NordicTrack FS14i Elliptical Review
NordicTrack FS14i Overview
Beyond any reasonable doubt, NordicTrack’s FS14i elliptical is the crème de la crème of the company’s FreeStrider series, composed of center-drive elliptical trainers with a plethora of workout options and functions. All three elliptical trainers in the series, FS7i, FS10i, and FS14i, are renowned for their distinctive floating-on-air motion and extensive 32 inches stride length. Showcasing multiple best buy awards from famed fitness publications, the NordicTrack FreeStrider series have a unique and rare ability to transform from an elliptical to a stepper and a treadmill in no particular order. Factor in the floating-on-air sensation that precedes their motion, and we have a range of phenomenal and highly-competent elliptical trainers. Without digressing from the elliptical trainer in view, let’s take a glance at the best-of-the-best FS14i elliptical trainer and how it compares to its predecessors.
To start with, the FS14i elliptical machine is ahead of the pack in terms of console size, resistance levels, and incline/decline capability. The refined FreeStrider has a jumbo 14 inches HD screen, which is way bigger and more modernized than the 10 inches on the FS10i and 7 inches on the FS7i FreeStrider. Its resistance level at 26 settings is two levels higher than the 24 settings on the FS10i and FS7i models. And the key distinguishing feature is its declining capability. While the older models offer only a 10⸰ incline, the FS14i elliptical has a declining capacity. On account of these upgraded features, the FS14i takes the lead in providing an all-encompassing workout experience. Other than these few differences, the FreeStriders are virtually the same. They have the same compact footprint, stride length, 20-pound center flywheel, and 375-pound maximum weight capacity.
Workouts on the FS14i elliptical trainer are profoundly engaging and high-yielding. The bigger 14 inches HD touch screen with NordicTrack’S iFit compatibility and workout programs─ is a taste of premium variety and performance. The 26 resistance levels will have you drenched in a pool of sweat, while the Multi-power console fan will cool you off. The multi-purpose stride is motion-versatility in all its glory. And your joints will have no cause to complain because the low-impact design will treat them with kindness. The decline and incline range targets the muscles you know and those you don’t. To wrap up, the high-quality audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and tablet and water bottle holders take your workout experience to greater heights. Find below a detailed “unboxing” of the FS14i elliptical in this tell-it-all FS14i review!
|Heart Rate:||Pulse & Wireless HRM||Power Source:||Plugin|
|USB Charging Port:||No||Display:||Touchscreen|
|Drive:||Center||Flywheel Weight:||20 Pounds|
|Warranty:||2-Year Parts | 1-Year Labor||Compact:||No|
|Machine Weight:||287 Lbs||Folding:||No|
|Dimensions:||58"L X 29"W X 74"H||Speaker:||Yes|
|Max user weight:||375 Lbs||Cooling Fan:||Yes|
|Resistance:||26-Level Magnetic||Media Shelf:||Yes|
|Incline Ramp:||10° Power Adjustable||Bottle Holder:||Yes|
|Stride Length:||32" Automatically Adjustable||Handlebars:||With Built-in Controls|
|Programs:||35||Cheaper Alternative:||NordicTrack FS10i|
NORDICTRACK FS14i FREESTRIDER REVIEW AND SPECS:
Like the other models in the NordicTrack FreeStride line up, the FS14i elliptical trainer sports a center-drive design that aids balance and space. This engineering places you in a comfortable and natural upright posture, which positively impacts your performance results. In addition to promoting balance, the center drive design makes the FS14i space-friendly. Unlike the conventional front and rear drive elliptical machines with protruding wheels and tracks, the FS14i’s flywheels are positioned on alternate sides of the machine, which minimizes the footprint to a compact 58.5″ L × 29.5″ W × 74″ H. So if you have a space problem, this elliptical trainer is a practical choice. The elliptical is quite tall, so be prepared for a high step-on and a considerable ceiling clearance.
Constructed to withstand prolonged use and heavyweights, the FS14i is a durable machine supporting a whooping 375 pounds maximum weight limit. The frame is made with industrial-grade steel and backed by oversized levelers and coated uprights, which stabilizes the handlebars and the console. Judging by the stable and durable construction, it is rare that the machine will be unsafe or unsettling. The flywheel measures a decent 20-pound, which is surprisingly smooth, considering that the heavier flywheels are often touted to produce a smoother motion. The two flywheels are cloaked with a plastic overlay to protect the internal elements from the damaging effects of sweat, debris, and dust.
The FS14i elliptical trainer is not a cordless machine; that is, it requires a power connection to work. NordicTrack stipulates a grounded 120-volt nominal circuit. The connecting outlet must be grounded to protect against electric shock in case of machine malfunction. But a grounded outlet may not be within reach; in this case, you can opt for a temporary adapter that pairs with a 2-pole receptacle. It is best to work with an expert electrician when setting up the machine’s power connectivity to ensure that all protocols and requirements are met. At 287Ibs in-box-weight, the FS14i trainer packs some weight. However, transport rollers are integrated into its frame for easy relocation. Be that as it may, it is not advised to move the machine regularly. And while it has a compact structure to conserve some space, it does not fold or integrate a fold-up design.
NORDICTRACK FS14i FREESTRIDER MONITOR
Technology is at the forefront of the FS14i elliptical. What with the smart and intuitive 14″ HD touchscreen packed with an expansive library of on-demand workouts. The screen-quality itself is to die for. The touchscreen is implanted in the console’s middle with up and down tilting dimensions to enhance view and readability. The screen is polished and has an adjustable resolution controlled from the settings tab on the main menu. The software controls dominate the touchscreen to make the console less messy. Owing to the user-friendly and intuitive interface, navigating the controls is as easy as pie.
With the bright metric display, you can keep tabs on essential workout stats in real-time, including time elapsed, calories burned, strokes per minute/hour, distance covered, and a bunch of others. The console is also Bluetooth-enabled for wireless heart rate tracking and audio connectivity. The FS14i monitor rewards users with an exciting medley of workout programs alongside the sought-after iFit app. The exact number of workout programs is not stated on the NordicTrack website, but around 35 workout programs can be deduced. iFit coach is NordicTrack’s patented online workout app that is compatible with the FS14i console.
With iFit, you can curate your bespoke workout regime without the humdrum of monotony. You have the benefit of streaming and following a new workout class every day that spans strength training, endurance building, fat burn, and more. You can also travel the world (virtually) from the comfort of your home or studio with the iFit world-tail workouts guided by elite trainers from across the globe. You can take an evening stroll through Paris’s dainty streets, jog along the Caribbean beach’s shores or skid the islands. And the best part? You can create up to 4 user profiles with iFit coach so different family members can enjoy the limitless benefits of the streaming service. And to think you get iFit free for a year post-purchase!
NORDICTRACK FS14i STRIDE AND INCLINE
Featuring a 32″ auto-adjustable stride length, the FS14i elliptical trainer doubles the stride of an average elliptical machine. Essentially, the FS14i’s stride allows for a custom fit and workout style variety. The floating suspension system extends the crank-connected pedal limit, allowing users to control their stride length in a heartbeat. The stride makes for an all-out workout by incorporating the toning benefits of a stepper, full-body conditioning of an elliptical, and a treadmill’s cardio advantages. With a 0-32 inches adjustable stride range, multiple users with different heights and leg lengths can use this machine without any qualms. However, the motion may take some getting used to, but this is not a significant deal-breaker.
You will be excited to try out the -10⸰ – +10⸰ incline/decline range, which is the FS14i’s key selling point ─ there aren’t that many ellipticals with an incline setting, talk more of a decline. You can increase workout intensity by alternating your slope with mimicking uphill and downhill motions with these settings. The incline setting is pretty well-balanced, as the effect is evenly distributed across all muscle groups without any going over or under the board. This is particularly noticeable at level 5. At level 0, your hamstrings will begin to feel the heat; yes, it is that good. Setting the incline to ten is an “intense.” treat for your quads. But if you can’t bear the heat, stick to the middle settings. Overall, the incline/decline setting is a must-try feature.
Combined with the incline/decline, the 26 digital resistance levels are muscle-shattering (in a good way, of course). The resistance system yields minimal noise, which is convenient. The resistance, incline, and decline are automatically connected to iFit and the in-built programs for comfortable usability. The iFit trainer can control resistance, incline, and decline in real-time. The multi-resistance levels perfectly supplement the variable motion. You have the option to select the resistance level that complements the stride you are simulating, either a stair stepper, an elliptical, or a treadmill.
NORDICTRACK FS14i HANDLEBAR AND PEDALS
The FS14i’s moving handlebars allow users to carry out upper body training with ease. The handles are interconnected with the pedals for a fluid and coincided motion. This delivers a synchronized upper and lower body workout. Regrettably, there are no stationary handlebars on the FS14i elliptical trainer. This means the pedals don’t lock, so getting on and off the machine is a bit tricky. Because the pedals are multi-directional (move upward/downwards and forward/backward), the motion is a bit overwhelming, so you might want to hold on to the uprights when mounting the pedals. Resistance and incline/decline controls are built into the handlebars for instant control.
The FS14i handlebars measure about 8 inches vertically from the machine’s base; this promotes better holding capacity. Additionally, the grips are cushioned for added comfort. But comfort is relative; more than a handful of users have complained about the handlebars’ size. This is said to be too large and ill-designed. Besides the uncomfortable size, there are no ridges to support user-grip, and the not-so-round shape leaves a lot to be desired. So you might want to consider this drawback when getting the FS14i elliptical. And remember, what doesn’t work for others may work for you.
The FS14i pedals, on the other hand, are ergonomically and efficiently designed. You can pedal in different directions, such that your muscles and not your joints are worked. They are also wide and size-adaptable; can fit a broad selection of sports shoes. With underlying steel horizontal beams providing reliable support, they are plenty stable. A textured surface and molded foot pads keep slippage at bay.
NORDICTRACK FS14i ACCESSORIES AND ASSEMBLY
The FS14i’s multi-power console fan is a welcome accessory. You get to stay cool no matter how intense the workout gets or how hot the weather becomes. With the console fan, your days of working out in a sticky and uncomfortable skin are over. And there is more; the fan is programmed with four settings: low, medium, high, and auto so that you can regulate the amount of airflow at any given temperature or exercise condition. The auto setting synchronizes the fan’s speed with your resistance and cadence, which means the higher your output, the more the airflow. Isn’t this amazing!
Like with most exercise machines, the FS14i has a water bottle holder for exercise hydration. Simply fill your bottle with water or your go-to beverage and place it in the holder. A pivoting tablet holder makes for hands-free entertainment. With Bluetooth capability, you can connect your Bluetooth-enabled headphones to the FS14i and enjoy some audio entertainment. If that isn’t convenient, the audio port with two digital speakers will cooperate with your iPod or MP3 to serve you the best sounds and tunes. The FS14i also includes a polar chest strap for accurate heart rate monitoring.
Assembling the NordicTrack FS14i isn’t a herculean task. However, you will need at least one or two people to help out. Frankly, there isn’t a lot to be assembled; just the uprights, the front and left shield covers, the pedal arm and the axle, the handlebar covers, accessory tray, console bracket, and cover, and the console. It is imperative not to pinch the wires when installing the parts. Tighten all screws and inspect the elliptical to confirm if all is in place. Considering the trainer’s weight, it is recommended to assemble the machine where it will be used. Refer to the instruction manual and video on the product website for a detailed guide on the assembly process.
FS14i WARRANTY, PRICE, AND SHIPPING
The FS14i elliptical trainer comes with 10-year warranty coverage for the frame, 2-year coverage for the parts, and a year for labor. The warranty only covers repair and replacement and cannot be transferred from one individual to another. Any damage to the trainer that results from misuse of the product, loss of property, economic loss, or other consequential damages of any kind ─ will not be accountable by Icon Fitness. Icon Fitness will not recognize any counterfeit warranty that deviates from the manufacturers’ original conditions. And, of course, the product warranty must be registered.
The FS14i product warranty registration involves completing and returning the warranty registration card (to Icon Health and Fitness) that comes with the package. Registering the product warranty qualifies your trainer for the perks included in the warranty, including periodic service updates and handy tips. You may also get an extended warranty offer for the product. You can also register for the warranty online at https://my.nordictrack.com. Should you have further inquiries about the warranty, contact NordicTrack’s customer service department on 1-800-862-3348. Alternatively, you can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expectedly, the FS14i elliptical machine is not a budget machine. It retails for $3,999, making it the most expensive elliptical trainer in the series. However, there is no denying its high-functionality. On average, NordicTrack ships the product within 1-3 business days, and it may get to you 10-14 business days later. You can opt for either threshold delivery or white glove assembly. The former deliver the machine to your home’s front doorway or the first door of the address. The latter delivers the machine into your home and assembles it; however, this delivery option is currently unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions.
NORDICTRACK FS14i FREE STRIDER Pros;
- The 3-in-1 capability targets an extensive range of muscles.
- Prioritizes low-impact workout, which limits injury and soreness potential
- Pivots to a 10⸰ incline and descends to a -10⸰ decline for an uphill and downhill challenge
- The resistance is near-silent and generates minimal noise.
- The center drive design positions the body properly and minimizes space depletion.
- Has a monster 14-inch touch screen that enhances metric display and user-view
- A fan is embedded in the console for cooling comfort.
- Its 32-inches stride adapts to different leg lengths and motions for inclusivity and variety.
- It is chock-full of performance-enhancing and sweat-inducing workout programs.
- Includes a broad 26-level resistance range for an added challenge
- Comes with a one-year free iFit subscription
- Users can enjoy Bluetooth-enabled audio via the digitally amplified speakers.
- Supports a Bluetooth-compatible Polar chest device for heart rate tracking
- Tablet and water bottle holders maximize exercise convenience.
NORDICTRACK FS14i FREE STRIDER Cons;
- Although the footprint is relatively compact, the pedal range is extensive and requires space both in front and behind the machine.
- You will have to pay a monthly subscription for iFit after a year.
- The handlebars are relatively uncomfortable.
The FS14i elliptical trainer is an excellent exercise machine in every respect. Offering a range of strides and resistance levels is suitable for beginners, intermediate and elite users. NordicTrack designed a machine that is as sturdy as a rock and stable enough to support the heaviest users; the FS14i trainer can accommodate users that weigh up to 375 pounds. Packed with a bunch of workout programs and features, the FS14i is an irresistible elliptical. But the big question is; is it as valuable as its premiums sticker price? The answer boils down to individual preference. If you fancy a bigger touchscreen, more resistance levels, and a declining range, then this trainer will please you. Otherwise, the added features are not indispensable. Though they may provide a more engaging workout experience, paying extra dollars for “the indulgence” maybe far-fetched for a limited budget. So if you have a budget issue or don’t care for indulgences, the FS7i elliptical will equally knock your socks off.