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Nordictrack VR21 vs X11i

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 4, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VR21 vs X11i

This is a comparison of the Nordictrack VR21 and X11i including pros, cons, and alternatives . Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review Nordictrack Commercial X11i Incline $2249 - $2999

This is a review of the Nordictrack Commercial X11i incline model which was originally published in "Which Nordictrack treadmill to get". Follow the links for more details.

Overview Nordictrack Commercial X11i Incline $2249 - $2999

The X11I is the low end of the 40% incline range of the Nordictrack portfolio. This machine has up to 44 programs and works with 300 lbs. capacity. It is great for runners, walkers and joggers alike. While it probably was top-notch when it was released, you can see that the design and the trend to more screens versus buttons have put the design a little past its best date. If you want to go full touch screen opt for the X22i or X32i which also costs considerably more. Apart from that, you get a slightly less powerful motor than with the top range alternatives. The full specifics of the NordicTrack X11i are:
  • 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • 1-Year iFit® Membership Included ($468 Value)**
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 3” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • Reflex™ Cushioning
  • 22” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
  • 0 - 40% Incline
  • 0 – 6% Decline
  • 0 - 12 MPH Speed
  • OneTouch® Controls
  • 3.75 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • Reinforced Steel Construction
  • 2.5” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • 44 On-Board Workout Programs
  • 71.6” L x 39.6” W x 72.2” H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
Overall this is a great workhorse incline treadmill at a good price for the home or professional gym. Compared to other Nordictrack models you will save $1000 to $2000. If you are not that much into a big screen but the 40% is a must because you are a trail runner or want to maximize calories burned per minute, this is a good machine to get. 

Pros of the Nordictrack X11i Incline

The pros of the X11i Nordictrack include:
  • Good price for 40% incline
  • Focusing on what matters
  • Great cushioning 
  • Big capacity
If a 40% incline is what you always needed or wanted for yourself and/or for your clients, this is a good value for money option. You will get a solid treadmill by a solid player in the market which covers all the programs you need. In addition, you will also get great comfort and power. The only sacrifice you will be making as that the design feels a little more like the early time of mobile phones rather than the slick, screen heavy world from today. If you want to focus on running only in a professional facility this is more than enough. If you cant to portray the California luxury vibe in your facilities and attract the corresponding clientele you might want to upgrade to the X22 or X32

Cons of the Nordictrack X11i incline

The cons of the X11I are
  • Small screen
  • Not foldable 
  • Too many options
The screen on the X11i is relatively small compared to other models. In my opinion, you might as well go for a model that has the same incline, but no touchscreen to save even more money. As small as the screen is you might as well not need to spend money on it. But that is just me, I am a strong advocate of running outdoors anyway. 
If you want to use it at home, keep in mind that you can not fold the X11I. While this is great for the incline and decline options it provides with great cushioning to top of it, it is not very space-efficient. If you are looking for a treadmill to use at home, possibly even only to walk and not to jog on, this is not the right option for you. 
Last but not least I personally think that it still has too many options. You don't really need a lot of different programs in my personal view. I solid run for distance, time, interval and hill function as a pyramid is more than enough. 

Alternatives to the Nordictrack X11i incline

Alternatives to the X11i are
The X22 and X32i from Nordictrack are your options if you want more touch screen and fewer buttons on the console. The design of these two machines feels slightly more modern than the X11i. They also come with a more powerful motor and more workout options. The biggest difference between these two treadmills is that one has a 32inch while the other has a 22inch touch screen.
The Nordictrack 2950 is the tradeoff between the Incline models and the touch screen width. While the X11i has more incline it has a smaller screen. The 2950 provides fewer options on INcline and decline, but a bigger screen. The price points are within the range from each other so this might be a consideration for you tot ake based on personal preference. 
The true form runner is more expensive than the X11i and follows a completely different concept than an electrical treadmill. The true form runner is self-propelled and the treadmill rests on bearing. This makes start-stop drills possible and also gets rid of any electric motors which might break down. This is a great option if you want to train quick acceleration and deceleration on a treadmill. 
The Rogue Echo Bike is a low budget / small-space alternative to all the treadmills outlined. If your goal is maximum calories burned per minute, it is hard to beat this air bike that only costs $700. So if it maximum calories per second that you are after, go for the Rogue Echo bike.
Now currently the ultimate holy grail in calories per second is probably a Versaclimber. The footprint is low, the calories per second very high. The only downside the Versaclimber's have compared to the Rogue Echo bike is that they at least are double the price. More likely in the $3000 - $4000 range.

Summary for the X11 incline

If you are a serious runner who wants to get something for their home gym, it is probably this treadmill. With this, you can simulate any run around the globe to prepare and I doubt that an Ultra marathon runner cares a lot about the size of their screen. If you are a long-distance runner who mainly does races on concrete, you are throwing money out of the window. You will rarely ´, if ever, came across a 40% incline in a city marathon or similar race. For commercial gym owners, I think you can get one or two of the X11i to satisfy your most extreme clients. Fill the rest off the floor with something less expensive and less incline. Boutique shops either want to go upmarket or completely barebone depending on whom they are targeting. I personally think this is a bit too middles of the road for a boutique that has its niche figured out. All in all, if you don't know exactly what you need, but still want everything at a decent price, the X11 is the right choice for you. 

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