NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9iNordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i

Web Price: $3,799 | Sale Price: $2,799

These hybrid cardio machines provide a stepper, an elliptical and a treadmill all in one, offering one of the most complete cardio workouts you can ever have. The FS9i also adds unique decline capability.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4.5 / 5.0

375 lbs.
26 levels
Stride Length:
up to 32″
58.3″L x 29.5″W x 73.6″H

UPDATE: The FS9i has been replaced with the all new NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS10i. Check that one out for a comparable model.

Overview: The NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i is a powerful hybrid cardio machine that functions as a stepper, an elliptical and a treadmill all in one. For those looking to really ramp up their workouts, this might just be the machine for you.

Here are some of the best features on this machine…

Incline & Decline Capability

Unlike its little sister, the FS7i, the FS9i offers decline capability of up to -10% in addition to the 10% incline. So you can really target every single muscle group, upper and lower, with this machine.

You won’t find another elliptical trainer with decline capability, especially in this price category. That’s something that is quite unique.

Huge Adjustable Stride

The FS9i allows you to up the stride to an industry leading 32″, so you can do any kind of workout you can think of, from short step machine steps to long treadmill running strides and everything in between.

The mid-level FS7i also offers this freedom, as does the base FS5i elliptical.

So all three FreeStride Trainers give you a huge stride, but note that the FS5i does not have incline capability.

Lighter Movement

The FreeStride Trainer offers very comfortable, extra wide pedals that ride on belts rather than the traditional rails, so you feel like you’re sort of suspended in air rather than working out on a surface.

You have a total freedom of movement that you don’t have on a regular elliptical trainer, which is one of the major draws of the FS9i.

iFit Coach Enabled

Just like its little sister, the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i is iFit Coach enabled, allowing you to walk, jog or run anywhere across the globe using Google maps technology.

The machine will automatically change its incline to match the terrain of the location you select. You can also track all of your stats, share with your friends and choose from hundreds of customized workouts from fitness gurus and personal trainers.

Note that there is a small monthly fee for an iFit subscription, but it’s worth it for all that you are getting.

NordicTrack FS9i Elliptical Test Drive

We recently tested out the FS7i, which is essentially the same machine as the FS9i with a few less features. The only difference as far as your workout is concerned is the decline capability on the NordicTrack FreeStride FS9i that the FS7i does not offer.

Right out of the box this machine looks and feels very well made. This is not your typical hybrid machine that allows you to do different workouts but doesn’t feel sturdy and makes tons of noise…this is a very well-constructed piece of gym equipment, similar to something you might see in a high end gym.

The 32″ stride allows you to really push yourself, and the way that the pedals are positioned you truly feel like you are walking on air as the company claims you will. It’s a very cool feeling. But it doesn’t make the workouts any less intense. Especially at the higher stride lengths, higher resistance levels and incline or decline, you are really put the test and it’s fantastic.

We tried all of the different workouts…starting with the short stepper-like motions, then an elliptical motion in the 20″ range, and finally a full length treadmill-like workout at the max 32″. We also experimented with different resistance and incline levels, which adjusted easily with a touch of a button.

Transitions from one setting to the next were smooth and seamless, and even at the highest settings there was very little noise and no vibration whatsoever.

By the end of our 30 minute trials we were wiped out (in a good way 🙂 ) and really felt like we got a solid cardio workout in, with little to no pain due to the extremely low impact design.

UPDATE: There’s an all new NordicTrack FS10i FreeStride Trainer that was recently introduced. It may be replacing the FS9i.

NordicTrack FS9i Review – Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a hybrid elliptical machine that really gets your heart pumping, the FreeStride Trainer FS9i is a solid choice.

With a 32″ stride, incline and decline, 26 resistance levels and iFit Coach included, it has just about everything you could ever want in a cardio machine.

If you don’t need the decline, or the bigger 10″ screen, you can save $1000 and go with the FS7i. It has a few less features but nothing that you’ll really miss.

Both machines are beasts and you’ll be more than happy with the results you get no matter which one you choose.