NordicTrack EXP 7i Review
With the introduction of the EXP 7i, NordicTrack is bringing a great mid-level unit to its T Series of treadmills, designed for in-home use at a family-friendly price. The new model brings solid engineering and a respectable warranty to match its features. As with many of the NordicTrack products this season, the EXP 7i comes iFit-enabled and includes a 30-day Family Membership with the purchase valued at $39, and four-year commitment required.
With a 7″ HD Smart Touchscreen and Bluetooth technology, users can either stick with the iFit Coach programming, or perhaps discontinue and utilize their own television, tablet or smartphone. At $1,099, the EXP 7i matches up well with the Horizon family of treadmills, such as the 7.4 AT, with one notable difference being that group’s offering of multiple online workout programs as opposed to iFit.
What We Like:
- Large running track — Measuring 60 inches long and 20 inches wide, the running belt on the EXP 7i is larger than the industry standard works well for taller, heavier users.
- Smart-Response Drive — NordicTrack has upped the ante by offering a smart system which self-cools while reducing vibration with better technology in the drive. This system is designed to help reduce strain on the body while replicating real-world road running.
- EKG Grip Pulse heart rate monitoring — NordicTrack includes grip-based heart monitoring which can work in conjunct with iFit, or separately.
- 30-day iFit Family Membership — The dynamic workout program includes Google Maps Workouts, as well as live trainers who can control the treadmill’s incline and speed from remote. A virtual library of workouts come with, as well as new routines added daily. Whether participating in a class of any design, or utilizing one tailored for the individual, the iFit program offers programs ranging from HIIT to slow walks.
- SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist — With space in the home always at a premium, this feature allows for easy movement as needed.
- 3.0 CHP Commercial Plus Motor — A solid motor for smooth running, jogging, or walking, the 3.0 motor is large enough to handle bigger users without sacrificing comfort or performance.
- Quality Shock Absorption – Equipped with FlexSelect Cushioning, the EXP 7i provides excellent protection for the joints while pounding out the mileage.
- Running Comfort – The treadmill is equipped with an AutoBreeze Workout Fan with four power settings (high, medium, low, and auto).
NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill - Key Specs:
|Top Speed:||12 MPH|
|Weight Capacity:||300 lbs LBS|
|Dimensions:||77.3" L x 35.3" W x 59.6" H|
|Built-In Programs:||iFit only|
What We Don’t Like:
- No built-in programs — The treadmill comes with a 30-day subscription to iFit, but after that it’s up to them.
- 4-year iFit Commitment – Granted, iFit is a great program, but it seems strange to require a four-year commitment to the app with purchase. The app runs $39 per month.
- Smaller screen – At this price range we’d like to see a larger screen, perhaps 10″ at minimum. Users have reported it being placed a bit too high for smaller runners, and at that size, it has limited function relative to the significantly larger screens on competing models.
From a hardware standpoint, the EXP 7i offers a mid-level treadmill within the NordicTrack T Series. A 7-inch HD Smart Touchscreen accompanies Bluetooth audio capabilities and two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers. Automatic trainer control goes along with the iFit programming where trainers can increase, or decrease, both speed and incline.
With a maximum speed of 12 mph, the treadmill also has a maximum incline of 12%, as well as OneTouch® Controls. An AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan helps keep users cool, while an integrated tray affords them the chance to set phones or other objects inside while running.
The 3.0 CHP Commercial Plus Motor keeps the 60″ x 20″ belt moving atop the frame, which measures 77.3 inches in length, 35.3 inches in width, and sets 59.6 inches high. Maximum user weight is 300 lbs, and the machine operates using 1.9-inch precision and balanced rollers. NordicTrack offers a 10-year warranty on the frame, two years on the parts, and one year for labor.
I’m an iFit user myself and have a NordicTrack 1750 in my home. The app was a key tool in my training for the 2022 Indiana Natural NPC bodybuilding competition where I brought home two first place trophies, as well as two third’s and a second. I can highly recommend the app at just $39 per month and don’t intend to discontinue it, but I’m a little surprised the company is bringing a four-year commitment requirement to purchase with this. Meanwhile, the brand is offering a free C1100i in exchange for the four-year iFit deal, the same with the S15i and SE7i bikes, and RW700 rower.
The iFit program brings professional trainers to your home live by way of the treadmill’s screen. The trainers can control the machine’s resistance and speed to keep up with the session. The program also brings Google Maps Workouts to the home and allows users to run virtually along the beaches and mountains of Earth, or anywhere with a map. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs to slow walks are available in either the library of pre-prepared programs, or the daily routines generated. A recent upgrade to iFit-enabled machines is the new ActivePulse heart rate program, which allows the machine to automatically adjust speed and incline based on the user’s heart rate. A leader in the field of interactive workout programming tailored to the individual, iFit’s Family Membership comes with four user profiles, meaning multiple people in the household can have workouts with individualized data tracking. To read our complete review of the iFit workout app, read here.
We’ve long been fans of the NordicTrack lineup, and the EXP 7i is a great midpoint between the T 6.5 Si and the EXP 101. While the T 6.5 Si and the EXP 7i are both priced at $1,099, the latter brings a smaller screen but larger belt and greater incline. It’s a great treadmill for the price, and so long as you like the iFit training program, it’s a no-brainer. Given the machine’s lack of built-in programs, there other options of course, such as listening to music or watching television. But purchasers should be aware of the new four-year iFit membership expectation as that might be a deal-breaker for some.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can one expect the NordicTrack EXP 7i treadmill to last?
NordicTrack offers a 10-year warranty on the frame and has a good overall reputation for customer service. That said, the life of a treadmill depends largely on the use. With a solid tread and 1.9" precision and non-balanced non-flex rollers, the machine is well built and could last as long if not longer than its peers so long as its not abused.
Can the NordicTrack EXP 7i's 3.0 CHP motor support long and extensive training?
Our experience is that 3.0 is the minimum horsepower needed for runners. It's more than sufficient for jogging, which requires a 2.5, and certainly walkers, at 2.0. If training for a marathon one might consider a 3.5 or perhaps 4.0. This is particularly true if the intended runner weighs over 200 lbs. As a rule, add an additional 0.5 horsepower if that's the case.
How is the NordicTrack EXP 7i treadmill's noise levels?
The NordicTrack EXP 7i is rated an average treadmill in terms of noise. Roommates or other members of the household shouldn't be bothered by it while in use.