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Is NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i Still Worth Investing In? [A Review]

nordictrack commercial s22i studio cycle review

The Commercial S22i is one of NordicTrack’s highest-end, most luxurious indoor cycles to date.

Taking a page out of Peloton’s book, the S22i comes with a large, HD touchscreen designed for iFit streaming classes of all varieties.

But the S22i is more than just a pretty console.

With a 32 lb flywheel and 24 resistance levels, this cycle comes with more than enough muscle under the hood to support smooth acting workouts.

And unlike pretty much any other cycle, the S22i can incline/decline to mimic the feel of riding outdoors.

This bike also comes with plenty of other impressive features, like included dumbbells, dual-compatible pedals, and a built-in cooling fan.

All things considered, the Commercial S22i is easily one of the most tech-savvy cycles on the market, but these days we have a lot of streaming cycles to choose from.

So before you decide, keep reading.

In this review, we’ll take a close look at everything the S22i has to offer, but I’ll also offer a head-to-head comparison to some of the other top comps on the market.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not the S22i is the right cycle for your home gym.

NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i comes with impressive specs and great tech features, making it a top choice for riders in the ~$2k price range, but if you don’t like the idea of paying a monthly streaming fee, you may want to consider other options.

NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i Studio Bike

nordictrack commercial s22i
Image courtesy of NordicTrack.

NordicTrack is one of the most recognizable home fitness brands around.

We all remember those classic cross-country skiers that made NordicTrack famous back in the day- they were kinda goofy looking, but they worked great.

Well, the brand has been going pretty strong ever since.

Anyway, the Commercial S22i we’re here to talk about now has actually been around for sometime.

If I remember correctly, I think it was the first real competitor to the OG Peloton, what with the touchscreen console and streaming capabilities.

We may have Peloton to thank for the explosion of streaming workouts, but these days, iFit has taken over as the leader in home streaming.

Mostly because all NordicTrack and ProForm machines are compatible with iFit (as well as Matrix), giving folks a ton of exercise options.

That said, there’s a lot more competition now than ever when it comes to streaming cycles, which has brought the cost of these bikes significantly down.

I remember when I got my first Peloton back in the day it cost damn near $3k…

Luckily, the S22i is much cheaper now, costing somewhere around $1800.


  • 22″ HD touchscreen
  • 32 lb flywheel
  • 24 resistance levels
  • iFit
  • Automatic Trainer Control
  • Fully adjustable seat
  • Multi-grip handlebars
  • Incline/decline adjustments
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • 350 lb weight limit
  • Cooling fan
  • Compatible with standard pedals/seat
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Pair of 3 lb dumbbells included
  • Good warranty


  • Large footprint
  • Challenging to move


Let’s start things off with a rundown on one of the most importance considerations, the resistance system.

Most indoor cycles these days come equipped with magnetic resistance systems and weighted flywheels.

And the general consensus is that when comparing flywheels, heavier is better (well, for most cycles anyway).

And that’s because the extra weight builds more momentum as the flywheel spins. This added momentum keeps the flywheel spinning during the small gaps between your pedal strokes.

In an essence, the flywheel helps you between pedal strokes, reducing any awkwardness or lag between strokes.

The result is a smoother, more fluid feel.

How heavy is heavy enough?

Hard to tell, but it seems 30 lb has become the proverbial line in the sand bikes have to cross in order to label themselves as having a “heavy” flywheel.

There’s another school of thought, though, that argues you don’t need a heavy flywheel to get a smooth workout if your magnetic resistance system is efficient and the gears are calibrated correctly.

And the folks behind the Keiser M3i, one of the nicest indoor cycles in the world, stand behind this theory 100%- this bike only uses an 8 lb flywheel and users have no complaints.

Anyway, according to a NordicTrack rep, their S22i comes with a 32 lb flywheel, which is heavy by anyone’s standards.

It’s going to take a little more effort to get this heavy wheel spinning, but the added momentum will help you out a little during your workouts.

Just be careful because it’ll take a little extra doing to stop it (this is where the brake comes in handy).

Pair this heavy flywheel with NordicTrack’s silent magnetic resistance system (with 24 levels of resistance) and you’ve got a smooth sailing machine.

The belt drive system also keeps noise during operation to a minimum.

Chain drive systems work incredibly well too, but there is a little extra noise when compared to a belt drive.

Personally, I don’t think the extra noise is very noticeable, but some cyclists will only use a belt drive system (and most cycles these days come with belts anyway, so it’s rarely an issue anymore).

Regardless, most users agree the S22i provides a very smooth, quiet ride.

Overall, the S22i scores highly with its heavy flywheel, quiet belt drive system, and smooth magnetic resistance.


A nice bike should have a robust frame that isn’t going to wobble or move during your workouts.

And that shouldn’t be an issue with the S22i with it’s heavy-duty steel frame and large front and rear stabilizers.

The bike is strong enough to hold users weighing up to 350 lb safely, which is pretty impressive for an indoor cycle.

The S22i itself is heavy, weighing somewhere around 160 lb or so fully assembled.

This is a good thing when it comes to stability because heavier equipment is going to wiggle less during your workouts.

But it does make it a little more difficult to assemble and move around.

Overall though, this bike has a rock solid frame that should feel stable during use. The high weight limit is a great indicator of frame quality as well.


When it comes to bike seats, there’s not a lot to talk about.

Most indoor cycles, the S22i included, come with standard road bike seats.

This means that the seats are pretty small and uncomfortable. Avid cyclists are probably use to these seats, meaning their butts have toughened up and no longer get sore after a workout.

If you’re new to cycling, you’ll likely find the seat uncomfortable for awhile.

Adding a gel seat cushion is an inexpensive fix. You can also easily switch the seat out for a softer, more premium seat if you prefer.

But if you decide to purchase the S22i, don’t be surprised by the uncomfortable seat- again, most indoor cycle seats are a little uncomfortable until you get used to them.

The important thing to notice, other than how uncomfortable the seat itself is, is whether or not the seat is fully adjustable.

Fully adjustable means the seat can be adjusted vertically as well as horizontally (fore/aft). Having a fully adjustable seat is paramount for achieving a perfect fit.

The S22i does come with a fully adjustable seat, so you’ll be able to find the best seat position to ensure a proper riding fit.

This can help reduce any chances of injury of discomfort during use.

commercial s22i handles
The Commercial S22i comes with comfy handles with built-in controls for easy adjustments during workouts. Image courtesy of NordicTrack.


The handlebars on the S22i offer multiple grips, including the close narrow grip as well as the wider, more distal option (or 3rd position, which is often used when standing).

Most bikes come with multi grip handlebars these days, so that’s not a huge deal. What I do like about the S22i is how thick the handlebars are.

I’ve learned that the thicker the handles are, the more comfortable they are during your workouts. Especially if you have sensitive, quasi-arthritic wrists like me.

The handlebars are also height adjustable, meaning you can adjust the height to fit users of different sizes easily.

Which certainly comes in handy if there are multiple users in your home.

The S22i uses digital resistance levels (24 to be exact) that are adjusted conveniently by pushing a button on the right handle bar.

On the left handle, you have the buttons that control the incline and decline of the bike. Yes, you read that correctly- this bike actually inclines and declines to mimic going up or down hill.

You can incline up to a 20% grade and decline down to a 10% grade during your workouts.

This is a cool feature, but I wonder how much you feel this during your workouts.

I mean, the flywheel isn’t touching anything on the ground, so it’s not like you’re actually climbing against anything even when you raise the angle of the flywheel.

So I’m not sure it actually makes your workout any harder, but I guess it would give you the sensation of riding a bike up or down hill.

And that definitely makes your scenic routes on iFit feel more lifelike.

Overall, I like that the handlebars are adjustable and having the resistance/incline buttons position on the handles is a great touch.

commercial s22i pedals
The Commercial S22i comes with dual-compatible pedals, allowing you to use sneakers or SPD cleats. Image courtesy of NordicTrack.


Indoor cycles come with pedals that are compatible with sneakers (cages) or cleats (clipless system).

Some come with dual pedals that are compatible with both.

The S22i comes with dual compatible pedals allowing you to wear sneakers or SPD compatible cleats.

This is a good thing because you can choose which footwear to use (and different family members can use different options too).

I know from experience that attaching yourself to the pedals through cleats provides a smoother, more comfortable workout, especially if you’re really trying to crank up the cadence.

The S22i is compatible with any standard bike pedal, so you can switch ’em out quickly without any fuss too.


Ok, so far we’ve been talking about the bike hardware.

And when it comes to performance, the S22i actually scores pretty well.

But let’s be real- that huge console is probably a big part of why you’re interested in this bike to begin with.

The S22i comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen, making it easy to see all workouts and stats while on or off the bike.

Being a touchscreen, you make all your selections by directly touching the screen- couldn’t be an easier.

An awesome feature this bike has that many don’t is that this console can rotate. This means you can watch the non-cycling workouts from the console without having to be in front of the bike.

NordicTrack also includes a pair of 3 lb dumbbells that store nicely in front of the handlebars.

You may think 3 lb is nothing, but when you start knocking out reps while you’re cycling, it doesn’t take much weight to get the job done.

NordicTrack threw this huge monitor on this bike because it’s designed to pair with iFit, their fitness app.

NordicTrack (and all ICON Fitness brands) pushes iFit pretty hard on all their equipment, but it really doesn’t make sense to purchase this bike if you’re not going to use the app.

The whole point of this bike is to take advantage of the instructor-led workouts (which will look gorgeous on the HD display).

So, iff you don’t want to pay for the monthly iFit plan, I highly suggest you go with a different bike.

NordicTrack does throw in a free month of the app with purchase, but after that it’s up to you.

Last time I checked, iFit is about $39/month. With iFit, you get access to thousands of prerecorded, professional instructor led workouts.

There are workouts for all types of fitness equipment (rowers, treadmills, bikes, etc) as well as strength training, yoga, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

The most interesting part of iFit is probably the automatic machine adjustments.

Depending on the workout you’re doing, the resistance and incline settings on the S22i will adjust automatically throughout the workout.

This means you don’t have to worry about changing the resistance settings to match what the instructor is saying- the bike does it automatically.

People that just want to jump on follow a workout will like this. Others who want more control over their workouts might not, but you can always override any automatic settings.

You can also use iFit to complete scenic rides and get individualized workouts based on your goals.

As a Peloton owner, I feel your pain about having to pay a monthly subscription fee to use an exercise bike you own. But when you consider how much cheaper the monthly fee is then having to pay a membership fee at a cycling studio it helps.

Overall, you can use the S22i on manual mode and skip the whole iFit experience, but it would defeat the purpose of this bike.

That huge 22″ HD display is on there for a reason.

commercial s22i console
The 22″ HD rotating touchscreen makes for a luxurious experience on or off the bike. Image courtesy of NordicTrack.


The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle comes with the following warranty:

  • 10 year frame
  • 2 year parts
  • 1 year labor

This is actually a pretty good guarantee when you compare it to the competition.

For some reason, indoor cycles, even expensive high-end ones, don’t come with warranties as long as other fitness equipment.

Ten years on the frame is about as good as any frame warranty I’ve seen on a cycle and 2 years on parts is pretty standard.

As is a year on labor.

Overall, this warranty is about as good as it gets in this price range.

NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i vs The Competition

NordicTrack’s Commercial S22iThe PelotonSole’s SB1200
Flywheel32 lb35 lb35 lb
Resistance24 levels100 levels100 levels
Console22″ HD touchscreen22″ HD touchscreen10″ touchscreen
StreamingiFitPelotonEntertainment apps
Screen mirroring
Warranty10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
5 year frame
1 year parts
Lifetime frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i has some tough competition in this price range, but it comes with features not found on other cycles.

Alright, time to talk about some other indoor cycles in the ~$1800 price range.

And the first cycle we have to mention is the Original Peloton, which you can usually get on Amazon these days for around $1500.

I know Peloton’s had their problems over the years, but as a happy customer myself, I can say their original bike is still awesome.

With a 35 lb flywheel and 100 levels of resistance, the Peloton offers a smooth pedaling motion and enough resistance to challenge riders of all skill levels.

The frame is also sturdy, offering a stable surface to work on.

The Peloton also comes with a full-adjustable seat, a dumbbell rack, dual water bottle holders, and a 22″ HD touchscreen console for streaming workouts.

And personally, I still think Peloton has the best instructors and highest production value, but opinions vary.

Overall, the Peloton is a tough competitor for the S22i, but the Peloton doesn’t incline/decline and it doesn’t come with dual-compatible pedals (Delta compatible).

sole sb1200

Another tough competitor is Sole’s SB1200, which often sells for around $1600.

The SB1200 is one of Sole’s newer cycles and it comes with a great combination of specs and features.

Specifically, this cycle comes with a 35 lb flywheel, 100 magnetic resistance levels, dual-compatible pedals, a dumbbell rack, and dual water bottle holders.

The SB1200 can’t incline/decline, but it does come with a 10″ touchscreen console that comes with built-in entertainment apps and free streaming workouts through Sole+.

So, if you like streaming but don’t want the commitment of a membership fee, this could be speaking your language.

And with the SB1200’s screen mirroring capabilities, you can connect your phone to the console and see any workout or entertainment app you want on the big screen.

Pretty cool.

Sole’s warranty is pretty legit as well.

Overall, there are some other great streaming cycles in this price range, but the S22i is certainly unique with its incline/decline functions and automatic trainer control feature.

Final Thoughts

Well, that about does it for the Commercial S22i.

The bike itself is high-end with a solid, heavy-duty frame and heavy flywheel. The fully adjustable seat and height adjustable, multi-grip handlebars make it easy to find the perfect fit.

And the 22″ HD touchscreen makes a great platform for streaming all the iFit workouts and I love that the monitor can rotate 360° for easy viewing.

The S22i is also backed by one of the better warranties on the market right now (better than Peloton’s), which provides a little peace of mind when making a purchase of this size.

That said, as the above table suggests, there’s some tough competition out there in this price range.

If you don’t plan on using iFit, you probably shouldn’t choose this bike because that gorgeous HD console is one of the biggest attractions here.

And without iFit, the S22i loses a lot of its cooler features.

Overall though, I think the S22i has a lot to offer and is easily still one of the best indoor cycles out there at the moment. Highly recommended.


Will's a licensed physical therapist (DPT) with over 15 years of experience treating patients from all backgrounds. He's been lifting weights and exercising in one form or another since middle school and has been working out in his own home gym for over a decade. When it comes to fitness equipment, there isn't much he hasn't tried. In his spare time, if he isn't writing or working out, he's likely playing basketball, watching movies, or hanging with his family.

2 thoughts on “Is NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i Still Worth Investing In? [A Review]”

  1. DO NOT BUY!! Replacing parts will become commonplace and they provide little to no instruction on how to do so. Awful purchase.

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