NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Review – 2020

Last Updated: April 29, 2020

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Review 2020

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The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i is a multi-function elliptical trainer with a rear drive that allows it to collapse down when not in use. The SE9i has a 7” touchscreen and smooth pedal motion with 18” span. This is an affordable, foldable option for a great low-impact workout.

Who it’s For: Users looking for an affordable elliptical that collapses down when not in use

  • Low impact movement still provides high-intensity training with power incline and 24 levels of digital resistance!
  • Power incline up to 10% grade enhances training variables and increases posterior muscle engagement
  • Moving handlebars allow users to train upper body muscles as well
  • Full color 7” display showcases hundreds of fun iFit classes
Pros
  • Lightweight and foldable, so you can collapse the console down when you are finished
  • Great option for users who want a low-impact workout at home
  • Has 30 preloaded exercise routines for at-home training
  • Also includes a one year subscription to iFit with hundreds of classes and outdoor routes
  • The 7” touchscreen is easy to use and reach and it makes the iFit routes much more fun
  • Priced affordably for budget-conscious users
Cons
  • Touchscreen is full color, but only 7” so it may be hard for some people to see
  • There is a monthly subscription cost for iFit after the first year
FeaturesSpecifications
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership
    • The SE9i features a 7” touchscreen that showcases NordicTrack’s iFit database of workout classes and outdoor routes. Via the touchscreen you can select and view any number of walking, hiking or other outdoor trails while on your SE9i. You can also do indoor classes led by a personal trainer. This is a great feature and an exceptional value!
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance with 24 Digital Resistance Levels
    • Digital resistance is silent when in use, so the pedals on your SE9i don’t make any noise. They slide back and forth silently so you can use your machine anytime of day or night. Digital preset levels make it so you can always find the right level of resistance each time.
  • 10% Power Adjustable Incline
    • This unusual feature on an elliptical machine pivots the pedals up to reach a 10% incline — as if you were walking or hiking up a hill! This makes the SE9i multifunctional and adds more variables to your training routine.
  • iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap Included
    • EKG grips are great, but HR Chest Straps are much more accurate. We love that NordicTrack includes a chest strap with this machine — it makes it much easier to track your heart rate for accurate training.
  • 325 Lb. User Weight Capacity
    • This is an impressive user capacity for an elliptical trainer. 325lb will support most users which makes this a great option for those looking to increase their fitness but stay low-impact.
  • 30 Preset Workout Apps
    • If you don’t want to use iFit, there are 30 preset workouts on the SE9i that will work without any internet or wifi. Simply plug in your machine and you can select any of these preloaded workouts.
  • Integrated Handle Controls for Ramp and Resistance
    • Since the SE9i is multifunctional, it is nice to have handlebar controls for ramp and resistance right at your fingertips!
  • Vertical SpaceSaver® Design
    • Since this is a rear-drive elliptical, it does take a bit of floor space, however, the vertical space saver design makes it look light and airy — like it’s floating in your room — so it doesn’t look heavy in your workout space.

Construction:

  • 0 – 10° Power Adjustable Incline
  • Integrated, QuickTouch™ Handle Controls
  • Adjustable, Oversized Cushion Pedals
  • SoftTouch™ Upper Body Grips
  • Rear Drive
  • 18 Lb. Effective Inertia-enhanced Flywheel
  • Commercial Solid Steel Construction
  • 325 Lb. User Weight Capacity
  • Out-of-the-Box Easy Assembly
  • Rear-mounted Transport Wheels
  • Vertical SpaceSaver® Design
  • 78.7″ L x 31.9″ W x 66.4″ H Footprint

Console

  • 7” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
  • Integrated Tablet Holder
  • Auxiliary Music Port
  • Two 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • Integrated, QuickTouch™ Handle Controls
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • SoftTouch™ Upper Body Grips
  • One Touch® Controls
  • EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Monitor
  • iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap Included
  • Integrated Handle Controls for Ramp and Resistance

Functionality

  • Integrated, QuickTouch™ Handle Controls
  • Adjustable, Oversized Cushion Pedals
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • SoftTouch™ Upper Body Grips
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 24 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 10% Power Adjustable Incline

Warranty

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

In-depth Review of NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i


Construction

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Folded Frame

Frame

  • The SE 9i is designed to fold up, which is a great feature. However, this does compromise a bit with the overall sturdiness of the SE9i. The uprights and handles are supportive, but they can wobble a little when in use. The handles also have a narrower span compared to similar ellipticals. This will support up to 325 pounds, so the machine is well-built, but it is designed to accommodate small spaces which affects the design a little bit.
  • The stride length of the pedals is 18” which is shorter than other ellipticals. This works fine for shorter users who want to maximize floor space and don’t need the extra leg span. However, for taller people or those with a long stride, 18” may not provide enough span for a full stride length.
  • The handles are connected to the foot pedals, so hands and feet are coordinated, which is a nice feature.

Geometry

  • The SE9i is a rear drive system, which means the flywheel is at the back of the machine. This helps keep the elliptical stable by balancing the weight. It also makes it so the “stride” of the pedals is contained mostly within the footprint of the machine — the foot pedals don’t extend forward or jut backward when in use. Instead, they move smoothly around the flywheel, which is a safer design for those in the room when it is being used.
  • The handles allow you to use more upper body muscles than usual on a treadmill or stair stepper. Pulling the handles towards you engages the biceps, anterior deltoids, and lats. Pressing the handles forward engages the triceps, rear delt, and forearms. This feature makes the SE9i beneficial for multiple muscular systems since you can develop both lower body and upper body conditioning all at once.
  • The rear-drive system also lowers the step-up height on this machine. The pedal track sits close to the ground, so it’s just a quick step up to get on the pedals.

Pedals

  • The foot pedals are wide and comfortable. There is a slight ledge around the perimeter that holds your foot on the pedal. The surface is textured so your shoe doesn’t slip.
  • The pedal is also oversized and glides easily up and down the track.

Handles

  • Handles are angled up to provide a vertical grip so you can keep your wrists, elbows and shoulders in alignment while in use. A spongy grip material adds a bit of cushion to the steel beam bars.
  • Handles connect down to the pedal beams so motion is streamlined between hands and feet.

FlyWheel

  • The rear drive flywheel is centered between the pedals so each foot pedal rotates around the flywheel to create a feeling of forward motion. The flywheel weighs 18 pounds, which isn’t the heaviest, but it’s enough to create a smooth glide underfoot.

Incline

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Incline

  • The SE9i pivots up to a 10% incline. This increases training variables for a more well-rounded workout. The combination of 24 digital resistance levels and a 10% grade can certainly generate one glute-killing workout! The combination of incline and resistance makes the SE9i a great training machine!
  • Incline is automated in any iFit or onboard programs, so you can start any class and the machine will adjust for you as you progress. This allows users to keep their hands on the handles at all times.

Resistance

  • Magnetic resistance is quiet and smooth. Magnets adjacent to the flywheel oppose the wheel’s rotation to create resistance. There is no friction which reduces both noise and wear on the flywheel.
  • 24 resistance levels are digitally set to be precise and consistent. Resistance is automated to sync with both the iFit classes and onboard programs, so you have the option to manually adjust resistance or allow it to follow the course of the workout without having to adjust it. This lets users keep their hands on the handlebars throughout the workout.

Console/Controls

Screen

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Console

  • 7” Screen
    • The touchscreen is embedded in the center of the console. This position makes it easy to see and touch when needed. It is flanked by speakers and a fan which makes the design intuitive to use. Touchscreen functionality reduces the buttons needed on the console which also cleans up the overall design and keeps it clutter-free.
    • At times this screen feels rather small. Although it is nice to have a full-color touchscreen, it is hard to see the smaller metric numbers or options in iFit. A slightly larger screen would be a useful upgrade.
  • Resolution
    • The screen is crisp, has bright resolution and easy to read graphics. Screen technology has significantly improved in the last few years and these days, touchscreens on NordicTrack equipment are as good as we find anywhere.
  • Touchscreen Capabilities
    • The touchscreen controls are good. Occasionally we had to tap a button twice to get it to respond, but nothing too concerning. Toggling through class options or screen controls is easy and navigation is intuitive in both the iFit and onboard programs.
    • Resistance levels, incline grade and volume can be adjusted via the touchscreen.
  • Metric Display
    • A white display bar along the top of the screen provides the following stats:
      • Calories burned/Calories per hour
      • Strokes/Strokes per minute
      • Time Elapsed/Time Remaining
      • Distance
  • Functionality
    • The 7” touchscreen on the SE9i makes a big difference in creating engaging and motivating content. Occasionally we found the 7” to be a bit small but it’s better than comparable models with LCD screens and no subscription content.

Accessories

  • Fans
    • A multi-power fan is located in the console of the SE9i which you can control via buttons on the console or in the touchscreen.
    • The fan is such a great addition! When working out at home, it is more difficult to control ambient temperature since others may be home at the same time (not exercising!) The fan has multiple settings so you can choose which power is appropriate for your room.

Noise Level

  • Since it uses magnetic resistance, the SE9i makes very little noise. The pedals glide smoothly and the handles are attached in such a way that you can exercise without disturbing those around you. The motor makes a bit of noise when inclining or declining, but this is subtle and limited to those times when you are adjusting the tilt.

Storage / Folding

  • The SE9i does fold; the console collapses down onto the track so the machine sits folded on the floor. You could easily set the SE9i parallel with the back of a couch so it extended alongside the couch when in use and then folded down behind the couch when you finished. This machine is designed for smaller spaces and the stability of the frame is affected by the folding design. We did notice some wobble in both the pedals and handlebars during use, but this doesn’t affect its performance overall.

iFit Workouts

Pre-programmed workouts

  • There are 30 pre programmed workouts on the machine that will guide you through various intensities and resistance. There is also a featured workout of the day from iFit that is free for non-subscribers, so you can enjoy whatever class or outdoor route is promoted. The onboard workouts are sufficient to keep you active and provide plenty of training variables. However, we find iFit workouts to be a great way to stay interested and motivated, so it’s nice to have one free year to determine how much you will actually use it.

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Console iFit

iFit Subscription

  • iFit is included free for the first year with up to five profiles. Elliptical classes are filmed in a studio with a trainer in front of you and other participants working out alongside. Trainers are excellent at cueing form since it can be easy to develop sloppy form when on an elliptical. The resistance is automated, so it will automatically adjust to whatever the trainer is doing.

NordicTrack SE9i Elliptical Console iFit Subscription

Bottom Line

The NordicTrack SE9i is a nice folding elliptical that is quiet, easy to get on and off, and has a smooth drive system. The incline feature is especially useful as it adds more variables to your training and also allows you to work harder without increasing the resistance — which is easier on the knees. We love the rear drive system since it balances the weight of the machine and the long footprint keeps it stable. The best part is when you are finished, you can collapse it down on itself — and possibly tuck it behind a piece of furniture. The SE9i is a good home-use elliptical for anyone who is budget or space conscious.

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