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Horizon fitness EX-59 elliptical vs Nordictrack T8.5 treadmill

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 29, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Horizon fitness EX-59 elliptical vs Nordictrack T8.5 treadmill

This is a comparison of the Horizon fitness EX-59 elliptical and the Nordictrack T8.5 treadmill including pros, cons, and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill $1399 - $1999

This is a review of the Nordictrack 8.5 S model which was originally published in "Which Nordictrack treadmill to get". Follow the links for more details.

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Overview NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill $1399 - $1999

The T 8.5 is the small brother of the T 9.5 from Nordictrack. The main difference is an HD touch screen which 10 inches on the 8.5 instead of 14 on the T 9.5. Apart from this, you get a top speed of 12 miles an hour, 12% incline and a foldable treadmill. The full list of specifications for the T 8.5 runs as following:
  • 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Dual 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • FlexSelect™ Cushioning
  • 20” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Integrated Tray
  • 0-12% Incline
  • 0-12 MPH Speed
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 3.5 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • 1.9” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • 50 On-Board Workout Programs
  • 78.5” L x 35.5” W x 59” H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
This is a treadmill for the smaller budget and a mid-range option at it. I personally do not like the middle of the road solutions and either go alls guns blazing or very low budget. Personally, I think the 1750 is more balanced or go for the T6.5 if you want to save money and space.

Pros of the  NordicTrack T 8.5 treadmill

The pros of the 8.5 treadmill are:
  • Foldable
  • 300 lb capacity
  • Cushioning
If you want to save money on a treadmill that can take a pounding this is the right choice. You can save space when storing and it takes up to 300 lbs. of weight. All of this makes it a good option for a mid-range home treadmill.

Cons of the NordicTrack T 8.5 treadmill

Cons of the Nordictrack 8.5:
  • Somewhere in the middle
  • High price to compromise 
As the Nordictrack portfolio has evolved the 1750 is just the better option in terms of value for money in my opinion. With the T 8.5 you compromise on the size of the belt, incline, and screen while still paying a good bit of money. It is a reasonable price for a cardio machine compared to other machines in the market, but I would lean more towards the 1750 to spent my money wisely. 

Alternatives to the NordciTrack T 8.5 treadmill

Alternatives to the T 8.5 are:
The Nordictrack 1750 is, in my opinion, the most balances option in the Nordictrack portfolio at a reasonable price. Therefore I think it is the best option for budget-conscious treadmill buyers from Nordic Track. The T 8.5 just sits a bit oddly against this as it has the same sized screen while having less incline and a smaller belt, while the prices are not that far apart. 
The Nordictrack 6.5 is the ideal option for people who want to maximize saving money and space when buying a new treadmill from Nordictrack. This model comes in around $1000 and has the smallest footprint of the Nordictrack models. Ideal for walkers or limited spaces. 
The Rogue echo bike is my personal favorite if you are looking for maximum calories burned per minute. It comes in at only $700, has a small footprint and packs a hefty punch.
If you are looking for a different concept of a treadmill the True form runner is for you. This treadmill is self-propelled and therefore has no motor. The belt rests on bearing and your footstrike accelerates or breaks on the speed. This is the ideal treadmill for runners who want to simulate fast acceleration and deceleration at home. 

Overview and review of the Horizon fitness EX-59 elliptical

This is an overview of the Horizon fitness EX-59 elliptical including pros, cons, and alternatives. This article was first published in Which Horizon fitness elliptical to get?

For the most up to date information and asking direct questions you can follow me on Instagram.

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Overview of the EX-59 elliptical $699

The Horizon EX-59 is a high-quality elliptical for moderate use at home. The dimensions are kept as small as possible for an elliptical with a flywheel and the pedals are very close to the ground. This makes it a good choice for anyone who wants to workout at home, does not want to make a lot of noise and will not go crazy in their workouts. If you like something that provides a more challenging workout or better entertainment options during your workout than you might want to opt for a different elliptical.
Frame Type: Six Star Non-Folding
Flywheel: 14.3
Stride Length: 18 inches
Incline Range: N/A
Resistance Range: Magnetic, 10 levels
Step on height (inches): 10 3/4"
Extras: Built-in Speakers, Tablet rack, USB Charging, Bottle holder
Electrical requirements: 110 Volt / 220 Volt
Weight: 145lbs.
Assembled dimensions:74"x25"x64.5"
Max user weight: 300 lbs.
Warranty - Frame: Lifetime
Warranty - Brake: 1 year
Warranty - Flywheel: N/A
Warranty - Parts: 1 year
Warranty - Labor: 1 year

Pros of the EX-59 elliptical

The pros of the EX-59 elliptical are
  • Easy on the joints
  • Compact for an elliptical
  • Low price tag
  • Handles
The EX 59 is designed with ease of use in mind rather than chasing personal records and pushing the envelope. Therefore the stride is shorter and the pedals have been moved closer together while sitting close to the ground. This makes it a good machine for anyone who wants to be easy on the joints and simulate a jog on an elliptical. If you want to run long distances you might opt for something else.
Ellipticals with long stride and big flywheels can take up quite a bit of space in the home compared to bikes or treadmills. Horizon Fitness tries to minimize the footprint of this machine by keeping it compact which makes it better suited for use at home. A professional gym might want to upgrade to the Evolve series to compensate for more miles being put on the machine.
Another reason that makes this elliptical attractive for moderate home gym users is the price tag that falls way below $1000. There is not a lot to be scoffed at for a full machine at $699. There are cheaper alternatives when not using a machine but most indoor cycles and treadmills that are worth their salt start at $500.
The handles are helpful if you do not feel confident enough to go for long times without holding onto something. If you still feel like you can walk comfortably without using something to hold on to a walking treadmill might be a great alternative as they are easier to store under a bed or couch.

Cons of the EX-59 elliptical

The cons of the EX-59 elliptical are:
  • Space requirements
  • Small frame and weight
  • Console
For a machine that is aimed at lower intensities and home use, the EX-59 still takes up a bit of space. Especially the fact that you can not store it away easily like a tower, that can be hung on the wall, or a walking treadmill or Total gym, which can be stored under a bed or sofa, makes it a less attractive option for the occasional home activities.
The smaller frame and weight are good when you’ve not go hard at the machine. If you expect to go all out or a lot of heavy abuse in a commercial gym, then you might want to look into the Evolve series instead which is bigger and heavier.
The console on the EX-59 covers the basics of navigating the in-built programs, but not more. It also has no good surface to put down a tablet or bigger phone to look at while you are exercising. In times of Peloton and follow along with YouTube videos this is not up to scratch. Still, an understandable choice in the lower price ranges from a Horizon production perspective. Here Horizon might even make the console smaller for the programs to gain space for the user‘s own device.

Alternatives to the EX-59 elliptical

Alternatives to Horizon EX-59 are:
The Horizon 7.0 AE elliptical is one of the recent facelifts to the consoles of Horizon fitness. This makes it compatible with a wider range of devices and you can also do follow-along classes by watching at the screen. It is slightly bigger and more expensive than the EX-59 but I would recommend it to anyone over the EX-59 who is willing to make their budget stretch to $999.
The Horizon T101 is the smallest treadmill you can get from Horizon at the lowest price. If you prefer to jog or walk and want to burn more calories per minute, this is the better choice. The drawback is that if you need support to walk or run the T101 does not really provide a lot.
The Nordictrack SE7i is the cheapest elliptical you can get from Nordictrack. It compares better to the Evolve series from Horizon but might be an alternative if you want something fast and Horizon is out of stock.
The Rogue Echo Bike is the Ultimate Choice for serious home gym warriors who want to go hard on a small footprint. It is a well-built air bike that is especially well suited to High-intensity interval training. If you want to hit hard on the same budget as the EX-59 the Rogue Echo bike is your choice.
The TITAN fan bike is the lower-priced copycat of the Rogue Echo bike. The main differences are the bigger wheels and the price. If you want to build an entire garage gym on a budget TITAN is a good choice.

Conclusion for the EX-59 elliptical

The EX-59 is a great elliptical if you love exercising on an elliptical, have a smaller budget, and do not want to go crazy with it. I personally think that a walking treadmill is a better choice for people who still can walk and jog without support as it can be stored better. If you need lumbar support for your exercises, go for the Horizon R series instead.

Topics: Cardio, Horizon, Elliptical