Take Your Home Spin Classes To The Next Level with NordicTrack Studio Cycles

NordicTrack are great at taking a good thing and making it better. This is how they approach the humble indoor exercise bike. If you see a S15i or S22i sitting proudly on it's own at your gym, take it for a test drive and you'll see what I mean.

You might not want to share it with anyone else until you are good and ready to say goodbye. Which could be a while.

Differences between The S15i & S22i Studio Cycles

The only difference in the 15i & the 22i is the display size. A 15 inch or a massive 22 inch screen splits the difference. As you are sitting so close to the screen do you really need a 22 inch monitor?

The S22i does have a party piece. This screen also rotates 360 degrees, which if you want to get off and follow along with a personal trainer class means you can see the display from anywhere in the room.

NordicTrack have an older model that is still available on some fitness sites and places like Amazon called the S10i. It has as the name suggest a 10 inch display screen. The frame warranty is halved though compared to the newer models with only 5 years on offer.

The newer models come with 2 x 3 pound dumbbells which NordicTrack think is good if you want to do a circuit, full body, or paired down Crossfit style workout. Not sure if this adds to the machines value, and I'm sure I can decide by myself if i want to do a go for a cardio spin session or take a full body or strength workout instead.

In reality there are better bikes for building strength and fitness that give you a full body workout, namely fan or air bikes, like the Assault or the Airdyne. They work both strength and endurance.

Get Connected

The i in the model name stands for interactive with a capital "I". NordicTrack really push the connectivity of their machines, it's where exercise and motivation meet and merge with escapism. All this works seamlessly with elite spec design.

Exercise purists get NordicTrack's 30 years of refined engineering, and the beauty of nature or the hustle & bustle of urban living, courtesy of iFit, which combines grueling personal trainer classes across virtual real world terrain in conjunction with Google maps.

Your home can be your sanctuary but also the whole world can be your oyster thanks to a wireless console. With a 12 months subscription to iFit (circa $400) included in your purchase, the entire family can test it to the limits before deciding whether or not to renew it next year.

Once you have worked with iFit for a while it's hard to let go.

This bike is as smooth as butter and it is a joy to behold without a coach yelling at you, or a tropical route to seduce you. Standalone it can hold its own without all excertainment features of iFit .

If you like road biking and have your own setup, the pedals and seat can be changed.

What's Included

  • 20% Incline and 10% decline offers some serious pro level gradients - can be adjusted by app during coaching classes and route challenges
  • 22 silent magnetic resistance levels to increase exercise intensity which can be operated by iFit app
  • Online stat tracking - multiple users can also store details on machine
  • health club commercial build, designed to last for year with long continuously exercise sessions, includes anti-chip/corrosive paint
  • belt drive offers more longevity and less maintenance that chain drive systems
  • 10 year warranty for frame, 2 years for parts, one for labor
  • 12 month subscription to iFit ($400 saving)

Did Anyone Mention The Wobble?

Handlebars wobble from side to side, even more so when you raise monitor up higher. They won't fall off, but it it's annoying as the rest of the bike exemplifies craftsmanship.

But could this be a blessing in disguise? Riding a bike is all about posture, to protect your spine, knees and neck. If you are placing too much weight on one side of the handlebars they will wobble as your weight is not evenly distributed.

If you tighten your core and spread the weight 50/50 down each arm the handlebars will amazingly not wobble, and you will develop an extremely taut core. This will develop your riding technique and improve your power and stop you swaying from backwards and forwards when you ride.

Well except for those times when you are pushing hard up a slope, but over time your control and fitness will develop if you stick with it and don't get sloppy.

What's For

  • Smooth silent resistance levels, and overall the only thing that makes noise is the fan, and incline motors when in use.
  • Sturdy machine forged out of commercial grade steel & ovalized tubes to add strength. Leveling stabilizers help with side to side balance.
  • Max weight capacity of 350 pounds
  • Looks slick - coated with double layer of black paint
  • Very stable bike, even for heavy users as it weighs over 150 pounds
  • Has transport wheels underneath to help move it out of the way when you need to reclaim your storage
  • Can suit taller individuals as it has a higher structure than your usual spin bike. Footprint is 55.75in (L) x 22in (W) x 61in (H)
  • Seat helps accommodate taller people as it can rise and adjusts in 4 positions (front-back, up-down).
  • Can keep dumbbells in rack under handlebars
  • iFit makes automatic adjustments to the resistance levels and incline so you don't have to

Not for

Doesn't have pulse bpm sensors, even though console can display bpm stats. For this you need to purchase a wireless heart strap.

The handles only adjust vertically, would be nicer to have the option for them to move forwards and back. The way round this is to slide the seats to the front or back to lock in your position.

Doesn't have live workouts, all so far are pre-recorded.

Doesn't have Bluetooth! You can't use wireless headphones. Which for a machine of this price is bizarre. But one way around this frustration is to purchase a Bluetooth transmitter and plug it into the audio jack. Then you can workout without disturbing the peace.

Should You Saddle Up or Keep On The Move?

The good points certainly outweigh the bad when it comes to the Commerical S Cycle Series. The Studio range represents a pro gym experience that you can attain in your own home. It's smooth, slick and sturdy.

If you need entertainment to drive you through your workouts, and have a modicum of accountability, iFit brings it along with the motivation. The price tag and online stat tracking will guilt you into working out on a consistent basis. Otherwise you are just wasting your money.

The reviews on Amazon are glowing. The bike itself offers a fantastic engaging cardio workout standalone without the connection experience. The automatic incline and decline takes this bike to the next level. If you want to challenge yourself the slopes combined with the 22 silent resistance levels will get the job done.

About Eddie Eastwood