NordicTrack 12.9 Commercial Elliptical Review

NordicTrack 12.9 Overview

The NordicTrack 12.9 commercial elliptical trainer is about to become your favorite exercise machine. It is a top-spec elliptical trainer that is projected to help you realize your body and fitness goals. The 12.9 might be designated for home use, but the structure and build quality screams “gym-worthy.” NordicTrack crafted this machine immaculately and meticulously, such that its fine points strongly overrides its blemishes. Given this, it is more than qualified to meet the fitness demands of just about any home-gym enthusiast or the average user. The 12.9 elliptical is one of the three NordicTrack Front drive commercial elliptical trainers, a fine display of home-cum-gym commercial elliptical machines. It is the mid-level elliptical that sits between the base 9.9 elliptical and the top-of-the-range 14.9 commercial elliptical.

As to how it compares to its sibling-ellipticals, there are many similarities and dissimilarities to be noted. Relative to the baseline 9.9 elliptical, the 12.9 is superior in quality: the preceding elliptical sports a 7-inch smart screen, 25-pound flywheel, and 22 resistance levels. The succeeding 12.9 elliptical machine is a step above with a 10-inch smart Screen, 32-pound flywheel, and 24 resistance levels. The 14.9 trainer, on the other hand, is advertised as the pick of the litter. It has the same features and capabilities as the 12.9, with the only notable difference being a bigger 14-inch SmartScreen. Differences aside, the NordicTrack front-drive commercial elliptical trainers are worth the hype.

Loaded with attention-grabbing and body-sculpting features, the 12.9 elliptical trainer is every inch affordable and functional. The state-of-the-art trainer has a 10-in web-enabled screen whose focal point is the iFit interactive technology designed to revitalize and maximize workout sessions. You also get a 20-degree power incline for that sweat-stimulating workout. An 18-20 inches elliptical path makes the perfect, gait accustomed stride. There is no shortage of workout programs and extras on this machine. The 12.9 elliptical rewards users with 35 intriguing workout programs and convenience accessories such as a tablet holder, a dual sound system, and lots more. The 32-pound drive is nothing short of smooth and whisper-quiet. This NordicTrack 12.9 commercial elliptical review is about to positively influence your buying decision!

NordicTrack 12.9 Elliptical Review and Details
Heart Rate:
Pulse & Wireless HRMPower Source:Plugin
USB Charging Port:
FrontFlywheel Weight:35 Pounds
2-Year Parts | 1-Year LaborCompact:No
Machine Weight:250 LbsFolding:No
Dimensions:80"L X 26"W X 64"HSpeaker:Yes
Max user weight:350 LbsCooling Fan:Yes
Resistance: 24-Level MagneticMedia Shelf:Yes
Incline Ramp:20° Power AdjustableBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:17.5" 18.7 Power AdjustableHandlebars:With Built-in Controls
Programs: 32Better Alternative:NordicTrack 14.9


Draped in a bar of silver, grey, and black color palette, the 12.9 elliptical is a sight for sore eyes, and it is sure to sit pretty in your space. But don’t be fooled by its sleek and eye-entertaining exterior; this elegant looking machine is a beauty with substance. It is brawny as it is beautiful, capable of withstanding a 350-pounds maximum weight capacity and years of “use” and “abuse.” You will detect its hidden strength from the first mount, making your heart leap with satisfying joy. Because who doesn’t like a sturdy, stable, and durable exercise machine! The motion is another attribute of the 12.9 trainer that will leave you delirious with excitement.

Thanks to the hearty fusion of a 32-pound flywheel and durable rails, the operation is consistent, quiet, and as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The secret to this ultra-smooth “recipe” is the double rail design. Typically, front-drive elliptical machines, particularly the cheaper models, employ a single roller on the side of each rail. This configuration isn’t all that bad until the roller slides off the rails during intense workout sessions, making the user grapple with gravity. NordicTrack smartly solves this rail inadequacy by adopting double rail engineering instead of a single rail. So each rail has complementing twin rollers that support and stabilizes the machine.

Space-wise, the 12.9 elliptical scores a slightly above average point. Above-average because it isn’t actually space-efficient, but its footprint is more compact than an average rear-drive elliptical trainer. When fully assembled, the 12.9’slfootprint is 64.5 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 80.25 inches long ─ this is quiet space eroding. Unfortunately, the machine does not incorporate a fold-up or foldable frame. You should be informed that the step-on pedal height is about 28 inches off the floor, so if you or the tallest user in your household is 5.5-foot inches, make sure your ceiling is at least eight feet high. To get the machine up and running, you have to connect its chord to a grounded nominal 120-volt outlet. Emphasis on “grounded” because you don’t want the risk of electric shock when the machine encounters technical issues. Standing at about 220 pounds, the 12.9 elliptical is on the heavy side of the scale. Thankfully, NordicTrack fitted the frame with front-mounted transport wheels to lighten the handling weight during relocation or transportation.


First off, the touchscreen display is praise-worthy, to say the least. While it isn’t as sleek as those found on higher-end elliptical trainers, it is just as functional. Featuring a simplistic user interface with a pop of color, you can toggle through different menus, tabs, and feedback displays, without a hitch. Getting started is as easy as clicking the 10-inch internet-approved full-color SmartScreen. When fully booted, you will be required to set up the Wifi-connection and run a firmware update. You can browse and implement numerous settings such as; enable/disable access code protection, activate automatic or manual logins to your iFit account, and if you’d prefer a metric or an imperial unit of measurement.

There is also an appealing turntable of 35 expert-stamped workout programs to choose from. These programs are detailed and organized to the tee. The screen displays the name of your current workout, estimated duration, and the number of targeted calories it is meant to deplete. In addition to being detailed, they are also responsive. They act by way of prompts; when you are going too fast, it prompts you to slow down. Too slow, and you will get a stern warning to get your speed together. You also get a target RPM (Cadence) to guide your exercise intensity. The workout program is quite extensive and goal-rich, so everyone has something, no matter the fitness objective.

It is a sin to discuss the 12.9 monitor and not mention its incredible subscription-based iFit coach. This innovative interactive fitness service gives users a thrill for their money. Subscribers are entertained with high-definition workout videos led by elite trainers from across the world. They also get to tour the globe through Google Maps workouts, allowing users to chart and customize their cycling routes. Online race competitions between iFit users, personalized diet, exercise, and sleep recommendations are other “fringe benefits” that come with the subscription. NordicTrack was also kind enough to make the subscription-free for a year.


While NordicTrack markets the 12.9 stride as having a “power-adjustable” of 17.5-18.7 inches, it is essential to note that it only changes when the incline does. In simple terms, you have to change the incline first if you want your stride length to vary. At a flat incline level, the stride length automatically assumes 20 inches. Still, the farther you go up the incline (say up to 20 degrees), the more the stride length decreases. This is to tell the stride and the incline crosses out each other. The interconnected motorized stride and incline allow users to work with the settings that best suit their gait, height, and comfort.

The 0-20 degree incline setting kicks up a pretty good challenge. With a press of a button, you can go up a steep hill without leaving the four walls of your home or the gym. The good thing about the 12.9 incline range is; you can alternate the slope to target different muscle groups (on-the-fly) without missing a teeny weenie muscle. The incline, coupled with the stride, will have your muscles pulsing with energy and your heart pumping like never before. And yes, you can easily control the incline from the console or the in-handle controls.

What’s an intensive workout without ample resistance settings! We love that the 12.9 elliptical trainer comes loaded with 24 power-intensive resistance settings. With this tension range, you have no excuse not to work up a pool of sweat. Further to this, the machine runs off NordicTrack’s signature silent magnetic resistance system (SMR). So you can do power-intensive workouts in the middle of the night, and your neighbors won’t call you out for public disturbance. And lest we forget, the incline and resistance settings syncs to the onboard apps and iFit ─ this way, you don’t have to modify the settings each time you want to start a new program. How convenient!


The 12.9 elliptical comes with two sets of handlebars; moving and stationary handlebars. The mobile arms have a striking multi-grip design, which, to be frank, is not often seen on NordicTrack elliptical machines. With the multi-grip positions, you can grasp the handles from different positions as you deem fit. This makes for better comfort and optimizes performance. The grips are also cushioned to keep your hands as comfortable as can be.

The non-moving or static handlebars also have something interesting to offer. Heart rate monitoring sensors are integrated into the grips to promote faultless cardio tracking metrics. The sensors read your pulse and relay the data to the console, which passes the information to the SmartScreen. If you are into cardio exercises, you will know why pulse grips are such an important and thrilling feature to have on an exercise machine.

The 12.9 pedals were undoubtedly constructed with user-comfort in mind. They are all shades of oversized, adjustable, and textured. Adjustable pedals mean you can alter the angle of the footplates to complement your shoe size and comfort. That being said, there are three toe-heel angles to select from. The pedals are also cushioned and texturized for maximum foot comfort.


The extras on the 12.9 elliptical make it all the more appealing. There is a refreshing Autobreeze fan to regulate ambient temperature. The fan automatically increases and decreases with workout intensity; the more challenging and sweat-stimulating your workout, the more the volume of air that is emitted. So you only have to do the hard work and leave the rest to the fan. A water bottle holder keeps in-workout hydration within reach; you don’t have to pause mid-workout to get water, which can be a killjoy.

You can listen to music, an audiobook, or keep up with your favorite podcasts while you exercise, and we have the 12.9 built-in speakers and mp3 port to thank for this. All it takes is a simple Bluetooth connection, and you are good to go. Don’t want to take your eyes off your mobile device while you workout? The adjustable tablet holder is keenly at your service. It will appear that 12.9 cares a great deal about cardiac data; in addition to the wireless heart rate monitor, an optional chest strap device also comes with the pack.

The 12.9 trainer is best assembled by two or more persons. Teamwork, in this case, makes the “assembly” quick and easy. The machine is delivered “partially assembled,” which minimizes the amount of work and time required to assemble the elliptical. With that out of the way, users only need to install the; rear stabilizers with covers, right-front stabilizers with covers, shield covers, upper saddle brackets, upper body arms with covers, tablet holder, and console. In addition to the included tools, you will also need a Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. In fact, it is best to have your own set of wrenches for an easier assembly. Also, power tools are a no-no; avoid using them when setting up the 12.9, if you don’t want to end up with a damaged elliptical trainer. When the installation is complete, double-check the machine to ensure all parts are correctly attached and there is not a single bolt /screw out of place. The detailed instruction manual is all the help you need for the assembly.


Quite frankly, the 12.9 commercial warranty isn’t all that practical. The holding product company, Icon Health, and Fitness offers 10-year warranty coverage for the frame. The parts get a meager two years, and labor is covered for a year. The warranty coverage for the machine’s frame, which is undoubtedly the elliptical component that is less prone to damages ─ is quite generous. The parts which are more damage-prone gets a paltry two year-coverage. Unfair? Seems like it. This “unbalanced” warranty needs some revision. As always, you must register the product warranty for it to count. However, The 12.9 warranty registration isn’t a formality-filled activity. You only have to complete and return to Icon Health and Fitness the included warranty registration card.

The company also makes provision for online registration. Users can conveniently register the product warranty on the company website at;the warranty covers only the original buyer of the product and is non-transferable. Additionally, the contract is voided by the following conditions; use of the product for store display, the product is purchased or transported outside the USA’s boundaries, failure to follow instructions and precautions as stated by the product manual, and improper use of the product. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the warranty, please contact NordicTrack’s customer support unit at 1 -800-862-3348 or send a mail to

The NordicTrack 12.9 commercial elliptical trainer isn’t exactly cheap, and neither is it over-priced. It sells for around $1399, which may be expensive for a limited budget and affordable for a steep budget. Basically, the price point sits somewhere between inexpensive and pricey. At any rate, it is an investment worth making. The moment you hit the order button and make the payment, the shipping process commences, and this may take 1-3 business days. The period between shipping and delivery is an estimated 13 days. So, buying the 12.9 elliptical machine from the NordicTrack website isn’t a “pay today and get in a few days” deal. You can opt for either threshold delivery (the elliptical is delivered to your doorstep) or white-glove assembly (the elliptical is delivered directly into your home or studio and assembled).


  • Its adjustable stride length with three-foot three-foot positions makes for a comfortable and custom fit
  • Moving and stationary handlebars optimize lower-body training and work hard-to-reach muscles
  • Mobile arms are well-padded and multi-gripped for different holding positions
  • The 32-pound heavy flywheel delivers an ultra-smooth and consistent motion
  • The incline is power-adjustable from 0-20 degrees; this target often-overlooked muscle groups like the hamstrings, quads, and glutes
  • The 10-inch console is crisp, bright, and smart
  • Presents a delightful array of workout programs that encompasses fat burn, endurance training, and different fitness goals
  • iFit technology provides a limitless stream of performance-improving workout programs and fitness tips
  • Includes both telemetric and contact-sensors heart rate readers for the most accurate pulse readings
  • A silent magnetic resistance system with 24 tension levels delivers a noiseless operation with diverse intensity settings
  • Equipped with an adjustable tablet and water bottle holder, workout fan, and dual digitally amplified speakers for exercise convenience and entertainment
  • Well-built and stable enough to support a 350-pound maximum weight capacity


  • It is neither compact nor foldable for storage
  • The warranty is somewhat unsatisfactory for the price


There is no denying the superior quality and functionality of the NordicTrack 12.9 elliptical trainer. It is one of those exercise machines you will be glad you purchased. This value-packed trainer’s goal is quite clear; to deliver a premium workout experience and results that are befitting of a dedicated fitness devotee. The 12.9 elliptical is built for users of all competency levels, whether professional or novice users. It is made to last and to tolerate long-term use and hammering. Hence, it is practical for both lightweight and big-boned users. With multiple adjustability options for stride, incline, pedals, and resistance, the 12.9 welcome users of different body anatomy and capabilities. But is this elliptical trainer worth the price and the hype? In other words, will it give you a good return on “fitness investment”? The value is, no doubt, uncompromised, which makes the pricing fair. You might only consider the base 9.9 elliptical trainer if you are on a tight budget. Otherwise, the 12.9 elliptical trainer is quiet the exercise machine. And if you’d prefer more advanced features like a bigger screen, the top-of-the-range 14.9 trainer is worth a try.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.