The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i is currently the premium version of the Freestride elliptical, coming with all the extra bells and whistles you don’t get with the FS7i or FS5i models.
The big advantage to the Freestride trainer is that it’s like a new and improved elliptical trainer. Instead of the traditional crank-connected pedal, it uses a floating suspension system.
This takes away the traditional limits of a set stride length that you get with standard ellipticals. So you can basically set your own stride length – up to 38 inches (the traditional elliptical stride is about 18 – 20 inches).
You actually set the stride yourself by how hard and in what direction you push down on the pedals. So you can do short stair-climbing strides, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling type strides.
This means you can constantly change your motion – and ultimately get a much more effective workout overall.
The Freestride Trainer FS9i also comes with an incline and decline option that other models don’t have to add even more crosstraining to your workouts. Incline and decline changes the slope of your running path and it’s excellent for adding in more crosstraining challenge and burning more calories.
Another benefit to this trainer is that you get the largest full-color web browser that Nordictrack makes (a full 10 inches). You can surf the net as you workout, read emails or catch up on the latest business news. This is a great way to stay entertained (or distracted) as you workout.
And this trainer also integrates with iFit LIVE. So you can go online and download new workouts to your machine or track your workouts stats over time.
You can also choose to run famous trails all over the world – from Hawaii to Paris to Sydney. Actual landmarks pass you by in the console screen for a virtual reality feel to your workout – very cool.
The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i also has incline and resistance controls on the moving arm bars, something you don’t find on the FS5i model. So you can change your resistance or incline from the moving arm bars, without having to reach up to the console (and stop your upper body workout).
A final benefit to this machine is that you also get more resistance levels than the other models – so there’s more room to grow and challenge yourself as you get in better shape.
So those are some of the main pros of the Nordictrack FS9i Freestrider – are there any drawbacks?
Well, the only main drawback is that this is a luxury machine at a luxury price. Coming in over $2000 it’s not for the buyer on a budget. If you want the benefits of the Freestride trainer design for a more affordable price, you may want to go with the simpler FS5i model which comes in about $1000 less.
If you don’t plan on heavy or frequent use of your trainer (and you don’t care about having the web browser or incline), you may be OK with the FS7i or FS5i model. So it really depends on what you’re looking for.
But if you’re looking for something beyond a traditional elliptical trainer with the ability to set your own stride and get a more effective lower body workout, the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i is definitely worth checking out.