Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

Nordictrack X9i vs TrueForm Runner

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack X9i vs TrueForm Runner

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack X9i treadmill and the TrueForm runner including pros, cons and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

Subscribe for free

Overview and review of the TrueForm runner

The TrueForm Runner comes in at $5695 - $6195. 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".

Related articles

Overview of the trueform runner

The TrueForm runner is the latest and greatest in the treadmill industry. Compared to other treadmills it has the advantage that it is not motorized and propelled by your own weight. In addition, the surface you run on is curved so the impact of your footfall is not as hard as on a flat surface. This dynamic is achieved by a conveyor belt that runs on bearings. Think of the conveyor belt at the airport but moved by your own bodyweight. It has been used at the CrossFit games and has gained popularity since then. The dimensions of the TrueForm runner are: 
  • Height 57’’
  • Width 36’’
  • Running surface 54’’ x 17’’ 
  • Weight 325 LB
You can choose from two different options, Enduro and Performance. Both options come in at the same price and with the same dimensions. The performance model provides a higher railing. This is especially useful when you have athletes who run very fast on the machine. 
Apart from this, you can pay $500 extra to get grass or track and field topping on the running surface. If you use the TrueForm runner to train track and field or football athletes you might want to go with one of these options. 

Pros of the TrueForm runner

There are several pros to the TrueForm runner 
  • Better posture 
  • Easier adjustment of speed 
  • No power supply needed 
  • No programming needed 
  • Less impact 
  • Good resell value 
  • Low maintenance 
Based on the setup of the Trueform runner it actively helps your clients and athletes to have better running form. If you strike with the heel the curve of the machine will help to remedy and correct this over time as you push the belt from the front to the back. 
With the Trueform runner, you can adjust the speed at any given time yourself without worrying about faceplanting. Doing interval training on motorized treadmills can be really annoying as the acceleration and decelerations come in jumps rather than continuously when you program them in at the start of your workout. If you adjust them while exercising it is almost impossible, especially at high speeds. 
If you deploy a whole row of these (10 - 20 machines) you might also be pleased that you do not need to plan for cabling when the gym is built and powering these treadmills all year around. 
As mentioned before you can free run on these machines to your hearts contempt. No buttons or panic stops needed. Just slow down and the belt slows down with you. You will not be catapulted into the wall behind you. 
The curve will also be helpful to have less strain in the ankles and knees from the impact of the food. This helps you to train longer for harder. 
As with most things which are "hip" and high price you usually get a higher resell value out of them than for the lower range options. While this is mostly less important for individual buyers it can be important for a chain that regularly closes off unprofitable subsidiaries and wants to shuffle equipment around. 
As there are no motors which can break down you will also have fewer maintenance needs. Although you are probably more likely to need a welder rather than an electrician when this beast breaks. 

Cons of the TrueForm runner

The cons of the TrueForm runner are in my opinion:
  • Hard to do pace training 
  • Not for beginners 
  • Price tag 
  • A big piece of equipment 
  • Poor monitor 
When I prepared for my marathons there was one thing I liked about treadmills, you could set an exact pace for some of your long runs. This is actually a strength rather than a weakness of a motorized treadmill. For me, it was handy to plan my splits and hit my target time as the pace I chose was slightly challenging. I would do one of these a week slightly above the planned pace for the marathon and add distance each time. The rest of my training would be outdoors. This raised my confidence to reproduce the exact pace I needed on race day. With the TrueForm Runner, it would have been hard to have that reference, but it would have been better to do Interval runs indoors. 
Tell me what you want but this thing is not for beginners. This is designed for people who want to go like cheetahs and could not do it properly on normal treadmills. Fast acceleration and breaking are where this is at home. Not for beginners or someone who is wobbly on their feet because they do rehab or are overweight. A slow motorized treadmill is the better option here. 
With $5000 a piece, this is a steep price. If you want to signal to your clients that you are doing well and justify the membership of $300 a month, this is a strategy. For two of these, you can get a 10 pack of concept 2 rowers, skiergs or bikes. 10 x $100 in membership fees from a spinning class is more than 2x $300 with a bigger spread of risk in your income. 
Last but not least these are big. If you have a garden or basement gym I would almost consider this no option unless you live in a mansion. If you want to maximize floor space in your commercial gym this is also not the way to go. CrossFit boxes might like this, especially if they are in the middle of a busy city. 
The monitor is poor compared to some of the concept 2 options where you have leaderboards implemented to keep yourself motivated. 

Alternatives to the TrueForm runner

There are the following alternatives to the TrueFrom runner: 
The assault air runner is one alternative to the TrueFrom runner if you still want a self-propelled treadmill. The assault air runner comes in at a lower price point than the TrueForm runner. The mechanics are also a little different which makes running easier on this one. 
The Versa Climber is often referred to as one of the hardest things you can do in endurance on a machine. It simulates climbing a steep wall with a good grip. It comes in at about half the price and takes up less footprint than the TrueForm runner. If you want a good machine for your home to knock you out this is can be a great pick. For a commercial gym, you might not have the uptake as many people just want their treadmills. 
The Rogue Echo bike is a solid choice for the home gym that wants to kick your butt. Combined to the Versa Climber and the TrueFrom Runner it comes in at a fraction of the cost. A good air bike workout will still challenge you and is highly recommended. 

Summary  for the TrueForm runner

This is a well-built piece of equipment which is worth the price if you have the need and space for it. Athletes who know how to pace themselves, have balance and want every workout to be as challenging and adaptable as possible will love this. 
For the average gym with average clients it is probably a bit too intimidating and high performance. I do not see overweight stay at home moms or retired manly beer bellies stepping on the TrueForm runner first thing through your gym doors. 


Overview and review of the X9i 2199

Overview of the Nordictrack X9i

The X9i treadmill comes in at a price of 2199 pounds at the time of writing. Its main features are the 3 horsepower motor, 40% incline, and 7-inch touch screen. With this, it is a treadmill at the higher end of the price spectrum and relatively big features and incline and screen real estate.  The full list of features runs as follows:
  • 7" HD Touch Screen Display
  • iFit Integrated
  • Smart BlueTooth Chestbelt included
  • Includes 1 Years iFit Family Membership
  • Dual 3-Inch Speakers
  • Reflex™ Cushioning
  • Tablet Holder Included
  • 55 x 152 cm Tread Belt
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
  • 3.6 CHP Motor
  • 0 – 40% Incline - 0 – 6% Power Decline
  • 0 – 20 km/h Speed
  • 2.5” Precision-machined and
    Balanced Non-flex Rollers
  • EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Monitor
  • 135kg Max User Weight
  • Out-of-the-box Easy Assembly
  • Large Boxed Item - This item can only be delivered or delivered and installed to a ground floor room location.
  • Free Installation Included With Mainland Customers
  • Product Weight 135kg
  • Boxed Weight 175kg
  • Assembled Dimensions - 178L x 100W x 181H cm
  • Boxed Dimensions - 227L x 103W x 64H cm
  • Warranty - Lifetime Frame Warranty, 10-year Motor Warranty, 2-Year Parts & Labour upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase.
All of this makes the X9 a good machine for the UK market if you are interested in a 40% incline and a touchscreen. 

Pros of the Nordictrack X9i 

The pros of the X9i are 
  • 40% Incline
  • 7-inch touch screen
The X9i shines on the incline and the touch screen options. This is a high-end treadmill that you can either use at home or in a commercial setting. 

Cons of the Nordictrack X9i

  • Price
  • Older model
2000 pounds is a high price for a treadmill either to buy for your home or in bulk. Really think hard about whether you will need the 40% incline on a regular as this is the main reason for driving the price up. If you only will use it occasionally you might want to look into other options with less incline. 
Another point is that the X9i is one of the older models in the Nordictrack incline treadmills line up. The newer models are the X11i, x22i, and the X32i. These models are not available in the UK yet, but you may want to have a close look at the US website first. Especially if you can wait for half a year to a year with your purchase.  

Alternatives to the Nordictrack X9i

Alternatives to the Nordictrakc X9i are:
The Nordictrack FS5i is a three in one elliptical which can be used as a stepper, treadmill, and elliptical which is available in the UK. This might be the better choice for someone who buys for use at home by multiple people. Especially the fitness levels are a bit lower. A commercial buyer might not want to go this way, is the ellipticals with the flywheel in the middle are more error-prone than the front / rear-drive flywheels or treadmills. Commercial buyers with space might want to split up their fleet in specialized machines. 
If you are really sure that you need the 40% incline but want to save a little bit of money you can go for the X7i instead of the X9i. It is basically the same machine, except that the screen is not a touch screen. This city a little of the budget while you still almost get the same specifications for what you are buying. If you are insisting on a 40% incline and think that this is your main use case you right also want to look at the VersaClimber product range. This is usually the better pick for maximizing the calories burned per minute.
The Nordictrack C7.5 would be the treadmill of choice of you ditch the idea of a 40% incline. This is a solid machine for home or commercial use which is more affordable and still does the trick. Definitely look in this area of the Nordictrack portfolio if you think %40 is overkill (which I would say in 999 out of 1000 cases).
The last option would be to go for something completely different. The Rogue Echo bike coma in at a price of about 700 pounds. It is compact, easy to move, and you can burn a lot of calories per minute with the interval settings. This is the machine that I got for my personal gym as I prefer tor un outdoors. 

Summary for the Nordictrack X9i

Nordictrack X9i is one of the most modern incline treadmills available for the UK market from Nordictrack at the moment. Still, you are investing a lot of money into a machine that has been overtaken with new models in the US. I am personally not a fan of spending a lot of money on something which I know will be outdated very soon. Combined with the fact that most people do not get a lot of use out of the 40% incline option the X9i is not one of my favorite options and would go for the X7i instead to save some money if you are insisting on 40%.

Topics: Treadmill