergonomics while the different grip points on the moving bars also make it easy to get into a nice, comfortable, position on this elliptical. All of our testers differ quite a bit in terms of height, weight and shape but everyone was able to find a comfortable position easily and this combined with the near silent and reassuringly stable operation of this cross trainer make the C14.9 a joy to use. It’s smooth, quiet and comfortable for a wide range of users making it ideally suited to just about any home environment.
While NordicTrack might be a little dull (or is that under-appreciated geniuses?) when it comes to colour schemes, nobody should doubt their creativity when it comes to keeping you motivated and pushing yourself to get fit and stay fit. The console on the C14.9 is packed with features to keep you entertained and interested in your workout in a bid to prevent your elliptical from becoming an expensive clothes horse. Front and centre is an exquisite 10″ full-colour HD touch-screen display through which all the workouts are accessed. And here’s where you’ll notice the first thing that really makes this elliptical stand out. There’s a manual mode and you can track your training stats such as speed, calories, distance, time, RPM, incline, heart rate and so on – and that’s where the similarities between this and most other ellipticals end. Where are the cardio programmes, the weight loss programmes, the endurance programmes? Well, they’re gone. Or, not so much gone as thrown out for simply being far too dull! After all, who really gets any enjoyment out of watching a lot of graphs and lights on a screen blink on and off section after section until the end of the workout? Here that entire concept goes out the window, replaced by a vast range of more than 50 engaging, effective and really very enjoyable personal training sessions delivered in HD video. Each video has a specific aim such as a cardio workout, a weight loss workout and so on just like a traditional programme, but instead of a boring graph to stare at, you get a personal trainer guiding you and encouraging you through the whole workout. This completely changes the nature of the experience as compared with a traditional elliptical and is a massive leap forward when it comes to working out at home. It’s hard to overstate the impact that this paradigm shift has when you’re trying hard to get to the end of a workout. Having a personal trainer working out with you and encouraging you to get across the finish line is a different world to seeing bars on a graph slowly blinking away. There’s also a map based workout that’s updated daily that lets you ‘run’ along a route on a map. It’s truly captivating and very enjoyable. If you take a quick peak at the video below, you’ll see just what a difference this makes.
The C 14.9 also comes with a one year iFit subscription included, which increases even further the already large number of workouts on this cross trainer. As an iFit subscriber you get the added bonus of being able to map out your own custom routes on Google Maps, even more (an entire library of, in fact) high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers, online races against other iFit members and personalised advice for nutrition, exercise routines and sleep schedule. iFit is a whole world unto itself and offers far too much to cover in this review but if you want to know more visit the iFit website for full details.
Other features of the C14.9 include workout fan that helps to keep you cool, Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver, music port and 2″ built-in speakers, water bottle holder and a tablet holder. This last feature provides an additional level of detail as because this elliptical comes with an iFit subscription you can view your training data in iFit while simultaneously participating in a workout video.
All in all the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical is impressive, really very impressive. It’s ergonomically excellent, easy and fun to use and immerses you in your training in a way that very few other ellipticals can. Making a buying decision at this price point can be daunting as, understandably, any buyer wants to get it right first time, but we’d say that in this instance, given what you’re getting, it’s actually superb value for money and a bit of a ‘no-brainer’. We absolutely love this elliptical and highly recommend it if you have space to house it. If you have the budget, this really should be at the top of your list.
The NordicTrack C14.9 elliptical is big and stable, near silent in operation and very comfortable for just about anyone to use. It's a high-quality bit of kit that's been built to withstand a good deal of heavy use and carries all the hallmarks of a NordicTrack machine. But the bit that really makes this elliptical really stand out are those high definition video workouts led by personal trainers. So much more entertaining than staring at a graph they really do help motivate you to push yourself harder and, with an iFit subscription included in the price, the library of available workout videos is increased further making the selection huge. Yes, you need an internet connection to get access to all this stuff, but it's soooo worth it. The combination of excellent build quality and innovative, useful features, makes this cross trainer easy to recommend without hesitation.
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Specifications
- 15kg (32lbs) effective inertia flywheel
- 26 digital levels of SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance with QuickTouch™ console and handle controls
- 46cm – 51cm (18” – 20”) stride length with power adjustable stride
- 10” Smart HD touchscreen display
- Feedback: Speed, calories, distance, time, RPM, incline, heart rate and several display modes available
- Heart Rate Measurement: EKG CardioGrip™ pulse grips + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest belt included)
- 38 programmes ( 1 manual, 35 pre-set workout apps, map workout, and draw-our-own-map workout)
- Interactivity: iFit® enabled (comes with a 12-month subscription)
- Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3, dual 2-inch speakers, tablet holder
- Cooling Fan: Autobreeze™ workout fan
- Additionally: Water bottle holder, oversized levelers, front-mounted transport wheels
- Adjustable, oversized cushioned pedals
- SoftTouch™ upper body grips
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 178cm (70”) x 73cm (28.7”) x 177cm (69.6”)
- Product Weight: 98kg (216.7lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
- Power: Mains
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (must register within 28 days of purchase for 2nd year of coverage)
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews
- 10" Touch screen display
- Personal trainer led high definition video workouts
- Incline ramp with adjustable stride
- Smooth and comfortable action
- iFit subscription included
- Excellent build quality
- None - and it's not often we say that
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