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Last Updated: May 11, 2023
The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike makes for a highly interactive indoor cycling experience. It’s loaded with impressive features that make you feel like you’re riding outside. In this NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike Review, I’ll highlight everything you need to know before you take this bike home. The S22i uses quiet magnetic resistance, as well as an innovative incline and decline function. The bike frame inclines up to 20% and declines to -10%, making you feel like you’re riding up and downhills.
iFit has countless indoor and outdoor cycling classes led by world-class instructors. iFit also offers training off the bike too which you can stream on the large 22” 360-degree pivoting touchscreen. We also love that it comes with hybrid pedals that are compatible with any athletic shoe and SPD cleats. This paired with a hearty 350 lb weight capacity, makes for a solid bike for all kinds of users.
Awards: Best Exercise Bike Overall 2023
The NordicTrack S22i is our #1 Best Exercise Bike for 2023! We’ve rated it 4.8 out of 5 stars. This is an amazing bike with innovative technology. NordicTrack cycles are the only bikes on the market that incline and decline. As you follow an iFit class or route, the bike will automatically lift and tilt to match the terrain! In addition, the S22i also features handlebar controls for resistance and incline, a built-in fan, and included 3lb hand weights for upper bodywork. It really is a well-rounded bike and a functional piece of training equipment.
Why Trust Our Review Of The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike
In order to give you these complete reviews, we spend a lot of time in the saddle. We’re sure to log miles and test every feature on the bike to be sure that you know what you’re paying for. During our testing, we also hop back and forth between the exercise bike we’re reviewing and other comparable models. This way we can get a really good idea of how this bike compares and performs next to other bikes on the market.
We compared the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike to the previous 2021 model, the NordicTrack S27i, the Peloton Bike+, and the BowFlex Velocore bike.
Our NordicTrack S22i Video Review
- The large 22” touch screen tilts and pivots 360 degrees and contains iFit which includes a full library of training for your entire body and mind.
- The bike is very quiet to use because of the belt drive system and silent magnetic resistance.
- The bike has an attached motor that inclines the bike up to a 20% grade and declines it to a -10% grade.
- The hybrid pedals accommodate a wider variety of riding preferences.
- Adjusting the resistance and incline/decline is easy on the handlebars, as well as on the screen.
- The console includes a fan to cool you off while riding.
- The saddle feels pretty stiff and hard to use. It can be replaced with another seat though.
- The 22” touch screen has a tendency to slightly shake, especially if you shift your upper body from side to side.
- +20% Incline to -10% Decline that is automated in iFit
- The +20% incline to -10% decline is a revolutionary feature on a spin bike. A motor on the rear stabilizer and motorized arm under the pedal crank lift and tilt the bike to simulate outdoor grades.
- On standard indoor cycling bikes, the bike frame is secured in one position while variable tension on the flywheel creates more or less resistance. Typically, an increase in resistance simulates a hill climb while less resistance simulates a flat road or descent.
- NordicTrack added actual incline and decline on the s22i. The bike literally tilts up and down to match the grade of your ride. The combination of this incline feature in addition to 24
- levels of magnetic resistance makes the s22i as close as you can get to outdoor riding.
- This feature also significantly increases training variables as you can now combine resistance, speed and incline to create greater climbing challenges.
- The +20% incline to -10% decline is a revolutionary feature on a spin bike. A motor on the rear stabilizer and motorized arm under the pedal crank lift and tilt the bike to simulate outdoor grades.
- Silent Magnetic Resistance with 24 Digital Levels and Convenient Handlebar Controls
- Magnets situated adjacent to the flywheel oppose the motion of the flywheel to create frictionless resistance.
- Magnetic resistance is silent and easily regulated electronically through preset resistance levels. It does not cause wear on the flywheel.
- The s22i has 24 levels of resistance. Specific resistance adjustments are nice on an indoor cycling bike. Many spin bikes have a tension knob, but no specific resistance settings, so you can’t regulate or measure the resistance. It is hugely beneficial to be able to select a specific resistance level on this bike. It translates into more accurate wattage stats and allows the rider to always find the same resistance at the same setting.
- Resistance can be adjusted manually on the handlebar controls or on the touchscreen. I love the handlebar controls on the s22i! Just a quick flick of your thumb and you can regulate resistance and incline instantly.
- When using an iFit or onboard program, the resistance will automatically adjust for you. Manual controls override automated controls when needed.
- 32 Pound Inertia-Enhanced flywheel for fluid wheel motion
- This feature regulates flywheel motion so the pedal stroke is smooth and uniform throughout the rotation. This helps avoid any jerky, downward momentum in the flywheel that can pull your feet forward and make it feel like the bike is pedaling you. This also creates continuous motion regardless of speed or resistance.
- A brake knob at the base of the handlebar stem will slow the flywheel manually. Press down to stop the flywheel at any time.
- 3 adjustment points to fit most size riders
- The seat can be adjusted forward or aft via the carriage knob. The span between the tip of the saddle and the horizontal handlebar grip should be about a forearm’s length. You can increase this span if you have a long torso, but don’t decrease it less than that. Pulling the seat too close to the handlebars will bring your knees out of alignment and too close to the front of the bike. Knees should be in line with the midline of your forward foot when pedaling.
- The saddle stem can also move up and down. For proper bike fit, the saddle should be about hip height when you are standing next to the bike. The stem post is angled back on the s22i so when you raise the stem, it will move the saddle back slightly. This increases the span between the saddle and handlebars and keeps body position aligned so taller riders’ knees are directly over the pedals. If your knees jut forward during riding, extending past the midline of the foot, it can produce unwanted knee tension.
- Handlebars can also be adjusted up or down on the handlebar post knob. Handlebars should be roughly the same height as your saddle. Set an appropriate saddle height first and then adjust the handlebars to match. More experienced riders can set the handlebars lower, decreasing torso angle, but this is per rider comfort. Do not set handlebars so low that your diaphragm is restricted.
- All adjustment areas (seat post, carriage, and handlebar post) are clearly marked with orange inch measurements so you can find the right position each time.
- Front-Facing Speakers
- The speakers are located below the touch screen and are a new upgrade for 2022. The sound projects at you and they are loud and clear. There are volume buttons next to the speakers and you can adjust the volume on the screen in iFit, too.
- Comes with iFit, free for the first month:
- NordicTrack includes a family plan package of iFit free for the first 30 days. After that, iFit costs $39/month for up to five users (family plan). iFit enhances the overall experience on the S22i. It includes a database of over 16,000 different workouts including both classes and outdoor rides that are constantly updated. You need a WiFi connection to run iFit.
- Compact footprint doesn’t take up much space
- Indoor exercise equipment can be heavy and large. The NordicTrack s22i Studio Cycle is a fantastic machine with a remarkably small footprint. Standing just 58” high and 61” long, it provides great training options in a compact piece of equipment.
- A fan is attached at the bottom of the screen
- It might seem silly, but the fan built into the screen on the s22i is a must-have for me! The fan produces good airflow and is situated at just the right height. I didn’t find the fan to be overly noisy.
- Wheels under Front Stabilizer make it easy to move
- 4 Leveling Feet — Front 2 are Adjustable
- Frame is Welded Steel and Corrosion Resistant
- Ergonomic Padded Saddle
- Footprint: 61″ Long x 22″ Wide x 58″ High
- Bike Weight: 205 lbs (in box)
- 22” 360 Degree Rotating Smart HD Touch Screen
- Power Readout with Wattage
- Bluetooth Headphone Connectivity
- 30W Premium Audio Speakers
- Dual Water Bottle Holders
- AutoBreeze™ Fan with four power settings
- -10% to + 20% Incline
- SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- OneTouch™ Controls on grip extensions
- 24 Resistance Levels
- Hybrid SPD Clips and Toe Cages
- Inertia-enhanced 32lb Flywheel
- Automated Incline & Decline Drive System
- Spongy-coated multi-position handlebars
- 2 Points of Seat Adjustment (up/down & forward/aft)
- Two 3 Lb. Dumbbells are included
- Max User Weight: 350 Lb
- Frame: 10-Year Warranty
- Parts: 2-Year Warranty
- Labor: 1-Year Warranty
In-depth Review of the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike
iFit is an interactive fitness app that features over 16,000 classes. On the S22i, iFit is included free for the first month with up to five profiles. With a subscription to iFit, you’ll have full access to the library. We think that iFit’s programming is very valuable on the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike.
If you’ve ever taken an in-person spin class, then you’ll be familiar with the format of iFit’s studio classes. The camera shows multiple angles of the instructor and often other class attendees surround them in person. These classes often include various types of rides such as sprints, hill climbs, HIIT, and even boot camp, where you train on and off the bike usually with weights. The S22i is perfect for all of these types of classes.
iFit also features an extensive variety of outdoor rides. These are filmed in real locations all around the world across a multitude of landscapes. You follow the instructor as they lead you up mountains, through cities, across dirt and gravel roads, and through real-life races. The videography constantly impresses me in these classes because they’re of such highly professional quality.
If you don’t want to always follow an instructor, you can create your own routes using the Google Map feature. This lets you draw a route in any area of the world, so you can explore on your own.
In addition to cycling classes, iFit also has classes for enabled equipment like treadmills, rowing machines, and ellipticals. There are also plenty of classes that are taken off equipment too. These include strength training with free weights, Pilates, yoga, body weight, and meditation classes. There are also TED Talks and other mindful classes. So, with a membership to iFit, you’re not just getting cycling classes led by an instructor, but an entire training program to ensure your workouts are balanced to work your whole body and mind.
iFit has on-demand classes to take whenever. There’s even a calendar for you to schedule classes ahead of time. The live classes are available typically in the morning hours, so you can plan to take those at specific times, too. These are taken in real-time and feature a leaderboard where you can compete with other members. The leaderboard is also shown in on-demand classes so you can see where you rank among other people who have taken the class.
I find it really helpful to use the search bar and filters. You can filter by duration, trainer, workout type, intensity, target area, continent, environment, other equipment, completed classes, and language. This way if you’re looking for a certain class or a specific type of class you can easily find it. There are also challenges and series if you want a bit of extra motivation. Both of these include groups of classes that are goal-focused and revolve around a certain theme. There are series that feature the same instructor and/or are in the same location and are meant to be taken over a period of time.
iFit’s music consists of a list of different genres of music that you can pick between. Each genre has a pre-selected list of songs that can play in the background of any class. This leaves you in control of the music selection, to an extent. You can’t skip ahead with the song list, but you can switch music stations at any time. Although the songs are updated periodically, they can feel a bit generic at times. We do wish iFit offered some studio cycling classes where the playlist is generated by the instructor to hear it with them during class.
Another great thing about iFit is that you can download the app on your phone and television. This way, if you’re away from your S22i, you can still train.
If an iFit membership isn’t for you, you can still use the S22i. When you bypass the login page, you’ll see a few trainer-led iFit classes and pre-programmed workouts. The pre-programmed workouts feature a map of a location that you can see through a series of Google images. It’s similar to iFit’s Google Maps feature, but the routes are preselected. Each program has preselected resistance and incline/decline levels to give you guidance during your ride. Of course, there’s also the manual mode accessible for you to just ride and do your own thing. Manual mode is accessible among the pre-programmed workouts and in iFit’s full library.
The console on the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike primarily consists of the 22” touch screen. This is where a lot of the functionality of the bike is built. The adjustability on the 22” touch screen is very handy to get the right position of the screen for you when you’re on and off the bike. It tilts upward and pivots 360 degrees from side to side.
In comparison, the Peloton Bike+ has a slightly larger 24” touchscreen. We didn’t notice much between these screen sizes though. However, the NordicTrack S27i has a gigantic 27” touch screen that is noticeably bigger and is said to be currently the largest screen attached to an exercise bike. The 22” touch screen is plenty large for us and doesn’t wobble as much as the S27i because it is lighter in weight. We do notice a tiny bit of screen shake when we are on light resistance levels out of the saddle or if we shift our upper bodies from side to side. The screen’s movement has been significantly improved from the previous model though.
Compared to the previous 2021 model, the screen on the 2022 model has all the same functionality, but it is a little slimmer and sleeker because it doesn’t have any cords poking out on the back. Another improvement that we love to see is the front-facing speakers on this new model. The speakers are just below the screen and they point right at you. There are volume buttons next to the speakers below the screen on the new model. They were previously on the side of the screen, so having them on the front makes them more accessible. You can adjust the volume on the screen within iFit, too. This is where you can choose to balance the volume levels between the trainer’s voice and the music provided by iFit.
I’m glad there’s still a fan built into the console. It is smaller than the 2021 S22i because of the new front-facing speakers. It generates the same amount of sound but the air output is less due to the more compact size. It’s still effective and hits my neck and face while riding.
Although there isn’t a device holder on the S22i, there is a tray to place your phone and/or keys. Because of this, you’re pretty tied into using the touch screen, but you can have your phone or any personal item within reach. The NordicTrack S22i still comes with 3 lb weights that are stored in between the handlebars. These allow you to do some upper body training while you ride. The two cupholders below are sturdy and hold my 22oz water bottle in place and within reach. They are larger and more stable than all of the other cupholders on bikes we compared the S22i to.
Construction Quality & Durability
The S22i is very quiet and stable to use. It also has a hefty 350 lb weight capacity that is among some of the highest that we see on exercise bikes. This is a bit heavier than the BowFlex Velocore and the Peloton Bike+, making it more suitable for larger riders.
The base, stabilizers, and posts on the S22i are all steel. Some serious engineering went into designing this bike. As opposed to other indoor cycling bikes that look like someone bought a spin bike and attached a TV to the top, the s22i has been designed from the ground up. Wires and cables are internal, the drive train is quiet, and the frame is surprisingly solid for a bike that pivots up and down. I feel very stable as I ride both in and out of the saddle.
The S22i has 3 adjustment points, the saddle moves up/down and forward/back, while the handlebars can move up and down. These adjustment points have a wide range too, to accommodate riders of all sizes. The reach (nose of the saddle to base of the handlebars) ranges from about 15”-18” from when the saddle is all the way forward and all the way back. The leg span (top of the saddle to top of the lowest pedal) measures about 28”-41” from when the saddle is all the way down and all the way up. The leg span is your inseam length. These measurements indicate that this bike can handle a wide range of users.
The flywheel on the S22i is 32 pounds, which is a good weight for a home-use indoor studio cycle. Commercial bikes used in gyms have flywheels that weigh closer to 50 pounds. In general, a large, heavy flywheel creates smoother movement and better resistance on a stationary bike. However, because the S22i has both an inertia-enhanced flywheel and magnetic resistance, it can produce fluid motion with minimal noise and ample resistance — all while weighing less. This makes it easier to move while maintaining functionality.
The S22i uses magnetic resistance. This is a more expensive type of resistance because of the materials and mechanics involved. It is usually found on higher-end models. The magnetic resistance on the NordicTrack S22i makes it very quiet to use and suitable for most home spaces. This type of resistance can be calibrated, so you’ll see your resistance level and watt output displayed on the screen.
There are 24 levels of resistance compared to the 100 levels of resistance that the BowFlex Velocore and Peloton Bike+ have. This makes the range of resistance to choose from smaller than these bikes. The bike remains quiet no matter which resistance level you’re at.
The S22i uses a DC motor that inclines and declines the frame of the bike. This simulates the experience of riding up and down a hill. It is located on the back of the bike above the rear stabilizer. The maximum incline is 20% and the maximum decline is -10%. When comparing the S22i to the previous model, both motors generated the same amount of sound. They also have the same level of responsiveness and speed. While the motor does make a little bit of noise when you’re inclining and declining, it is not a significant amount of sound. It is certainly quieter than a motor on a treadmill which still makes the bike suitable for shared spaces.
On top of shifting your positioning on the bike as though you’re going up and down a hill, this feature makes it feel like you’re riding through various grades. When the bike is inclined, no matter what resistance level you’re at, you’ll get additional resistance. Alternatively, when the bike is declined, the resistance will feel lighter than when you’re inclined or even just at a 0% grade. The motor on the S22i really adds value to create not only a more realistic and fun riding experience, but it makes the 24 levels of resistance feel harder and more variable. For reference, I can sit and pedal while on level 24 at a flat grade. However, when I have the bike completely inclined to 20% while on level 24, I can’t sit in the saddle and pedal.
One of the upgrades to the 2022 model is the addition of hybrid pedals. One side of the pedals has toe cages that are compatible with any kind of athletic shoe. They have an adjustable strap and they’re deep enough to hold a wide range of shoe sizes. We found them to be more comfortable than the toe cages on the Peloton Bike+ which feel too shallow.
SPDs are the most common type of clips, so most road cyclists who clip in on their road bike will be able to use their shoes to clip in on the S22i. We like that these pedals have been included on the S22i because it makes it more accommodating to users with different riding preferences.
The S22i uses a belt drive system to connect the pedals to the flywheel. This keeps the motion of the bike very quiet and smooth.
The handlebars feel very secure and hearty to use. They’re thick enough in diameter to wrap your hands around and wide enough for users of all sizes to feel comfortable. They offer 3 different grip options so you can mix up your hand positioning while riding. They have a spongy coating that doesn’t get slick, too.
These buttons make adjusting the bike convenient, so you don’t have to always reach for the touch screen to adjust it. These buttons also make it easy to land on specific increments because the speed buttons adjust by 1 and the incline buttons adjust by 0.5%. This makes it easier than using a resistance knob like the Peloton Bike+ and Velocore Bike from BowFlex have. Turning the knob to get to a specific resistance level can be a bit more challenging on these bikes. The knob below the handlebars on the S22i is a brake that can be pressed to immediately stop the flywheel when you’re pedaling.
Performance & Functionality
Overall, the S22i provides a pleasant riding experience that feels similar to riding outdoors. This is because of the hearty construction and innovative incline and decline function. This added feature not only makes your rides more challenging, but I find it to make them more fun too.
All of our reviewers range in height from 5’1” up to 6’5” and we all were able to adjust the bike to fit each of us well. As the shortest reviewer, I am able to move the seat all the way forward so I can reach the handles as well as the screen. Most exercise bikes with attached touch screens don’t have the adjustability to move the handles forward and backward, so this can make it harder for me to reach the screen. On the BowFlex Velocore, the screen is further away from the handles, so I have a hard time reaching the screen. On the S22i however, the screen is closer so I can reach everything while riding in the saddle.
Speaking of the saddle, the saddle is a new upgrade from the 2021 model. The saddle on the 2022 version has more contouring and padding. It still feels pretty stiff though. We didn’t find it to be the most comfortable, but keep in mind that narrow exercise bike saddles aren’t known for being very comfortable. Wider seats can be more comfortable but are less suitable for long-distance riding because they can create saddle sores.
This saddle can also be swapped out for a different saddle, too.
Even though the NordicTrack S22i weighs 205 lbs, it can be tilted and wheeled around if necessary. There are 2 wheels at the front of the front stabilizer that makes moving easy.
Another really nice addition to the 2022 model is an on/off switch where the power cable is inserted near the rear of the bike. This way, instead of just unplugging the bike to turn it off, you can actually power it down.
We highly recommend having two people set up the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike. This way, you’re able to have a smoother setup process than with just one person. The warranty that comes with the S22i is pretty standard. NordicTrack offers a 10-year warranty for the frame, a 2-year warranty for parts, and a 1-year warranty for labor.
Bottom Line Review: NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike
From our testing, the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike is the best bike on the market. It holds the best overall exercise bike of 2023 on our best exercise bike list. Its hearty construction, innovative features, and technology make it not only suitable for riders of all sizes, but it’s fun to ride too! We appreciate the new, thoughtful upgrades to this model like the hybrid pedals, sleeker touch screen, and front-facing speakers. The saddle isn’t our favorite, but all of the other components and adjustability make this a comfortable, quiet exercise bike. We love the incline and decline feature, as well as the 22” iFit enabled touchscreen. This makes the bike feel realistic for riding outdoors, and iFit has so many classes we know you won’t get bored! You can’t go wrong with the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike and all it has to offer!
Looking forward to receiving and trying it out.
I’m preparing for a wedding and hoping this will all get me in shape as mother of the groom.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding as mother of the groom! We love the s22i, it is great for enhanced muscle and cardio strength and conditioning. Check out iFit’s extensive selection of other classes too, including weight training, stretching, and even yoga. There are lots of options both on and off the bike for excellent conditioning! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Thank you for your in-depth review. It has really helped me learn more about this bike and make a more informed decision. I have not heard a lot of people discuss the s15i and wondering if you reviewed that bike as well? It’s $400 cheaper because the screen is smaller. I’m not sure if the savings would defeat the purpose of having a more immersive experience with a larger screen though. My only concern with a big ticket item like this is do people get bored of cycling?? I’m a bit on the fence about that because it’s an expensive purchase and most gym memberships cost practically nothing compared to this bike or others such as Peloton.
Hi Maaike, thanks for your comment! We have reviewed the s15i, you can find it here: Guru s15i Review
We have seen a growing interest in cycling as an excellent low-impact cardio and strength exercise. Also, both the s15i and s22i have onboard programs and full-color cycling routes that come pre-loaded on the machine, so you won’t get bored. iFit is free for the first year and this includes over 16,000 different cycling classes, outdoor routes, and off-the-bike classes such as strength training, combo classes, stretching and even yoga. The combination of cycling and floor classes should provide plenty of training variables so you don’t get burned out of just cycling.
To answer question about the difference between the s15i and the s22i, the s15i has a smaller screen but otherwise the bikes are practically the same. I prefer the larger screen on the s22i because it really pulls you in and makes you feel like you are right on the road (or in the class). The s15i screen is not too small and it works great too, but the bigger one showcases iFit impressively.
Another reason people like exercise bikes is because they are smaller than other types of fitness equipment, so they don’t take up as much space in your home and can be rolled out of the way when not in use.
Good luck with your search! Let us know if you have any other questions.
This is the best, most complete and impartial review that I found on the web of this bike. Excellent. I’m looking for reliability of the incline/decline actuators/motors. I fear they will wear out within a year of daily use, but so far have found no comments about their long-term robustness.
In the three images above where we can see the saddle, it is adjusted at a horrifying upward angle. I hope you didn’t actually try to ride the bike with the saddle at that angle!! That would hurt, a lot, and cause issues and numbness in the perineum area.
Thanks for your comment! Since the incline/decline motor on the s22i studio bike is a new innovation, we don’t have stats for long-term performance. Our s22i is regularly ridden by multiple reviewers and we haven’t had any issues with wear or reliability. NordicTrack offers a standard 10-year warranty on the frame and a 2-year warranty on parts, which includes the motor. If you are interested, an extended 4-year warranty is also available for under $200 (this extends 4 years past the standard warranty, so you get 6 years of warranty coverage on parts and 14 on the frame). We test and review exercise equipment from multiple manufacturers and find NordicTrack motors hold up consistently well over time.
Also, with regards to the position of the saddle — good call! I’d actually angled the saddle up to make sure I could get a picture of the orange measurement lines on the saddle carriage and didn’t re-adjust it. You can adjust the angle of the saddle up or down as well as forward and aft and you lift/lower it via the adjustment knob on the seat post. We frequently adjust the fit on our machines since our reviewers range in size from 5’5″ to 6’4″
Thanks for your comment. Good luck in your research!
Thank you for this very detailed review. Do you have information about using a connected heart rate monitor? I have seen screen shots that show that when the heart rate monitor is connected, your heart rate shows up on the screen and is tracked in your workout summary. My question is are there specific heart rate workouts where you can set the bike to a desired heart rate and the bike would automatically adjust the resistance and incline to keep you in your target zone?
Does this ship with a heart rate monitor? In same places I’m reading yes and others saying you have to buy separately.
The s22i doesn’t come with a heart rate chest strap, but you can order one from NordicTrack — or use your own. It is Bluetooth enabled so it will sync with any compatible chest strap.
Yes, an iFit heart rate chest strap will sync with the s22i. You can order one through NordicTrack here. However, the bike is not automated to adjust to keep your heart rate in a target zone. If you are wearing a monitor, you’d have to adjust speed, incline and resistance yourself to hold your heart rate where you want it. But whenever you ride with a heart rate monitor you will get more accurate metrics and feedback for your training goals. Good luck!
What is the minimum ceiling height I can get away with?
Great question! When fully inclined to a 20% grade, the top of the screen lifts to 65″ high. When the seat is raised to its highest setting and the bike is fully inclined, the top of the seat is 46″ high. At the top of the rotation, the upper pedal sits 22″ off the floor. You would need to make sure you have enough head clearance that when standing in the pedals you add 22″ of height and then account for a bit of bounce while riding up and down. If you are tall and need the seat raised to 46″, add your torso height to this to estimate your required clearance when seated. As an exercise bike, the s22i is much smaller than a treadmill and even with the incline feature, it shouldn’t lift you too high — but for tall riders or those with long legs, it’s always good to make sure you have enough space. Thanks for asking!
I have been training hard on the S22i for several months now because of the need to compromise with my wife as she wanted something she would be comfortable with and I wanted an indoor trainer for my road bike; naturally she won :).
The things I like about the bike are the build quality and the quietness. The pedal feel is good and the inclination and resistance make it a very good trainer–and it can be ridden hard and feels very durable. I have found the software in the programs to be buggy as it will crash and then attempt to come back online which it usually does but I have had occasions where I lost all my data from a 1-1/2 hour training ride. It is easy to download the data and import to Strava, which I like. I bought a separate saddle set up and pedals so I can easily switch saddles and change to clipless pedals when I am using it and easily switch it back so my wife can use the soft saddle and double sided pedals.
The one area that I can find no information about it this: My wife and I both have short legs. I recently had a professional bike fit and found that I was using the wrong length of cranks. My road bike and the S22i both have 170mm cranks. The bike fitter said that I should be running 160mm cranks and that was the reason I was having knee pain. I am 5’8″ but a long torso short leg individual. My legs are only slightly longer than my wife’s, she being 5’2″. I have looked on NordicTrak’s site but there is no shorter crank available. I have ordered shorter cranks for my road bike but am considering taking the NordicTrak cranks to a machinist to have them drilled and tapped to a shorter crank length, however I am not sure that can be done as the hole might overlap with the existing hole. I think this is an important issue because bike fit is very important. I know there are lots of folks using this bike who have no idea that the crank length is too long for them, which causes hip impingement and potential knee issues. Buyer beware.
In summary, here is my take on the bike:
Pros: Good build quality, heavy duty, bike trainer/coaches are excellent–we love the programs, adjust-ability is good with the exception of crank length and reach (you can only adjust handle bar reach by hand placement which is not optimal, height is easily adjusted). The lcd touchscreen is good except the “touch” part is inconsistent as sometimes you have to touch several times to get it to work. The software give you good feedback on your training with power, incline, heart rate (when it works), distance, mph, etc.
Cons: Heart rate monitor seldom connects (I have to just use my Apple Watch for bpm and yes I have changed the battery in the chest monitor), WiFi connection is unstable, programs are buggy (we have over 100mps download (confirmed) and 30 mps upload (confirmed) and Google mesh with a node 3 ft from the bike). The fan is loud and useless, the speakers a very poor and tinny but fine for this use. One nit-picky issue I have is the foam on the handlebars. After I build up a good sweat, the handle bars get sticky and yucky–I have no other way to explain it. If you look at the training videos, you see many of the participants with a towel under their hands on the bars–that is the reason. Therefore, I have to use bike gloves or a towel under my hands. It would be great if NordicTrak would furnish replaceable terry-cloth covers that could be taken off and washed for the handlebars or at least use real bicycle bar tape.
If you are thinking of using clipless pedals, standard 9/16″-20 pedals will fit–I use Shimano SPD-SL which are the most common. Another good choice would be the Shimano SPD MTB pedals and MTB shoes that you could walk around the house in. Also, if you go the route of clipless, think about putting washers on the pedal shafts to space them out from the cranks for correct Q Factor–you might need to do some research on this. The saddle can be swapped out with a real cycling saddle with standard rails. I use an SQLab saddle but I have put Fizik and Selle SMP on it as well.
Here is a link to the parts list for the bike: https://tinyurl.com/vgowaol
Here is a link to the subject of crank lengths: https://tinyurl.com/tm3dj35
Overall, I am satisfied with the bike but feel like although they have used elite athletes in the training videos, that they should have consulted these same athletes (Travis McCabe?) when designing the bike.
On a scale of 1-10:
Value: 5 (Danged expensive bike)
Reliability: Bike 8, Electronics 6 (although it seems they have been updating)
Adjustability: 7 (serious issues with crank length and reach)
Comfort: 6 (I feel the manufacturer does not address bike fit, instead touting “climb on and ride”, which is dangerous to joint health)
Support: 5 (not a lot of experience with this, however I do feel NT is slow to respond with improvements to the bike). I have ordered parts which arrived in a timely manner.
Thank you for reading.
Wow! Thanks for your in-depth input! I’m glad you’ve been using and enjoying your s22i. I’m both an outdoor cyclist and indoor spin instructor, so I know how important it is to find the right fit on a bike! Indoor spin bikes pretty much all use the standard 170mm cranks and the bikes are not designed to easily modify crank length. Most studio bikes also have a protective cover over the drivetrain which protects the belt from debris, sweat and dust. But this also limits your options for swapping out/modifying components. A studio bike just isn’t as modifiable as a road bike when it comes to crank length, etc. Also, there are some bikes which allow for forward/aft movement in the handlebars, but they usually don’t have a screen attached to the front end. The Peloton bike, which also has a screen attached, does not have a forward/aft handlebar adjustment either.
As far as the handlebar surface, I can see how it might get sticky from abundant sweat. I also ride with a towel on my handlebars both to protect the bars from too much moisture and also to give me an option to towel off my forehead when needed. As you mentioned, most indoor riders use a towel across the handlebars for both convenience and comfort.
We haven’t had the same issue with the screen being glitchy — maybe it’s because your hands are so sweaty? Not sure. I also find the fan to be very useful. There are four power settings and I almost always use medium or high and just leave it there. This helps me tremendously so I’m sorry you haven’t found it as useful.
We appreciate your input and clearly you’ve spent and enjoyed a lot of time on your s22i! I hope you are able to continue to ride and enjoy it in the future. Best wishes!
This is an excellent review Paul and it helps a lot in my purchasing decision. I’m a road cyclist as well and looking for a less boring option than putting one of my bikes on a set of rollers and mindlessly pedaling away.
I share your concern regarding the crank lengths. I used to ride 180mm cranks back in my younger days and now ride 175s so the 170s are a bit short for me. At 73″ tall with a 34″ inseam, I also have challenges with top tube length which is why I only ride on custom road frames. I’m happy that this bike allows one to change out saddles and pedals and don’t have an issue riding with gloves to avoid the sticky bar situation. I really like the Google map functionality with this bike along with the incline/decline feature. I’m planning to move to Europe next year and the bike is only set up for 110v/60Hz input power. Which means I’ll need another frequency converter to run the bike on the 210v/50Hz input in France. However, I think I’ll go ahead and order the bike to give it a shot.
Can you link the screen to your cell phone to watch Netflix while riding? Or does the screen allow the download of apps? I notice that there is no tablet holder, so wondering if this is possible.
Unfortunately you cannot download apps, link or cast from your phone to the s22i touchscreen. It is designed to display iFit content. Other users have stated that there is a hack to bypass the screen and access the internet, but I can’t confirm this, you’d have to try it yourself. Occasionally, I will set my bike in front of my TV, swivel the screen to the side so it is out of the way, and watch a show on TV. However, the iFit content is more engaging and motivating than a Netflix show, so I find I get a better workout when I use an iFit program. But either way, you have lots of options. Good luck!
I just received mine and I absolutely love it. Should I power it down when I’m not using or unplug it?
Congrats on your new s22i! We hope you love it as much as we do! We recommend powering it down at the end of each day (or at the end of each session if you only have one user). If possible, unplugging is also recommended as it will limit any static power draw from the outlet when not in use — you could also plug it into a surge protector to avoid this. Happy riding!
Love the bike so far, but looking for another saddle. Any suggestions on a bit more comfortable one for beginners?
The saddle on the s22i can be swapped out. You loosen the clamp under the saddle and it should lift off. NordicTrack says you can replace it with any compatible road bike seat, but they don’t sell one on their website. You should be able to find one at any bike shop, online, or even at Walmart. If you are a new rider, comfort is important — so we recommend finding a saddle that is padded and supports your riding style. If you’re not sure what to look for, maybe take your saddle off beforehand and take it to a bike shop with you? A salesperson should be able to help you find a compatible one. Good luck!
I would like to purchase the S22i but may be moving overseas. Will this bike work in a 220-240v country with an adapter or transformer?
Turns out, that’s an excellent question! I looked in the s22i manual and all it says about voltage is that the wall outlet must be on a nominal 120-volt circuit. I then called NordicTrack technical support and they weren’t sure either. A converter should work, but their best advice was to call the country where you are going to verify. Sorry I can’t give you better info. Best of luck! I hope you are able to make it work.
This is probably too late to be of use, but when I moved to Europe I was able to use my Nordic Track elliptical on a converter. It had to be a continuous step-up/step-down converter to handle the constant adjustments when using iFit programs, fan, etc. We bought the converter on Amazon before we moved for about $135. I used the elliptical for 4 years there, brought it back to the US and it is working just fine—no damage from having been on the converter.
I am thinking of buying the S22i, but want to take it overseas. Did you ever find out if it can be run on 220v with a transformer?
It should work with a power converter, but we do recommend verifying the voltage used in the country you plan to travel to. Some transformers/converters are specific for certain areas such as Japan, Europe, etc. The s22i should work fine as long as your transformer is appropriate.
The bike looks great but after 6 months of light riding (30 to 60 minutes 3 -4 times per week) both the incline motor and the resistance motor failed. I spent a total of 14 hours on hold waiting for customer service. I was given instructions on how to replace the controller board and other parts and was told that it would take a long time to get a technician to come out. Despite not feeling comfortable taking my $2000 bike apart I muddle through this process twice before demanding a technician who got the same results. Finally after 2 months They sent out new motors and the bike is functional again. All in all I spoke with 3 local technicians who all stated unequivocally that my situation is common with this bike. If I could get half money back I would trash this bike and buy a Peloton.
Thank you very much.
Greetings! After reading all of the reviews, and doing a ton of research, this seems like the best option for us. However, I was wondering if you could give some guidance on ceiling height for the bike. We have a 4th small bedroom in the basement that would be a great spot, however, it ceiling height is +/- 6′ 11″. I am 6’4″ tall and hoping that the extra 7″ of clearance would be adequate when using the S22i for times when riding off of the saddle. Any details you could show would be greatly appreciated! Cheers!
Great question! When fully inclined to a 20% grade, the top of the s22i screen (which is the highest point) lifts to 65″ high. When the seat is raised to its highest setting and the bike is fully inclined, the top of the seat is 46″ high. At the top of the rotation, the upper pedal sits 22″ off the floor. Since you are 6’4″ and your ceiling is only 6’11”, it’s going to be close. Typically, when you “stand” in the pedals, you are at the level of the lowest pedal, not the higher one — and most riders are still a bit bent over to hold the handlebars. A lot of it will depend on how long your torso is and if you like to ride in a more aggressive forward-leaning position, or if you like to stand straight up with your back elongated. I think you’ll be okay, and you can always override the incline settings, so you don’t take it to the full 20% grade if that gets you too close to the ceiling. In most of the rides, we notice the incline ranges from about 3% to 15% but not many rides take you all the way to 20%. I hope this helps a little. Good luck!
I recently purchased the S22i but only a few sessions in the left pedal is making a clunk sound as it goes down during a class.
Its rather annoying as you can imagine for a 2k bike.
Is anyone else experiencing this problem?
We haven’t heard of that problem. Check the threading on your pedal to make sure it’s screwed on tightly, sometimes stronger riders can work the pedal loose and it needs to be tightened. Also, make sure the sound isn’t from the adjustable strap on the pedal hitting the bike frame as it rotates. Other than that, we recommend contacting NordicTrack customer service to see what the issue could be. It’s not one we have run into previously. Sorry. Good luck!
After having the bike for about 3 months and despite an excellent internet it continues to buffer throughout the entire workout. I have passed it dor over 2 minutes to allow the buffering and once it starts again it buffers once again. Very frustrating. Please help!
This is a frustrating issue! We have heard about this problem from other users. Despite having a strong internet connection, the s22i may have a hard time reading your internet signal. We recommend moving your modem closer to your bike location if possible — or use an extender to make sure your signal reaches the bike. The second thing you can do is go into the iFit settings and make sure the video quality is set to Auto or even Low. This should help the video load faster. We’ve also heard of people hacking into the Android tablet itself to access WiFi settings outside of iFit. There are several videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to do this. Good luck! We hope you are able to resolve this issue!
We’ve had our iFit S22i for about 8 months and have really enjoyed it. For the last 6 weeks however, every time I ride the seat comes loose. The bolt must be stripped. I have to reset it and tighten before every ride and usually have to stop 1x during the ride to reset it. It’s become really frustrating and is dangerous. I’m well within the weight limit to be riding. When i’m in the saddle and it loosens when I’m spinning at 90 RPM, I about fall off backward with the seat pointing straight to the sky. Not to mention the damage that can do to a man’s midsection parts. Has this issue been reported by others? It does seem like an odd design compared to every other spin or stationary bike i’ve ridden, but if this is not a common issue, maybe i just need to get a replacement seat. Thanks.
We haven’t heard of that being an issue, but if you are constantly retightening it, then it must be stripped. We replaced the seat on our s22i with one that is a bit more comfortable and it’s an easy switch. The bike is compatible with most road saddles, so you should be able to replace it. Sorry about that issue. We’ll look for other reports of similar issues.
I purchased the s22i in May 2020; I love the bike except for 1 thing-the handle bars. Reading this review, it indicates the bike has coated handle bars, but mine does not. Just a powder coated metal which isn’t very comfortable. Does anyone know of a cushioning grip that will work on there?
Our handlebars have a spongy coating but they aren’t super cushioned. The coating just protects the bars from rust and dents. We agree that if you spend a long time in the saddle with your hands/forearms on the bars, they are not the most comfortable. We usually throw a hand towel over our handlebars to absorb sweat and also add just a bit of comfort when riding. While it isn’t a permanent solution, we find this helps a lot with comfort and keeps the bike clean as well. Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.
vorrei acquistare la s22i della nordi track pero no ho internet in garage come posso fare? secondo voi quale e la migliore life fitness ic8 o la nordi track s22
Nel tuo caso, ti consigliamo la cyclette IC8. Il Nordictrack s22i non funziona senza Internet, quindi se non riesci a ottenere il Wifi nel tuo garage, ti consigliamo di trovare una bicicletta che non richieda una connessione Internet. L’IC8 è un ciclo di fascia alta con funzionalità impressionanti e non richiede Internet. Non ottieni contenuti video extra con lezioni e cose del genere, ma è una bici eccezionale e buona per uno spazio in garage.
Hi! Just a quick question! I am 4 10 and I just wanna make sure that the seat is adjustable to my height. Thanks!
You should be fine. The seat on the x22i drops quite low so you should be able to find the right leg span.
Does this bike allow me to access the Internet and take other spin classes that are live online from my local gym?
Unfortunately, you cannot watch other live stream classes on the s22i. The console is designed to display the iFit classes and content only.
due to the 210 lbs + weight of person on it. should the bike be on a cement floor ?
No, the s22i works fine on upper floors or a main floor. In fact, it is substantially less noisy than a treadmill that weighs more. You’ll be fine using the s22i on hard floors, carpet or an upstairs area.
We bought the S22i last week and we’re totally happy with it! My only concern is that the incline motor needs to be replaced already. Customer support has been great for this issue so I’m hoping it’s just a glitch. We compared this bike to the Peleton and decided to go with Nordictrac. Glad we did!
Stay away from this bike. It worked great for a few months, but then the resistance motor stopped working and resistance was essentially stuck at zero. Got that fixed and shortly after the controller needed to be replaced! Do a quick google search and you will see that these issues appear to be common. Really having buyers remorse.
I love the bike but I do have 1 negative comment. My wife and I both use it each day and after 3 months the seat adjustment keeps slowly slipping which is really frustrating. We are getting some replacement parts but after only 3 months this is a concern.
I understand that the S22i displays Cadence via iFit. Does it also display miles per hour (MPH) while riding?
Yes it does. It provides cadence, wattage, miles per hour and average miles per hour.
Kristen – Thanks for your reply. I just stumbled on the mph today. While riding, I tapped the ‘cadence’ and sure enough, there’s the mph readouts. I am a happy biker… Jack –
I received the S22i this past Christmas. I’ve rode it pretty much every day since receiving it and have tried a lot of different programs the bike offers. So far I like it a lot. I did find one glitch, not sure if this is unique to my bike or if this is a common problem. I was on a guided ride (San Francisco) that the terrain changed frequently, alot of uphill/downhill. At one point, we were going downhill and my bike was at a -8 degree decline. The instructor/tour guide turned the corner and we were instantly going 18 degrees uphill. The motor tried adjusting but i think it was too dramatic and didn’t fully adjust. The rest of the ride, i felt like i was going downhill most of the time even though the screen said i was at anywhere between 0 degrees to 4 degree incline. I tried manually calibrating it afterwards. The next day, it still felt like i was on a decline when it said i was 0 degrees. I’m estimating it’s off by 4 degrees and i’m trying to figure out how to get it back to normal.
My new S22i, and of course the monitor, wobbles left to right when I pedal standing up. It’s assembled properly and all connections are tight. It’s in my garage where the slab is perfectly level in both directions. The rear, right leveler had to be adjusted to make four firm contact points with floor. On close observation, the source of the wobble is in the forks. Is this normal for the S22i?
Yes, screen wobble can be an issue on the s22i. The screen and fan are weighted in such a way that when a rider is pedaling heavy or standing up out of the saddle it can cause some screen wobble. The screen is not “loose” so it’s not a safety issue, it just wobbles a bit. Try to make sure you’re not shifting your body weight from side to side as you pedal, as this can make it worse. It’s one of those issues that some riders really notice and others don’t at all.
My wife and I have found one obvious glitch to the S22i, overall everything else it we have experienced has been excellent with the multitude of workouts (both pre-recorded and live) available with the Ifit.
We are now in our mid-50s and find that we have to sit more upright when riding so as to relieve stress on our backs, this is where the S22i has let us down! The handlebar post does not extend long enough to have us sitting at a more straight back at the maximum setting (unlike our previous Lemond rev master pro spin bikes which we could extend much longer in the handlebar height compared to the very limited S22i). We are both not extremely tall so we are also wondering how do those six feet tall and above people manage to ride the S22i when you cannot sit straight enough to relieve the strain on your back for extended rides with the programs it provides?
You are correct. We have found that bikes with a touchscreen attached usually do not allow the handlebar height to be raised very high. This is most likely due to the weight of the screen and possible instability issues that could arise if it is lifted significantly above the bike frame.
I am currently using a proform with Ifit and really love the workouts. I am strongly considering getting the 22i do enjoy the incline feature . At the same time am Ibam unable to test drive the 22i and am wondering if there is a “sway/lateral instability” associated with the movable parts required fir the incline:/decline feature .
Can you comment if you have noticed any sway . Could you compare to the the proform ?
The s22i itself doesn’t move. The bike frame is very stable. However, the screen on the s22i will wobble a bit – especially if you stand up out of the pedals. The screen on the Pro 22 does not wobble. The main difference is the s22i has a fan attached at the bottom of the screen and the Pro 22 does not. I think the fan makes the screen heavier and wider, so it shifts just a bit as you ride. The incline feature doesn’t create any instability in the bike frame itself, it’s very stable.
Kristen, what are the differences between the 2020 and 2021 models of the S22i? I can purchase a “new” 2020 at a much lower price. Thank you for a fantastic review!
The 2021 model has a faster processor, so the screen takes less time to buffer when loading a video. They’ve also made some improvements to the motor incline that have been generally specified as “upgraded incline motor.” We aren’t sure the specific details, but the new s22i does seem faster and more responsive. However, the overall functionality is the same so if you can get a 2020 at a discounted price, it may be worth saving the money.
Hello, looking at purchasing the s22I. I have 79 to 80″ ceiling. My height is 5 11″. Will this be a height issue with my ceiling height?
Yes, you’ll be fine with your ceilings. When you’re standing, the s22i only raises you a few inches off the floor since your overall height is going to be measured from the bottom pedal. Even when inclined, the bike won’t lift you up too far.