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Last Updated: December 5, 2023
NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill
The NordicTrack EXP 7i’s smart features and compact footprint prove you don’t need a ton of space for a great run or walk.
|Specs / Features||5|
|Dimensions / Storability||9|
|On-Board Workouts & Apps||8|
For an affordable price, you get the iFIT features you love–automatic adjustments and trainer-led content–on the NordicTrack EXP 7i.
NordicTrack EPX 7i Treadmill Review: Bottom Line
The NordicTrack EXP 7i is an entry-level model from NordicTrack. Although it’s a lower-end model, the EXP 7i shouldn’t be dismissed as just another cheap treadmill.
This model has similar capabilities as higher-end models from NordicTrack. For starters, iFIT is available on the 7” touch screen for access to thousands of guided classes, the ability to create your own training routes, and automatic adjustability throughout your workout. The 2.6 CHP motor is great for light to moderate use like walking and jogging for a few miles per day.
The cushioning is comfortable and softer than what we see from other budget-friendly treadmills.
Running, Walking, Hiking, and Training with iFIT…
Part of our testing process is using treadmills how we think you would use them. This means performing all sorts of workouts from slow and easy walks to long runs to high-intensity intervals. We test the treadmill and its training content rigorously so that you know what you are getting into before you buy. Whether a treadmill offers iFIT, Peloton, JRNY, or any other training platform, we want to ensure your day-to-day training experience is just what you would expect. From the little details you might not notice, like the roller size and the frame construction, to the major ones, like the deck softness and the smart features, we have considered and evaluated it all.
NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill Video Review
NordicTrack EXP 7i vs Similar Treadmills
We know the EXP 7i might not be the only treadmill you are considering. So, we pulled together the most popular competitors so you can compare them easily.
|Treadmill||NordicTrack EXP 7i||Sole F63||Horizon 7.0 AT||ProForm Trainer 12.0||NordicTrack EXP 10i|
|Bottom Line||A high-tech entry-level treadmill with iFit streaming and a well-cushioned, compact deck that folds up.||An entry-level treadmill with a high-quality build, impressive training options, and easy-to-use design all for an affordable price.||A great budget treadmill for running that’s compact and easy to use with simple non-subscription workouts.||A compact, folding treadmill with nice features and a 10″ touch screen that comes free with a 3-year membership to iFit.||A compact, foldable treadmill with iFIT integration on the 10″ touch screen.|
|Awards Earned||Best Treadmill Under $1500 Runner-Up, Best Cushioning for Walking, Best High-Tech Cheap Treadmill||Best Treadmill Under $1500 For Home Use, Most Compact Sole Treadmill, Best Treadmill Under $1500||Best Treadmill Under $1000, Best Quiet Budget Treadmill, Best Budget Folding Treadmill||Coming Soon!||Runner-Up Best Compact Treadmill, Best Affordable iFIT Treadmill, Best Portable Treadmill Under $2000|
|Ratings||NordicTrack EXP 7i||Sole F63||Horizon 7.0 AT||ProForm Trainer 12.0||NordicTrack EXP 10i|
|Specs / Features||5||6||6||6||5|
|Dimensions / Storability||9||8||8||8||9|
|Paid Programming – Cost||iFIT – $39/month||N/A||N/A||iFIT – $39/month||iFIT – $39/month|
|# of Onboard Workouts||2||6||8||2||2|
|Netflix / 3rd Party Apps||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Display||7″ HD touchscreen||6.5″ backlit LCD||7.25″ LCD screen, 4 LED windows||10″ HD touchscreen||10″ HD touchscreen|
|Dimensions (In Use)||70.8” L x 34.9” W x 59.7” H||77″L x 35″W x 67″H||76″ L x 35″ W x 66″ H/td>||74.6″ L x 35.24″ W x 64.39″ H||70.8” L x 34.9” W x 59.7” H|
|Dimensions (Folded)||Coming Soon!||50″L x 35″W x 72″H||44″ L x 35″ W x 68″ H||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Treadmill Type||Folding||Folding||Folding||Folding||Folding||Treadmill Weight||228 lbs (in box)||224 lbs||227 lbs||223 lbs (in box)||230 lbs (in box)|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs||325 lbs||325 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|Running Surface||20″ x 55″||20″ x 60″||20″ x 60″||20″ x 55″||20″ x 55″|
|Deck Height (Step Up)||Coming Soon!||8″||8.625”||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Deck Height At Highest Incline||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Ceiling Height Required(6’ Tall Runner)||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Ceiling Height Required(User Height + x)||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Motor Size||2.6 CHP||3.0 CHP||3.0 CHP||3.0 CHP||2.75 CHP|
|Incline/Decline||0 to 12%||15 incline levels||0 to 15%||0% to 12%||0% to 12%|
|Min / Max Speed||0 to 10 mph||0 to 12 mph||0 to 12 mph||0 to 12 mph||0 to 10 mph|
|Warranty||10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor||lifetime frame, lifetime motor, 2-year deck, 2-year parts, 2-year wear items, 1-year labor, 90-day cosmetic items||lifetime frame, lifetime motor, 3-year parts, 1-year labor||10-year frame, 1-year parts, 1-year labor||10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, WiFi||Bluetooth, Sole+ app||Bluetooth, third-party apps (Peloton, Nike, Zwift, etc)||Bluetooth, WiFi||Bluetooth, WiFi|
|Heart Rate Sensors||compatible with Bluetooth HR monitors||EKG Pulse grips, compatible with Bluetooth HR monitors||compatible with Bluetooth HR monitors, EKG pulse grips||compatible with Bluetooth HR monitors||compatible with Bluetooth HR monitors|
|Additional Features||AutoAdjust, dual speakers, Google Maps Technology, OneTouch controls, soft cushioning, device rack, cup holders, SpaceSaver Design with Easy Lift Assis||Kick release folding, USB-A charging, Bluetooth speakers, device rack, reading rack, fan, cup holders, removable storage tray||device racks, audio jack, Bluetooth speakers, interval keys, energy saver mode, fan, media controls, storage tray, QuickDial controls, USB charging, cup holders, 3-zone cushioning||AutoAdjust, CoolAire fan, dual 2″ speakers, SpaceSaver Design with EasyLift Assist, ProShox Z Cushioning, QuickSpeed Button Controls, cup holders||AutoAdjust, AutoBreeze fan, dual speakers, ActivePulse, SpaceSaver Easy Lift Assist, OneTouch controls, Google Maps Technology, integrated cup holders, device rack, soft cushioning|
In-depth NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill Review: Testing & Analysis
The 7i is a part of the NordicTracks compact EXP series. What makes the EXP 7i great for most homes is the fact that it’s pretty compact, foldable, and lightweight. It can be used on upper-level floors, and the deck isn’t overly large and it folds up and locks into place when you’re finished. When unlocked, the deck slowly lowers to the ground itself. Plus, you get some assistance when lifting the deck so you don’t have to worry about throwing your back out. The EXP 7i has unfolded dimensions of 70.8” long, 34.9” wide, and 59.7” high.
While still in the box, this treadmill weighs 228 lbs. In comparison to other folding home treadmills, the EXP 7i is not too hard to move around. When the deck is folded, you just have to tilt it back to engage the two transportation wheels.
You still want to make sure that you have plenty of room to comfortably use the treadmill. That means having extra space on either side of the treadmill. You should also consider your ceiling height. We have a helpful guide to help you calculate a proper ceiling height for the EXP 7i. The deck is not very high. Once you factor in room for the incline and running, an 8.5 ft ceiling should be more than enough for a 6’ tall runner.
Onboard Workouts & Apps
Being that the EXP 7i is from NordicTrack, it is enabled with iFIT. iFIT is a complete training platform that offers classes led by instructors on equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals, rowers, and mat classes like yoga, strength training, and meditations. iFIT is found on equipment from NordicTrack, ProForm, Matrix, and FreeMotion. While we think iFIT really improves your training experience on the EXP 7i, this review also covers what you get without an active iFIT subscription.
iFIT comes free for the first month with the purchase of the NordicTrack EXP 7i. After the free trial, you must pay a membership fee to use iFIT, otherwise, there are onboard workouts and a manual mode available to use on the EXP 7i without a subscription. I’ll get into this below, but what do you get with a subscription to iFIT?
The library is updated regularly and all of the classes are on-demand which means they can be taken whenever you want. Each class is led by an instructor and filmed either indoors in a studio or outdoors in locations all around the world.
Filmed on every continent, you have the choice of taking a walk through Venice, Italy or trekking through glaciers in Alaska on the EXP 7i. The instructor acts as your own personal tour guide to give you fun facts about the area while encouraging you to keep up your pace. The camera pans to show shots of the landscape throughout each class, too.
The indoor classes are modeled after in-person studio fitness classes The camera points at the instructor and sometimes there are other participants who are taking the workout in real time, seen on the outer edges of the screen.
In all of these workouts, music plays in the background. You can mute the music or even the instructor’s voice if you want to though. There are preselected playlists of songs that a split into different genres like radio stations. You can change each station throughout your workout. This is where I’d like to see iFIT improved upon. Music can be a huge contributor to the overall energy of the workout. I think incorporating music in iFIT’s indoor classes could help improve the experience of these workouts.
When you want to create your own workouts and explore on your own, there is a Google Map feature. This feature lets you draw routes anywhere in the world. When you’re running the route, Google Images pop up on the screen to show you the location. This is found in the “create” button on the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen on the EXP 7i in iFIT’s library.
Overall, iFIT has a lot to offer. The instructors are very knowledgeable and there are over 180 so you’re sure to find at least one that you like, if not a few. On the NordicTrack EXP 7i, you can take running, walking, hiking, and interval workouts. With all there is to choose from, we highly recommend checking it out on the EXP 7i.
So, iFIT is great if you love trainer-led content, but if you don’t, don’t worry, the EXP 7i can be used without it. Without a subscription, the EXP 7i comes with a sample trainer-led iFIT class and a manual mode. With the free version of the iFIT app, you can also try other categories of workout classes from iFIT, such as indoor cycling and strength training. The selection of featured classes changes about once per month. Manual mode can of course be used with an iFit membership too, but we appreciate all the programming included without paying an extra fee.
It’s pretty small, but it does its job of displaying iFIT, the onboard workouts, and your workout metrics like time, distance, speed, and calories. The screen isn’t very adjustable. It’s essentially a small tablet built into the console and it can be tilted up and down very slightly for better viewing depending on your line of sight. Also, this screen might be hard for some to see and navigate, especially if you have limited visibility because of its size.
This screen obviously doesn’t make for the most interactive training experience visually, but the screen and console provide a lot of the same features found on NordicTrack’s higher-end treadmills.
For starters, the EXP 7i will automatically adjust the incline and speed of the treadmill throughout your iFit workout. So, if the iFit instructor says to bump up your speed, the treadmill will do that for you. You can adjust the treadmill on your own whenever you want, too, but this is a really nice feature.
For adjusting the EXP 7i yourself, there’s plenty of functionality. The numbered buttons on either side of the 7” screen allow you to quickly adjust to whatever speed and incline. For instance, when you press 4 on the right and 2 on the left, the treadmill will adjust to 4 mph and 2% incline.
I also like that the buttons to adjust the incline and speed are below the quick-touch number buttons. These are nice to use when you want to adjust the treadmill by .1 mph and .5% grades. The start and stop buttons are conveniently located below the screen, too.
The speakers are clear, offer a nice amount of volume, and project the sound at you. There isn’t a fan built into the console like the EXP 10i and EXP 14i. We wish there was one built into the slot above the fan. You’ll have to plug in your own fan if you want to cool off while you work out.
The new design for the EXP 7i has been modeled after the Commercial Series when it was updated with this look in 2022. It is streamlined with the same cupholders as the Commercial Series Treadmills, but the EXP 7i has a rack to put your phone or tablet. This is an excellent addition because it lets you stream your own content. This way you’re not locked into using the touch screen, although you’ll need it to see where the treadmill is adjusted to.
The construction of the NordicTrack EXP 7i is compact, fairly lightweight, and streamlined from the previous version. The new EXP 7i is all-black so it looks pretty sleek. It has a 300 lb weight limit, which is standard for NordicTrack Treadmills and common for treadmills in its class. Treadmills with higher weight limits are usually larger and higher priced.
Two steel uprights connect to the frame and extend up to the handles which are built into the console.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous about the overall stability, especially in the console because there is no longer a steel crossbar in between the uprights. The console, and treadmill in general, are sturdy though. I even put my large Stanley Cup in the cupholder and it remained in place with very little rattle. My phone also stayed on the device rack because the console and screen manages to be stable without wobbling like some entry-level models.
The handles don’t extend very far on either side of the deck, but they’re covered with textured plastic so they don’t feel slippery. Also, with the compact nature of the EXP 7i, the handles and console are well within reach. I like that the front horizontal handle is one continuous handle without a separation in the middle like the previous model. This makes it easier to grab when you need to.
The motor is 2.6 CHP. This motor is slightly smaller than the Sole F63, but comparable to the ProForm Carbon T7 and Horizon T101. We recommend it for primarily walking and jogging and some light running. If you plan on walking and/or jogging for a few miles a day, this motor should handle that. It’s not best for running at higher speeds for long periods and distance training though.
The speed goes up to 10 mph which is a quick pace for most. It takes about 19 seconds to go from 1 mph to 10 mph, which is a fairly swift transition if you are trying to do an interval workout. The deck inclines up to 12% to offer a good amount of incline, too. It takes 41 seconds for the EXP 7i to reach its maximum incline from a flat grade. It is a little slower than we would like to see from NordicTrack, and an area we think the brand could improve upon their EXP series treadmills.
This treadmill inclines a little higher than the T101 and Carbon T7, so you get a little more range than those treadmills. We measured the peak incline to be 13.1% and the flat grade at 1.7%. We believe these slight discrepancies in the actual incline and reported incline could account for the deck’s cushioning. We measured the incline without a runner or walker using the treadmill.
As far as noise, the drive motor that moves the belt is pretty quiet, but the incline motor is a little noisy and slower to adjust. The EXP 7i ranged from 48.3 dB (3 mph) to 65.1 dB (10 mph). The incline noise was about 63 dB regardless of speed. The Sole F63 and T101 have quieter inclines in comparison and measured at 57 dB and 61 dB respectively when inclined at a belt speed of 6 mph.
For an entry-level model, the deck is comparable in size to other budget-friendly treadmills. It is 20” wide and 55” long. With this size, some users with long-running strides might not be able to comfortably run on the deck. 60” is the ideal length for most, however, for slower jogging and shorter running strides, 55” should be sufficient.
He has a shorter stride so he’s able to get up to a good jogging pace on the EXP 7i. I’m our shortest reviewer and I have a fairly short running stride so I’m able to run on the deck at the highest speed.
The cushioning in the deck really helps set the NordicTrack EXP 7i apart from other entry-level models though. It’s soft and comparable to some higher-end models. If you have joint issues, I recommend considering the EXP 7i. Even for walking, the deck cushioning feels comfortable and helps lessen the impact on your joints.
Like most other models from NordicTrack, the EXP 7i comes with a 10-year warranty for the frame, a 2-year warranty for parts, and a 1-year warranty for labor. Assembly is pretty straightforward, but having two people for set up is a good idea.
Should You Buy The NordicTrack EXP 7i
Overall, I’m really pleased with the new design of the NordicTrack EXP 7i. It’s functional, compact, and budget-friendly yet it features some components found on higher-end models. It performed well for us – it’s stable, sturdy, and pretty quiet. It’s not the quietest treadmill we’ve tested but it has a pretty low foot noise. It’s just the incline that is a little loud but that’s common for treadmills in this price range.
We recommend the EXP 7i for users looking for a walking and jogging treadmill. We also recommend it if you want similar functionality and cushioning to higher-end models but for a fraction of the price. This treadmill is a good pick if you like trainer-led content and want to read or watch something from your own device from time to time.
The NordicTrack EXP 7i is an entry-level treadmill that has a nice amount of tech and high-end features for a budget-friendly price.
NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill FAQ’s / Q&A’s
Can you use the NordicTrack EXP 7i without a subscription?
Yes! The NordicTrack EXP 7i is a good choice of treadmill if you want a NordicTrack but don’t plan to use a subscription. The small 7-inch screen has limited features without an active subscription, but it doesn’t feel as wasteful as NordicTracks with larger screens. You can still train in manual mode with or without a WiFi connection. All of your metrics are visible on the screen. There is also a ¼ mile track to show your lap progress. With a WiFi connection, you can access a free iFIT class. This featured class changes about once per month.
Does the NordicTrack EXP 7i have a fan?
No, the NordicTrack EXP 7i does not have a fan. It is the only NordicTrack without this feature currently. Consider using a floor or ceiling fan to remedy this.
Is the NordicTrack EXP 7i treadmill worth it?
The NordicTrack EXP 7i is worth it for walkers and runners who want great cushioning on a budget. The EXP 7i’s small screen and compact running deck are the only cautions I have for runners who aren’t sure about the EXP 7i. The screen size may be too small and the deck too short for some runners. Otherwise, the NordicTrack EXP 7i is a budget-friendly, cushioned treadmill with great smart features.
Is NordicTrack EXP 7i good for running?
The NordicTrack EXP 7i has a maximum speed of 10 mph. This should be suitable for most runners. The deck, however, is only 55 inches long. Runners with long strides or those hitting the top speed may not feel as comfortable on the EXP 7i. The screen is also a little hard to see and navigate while running. Petite runners should be fine.
What is the weight limit on the NordicTrack EXP 7i?
The NordicTrack EXP 7i has a 300-lb weight limit.
Is your NordicTrack EXP 7i review a paid review?
Our reviews are not paid reviews. We received the NordicTrack EXP 7i for free from the brand. Most major home fitness brands send us their products, and they are not involved further in the review process. Our opinions and testing procedures are our own.
You can support our site to help us continue reviewing products by using our affiliate links to purchase equipment. These links allow us to earn an affiliate commission, but they do not increase the cost of the machine for you! We are very thankful to have you in our audience and hope you found this review helpful.