Wondering how they compare – and which is best for you?
These are both premium elliptical trainers from Nordictrack that give you a lots of training and fun entertainment options.
They both come iFit compatible. So you can run trails all over the world, track your progress over time and even take fitness classes from the comfort of your own home.
They both also give you an impressive 14-inch, full-color, HD touch-screen console to enjoy.
However, there are some key differences between them – both in design and benefits to you.
How can you decide between them?
This post will give you a rundown of the main differences between the Nordictrack FS14i vs Commercial 14.9 elliptical trainer to help you decide.
Nordictrack FS14i vs Commercial 14.9: Price
As of this writing, the Commercial 14.9 elliptical is the more affordable model. You can get it for around $1799 with Free Shipping direct from the Manufacturer here.
The FS14i is the premium Freestride trainer elliptical and comes in a bit higher. You can find it for around $2499 with Free Shipping direct from the Manufacturer here.
So the Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical is the more budget-friendly of the two machines.
Nordictrack FS14i vs 14.9 Elliptical: Design
These two trainers offer you very different designs. The Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 is a front-drive trainer. This means the flywheel is in front of the pedals.
A lot of people prefer front drive trainers (vs rear-drive trainers which have the flywheel behind the pedals).
This is because they tend to feel a bit more stable. They also tend to take up less space than rear drive trainers.
A lot of premium elliptical trainers today, you’ll notice, are front-drive trainers.
The Nordictrack FS14i Freestride Trainer however is something completely different: a center-drive trainer.
This means that instead of one large flywheel in front or in the back, you get two smaller flywheels on either side of the footpedals.
This has a few advantages. First it places the user more upright on the pedals with less leaning – which many people feel is more comfortable.
It also reduces the footprint of the machine, making the trainer a bit smaller.
On the other hand, the center drive elliptical can be a bit harder to move around. (It’s not as easy to tip it over slightly and move it, as you can with a front-drive trainer).
Center-drive trainers are very hard to find these days. The Freestride trainers are some of the only center drive trainers on the market right now.
Is one design style better than another?
It depends on what you prefer. There are actually a few other factors that are more important when comparing these two trainers – like stride.
Nordictrack 14.9 vs FS14i Elliptical: Stride
This is one of the biggest differences between these two machines. What is stride length?
Stride length is the furthest distance between your elliptical pedals.
A shorter stride length can be uncomfortable (since you’re not moving your legs in a natural running pattern). It can also result in less muscles used in the elliptical motion and as a result, less calories burned.
A longer stride length more fully works your lower body muscles and can feel more natural – especially for taller users.
Stride lengths range from 14 inches up to 22 inches on standard elliptical trainers.
In general, most people prefer an 18-20 inch stride for maximum comfort.
The Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical gives you a stride length of 17.5 – 18.7 inches (depending on the incline settings). This should be fine for most people – although taller users over 6 foot 2 might find it a bit short.
The Nordictrack FS14i is a Freestride Trainer and changes the game a bit.
Instead of giving you one set stride length like most elliptical trainers, it gives you an adaptable stride.
This means you can do short up-and-down strides, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling-type strides. In fact, you can get strides of up to 32 inches with this trainer – which is amazing.
So the main benefit to the FS14i Freestrider is that you can find the best stride for your body. The stride adapts to you – not the other way around.
The adaptable stride on the FS14i also gives you another key benefit – more diverse workout options.
By constantly changing your stride, you can get a more effective, diverse workout. This can continually challenge your body and result in more calories burned (since your body can’t adapt to one set stride motion).
This is a tremendous advantage that the Nordictrack FS14i gives you vs the Commercial 14.9. And it’s one of the key reasons that Freestride Trainers are so popular.
Nordictrack FS14i vs Commercial 14.9: Incline
Incline changes the slope of your running pathway.
Not all ellipticals have it. But many people like it – since it can give you a better crosstraining workout and result in more calories burned.
The Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical comes out slightly ahead here with up to 20 percent incline.
The Nordictrack FS14i elliptical does have power incline as well – but only up to 10 percent.
However – the FS14i gives you something the Commercial 14.9 does not – decline.
With the FS14i Freestride trainer you get up to 10% incline AND 10% decline.
With the Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical you get up to 20% incline – but no decline.
Is one better than another?
Well with the higher incline on the Commercial 14.9, your muscles will have to work harder. This gives you more room to grow and more of a challenge.
But with a decline on the FS14i trainer you get a great way to rest, especially during long, intense workouts.
So it depends on what you want.
Nordictrack FS14i vs Commercial 14.9: Hand Controls
The FS14i Freestride elliptical also gives you another benefit: integrated hand controls on the moving arm bars.
You can easily change your incline and resistance with the controls on the arm bars.
The Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical does not offer this.
The Nordictrack Commercial 14.9 gives you curved arm bars whereas the FS14i gives you straight arm bars.
One isn’t necessarily better than another. But with the curved arm bars you have a few more places to put your hands.
Anosher difference between these machines is that the weight capacity on the FS14i Freestride trainer is higher: 375 lbs vs 350 lbs on the Nordictrack 14.9 elliptical.
And the FS14i is heavier than the Nordictrack 14.9 elliptical – 287 pounds vs 210 pounds.
This basically means that the FS14i Freestrider is a bit more stable and can handle a bit more than the Commercial 14.9 elliptical. This isn’t a big surprise and it’s what you’d expect given that it’s the higher priced model..
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack FS14i vs Commercial 14.9 elliptical trainers?
Each one has it’s benefits.
The Commercial 14.9 elliptical is more affordable and gives you a regular front-drive design that you would expect with an elliptical trainer. It gives you curved handlebars for more arm positions and slightly higher incline options.
The Nordictrack FS14i Freestride trainer gives you an adaptive stride of up to 32 inches, giving you more ways to train and find your most comfortable elliptical stride.
It also gives you arm bar controls and comes in heavier and a bit more stable than the Commercial 14.9.
So it really comes down to what you’re looking for at the end of the day.
Want to learn more? Check out the links below for more on either trainer: