Which Is the Best Choice For You?
Wondering which is the best option for you?
The FS7i and the FS9i are a new kind of elliptical trainer called the Freestride Trainer or Freestrider.
The main benefit of the Freestride Trainer is that it has a totally adaptable, adjustable stride of up to 32 inches (vs a regular elliptical which has a fixed stride of usually around 18 or 20 inches).
This opens up a new world of training possibilities for you that you don’t get with a standard elliptical machine.
You can do short stair-climbing steps, longer running strides or even longer hurdling-type strides.
It’s kind of like having 3 machines in 1 – a stepper, elliptical and treadmill.
The two most popular Nordictrack Freestrider models are the FS7i and FS9i.
They look very similar to each other. They both have the famous adaptable-stride design along with full-color, HD console diplays and iFit Coach. This may leave you wondering – what’s the difference?
Well there are some key differences between them that you should know in order to make a more informed decision.
This post will compare them and give you a rundown so you can choose the best model for you. Let’s dive in:
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i – Price
The Nordictrack FS7i is really the mid-range model and the one that started it all. It’s also currently the most popular model and comes in around a bit more affordable than the FS9i model. You can get it for around $1999 with Free Shipping here.
The FS9i model is the premium version with a few more bells and whistles added to it. You can get it for around $2799 with Free Shipping here.
While the FS9i has a few more features to it, it’s important to know that the main design – the adaptable stride – is the same for both the trainers.
So you can do the exact same lower body motions on both machines – stepper, elliptical or treadmill running type motions.
You can also go forward and backwards as well as use the incline feature on either machine to change the angle of your running path.
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i Comparison – Console
While both Freestride trainers give you full-color, HD touch-screen consoles there’s a slight difference in the consoles. Here is the FS7i console:
And here’s the FS9i console:
As you can see the FS9i console display is larger than the FS7i display (10 inches vs 7 inches across).
So it’s like having a larger computer screen – it makes viewing your workouts stats a lot easier. It also can make a big difference when watching the iFit Coach videos and workouts (more on iFit below).
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i – Incline and Decline
The FS7i Freestrider does give you up to 10 degree incline (which changes the slope of your elliptical and gives you a better crosstraining workout).
However the FS9i Freestrider goes one better and includes a 10 degree incline AND 10 degree decline. This gives you more ways to crosstrain and optimize your workout.
Note that both trainers have power incline – meaning you can change the incline from your console. You don’t have to get off the trainer to change the incline manually. Also, you can change the incline from the moving arm bars on either model, which is another nice touch.
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i – Resistance Levels
The Nordictrack FS7i gives you 24 different resistance levels whereas the FS9i gives you 26 resistance levels. That’s not a lot of difference but you basically have a bit more room to grow and challenge yourself on the FS9i Freestride Trainer.
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i – Weight
The FS9i is a bit heavier than the FS7i with a bit more substance and a higher user weight capacity (400 lbs vs 375 lbs). So basically it’s built to hold up a bit better under heavier use. This makes it a great choice for families or homes with multiple users.
Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i – Workout Programs
You also get a few more built-in workout programs on the FS9i than the FS7i (38 vs 35).
However if you plan on getting iFit for your machine (which is available for either machine), this won’t make a difference since you get unlimited new workouts with iFit.
About iFit Coach on the Freestrider:
iFit Coach is a very cool new technology that Nordictrack is adding to some of their elliptical trainers. iFit takes your elliptical online and from there you can do all sorts of cool things.
You can use iFit to track your workouts over time, track your daily activity or even sleep patterns. You can set a calorie or activity goal for example, and iFit can adjust your workouts for you to achieve that goal.
But perhaps the best part about iFit is the ability to run trails all over the world and see the scenery in your console (or tablet) window as you run (see pic above).
You can also run with personal trainers as they take you on different workouts all over the world – from the Swiss Alps to Santorini.
You can train the Boston Marathon or take a walking tour through Florence. In fact there are over 12,000 workouts to choose from with iFit Coach.
There are workout for beginners ranging up to the most elite athlete looking for a new challenge. So there’s something for everyone. You’ll really never run out of new workouts to try with iFit.
While iFit Coach is usually an online subscription-based service, as of this writing you can get a 1 year membership to iFit included on the Nordictrack FS7i elliptical trainer here.
So it is worth knowing that if you plan on trying iFit Coach out – you may want the larger screen on the FS9i trainer to enjoy the workout videos.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack FS7i vs FS9i Freestrider ellipticals?
They both have their benefits. The Nordictrack FS7i model is more affordable – which makes it great if you’re on a tight budget.
It also still gives you everything you need for a fantastic workout: the adaptable stride, power incline and even the full-color console with iFit Coach.
However the FS9i trainer has the larger, easier-to-read console as well as a few more workout programs. It also gives you more room to grow with extra resistance levels and a decline option.
So each machines has its pros. It really comes down to what’s most important for you.
At the end of the day, both machines give you a huge advantage over a standard, fixed-stride elliptical workout. So you can’t go too far wrong with either one.
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