NordicTrack SE7i Elliptical Review – 2020
The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i is a multi-function elliptical trainer with a rear drive that allows it to collapse down when not in use. The SE7i has a 7” touchscreen and smooth pedal motion with 18” span. This is an affordable, foldable option for a great low-impact workout.
Who it’s For: Users looking for an affordable elliptical that collapses down when not in use
- Low impact movement still provides high-intensity training with power incline and 24 levels of digital resistance!
- Power incline up to 10% grade enhances training variables and increases posterior muscle engagement
- Moving handlebars allow users to train upper body muscles as well
- Full color 7” display showcases hundreds of fun iFit classes
- You get the best of both worlds, an iFit subscription and compatible tablet holder allows you to use iFit — or just enjoy the 24 preloaded workouts on the LCD screen
- Lightweight and foldable, so you can collapse the console down when you are finished
- Great option for users who want a low-impact workout at home
- The 24 preloaded programs are varied for lots of different routines and options
- iFit has hundreds of classes and outdoor routes
- Priced affordably for budget-conscious users
- There is no touchscreen, this is an LCD screen with a tablet holder
- There is a monthly subscription cost for iFit after the first year
- Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership
The SE7i features a 7” touchscreen that showcases NordicTrack’s iFit database of workout classes and outdoor routes. Via the touchscreen you can select and view any number of walking, hiking or other outdoor trails while on your SE7i. You can also do indoor classes led by a personal trainer. This is a great feature and an exceptional value!
- 24 Preset Workout Apps
If you don’t want to use iFit, there are 24 preset workouts on the SE7i that will work without any internet or wifi. Simply plug in your machine and you can select any of these preloaded workouts.
- SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance with 24 Digital Resistance Levels
Digital resistance is silent when in use, so the pedals on your SE7i don’t make any noise. They slide back and forth silently so you can use your machine anytime of day or night. Digital preset levels make it so you can always find the right level of resistance each time.
- 10% Power Adjustable Incline
This unusual feature on an elliptical machine pivots the pedals up to reach a 10% incline — as if you were walking or hiking up a hill! This makes the SE7i multifunctional and adds more variables to your training routine.
- Integrated Handle Controls for Ramp and Resistance
Since the SE7i is multifunctional, it is nice to have handlebar controls for ramp and resistance right at your fingertips!
- 325 Lb. User Weight Capacity
This is an impressive user capacity for an elliptical trainer. 325lb will support most users which makes this a great option for those looking to increase their fitness but stay low-impact.
- Vertical SpaceSaver® Design
Since this is a rear-drive elliptical, it does take a bit of floor space, however, the vertical space saver design makes it look light and airy — like it’s floating in your room — so it doesn’t look heavy in your workout space.
In-depth Review of NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i
- The SE7i is a foldable elliptical with a rear-drive flywheel. It is designed to fold up, which is a great feature. However, this does compromise a bit with the overall sturdiness of the SE7i. The extra-wide pedals and handles are supportive, but they can wobble a little when in use. The handles also have a narrower span compared to similar ellipticals. NordicTrack states this machine will support up to 325 pounds, but we recommend users stay well underneath that weight threshold. The SE7i only weighs 215 pounds, so it is on the lighter side for an elliptical.
- The stride length of the pedals is 18” which is shorter than other ellipticals. This works fine for shorter users who want to maximize floor space and don’t need the extra leg span. However, for taller people or those with a long stride, 18” may not provide enough span for a full stride length.
- The handles are connected to the foot pedals, so hands and feet are coordinated, which is a nice feature.
- The rear drive system design places the flywheel at the back of the machine. This helps keep the elliptical stable by balancing the weight. It also makes it so the “stride” of the pedals is contained mostly within the footprint of the machine — the foot pedals don’t extend forward or backward behind the machine when in use. Instead, they move smoothly around the flywheel, which is a safer design for those in the room when it is being used. This makes it a good option if you have kids or pets who may walk around you when in use. Other ellipticals have pedals that stick out in front or pretty far behind the machine, so this is a preferable design for safety.
- The handles allow you to use more upper body muscles than usual on a treadmill or stair stepper. Pulling the handles towards you engages the biceps, anterior deltoids, and lats. Pressing the handles forward engages the triceps, rear delt, and forearms. This feature makes the SE7i beneficial for multiple muscular systems since you can develop both lower body and upper body conditioning all at once.
- The rear-drive system also lowers the step-up height on this machine. The pedal track sits close to the ground, so it’s just a quick step up to get on the pedals.
- The foot pedals are extra-wide and designed to work with any size shoe. There is a slight ledge around the perimeter that holds your foot on the pedal. The surface is textured so your shoe doesn’t slip.
- The pedal is also oversized and glides easily up and down the track.
- Handles extend vertically in front of the console and they are angled to provide a symmetrical grip so you can keep your wrists, elbows and shoulders in alignment while in use. A spongy grip material adds a bit of cushion to the steel beam bars.
- Handles connect down to the pedal beams so motion is streamlined between hands and feet.
- The rear drive flywheel is centered between the pedals so each foot pedal rotates around the flywheel to create a feeling of forward motion. The flywheel only weighs 18 pounds, which isn’t the heaviest, but it’s enough to create a smooth glide underfoot.
- The SE7i pivots up to a 10% incline. This is great functionality for an elliptical in this price range! Incline training increases variables for a more well-rounded workout. The combination of 24 digital resistance levels and a 10% grade will raise your heart rate while allowing you to stay low-impact. The combination of incline and resistance makes the SE7i a great training machine!
- Magnetic resistance is quiet and smooth. Magnets adjacent to the flywheel oppose the wheel’s rotation to create resistance. There is no friction which reduces both noise and wear on the flywheel.
- 24 resistance levels are digitally set to be precise and consistent. Whether you use an iFit program, follow a preloaded routine, or just adjust the resistance yourself, you can always find the same level of resistance. This is tremendously beneficial compared to a tension knob that just randomly increases resistance but isn’t measurable.
5” Backlit LCD Screen
The console is well-designed and easy to use. The LCD screen provides large digital numbers that are easy to see. While this isn’t as fancy as a touchscreen, it works well for adjusting incline, resistance and following the preloaded programs.
- The screen provides the following stats:
- Calories burned/Calories per hour
- Strokes/Strokes per minute
- Time Elapsed/Time Remaining
The SE7i includes a tablet holder on the top of the console that should hold most tablets securely. The tablet holder is conveniently located. Using your personal device, you can log into iFit and watch a program while working out on your elliptical. The tablet holder enhances the functionality of the SE7i significantly since you can use it as a basic elliptical with no subscription content or internet needed, or you can sync with iFit and enjoy the wealth of great iFit content with both walks and hikes for your SE7i. It’s nice to have different options and this is a great design for users who really don’t plan to use or pay for iFit after the first year.
A multi-power fan is located in the console of the SE7i which you can control via buttons on the console. The fans provide good air flow and are positioned about chest high.
The fan is such a great addition! When working out at home, it is more difficult to control ambient temperature since others may be home at the same time (not exercising!) The fan has multiple settings so you can choose which power is appropriate for your room.
Since it uses magnetic resistance, the SE7i makes very little noise. The pedals glide smoothly and the handles are attached in such a way that you can exercise without disturbing those around you. The motor makes a bit of noise when inclining or declining, but this is subtle and limited to those times when you are adjusting the tilt.
Storage / Folding
The SE7i does fold; the console collapses down onto the track so the machine sits folded on the floor. You could easily set the SE7i parallel with the back of a couch so it extended alongside the couch when in use and then folded down behind the couch when you finished. This machine is designed for smaller spaces and the stability of the frame is affected by the folding design. We did notice some wobble in both the pedals and handlebars during use, but this doesn’t affect its performance overall.
There are 24 pre programmed workouts on the machine that will guide you through various intensities and resistance. The onboard workouts are sufficient to keep you active and provide plenty of training variables. This is a perfect exercise machine for users who want functionality but simple tech. It doesn’t have all the extra bells and whistles that many users don’t want to pay for.
iFit is included free for the first year with up to five profiles. Elliptical classes are filmed in a studio with a trainer in front of you and other participants working out alongside. Trainers are excellent at cueing form since it can be easy to develop sloppy form when on an elliptical. The resistance is automated, so it will automatically adjust to whatever the trainer is doing.
There is no touchscreen, so all iFit programs must be viewed on an iFit compatible tablet secured in the tablet holder.