NordicTrack Commercial x22i Incline Trainer Treadmill Detailed Review – Pros & Cons (2021)

Kristen NelsonKristen Nelson

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Last Updated: June 15, 2021

In our NordicTrack X22i review, we’ll outline the new updates for 2021, what we absolutely love about this machine, and a few things to be aware of. The Nordictrack x22i is an incline treadmill, which means it is large, sturdy, and inclines to a steep 40% grade! This incline trainer has a lovely 22” touchscreen and stately console that is easy to use. The deck provides just enough cushion for walking, hiking, jogging and running. The x22i is a good option for users who have a dedicated space, since it doesn’t fold up. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of head clearance as well – we recommend a minimum of 8’ ceilings. The 40% incline makes it so you can walk or even hike, which really increases difficulty and cranks up that calorie burn – but allows users to stay low impact. Those with sensitive joints will love the cushioned deck on the x22i because it absorbs a significant amount of impact while you walk or run.

NordicTrack x22i Incline Trainer Review 2021

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Treadmill Awards: Quietest Treadmill 2021

The Nordictrack x22i is the Quietest Treadmill we tested. The 4.0HP motor provides plenty of power, but generates only a soft hum in the background. The x22i will incline to +40%, decline to -6%, so you can use this for walking or hiking to get a good workout while you stay low-impact. This is consistently one of our favorite treadmills. The 2021 model has been updated with some nice features that increase processing speed and add more button controls to the console. For users who want upgrade specs and high-functionality, but would also like to save a bit of money and space, the x22i is a good option.

Who It’s For: Those who want extensive cushioning and a lovely 22” touchscreen with 40% incline and -6% decline

The x22i is designed for runners and incline walkers who want:

  • To work at an incline for increased calorie burn while you stay low impact
  • Lots of training options with various indoor classes and outdoor activities
  • 1-year free iFit Family Plan with up to 5 user profiles
  • Upgraded 22” HD touchscreen with faster processing speed
  • Abundant training options with multiple incline and speed combinations
  • Sled-push mode for more upper-body engagement
  • Solid frame with steel cross beams and side bars prevent any rocking during use
  • Maximum cushion to protect joints and extend your workout without fatigue

Our Video Review


Pros
  • Opulent and comfortable
  • Supportive but responsive deck cushions each foot strike
  • Innovative design lifts deck to +40% incline
  • Steep incline allows you to work hard but stay low-impact
  • Decline of -6% for recovery, conditioning, downhill training
  • Perfect for athletes who do hill work or distance training
  • Great for injury recovery and gentle conditioning
  • Engaging tech with iFit programs and routes
  • Upgraded 22” HD touchscreen is faster and more responsive
  • Multiple storage areas
  • 3 Adjustable Fans!
Cons
  • Requires WiFi for iFit and preloaded programs
  • Does not fold up and requires a sizable footprint. We recommend a minimum of 8’ ceilings.
  • 300lb max weight capacity


Treadmill FeaturesSpecsTesting
  • Upgraded 22” HD Touchscreen with faster processing speed
    • The 22” Smart HD touchscreen fits perfectly in the console while still allowing for space on either side to set a phone, water bottle, keys, etc. The console has been updated in 2021 so it is faster with reduced buffering time. The updated Android 9 OS system is also faster and more responsive.
  • Quiet Drive Incline Tech
    • The x22i is the Quietest Treadmill in 2021. The new model has an even quieter incline drive so there is very little noise at all as the treadmill inclines and declines through various speeds. It takes 22 seconds for the deck to incline from 0 to level 40.
  • +40% Incline to -6% Decline
    • Incline training allows you to walk on a hill to achieve greater calorie burn while you stay aerobic. Additional incline engages glutes and hamstrings by changing the angle of the body for more well-rounded leg musculature. Training at multiple incline levels helps balance anterior and posterior muscle groups to offset quad dominance.
  • Reflex™ Cushioning in deck
    • The Reflex cushioning in the x22i is quite comfortable. The composite deck is firm but spring-supported for a comfortable but reflexive foot strike. I appreciate both the design and feel of the Reflex cushioning.
  • 1-Year Nordictrack iFit® Family membership with iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
    • You now get up to 5 free profiles with the included iFit membership that is free for the first year. The Bluetooth chest strap syncs with iFit so your heart rate is displayed on the screen. Heart rate is monitored throughout the workout and recorded in your stats. This facilitates accurate heart rate training or zone training.
  • 4.0 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor with 22” x 60” Tread belt
    • The hearty 4.0 CHP motor lifts/lowers the deck and moderates speed. There is no lag between speed or incline adjustments with this motor. It is self-cooling and strong enough to support heavy training and multiple users.
  • Bluetooth® Compatible with Wireless Headphones and Two 3” Digitally Amplified Speakers
    • A recent update by iFit now allows the x22i to connect to wireless headphones so you can listen without disturbing those around you.
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
    • Two fans just below the screen provide good air flow with minimal noise. There are three settings and an auto-mode (where fan speed corresponds to belt speed). Fans are adjustable up and down.
  • One Touch® Controls on Console with updated Live Control feature
    • Large, preset speed control buttons line the right side of the console with incline buttons on the left. These buttons are easy to see and reach.

2021 Updates:

  • Upgraded 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Expanded iFit Family Plan membership with up to 5 profiles
  • Automatic Trainer Control
  • Improved HD Graphics Performance
  • Increased Processor Cooling
  • Faster Dual 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi Connectivity
  • Quiet Drive Incline Tech
  • Updated Android 9 OS
  • Bluetooth Headphone Connectivity

Construction:

  • 22” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • Smart-Response Drive System
  • 4.0 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • 2.5” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • Reflex™ Cushioning
  • Dimensions – 70” L x 39” W x 72” H
  • Treadmill weighs 400lb

Console:

  • 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth Headphone compatible
  • Two 3” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
  • One Touch® Controls

Functionality:

  • 0 – 40% Incline
  • 0 – 6% Decline
  • 12 MPH Speed
  • 1-Year Nordictrack iFit® Family membership**
  • iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity

Warranty:

  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
  • *Restocking fee for returns (even if covered by warranty)

In our NordicTrack X22i review we used the following tests to evaluate the various features. Each test is administered in our studio by our professional reviewers. We have reviewers of all sizes test each model. Test scores range from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). Our reviewers range in size from 5’5” and 125lbs to 6’5” and 230lbs.

Motor Power Test: 5 (motor is powerful and quiet)

  • Motor size: 4.0 HP
  • Roller size: 2.5” rollers
  • Belt quality: 2-ply
  • Noise: within normal range
  • Responsiveness: Speed and incline adjust within seconds. 2021 model has noticeably faster response time than the 2020 model.

We tested the motor power on the Commercial X22i by having several different reviewers use it non-stop for several hours. I ran on the x22i extensively at various speeds. The incline and speed controls are responsive and smooth. Our reviewer Matthew tested it as well. Matthew is 6’5” and 230 pounds. The motor didn’t overheat, had no performance issues, and was able to maintain a steady pace throughout the training session for all reviewers.

Cushioning Tests: 5 (Gentle and smooth; a bit of bounciness over 9mph)


We use several tests to assess cushioning:

  • Walk Test: <3mph
    • The x22i treadmill feels very comfortable when walking. The added cushion is noticeable here with a slight give underfoot. I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through Switzerland and hiked a gorgeous trail in Zion National Park for the walk test. My hips and knees didn’t hurt at the end of the steep incline (sometimes they do) as the cushioning really makes it so you can exercise for longer without pain.
  • Jog Test <6mph
    • Jogging is also smooth and I was able to jog for several sessions on the x22i without discomfort. A light jog at 5.5mph was easy to maintain.
  • Run Test: <9mph
    • My average running pace is around an 8:30minute mile which is 7.5mph. I was able to hold this pace for several iFit videos that spanned from 30 minutes to 60 minutes in length. I also did a manual run and adjusted the speed between 7-9mph for variability. The NordicTrack x22i is comfortable to run on and didn’t cause me joint discomfort.
  • Sprint Test: >9mph
    • This is faster than my typical pace, so I had to do intervals to achieve the 9mph pace. At this pace, I noticed the deck got a bit bouncy. I weigh around 125 and I’m 5’5” tall. I think the bounciness in the deck is the result of the excessive cushioning which at lower speeds is enjoyable. I didn’t find the bounciness limited my ability to run, it just made the console and deck jiggle at bit. For runners who routinely do sprints or run faster than 9mph, I’d recommend looking at one of NordicTrack Commercial Series treadmills, like the Nordictrack 2950. It has generous cushioning, but doesn’t bounce.

Frame Size: 4 (large and opulent, make sure you have enough room)

  • Overall size: Large size is an advantage for both functionality and stability. Just make sure you have enough room.
  • Max weight: 300lbs
  • Treadmill weight: Just over 400lbs
  • Fold/Lock/Move: Does not fold or lock. Has wheels and can be moved when needed.

The NordicTrack X22i dimensions are 70” L x 40” W x 73” H, so it is a large machine and requires a bit of space. The step up height is 15” and the full incline is 34” off the floor. We’d like to see maybe a slightly higher weight capacity on a machine that is this large, but the 40% incline and abundant cushioning in the deck may require a lighter max weight. The frame is well designed and looks very regal. I love the large touchscreen and no motor hood at the front of the deck.

Console: 5

This console is gorgeous. The touchscreen is large and lovely, the buttons are easy to see and reach, and the layout is simple and intuitive. The screen really pulls you in and makes it feel like you are on site, hiking through Zion National Park or strolling the narrow walking trails of Switzerland.

  • Screen size: 22” and gorgeous
  • App interface: Intuitive with large touchscreen buttons that are easy to see.
  • Touchscreen responsiveness: Improved from 2020, very responsive
  • Size/Placement of Buttons: Large and easy to reach (except for lower panel)
  • Display Metrics: All needed metrics displayed including time, distance, calories, etc.
  • Layout: Excellent. This console is well-designed and easy to use.

Durability: 4 (we’ve had no problems, but hear a few customer complaints)

  • Long term durability: Excellent except for a few control board complaints on previous models.
  • Good for multiple users: Yes! This will support multiple users in your home
  • Can withstand hours per day: Yes! We tested this non-stop for several hours per session
  • Customer feedback: Issues with control board on the 2020 model.

We’ve had our 2021 model for several months now and have put it through several tests. It performs flawlessly each use. However, we have heard customer feedback about control board failure on the x22i. Nordictrack upgraded the processor speed on the 2021 model and we are hoping this resolves the issue.

Warranty: 4 (impressive 10-year warranty, but there is a restocking fee)

  • Length: 10 years frame/motor, 2 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Restocking fee: Yes, $250 for a return (even on warrantied problems)

Nordictrack covers the x22i with a 10-year warranty on the frame and motor. This is extensive coverage and should provide needed repairs throughout the life of the machine. However, there is a $250 restocking fee if you get your x22i and have to return it for some reason (even for warranty issues, since Nordictrack wants to fix them instead of returning the machine).

Subscription: 5 (This can easily replace a gym membership)

  • Content quality: Exceptional
  • Instruction quality: Exceptional
  • Instructor quality: Exceptional
  • Videography: Movie quality!
  • Worth monthly fee: Yes! Especially since the first year is free.

iFit is exceptional and it’s getting better every month. iFit adds new classes and features constantly. From Live classes to Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones to expanded class options and even impressive videography, the subscription content on the NordicTrack Commercial x22i is exceptional. The instructors are professional and the videography feels like a movie. Indoor classes are fine, but the outdoor locations are where iFit really shines.

Class Variety: 5 (Live, On-demand, cardio, strength, yoga, recovery, TED talks)

  • Variety of classes: Abundant classes. Live, on-demand, studio, outdoor, etc.
  • Subscription will cover other machines: One iFit subscription will cover several Nordictrack or ProForm machines (bike, rower, etc.)
  • Good for Cardio: Excellent for cardio (hiking, walking, jogging, running)
  • Good for Strength: Lots of strength options (you may need your own equipment)
  • Good for Yoga/Stretching: Yes, lots of yoga and stretching sessions
  • News/TED/Other: TED talks, other streaming content. No live news or news channels.
  • Can watch Netflix, etc: No, Designed to show iFit content only

You can use this for cardio conditioning, strength training, yoga and stretching and even just casual walking anytime of the day. There are indoor training classes and outdoor routes all over the world. Strength training classes can be easily viewed on the large touchscreen anywhere in your room so you don’t have to stand right next to the machine. The x22i could easily replace a gym membership since it offers such extensive training options.

Overall Value: 5 (You get a lot of bang for your buck on the x22i)

The biggest question we hear is, “Would you recommend this to family and friends?” The answer for the x22i is absolutely! I feel like I could jump on the x22i at any time and not feel discomfortable or bored. The cushioning helps my knees and feet not hurt and the programs are engaging and make the time fly by.

In-depth NordicTrack X22i TreadmillReview


Frame

Nordictrack x22i incline trainer motor support beams

As you can see, the x22i treadmill is large and constructed of reinforced steel beams that are thick and powder-coated for protection. On the x22i, the motor is housed at the base of the machine under the rear deck — rather than in the front as on traditional treadmills. This creates extra length at the top of the tread belt so your foot doesn’t graze the motor hood. A hydraulic lift system under the deck lifts and lowers the platform to create the 40% grade. Two curved upright beams extend up from the frame to hold the console and handrails. The gentle curve of these support beams brings the console closer to the midline of the running platform so you can stand close to the console and still have plenty of both forward foot reach and rear kickback.

22” x 60” Deck

Nordictrack x22i incline trainer 60 inch long deck

  • Reflex Cushioning means the deck responds to the amount of pressure generated. Four steel springs under the platform create space for the deck to descend gently with each foot step. The impact is greater from a heavier person (or when running), consequently the deck will flex more. While walking — or for a lighter person — the deck will flex less. This is what the “Reflexive” system is designed to do.
  • At 22” wide by 60” long. The construction of the running platform and the position of the console create plenty of length both at the top and bottom of the tread belt. It is nice to have that extra forward foot reach when working an incline. Similarly, the platform allows for a longer stride.
  • The tread belt on the x22i is commercial grade so it is durable, gently textured, and designed to provide a stable foot surface. The belt on the x22i is sturdy, doesn’t flap around, and moves evenly along the deck.
  • 2.5” balanced rollers help move the belt along the deck. Larger rollers have greater surface area to grab and move it along, so there is less tension on the tread belt. The combination of good sized rollers and a commercial tread belt create a nice running platform on the x22i.

4.0 CHP DurX Motor with Quiet Incline Drive

  • The 4.0 CHP self-cooling motor regulates the incline and decline of the deck. The motor is at the base of the deck, which reduces the size of the motor hood at the top and allows the deck to incline to 40%.
  • Nordictrack x22i Incline Trainer motor

  • The motor controls speed and incline, so it must work smoothly to regulate multiple adjustments at once. Also, the x22i is designed for heavy training by multiple users, so the self-cooling feature keeps it from overheating. I tested the motor on the x22i with an interval class on iFit. I’m surprised at how quiet the motor is for being so powerful. You can barely hear it under the deck. The 2021 model is also noticeably faster in between inclines and quieter while running.

+40% Incline to -6% Decline range

Nordictrack x22i Incline Trainer 40% incline
A +40% incline and -6 decline is the differentiating feature on Nordictrack’s incline trainers.

  • Incline training allows you to perform any workout on a hill to kick up calorie burn and target different muscle groups. While running has traditionally been the easiest way to get a good calorie burn, many runners deal with stress fractures, impact pain and overuse injuries.
  • The x22i answers these problems with cushioning and incline that stimulates calorie burn similar to running, but at a much lower impact. The -6% decline enables downhill training that more closely simulates outdoor descents. It can also be used by those who want gentle quad strengthening or active recovery options.

Sled-Push with Horizontal Push Bar and Vertical Grips

Nordictrack x22i Incline Trainer sled push bars

The x22i 2021 model includes a push bar that sits horizontally at the base of the console along with two vertical bars that extend up on either side. These mimic the feel of pushing a weighted sled across and indoor gym track. You can turn the belt speed down to 1mph and then push the belt along with your feet while you press against the upright bars. This will kick up your heart rate in no time! It adds training variables and engages the upper body as well as the legs, core and lower back.

Storage / Folding

Nordictrack x22i incline trainer frame
The Commercial x22i does not fold and it is not easy to move. This piece of equipment is designed to be placed in the perfect space in your home and left there. To move it, incline the deck a little, and then turn off and unplug the machine. You can then pivot the x22i forward on it’s wheels and roll it gently. Should you need to move it up or down stairs, make sure to have a few friends on hand to help.

Console/Controls

Nordictrack x22i Incline trainer console sled push bars

22” Upgraded HD Touch Screen with faster processor speed

  • As I mentioned above, I find the 22” screen on the x22i to be the perfect size. You don’t have to reach around it to grab water bottles and there are small pockets on either side for a phone. There are several features on the screen I personally liked:
    • The screen has crisp graphics with good resolution. This is one area where iFit really shines: the videography in the outdoor locations is impressive. The graphics on the touchscreen really show off these amazing outdoor locations. You’ll feel like you’re right there, climbing alongside your fellow trainer through the rugged mountains of Banff, Canada.
    • Tilt feature allows you to gently push the screen up and down to find the right height. This helps eliminate the annoying glare of overhead lights and it also brings the screen into your line of vision.
    • The touchscreen is more responsive than previous models. They’ve updated the console and the buttons are more responsive and easy to tap.
    • Screen position feels natural — not too close so it feels like it’s in your face — but not so far away that it’s hard to reach the touchscreen buttons. I didn’t feel unnecessary encroachment even when I tilted the incline to 40% and stood close to the console to counterbalance the grade. The screen is set back 6” from the horizontal push grip, which is the perfect distance.

Console Layout

  • Console layout on the x22i is streamlined and clutter-free. Many of the treadmill controls are embedded in the touchscreen itself, which cleans up the console, leaving the most important buttons accessible and not buried.
    • OneTouch Controls for both speed (right) and incline (left) flank the screen. There is a separate button for each speed — but not for each grade. There just isn’t room for 46 buttons, so the incline/decline buttons increase by 3 and then 5 for each incline. Manual controls at the base of the console allow for more specific adjustments.
    • Fan Controls: on the left just below the fans.
    • Volume Controls: on the right just below the fans.
    • Manual Controls: for both speed and incline sit just below the fan and speaker buttons. These are labeled for incline and +,- for speed. You can adjust by .10 for each speed or incline using the manual buttons.
    • Start/Stop and Safety Key: Start button is outlined in green; Stop button in red. The red safety key is in the center for easy reach. These are all along the bottom of the console.

Dual Fans

  • Yes! There are two fans, and I love them. These are a must-have on a machine of this caliber. The fans sit just below the screen and provide good air flow. There are four settings: Low-Med-High and Auto. The auto setting will correlate the fan speed with work load so they will increase and decrease power depending on how hard you are working.

Upgraded 3” Digitally Enhanced Speakers

  • The speakers are positioned laterally just under the screen. I love the volume adjustment options in iFit. You can moderate volume for: Overall Volume, Trainer, and Music. This means you can turn the music all the way down and the trainer’s voice all the way up. iFit has upgraded their music options as well so you are listening to current hits, not just a random workout mix in the background.
    • You can also Bluetooth your phone to the treadmill and play your music through the treadmill speakers.

No Tablet Holder

  • There is not a separate tablet holder on the x22i. When you tilt the screen, it creates a lip that can hold a phone or tablet; however, a large device may block part of the screen and might not be secure when running so be careful that it doesn’t fall off.

Console Storage Areas

  • Two large storage pockets behind the screen are deep enough to hold most water bottles. Extra pockets to the sides of the screen offer a snug spot for a phone or wallet. Due to the design of the x22i, there is not an extra storage tray under the console. This would interfere with the incline

Subscription Plan: iFit Family Plan included free for the first year

When you purchase an x22i, the first year of iFit is included for free. This is the Family Plan which includes up to 5 profiles. iFit requires the internet — you must have accessible WiFi to connect to when you first set up the treadmill. iFit offers many classes and features:

  • Studio-based classes: bootcamp, interval training, and combo routines that alternate strength training with running segments. The trainer provides direction as he/she works alongside you and other participants in the studio. iFit automatically adjusts the speed and incline for you at the direction of the trainer. (You can override this at any point — just hit any QuickControl speed or incline button to adjust as needed.)
  • Outdoor Routes in any number of exotic places. These are constantly updated with new locations and routes all over the world. There are sessions for running, hiking, walking, jogging and combo classes. The automated speed and incline adjust so you can walk along naturally.
  • Off-the-treadmill classes such as strength training, yoga, stretching, recovery, and bootcamp classes are also available.
  • Live and On-Demand classes look ahead at this week’s Live classes or tune in anytime for an on-demand class.
  • Leaderboard users can access the Leaderboard to compare your speed and distance with others completing the same route.
  • Challenges and Series If you like to participate in monthly challenges, there’s always a new one in iFit! There are also series that are filmed in a specific location with several different classes. I recently completed the Switzerland series which took me running through the Alps!
  • iFit eliminates the need for a gym membership. I would recommend perusing Nordictrack’s website and the iFit website to see everything it has to offer. You will be impressed.

Overall Performance of the Nordictrack x22i

Great for Weight Loss

The x22i is an excellent machine if you are looking to lose a bit of weight or increase your overall fitness. iFit includes both cardio and strength training workouts which can be viewed from anywhere in your room thanks to the large touchscreen. The sled push feature adds a level of difficulty to any workout and the incline/decline options incorporate needed variability. You can walk, hike, jog, run, strength train or even do a plyometric workout using iFit.

Smooth automation between app and treadmill

The synchronicity between the iFit app and the treadmill is seamless. I didn’t experience any lag time between when I tapped a button and when the treadmill adjusted. iFit has automated controls, so the speed and incline will automatically adjust per the routine settings. You can override this if needed, but it creates a very smooth, natural feel as you run along.

Good for people of all fitness levels

You don’t need to be a conditioned athlete to use or appreciate the Nordictrack x22i. This machine works well for users of all ages and ability levels. It is easy to get on and off, the app interface is intuitive, the programs are engaging and the treadmill itself feels comfortable. The x22i is a good option for everyone from weekend warriors to walkers who are looking to enhance joint mobility after a hip replacement.

Noise Level

The Nordictrack x22i is appreciatively quiet. This was tested alongside all our other treadmills and registered the lowest decibel levels of any of them. The motor under the deck regulates speed and incline smoothly and quietly.


Bottom Line:

In our NordicTrack X22i review, we took a look at all of the amazing features it has to offer, the x22i is consistently one of the best treadmills on the market. It has a quiet 4.0HP motor that inclines to 40% and declines to -6%. It will go up to 12mph. This treadmill is a good option for those who plan to train for longer distances since the deck offers good cushioning, a full 22” wide and 60” long running belt, and plenty of motor power. The Commercial x22i also works well for those who want to walk and stay low-impact. You can walk or hike following along with any number of outdoor iFit workouts. The incline of the deck allows you to kick up your heart rate for a higher calorie burn even while you stay low-impact. I personally really like the design of the console. The 22” screen size feels just right. The screen tilts just a bit so you can eliminate overhead glare. Since the console will now sync with Bluetooth headphones, you can listen to the iFit workouts on your personal headphones while you workout. The x22i does not fold up, so you need a dedicated space for this machine and it is rather large and heavy. However, for those who have the space and want something functional and comfortable, the x22i offers a lot of great features for a good price.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nordictrack Commercial x22i Incline Trainer Treadmill Review
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