Looking for a treadmill alternative? You may have already considered an elliptical machine. These treadmill alternatives are ideal for those looking for a low-impact form of exercise or for those who are looking to save space. Machines such as the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainers have a compact footprint, making them a good fit for most home gym spaces. What’s more, they are multi-purpose machines. Like the other units in the series, the FS14i (the top-spec model in the series) acts as both an elliptical and stepper. When comparing this top-of-the-range model to the others in the series, there are many similarities. The FS7i, FS10i and the FS14i each feature a 20-pound center drive, a 32″ auto-adjustable stride length, and the same 58.5″ long by 29.5″ wide compact footprint. There are a couple of things that set the FS14i apart from the other models, however. It features a 14″ HD touchscreen for you to enjoy iFit workouts on (free for year) and also adds power decline into the mix (like the FS9i which is currently out of stock). Learn more about the FS14i below, and whether we would recommend spending the extra dollars for it over the other units in the FreeStride Series.
What We Like:
- Low Impact: Like all the FreeStride Trainers, the FS14i is a great treadmill alternative for anyone that wants to exercise without putting too much stress on their knees or other joints.
- Multi-Purpose: Although we think that saying the FreeStride trainers can do the work of a treadmill is a bit of a stretch, we do agree that the FreeStride Trainers are multi-purpose machines that allow you to try a variety of workout styles. The FS14i is like an elliptical and stairclimber in one, allowing you to target different muscles each time you work out. The moving handlebars allow for a full-body workout.
- Long Stride: With a 32″ auto-adjustable stride, the FreeStride FS14i allows nearly double the stride of a traditional elliptical. This means it can accommodate for a wide range of user heights and different exercise types.
- Quiet: There are 26 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance which are smooth and quiet.
- Incline & Decline: The FS14i has power incline and decline. The addition of decline is a great feature to use along iFit outdoor routines or Google Maps trails as the incline/decline mirrors the landscape you are exploring so it’s a really immersive workout.
- Touchscreen: The 14″ touchscreen is ideal for immersive iFit workouts.
- Pedals: The oversized, cushioned pedals allow you to stay comfortable through longer workouts.
- Built-In Workouts: Even though the FS14i brand page doesn’t mention onboard workout programming, there are around 35 programs built in to use alongside iFit. This is ideal for when your free iFit trial runs out in case you want to cancel your subscription (after a year).
- iFit: iFit brings you unlimited workout variety in the form of video workouts with expert personal trainers, Google Maps trails, automatic statistics tracking, and more. You get free access for a year with the FS14i.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth audio and connectivity for a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor.
- High Weight Capacity: The FS14i can hold up to 375 pounds.
- Compact: At just 58.5″ L x 29.5″ W x 74″ H, the FS14i is ideal for small home gym spaces.
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS14i Treadmill - Key Specs:
|Incline:||-10% - 10%|
|Weight Capacity:||375 LBS|
|Dimensions:||58.5" L x 29.5" W x 74" H|
- Resistance: The 20-pound flywheel is relatively light, and is best for beginners in elliptical training.
- Price: Compared to NordicTrack’s other FreeStride Trainers, there is a big leap in price. However, it does serve as a multi-functional trainer.
- 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 FS14i is a top-spec elliptical with a focus on interactive training via iFit. Those who are looking to pack in some cardio exercise and introductory cross training from home will enjoy using the FS14i. But is it the best value model in the FreeStride Series? This depends. If you want the biggest screen in the series and the addition of decline to diversify your iFit routines, the FS14i could be a solid choice. However, we are not fully convinced that these features are worth all the extra dollars than the FS7i which is over $1,000 cheaper. We would recommend checking out both options, as well as browsing other models in the FreeStride series and other treadmill alternatives to see which features you prioritize the most for your budget.