If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio machine, an elliptical trainer easily comes to mind. The question is, which one should you get? This ProForm vs NordicTrack elliptical comparison might help.
A good tip is to narrow down your options by checking out your preferred elliptical brands.
Arguably, ProForm and NordicTrack are among the most reliable elliptical producers. So, let’s put them in a head-to-head match to spot their similarities and differences.
This compare-and-contrast post hopefully helps you decide which elliptical trainer brand is better.
ProForm vs NordicTrack Elliptical Similarities
It might not be common knowledge, but NordicTrack and ProForm are popular brands from the same parent company, ICON Fitness.
Both brands are not in direct competition with each other. Still, it would be nice to compare them and see how well their elliptical trainer features meet your standards.
They both have 6 similar features that other brands may not offer their customers. Read on for more details (also displayed in the image below).
1. iFit Access
Getting a ProForm or NordicTrack elliptical trainer gives you access to one of the best fitness apps to date: iFit. A purchase from either brand even includes a free 30-day iFit trial.
The iFit program maximises the console of your elliptical and lets you enjoy tons of workout videos from the app’s extensive library.
You can also access it through your mobile device for off-elliptical sessions, like strength training or yoga. If you like infusing your workouts with modern and automated technology, ProForm or NordicTrack ellipticals will make you happy.
These iFit-enabled machines can auto-adjust their settings when linked to the app. The elliptical trainers automatically boost the resistance or increase the incline based on your chosen terrain.
iFit can also track and record your workout metrics. It even works with Google Maps technology, letting you design custom scenic elliptical workout routes anywhere in the world.
Plus, if you subscribe, you can choose between individual and family iFit membership, depending on your budget.
2. Screen Size
You’ve probably heard NordicTrack fans raving about the brand’s impressive screen display and sizes. I’ve tried various NordicTrack machines, and I have to admit that their touchscreens are top-notch.
However, it was not a significant point of comparison when compared with ProForm elliptical screens.
Specifically, both currently have models with a maximum 14-inch display. NordicTrack has more elliptical models with a large touchscreen compared to ProForm.
Also, the most affordable NordicTrack elliptical to date has a 7-inch screen, while ProForm has it at 5 inches. So, not much of a difference there.
Most ellipticals from both brands also work with an optional tablet holder. Getting an elliptical from either brand will maximise your workout and iFit experience.
3. Weight Capacity
Weight capacities are essential in this ProForm vs NordicTrack elliptical comparison as these suggest machine strength and longevity.
Considering that 133 kg is the average elliptical weight capacity, it is safe to say that both brands are equally strong and durable. Most ellipticals under these brands have a 150-kg load limit, which is well above average.
However, the NordicTrack elliptical range has more weight capacity options ranging from 125 kg to 170 kg.
Take note of this, especially if you intend to share the machine with other users of different weight categories. Our previous article on elliptical machine load limits has more details to help you choose which machine can support your body weight.
4. Incline Feature
One of the unique functions of modern elliptical trainers is the ability to lift the pedals to a certain degree.
It’s an excellent way to diversify an otherwise monotonous elliptical routine. This function also helps you work on your other muscles and progress to more challenging sessions.
The good news is both elliptical brands have models with this technology.
However, when you look at the ProForm vs NordicTrack elliptical range, the latter brand has considerably more units with a 10-20% incline ability.
So, if you need this elliptical feature for workout variety, consider looking at NordicTrack for more options.
5. Adjustable Stride and Resistance
Another common feature between ProForm and NordicTrack ellipticals is their highly customisable nature, particularly their stride and resistance levels.
Both brands have models equipped with a feature called power adjustable stride. It allows you to shorten or lengthen your strides on the elliptical to simulate a climbing or running motion.
It’s also automated, so you can focus on your workout and not worry about manual adjustments. Then, pairing this function with the machines’ adjustable resistance levels takes you to even more personalised and challenging workouts.
Depending on the model, a ProForm or NordicTrack elliptical may have a resistance range of 18 to 26, which is pretty good and diverse.
All in all, users with varying fitness capacities will find an elliptical machine match from either brand.
6. Warranty and Return Policy
Quality products and customer service are crucial when choosing which elliptical trainer to buy.
Fortunately, ProForm and NordicTrack share good warranty coverages, which include 10 years on frame, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labour.
The return policy conditions and processes are the same for these sister brands.
Just remember that warranties and return policies can change. So, check the brand websites first for updated versions before buying.
ProForm vs NordicTrack Elliptical Differences
While ProForm and NordicTrack ellipticals have a lot in common, they also have distinct features.
These will likely be your deciding factor when choosing between these brands. Here are a few of their differences that you should know.
1. Drive Mechanism and Flywheel Weight Options
The drive mechanism refers to the flywheel position of your elliptical machine.
The flywheel is a metallic disc that rotates as you move the pedals and handlebars back and forth. Depending on the elliptical design, you can find this part at the front, rear, or centre.
While you might think that flywheel placement has little effect on your workout experience, it makes a huge difference.
For instance, front-drive ellipticals are best for optimum incline function. Centre-drive machines offer maximum stride lengths. On the other hand, rear-drive elliptical trainers typically have heavier flywheels for smoother and quieter rides.
Comparing ProForm vs NordicTrack ellipticals, NordicTrack has better drive mechanism variety.
Similarly, this brand offers more flywheel weight options ranging from 8 to 14 kg. ProForm has more front-driven ellipticals, which is not a bad thing.
However, ProForm ellipticals may have less to offer, especially if you are tall or prefer the climbing motion of centre or rear-driven machines.
2. Maximum Stride Length
Earlier, I mentioned that ProForm vs NordicTrack ellipticals have an adjustable stride length. The machines from both brands have this feature at different levels.
Specifically, NordicTrack elliptical stride lengths range from 18 to 32 inches, whereas ProForm has 18 to 20 inches. This point of comparison means that taller users or people with longer gaits will have more options with the NordicTrack elliptical range.
Despite this difference, both brands offer models with 10-inch vertical and 5-inch horizontal elliptical paths. According to their product pages, this motion is ideal for optimum calorie burn and strength building.
So, all in all, the brands cater to different elliptical users, but NordicTrack has a considerably broader coverage. You might want to check out our article on elliptical stride length to determine which is ideal for your height and preferred workouts.
Compared with exercise bikes, elliptical machines tend to be more expensive. Still, you can get a good-quality elliptical at less than $2000.
If this is your budget limit, consider looking at elliptical trainers from ProForm. Most of their models fall under the mid-range category.
They may not be as feature-packed as other pricey ellipticals. The ProForm brand is well-known for creating machines with high value for money. They have the staple features plus a few hi-tech functions for less.
You can always consider premium-priced NordicTrack ellipticals if you are after more premium features and have extra to spend—most of the models from the NordicTrack brand fall under the high-end category.
Our previous article on how much an elliptical should cost has more helpful details.
ProForm vs NordicTrack Elliptical: Which One Should You Buy?
After comparing these elliptical brands, I have to say that they were a close match. So, I suggest knowing your training needs well when choosing between them.
Here’s a short guide you can use.
Choose a ProForm elliptical if you:
- prefer well-built but budget-friendly cardio machines
- are on a beginner or intermediate fitness level
- like the shuffling motion of front-drive ellipticals
- want to balance your upfront cost with a full app subscription
- do not mind smaller screens or shorter stride lengths
Choose a NordicTrack elliptical if you:
- are willing to spend on more expensive cardio machines
- are on an intermediate or experienced fitness level
- are looking for front, rear, or centre-drive ellipticals
- need heavy-duty elliptical trainers with top-of-the-line features
- prefer larger screens or longer stride lengths
Questions on Elliptical Cross Trainers
1. Which is better: rear or front-drive elliptical?
The ideal elliptical drive for you depends on your workout goals and preferences. For instance, if cost and space are your priority, the more affordable and compact front-drive elliptical is best for you. However, if performance and longevity are more important, consider spending more on a rear-drive elliptical. Read our rear vs front-drive elliptical article to learn more.
2. Is the NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 a good elliptical model?
The NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical is an excellent example of a modern cardio machine. It boasts a stunning design and packs a punch with high-technology features. Its construction suits frequent and long-term use, too. Performance-wise, its adjustable settings, smooth transition, and noiseless operation are sure to impress. There’s no dull moment with this trainer, either, thanks to its iFit compatibility. You can learn more about this product from our NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical review.
3. Can I use ProForm or NordicTrack ellipticals without subscribing to iFit?
Any ProForm or NordicTrack elliptical works without syncing them to the iFit app. You can exercise with these machines in manual mode instead. Also, some models include a small selection of built-in workout programs.
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