Currently available for £1799.00 from Sweatband.com
NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 Trainer
The world of ellipticals, like any other, is subject to change but unlike many worlds, this particular specialised sector changes very slowly. Very slowly indeed which is why it’s rare to see something completely new. The FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 trainer from NordicTrack might not be a completely type of machine, but it’s certainly not your run of the mill elliptical either. We got one in to see what’s what. Here’s the low down..
First up, assembly. Large bulky ellipticals tend, on the whole, to be on the trickier side to put together. The FS7i Freestride 3 in 1 is typical in this respect and while by no means complicated it does take a while in order for everything to be assembled as it should. All in all it took us just under an hour to complete the build once the parts were out of the packaging (which is a bit of a job in its own right).
Once assembled this machine manages to be both commanding and somewhat understated at the same time. It’s less industrial and sleeker looking than the original FS7i, nevertheless, this still a substantial cross trainer with the 148cm x 75cm (58.3” x 29.5”) footprint and the considerable 109kg (240.3lbs) kerb weight telling their own story. This is certainly no lightweight elliptical.
Rather than being at the front or the back of the machine like on a traditional elliptical, the mechanics of the FS7i are located in the centre of the set up on either side of the pedals, with the pedals running through the middle of the machine. Although this isn’t a small elliptical, this setup does make it surprisingly compact. This set up also means that the distance between the pedals (the Q-Factor) can be set to an ideal position for a natural striding motion without the inconvenience of the body of the machine sitting in between. The motion the FS7i is unlike traditional ellipticals because the path that the pedals follow is not fixed but variable, making the experience feel very different, in a good way. A very good way.
The FS7i lets you set the shape and length of the stride purely by using your muscles. You change the trajectory of the pedals moving your legs and arms and you can alter the ellipse shape from short, steep, steps all the way out to long, flat strides and literally every angle in between. Maintaining the same motion means having to use your muscles to do so, which of course means that there’s no rest so the workout you get is more effective. In some strides it feels like an elliptical cross trainer, in other shapes more like a stepper, in others still it feels very much just like running (but with the added bonus of no impact of landing) so can be used as a treadmill . The training options are increased even further by the addition of an incline system which offers up 10 different levels of incline allowing you to get an even greater range of movement. Because of the freedom of body movement experienced here and the quality of the set up, it always feels very, very smooth. All stride paths are chosen by ‘feel’ alone making it easy to either settle into the stride that feels best for you for an endurance workout, or push yourself to try to keep a particular path the same on every cycle to more intensely target a particular muscle group. The FS7i doesn’t feel like a normal elliptical, because it’s not. It feels better and smoother and more natural, making it easy to like.
The 7″ full-colour Android-powered touch-screen display does a great job of displaying all training data and allowing you to navigate through the various menus. If you’re familiar with a smartphone or a tablet, using this machine is intuitive. In terms of on-board workouts there’s a manual mode, featured map workouts (requires WiFi connection), a range of target/goal based programmes and custom map-based workouts. There are also 50 video workouts led by pro personal trainers. If that’s not enough for you then you’ll be please to hear that you can subscribe to the iFit service for access to a huge library of personal trainer-led workout videos, races against other runners across various courses, mapped routes on Google maps and quite a bit more including sleep and dietary advice. While iFit is a paid subscription service a 12-month subscription is included for free to purchasers of this model. For full details on everything iFit click here to visit their website.
Last but by no means least there are built-in speakers so you can connect your music player, a cooling fan that does a pretty good job and a water bottle/accessory holder. The FS7i is also covered by a 5-year frame, 2-year on-site parts and labour warranty.
The NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 Trainer really can be looked at as three machines in one but we prefer to look at it as one machine that does a superb job of delivering lots of different workouts. It's rock-solid, it's quiet, it's smooth and it really is ridiculously comfortable for just about anyone. It's very effective too with even hardened testers feeling the burn during sessions. Step onto this elliptical and you'll know where the money went. With outstanding ergonomics, a huge number of ways to train, an iFit subscription included and a level of comfort that's hard to beat, it's left us feeling rather impressed.
NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 Trainer Specifications
- Three machines in one, the FreeStride Trainer combines a stepper, treadmill, and elliptical in a single fitness machine
- 9kg (19.8lbs) Inertia enhanced flywheel
- 24 digital levels of SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance with 1-Touch controls
- 10 levels of incline with 1-Touch controls
- 32” (81.3cm) auto-adjustable stride
- 7” full-colour capacitive touch display
- Feedback: Calories, distance, pulse, RPM, speed, time, incline, resistance
- Heart Rate Measurement via Dual-EKG CardioGrip™ pulse grips + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (Bluetooth® Smart chest strap included)
- Programs: Manual mode, access to 50+ video workouts and a daily updated map based workout
- Conveniences: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player, water bottle holder, Autobreeze™ workout fan
- Adjustable oversized cushioned pedals with centre drive design
- Workout Arms: Soft touch upper body grips
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 148cm (58.3”) x 75cm (29.5”) x 188cm (74”)
- Product Weight: 109kg (240.3lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
- Warranty: 5-year frame, 2 year parts and labour (must register within 28 days of purchase for 2nd year of coverage)
NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 Trainer - Console / Display Unit
NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride 3 in 1 Trainer - User Reviews
- Enormous range of movement
- Oh so very, very comfortable. Super smooth too
- More ways to train than you can shake a stick at
- iFit subscription included
- We'll be picky and point out that you need an internet connection to get the most out of this model
Currently available for £1799.00 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