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Nordictrack VR21 vs X22i

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 9, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VR21 vs X22i

This is a comparison of the Nordictrack VR21 and X22i including pros, cons, and alternatives . Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review Nordictrack Commercial X22i $2999 - $3999

This is a review of the Nordictrack X22i. The original was published in "Which Nordictrack trwadmill to get". Follow the links for more details.


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Overview Nordictrack Commercial X22i $2999 - $3999


The X22i is the little brother of the Nordictrack 32i. It has the same specs and bells and whistles except that the touch screen is 22 instead of 32 inches. Downsizing the screen by this much saves you about $1000 on the purchase to spend on other things for your home gym. The specifications for the X22i are:
  • 22” 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
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 4.0 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor◊
  • 2.5” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • iFit Bluetooth® Chest Strap Included
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • 50 On-Board Workout Programs
  • 70.2” L x 39.6” W x 71.6” H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
All things being equal this is a good option for a home gym that has been given a good budget or professional facilities that want the best and still be able to buy in bulk. The 32i might be a better option in facilities that work a lot with clients who are visually impaired in some way to give them a bigger screen to look at. 

Pros of the Nordictrack X22i

The X22i has the benefits of all of the high-end incline Nordictrack treadmills which includes:
  • Great cushioning
  • Big range of inclines
  • High rate finish
  • Wide belt
  • Powerful motor 
  • High weight capacity
This treadmill has been built for professional use. It has the right cushioning and can take up to 300 lbs of weight. In addition, you can go up to 40% of the incline in various increments. The finish is immaculate and combined with a great digital package to round up the experience. This is not the Mayback, but still the Mercedes E class of NordicTrack treadmills. 

Cons of the Nordictrack X22i

The cons of the Nordictrack 22i are:
  • Smaller screen compared to the 32i
  • Can not be folded 
  • Price 
  • Overkill
If you are already looking at incline treadmills with touch screen chances are high that you not that much of a budget-conscious buyer. These treadmills usually start around $3000 and go upwards from there. If you are already willing to invest that much into a treadmill, why get the smaller screen? Yes, $1000 is a good argument compared to the 32i, but to be honest, if you comparing the X32i and the X22i based on price, I think you went in at the wrong end of the portfolio. But that is just my opinion. 
This treadmill uses the same base as the X32i and is, therefore, the biggest frame Nordictrack provides. This treadmill can not be folded and has a wider belt than most standard treadmills. If you have limited space in your home or want to fit as many treadmills as possible into a small space, this is not the right option for you. 
As this treadmill provides the best of everything you also pay one of the highest prices for a treadmill from Nordictrack. In most cases, you will not make use of most of the incline options and other bells and whistles and not get your full value out of them. Less is more with most gym equipment as the fancier the use case, the less likely it is that you will actually use what you are paying for. Unless being fancy is part of your brand strategy or what you like. But that relates to Status which this treadmill also can represent. 

Alternatives for the Nordictrack X22i

Alternatives to the Nordictrack x22i are:
The True Form Runner is an alternative to the Nordictrack 22i which plays in the same price range. The True Form runner has no screen or incline and works without a motor. The main concept is that this treadmill runs on bearing. Therefore it is the better fit for fast interval training and sprints with a lot of acceleration. Basketball players, football players, and other team sport/sprint related athletes might get more use to increase performance out of this machine. 
The NordicTrack 2950 is the top of the line model which costs $1000 less. You get 15% of incline and a 22-inch screen with about the same bells and whistles otherwise. I still think this is more than enough for running indoors and lets you get 3 instead of 2 treadmills against $10.000. If you want luxury but don't want to go crazy on spending, go with this one. 
The Rogue Echo Bike is a very compact low price option at about $700 if you want to keep your knees safe and still get a good workout in. It is robust, easy to store and you can get a whole fleet of them for the price of two X22i. If your gym has not a lot of space or you want to maximize it, this is a solid option. In terms of comfort do not expect too much as this bike does not have any fans and screens or digital gadgets attached to it.
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 of the X22i

If you want the best of everything but can not afford the 32i, go with the X22i. I am still not a fan of compromising when I am willing to fork out more than $1000 on fitness equipment, but that is up to the individual. If it was for me and I ad decided that I need a touch screen and 40% inclined I might as well wait for a little and put some extra money for the X32i aside and be proud of myself. 

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