A Full NordicTrack X9i Review
NordicTrack is well known as one of the larges fitness brands in the United States, specifically in the production of treadmills. Currently, the most popular lineup from NordicTrack consists of Xi Incline Trainers. Among this crop of treadmills, the NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer is the most popular option. Considered the middle-ground option, the X9i Incline Trainer has been recently revamped for 2016 with a variety of new features. The question is, does it live up to the popularity and performance of previous models? Read on to find out in this NordicTrack X9i review.
Introduction to NordicTrack Incline Trainers
If you were to simply Google “NordicTrack Incline Trainers,” you’ll find that the X9i is not the only option. NordicTrack also produces an X7i, X11i, and X15i in this lineup. In a little bit we’ll compare the NordicTrack X9i specifically to its in-house competitors, but first let’s focus on the shared concepts of the NordicTrack Incline Trainers.
As the name suggests, these models use incline resistance to improve your workout and help you stay fit. All of the models have the ability to incline or decline the running surface, with a maximum of 40% incline and a maximum of -6% decline. This offers you the ability to enhance your calorie-burning workout by inclining the surface for a challenging walk, or tone your muscles with downhill runs that challenge your balance and control while walking, jogging, or even running.
Other common features of the Incline Trainers from NordicTrack include built-in iFit compatibility and a 7″ web-enabled backscreen, with the exception of the X7i Incline Trainer that has just a 7″ backlit display. The iFit compatibility and web-enabled touchscreen are particularly important, and we’ll pick up focusing on those in the “likes” section.
NordicTrack X9i – Likes
If you’ve previously contemplated purchasing the X9i or used one of the older models of a friend, you’ll find there are some important changes that have been made to the new X9i that improve upon an already popular product. So, what is there to like – even love – about the new NordicTrack X9i?
First and foremost, the newest X9i lowers the stress on your joints when walking, jogging, or running on the treadmill surface. NordicTrack added a new Reflex cushioning system to the X9i, which gives you a firm push-off point and a softer landing point. The Incline Trainer was already designed to lower stress on joints, but with the new Reflex surface you’ll experience much less wear and tear compared to other treadmills, not to mention outdoor surfaces. The result isn’t just less downtime between workouts due to soreness, but also the ability to exercise for longer periods of time as your fitness level increases without battering your joints in the process. That’s a win-win scenario!
The new Reflex surface isn’t the only change that’s been made to the deck though. NordicTrack also added a new WhisperQuiet deck to the X9i, with the ability to absorb sound from each step you take while walking or running. This feature, combined with larger rollers (now 2.5″), promotes not only quieter operation of the X9i compared to older models, but also improves the longevity of the machine.
Last but not least, it’s impossible not to enjoy the modern display features of the NordicTrack X9i. The 7″ web-enabled touchscreen comes with a full-color display and built-in Android browser, giving you the power to multitask while you’re working out. Whether you want to see the highlights from your favorite sports team, read emails, or check in with your friends on social media, you can do it all.
Of course, the greater purpose is to help you stay focused on your fitness and reliably track your progress. The greatest challenge most treadmill runners face is focus. It’s all too easy to zone out on a treadmill, get bored, and lose interest. This is where the iFit compatibility comes in handy, giving you the power to stream high-definition video workouts and virtually run the streets in your city, or any other location around the globe with the support of Google Street View. All you need to take advantage of this is an iFit subscription, but everything else comes built-in to the machine.
To help you get started tracking your workouts with iFit, the X9i arrives with 44 programs built into the console, and each of those programs was designed with the help of certified trainers to focus on a variety of fitness goals, from calorie burn and incline training to speed training and intensity. If iFit programs aren’t your thing, the X9i still has handy features to keep you entertained.
The X9i is iPod compatible and features two 3″ speakers so you can listen to your favorite track while running. The location of the tablet holder on the new X9i has been improved as well, so you can use your own device for entertainment while walking or running. Previous models of the X9i had the tablet holder below eye level, making it difficult to focus on the device while working out. The tablet holder is now up to eye level, improving overall ergonomics.
NordicTrack X9i – Dislikes
There’s not much to dislike in principle with the X9i. While individual users might prefer features or the abilities of other treadmills to the X9i, the biggest hurdle facing most individuals is the standard retail price of the model. While comparable models from other manufacturers run between $1,200 and $1,500, the NordicTrack X9i sells for $2,999 retail directly from NordicTrack. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t get it for less. By in large, when you shop online you’ll find web deals offering it for $1,999. While better than the standard retail price, this is still significantly more than the competition.
Current update * Nordictrack official site sale at $1999*
Additionally, it is worth noting that the X9i is not a fold-down model. While numerous manufacturers, NordicTrack included, produce folding models that occupy less space in your home when not in use, the Incline Trainers (including the X9i) are not built to fold down. So, you’ll need adequate space in your home to accommodate this model.
NordicTrack X9i – User Response
When it comes to shopping in the modern era, user reviews on the web offer great insight into the real-world durability and feasibility of any product. A few things to note on user reviews and responses though:
. Most products receive reviews that fall on extreme ends of the spectrum.
. Reviewers who love a product, REALLY love that product, and it is reflected in their views and recommendations.
. Reviewers who dislike a product don’t go for 3 or 2 star ratings, but instead slap a 1-star label on a product.
You should approach any user review you read with a grain of salt. In comparing the user response to the NordicTrack X9i, there were significant complaints about the devices. However, these were almost exclusively focused on service from NordicTrack. The X9i comes with lifetime coverage of the frame, deck, and track motors. Parts and electronics are covered by a 5-year warranty, and there’s also 2-year coverage for labor.
Negative complaints on the NordicTrack X9i were almost entirely focused on NordicTrack’s poor customer service and slow response time when individuals did have parts or performance issues. Those complaints didn’t even focus on the issue at hand, but rather NordicTrack’s seeming indifference to help out.
Where to Buy the NordicTrack X9i
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find refurbished models available, with limited warranties to continue coverage, starting around $1,499, with new models available for the web-sale price of $1999.
However, what I recommend you do is purchase directly from NordicTrack because they have a web sale on the X9i currently at $1999 (last time I checked) and if you ever come across any problems with the machine or service, to make use of their 30 day money back guarantee to avoid any hassle. Now I’ve not personally come across any issues myself and I hope this will be the case for you too.
Who Does the X9i Suit Best?
This is one of the strengths of the NordicTrack Incline Trainer lineup in general, and the X9i specifically. Your current fitness level is almost irrelevant in your purchasing decision. The X9i is perfect for those whose fitness level needs improvement. The incline design of the X9i allows you to max out the incline, walk, and still burn five times the calories compared to jogging or running on a flat treadmill surface.
However, that doesn’t mean the X9i is designed only for lower fitness levels. Different NordicTrack models have varying motors. The X9i comes with a 3.0 CHP motor, which is suitable for any activity from walking on the 40% incline to running on the -6% decline. If CHP confuses you, it stands for continuous horsepower. Standard HP refers only to peak horsepower, making the CHP listing for a treadmill more important as a gauge of power because it focuses on continuous, sustained activity. Generally speaking, you need the following CHP minimums for various activities:
. 2.0 CHP for walking
. 2.5 CHP for jogging
. 3.0 CHP for running
With a full suite of tech features to track and monitor fitness, the Reflex deck, and WhisperQuiet technology, the X9i is ideally suited for household use. Any individual using it can keep themselves entertained while getting a quality workout. For stay-at-home and working moms alike, the X9i provides both a short, but powerful workout and quiet performance that won’t disturb the rest of the members of the household.
NordicTrack X9i vs. The Competition
If you Google “best treadmills of 2016,” you’re going to find more results than you can reasonably sift through. Among the regular contenders for “best of” honors, you’ll find the X9i compared frequently to the X7i, X11i, and the BowFlex Treadclimber. Here’s a brief breakdown of the X9i compared to these other popular models:
Nordictrack X9i vs X7i
. X7i: The X7i’s greatest deficiencies compared to the X9i are a lesser decline rate of just -3%, a 7″ backlit display rather than the 7″ web-enabled touchscreen, and a less powerful 2.75 CHP motor. Though just slightly less powerful, it wouldn’t be suitable for those wishing to run on their treadmill.
Nordictrack X9i vs X11i
. X11i: NordicTrack’s larger version does have the same incline range and web-enabled touchscreen, with a more powerful 4.25 CHP motor, however the only major difference is the motor and that will cost you in excess of $500 more in the price. Again, that’s just for the different motor.
Nordictrack X9i vs Bowflex Treadclimber
. Bowflex Treadclimber: This machine, though well-advertised, doesn’t really compete with the X9i. For starters, you can only walk on the Treadclimber, while the X9i allows you to walk, jog, and run, and adds the benefit of decline training. The Treadclimber has only an LCD screen and its user data storage for fitness tracking can handle only one person, compared to multiple for the X9i.
If you’re looking for an excellent first treadmill or a replacement for your older, outdated model, the NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer is worthy of consideration. The newest models received valuable upgrades in Reflex cushioning to better protect your joints, and the WhisperQuiet deck makes it ideal for those living in an apartment with close neighbors of homes with young children whose nap and bed times you don’t want to disturb. Even better, the incline technology allows you to burn more calories in shorter workouts, so you can maintain your busy schedule and still get the workout you want to stay fit. I hope this NordicTrack X9i review has helped. Please feel free to ask any questions if you wish.