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Nordictrack VX550 vs VR21

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Aug 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VX550 vs VR21

This is a comparison of the Nordictrack VX550 and VR21 including pros, cons, and alternatives . Follow the links for more details.

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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.

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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. 
 
 
 
 
 

Overview and review of the Nordictrack VX 550 599 (UK)

This article discusses the pros, cons, and alternatives for the Nordictrack VX550.This review was originally posted in “Which Nordictrack bike to get”. Follow the links for more details.

 
The VX 550 is one of the lower budget bikes in the NordicTrack line up and is currently only available via the UK website. Its main features are a 9kg flywheel, 5-inch backlit display, and a maximum capacity of 125kg. This is the bike for you if you want a bigger flywheel for relatively little and you do not care about Ifit or other digital features to keep you engaged. The full list of features reads: 
 
  • This item is NOT compatible with iFit.
  • 5" Backlit Display
  • Smart BlueTooth (BLE) Chestbelt Compatible
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • Upright Frame
  • 9kg Flywheel
  • 20 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Onetouch™ Controls
  • EKG Handgrips
  • 125kg Max User Weight
  • Oversized Cushion Seat
  • Vertical and Horizontal Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-wide Ergonomic Pedals with Adjustable Straps
  • No AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan Included
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • Tablet Holder Included
  • 20 Workouts Apps
  • Assembled Dimensions - 150L x 61W x 167H cm
  • Product Weight 44kg
  • Boxed Weight 56kg
  • Boxed Dimensions - 106L x 32W x 66H cm
  • Warranty - 2 Years parts and labor; 5-year frame guarantee upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase.
This is currently the cheapest 9kg flywheel you can get from Nordictrack. If you are an above-average cyclist who wants a bike that lasts to get a medium cycle in when it rains, the VX 550 can be a good option for you. 
 

Pros of the VX 550

 
The pros of Nordictrack VX550 are:
 
  • Price
  • 9kg flywheel
The VX550 has a great price point for a Nordictrack Cardio machine. In addition you will get a fairly big flywheel for what you are paying. The GX 4.7R is in the same price range but only has a 7kg flywheel. The combination of price and bigger flywheel makes this the durable low budget option in exchange for not being up to the times in the entertainment and engagement department. 
 

Cons of the VX550

 
The cons of the VX 550 are:
 
  • No Ifit
  • No Touch screen 
The VX550 is not compatible with the Ifit subscription from NordicTrack. This means that the number of days for the VX550 in the NordicTrack portfolio are very numbered. NordicTrack is pushing hard on catching up to Peloton in the entertainment and engagement segment to regain market share and establish recurring revenue. The VX550 does not fit anywhere in this strategy. If you are a commercial buyer who wants buy-in bulk, stay way clear from this one for your gym. Home users will have to make a conscious decision whether it is worth to get a 9kg instead of a 7kg flywheel while trading off Ifit. If you think you need the engagement features, go for the GX 4.7R instead of the VX550.
 

Alternatives to the VX550

 
Possible alternatives to the VX550 are:
 
The Nordictrack GX 4.7 is the better option if you are convinced that you need some instructors and entertainment to keep engaged with your workouts. You will get a smaller flywheel, but in return the GX 4.7 is Ifit compatible and therefore give you a big library of engaging content. 
 
The Nordictrack C700 treadmill is a low budget alternative for anyone who prefers jogging or walking over cycling. The C700 is the cheapest treadmill in the Nordictrack line up that you can currently get. While it is a good option for joggers and walkers, it might be a bit too small for serious runners who put their treadmills through a lot of abuse. 
 
The SE3i elliptical is the low budget elliptical option from Nordictrack. An elliptical can be a good compromise for the entire family or in a small gym to keep multiple happy, rather than just cyclists. The downside of an elliptical is that it needs more space and higher ceilings. 
 
The concept 2 model D rower is the bread and butter machine in the rowing world. If you prefer rowing over cycling you can not go wrong with this model. You can also hang the rower on the wall to save space when you are not using it. The model D will be slightly more expensive than VX550
 
My personal favorite is the Rogue echo bike for home gym use. It is slightly more expensive than the VX550 but is built more stable. In return you sacrifice any type of entertainment as it does not come with a screen. The Rogue echo bike is designed for serious athletes and might be a little intimidating for anyone who just wants to stay active and mobile, without pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion. 
 

Summary for the Nordictrack VX550

 
The VX550 is a good option if you want a big flywheel at a low price from Nordictrack. In exchange for this, you will get a product which the Nordictrack management will care very little about so expect that it will be harder to get support and parts for it. 
 

Topics: Treadmill