NordicTrack x11i Treadmill Review – Pros and Cons 2020

Last Updated: April 9, 2020

The x11i is NordicTrack’s most affordable incline trainer. It shares many of the same features as the exceptional x22i and elite x32i but at a lower price point. The x11i inclines to a 40% grade and declines to a -6% grade just like it’s sister machines. It also has Reflex Cushioning in the deck, a Sled Push feature, OneTouch controls on the console, 44 preprogrammed workouts and it comes with iFit free for one year! This incline trainer offers exceptional functionality and is typically priced around or even below NordicTrack’s Commercial 2950 and Commercial 2450 treadmills.

NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer Treadmill Review

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Who It’s For: Users looking for exceptional functionality at a great price

The x11i is designed for runners, joggers, and incline walkers who want all the extras:

  • +40% Incline and -6% Decline for maximum calorie burn
  • 1-year free iFit subscription with personal trainer led classes and routes
  • Nice 10” HD touchscreen that brings iFit right into your home
  • Ample training options with various incline and speed combinations
  • Sled-push option engages upper body and strengthens posterior chain
  • Sturdy steel frame with steel cross beams
  • Reflex cushioning protects joints from heavy impact
Pros
  • Exceptional features at a great price
  • 40% incline is the steepest on the market
  • Runner’s Cushioning gently absorbs some of the impact in the deck
  • -6% decline allows users to train for downhill events
  • Decline also strengthens knees and quads
  • Fans, speakers and full color screen make your workout fun and comfortable
  • iFit enabled on the 10” touchscreen with over 16,000 workouts for hiking, walking, jogging or heavy training
Cons
  • Does not fold up — requires dedicated floor space
  • 300lb max weight capacity


FeaturesSpecifications
  • +40% Incline to -6% Decline
    • This 40% grade increases the amount of effort needed just to walk. Running at that incline is intense! We dare you to try — you’ll last just a few seconds!
    • Incline training is more challenging and therefore enhances calorie burn during your workout. It also engages the glutes and hamstrings more due to the angle of the body — which provides more balanced musculature in the legs.
  • Reflex™ Cushioning in deck
    • Reflex cushioning absorbs a significant amount of the impact from running. When running on a non-cushioned surface (like outdoors), the impact force of each downward step can be up to double a runner’s weight. The x11i deck is designed to reduce vibration and impact from running so you can run longer without pain or fatigue.
  • 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership with iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
    • iFit is NordicTrack’s workout database of over 16,000 workouts both on and off the treadmill. Users can access studio-based classes or follow along on an outdoor route guided by a personal trainer.
  • 3.75 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor with 22” x 60” Tread belt
    • The hearty 3.75 CHP motor lifts/lowers the deck and moderates speed. It is also self-cooling so it will support heavy training or multiple users. Continuous horsepower means it not can not only achieve a certain speed, it will hold that speed constant while you run. There is no lag between speed or incline adjustments with this motor. It is self-cooling and strong enough to support heavy training and multiple users.
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities and Two 3” Digitally Amplified Speakers
    • The two digitally amplified speakers provide clear sound and have multiple volume options. You can modify overall volume or make adjustments for music and trainer.
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
    • Two fans just below the screen provide good air flow with minimal noise. There are three settings and an auto-mode (where fan speed corresponds to belt speed). Fans are a good height.
  • One Touch® Controls on Console
    • Preset speed controls line the right side of the console with incline buttons on the left. These display large numbers which are easy to read and reach, so you can quickly adjust speed and incline when needed.

Construction:

  • 22” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • 3.75 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • Reinforced Steel Construction
  • 2.5” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • 71.6” L x 39.6” W x 72.2” H Footprint

Console:

  • 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 3” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans

Functionality:

  • 0 to 40% Incline
  • 0 to -6% Decline
  • 0 to 12 MPH Speed
  • Reflex™ Cushioning
  • OneTouch® Controls
  • iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
  • 44 On-Board Workout Programs
  • 1-Year iFit® Membership Included ($468 Value)**

Warranty:

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

In-depth Review of NordicTrack Commercial 2450


Construction

Steel Frame

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Frame
The x11i frame consists of two steel side beams and three steel cross beams that support the running platform. As with other incline trainers, the 3.75hp motor is housed at the base of the machine rather than the front. This creates extra length at the top of the tread belt so your foot doesn’t graze the motor hood. A hydraulic lift system under the deck lifts and lowers the platform to create the 40% grade. Two convex upright beams extend vertically from the frame to hold the console and handrails. The gentle curve of these support beams brings the console closer to the midline of the running platform so you can stand close to the console and still have plenty of both forward foot reach and rear kickback. On most treadmills these vertical support beams are straight rather than curved which pulls the console closer to the front of the tread belt and can lead to foot contact with the hood motor. All exposed steel beams are powder coated either black or chrome for an overall sleek look and streamlined design.

22” x 60” Deck

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Deck

    • Reflex Cushioning: is created via four steel springs under the platform which create space for the deck to descend gently with each foot step. This allows the deck cushioning to respond to the user’s weight. As you walk or run, the springs contract and then gently rebound to support both a healthy foot strike and solid toe-off.
  • At 22” wide by 60” long the x11i tread belt provides plenty of space. Most commercial trainers in this price range offer 60” in length, but the extra 2” of width provides added lateral room. The construction of the running platform and the position of the console create plenty of length both at the top and bottom of the tread belt.
  • The tread belt on the x11i is commercial gradeso it is durable, gently textured, and designed to provide a stable foot surface. If the belt is slick, thin, or creates friction under your shoe, it will impair your experience regardless of other treadmill features.
  • 2.5” balanced rollers help move the belt along the deck. Larger rollers with greater surface area can grab the belt and move it along, so there is less tension on the tread belt. The combination of good sized rollers and a commercial tread belt create a nice running platform on the x11i.

3.75 CHP DurX Commercial Plus Motor

  • The 3.75 CHP self-cooling motoris solid and well-engineered. The motor manages smooth speed and incline adjustments with no pause or hiccups along the way. The self-cooling feature keeps it from overheating even when used for heavy training or by multiple users. I tested the x11i in several different capacities. I first did a HIIT class on iFit that quickly took me through several speed and incline intervals. With just the touch of a button I was able to quickly adjust my speed and incline as needed; the motor never paused or had any issues recalibrating settings. I was also able to run steady and didn’t have to hold on to the handlebars for support during incline or decline adjustments. I also did some steady state running on the x11i. While training for a local event, I ran several miles per week on the x11i and it always felt smooth and supportive underfoot. Since the motor regulates all speed and incline adjustments it affects the overall feel and functionality of the machine. I am impressed with this 3.75hp commercial motor.

Console/Controls

10” Smart HD Touch Screen

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Screen

  • This 10” touchscreen is crisp and easy to see with good visibility and functional touch-controls. I could use a bit more space to fully enjoy the many iFit outdoor workouts, but certainly 10” is a good size on indoor exercise equipment. A few of the screen functions I personally liked:
    • Tilt featureallows you to gently push the screen up and down to find the right height. This helps eliminate the annoying glare of overhead lights and it also brings the screen into your line of vision. I like that this is a simple pivot feature and not some automated control, so it won’t break later and freeze in one position.
    • Crisp graphicswith good resolution. You can adjust the factory settings to increase your resolution just a bit — it does require the videos to buffer for just a minute when you begin, but for me it’s worth the short wait as I like the images as clear as possible. You can also adjust screen brightness as needed to match your lighting or time of day.
    • The touchscreen is responsiveeven with sweaty hands. I had to hit an on-screen button maybe twice, but otherwise it was good to respond each time. This is where screen size starts to matter. At 10” I can tap most touchscreen functions fine, but when you drop to the 7” size, it’s hard to both see and navigate the screen. I’m glad NordicTrack went with the 7” size here.
    • Screen position is good — not too close so it feels like it’s in your face — but not so far away that it’s hard to reach the touchscreen buttons. I didn’t feel unnecessary encroachment even when I tilted the incline to 40% and stood close to the console to counterbalance the grade. The screen is set back 6” from the horizontal push grip, which is the perfect distance.

Console Layout

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Console

  • Console layout on the x11i is streamlined and clutter-free.Since many of the treadmill controls have been embedded in the touchscreen itself, this cleans up the console. The console on the x11i is exceptionally clutter-free with intuitive placement of the remaining buttons.
    • OneTouch Controlsfor both speed (right) and incline (left) flank the screen. There is a separate button for each speed — but not for each grade. There just isn’t room for 46 buttons, so the incline/decline buttons increase by 3 and then 5 for each incline. Manual controls at the base of the console allow for more specific adjustments.
    • Controls for both Fans and Volume on Console
    • Manual Controls:for both speed and incline sit just below the fan and speaker buttons. These are labeled <,> for incline and +,- for speed. You can adjust by .10 for each speed or incline using the manual buttons.
    • Start/Stop and Safety Key: Start button is outlined in green; Stop button in red. The red safety key is in the center for easy reach. These are all along the bottom of the console.

Dual Fans

  • Yes! There are two fans, and I love them.These are a must-have on a machine of this caliber. The fans sit just below the screen and provide good air flow. There are four settings: Low-Med-High and Auto. The auto setting will correlate the fan speed with work load so they will increase and decrease power depending on how hard you are working.

Two Digitally Enhanced Speakers

  • The speakers create good sound. Positioned laterally just under the screen, they are easy to hear. I love the volume adjustment options in iFit. You can moderate volume for: Overall Volume, Trainer, and Music. This means you can turn the music all the way down and the trainer’s voice all the way up. Or you can set them both where you want and adjust the overall volume. This is a brilliant design by NordicTrack because when working out at home, circumstances often require specific volume adjustments.
    • You can also Bluetooth your phone to the treadmill and play your music through the treadmill speakers.
    • My only complaint is, you cannot listen to iFit on your wireless headphones. You can Bluetooth your music in, but you can’t transmit iFit volume out via Bluetooth. I’d love to see iFit incorporate Closed Captioning in the programs as well.

No Tablet Holder

  • There is not a separate tablet holder on the x11i.However, there is a wide lip along the console that would hold a tablet or phone — just make sure it doesn’t shift while you are running.

Storage

  • Two large storage pocketsbehind the screen are deep enough to hold most water bottles. Extra pockets to the sides of the screen offer a snug spot for a phone or wallet. This isn’t the most extensive storage we’ve seen — the Commercial treadmills with the extra storage tray that spans the track is a nice feature. However, since you are working out at home, the x11i provides plenty of storage for your immediate workout needs.

Functionality

Performance

It’s hard to have anything but praise for the overall performance of the x11i. This is a solid, well-built machine that feels supportive but still cushioned underfoot; it has a steady, powerful motor and lots of upgrades. We love the expansive incline/decline range on this machine. If you feel you are beginning to plateau in your exercise goals, there is always something on the x11i to kick up that calorie burn! Just use the sled-push mode to engage more upper body muscles and burn out those powerhouse leg muscles. Tired of running in a straight line? Crank up the incline and walk as fast as you can for 10 min — you’ll be dripping sweat in no time! There are abundant variables and options on the x11i to keep you motivated and entertained.

+40% Incline to -6% Decline range

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill 40% Incline

  • A +40% incline and -6 decline is the defining feature on NordicTrack’s incline trainers. By comparison, the Peloton Tread only inclines to +15% and does not decline. Even commercial treadmills in gyms don’t incline to this level — and many of them don’t decline at all!
    • NordicTrack has been an industry leader in the treadmill space for 30 years. Based on users’ needs and industry trends, NordicTrack designed the incline trainers to offer something unique: extreme conditioning that is low-impact.
    • NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Decline

    • High-impact workouts are difficult for many people, be they serious athletes or those recovering from an injury. While running has traditionally been the easiest way to get a good calorie burn, many runners deal with stress fractures, impact pain and overuse injuries. The x11i answers these problems with cushioning and incline that stimulates calorie burn similar to running, but at a much lower impact.
    • The -6% decline enables downhill training that more closely simulates outdoor descents. It can also be used by those who want gentle quad strengthening or active recovery options.

Sled-Push with Horizontal Push Bar and Vertical Grips

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Manual Sled Push
The new 11i includes a push bar that sits horizontally at the base of the console. You can also grab the sled grips that extend vertically off the handrail. Either position allows you to lean in as you push the belt along with your feet. (Be prepared for high-intensity, full-body engagement — you’ll be anaerobic in seconds.) For safety, you can only operate the sled push option at 1mph and a 0% incline. NordicTrack warns users not to use manual mode when the treadmill is off — this can damage the motor and walking platform.

44 Pre-programmed workouts

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. These are basic workout programs but there are plenty of options and different formats to help you attain well-rounded conditioning.
NordicTrack X11i Treadmill Onboard Workouts
A simple manual lap screen is also available. There is no audio in the pre-programmed or manual workouts, so this is a great time to sync your phone to the x11i via the Bluetooth function. This way, you can listen to your own music on the x11i speakers while you use the preprogrammed or manual modes.

iFit Subscription included free for the first year

NordicTrack X11i Treadmill iFit
NordicTrack values this at nearly $500! iFit is NordicTrack’s subscription app that features more than 16,000 different workouts and classes — both indoors and out! You can log in on your treadmill and then access any of the content via your machine. When you purchase an x11i, the first year of iFit is included for free. After that, an iFit subscription costs $15/month for one user or $33/month for up to four users. (Comparatively, Peloton is $39/month.) iFit requires internet — you must have accessible WiFi to connect to when you first set up the treadmill. iFit offers many classes and features:

  • Studio-based classes: 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 has outdoor runsin any number of exotic places. I joined the program: Hannah Eden takes Iceland which includes ten runs of varying lengths through the Icelandic Mountains. You follow along on the treadmill as she 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 Eden does a good job of keeping it interesting (while also managing to run and breathe).
  • Off-the-treadmill classesare 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 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. You will be impressed. It is a nice benefit to get iFit for free the first year so you can evaluate its value before having to pay for the app.

Noise Level

The x11i is remarkably silent. We did several different running tests on the x11i to measure the average decibel output from the machine. With a baseline decibel reading of 60dB in the studio, we found the x11i to range between 65dB walking at 1mph on a flat grade. It read 72dB with fans on running at 6mph on a flat grade and 80dB with fans on running at 12mph on a flat grade. In general, we found that when you incline the deck the decibel reading decreases since there’s less travel between your feet and the deck. When you decline the deck, the decibel level increases since there is more foot travel and therefore more impact noise. However, we found the foot impact noise to be significantly more than just the sound of the motor and belt moving alone. When we stepped off the treadmill, the decibel reading dropped significantly. While this may not seem relevant since you’re only going to use your treadmill when you are on it — it matters because the decibel reading changed with the weight and height of each user. The baseline noise from the machine is minimal. If you are a taller, heavier person, then you may have more foot impact noise while running. Also — as you would presume, running creates more noise than walking and the faster you run, the more impact noise is generated. However, our ultimate conclusion was the x11i is much quieter than the less expensive folding treadmills — probably due to the fact that the base is heavier since it does not fold up.

Storage / Folding

The x11i does not fold and it is rather heavy. While there are wheels under the front stabilizers which will roll the machine gently when needed — this piece of equipment is designed to be placed in the perfect space in your home and left there. To move it, incline the deck to the full 40%, then turn off and unplug the machine. You can then pivot the x11i forward on it’s wheels and roll it gently. Should you need to move it up or down stairs, make sure to have a few friends on hand to help. The machine is heavy, but it’s sturdy and silent when in use.


Items of Note

The x11i is a substantial piece of exercise equipment. Be aware, when fully inclined, the top of the deck is 32” off the floor. Check for overhead clearance if you have low ceilings or are a tall person. When flat at 0% incline, the deck sits 13” off the floor. Also, prior to each use, look for any toys, objects (or pets) that might accidentally sneak underneath. The deck descends several inches when declined.


Bottom Line:

We are delighted with the solid construction and impressive features on the x11i incline trainer. This machine feels very much like it’s sisters, the x32i and x22i, but it is much less expensive, which makes it a great option for those looking for quality at a great price. While the 10” touchscreen isn’t as large as some, it’s certainly better than a backlit LCD screen with just a bunch of digital numbers. On the x11i you can walk the streets of London, hike the mountains of Iceland, or take a studio HIIT class and feel totally engaged and immersed throughout the experience. iFit seriously increases the functionality of the x11i by bringing excellent trainers and amazing outdoor videography right into your home. The NordicTrack x11i incline trainer is a great option for any home or budget! Give it a test-run today — we think you’ll be hooked!

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