NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS10i Review
There’s no question runners love their treadmills. But what about a trainer or elliptical machine? The NordicTrack FS10i serves as the entry-level model for the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainers series and brings a tight footprint to the home gym. As a multi-purpose machine, the FS10i functions as a treadmill, an elliptical, and a trainer. Referred to as 3-in-1 units, the next model up in the series is the FS14i, which brings a larger 14-inch screen and slightly more resistance levels. Size-wise, the two machines measure the same.
What makes trainers so popular is the low-impact nature of their high-intensity workouts. Whereas even the best cushioning system on a treadmill can still produce a pounding sensation, the smooth glide of a trainer lets one earn the burn without joint stress. Probably the best comparable to the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainers series is the Bowflex Max Trainer family of machines, such as the M6 which we’ve reviewed here. That said, a big selling point for the FS10i is the one-year iFit Family Membership plan which comes with the purchase. Valued at $396, this helps soften the $2,499 sticker price. Read our review of the iFit workout program here.
With iFit-enabled machines featuring automatic trainer control, users can participate in live sessions with professional trainers who adjust the resistance levels while leading classes. In addition to live training, iFit members have access to an ever-expanding library of classes and programs running the gamut from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to yoga. The program also features Google Maps workout technology which takes runners anywhere on Earth, complete with interactive scenery by way of the FS10i’s 10-inch Smart HD Touchscreen.
Whereas the FS14i features a 14-inch screen and 26 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance for a price of $3,299, the FS10i brings a 10-inch screen and 24 levels. Both machines offer a 32-inch auto-adjustable stride and a 20-pound center drive, with the FS10i offering a 10% incline function, and the FS14i offering both 10% incline and decline.
What We Like:
- Low Impact: Like all the FreeStride Trainers, the FS10i is a great treadmill alternative for anyone that wants to exercise without putting too much stress on their knees or other joints.
- Bluetooth Audio Capabilities: The FS10i also features two digitally amplified speakers and can be used with a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor.
- Multi-Purpose: As a 3-in-1 machine, the FS10i has the capability to function as a stepper, elliptical, and even a bit of a treadmill.
- Long Stride: With a 32-inch auto-adjustable stride, the FreeStride FS10i allows nearly double the stride of a traditional elliptical. This means it can accommodate a wide range of user heights and different exercise types.
- Quiet: There are 24 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance which are smooth and quiet.
- Automatic Incline: The FS10i has a 10% power incline option. This makes the iFit outdoor routines or Google Maps trails more realistic as the machine can automatically adjust in conjunct with the immersive workout.
- Touchscreen: The 10-inch touchscreen might not be the biggest on the market, but it’s sufficient for virtual training.
- Pedals: Oversized, cushioned pedals allow one to stay comfortable through longer workouts.
- iFit-enabled: Valued at $396, the purchase comes with one year of the iFit Family Membership.
- High Weight Capacity: The FS10i can hold up to 375 pounds.
- Compact: At just 58.5 inches x 29.5 inches x 74 inches, the FS10i is good for small home gym spaces.
- Warranty: The machine comes with a guarantee of 10 years for the frame, two years for parts, and one year for labor.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS10i Treadmill - Key Specs:
|Weight Capacity:||375 LBS|
|Dimensions:||58.5" L x 29.5" W x 74" H|
What We Don’t Like:
- Resistance: The 20-pound flywheel is relatively light and might be best for beginners in elliptical training.
- Stride: Although the stride length is adjustable, making the switch when you’re actually in a workout can be quite tricky. It’s best to choose one workout style per session and stick to it.
The NordicTrack FS10i is a great entry-level elliptical with a strong live training package. Anyone seeking to combine cardio with strength training could benefit from the machine. We feel the FS10i does bring a better value over the FS14i given the price difference for very similar machines. If an extra four inches of screen size is really a deal-breaker, keep in mind this home unit can always be used in front of a smart television set. Meanwhile, keep in mind the whole lineup of other treadmill alternatives and find the one which best fits the goal in mind.
- July 13, 2021: Added some FAQs to the page.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS10i FAQs
What are the benefits of a trainer over other machines?
The trainer is a three-in-one machine which combines elements of a stepper, elliptical, and treadmill. Depending on how it's used, it can generate an impressive workout for both cardio and strength.
Are trainers safer than other machines?
Safety is always a concern when exercising in the home. That said, trainers are designed with safety and comfort in mind. This is particularly true with reduced stress on joints and tendons.
Do I need an Internet connection to use a trainer?
Not necessarily, but the better trainers these days are certainly interactive and utilize online apps and virtual programming.