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Everything You Should Know About NordicTrack’s Elite Treadmill [A Review]

nordictrack elite treadmill review

NordicTrack seems to be doubling down when it comes to huge HD consoles and insane incline possibilities because their new Elite Treadmill offers boatloads of both.

With the option to choose between a 22″ and a 32″ screen size (I never thought I’d see the day where a 22″ console felt small), folks get to decide just how in their face their instructors will be.

And with the ability to reach an astounding 40% incline (and -5% decline), the Elite Treadmill offers a ton of workout variety for people of all skill levels.

Toss in a powerful motor, a spacious running surface, and all the fun stuff iFit offers and NordicTrack might just have one of the most exciting new treadmills on the market here.

But there’s no getting around the fact that the Elite Treadmill is pricey for a home model.

So, the real question is really whether or not this beast is worth the investment – and that’s exactly what I’m here to help you figure out.

In this review, I’ll go over everything this treadmill does and doesn’t have going for it.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not the Elite Treadmill is the right option for your home gym.

Let’s do this.

The NordicTrack Elite Treadmill

nordictrack elite treadmill

Image courtesy of NordicTrack

NordicTrack has a pretty large treadmill lineup to choose from and generally speaking, I’m a fan of their work.

When it comes to home treadmills, I think NordicTrack is easily one of the best brands out there and their treadmills almost always find their way on to my “best of” lists for their respective price ranges.

The Elite Treadmill we’re here to discuss now is part of their “Incline Treadmill” lineup that also contains the Commercial X22i and X32i.

At first glance, it’s easy to miss the differences between the 32″ version of the Elite Treadmill and the X32i, but there are some subtle differences there that I’ll try to go over as we go through this review.

I want to start things off with a rundown on the performance specs the Elite Treadmill is packing, so let’s start by checking out the running surface and frame.

Oh, at the time of writing this, the Elite Treadmill is going for somewhere in the $3800 – $4700 range depending on which screen size you go for (although prices can change).

Pros

  • Choice of HD touchscreen console size (big or bigger)
  • Rotating/tilting console
  • -5 – 40% incline capabilities
  • 3.6 CHP motor
  • 22″ x 60″ running surface
  • 2.5″ rollers
  • 0 – 12 mph
  • Very heavy-duty frame
  • Access to unlimited instructor-led workouts (iFit)
  • Metric tracking (iFit)
  • Scenic routes (iFit)
  • AutoAdjust speed/incline feature (iFit)
  • Large handles
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Built-in fan

Cons

  • Only a 300 lb weight limit
  • Warranty could be longer
  • Pricey

Running Surface

The running surface spec basically tells you how much room you have to work with while using the treadmill.

This spec is measured in inches (here in the US anyway) and usually written as “width x length”. You might also see it described as the belt dimensions or something like that, but it all means the same thing.

I’m of the opinion that having more room is always a good thing, but if you’re of taller stature, having a longer running surface might save you from having to shorten your stride.

Especially when running at faster speeds.

Shorter users and walkers can usually get away with shorter running surfaces but again, having more room always makes for a more comfortable experience.

With all of this in mind, the Elite Treadmill comes with a running surface of 22″ x 60″.

Considering most higher-end home treadmills come with a running surface of 20 – 22″ x 60″, the Elite scores nicely in this category.

With a running surface this large, you won’t have to worry about running out of space during workouts (and I mean that literally).

By the way, the X32i comes with a running surface of 22″ x 65″, making it significantly larger than the Elite – which makes me think coming up with a smaller treadmill might of been a big part of the motivation to release the Elite in the first place.

Speaking of which, the Elite isn’t a compact treadmill by any means, but with a footprint of 81″ x 39″ (L x W), it’s not that much bigger than some of the other high-end models (Sole’s TT8 has a footprint of 82″ x 36″).

And this isn’t a folding treadmill either, so if your floorspace is limited, this could be an issue.

Otherwise, the Elite Treadmill is pretty damn robust.

It comes with an in box weight of 505 lb (or 520 for the 32″ version), which counts the weight of the packaging too, but even so, the Elite itself still has to be weighing over 400 lb.

Which is very heavy for a home treadmill.

For the sake of comparison, I own a Horizon 7.8 AT and it weighs around 330 lb and it’s rock solid.

So you really shouldn’t have to worry about the Elite feeling flimsy or wobbly during workouts.

This treadmill only comes with a weight limit of 300 lb though, which is a little surprising given how robust it is – but my guess is they lowered it a little given the insane incline angles this treadmill can reach.

Overall though, I think the Elite scores highly in the frame department – it’s heavy-duty and comes with a spacious running surface.

Motor

It’s always a good idea to consider the strength of the motor for any treadmill you’re considering because nobody wants a treadmill that struggles to keep up.

These days, most home treadmills come with motors somewhere in the 2 – 4 HP range and if you’re planning on running a lot, it’s a good idea to go with at least a 3 HP motor if you can.

That way you shouldn’t have to worry about the motor crapping out or struggling at faster speeds.

Well, the Elite comes with a 3.6 HP motor, which is at the higher-end of this expected range.

This is easily strong enough to support running and walking at any speed, but can apparently support working against intense incline angles too.

More specifically, the Elite can reach an incline of 40%, which is more incline than you’re likely going to find on any treadmill (other than NordicTrack’s other incline trainers).

It can also reach a decline of -5%, allowing folks to train downhill as well.

Few treadmills offer decline training and most of the ones that do offer it, stop at around -3%.

So, if you’re into incline/decline training (as my brother is), the Elite Treadmills is probably speaking your language.

Oh, it can also reach a top speed of 12 mph, which is pretty standard for home treadmills.

But the folks who prefer to walk will still be able to get one hell of a good workout walking against some of those insane inclines.

The last thing I want to mention here is that the Elite uses 2.5″ rollers, which are pretty large for home treadmills.

The rollers are what the belt glides over and having larger ones is a good thing because they tend to provide a smoother feel, as well as last longer.

And most elite home treadmills come with rollers somewhere in the 2″ – 3″ range.

Oh, sorry, another last thing – the step up height on the Elite Treadmill looks a lot lower than that of the X32i – I don’t have exact numbers to quote here, but I read somewhere that the step up height for the X32i is around 12.5″.

Which is really high considering most treadmills are somewhere around 8″.

And I’m guess the step up height for the Elite is somewhere between these.

Overall though, the motor on this treadmill should be plenty strong for comfortable running and the incline angles the Elite can reach are quite impressive.

Features

The NordicTrack Elite Treadmill comes with the following features:

22″/32″ HD touchscreen console- you get to choose between a 22″ or 32″ console with this treadmill and both are HD and touchscreen, making it easy to make all selections. And very easy to see everything your instructor is doing. Personally, I think a 32″ screen would be a bit much for just treadmill workouts, but keep in mind you get access to tons of non-treadmill workouts through iFit too. And since the console can rotate and pivot, I could see how having a huge 32″ screen would come in handy when workout out off the treadmill. Oh, the consoles also comes with an upgraded sound bar style speaker for awesome sound.

iFit- if you purchase this treadmill, you pretty much have to use iFit because without it, you don’t get to access any of the cool features this machine has to offer. Through iFit, you get access to unlimited instructor-led workouts, metric tracking, scenic routes, and all that stuff. If you have an iFit account already through another NordicTrack/ProForm product, you don’t have to pay extra to use it on this treadmill. Last time I checked, iFit was around $38/month.

AutoAdjust- the AutoAdjust feature allows the instructors to automatically adjust your speed/incline settings to match what they’re telling you to do. This is a cool feature that allows you to simply keep up without having to mess around with setting these things, but you can always make adjustments manually as well.

Bluetooth- the console on this treadmill is bluetooth compatible with headphones and heart rate monitors, but I don’t think either is included with purchase.

Cooling fan- there’s a built-in cooling fan to help keep you comfortable during those intense incline workouts.

Extended handles- oh, you’ll also notice how large the handles are on this treadmill. Well, this is going to come in handy when working against those higher incline levels.

Water bottle holder- there’s even a place to store your cold beverage during workouts.

Warranty

NordicTrack backs the Elite Treadmill with the following home warranty:

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

This is the same warranty NordicTrack uses for all their cardio machines and while it’s a pretty good guarantee for a lot of their products, I think it’s a bit short for a treadmill in this price range.

For a treadmill in the $4k range, I’d expect a lifetime frame warranty and closer to 5 years on parts (like Sole offers).

Spirit Fitness offers lifetime frame guarantees and 10 years on parts on most of their treadmills too.

A year on labor is fine – that’s standard operating procedure across the board.

But I think NordicTrack could do a little better with their frame and parts warranty for this treadmill.

Final Thoughts

Ok, I think that about does it.

I gotta say, the Elite is a whole lotta treadmill – and I mean that literally, this thing is big.

So, if you’re thinking about buying this beast, first and foremost, you gotta make sure you have the floorspace for it.

When it comes to performance, I think the Elite scores pretty highly.

I like that it has a large running surface and the motor is the ballpark for what we should expect from an elite home treadmill.

And when it comes to power incline, forget about it – you aren’t going to find any more incline on a home model than what this treadmill can offer.

I’m not sure there are many commercial treadmills out there packing this incline range.

When it comes to features, there’s really nothing to complain about.

Either way you go, you’re still looking at a huge, HD touchscreen console with loads of workout options and features through iFit.

The biggest downside I see (besides the cost), is the warranty – simply put, it could be better.

But if you’re looking for a treadmill with an awesome console and some serious incline capabilities, I could see the Elite Treadmill making a lot of sense.

I mean 32″… wow.

Will

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