NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer Review
The fitness equipment industry’s cream of the crop often costs serious $$$, and if you are the type who is gung-ho about fitness and ready to splurge on the most fabulously-designed machines, you will surely appreciate the workings of the NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer.
Like the rest of the advanced high-end units from the NordicTrack line, this treadmill has the feature that will let you experience the hottest (and most feasible) movement in fitness today through its iFit app.
NordicTrack was kind enough to loan me one to try, so let’s see what makes this one special (and so worth the price, naturally).
NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer: The Specs
Here is a short outline of the treadmill’s features:
NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer: My First Impressions
“This treadmill is such a huge piece of equipment!” That was the first thing that struck me after the assembly. I know it’s big but being of small build myself, the treadmill feels quite huge compared to what I had imagined. This fitness machine is massive, sturdy, comes with a durable frame, and has the incline capability of a nice 40%!
This is one well-designed fitness equipment. Apart from the hardwearing built, all aspects of the X22i Incline Trainer are very well thought of from the finishing, and the angles of the handlebars, to the placement of the water bottle holders.
The designers and engineers made sure you’ve got your hard-earned bucks spent well! Imagine all the time and effort they dealt with just to complete this baby.
I thought the deck was high for a bit but realised it’s probably due to providing enough space for the inclination, declination, and cushioning. It feels natural and doesn’t feel too high for my legs once I stepped on the platform.
The other thing that caught my attention was the large screen – the smart touchscreen was extra-sensitive so lagging between controls is not a concern while the colours displayed are very clear and vibrant. The quality of the sound system was also top-notch and it made for a very immersive experience.
One of the things that made me want to try the X22i Incline Trainer is its 40% incline, and now I get to experience it myself. I must say I am not disappointed – I am very impressed, in fact, and that is the understatement of the year! I am in awe just thinking about the advancement and technology it took just to build this fantastic piece of equipment. It’s simply massive!
Now, adjusting the incline to 40% was a little intimidating for me because it’s so high but thanks to the well-designed belt, it melted my first-time jitters right off the bat. The belt glides on effortlessly so it was a nice experience.
The higher incline will surely test your walking strengths since that one turned my walking routine into a hike. Because the 40% incline simulates mountain trekking, this equipment is a must-have for athletes who want to train for a variety of sports.
The higher incline makes for an excellent challenge so you get to burn more calories but at the same time, deliver low-impact exercise. It’s not only great for fitness buffs and professional athletes
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer’s remarkable deck cushioning softens the impact on sensitive joints so it’s recommended for elderly folks and people with joint conditions. The excellent cushioning is the best I’ve tried – nothing at the moment comes close to its feel!
The X22i Incline Trainer, in my opinion, will surely meet the needs of users who are on a frequent search for a challenging home treadmill. Its price tag is something to consider, but looking at the big picture, the features that come with it are all worth the cost.
NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer: The Features
The X22i Incline Trainer is on the bulky side and it’s made of reinforced, thick steel beams with a powder finish for added protection and strength. Unlike standard treadmills whose motors are placed in the front, this unit’s motor is situated at its base, just beneath the rear deck.
The motor location makes the use of the treadmill more convenient and hassle-free since the user won’t have to contend with hitting the motor hood during their routines.
The incline trainer makes use of a lift system beneath the deck which lifts and lowers the platform to produce the 40% incline. To prop up the console and handrails, the treadmill is also designed with two curved, upright beams that extend up from its frame.
Thanks to the slight, sloped design of the support beams, users can now stand closer to the console while at the same time, having lots of forwarding foot reach and rear kickback.
Longer Tread Belt
The way the walking/running platform and the console were designed added lots of length to the belt’s top and bottom areas. This can accommodate longer strides and it also makes forward foot reach easier to do during higher inclines.
The X22i Incline Trainer has a commercial-grade belt and this means it’s very durable, sturdy, and made to provide users with a stable exercise surface. It has a nice texture and will move evenly without flapping about during use.
The Reflex Cushioning is one of the best things about the unit since it’s designed to absorb pressure generated during exercises. The platform comes with 4 steel springs under it to force the deck to descend softly with every step the user makes.
Heavier users deliver more force during exercise but the deck is fast to respond; the bigger the impact, the more it will flex. The deck will flex minimally during walking routines or when lighter users like myself utilise the treadmill.
This is where the word ‘Reflex’ from the term stands, and this type of cushioning does its job very, very well.
The rollers are quite large and it’s well-balanced to boot; the rollers smoothly allow the belt to move throughout the deck. There’s less tension that accumulates on the belt due to the larger rollers.
It’s a combination that wins, the perfect-size rollers and a durable tread belt since the duo makes for an excellent running and walking surface.
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer features a 4.0 CHP DurX motor with self-cooling capabilities. This power unit helps regulate the inclining and declining movements of the treadmill.
As mentioned earlier, the motor is positioned at the deck’s base. The positioning minimises motor hood size and paves the way for the deck to incline to an excellent 40 per cent.
Because the motor is responsible for the equipment’s incline and decline, it has to operate without a hitch. In addition, the X22i incline trainer is designed for heavier exercise so the self-cooling feature of the motor was extra-helpful in overheating prevention.
The motor is also equipped with Quiet Incline Drive to make the treadmill work quietly during use. I can barely perceive that the motor is running. I also noticed that the X22i incline trainer could switch quickly between inclines.
Incline And Decline Range
The X22i Incline Trainer has up to 40% incline range and up to 6% decline. These specific features are what make the model different from other treadmills in the market.
This one is made for extensive incline training for better calorie burn and accommodates a good variety of muscle groups. While running is a great exercise for burning a massive number of calories, runners are also prone to issues like muscle overuse, fractures, and body pains.
This particular unit now provides runners with low-impact exercise while at the same time, burning loads of calories and targeting an excellent range of muscle groups. The higher incline range and the Reflex cushioning are there to give us routines that can answer our fitness goals with fewer risks of injury.
The -6% decline allows users to undergo downhill training that captures descents done outdoors. If you are after active recovery and quad strengthening that is easier on your joints, the X22i incline trainer is your best bet.
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer comes with a push bar located at the console base together with two vertical bars that are spread out on either side of the equipment. This design is made to replicate thrusting a heavy sled throughout a gym track.
Users can adjust the speed of the belt up to 1.6 kph and then drive the belt using their feet as they press themselves against the treadmill’s upright bars. This translates to a faster heart rate and allows the core, legs, and lower back to engage.
Let’s get on with the layout of the console. The X22i Incline Trainer has the 22-inch Smart HD touchscreen as the crowning glory of the console. The arrangement of the console is another well-thought part of the acclaimed treadmill. Everything is in your reach, free from clutter, and designed according to the convenience of its users.
The controls of the incline trainer are mostly placed on the touchscreen thus making essential buttons front and centre in the console for easy access. The OneTouch Controls for the incline and speed are positioned in the margins of the screen.
For more particular adjustments, there are manual controls that you can reach for at the console base. The ones for the speed and incline are located below the buttons for the fan and speaker. They are labelled for the incline and +/- for the speed. You can manually adjust the speed or incline by 0.10 through those buttons.
The controls for the fan are located on the left, below the fans while the ones for volume are positioned under the fans.
The Start button meanwhile is bordered in green colour while the Stop has a red outline. The Safety Key comes in red and is located in the centre for easy access. These buttons can be found at the bottom of the console.
Back to the Smart HD touchscreen. Now I cannot stop praising the addition of a larger screen on this amazing treadmill. This is the perfect size for me because it just provides a thoroughly immersive experience particularly if your incline trainer was supplemented by an interactive app.
The screen has excellent, clear, crisp graphics – the resolution is simply ace. The high-quality resolution impresses since the videography of the featured outdoor locations is presented in a very effective manner.
You really feel like you are coursing enthusiastically through every route. The colours are vivid, the scenes so solidly shot. Whether country mountains or the coasts of Europe, you will feel like you are there.
The responsiveness of the touchscreen has also improved – they are easier to tap now compared to earlier models. The X22i incline trainer’s touchscreen also includes a Tilt feature which allows users to push the screen up and down to get their preferred height. The Tilt feature is quite helpful since it adjusts the screen to your line of vision and it also prevents bothersome overhead lighting glare from taking the fun out of your workouts.
The positioning of the screen is also another highlight that I must mention. It’s done right – it’s not in-your-face and it’s not set too far that reaching for the buttons is hard to do. The touchscreen is positioned 6 inches back by the horizontal push grip and this for me, is the most feasible distance for a treadmill screen.
There are two sizable storage pockets behind the touchscreen and it’s large enough to contain a majority of water bottles. The sides of the screen are also equipped with holders where users can stash their smartphones or wallets.
What makes the NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer even better is its supplementary workout feature which is the internet-based iFit app. Purchase of the incline trainer provides users free access to the app for 30-days.
The Family Plan can contain up to 5 profiles. However, if you want to access the app’s extensive range of classes and features, it is required that you must have accessible Wi-Fi.
The following is a list of iFit’s many classes and workouts.
- Studio classes
The classes feature a slew of exercise routines that will perk up your workouts in case you feel like your routines are not enough. Interval training, boot camp training, and combination routines comprise the studio-based classes, and these workouts alternate strength training together with running sections.
The app will adjust the speed and incline for users automatically at the command of the trainer. However, you can choose to override this anytime by pressing any Quick Control incline or speed button.
- Off-the-Treadmill classes
Workouts offered in this iFit feature include boot camp, strength training, recovery, stretching, and yoga.
- Live/On-Demand classes
Check out the Live classes for new routines or keep up with the On-Demand ones. These are nice options for users who want to maintain fitness based on their work or school schedules. They’re also great if you want to try out something new to add to your routine.
- Outdoor Routes
Now, this is one of my top faves because it adds plenty of bang to your routine. Tired of running or walking in the same confines day in and day out? Tune in to Outdoor Routes and throw yourself into locations that will further stoke the fires of your workout goals.
There are loads of exotic locales to choose from. To boot, the routes are updated regularly and new locations throughout the world are added.
The locations are not mere eye candy though. Keep in mind that iFit also simulates the terrain of each location so if you are trekking through hilly or mountainous spots, your legs will be challenged as well.
There are many sessions dedicated to walking, jogging, running, and combination classes. The speed and incline also adjust automatically so walking or running come naturally each time.
- Challenges and Series
If you’re always up for a nice challenge, you can participate in the monthly iFit challenges. For more interesting locales, check out the Series feature. The workouts are videoed in a different location with a variety of classes.
Use the leaderboard to compare speed and distances covered with other users who are participating in the same route.
You will be pushed further to exercise regularly due to the vast features of the iFit app. While it does require a subscription to take advantage of the app’s offerings, it makes working out super convenient. There’s no need to travel to the gym or fitness studio as well – the routines you need may very well be included in iFit.
Exercise is a sweaty activity, that is a given. But it would be good if we feel more comfortable while pushing out body to the limit. One of the welcome extras added to the X22i Incline Trainer is a pair of fans. These are quality fans though and they did well when it comes to cooling me down after a few routines.
The fans are positioned under the touchscreen to deliver ample airflow and they come with 4 settings: Low, Med, High, and Auto. The auto setting is made to supplement the speed of the fan with treadmill workload so they can boost or reduce airflow based on the intensity of your routine.
The digitally-enhanced speakers measure 3 inches and they are found beneath the touchscreen. The volume adjustment is accessible thru iFit. Users can modify the volumes for Music, Overall Volume, and Trainer.
This is a very convenient adjustment option since this means we users can choose to turn the volume up to hear the trainer clearly while at the same time, turning the Music’s volume down.
Meanwhile, the water bottle holders, as I have mentioned earlier, are found behind the display of the console. This one has a better design overall due to the deeper pockets thus the bottles are contained securely.
Quiet Drive Incline Tech
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer gets its massive power from its reliable 4.0 HP motor, but once used, the treadmill will only emit a soft humming sound. Changes in speed and incline as you work out will not let off loud noises either due to the Quiet Drive Incline Tech. So far, this treadmill model is the quietest I have worked with considering its high power motor.
The X22i incline trainer is huge, and it does not have any folding mechanism. Being a sizable unit, this one is hard to move. Thus, if you plan on using it, you have to put the treadmill in a perfect, workable spot so there’s no need to move the equipment constantly.
NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer: Pros And Cons
- Reflex Cushioning protects the joints
- Wide range of inclination for various workout challenges
- Large 22-inch HD display adds on to the immersive exercise experience
- Runs with a powerful yet quiet motor
- Adjustable screen and fan angle can accommodate a wide range of users
- Tread belt runs smooth, quiet and effortless
- Quick yet seamless incline operations
- Sturdy, durable and high quality piece of fitness equipment
- Well thought out design
- Deck may be a bit high for short users
- Tall users need to consider the height of their ceiling due to the high inclination capability
- Need a dedicated space as it is a large and heavy piece of equipment
The delivery date was slated for April 20, 2022. The installers arrived on time and they made sure to create a route that will make hauling the massive X22i to my home a breeze.
Just before the delivery, the lead installer asked to evaluate my apartment so they can create a viable plan to deliver the treadmill without hassles. I am located on the top floor of my apartment building right in the middle of Melbourne CBD so it was good that he did that first.
The installers were very careful in moving the treadmill to my home. I directed the guys to the spot where I want to use the equipment. I thought about this factor meticulously because it’s one of the heaviest pieces in the whole NordicTrack lineup. You do not want to move this piece if you feel like it each time.
The treadmill includes an owner’s manual that has step-by-step instructions for the assembly. Even though you can opt to install the equipment yourself, I think it is always best to leave the assembly tasks to experts to avoid unnecessary headaches.
There are several heavy pieces so the task will require a couple of strong people to join them piece by piece. At the time of writing, there is an assembly fee of $165, which is well worth it as the installers completed the delivery and assembly within an hour and did a fantastic job.
The Verdict On The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer
Is the NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer worth it? This treadmill has proven itself to be a worthwhile investment particularly if you want your workouts intense but still gentle on the joints. Whether cardio or strength training programs, this one will keep you fit and challenged each time.
You do not need to be a fitness buff or professional athlete to enjoy the features of this treadmill. This one accommodates users of varying ages and fitness levels. It has one of the highest treadmill inclines in the industry to further test your strength, has a powerful motor that works quietly, and incline/speed transitions go on smoothly.
Running on this one feels so natural even at high speeds. The treadmill will remain stable during intense workouts. The iFit programs will also make your workouts interesting – there is something new you can try out every day!
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer did not sacrifice first-rate functionality for looks. From its sleek, modern appearance, sturdy, solid build quality, to the powerhouse components, the X22i, indeed, is one excellent piece of engineering.