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Last Updated: January 3, 2023
Treadmill Awards: Best Budget Runner-Up Treadmill 2023
NordicTrack’s 6.5 Si is one of our Best Buy Treadmills of 2023. As the entry-level model in NordicTrack’s T-Series line, the 6.5 Si is often confused with its sister machine, the NordicTrack 6.5 S. The main difference between the two is the 6.5 Si has a 10” full-color HD touchscreen while the 6.5 S, which is less expensive, only has a 5” LCD screen. Slightly more tech-enabled, the 6.5 Si broadcasts iFit programs while still being compact and budget-friendly.
Who It’s For: Users looking for a lightweight folding treadmill that is solid and affordable
The NordicTrack 6.5 Si sits perfectly positioned with features commonly found on more expensive machines. It works best for those who want:
- High-end tech on a compact footprint
- Low price tag
- +10% incline
- 10mph max speed
- 1 month free iFit membership
- FlexSelect cushioning
- 20” by 55” tread belt
Our Video Review
- Bright, eye-catching 10” touchscreen
- High-end tech for great price
- Streamlined, easy-to-use console
- 30 day iFit membership included
- Textured, 4” non-slip side rails
- Cushioning in the deck can be turned on or off
- Affordable and foldable
- Great for walking or light jogging
- 300lb user capacity
- Heart rate chest strap not included
- No fans on console
- Not meant for intense training
- 10″ Smart HD Touchscreen
- The 6.5 Si includes a 10” HD touchscreen whereas the 6.5 S only has a 5” LCD screen. This is a huge upgrade as the size and interactivity of this screen makes all the difference.
- Crisp graphics and high resolution on the screen bring life to your run. Whether you are using the engaging iFit programs, or just running in manual mode, the screen is large, directly in your line of vision, and easy to navigate.
- Touchscreen capabilities make it easy to select both your workouts and stats. You can adjust volume, incline and speed via the touchscreen.
- Includes 1 monthNordicTrack iFit® membership
- iFit is NordicTrack’s proprietary database of online classes and outdoor routes filmed all over the world. iFit requires WiFi so you will need internet access to run this program. The onboard programs do not require WiFi.
- iFit features studio-based classes led by personal trainers who both engage and encourage you during your workout. As you run, the treadmill will automatically adjust incline and speed for you to match the direction of the trainer.
- It also features outdoor routes filmed everywhere imaginable. These too are led by personal trainers who run just ahead of you, providing input and direction as you run.
- 10% Incline
- The 6.5 Si will incline to a 10% grade, which is plenty steep for the average user. Working at an incline engages glutes and hamstrings for balanced leg conditioning. It also provides an added challenge walkers looking for a hearty calorie burn.
- 300lb Weight capacity
- The 300lb weight capacity is surprising for such a compact treadmill. The 6.5 is designed to be durable and sturdy. It will fit in your home and support most users.
- One Touch® Controls
- Flanking the screen on either side you find OneTouch controls for Speed (right) and Incline (left). Buttons are numbered 1-10 to match each speed or incline, and they provide a quick way to navigate directly from the console.
- 20 On-Board Workout Programs
- For those not desiring iFit training, there are 20 onboard workouts on the treadmill. These include basic routines such as HIIT, Hill Climb, and Calorie Burn. You can also run any number of uploaded Google routes and the treadmill will adjust for you to match the actual terrain.
- 2.6 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
- 2.6 CHP is “continuous horsepower” which means the motor can maintain and hold any preset speed. The motor is self-cooling so it won’t overheat and should accommodate the needs of most users. If plan to do heavy training with long distances and multiple runs – or if you have multiple family members who plan to use the treadmill daily – you may want to look for a treadmill with a slightly more powerful motor. For walkers and light joggers, the 6.5 Si is a great option.
- 20” x 55” Commercial Tread Belt
- The tread belt on the 6.5 is commercial grade and you can feel the difference. Reduced vibration in the deck helps stabilize the belt so it doesn’t make that “slapping” sound while running.
- The 4” side rails alongside the deck are textured and anti-slip. These are angled ever so slightly towards the deck so you don’t accidentally slip off the machine.
- FlexSelect™ Cushioning
- Four orange dampeners under the deck allow users to turn the cushioning feature on or off. To turn on, just twist the dampener until it reads: “Cushion.” To mimic outdoor surfaces, turn the dampener until it reads: “Off.” Cushioning helps protect joints from overuse and impact injuries and is one of the main benefits of indoor training.
- Auxiliary Music Port and Digitally Amplified Speakers
- You can plug in headphones via the music port or listen to iFit trainers through the console speakers. Sound is crisp and there are multiple volume settings.
- SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
- The 6.5 S folds up simply and easily. Simply grab the bar at the base of the deck and lift — EasyLift assist will help you fold up the machine. Since the footprint is compact, the 6.5 Si is only 73” tall when folded in a vertical position. This makes it so you can keep your treadmill in a common room or even a bedroom and it won’t take up space when not in use. To release, press your foot against the foot bar under the deck and a hydraulic release system lowers it slowly back to the floor.
- 2.6 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
- 1.9” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
- 20” x 55” Commercial Tread Belt
- 54″ H x 36″ W x 73.5″ L Footprint
- 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
- Auxiliary Music Port
- Dual 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
- One Touch® Controls
- 0 to +10% Incline
- 0 to 10MPH Speed
- Includes 30-day NordicTrack iFit® membership
- 20 On-Board Workout Programs
- FlexSelect™ Cushioning
- EKG Grip Pulse
- SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
- 300 Lb. User Capacity
- 10-Year Frame Warranty
- 2-Year Parts Warranty
- 1-Year Labor Warranty
In-depth Review of NordicTrack T 6.5 Si Treadmill
The 6.5 Si is built to be sturdy but still light enough to fold up. The base is constructed of steel side and cross beams to stabilize the deck without weighing it down. Powder coated chrome rails support the handrails and console. The deck is composed of a composite material to keep the running platform durable and solid.
- Depth: 17” handrails extend from the back of the console forward, alongside the deck. The rear 7” are covered in black plastic molding, matching the console. The front 11” are coated with a soft, spongy grip material for a convenient handle.
- Width: 30” horizontal handrail extends in front of the console. This grip has EKG sensors for each hand.
- Comfort: I like the coating that lines the forward handrails. More expensive treadmills have a black plastic molding here that protects the rails, but I actually prefer the material on the 6.5 Si. It rivals what you find on spin bike handlebars, and I find it easier to grip.
- Cushioning: FlexSelect cushioning is designed to reduce joint impact. There is tremendous value in this feature! Because running is such a high-impact exercise, impact injuries and discomfort are a common complaint. The 6.5 Si allows runners and walkers alike to enjoy a cushioned feel on a sleek surface while exercising indoors. Orange dampeners under the deck support and moderate cushioning so users can turn it on or off as desired. I would recommend leaving the cushioning ‘on’ unless otherwise needed. This useful feature enhances comfort and reduces impact and fatigue.
- Length/Width: At 20 inches wide by 55 inches long, the length of the running belt is long enough to accommodate most runners. Any longer and the machine would be top heavy when folded. The belt size allows for full stride length with just a little extra wiggle room along the sides. One item to note: When running on any treadmill, it is tempting to hover your body directly in front of the console. For walking and light running this works fine, but at an incline or running fast, you may find the sole of your shoe will occasionally graze the top of the hood. This has more to do with body positioning than the length of the deck, and it is easily rectified by repositioning closer to the midline of the platform.
- Hood: The hood on the 6.5 is a bit long. It protrudes 13” from the front of the deck. While it isn’t raised as high off the deck as the Sole F63 machine, I did graze it a few times with my shoe. If you stand back on the machine further this doesn’t happen, but I did come in contact with the hood once or twice when reaching for the console.
- Belt: The commercial grade belt on the 6.5 Si is durable with a slightly textured surface. I’ve run on other treadmills in this price range and the feel of the belt can vary tremendously. The 6.5 Si belt is not overly slick nor does it catch the sole of my shoe while in use.
The 2.6 CHP motor is self-cooling, so it should keep itself cool during light walking and jogging sessions. The motor adjusts incline and speed so it controls much of your running experience. While the 6.5 Si motor is not as powerful as some, I tested it under several conditions. Using interval training, I toggled between speed settings quickly and often. The motor responded evenly without any hiccup during adjustments. Similarly, I also moved the incline and decline several times throughout and even during speed adjustments to see if the motor could handle both. I would recommend looking at a slightly more powerful motor if you have multiple users in your family or plan to do heavy training.
Updated in 2021, the console on the T 6.5 Si has been simplified. Button array was streamlined to reduce any unnecessary clutter on the console. Icons pertaining to iFit navigation now appear in the touchscreen. Screen size was also increased from 7” to 10”.
- The 10” touchscreen on the 6.5 Si is easy to navigate and I found it responsive even with sweaty hands. The images and videos are colorful and easy to watch. I didn’t find the screen too bright or dim. It also pivots up and down so you can find just the right tilt to avoid reflective overhead lighting. Because iFit is such a prominent component on the 6.5 Si, the added screen size really helps feature the eye-catching videography of the classes and outdoor locales.
- The layout of the console is streamlined and simple, making navigation easy. QuickControl buttons flank the screen while volume controls lie just beneath with the speakers on either side. In the lower right, there’s an aux import. Manual controls for incline and speed are set lower, at approximately thumb height. Start and Stop and the Safety Key buttons are also centered and easy to see. There is a ledge just below volume control that is plenty wide to hold a phone or tablet. A phone should fit fine here, while a tablet may block the lower part of the screen. A front grip bar extends horizontally at the base of the console with EKG sensors on either side for heart rate stats.
- Two 2” Amplified Speakers sit on the sides of the console and provide plenty of volume. The sound is crisp. Volume can be regulated to control: overall sound, music, and trainer. I like that you can turn the music all the way down and turn the trainer’s voice all the way up.
- Storage Pockets on either side of the console are wide and deep enough to accommodate large water bottles.
The 6.5 Si is a comfortable treadmill. The combination of the right sized motor, good rollers, a sturdy belt, and deck cushioning create a smooth surface for running or walking. Speed and incline settings provide just enough challenge and the onboard and iFit programs keep you engaged.
A 10% incline max on the 6.5 Si offers plenty of training variables. Incline training not only conditions the legs for outdoor hills, it also strengthens the hamstrings to offset quad dominance. It is especially useful for walkers because when you walk at a steep grade, you naturally lengthen your stride and swing your arms for a greater full-body workout. Also, a steeper grade requires more effort, so you can crank up that metabolic output, while still enjoying the low-impact benefits of walking.
20 Pre-programmed workouts
For those days when you just want to climb on the treadmill and go, the onboard programs provide lots of preset options for: intervals, hills, calorie burn, fat burn, etc. When you select any program, the display provides a graph of the full routine, so you know what to expect. A simple manual lap screen is also available. There’s no audio in these programs, so they are great to keep track of your stats while you listen to music, a podcast or even read a book.
Subscription Options: iFit
iFit is NordicTrack’s premier fitness database. iFit is constantly updated and offers over 16,000 different workouts.
- Studio-based classes include: bootcamp, interval training, and combo routines that alternate strength training with running segments. The trainer provides direction as he/she works alongside you and other participants in the studio. iFit automatically adjusts the speed and incline for you at the direction of the trainer. (You can override this at any point — just hit any QuickControl speed or incline button to adjust as needed.)
- iFit also offers outdoor runs in any number of exotic places. I joined Gideon Akande on a run through Dragon Crest trail in Krabi, Thailand. You follow along on the treadmill as he navigates the real terrain just ahead of you. The treadmill automatically inclines and declines to match the actual grade as you run. The scenery is breathtaking and Gideon did a good job of keeping it interesting. The total caloric expenditure is calibrated to match your weight, incline and speed so if you go faster or slower, it will be reflected in your stats. However, the program and distance is set, so even if you run faster, the trainer and route will take the preset time to complete.
- Off-the-treadmill classes are also available. Log into iFit from any tablet or computer and from the Main Menu bar, select the “Daily Workout” tab. It will bring up class options like: kickboxing, yoga, HIIT, dumbbells or Fit in 15 (for when you only have 15minutes). You do not need to be by your treadmill to access these classes, which means you can use iFit even while travelling.
iFit provides enough options and programs that it eliminates the need for a gym membership. I would recommend perusing NordicTrack’s website and the iFit website to see everything it has to offer.
The 6.5 Si is remarkably quiet. I want to say it’s quieter than some of the much more expensive treadmills we have here in the studio. Regardless of incline, there is very little foot noise while walking and not much more while running. Quiet deck impact is one of the features I was most impressed by on this machine.
Storage / Folding
The 6.5 Si is a folding treadmill and a dandy one at that. Folding it is simple and only requires one person (and maybe just one hand). Just grab the bar at the base of the deck and lift. There is no “release” lever to raise the deck. It latches securely in place when folded up and will stay locked until you press the foot release bar underneath. As the deck descends, the hydraulic system will engage to gently rest it on the floor, you don’t have to pull or push it down.
You can also roll your treadmill out of the way as needed. There are two wheels under the front so you can tip the treadmill towards yourself, rocking it back onto the wheels. It is then easy to roll or slide out of the room or into a closet.
Items of Note
The 6.5 Si is the entry-level treadmill in NordicTrack’s T-Series line. It is a great intro to the features and benefits of an in-home treadmill. Note that the size and motor will not support all types of users so if you plan to run hard, long or have multiple users, a more powerful machine may work better.
There are good reasons why NordicTrack’s 6.5 Si is one of our Best Buy Treadmills of 2023. It is a great entry-level option with a surprising 10” HD touchscreen, iFit subscription, and cushioned deck. The compact footprint and folding capability make it a great option for small homes or apartments.
Thank you for this great review. Quick question, what do you mean by “heavy training”. I am planning on using the treadmill to train for a half marathon for the next 6 months. would you consider that “heavy training”. I will be the only user in my family.
Congratulations on training for a half marathon! That’s a worthy goal. To be honest, I would hesitate using the 6.5si for half marathon training, even by a single user. The 2.6HP motor is better suited for walking or light jogging and you may find the deck cushion isn’t sufficient for longer distances.
If you are training for anything longer than a 5K, I’d look at the NordicTrack Commercial series treadmills. They are more powerful, offer more cushioning, and provide 15% incline and -3% decline range for hill training. The 1750 is one of NordicTrack’s most popular models because it has a 3.75HP motor and RunnersFlex cushioning in the deck specifically for runners. The x11i Incline Trainer is also a good option. It has a 3.75HP motor with even more cushioning and incline to 40% and decline to -6%.
Both the 1750 and the x11i are pretty close in price and currently have a 3-year payment plan available from NordicTrack for around $50/month, which opens up your options a little so you don’t have to pay everything up front.
Here’s more info on the 1750: https://www.treadmillreviewguru.com/nordictrack-commercial-1750-treadmill-review/
I hope you find the perfect treadmill for you! A half marathon is a really fun event. Good luck with your training!
Hi, I have me and wife we will using it. We just run for half hour each a day for general fitness. Do you consider that heavy usage? We run at most 6 mph
1- Can the screen be used to show media content from the phone ( Netflix / movies etc )?
2- Do the pre- set programs and i fit ones only support running or also walks ?
The screen is not designed to show media content — just iFit. When it arrives, the 6.5 Si will prompt you to log in to your internet account and then it will load all the iFit content, which is easy to use and access.
iFit has lots of routes for walking and even hiking – I love the hiking routes! These are filmed live all over the world, so you can “hike” on your 6.5 Si. Since the deck will incline/decline automatically, you just walk hands-free and the 6.5 Si will adjust as you go which makes it feel like you are really outdoors. In addition to outdoor routes, iFit also includes studio-based classes (filmed indoors, in a studio with a trainer) and even floor classes such as strength training, stretching and yoga.
Is there Bluetooth built into the T 6.5 si?
There is not Bluetooth on the T 6.5si. There is an AUX-in port for music, so you can plug your phone into the treadmill and play music through the speakers. But the 6.5si does not transmit Bluetooth out to wireless headphones or another device.
Is assembly required?
Some assembly is required but it is not difficult, it’s mostly just attaching the uprights and the console to the frame. There are only a few bolts and instructions are simple. It can easily be done by two people.
I’m a power walker currently doing 3 mph for approx one hour 6 days a week. Is that considered a “heavy user?” I’m looking fora quiet treadmill with soft deck capability. Would this model be adequate?
The 6.5 Si should work just fine for power walking. There are treadmills with more deck cushioning if that’s your concern. The Nordictrack T8.5 has a significantly larger motor, inclines to 12% rather than 10% and has a 12mph max speed. While you may not need the speed and/or incline, the larger motor has significantly more power and the deck provides a touch more cushioning. It is $400 more, which is a jump, but you get a lot more functionality for that price.
Hopefully this helps a little. Good luck!
My daughter had a $600 budget for a used treadmill, and having bought a used commercial grade treadmill 6 years ago for my wife I knew that $600 would not cut it. So, today I convinced her to buy this model if I would pay for half of it for Christmas 2020. From your comments I’m now worried that this model might not be “enough”, but we cannot afford anything more than this – the budget is way maxed.
She jogs 3-6 miles at a time, several days a week. I think she can run a full 5-6 miles continuously in one hour, and maybe her longest run is about 8 miles. I think she would also like the “hiking” aspect of the on-screen iFit programs, and may use the programs to visit places around the world for a hike or a run. But she would mostly use it for jogging in the winter or on snowy/rainy days. Please tell me this would be acceptable on our budget – it’s too late to change things. Thanks!
Yes! The Nordictrack 6.5 Si should be a good option. With her being a single user rather than multiple users in a household, the 6.5 Si motor should support her running and jogging just fine. She’ll love the hiking routes! Best wishes!
My wife and I are deciding between the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si and the ProForm Carbon T10, which seem comparable. We’re in an apartment complex, so we don’t want noise to be a worry for our downstairs neighbors. (We have thick walls, but we can occasionally hear when people jump or move furniture above.) How much does the cushioning dampen the pounding noise of running? Also, any suggesting between the two? Both are iFit, so it’s more about the machines. (We’re non-serious runners who’re just looking to stay in shape.)
Thanks! This was such a helpful review.
You are right, the Carbon T10 and Nordictrack 6.5Si are very similar machines. The main differences are the Carbon T10 has a 2.75 horsepower motor while the 6.5Si has a 2.6 horsepower motor. Most users won’t notice the difference, but we always recommend getting the largest motor you can afford since that is what powers the machine. The Carbon T10 is a newer model while the NordicTrack 6.5 Si is on closeout. There is a good chance NordicTrack may be making changes to the 6.5Si in the near future (or closing it out entirely – we don’t know.) Right now you can get the 6.5Si for $1299 while the Carbon T10 is listed at $1403. However, the T10 is part of ProForm’s Plus series, so you can get the treadmill for free if you purchase a 3-year contract for iFit (that’s the $1403).
There really isn’t much difference in cushion or noise between the two. They are both made my Icon Fitness (parent company to ProForm and NordicTrack), so the overall design and functionality of these two treadmills is quite similar. To reduce noise place a treadmill mat underneath and/or place your treadmill on carpet. This will help absorb some of the noise and vibration.
Given the option, we’d probably recommend the upgraded Carbon T10 since it is newer and has a more powerful motor. The iFit payment plan of $39 a month is a good deal too – and then the treadmill is free.
Hopefully this helps a bit. Good luck with your search!
Hi Kristen, thanks for your review. We’re very interested in this model for its compactness and quietness.
Regarding your note about the “size and motor will not support all types of users so if you plan to run hard, long or have multiple users, a more powerful machine may work better.”
Would you say running 3 times a week for a distance of 7 miles at 8 mph pace, would be ok for this treadmill model or too taxing for it? I noticed it can go up to 10 mph so hoping this should be ok. If not, could you recommend another treadmill with a similar footprint and quietness?
The NT 6.5Si is a good little treadmill, but it is a bit limited if you plan to run a lot. Your intended usage is about at the limit of what we’d recommend on the 6.5Si. Another option would be the Sole F80 — it is very powerful, not too large and has a lifetime warranty on the motor. Another option is the LifeSpan 5500i. This is a surprisingly powerful treadmill as well and has a very compact footprint. Either would support your estimated usage just fine.
Can this treadmill be moved easily? I would leave it set up most of the time, but, occasionally I would need to move it when company comes over. Is it possible and easy to do this?
Yes, the 6.5 Si is easy to move.
Would this be a good option for my wife and I? I usually run about 5km 4-5 times a week at a pace of about 10km an hour give or take. My wife is predominantly a walker but she occasionally jogs for about 3km at a pace of about 5km hr. We’re looking into this model since it’s currently in sale but wondering if this regime would be too heavy.
The 6.5Si would be a fantastic option. It is not too heavy at all. Good luck!