NordicTrack SE3i Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

With a wealth of experience in manufacturing ellipticals that few other organisations in the world possess NordicTrack has a huge range of ellipticals that includes many models which are class-leading. We took a look at their SE3i model to see how it compares with what else you can get for this sort of budget. Here’s what we found.

Some ellipticals need very little assembly, these are uncommon but always welcome. Most models require a reasonable amount of effort to put together. Then there are some models where a person starts to question whether all this cross-training lark is really worth it, at least until the thing is built at any rate. The NordicTrack SE3i definitely falls into this last category. While the user manual is good and the parts for our test unit were all present and correct, and even though everything fits together the way it’s supposed to, putting the SE3i together is only fun if you happen to like jobs that demand patience. Involving more steps than it really should, including some that require the application of a fair bit of grease, assembly of this machine isn’t complicated, but it is time-consuming and for most people will be a little messy too. On the bright side, it only needs to be done once.

Notwithstanding the assembly, the end product is pretty good. While it’s not a machine that would look at home on the catwalks of Paris and Milan, it is a tidy looking machine that with a footprint of 152cm x 63cm (59.8” x 24.8”) is certainly not flimsy and insubstantial. The 14kg effective inertia flywheel is another indication that this is not a toy of a machine and while it looks a little lightweight to the eye, this is an elliptical that’s built to do a job. The fit and finish are both good with all the parts (including the plastic ones) locking together as they should and the paintwork is also finished to a good standard.

There’s a 16″ stride that’s manually adjustable not for length, but for arc. This adjustment enables you to change the angle of attack making the elliptical path flatter or more circular, allowing you to target different muscle groups. It has the same effect many electronic incline systems have but can’t be changed mid-workout as it’s necessary to dismount the machine and manually change the setting on each front pedal attachment point. This is easy enough to do, though you do need to make sure that you count the number of holes correctly on each side to ensure that you get a balanced ellipse. We can confirm that you’ll know if you get that bit wrong the moment you get on and start to pedal! But, as there are just three settings to choose from, getting this bit right isn’t too hard. It’s an OK feature but honestly doesn’t really come close to matching the experience you get from an electronically controlled version. It does work though so it’s not something we’re going to criticise too much here.

The action on the SE3i is good. The flywheel weighs 14kg so the SE3i delivers a smooth ride that stays consistent throughout the cycle. Our test unit was almost completely silent during testing though only after making sure it was completely levelled. Prior to that, placing it on a higher setting resulted in a fair bit of annoying squeaking so it’s definitely worth taking the time to get everything properly level before you start.

There are 22 levels of electronically controlled resistance accessible with the maximum setting providing a reasonable amount of resistance. It’s probably not enough if you already train 5 days a week, but for most people considering buying this machine, it should provide enough of a challenge. The controls on the console are easy to use and logically laid out with large instant speed selection keys for all of the 22 available levels making it particularly easy to control your session. There are 32 different workouts to choose from split into calorie and performance categories making it easy to choose the kind of exercise you want to perform. The console on the SE3i is compatible with the iFit interactive training service. The full details of what’s available in iFit is far too much to go into here but it’s worth checking out all the information at www.ifit.com if you like the idea of racing against other iFit members or mapping out your routes on Google maps.

Other features include water bottle holder, cushioned pedals, Bluetooth wireless receiver, speakers, tablet holder and 3.5mm audio jack so you can plug in your MP3 player. The SE3i is also covered by NordicTrack’s 2-year on-site, parts and labour warranty though you must register your machine with NordicTrack within 28 days of purchase for 2nd year of cover.

Best Price

Currently available for £599.00 from NordicTrack

Review Summary - In Brief

The NordicTrack SE3i comes with all the things that you'd expect from a NordicTrack machine. There are plenty of different workouts. There are interactive training options. It's got good build quality. But there's nothing about this particular machine that actually stands out. For a good deal less you can get your hands on the second generation DKN XC-140i which has the same 14kg flywheel, same Bluetooth wireless receiver, the same 16" stride length, is compatible with Kinomap for interactive training and save yourself more than £100 at the current offer price!

NordicTrack SE3i Specifications

  • 14kg (30.9lbs) effective inertia
  • 22 digital levels of SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance with OneTouch™ Controls
  • 16” (41cm) manually adjustable stride
  • 5″ Backlit Display
  • Console Feedback: Time, speed, calories burnt, distance, pulse, resistance, RPM, watts
  • Programs: 33 (1 manual, 32 pre-set)
  • Interactivity: iFit Coach BLE Enabled – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones (subscription based after initial trial)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via EKG Grip Pulse and Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest belt optional)
  • Conveniences: iPod/MP3 player compatible, integrated tablet holder, workouts designed by a Certified Personal Trainer, extra-wide adjustable pedals, water bottle built-in
  • SoftTouch Upper body grips for a comfortable workout
  • Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 152cm (59.8”) x 63cm (24.8”) x 160cm (62.9”)
  • Product Weight: 60kg (132.3lbs)
  • Max. User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
  • Power: Mains
  • Main lead: included
  • Warranty: 5-years frame, 2-year parts, and labour upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase

NordicTrack SE3i Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

NordicTrack SE3i Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Heavy Flywheel
  • Lots of programmes
  • iFit compatible

The Cons

  • Assembly not the quickest or cleanest
  • The price
NordicTrack SE3i Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 5
Appearance - 6
Smoothness - 7.5
Comfort - 7
Reliability - 8
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 8
Controls - 7.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 5
Best Price

Currently available for £599.00 from NordicTrack

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

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