NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5iNordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i

Web Price: $1,999 | Sale Price: $1,499

The newest model in the FreeStride series, this 3 in 1 cardio machine offers a large stride length for workout variety and enhanced muscle targeting. Features oversized pedals, floating suspension and 22 resistance levels.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4.0 / 5.0

350 lbs
Stride Length:
up to 32″ adjustable
60.2″ L x 28.5″ W x 67.5″ H

UPDATE: The FS5i has been discontinued and replaced with the all new FS10i. Check it out on sale now at the official company site.

Overview: The FS5i FreeStride Trainer recently joined the popular NordicTrack lineup as the new base model in the series. It offers three machines in one with its generous 32″ adjustable stride…so you get an elliptical, a treadmill and a stepper all in one affordable machine.

Let’s take a closer look at what this hybrid elliptical has to offer…

Floating Suspension

Unlike typical elliptical machines, the FreeStride Trainers feel like you are sort of floating on air, with almost no impact whatsoever. This is due to the fact that the pedals ride on belts rather than rails, so it’s much more of a natural, free motion as you work out.

Three Workouts in One

With the FS5i you can adjust your stride up to 32 inches, which means you can choose any type of workout you want. At the lower end you have short, choppy strides, like you would find on a stepper machine. In the mid range levels, it’s more of your traditional elliptical experience. And cracking it up to the longest strides mimics being on a treadmill, as your stride is completely opened up.

So you can target different muscle groups and really change up the feel as you work out. Keep in mind that if you want even more freedom the FreeStride Trainer FS7i adds incline capability, as does the top of the line FS9i model, which also gives you decline.

iFit Technology

Like most other NordicTrack ellipticals and treadmills these days, the FS5i is equipped with iFit Coach, a proprietary program that gives you personal trainer designed workouts on top of the 32 that are built into the machine, as well as tracking, monitoring and sharing of your results.

You also get Google Maps, which allows you to train anywhere in the world your heart desires. Just pick a location and watch it unfold in front of you.

With the FS5i, you’ll need to use your tablet to view the map…with the FS7i and the FS9i you can view the map right on the web-enabled touch screen. The FS5i has a basic backlit display.

Other Nice Features

In addition to the nice array of built-in workouts and those through iFit (which requires a yearly subscription), you get 22 resistance levels, oversized cushioned pedals, one touch console controls, SoftTouch grips for comfort, transport wheels, a tablet holder, water bottle holder and a 350 pound max weight capacity.

NordicTrack FS5i Test Drive

After trying the FS7i model not too long ago, we definitely noticed the difference between that one and the new FS5i. Still, it provided a great workout and plenty of options to target different muscle groups.

The FS5i allows you to adjust your stride up to 32 inches, which is quite generous, the same length you get on the FS7i and FS9i models.

As advertised you really do feel like you are floating on air, even when you’re at one of the higher resistance levels. It’s a very smooth and natural movement, and something most of us are not used to if we’ve only used traditional elliptical trainers.

The FreeStride Trainers are center drive, which means that the flywheels are located on either side of the pedals rather than in the front or the back. NordicTrack ACT ellipticals are also mid-drive machines. This makes them very compact which is ideal for smaller spaces, and also puts you in a more balanced position.

As we mentioned, the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS5i does not have the touch screen that the other models do, so in order to access the iFit maps or use the internet, you’ll have to use your own tablet. Not a deal breaker, but once you use a web-enabled touchscreen you do get a little spoiled.

The FS5i also does not have the incline/decline capability of the the other two models, nor does it include the wireless chest strap.

Still, it’s about $500 less than the FS7i and $1500 less than the top end FS9i, so they have to cut corners somewhere to make the machine more affordable.

NordicTrack FS5i Review – Conclusion

For those looking for a new workout experience, the FS5i Trainer from NordicTrack is a great option, giving you three machines in one and a floating suspension with zero impact on the knees and joints.

It may not have all of the features as the FS7i and FS9i, but it is much more affordable than those other models. If you are OK using your tablet for iFit and the internet, it’s a very good choice.

**This elliptical has been discontinued. Check out our review of the new FS10i, a step up from the FS5i with many more features and capabilities.