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NordicTrack FreeStrider Trainer FS5i 3 MACHINES IN 1 Review


On one hand, you have the best treadmill, while on the other hand, you have an elliptical machine. Which one should you choose? With both of the machines, you can get a nice aerobic workout, and in all actuality, it’s your fitness goals that will help determine whether you should choose a treadmill or an elliptical machine.  However, elliptical machines may offer some advantages over treadmills, believe it or not. For starters, when you use an elliptical machine over even the best treadmill, it can be less stressful on your hips, knees and back. Some elliptical machines, like the Nordictrack elliptical, comes equipped with movable upper body poles or handles that are similar to ski poles – this options makes it so that you’re exercising both your legs and your arms.  Another bonus would be the fact that you can pedal many of the elliptical machines in reverse – this makes it so that you can work your hamstring and calf muscles a bit more than you would if you were moving forward.


If you’re looking for a good elliptical machine (we don’t blame you for wanting one), then the Nordictrack Fs5i might just be a viable option. In this review, we’re going to introduce you to the features, tell you what we like and don’t like …


What is the Nordictrack Fs5i?

To start out, here’s a picture of the box this machine comes in:


This is the value-level addition of the popular line of ellipticals that come from Norditrack – you have Fs5i, FS7i and FS9i being the more advanced one. This one has been built with an innovative design that features a suspension system that floats with a stride path that has been ergonomically designed, making for zero impact.

In addition, you can use this machine in three different ways. You can use it as an elliptical trainer, as a stepper, or as a treadmill. Isn’t that good news? So you have the best of both worlds (an elliptical and a treadmill) when you buy this machine.

The FS59 has a 32 inch auto adjustable stride. There’s also a power adjustable incline that goes from -10% up to 10%.

This model has a weight limit of 350 weight and we cannot forget to mention the 16 pound flywheel, making for an even more natural and smoother feel during your workout.

The center-drive design of this machine is pretty useful as it paces the drive system directly into the center. This is much better than rear-drive or front-drive machines where the motor is placed at the rear or front. A center-drive means that the machine will be more compact, taking up less space than a traditional treadmill or elliptical machine.

When it comes to levels of resistance, there are a total of 22 different levels. There’s also integrated handle controls for resistance or ramp – this makes for efficient, quick changes.

The pedals are cushioned and oversized with a nice, extra soft feel. There’s SoftTouch upper-body grips that complement the individual stride.

On the console area, you’re going to find a 7 inch LCD backlit display. This display comes equipped with a total of 32 built-in workout apps, so you can take advantage of the machine as soon as you get it. While 32 workout apps should be more than enough to keep you busy, this machine is iFit Couch enabled (you have to have a membership for iFit Coach, but trust us, it’s well worth it).

As far as the warranty runs, there’s a lifetime warranty on the frame, 2 years on labor and 5 years on parts. The warranty isn’t all that bad.

With the Nordictrack Fs5i, you’re going to feel as if you truly are walking on air.  This is a clever exercise machine that may be compact, but it is packed full of interesting features – features that ensure you get tones, while minimizing the risk of getting hurt.


What We Like about the Nordictrack Fs5i

The FreeStride lineup has captured a large amount of attention from people around the world. In this section of the review, we’re going to introduce you to the positive specs that are responsible for all of the positive customer reviews.

Low Impact – The FreeStrider FS5i makes for an interesting treadmill alternative for those individuals that are searching for a vigorous workout, but would like to reduce stress on their ankles and knees.

Easy Assembly –The fact that it is easy to put together really surprised us, because most machines are a headache to put together. Trust us, in the world of exercise equipment, easy assembly is quite rare. Take the Nordictrack commercial 1750, as an example, this machine was a bit complicated to put together, so many people paid an extra service to assemble it. With this machine, you can expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to set it up – yes, that is all, a maximum of 20 minutes. All you have to do is assemble it and sync your tablet to iFit.

Three in One – We absolutely adore how the FreeStride F5Si acts as a three-in-one machine, making it one of the best machines, because it will fit most families. It works as an elliptical, a treadmill and a stairclimber, but it doesn’t take up as much space and you can easily fold it up and store it away when you’re done. When it comes to changing your muscle targeting during a single workout, that’s easy to do – all you have to do is change your stride. The controls are located on both the console and the handlebars.


Incline/Decline – The FS5i machine offers both an incline and a decline, making it so that you get incredible muscle toning. When you workout on an incline, it can help relieve stress on your joints and also speed up your metabolism, which is good news. Don’t worry, because  the incline and decline options are all automated, making for quick changes while you’re working out.

Built-in Programs – There are a total of 32 preset programs in this machine. This is a large amount of options to choose from and if you feel you need more, you can use the iFit Coach app.


iFit Enabled – The NordicTrack FreeStrider FS5i is iFit enabled. You can use your own mobile device in order to access hundreds of video workouts – each day, you can download a new customized workout. iFit allows you to virtually stride, climb, or glide through any route you choose in Google Maps. 

Long Stride- The maximum stride length on this machine is 38 inches, which is longer than most machines on the market. With a stride this long, the machine is capable of accommodating long inseams just like a runner’s treadmill would, but without that heavy impact.

Water Bottle Holder – When we’re looking at machines like this, we always look to see if there’s a water bottle holder on them because staying hydrated is important. When you’re working out, you don’t want to stop to grab your water bottle – the water bottle holder being integrated directly on the machine is a great call.

Handle-Based Controls – There’s buttons on the handlebars that you can use in order to adjust speed and incline.

Transport Wheels – When it comes to our exercise equipment, we like it when they have transport wheels on the bottom of them – this makes it easy to move the machine out of the way when we’re done with it.

Weight Limit – The weight limit of 350 pounds is nice.

Good Warranty – The warranty is definitely a benefit. It’s hard to find a machine with a warranty this good – there’s lifetime coverage on the frame, 2 years of free labor and five years for parts.


What We Don’t Like about the Nordictrack Fs5i

If you put anything under the microscope, regardless of how good it may be, you’re highly likely to find some downfalls. In this case, we found various downfalls that we feel the need to mention in this review …

Price – The price, for many, is a downfall, but this is what you should expect for a machine that acts as a three-in-one.

Resistance – There’s a 16-pound flywheel, which is useful, but it is best for beginners and not really for the more experienced trainer. Those “elliptical muscles” can easily outgrow this trainer before you know it.




Is the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i worth buying? In all honesty, we believe it is worth the price, because after all, it is a three-in-one machine, acting as a stairclimber, treadmill and an elliptical. It’s comfortable, innovative and unique. I is a great choice because you’ll be buying a compact trainer that offers the benefits of three different machines. The console doesn’t come with a large amount of bells and whistles, but there is a nice variety of built-in workouts and all of your basic options have been covered. If you’re looking for a model with all of the bells and whistles, then the FS7i, or the premium FS9i may be more suitable for you.

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