NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill Review 2021 – Pros And Cons

Kristen NelsonKristen Nelson

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Last Updated: June 21, 2021

Here at Treadmill Review Guru, our Nordictrack EXP 7i treadmill review dives into the details you’ll want to know about this affordable treadmill. The EXP 7i is a newer model in the NordicTrack lineup, and the 2021 model has some appreciable upgrades. The EXP 7i is a compact treadmill that folds up but still has a good-sized motor and deck. It is excellent for walking or light jogging but probably not the best for intense running. The Nordictrack EXP7i is a good option for users in an apartment or other small space and would work on an upstairs floor.

Nordictrack EXP7i Treadmill Review 2021

The EXP 7i has a 12mph max speed and a 12% incline. The console has a 7” touchscreen and comes with iFit free for the first year. With this hearty little treadmill, you can walk on an incline or even turn up the speed for a fast pace. iFit programs have automated speed and incline built-in, so while you watch the program the treadmill will automatically adjust for you.

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Who It’s For Walkers who want a compact treadmill that features NordicTrack iFit content

The NordicTrackEXP 7i is best for users who:

  • Plan to walk or lightly jog
  • Need something that folds up
  • Enjoy the iFit content on the 7” touchscreen
  • Want a treadmill with a compact footprint
  • Need something quiet that will work in an apartment or upstairs floor

Our Video Review


Pros
  • 7” Touchscreen provides easy access to the full iFit library
  • iFit comes free for the first year with over 16,000 workouts for walking, hiking, jogging, and off-treadmill classes as well
  • Folds up and locks into place when not in use
  • Has Flex Select cushioning to reduce the impact on your joints and spine
  • The 3.0HP motor is powerful enough for walking, hiking, or light jogging
Cons
  • The screen may be slightly small for users with limited vision and is placed high up on the console which makes it difficult for shorter users to see
  • The 3.0HP motor will not support long, extensive training

NordicTrack EXP 7i


Treadmill FeaturesSpecs
  • FlexSelect™ Cushioning and 20” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
    • The EXP 7i has NordicTrack’s FlexSelect cushioning in the deck which absorbs some of the shock from walking or running on the deck. This reduces strain on your joints and spine as you exercise. The 20” wide and 60” long belt also provides plenty of space for either walking or jogging.
  • 7” Touchscreen
    • The touchscreen controls the speed and incline and most of the functionality of the programming on the EXP 7i. A purchase of the EXP 7i includes a free year of iFit with over 16,000 classes and programs.
  • 3.0 CHP Commercial Plus Motor
    • While not the most powerful motor, this 3.0HP motor will support walking and light jogging.
  • 12% Incline and 12 MPH Speed
    • The EXP 7i inclines to 12% so you can work uphill when needed. The 12mph max speed should also provide enough range for most users.
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
    • Despite its compact size, the EXp7i still supports up to 300lbs, so people of all sizes can use this treadmill.
  • Folding, SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
    • The EXP7i does fold up, so you can fold it upright and move it out of the way when you’re not using it.

Construction:

  • FlexSelect™ Cushioning
  • 20” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Integrated Tray
  • 3.0 CHP Commercial Plus Motor
  • 12% Incline
  • 12 MPH Max Speed
  • OneTouch® Controls
  • Smart-Response Drive System
  • 1.9” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • 222 Lb In Box Product Weight
  • 77.3” L x 35.3” W x 59.6” H Footprint

Console:

  • 7” HD Smart Touchscreen
  • 1-Year iFit® Membership Included ($468 Value)**
  • Bluetooth®1 Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • Automatic Trainer Control

Warranty:

  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

In-depth Review of Nordictrack EXP7i Treadmill


Construction

Nordictrack EXP7i Incline motor

Frame

The Nordictrack EXP7i frame is relatively compact but still offers a 60” long by 20” wide. Steel support beams, cross rails, and uprights provide good support. The EXP7i treadmill makes very little noise when in use. The running platform folds up and locks when you are finished and the two wheels allow you to tilt and roll it if needed.

Deck

  • Cushioning/Feel
    • The Nordictrack EXP7i features FlexSelect cushioning that is designed to reduce impact compared to outdoor surfaces. While the cushion in the EXP7i is not as soft as comparable treadmills, when compared with running outside, I feel the EXP7i provides a tremendous improvement over the shock impact of asphalt or concrete. This cushioning is comparable to equivalent mid-range treadmills in this price range.
  • Length/Width
    • Running Belt 60” long by 20” wide provides enough space for walking and running. The 60” of length is plenty and works well for runners of all sizes. However, the 20” width is 2” narrower than the Commercial line and some users may notice the reduced width. As long as you don’t wander too much on the deck it’s fine.

Motor

The 3.0 horsepower motor will work for walking, jogging, or running. We recommend users look for a motor that is 3.0 horsepower or more when considering a treadmill for running. This amount of power is sufficient for moderate to long distances and will support speeds up to 12mph without overheating. Speed adjustments are smooth so when adjusting pace you don’t need to hold on or brace yourself as the belt changes speed. The motor provides plenty of power for a quick pace, multiple incline changes, and a consistent running speed underfoot.

Console

Nordictrack EXP7i console layout

Console Layout

The console has some great features and a few we don’t love. The interface is clean and streamlined with large buttons that are marked. Similar to the Commercial line Nordictrack treadmills, there are quick touch buttons for speed on the right and incline on the left. Fan and volume buttons are also easy to reach. My only issue with this console is the 7” screen is rather small — and it’s placed close to the top which makes it difficult for shorter users to see. The screen will tilt slightly, but not enough to make a big difference. If you are under 5’4” this screen may be hard to see.

Touchscreen

Nordictrack EXP7i touchscreen

The touchscreen itself is on par with other Nordictrack treadmills. Screen graphics are crisp and the iFit programs provide engaging content. However, the screen size is a limitation since the touchscreen icons built into the screen can be hard to see and small to touch. While it’s nice to have a touchscreen on a mid-range treadmill, the 7” is just a bit small for good visibility.

Fans/Other Accessories

  • There are fans at the base of the console that provide good airflow. These have 4 power settings so you can turn the fan to low, medium, high, or auto.
  • There’s no tablet holder on the EXP7i. Since it is designed to display iFit content, a tablet holder is not included. However, you can set a tablet on the ledge between the lower panel of the console and the touchscreen panel and it won’t block the screen.

Storage

Nodictrack EXP7i handrail

There is good storage on the EXP7i. In addition to two large pockets on either side of the console, an additional storage tray spans the width of the deck under the console. This has another three large pockets for additional storage.

Functionality

Performance

The Nordictrack EXP7i treadmill is smooth and quiet. This is an excellent training tool for those who want something affordable but functional. The deck is not as cushioned as some, but we were still able to use the EXP7i for intervals, sprints, and longer runs without an issue.

Incline / Decline range

Nordictrack EXP7i Treadmill incline

TheNordictrack EXP7i features a +12% incline max. Incline training helps strengthen glutes and hamstrings to offset quad dominance and facilitate muscular balance in the lower body. Also, adding incline variability to a training regimen helps prevent overuse injuries and ensure muscular balance. It doesn’t offer decline options, but that also allows it to sit slightly lower on the floor. At a 0% grade, the EXP7i has an 8” deck height, which makes it easy to step on and off. The solid build on the EXP7i, combined with impressive incline and speed range, creates a powerful and well-rounded piece of exercise equipment.

Subscription Options: iFit Family Plan with up to 5 profiles

iFit is NordicTrack’s premier fitness database. iFit is constantly updated and offers over 16,000 different workouts.

  • Studio-based classes include boot camp, 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.)
  • Enjoy hiking, walking, running, intervals, and even tours in any number of exotic places. iFit videos are filmed all over the world in some beautiful locales. You can hike, run, walk, or even take a tour through specific locations. London has several walking tours that I enjoy. I’ve also loved some of the recent hiking routes through the lush mountains of New Zealand. A personal trainer leads every session, so you follow along on the treadmill as they navigate the real terrain just ahead of you. The treadmill automatically inclines and declines to match the actual grade as you go along.
  • TED talks, Manual Mode, and Graph display workouts. Bootcamp
  • Leaderboard: iFit also includes a Leaderboard similar to those found on other subscription platforms. The Leaderboard appears on the right side of the screen and has several filters. You can filter it to just display runners doing the workout at the same time or open it up to anyone who has ever completed the class. You can even reduce the filter to just yourself so if you want to save your workout and compete against your time later, you can challenge your previous time. If you don’t want to see the Leaderboard, simply swipe to the right and it will disappear off the screen.
  • Live Classes: iFit now also includes Live classes throughout the day. Usually, there are five or more classes per day you can join in live. These include running and walking routes and off-tread classes for strength training, yoga, or stretching.

Noise Level

TheNordictrack EXP7i excels with noise control. Featuring a smooth motor, soft belt, and sleek engineering, the EXP7i runs as smooth as any treadmill we’ve used. Additionally, the fact that it sits closer to the ground seems to help with noise absorption.

Storage / Folding

Nordictrack EXP7i folded

TheNordictrack EXP7i folds up easily. Simply grab the steel bar at the base of the deck and lift. The deck is a little heavy — probably due to the extra length — but I am still able to lift it easily. Once folded, the deck latches securely in place to clear floor space. There are two wheels under the front legs and two more at the base of the deck. When securely locked in a folded position, you can pull the machine towards you and roll it out of the way. To unlatch it, grab the yellow release lever on the right side of the deck. Pull the lever gently, and the hydraulic system will gently release the deck down to the floor.


NordicTrack EXP 7i

Bottom Line Review:

The NordicTrack EXP 7i is one of the newer treadmills in their lineup. This compact, folding treadmill works well for those who want to walk or jog in the comfort of their own home. You can access any of iFit’s full library of training videos on the 7” touchscreen. The EXP7i has heart rate sensors in the horizontal grips so if you want to track your heart rate you can do that as well. This machine is ideal for those who need something simple and efficient with impressive tech at a reasonable price.

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