Which Is the Best Option For You?
Trying to decide between a Nordictrack vs Proform Elliptical?
Curious about which is the best elliptical brand for you?
These are both two of the most popular elliptical brands on the market today.
They also have some of the largest ranges of elliptical trainers for you to choose from – including starter, mid-range and commercial-grade models.
They both also have a couple of elliptical hybrid machines (similar to elliptical trainers but with a slight twist) that you’ve never seen before.
So what are some of the main differences between them?
And which brand is best for you?
Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the key differences to help you decide.
Nordictrack Elliptical vs Proform – The Big Picture
If you’ve been looking at these two elliptical brands and thinking to yourself that they look very similar – you’re right. They’re actually made by the same company – ICON Health and Fitness.
ICON is one of the largest fitness equipment manufacturers in the world. They also own popular brands like Healthrider, Freemotion, Reebok (fitness equipment) and Gold’s Gym.
What Does That Mean For You?
First of all it means that if anyone has the resources, engineers (and money) to figure out how to build a better elliptical for less, it’s ICON. And they’re very motivated.
They’re constantly coming out with new technology, different kinds of machines and upgrading old favorites.
They do get some flack for the sheer number of models they put out (with some of their cheaper, less-well-made machines going into big box stores and discount retailers).
However they also consistently put out ellipticals (and treadmills and bikes) that pull in “Best Buy” ratings from experts all over the world (like the Nordictrack C12.9 elliptical seen below).
Secondly, it means that even in hard economic times, this company isn’t going anywhere. They’re large enough to weather economic downturns and still be around to service your crosstrainer in the future should you need it – which is reassuring.
How Does This Affect the Two Brands?
Well, to be frank, Nordictrack is really seen as their higher end brand vs Proform.
While Nordictrack does put out several starter ellipticals under $1000, they have a few more mid-range and commercial-grade machines in their lineup like the Commercial 14.9 and the Freestrider FS9i Center-Drive Trainer.
While Proform is starting to put out a few more commercial-grade ellipticals lately, they have always had the reputation (going back over 10 years) of a starter elliptical brand.
So if you’re looking for more of a mid-range to high end elliptical, Nordictrack has a few more options for you. If you’re looking for more of a starter elliptical, you may want to consider what Proform has to offer.
But we’re not done yet.
Nordictrack vs Proform Elliptical – Designs
Nordictrack makes front drive trainers – where the flywheel is in front of the pedals and rear-drive trainers – where the flywheel is placed behind the pedals.
They also make a few trainers like the Freestrider FS7i seen below – that are known as center-drive ellipticals. These have two smaller flywheels placed on either side of the pedals.
Each design has their benefits.
Some people feel that front drive trainers are more stable and give you more of a climbing motion. Other people like the flatter running path of the rear drive trainer. Plus rear-drive crosstrainers can be easier to move around.
And center drive trainers take up less space in the room. They also have lower step-on heights if you’re worried about safety or balance issues.
Proform currently only offers front or rear drive elliptical trainers. They do not offer center drive ellipticals at this time.
Nordictrack vs Proform Elliptical – Star Machines
Nordictrack has a couple of star machines. They are particularly known for their Freestrider elliptical trainers like the FS7i and FS9i mentioned above.
The main benefit of the Freestrider?
Instead of being locked into a fixed elliptical stride path – as you are with most elliptical trainers – the Freestrider gives you a completely adaptable stride.
So you can do short up-and-down stair climbing strides, longer jogging strides or even long hurdling type strides.
This is much more effective for crosstraining and burning calories since your body will never be able to adapt to one set motion.
It’s also great for multi-user homes since everyone can choose the most comfortable stride length for them.
Proform Star Ellipticals:
Proform also has a few star machines. The first is the Proform hybrid Trainer. This is a hybrid elliptical-bike (seen below).
It’s basically a 2-in-1 machine. You can use it as an elliptical trainer or as a recumbent bike. There are a couple of different hybrid trainers to choose from but they are all under $800 which makes them very popular with buyers on a budget.
The other star machine is the Proform HIIT Trainer. (seen below)
This is a very-cool, climbing, vertical elliptical that has a 10 inch vertical stride with a 5 inch horizontal stride.
Because you’re using more lower body muscles, you will be burning more calories than a standard elliptical. This is a super challenging machine that’s great for anyone looking for something beyond a traditional elliptical trainer.
Proform currently makes 2 different HIIT Trainer models – the HIIT Trainer and HIIT Trainer PRO
A Few More Benefits…
Both Nordictrack and Proform elliptical trainers come with iFit Coach (current models). iFit Coach is a very cool new technology that takes your trainer online.
From there you can track your workouts, set new goals and see how far you’ve come.
You can also run all over the world – from the shores of Hawaii to the streets of Paris – and watch real landmarks pass you by in the console (or your tablet) screen). This adds a little virtual reality fun and a lot of people really like it.
Both Nordictrack and Proform also put out a couple of folding elliptical trainers as well if you need to save space.
And finally most models (of either brand) will also give you an adjustable rack above the console to hold your tablet. This will not cover the console.
So you can go online and surf the web as you run – or watch your favorite movies as you workout (and still see your workout stats.
This can make your workouts a lot more fun and enjoyable.
So regardless of which brand you choose, each one gives you a LOT of entertainment and tracking options.
What’s the final word on Nordictrack vs Proform elliptical trainers?
Well, obviously it comes down to the specific models that you want to compare.
However overall, Nordictrack has a few more mid-grade to higher end models. They also put out the super-popular Freestrider models with the adaptable stride.
Proform, on the other hand, has a few more budget-friendly, starter-elliptical options. They also have some great options like the Proform HIIT trainer which is a vertical elliptical to help you burn more calories than a traditional elliptical.
So it really comes down to what you want at the end of the day.
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