Trying to decide between a Nordictrack Freestrider vs elliptical trainer?
Wondering which is best for you?
The Nordictrack Freestrider (or Freestride Trainer) is a unique style of elliptical with something you don’t usually find: a fully adaptable stride.
Basically, this means that you choose your own stride depending on how hard and in which direction you push the footpedals.
So you can do short, up-and-down strides like a stair climber, longer jogging strides like an elliptical or even longer hurdling strides like a treadmill.
This has 2 benefits.
First, it gives you a lot more training options than a standard elliptical – you’re not locked into a set stride as you are with a regular crosstrainer.
Second, it lets you choose the stride length that feels best and most comfortable for your body.
So it’s a very cool twist on an elliptical trainer.
However, depending on your situation and goals, an elliptical trainer also has some benefits that might make it the better choice for you.
So which should you choose?
This post will show you some important benefits of each so you can better compare between the Nordictrack Freestrider vs elliptical.
Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical: Price
This really comes down to which elliptical trainer you’re comparing to which Freestrider model.
There are currently 2 different Nordictrack Freestrider models – the FS10i and the FS14i. They start around $1899 and up with Free Shipping here.
Elliptical trainers give you a lot more model options to choose from. And there’s a larger range of price options as well.
While you can get a starter elliptical for under $1000, a quality mid-range elliptical (similar to the Freestrider) will start around $1500 and up. So there’s a slight price advantage for an elliptical vs the Freestride Trainer.
The Freestride trainer is what is known as a center-drive elliptical. Instead of one large flywheel in front of the pedals or behind the pedals – you have two smaller flywheels on the sides of the pedals.
This has a couple of benefits.
First, it reduces the size needed for the machine and makes it more compact.
Second, it places the pedals closer together and reduces the strain on the hips. It also tends to put the user in a more upright position on the machine – so there’s less leaning on the handrails. For many people this can feel a lot more comfortable.
With traditional elliptical trainers, you can choose from a front drive trainer (where the flywheel is in front of the pedals) or a rear-drive trainer (where the flywheel is behind the pedals).
There isn’t really a consensus as to which elliptical design is best.. It really comes down to the quality of the elliptical in most cases. However, these machines do tend to take up more floor space than the Freestrider due to the design.
One of the biggest benefits of the Freestrider is that it gives you a lot more crosstraining options than a standard elliptical trainer.
You can go forward and back like an elliptical. But you can also go up and down and also vary your stride from shorter jogging strides to longer hurdling strides.
This constant changing of your stride ensures that your body doesn’t get used to one set stride and adapt. So, in theory, you can end up burning more calories and getting a more optimal workout.
Get A Longer Stride with the Freestrider
This is another benefit to the Freestride trainer. Not only can you choose your stride – but you can also get longer strides than a standard elliptical as well.
Most elliptical trainers give you one set stride length, usually around 17 or 20 inches. If you hunt around, you can sometimes even find ellipticals up to 21 inch strides.
But with the Freestride Trainer, you get strides of up to 32 inches! So this can help work your leg muscles more fully, again burning more calories and giving you a more optimal workout.
It also makes this a great choice for families since everyone can choose the stride that feels most comfortable for them.
Freestrider vs Elliptical: Construction
The Freestrider has cushioned pedals that ride on belts rather than traditional rails attached to the crank like you get with a standard elliptical.
This gives you more of a feeling of floating on air – and reduces the impact on your joints.
It also means you don’t have the traditional elliptical track and wheel design out behind you – which can sometimes get clogged with dust and dirt over time.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits
So with all of the benefits of the Freestrider over the elliptical, you might be wondering – “What are the benefits of an elliptical vs the Freestrider?”
Great question – there are a few.
First of all, you can find some elliptical trainers like the Nordictrack Spacesave SE9i that fold up with wheels on the bottom. So if space is at a premium in your home, you might want a folding machine you can move out of the way easily. You can’t do this with a Freestrider.
Stationary Hand Grips
Most elliptical trainers (not all) come with both moving arm bars and stationary hand grips. The stationary grips are handy if you want to rest your arms for a bit and just hold onto something as you run.
The Freestriders don’t come with stationary hand grips – only moving arms. You can still rest your hands on the frame or at the top of the console. But some people prefer having the stationary hand grips.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Freestrider feels a bit different at first. Because you set the stride with how hard you push and in which direction, it can feel a bit different than a traditional elliptical.
And it might take some getting used to this movement if you’re an experienced elliptical exerciser. This isn’t a huge issue – but it is something to be aware of.
Warranty and Care
Is there a difference between the Freestider and the elliptical in terms of warranty and care?
Well, the care part really comes down to which elliptical you’re comparing it with. A poor quality elliptical will always have more problems with parts breaking and equipment malfunctions vs a higher quality elliptical.
As mentioned above, the track and wheel design on many front drive ellipticals is uncovered. This can leave it open to dust and dirt. Eventually – if you don’t clean it on a regular basis – this can cause the dirt to build up and warp the track or cause other problems with the wheels.
However, some ellipticals will have a cover or shroud over the track. So you wouldn’t have this problem with these models (or if you regularly clean your track and wheels). The Freestrider doesn’t have this issue either since there’s no wheel-track design.
As far as warranty goes, again, there really isn’t a difference here.
Nordictrack puts the same warranty on the Freestriders as they put on their regular elliptical trainers. Some other brands of ellipticals might have even longer warranties on their ellipticals. But that’s a brand vs brand comparison – not a Freestride trainer vs elliptical difference.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical?
While it really comes down to which models you’re comparing, there are few general differences.
Elliptical trainers can be more affordable and easier on the budget. Plus, you can find more of them with the ability to fold up.
The Nordictrack Freestrider can give you a much longer stride and more stride options than a regular elliptical trainer.
It can also give you more lower body crosstraining options – giving you a more effective workout in less time. And with the different design, you can also get a more comfortable, lower-impact workout.
So at the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer.
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