THe Nordictrack T 6.5 Si is the first interactive treadmill in their T series range. It has exactly the same specs as the previous model known as the T 6.5 (model no NTL17915) except it has a 10 inch display as opposed to 5 inch, and it comes with a years subscription to iFit ($396).
So naturally it costs around $300 extra. If you like iFit it does represent a wiser economical purchase, as you get a bigger touchscreen to enjoy the workout videos (and console graphics).
This treadmill moves above bare bones minimal treadmill offerings and quite simply the difference between this and a Weslo treadmill for example is like night and day.
For a start the deck is bigger 20 x 55 inches and it has softer patented Flexselect cushioning which reduces the impact the treadmill has on your joints. It also conveniently folds with an easy to operate easy lift mechanism, which reduces it's 67.5 in (L) x 36 in (W) x 73 in (H) footprint by half.
The warranty is really good at this price, 2 years on parts, 1 year labor costs, and a 10 year frame warranty. Nordictrack who are famous for their ellipticals, have great confidence that this is a long lasting machine. If not they would lose a fortune on spare parts and labor costs.
The max user weight is 300 pounds so bear that in mind before ordering and there are other treadmills designed for heavier users.
The treadmill also has 20 built in workout programs, so if you decide after a year iFit is not for you, there are plenty of options on the machine. If you want to monitor your heart beat there are EKG grip handles.
Are there any more features that set this above cheaper competitors?
This treadmill features a trademarked DurX 2.6 CHP (continuous horsepower) motor. It is part of their commercial plus motors which are more powerful than HP motors.
Basic treadmills have standard horsepower which can run from 1 to 2.5 HP on average. CHP motors are stronger are more consistent than HP motors over an extended time period, as these can only produce their power on a linear scale as opposed to a constant scale.
This treadmill has a 10% gradient which you can adjust with one touch increments. It also goes up to 10 mph. Fast paced marathon runners run at 10 mph. Supreme athletes go faster of course, but 10 mph is enough for home fitness enthusiasts who aren't trying to be competitive athletes.
The higher spec treadmill in NordicTrack's T series have 12 mph max speeds and a 12% incline ramp.
Where this treadmill excels is in it's automated functionality with iFit. You can choose one of the coaching sessions from the 16000+ strong video library and your coach will control the speed and incline functions of your treadmill.
It's like having your own gym instructor right in the room. With iFit workout boredom becomes a thing of the past and you can choose a running location from anyplace in the world via Google maps, and see the landscape or city unfold on the monitor before your eyes.
You can run through the streets of Singapore or take a visit to old Blighty or run across the beaches of the Caribbean (albeit without getting bogged down).
If you also want more than just running out of your home gym there are many fitness and circuit classes where you can utilize air squats, push ups, planks, dumbbells and many other weird and excruciating exercises as your gym instructor calls them out. Don't forget to get off the treadmill first, and cool down on it after you finish.
This machine has also been designed with longevity in mind. It uses 1.9 inch precision balanced rollers which helps your treadmill self cool and preserves the life of the bearings, belt and motor.
Will these shortcomings put you off?
There is no bluetooth connectivity on the console, so if you want to play music from your phone you have to use an auxiliary lead. Bluetooth starts on the next model up on the series , the T 7.5 S.
If you want to sprint harder you will need to go up the price range in this series to get a 12 mph treadmill.
iFit is pricey at $396 per year, unless there are multiple users in your house, after a year is up you may not have the funds to reactivate the membership.
The running deck also goes up 5 inches longer on the next model in the series and will suit runners with a longer gait. Shame its around $400 more expensive.
This model also lacks a fan, which mostly can be low powered gimmicks on treadmills but the autobreeze fan on the T 7.5 s and T 8.5 S is really quite impressive.
Final Roundup - Is This the treadmill you've been looking for?
This treadmill features really good cushioning and the motor is fairly capable to power you through your workouts even at top speed. The 10" HD monitor displays some really impressive HD visuals. It is better than the smaller 7 inch monitor you get in the next treadmill further up the spec scale in the T series.
If you get bored easily this machine was built for iFit. Standalone it is also a very impressive treadmill, but remember if you don't want this option the T 6.5 S will save you several hundred dollars, and it has the same functionality, except for a smaller display console. (if you don't need iFit you won't miss the size that much).