Currently available for £899.00 from John Lewis
NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
When researching your next elliptical it’s a near certainty that sooner or later you’ll come across a NordicTrack model. It’s also a very good bet that on paper at least the NordicTrack model/s you’re seeing will appear to have class-leading specs and more features and functions than its competitors, yet at similar prices. A reasonable question to ask then is whether they’ve loaded it with features and gone large on the specs at the expense of the quality of the overall build. We took a look at one of their mid-price ellipticals, the NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i to see just what you’re getting at a sub-premium price point.
The Spacesaver SE7i doesn’t look particularly space-saving when it first arrives! Whilst not as gigantic as some other models we’ve tested, the box itself is big enough to trigger a little assembly-anxiety. Thankfully it turns out that there’s no need for concern at all, whatsoever, as the Spacesaver SE7i is actually almost FULLY pre-assembled and requires hardly any effort to set up. In fact, the hardest part about the setup is getting the box into the room that you want to set this elliptical up in. Once out of the box it’s a case of fitting the front and rear stabilisers and then unfolding the cross trainer, adjusting the arms and locking everything into position. Incredibly for a machine of this size, that really is it. Once you’ve done this you’re essentially ready to go, although it’s always a good idea to make sure that the leg levellers are properly adjusted and the machine is sitting completely flat on the floor. Failure to properly do this last bit almost always results in this type of elliptical making unwanted noises so we’d strongly recommend checking that it’s completely flat before spending time and money calling the manufacturer. Predictably, our test model was a touch creaky until it was sitting completely flat but once it was properly levelled, predictably again, the small amount of creaking we experienced vanished completely and didn’t return during testing.
Looks-wise the Spacesaver SE7i is, functional looking. The people at NordicTrack have done they’re best to make this machine look modern and clean and it works to a degree but there’s little doubt that this is very much a function over form affair. And that’s fine in our book. After all, this product hasn’t been created in order to be looked at and appreciated for its artistic value. The real question is, does this design really save space in a practical way? Most, if not all, of the ellipticals that we’ve come across which are labelled as space-saving really do save space when they’re folded up and out of the way. The key thing, however, is how easy it is to get it into, and then back out of, it’s space-saving position. Fail to make this process relatively simple and easy and quick, and after the first fortnight, it will be left in the open position forever, somewhat defeating the point of having the space-saving mechanism in the first place. On this front, the Spacesaver SE7i isn’t perfect but it is very good indeed. The process to fold and unfold this elliptical has been well thought through and it’s easy to see NordicTrack’s experience at work in the design with just two basic steps required to fold and unfold it. From a process point of view, it’s hard to see how it could be done any better. It really works well. The only downside to folding and storing the SE7i has nothing to do with the folding part, but rather the storing bit. This is, very simply, down to the size and weight of this elliptical. It’s a doddle to fold and unfold the SE7i but it takes somewhat more effort to tilt it up into the vertical storage position once it’s been folded. NordicTrack has clearly thought about this and the folding system ensures that you’re never required to lift the heaviest part of the machine (the bit containing the flywheel) thereby minimising the effort required to get it into a vertical position, but you do still need to have a bit of strength to lift it. The user manual indicates that you should be able to comfortably lift 45kg in order to safely carry out this process, though we’d say it doesn’t take quite that much effort! The upshot of all this is that if you intend to take out and fold away this cross trainer on a daily basis it is definitely viable to do so, as long as you’re reasonably fit. If you’re not able to lift this much, then we’d say it’s best to view this model as a fixed one that can be moved and stored as required when needs be (such as when guests are visiting) with the help of a friend or family member. If you are able to lift this much without straining yourself, then storing and folding the SE7i on a daily basis is definitely viable. In our opinion, this makes it a sensible space saver model so well done to NordicTrack.
In terms of comfort, the SE7i shines. The footplates are large, padded and adjustable without having to detach and re-attach them which is most welcome. It features a simple mechanism that allows for very swift adjustment of the angle making it easy to find a neutral position that’s comfortable whether you’re holding onto the moving arms for a total body workout or gripping the fixed arms to concentrate working the lower body. The resulting body position is excellent letting you really push yourself without worrying about straining and encouraging an injury. The console display is easy to see and reach making any mid-workout adjustments particularly easy to perform. The resistance levels change quite briskly too, making this model suitable for interval training. Like a few other NordicTrack elliptical trainers, the SE7i has an incline mechanism that allows you to change the angle of attack and focus on working different muscle groups however unlike the other models in the range that we’ve tested the shape of the ellipse doesn’t change, thus maintaining the same stride length regardless of the incline position. The incline mechanism actually lifts the whole front end of the machine up to a maximum incline of 10%. It functions in a similar way to the way incline systems on treadmills work with the benefit in this instance being a consistent stride right the way throughout your workout even if you’re increasing and decreasing the incline throughout making it easier to find, and maintain, a good rhythm. The net result of all this is that this NordicTrack creation is very comfortable indeed giving you the green light to push yourself hard and that, of course, makes it a very effective exercise machine. The workout that it delivers is smooth, quiet, comfortable and effective and in those terms, there’s not a lot more than you can really ask of a cross-training machine.
The console has 24 preset workouts built-in as well as a manual mode and iFit capabilities (a paid subscription, computer/tablet/smart device is required for iFit) so there’s no shortage of training options. All your training data is displayed on a 5″ back-lit LCD display providing real-time information on calorie burn, distance, RPM, resistance level, pulse and so on and there’s a nice ‘power’ display setup which shows you your target energy output and your actual energy output. Keep the needle in the correct zone during your workout and you know that you’re getting the most effective workout possible for each minute that you’re training. A nice touch is the ability to input your weight into a profile on the console which is then used to provide a more accurate calorie burn count than standard. You don’t have to do this as the machine uses a default data set in the absence of user inputted data, but if you do, it improves the accuracy of the readout. Selecting and using a preset workout is quick and easy making good use of intuitive menus and there are quick resistance buttons to allow you to jump to any desired level of difficulty with a single button press. The workouts themselves are designed to help you achieve specific goals such as cardio improvement and weight loss making it easy to choose what kind of workout you’re going to perform. It’s all very simple to understand and the way that the buttons on the console are set up it’s easy to control while you’re in full flow. As mentioned the console is also iFit compatible (subscription required) which massively increases the already large number of training options on this elliptical. Subscribers to iFit get the added bonus of Google Maps workouts that allow you to map out your own routes on Google Maps and high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers which are really impressive. You can also participate in online races against other iFit members as well as get access to 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.
Additional extras include a dual speed fan that does a decent job of keeping you cool, stereo speakers with an audio input so you can plug in your music player, hand-pulse sensors (not great, but they never are), a Bluetooth wireless heart receiver (absolutely bang on the money and worked perfectly during testing), integrated tablet holder (especially brilliant when using iFit) and last but definitely not least a water bottle holder. The SE7i is also covered by NordicTrack’s 5 year frame, 2 year on-site parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.
All in all, there’s not much not to like here and plenty to like. This is a well-built, well-designed, well thought through piece of kit that represents solid value for money. It’s worth remembering however that even though this is a foldable elliptical it’s definitely not small or compact when it’s in use so you’ll need the space for it and if you plan to fold it every day to store it out of the way, you’ll need to be able to comfortably lift a fair amount of weight to do so.
The NordicTrack Spaceaver SE7i does what it's supposed to do, and it does it well. Large, smooth, and comfortable the build quality is certainly what you'd expect from a NordicTrack machine but in addition to the slightly higher price tag than is usual for this brand, there is a drawback, and that's the strength needed to fold it. These two elements do go against this machine, despite how brilliant it is. So, for an elliptical that's easy to fold-away but still gives you the same quality, we'd recommend taking a look at the impressive ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE which comes out fo the same factory as the NordicTrack but has one the easiest setup and fold-away processes we've seen on an elliptical, has a ton of training options and is currently on offer and available at a significantly lower price than the SE7i.
NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Specifications
- 10kg (22lbs) flywheel
- 24 digital levels of SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance with QuickTouch™ controls
- 46cm (18”) stride length
- 0-8% adjustable incline range
- 24 built-in workout programmes
- 5″ backlit display
- Heart Rate Measurement via EKG hand grips + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest belt not included)
- iFit Coach Compatible
- Audio: dual 2″ integrated speakers
- Conveniences: Autobreeze™ workout fan, integrated tablet holder, water bottle holder, transportation wheels,
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 203cm (79.9″) x 81cm (31.9″) x 180cm (70.9″)
- Product Weight: 85kg (187.4lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
- Mains powered
- Warranty: 3 years for parts and labour, 5 years for frame (when registered within 28 days of purchase)
NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £899.00 from John Lewis
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