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Nordictrack Elite 10.9i vs VersaClimber LX

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Oct 17, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack Elite 10.9i vs VersaClimber LX

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack 10.9i elliptical and the VersaClimber LX Follow the links for more details.

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Versa climber LX Model

The VresaClimber LX comes in at $3995 - $4200. In this article you will learn more about the product itself, its Pros and cons and alternatives you might want to consider. This article has originally been published in the overview "Which conditioning equipment to buy from Rogue".

Overview of the VersaClimber LX

The VersaClimber range has been on the market for more than four decades. The LX model is one of their mid-range options which sits between the SM and H models from a budget perspective. The machine is hand welded and has the following specifications: 
  • Weight 150lb
  • Height 7’ 10’’
  • Footprint 48’’x48’’
  • Color black 
  • Climb angle 75 degrees 
The VersClimber LX comes with a computer and fully assembled to stand upright in your home gym or professional facility. For $200 you can upgrade the handles for more options. VersaClimber recommends this option for anyone taller than 6’ 3’’. For an extra $100 it comes with a branded floor mat to protect your floors from scratches and sweat. 
The VersaClimber range is a great alternative to treadmills, bikes, and towers. It offers some of the highest intensity cardiovascular workouts on the smallest possible footprint with minimum impact on the joints. Everyone who ever used this hates it. This is usually a good reference when it comes to workout machines.

Pros of the VersaClimber LX

These are the pros of the VersaClimber LX series compared to other options you might consider: 
  • Small footprint 
  • High intensity 
  • Adjustable resistance 
  • Unfamiliar workout 
Compared to most treadmills and elliptical machines you will be able to fit a lot more VersaClimbers into your facility. When it comes to calories burned per square foot the VersaClimber is very hard to beat. The LX offers a commercial grade machine for a lower cost than the SM model.
The Versaclimber itself offers you and your athlete a great opportunity to power yourselves out. If the weather is bad or if you want to throw them a curve ball, this is the machine. Many climbers use this is a morning routine and climbers are usually quite good when it comes to endurance. Loss of grip means death for them so they won’t mess about with the equipment they pick. 
This machine can adjust the resistance from 1-500 lb which makes it better than older models from VersaClimber. 
If you are planning on establishing the best gym in town you will be able to offer extra diversity with this machine. Especially in Europe, I have not seen many of these around which might swing some reliable clients your way instead of to the gym around the corner. 

Cons of the VersaClimber LX

Here are some cons of the Versa Climber LX:
  • Not specific 
  • Not for beginners 
  • Old computer 
  • Price 
Most people compete in sports to which a vertical climb is irrelevant. Treadmill and cycling training is more relevant to the movement patterns for long distance runners and endurance athletes. If it is not just about burning calories but also improving technique on relevant movements the VersaClimber might not be the right choice. 
As this workout is super intense it might not be for beginners. If you have a lot of beginners in your gym you might want some alternatives for people who just walked through the door. Throwing something completely frustrating at your beginners will drive them away. You have to give them some small successes and build from there. Only very few of your clients will be like “yes another machine I can kill myself on”. 
The computer unit on the LX is a bit outdated. The SM has a better one as this is the most recent update to the line. Personally, I think this does not matter that much. Most of the programs are not used anyway. 
The price is a big con to the Versaclimber LX. The H version comes in for $1000 less but has no commercial use warranty. The SM costs $1000 more. What I would really consider when I built my own gym is what else I could do for $4000. For two VersaClimbers I can get a ten pack of concept 2 bikes to run spinning classes. For a home gym, I can get a rack fully equipped with barbell and plates. 

Alternatives to the VersaClimber LX

Alternatives to the Versaclimber LX are: 
The Versaclimber SM leaves you with more freedom around the machine as less material of better quality is used to build the frame for the VersaClimber. It also has a better computer and warranty. When you are in the market to buy a lot of these for commercial use, make very sure you understand the differences of the warranty and service differences between the LX and SM. 
If you are considering a VersaClimber for your home base go with the H option. It will save you a lot of money and still give you the benefits. Unless money does it really make a difference (for example if you are outfitting a house that costs 10 million I personally would not be picky between a 2000 and 5000 dollar option for the home gym and just get the best of everything).
If you are not looking at the VersaClimber for home use but for a professional setup be very mindful whether it is your first purchase. The Rogue Echo bikes are of high quality, only cost a fraction and deliver a great, challenging workout which is different from treadmills and ellipticals. This might be a better option for a bulk purchase.

Summary for the VersaClimber LX

The Versaclimber LX is a great option but suffers the pros and cons of most middle of the range of products. Unless you very specifically want this one it is better to go with the best or lowest budget option form the portfolio. Same goes here for the LX. I went for the H and I am happy. For a commercial gym, I would have gone for the SM and tried to argue with the bank for a loan extension pointing to the good warranty (basically you buy 2 for 1 if one breaks you get it replaced unless you threw rocks at It). Talk to other gym owners who wanted to make use of the warranty to be really sure. 

Further reading


Overview and review of the Nordictrack Elite 10.9i $1299

This is a review of the Nordictrack Elite 10.9i model. You will learn about the specifics, pros, cons, and alternatives of this elliptical to make a decision. This article was originally published in "Which elliptical to get from Nordictrack".

Overview of the Elite 10.9i

The elite 10.9i is the low-cost front-drive elliptical from Nordictrack. Its main features are a 20-pound flywheel, 20% incline, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The full list of features includes: 
  • 7” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • 1-Year iFit® Membership Included*
  • Auxiliary Audio Port
  • Two 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Sensors
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Soft Touch Upper Body Grips
  • Front Drive
  • 20 Lb. Effective Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 19” Power-Adjustable Stride
  • 24 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 0-20% Incline
  • One Touch® Controls
  • Integrated Pivoting Tablet Holder
  • Commercial Solid Steel Construction
  • Oversized Levelers
  • 350 Lb. User Capacity
  • Oversized Cushion Pedals
  • Front-Mounted Transport Wheels
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • 69.5" L x 25" W x 71.5" H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
This is the elliptical to get if you want to maximize your savings while still buying an elliptical from Nordictrack.

Pros of the 10.9i 

The pros of the 10.9 elliptical are:
  • Price
  • 7-inch touch screen
The 10.9 elliptical can not be beaten on price in the NordicTrack line-up and still dons a 7-inch touch screen. If you are considering this model the main criteria for purchase will be price, as otherwise, you are possibly looking at other options from Nordictrack.

Cons of the 10.9 elliptical

The cons of the 10.9 elliptical are:
  • Front-drive 20-pound flywheel
  • Size 
  • Price
If you are a commercial buyer you probably want to look at the 12.9i instead. It is only a small uptick in price but you get a 30 pound instead of a 20-pound flywheel. As commercial buyers should assume heavier usage and more breakage this minimal uptick in price is a good tradeoff for fewer maintenance cases. I am also quite sure that if you buy 10 plus machines in one go you will get the 12.9i for the price of a 10.9i per piece anyway if you ask for it. 
A front-drive elliptical is a big machine. Take this into consideration, especially when you are buying for a home gym. More than $1000 for one machine is still a considerable investment in the private realm. If you are already budget-conscious you might as well get a stationary bike for a lower footprint and price to meet your endurance goals.

Alternatives to the 10.9 

Alternatives to the 10.9 elliptical are:
The 12.9i front-drive elliptical is the better option for commercial buyers as it is better value for money. It will not impress any of your clients, but also not look cheap or break the bank. If you want to impress go for the 14.9i instead which has a massive screen included. 
The Nordictrack SE7i is a rear-drive elliptical and can be an alternative for home gym owners who still want a high quality elliptical and save some space. The SE7i comes in at the same price as the 10.9i but has the advantage that the rear-drive design makes it foldable. This way it can be folded up and stored against a wall when it is not used. This is not relevant for most commercial gym scenarios, but definitely in smaller home gym environments.
The concept 2 rower is a good option for anyone who likes a bit more intensity but does not want to stand while exercising. These rowers can also be conveniently stored on a wall hanger to save space when not in use. The main models are the Model E and Model D. Go for the Model E when you are either big and strong (reads NFL player sized) are have problems with going very low. The Model D version is the standard concept 2 model.
The Rogue echo bike is my personal favorite when it comes to bang for your buck. It has a high-quality machine that can be used professionally and only costs $700. It is space-efficient and intense.  If you are a home gym owner who means business and does not need any fancy stuff, this is the machine to get. 

Summary for the 10.9i

The 10.9i is a good option for anyone who loves the idea of an elliptical at home for occasional exercise and has space. For my personal tastes I think you can be more consequent in your thinking for a home gym and push the cost under $1000, but I do not have any medical conditions preventing me from doing that. I am also not a huge fan of ellipticals as I have run three marathons and want a bigger challenge. But that is just for context, I might think very differently in 10 - 20 years time or if I consider everyone in the family for a home gym.

Topics: Treadmill