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Nordictrack VR21 vs VU19

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Aug 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VR21 vs VU19

This is a comparison of the Nordictrack VR21 and VU19 including pros, cons, and alternatives . Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review of the Nordictrack VU 19 999 (US)

This article discusses the pros, cons, and alternatives for the Nordictrack VU19.This review was originally posted in “Which Nordictrack bike to get”. Follow the links for more details.

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The Nordictrack VU 19 is an upgraded version of the old G series. Its main features are a 7-inch touchscreen, 19lb flywheel, and 325 lb. capacity. The main difference to the G series is that the Ipad holder has been moved from the front of the display to above. This way you can see your stats while also being on your Ipad at the same time. The full list of features reads:
  • 7” Smart HD Color Touchscreen
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
  • Integrated Pivoting Tablet Holder
  • Auxiliary Music Port
  • AC Adapter Included
  • Two 2” Bluetooth® Compatible Speakers
  • Upright Frame
  • 19 Lb. Inertia-enhanced Flywheel
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 24 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 325 Lb. User Weight Capacity
  • EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Monitor
  • NordicTrack iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap
  • Oversized Cushion Seat
  • Vertical & Horizontal Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-wide, Ergonomic Foot Pedals with Adjustable Strap
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • 32 On-board Workouts
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • 43.6" L x 24.9" W x 59.4" H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
the VU 19 is a solid middle of the portfolio option for bikes in the NordicTrack portfolio. If you want a reasonable coverage on all relevant features for an upright bike from Nordictrack, this is the one to go for without going over 1000.  

Pros of the Nordictrack VU 19

The pros of the VU 19 are:
  • Well balanced
  • 7-inch touch screen
  • Gadgets are not in the way
The VU 19 is a well-balanced bike that covers all bases without breaking the bank. If you do not want to think too hard about your bike purchase from Nordictrack and have 1000 to spare, this is the right model to get. Think of it as the Volkswagen Golf from Nordictrack. Does everything well, looks good, but does not impress too much.
The 7-inch touch screen will keep you in striking distance of current technology trends in cardio equipment. The screens are getting bigger and bigger and the classes more interactive. A small backlit display or even led based display will leave you behind and make the experience less engaging. A 7-inch display is a good compromise to not break the bank as some models go up to 32-inch.
A final little touch is that NordicTrack finally managed to move the holder for gadgets out of the way of the touch screen. On older models like the VR21 or some of the GX bikes the gadget holder would put your tablet right in front of your Nordictrack touch screen. This way you could not see the status of your workout.

Cons of the Nordictrack VU 19

cons of the Nordictrack VU19 are:
  • No Bluetooth headphones
  • No big screen
  • No incline 
A big oversight in the design of the Nordictrack touch screens and electronics is that you can not project their sound onto Bluetooth headphones. The Bluetooth speakers are a step in the right direction, but still do not go all the way. I listen to heavy metal when i workout... loud. I can not do that on a bike that I have at home at 6 am in the morning unless it is in a separate building. That would be reason enough for me to not buy any NordicTrack bike.
A 7-inch screen is rather small compared to the 10-,14-,22- and 32-inch options that are out there. Be aware that the new content that NordicTrack will put out will assume bigger and bigger screens and optimize the layout of the classes and menus accordingly. If you have the extra money to spend you might want to go for one of the S10i or S15i models instead. 
The VU 19 has no incline option available. This keeps the bike under the 1000 threshold, but at the same time limits you from getting everything out of your Ifit subscription or cover all the possible rides you want to do. For an occasional cyclists, this will not be a deal-breaker, but someone with a serious performance goal might want to consider to invest 200 to 500 more to also get an incline function.

Alternatives to the Nordictrack VU 19 

These are alternatives to the Nordictrack VU19 that are in the same budget range:
The Nordictrack VR21 costs about the same as the VU 19 but is a recumbent bike. If you want a more comfortable ride or your hand free while exercising, this is the bike to go for. 
The NordicTrack C700 is the cheapest treadmill you can currently get from the NordicTrack website. This is a good option for joggers or walkers who do not like sitting in a saddle for their daily calorie burn. It is not a great option for runners who put a lot of abuse on their treadmill in terms of speed, distance or a combination of the two. 
The concept 2 model D is the industry standard for indoor rowing all over the world. If you like to sit while you are exercising, but want to turn it into a full-body workout, the rower is a good option. Another bonus is that you can hang a rower on the wall after use to save space. That does really work for most bikes unless they are foldable.
The Rogue echo bike is my personal favorite for weekend warriors who want to push their limits at home. This machine has been stripped of most multimedia options to provide a frame that can take a lot of abuse. If you want to put your phone an a counter, blast yourself with heavy metal, and do intervals until you fall off the bike, this is the machine for you. 

Summary for the NordicTrack VU19 

The Nordictrack VU19 is a well-balanced bike from Nordictrack at a good price which took care of design flaws of former generations of NordicTrack bikes. St the moment it is only available in the US and not in the UK, but that might change when they start to distribute worldwide. 

Overview and review of the Nordictrack VR21 749 / 999 (UK/US)

This article discusses the pros, cons, and alternatives for the Nordictrack VR21.This review was originally posted in “Which Nordictrack bike to get”. Follow the links for more details.

The Nordictrack VR21 is the little brother of the VR25 in the Nordictrack recumbent bike line up. Its main features are a 5-inch backlit display, 9kg flywheel, and 125kg maximum capacity. The full list of features reads as followed: 
  • 5" Backlit Display
  • iFit Bluetooth - 1 Years Membership Included
  • Smart BlueTooth (BLE) Chestbelt Compatible
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • Recumbent Frame
  • Step Thru™ Design
  • 9kg Flywheel
  • 25 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Onetouch™ Controls
  • EKG Handgrips
  • 125kg Max User Weight
  • Lumbar Supported Cushioned Seat
  • Horizontal Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-wide Ergonomic Pedals with Adjustable Straps
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Integrated Tablet Holder
  • 32 Workouts Apps
  • Assembled Dimensions - 155L x 59W cm x 132H cm
  • Product Weight 48kg
  • Boxed Weight 57kg
  • Boxed Dimensions - 153L x 65W x 39H cm
  • Warranty - 2 Years parts and labor; 5-year frame guarantee upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase.
The VR21 is the better option for home gym buyers who want to save some money as the 9kg flywheel is more than enough. Commercial buyers might consider this option when they want to buy 5 - 10 units instead of the VR21. Otherwise the VR25 might be the better option. 

Pros of the NordicTrack VR21

The pros of the VR21 are:
  • Price
  • Meshed seat
  • Comfortable position
The VR21 is the cheapest recumbent bike that you can get from Nordictrack. If you want one and like the NordicTrack brand, this is the one to go for. Especially if you are a home gym buyer. Commercial buyers might consider this model when they buy in bulk. If you only want to have one or two on the floor, invest in the VR25 and the bigger flywheel as they will clock more miles per unit as a fleet of ten VR21 on the floor. 
The meshed seat is a good little design feature to prevent sweating like mad. Other models have hard plastic full seats which can become sticky and unpleasant. 
If you only want to moderately exercise and still use the time to go through emails or place some calls, a recumbent bike can be a very good option. They also have the advantage over ellipticals that they are closer to the floor and therefore do not need high ceilings. 

Cons of the VR21

The cons of the VR21 are:
  • 9kg flywheel
  • Space requirements
  • Low-calorie burn
  • No touch screen
The 9kg flywheel puts the VR21 at a disadvantage to the VR25 model which has an 11kg flywheel. For home users this will not be as relevant as for commercial users. The trade-off is that you pay less money.
Compared to a traditional bike a recumbent bike takes more space and burns fewer calories per minute. If you want to optimize your floor space for the maximum amount of people burning the maximum amount of calories this is not the model to go for. Keep your clients and space requirements in mind, especially when shopping for recumbent bikes. 
Compared to the VR25 the VR21 has no touch screen. If you want to get the full benefit of an easy workout while doing your work or surfing on the internet, the touch screen option will go along way for convenience. 

Alternatives to the Nordictrack VR21

Aöternatives to the Nordictrack VR21 are: 
The Nordictrack VR25 is the big brother of the VR21. Personally I think that this is a better option for commercial buyers who only want one or two recumbent bikes on their floor. Otherwise, homebuyers can save some money by getting the VR21. The worse media options can be compensated by just using your own devices on an easy ride. 
The NordicTrack C700 is the treadmill alternative from Nordictrack in the same budget range as the VR21. The C700 is a good option for walkers and joggers to get some miles in. If you intend to get your calorie burn in while standing, this might be the better option than the VR21. The C700 is not suited for runners who will take their treadmill through a lot of abuse in speed or distance. 
The NordicTrack SE3i elliptical is the cheapest elliptical in the Nordictrack line up. This can be a good compromise for all your clients or the entire family when you think that a recumbent bike does not have enough oomph. Just make sure that you have enough clearance to the ceiling as an elliptical will put you in a higher position than a recumbent bike and is harder to get on and off. 
The concept 2 model D is the industry standard for indoor rowing. If you want to row and turn your cardio into a full-body workout, this might be better option than the VR21. A rower can also be hung on the wall after your workout to save some space. The only downside is that the calorie burn per minute is also relatively low compared to treadmills and upright bikes. 
The Rogue echo bike is my personal favorite for indoor gyms. This is a straight forward machine to make you sweat. No extra bells and whistles, just pure focus on high-intensity interval training. For some this bike might be intimidating, but I love it and it is also reasonably priced. Still, i would not place this one in an old folk's home or rehab center. The VR21 might be a better option in those scenarios.

Summary for the Nordictrack VR21

The Nordictrack VR21 is a good budget option for a recumbent bike from Nordictrack. If you want to relax and still burn some calories, this is the right machine for home use. 

Topics: Treadmill