The NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro has great features for the price, and the experts at TreadmillDoctor.com have high hopes for its durability. Users, however, cite so many complaints about durability and customer service that this model probably is not the best choice in its price class.
Split between sturdy and smooth. Reviews of the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro's performance vary widely. When it works users say it's smooth and quiet, with 16 levels of silent magnetic resistance (SMR) and an incline ramp that motor-adjusts between 10 and 30 degrees. Others, however, warn that it's noisy and wobbly -- and sometimes you just plain can't use it because of parts falling off or coming out of alignment. "Worked well for about a year, then started to fall apart. Is currently unusable, the belt creeps off of the pulleys," writes one owner at Sears.com.
Intuitive control console. Given the price, the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro's rich features are its biggest draw. It is iFit Live compatible, which allows you to download workouts (including some coached by star trainer Jillian Michaels), upload your results and select or create workouts based on Google Maps. Other features include fingertip resistance and incline controls, built-in speakers with a connector for your MP3 player, a built-in cooling fan and 25 preprogrammed workouts. However, users are typically so concerned about durability problems that they don't have much to say about these features.
Disappointing. Despite its improved stability over an earlier folding design and some optimistic predictions from the experts, customers say the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro is a letdown in terms of durability. Consumer reviews call it unreliable at best, with many saying the machine began having problems within the first two years -- sometimes in just a few weeks or months. One user complains at ConsumerReports.org, "I have had this elliptical for a couple of years and have had to replace the slide arms four times, the foot pads three times, and gone through at least four wheels." Others warn of poor welds, cracked plastic parts and problems with the control board.
Average warranty, but poor service. NordicTrack provides an average warranty with the AudioStrider 990 Pro: lifetime coverage on the frame, plus one year of coverage for parts and labor. However, we found a noteworthy selection of complaints about poor customer service.
Overall, users agree that NordicTrack's customer service just isn't helpful. "The upper leg came [apart] where it is welded to the lower leg. Thought that's okay the body is covered for life. Oh no the leg is not part of the body. The body is only the 4-inch by 2-inch bar [that] runs along the floor that connects the part," writes one angry owner at Sears.com.
TreadmillDoctor.com editors rigorously test the products they evaluate, including disassembling each machine. They awarded the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro a Best Buy designation in 2013, writing that it is "an older design that has a lot to offer."
Review: NordicTrack Audiostrider 990 Pro (2013) Elliptical Reviews, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not Dated
A former vice president of marketing for Smooth Fitness, Waters chooses the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro as a Best Buy and praises its "exceptional value." He also includes a more in-depth review of this model that is largely positive, but questions its 350-pound weight limit.
Review: NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro Review, Fred Waters, Not Dated
Most user reviews of the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro at Sears.com are brief, and provide no context or credentials. Most of the nearly 40 reviewers complain about durability issues; overall, the AudioStrider 990 Pro gets a rating of about 3.5 stars.
Review: NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro Elliptical, Contributors to Sears.com, As of December 2013
Epinions.com attracts just around 10 owner reviews of the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro, with an average score of 2.5 out of 5 stars. Poor customer service and even worse product durability are the primary complaints.
Review: Nordictrack Audiostrider 990 Elliptical, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of December 2013