The NordicTrack FreeStrider 35S is a hybrid stair climber that combines the vertical motion of a stair climber with the pedaling stride of an elliptical trainer. Although a bit more expensive (*Est. $1,000) than other options, this machine will provide you with an effective and customizable workout.
Provides a unique and challenging workout: One prominent feature of the NordicTrack FreeStrider 35S is its free range of motion -- as opposed to the fixed range that most stair steppers allow. The user controls the range, a maximum of 35 inches, providing a more customizable workout. Because it contains moving handlebars -- courtesy of its elliptical side -- it gives your upper body more attention than conventional stair climbers. Even though there are limited user reviews regarding the performance of this model, with 15 workout applications, 16 resistance settings and 15 target toning workouts (programs that target specific muscle groups), it is safe to say that the FreeStrider is an effective trainer.
Not shy when it comes to features: The FreeStrider boasts plenty of useful gadgets and extras. It includes a display screen and built-in audio system for plugging in your MP3 player, and it can even connect to iFit Live. An application by Icon Fitness, iFit Live can connect to your home Wi-Fi allowing users to track progress and download workout regimens designed by certified trainers. Some users complain about the quality of the display screen, stating that it is hard to read at certain angles. A few users mention minor concerns. One customer on SearsOutlet.com said, "The only downside is the location of the fan and water bottle holder." The fan is aimed fairly low, making it relatively useless. Setup can take upwards of an hour, and the machine is fairly large. Its large size makes it not ideal for anyone with limited space.
Looks promising with few quibbles: There have been a few reviews about the FreeStrider arriving with parts not working, most notably a defunct monitor. Because all of the settings can only be selected on the console, this renders the machine unusable. The frame is solid and long lasting, as reflected by the company's lifetime frame warranty. This is generally considered to be a very well-made product.
Good product, poor service: The NordicTrack warranty provides customers with lifetime frame protection, a very generous seven years for parts and one year of labor. NordicTrack, however, has been known to be difficult to deal with. In respect to the broken monitor issue, one reviewer on SearsOutlet.com explains, "They have sent me three replacements and none have worked. Dealing with the warranty service, Icon (NordicTrack's parent company) is painful and nothing gets fixed." Other users state, due to service issues, it took them two months to get their machines up and running properly.
Review Credibility: Very Good This is a brief, yet comprehensive review of the NordicTrack FreeStrider 35S. TreadmillDoctor.com ranks the machine based on its adjustability, reliability, noise level, value, warranty, quality and ergonomics. Overall, the FreeStrider scored a 5.5 out of 10. The editors conclude that the workout received from this trainer is extremely tough, maybe even too tough for the average person.
Review: NordicTrack FreeStrider 35S Elliptical Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good Fred Waters, former vice president of Smooth Fitness, gives a comprehensive overview of the product and its features. He often speaks with technicians and brand representatives for a unique, inside perspective. He enjoyed the hybrid motion of the FreeStrider and believes it provides a serious workout.
Review: NordicTrack FreeStrider 35 S Review, Fred Waters, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good Customers gave the NordicTrack FreeStrider 35S a 3-star rating (out of 5) on SearsOutlet.com. Although there are only six reviews, they provide a well-balanced outlook on this machine. They range from 5 stars -- customers without complaints -- to 1 star where customers complain about poor service and broken parts.
Review: NordicTrack FreeStrider 35 S Elliptical Trainer, SearsOutlet.com, As of June 11, 2012