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Nordictrack VU 19 vs VersaClimber LX

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jan 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VU 19 vs VersaClimber LX

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack VU19 and the Versaclimber LX including pros, cons, and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

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Versa climber LX Model

The VresaClimber LX comesa 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".

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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. 

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. 

Topics: Treadmill