NordicTrack Bike Review: Pros and Cons of Each Model

woman riding NordicTrack S27i

Gone are the days of pedaling away staring at a boring monitor as you watch the little red blinking dot move closer to the finish line. Indoor cycling has gained a lot of popularity in recent years as the rise of immersive training and virtual spinning classes have taken the fitness world by storm. And NordicTrack Bikes are among the top contenders in terms of high-quality, feature-heavy stationary bikes. That's why we decided to provide an in-depth NordicTrack Bike review on the different bikes they offer.

NordicTrack is a well-respected name in the world of cardio equipment, offering a range of bikes that differ in price, features, and functionality. The S27i Studio Bike, S22i Studio Bike, S15i Bike, and Commercial R35 are some of the most popular in the NordicTrack line, all providing an immersive training experience from the comfort of your home.

From recumbent to upright stationary bikes, NordicTrack brings users a premium training experience that rivals that of the infamous Peloton. But how do you know which NordicTrack bike is right for you? We’ve done the research by breaking down the pros, cons, and pricing of each model, giving you access to all the information you need to make your decision.

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A Quick Look at the NordicTrack S27i, S22i, S15i, and R35 Bikes

NordicTrack's line of cardio machines are all designed with one goal in mind: to transform the way you experience fitness. This brand has been a cardio legend since the mid-70’s with the release of the ski erg—their first piece of cardio equipment. Since then, NordicTrack has worked to perfect each machine produced, which now includes treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and more recently, resistance-based gym equipment.

When it comes to cycling, their line includes the NordicTrack S27i, S22i, S15i, and the R35 bikes. These stationary bikes offer an at-home workout without compromising joint health (cycling is regarded as a low-impact workout for areas like the knees). Made with premium components and designed with comfort and functionality in mind, these bikes are a great way to get your cardio on from home.

All four bikes come with 30 days of NordicTrack’s interactive fitness platform, iFit. iFit provides thousands of workouts led by world-class trainers who have the ability to adjust the resistance and incline of your workout to push you to your limits. This immersive experience expands beyond the bike as iFit also offers live and on-demand classes, personal training, and leaderboards for its fitness community.

NordicTrack S27i Bike

NordicTrack S27i

SPECS

  • Footprint: 57"L x 28"W x 65"H
  • Weight: 217 lbs.
  • Resistance Mechanism: Silent magnetic resistance, inertia-enhanced flywheel
  • Number of Resistance Levels: 24 digital levels
  • Incline/Decline: -10% decline to 20% incline
  • Material: Steel frame
  • Monitor: 27” smart tilt and pivot HD screen
  • Max user weight: 350 lbs.
  • Connectivity: Dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity
  • iFit membership: Included 30-day family membership
  • Key features: 30 watt sound system, AutoAdjust technology, Google Map integration, dual-sided SPD pedals, transport wheels, vertical and horizontal seat adjustment, Bluetooth headphone and heart rate connectivity, AutoBreeze cooling fan, pair of 3 lb. dumbbells included
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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Footprint

NordicTrack’s S27i Studio Bike stamps out a footprint that measures 57-inches long, 28-inches wide, and 65-inches high, which is one of the more compact designs on this list. Just be sure to account for space on all sides of the S27i before setting it up in its new home.

Portability

Weighing in at 217 pounds, the NordicTrack S27i is one of the heavier at-home studio bikes you’ll come across. While it does come with front transport wheels to make moving around a bit easier, it’s not a machine you want to be transporting for regular use.

Resistance

The S27i features silent magnetic resistance (SMR) combined with an inertia-enhanced flywheel which creates a smooth, efficient, and quiet ride. Because the resistance is regulated electronically, there’s not as much wear and tear on the actual flywheel. This bike boasts 24 levels of digital resistance which allows users to calibrate their ride and vary the intensity. Conveniently placed one touch controls on the handlebars make it easy to adjust the resistance.

When taking a cycling class through the iFit app, instructors are able to adjust and set your resistance through automatic tension control technology. This AutoAdjust system enables you to focus solely on your ride without fiddling with controls mid-workout. If you do prefer to control your own resistance, manual adjustment can override the AutoAdjust feature.

Incline and Decline Capabilities

One of the most impressive features of the NordicTrack S27i is its large range of incline and decline capability. Ranging from a negative 10% to a steep 20% incline, cyclists can mimic the sensation of riding outdoors. The bike actually tilts up and down as you ride.

Material

Constructed from premium steel, the S27i is as sturdy as it is durable. This frame features a new and enhanced corrosion resistance to protect your bike over time. The S27i comes with a vegan leather padded saddle, handlebar grip tape, and an ergonomic padded saddle designed to maximize comfort.

Monitor

The S27i’s name is derived from its large monitor which measures 27 inches across. Vivid images, a 30-watt sound integrated sound system, and the proximity of the monitor enhance the immersive experience. Additionally, this smart HD screen both tilts and pivots so you can hop off your bike and continue with another workout off the machine.

Connectivity

The S27i comes with dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity is also included for both a heart rate monitor to better track your fitness metrics and headphones.

iFit Membership

A free 30-day family membership iFit is included in your purchase of the S27i. When setting up your account, you must enter a credit card to keep on file. After the trial period, there is an auto renewal which costs $39 per month. While membership is not required to use the bike, the S27i doesn’t come with any pre-programmed workouts of its own.

An iFit membership provides access to thousands of live and on demand training classes ranging from yoga and mindfulness to strength and cycle. Classes are taught by world-class fitness instructors who are both engaging and motivating. As a member, you can connect with fellow exercise enthusiasts from around the world and partake in progressive training programs. You’re also able to consult with your trainers in real time through text, making the workout experience more personal.

Key Features

There is a long list of notable features with NordicTrack’s S27i, which is the most premium bike model NordicTrack offers. The technological advances overwhelmingly dominate this list of specs. Unlike some competitors, the S27i allows cyclists to train for any terrain via the integration of Google Maps into the iFit platform. The vivid scenery appears on the 27 inch monitor to match the route chosen. And, with the integrated 30 watt sound system, the immersive experience is about as good as it can come. The S27i also has Bluetooth headphone and heart rate connectivity to more closely monitor your fitness metrics. While there are many tracking apps out there, it’s a nice perk to have one like iFit that is fully plugged into your machine as well as available on your smart device.

The bike in and of itself is formidable with its solid build, an AutoBreeze fan to keep you cool throughout your ride, dual water bottle holders, and front transport wheels. The ergonomically designed seat can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally along with height adjusted handlebars to customize your fit to encourage the best form. Dual-sided SPD pedals offer the choice between toe cages or to use cycling shoes to clip securely into the pedal. While this is not a required bike accessory to have, many cyclists prefer the feel of clips over cages. The S27i also comes with a pair of 3 pound dumbbells so you can work your upper body as you pedal away.

PROS

  • Largest touch screen out of all of the NordicTrack bikes
  • Dual-sided pedals with SPD and toe cages
  • Google map integration on the iFit platform
  • Immersive training experience via iFit
  • Comfortable, padded seat
  • Sturdy and durable frame
  • 24 levels of digital resistance
  • Silent magnetic resistance mechanism is quiet and easily maintained

CONS

  • No pre-programmed workouts
  • Heavier than other options
  • Most expensive option on this list

BUY: NordicTrack S27i Bike

NordicTrack S22i Bike

Nordic Track S22i

SPECS

  • Footprint: 61"L x 22"W x 58"H
  • Weight: 205 lbs.
  • Resistance Mechanism: Silent magnetic resistance
  • Number of Resistance Levels: 24 digital levels
  • Incline/Decline: -10% decline to 20% incline
  • Material: Steel frame
  • Monitor: 22” rotating HD screen
  • Max user weight: 350 lbs.
  • Connectivity: Dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity
  • iFit membership: Included 30-day family membership
  • Key features: Hybrid SPD pedals, welded stabilizers, Google Map integration, AutoAdjust, one touch controls, vertical and horizontal seat adjustment, 30-watt premium sound system, AutoBreeze fans, transport wheels, Bluetooth headphone connectivity, includes a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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Footprint

With a footprint of 61-inches long, 22-inches wide, and 58-inches high, the S22i is large but not necessarily bulky.

Portability

The NordicTrack S22i weighs 205 pounds in the box. While it does have front transport wheels, because of its size, weight, and the large screen, you won’t want to be moving this bike around more than necessary.

Resistance

As with other bike models in the Studio line, the S22i uses a Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) mechanism combined with an inertia-enhanced flywheel to produce resistance. The result is a smooth ride with little sound emission and, thanks to the SMR, less wear and tear on the flywheel. 24 levels of digital resistance provides plenty of variability for training at different intensities. One touch control buttons are located conveniently at the end of the grip handlebar for easy access.

Just like with the rest of the NordicTrack bikes on this list, the S22i features AutoAdjust technology which means your fitness instructor via iFit controls your resistance so you can focus on the ride.

Incline and Decline Capabilities

A rather impressive feature found on several NordicTrack bikes, including the S22i, is the extended range of incline and decline capabilities. With incline grades ranging from negative 10% to 20%, cyclists are able to simulate riding outdoors on hilly terrain. A quick drive motor technology on the rear stabilizer actually tilts the S22i up and down as you ride. As with the resistance, incline can be trainer controlled or manually controlled at your discretion.

Material

The S22i Studio Bike's base, stabilizers, and posts are constructed from steel with enhanced corrosion resistance to protect your bike. To maximize comfort when riding, the adjustable handlebars have a soft grip covering and the ergonomic seat is padded.

Monitor

A 360-degree, 22-inch rotating interactive monitor enhances the virtual training available on the S22i. The screen sits approximately a foot behind the handlebars so is within arms reach enabling easy access. All cables and wires are intertal for a sleek look. And similar to the S271, the screen pivots and rotates to customize the angle for the best viewing.

Connectivity

The S27i has dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity for headphones is also included as well as a port when not using Bluetooth.

iFit Membership

Just like with the rest of the NordicTrack bikes, when you purchase the S22i, you receive a 30 day free membership to iFit.

Unique to the iFit platform is the integration of Google Maps, which allows you to train in different locations and build your own training route. This is particularly useful for those training for a race as they are able to ride indoors with the same hill gradients that you may encounter throughout the race. Whether it be the mountains of the Tour de France or a century ride in your neighborhood, Google Maps makes it possible to simulate multiple kinds of terrain.

Key Features

The S22i comes with hybrid SPD pedals with toe cages. Cyclists can clip in if preferred or stick to the more traditional toe cage foot securement. New welded stabilizers keep the S22i level and a motor connected to the rear stabilizer lifts and lowers the frame to mimic hill riding. Combined with the 30 watt sound system and 22-inch interactive, HD screen, this is about as close as you can come to riding outdoors.

The S22i allows for a customized fit with three points of adjustability between the seat and handlebars. AutoBreeze fans keep you cool throughout the workout along with dual water bottle holders for hydration. If you want to add in some upper body work while on the bike, NordicTrack provides a pair of 3 pound dumbbells with your purchase. Plus, it’s more affordable than the S27i, so if you still want a high-quality bike but without the premium price tag, the S22i is ideal.

PROS

  • Incline and decline training
  • 22" large HD screen
  • 24 levels of digital resistance
  • Silent Magnetic Resistance ensures quiet ride
  • Front and rear stabilizers keep the bike level
  • Immersive training experience via iFit
  • Google Maps integration
  • 30-day free iFit trial
  • 3 points of adjustment

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Assembly is time consuming

BUY: NordicTrack S22i Bike

NordicTrack S15i Bike

NordicTrack S15i

SPECS

  • Footprint: 60"L x 22"W x 58"H
  • Weight: 203 lbs. in box
  • Resistance Mechanism: Silent magnetic resistance, inertia-enhanced flywheel
  • Number of Resistance Levels: 22 digital levels
  • Incline/Decline: -10% decline to 20% incline
  • Material: Steel frame
  • Monitor: 14" rotating HD screen
  • Max user weight: 350 lbs.
  • Connectivity: Dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity
  • iFit membership: Included 30-day family membership
  • Key features: Two 2" digitally amplified speakers, automatic trainer controls, one touch controls, large diameter adjustable leveling feet, Bluetooth headphone connectivity, AutoBreeze workout fan, dual water bottle holders, Google Maps integration, two 3 lb. dumbbells included, front mounted transport wheels
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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Footprint

The NordicTrack S15i Bike carves out a modest footprint 60-inches long, 22-inches wide, and 58-inches high.

Weight and Portability

At 203 pounds in the box, the S15i is both sturdy and durable. It does come with front transport wheels for better portability. However, given its size and weight you’ll want a dedicated floor space for it.

Resistance

With its Silent Magnetic Resistance mechanism, the S15i offers 22 levels of digitally regulated resistance. This type of resistance can be calibrated for continued accuracy and does not wear down the flywheel. Combined with an inertia-enhanced flywheel, the S15i has a smooth and ultra-quiet ride.

Incline and Decline Capabilities

As with the resistance, incline and decline can be trainer controlled when using iFit or manually controlled with buttons found on the touchscreen and handlebar. With the trainer-led incline control, cyclists are able to to focus on cadence while attacking their next hill. The S15i offers the same level of incline and decline as the other bikes on this list (decline goes as low as 10% with an incline up to 20% allowing users to mimic outdoor cycling). What is particularly innovative on this series of bikes is that there is a motor on the rear stabilizer which actually pivots to match the grade of your ride.

Material

The S15i is constructed mainly from commercial grade steel with enhanced corrosion resistance. The base, stabilizers, and posts are all made of steel while the multi-grip handlebars are covered with a soft, non-slip cover.

Monitor

Improved graphic performance in the S15i’s 14-inch rotating smart HD touchscreen creates an engaging and immersive riding experience. The monitor tilts which reduces potential overhead glare and allows for better viewing. Users can also access quick one touch controls located on the monitor. When you want a non-bike workout, simply rotate the screen for your off bike exercise.

Connectivity

The S15i offers fast, dual 2.4GHz and 5GH connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to use wireless headphones as well.

iFit Membership

Just like with the rest of the NordicTrack bikes on this list, a 30-day family membership is included when you buy the S15i.

Key Features

The S15i comes at a budget-friendly price (it’s the most affordable studio bike out of all of the models offered by NordicTrack), but still boasts some impressive specs and features. Two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers improve the listening experience. Combined with the HD touchscreen as well as realistic feeling of incline and decline, the S15i provides a session that reproduces an outside ride as well as any bike out there.

For your comfort, the S15i comes with an AutoBreeze workout fan as well as dual water bottle holders. Large diameter adjustable leveling feet keep the bike secure and stable throughout any ride. And, if you are looking for an upper body boost, the S15i comes with two 3-pound dumbbells.

PROS

  • AutoAdjust incline/decline as well as resistance
  • Most affordable studio bike by NordicTrack
  • Less expensive than comparable models that do not have incline/decline capabilities
  • SMR is quiet and does not wear down the flywheel
  • 22 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 3 points of adjustability for a customized fit
  • Immersive training experience via iFit
  • Google Maps integration

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Seat not as comfortable than others in the series
  • Smaller screen than other options

BUY: NordicTrack S15i Bike

NordicTrack R35 Bike

NordicTrack R35

SPECS

  • Footprint: 68.22"L x 23.69"W x 53.42"H
  • Weight: 192 lbs. in product box
  • Resistance Mechanism: Silent magnetic resistance, 25 lb. inertia-enhanced flywheel
  • Number of Resistance Levels: 26 digital levels
  • Incline/Decline: N/A
  • Material: Commercial grade steel frame
  • Monitor: 14" smart touchscreen
  • Max user weight: 350 lbs.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth headphone audio connectivity
  • iFit membership: Included 30-day family membership
  • Key features: Two 2" digitally amplified speakers, automatic trainer controls, extra-wide foot pedals, water bottle holder, AutoBreeze fan, horizontal seat adjustment, lumbar support
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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Footprint

The NordicTrack R35 Recumbent Bike has a larger footprint than other bikes on this list so be sure to account for the size when thinking about how much space you have.

Portability

Equipped with front transport wheels, the R35 is the most portable bike on this list thanks to its lightweight design (it's the lightest bike out of all of the ones on this list).

Resistance

The R35 features a Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) along with a 25-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel offering 26 levels of digital resistance. A 25-pound flywheel on a recumbent bike is pretty impressive, and produces a fluid and smooth ride. SMR technology provides a frictionless magnetic resistance which eliminates noise emission that often accompanies the changing of resistance levels. Additionally, it reduces the wear and tear on the flywheel keeping it very low maintenance.

Material

The bike frame is constructed from commercial grade steel which results in a stable and durable bike. A soft non-slip covering is present on the side handrails which sandwich the oversized seat and a large lumbar support backing.

Monitor

A modest 14-inch HD smart touchscreen display allows cyclists to follow along with trainer led rides or to become immersed in the virtual landscapes. While 14 inches is one of the smallest screens on this list, it’s notably bigger than most screens found on recumbent bikes. This monitor continually displays your fitness stats to track and monitor your workout. Two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers are located above the screen which adds to the overall immersive experience.

Connectivity

Equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, you can sync your wireless headphones and listen to your favorite tunes or follow along with your iFit instructor.

iFit Membership

Purchase of the R35 comes with a 30 day family membership similar to the rest of the bikes on this list.

Key Features

Our favorite feature of this bike is its recumbent design. As the only recumbent option on this list, the bike allows you to sit closer to the ground by utilizing a comfortable, secure seat. For some, this design is more comfortable and user-friendly than a standard studio bike so it might be a good idea to try out various options in-store (recumbent vs. studio) to see which fits your preferences.

The R35 also comes with some added conveniences that improve your ride like extra-wide foot pedals, a water bottle holder, an AutoBreeze fan, and reinforced support for your back.

PROS

  • Automated cooling fan
  • Affordable
  • Auto adjust resistance
  • High weight capacity
  • Interactive screen
  • 2 digitally amplified speakers
  • Ergonomic pedals and lumbar support
  • 25-lb flywheel provides solid resistance
  • SMR is ultra quiet and smooth
  • Lightweight design

CONS

  • Smaller screen than other options
  • Some might not prefer the recumbent bike style

BUY: NordicTrack R35 Bike

NordicTrack Bikes Comparison

   NordicTrack S27i  NordicTrack S22i  NordicTrack S15i  NordicTrack R35
 Footprint  57” L x 28” W x 65” H  31”L x 22”W x 58”H  60”L x 22”W x 58”H  68.22”L x 23.69”W x 53.42”H
 Weight  217 lbs.  205 lbs.  203 lbs.  192 lbs.
 Resistance Mechanism  Silent Magnetic Resistance  Silent Magnetic Resistance  Silent Magnetic Resistance   Silent magnetic resistance, 25 lb inertia-enhanced
 Number of Resistance Levels  24  24  22  26
 Material  Steel  Steel  Steel  Steel
 Max User Weight  350 lbs  350 lbs  350 lbs  350 lbs
 Connectivity  Dual 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi connectivity  Dual 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi connectivity  Dual 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi connectivity  Only notates Bluetooth connectivity
 iFit   30 day free family trial   30 day free family trial   30 day free family trial   30 day free family trial
 Key Features  30W sound system, AutoAdjust, Google Maps, dual-sided SPD pedals, transport wheels, vertical and horizontal seat adjustment, Bluetooth headphone and heart rate connectivity, AutoBreeze fan, 3 lb dumbbells included  Hybrid SPD pedals, welded stabilizers, Google Map, AutoAdjust, one touch controls, 30W sound system, AutoBreeze fan, transport wheels, Bluetooth headphone connectivity  Two 2" digitally amplified speakers, automatic trainer controls, one touch controls, adjustable leveling feet, Bluetooth headphone connectivity, AutoBreeze workout fan, dual water bottle holders, Google Maps integration, two 3 lb. dumbbells included, front mounted transport wheels  Two 2" digitally amplified speakers, automatic trainer controls, extra-wide foot pedals, water bottle holder, AutoBreeze fan, horizontal seat adjustment, lumbar support
 Warranty  10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor  10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor  10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor  10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor

Final Thoughts on the NordicTrack Bikes

We're happy to report that the NordicTrack S27i, S22i, S15i, and R35i all live up to the reputable NordicTrack name, offering users a high-quality machine and an interactive fitness community via iFit. Each model varies slightly in terms of pricing and specific features offered, but we like how every bike comes with a 30-day free trial of iFit which allows you to try out the program and decide if it’s worth the monthly subscription. If you're looking for a quality at-home stationary bike, we recommend any of the options on this list.

FAQs About the NordicTrack Bikes


Does an iFit membership come free with NordicTrack bikes?

A free 30-day iFit membership comes with your purchase of most NordicTrack bikes. After 30 days, a monthly subscription fee of $39/month is required to maintain access to all the perks of this fitness platform.

How difficult are the NordicTrack bikes to assemble?

The NordicTrack bikes are not necessarily difficult to assemble but it is time consuming. While the assembly instructions are easy to follow, there are many steps (especially depending on the model you choose) which take a considerable amount of time. It may be a good idea to recruit help when assembling or bike or blocking off a few hours to ensure you have plenty of time for set-up.

Can you watch Netflix on NordicTrack bikes?

NordicTrack doesn’t provide any information about third party streaming or watching Netflix on your NordicTrack bike. But, there have been plenty of community forums wherein users have found ways to override the permissions and download Netflix.

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