NordicTrack C990 Treadmill Review

NordicTrack has been manufacturing treadmills for longer than a large proportion of today’s runners and treadmill users have been running and using treadmills. Known for building running machines that pack an awful lot of punch for the price their product ranges have always catered for the entire spectrum of runners from those that just want to get a bit of increased mobility and shed some weight right the way through to those people for whom running is major part of their life, and everyone in between. Their current range at the time of writing is no different, with quality offerings starting at the sub £700 mark right the way up to fully loaded heavy-duty touch-screen, internet-enabled models. As the competition out there in the mid-range right now is fierce we decided to take a look at Nordic’s C990 treadmill to see how it compares to some of its rivals available at a similar price point.

As with all domestic treadmills the C990 needs to be assembled and thankfully NordicTrack know-how is evident here. With two people assembly shouldn’t take more than an hour at the most and all the steps for assembly are clear and easy to follow in the manual which is full of good, clear instructions and excellent diagrams that clearly show what needs to be done. At the end of the assembly process you’ll find yourself looking at a substantial bit of kit that’s pleasing to the eye.

The basics specs on paper look pretty good on the C990 and compare well with anything else out there at this kind of price. It features a 3.0hp continuous duty motor, has a top speed of 22kph (13.7mph), benefits from a pretty substantial 12% maximum incline setting (more than enough for most people) and a generous 51 x 152cm (20″ x 60″) running area. It also benefits from 1.9″ diameter front and rear rollers which help to keep noise levels down and improve the lifespan of the machine (the large the diameter the less stress the system is under). So, as for basic specs, it is, as you’d expect from a NordicTrack running machine, quite impressive.

The full sized running deck is set quite high off the ground so as you step onto the C990 it really does feel like climbing onto a bit of a beast and once you’re up on the deck the room around you feels just that little bit smaller! At 52cm wide and 152cm long that deck is a comfortable place to stand and run. You get a feeling of plenty of space and room to manoeuvre so it feels safe making this model suitable for most, but not all, runners (due to the height of the deck, some less than fully mobile people will find it unsuitable). The cushioning on the C990 is adjustable, which is never ever a bad thing. Being able to set the level of shock impact on landing, to any degree, is to be welcome as this allows for runners with sensitive joints to have as soft a landing as possible while allowing people that train for road running to have something that simulates a real road surface in order to condition themselves to it without having to train with the full force of impact of actually running on a road. With the amount of space you get to run on and the amount of adjustment you can make to something as fundamental as the cushioning it’s almost impossible not to get a great running experience out of this treadmill. It feels smooth and comfortable to run on and regardless of your height, for this is a machine suitable even to the very tall amongst us, the C990 delivers a superb run. The substantial 3.0hp motor forms a part of the whole experience as it makes it sound like the whole process of pushing that belt along is effortless. Being a large motor it’s also relatively quiet for a treadmill (though there are certainly quieter treadmills at this price point out there) and it’s got more than enough power to propel the running belt up to top speed, seemingly without even trying and that’s even when it’s on the maximum incline setting and running at pace with some of the larger members of the testing team putting it through its paces.

In term of build quality, the C990 is solid. Good in fact and in truth we’d expect no less and not because it’s NordicTrack and we’ve come to expect it, but more importantly, because of the price. This isn’t a cheap treadmill so we’d expect that all parts are present and correct upon opening the box – CHECK. Everything fits together as expected during assembly with no encounters with annoying bolts or screws that won’t quite go in smoothly – CHECK. No bits of broken plastic – CHECK. There are no unwanted or unexpected squeaks – CHECK (sort of) ok – our test model did, in fact, have a small but slightly annoying squeak coming from the front of the running deck (closer inspection revealed this to be caused by a point of contact between the upper and lower part of the incline system frame. This was easily resolved by applying a small dab of grease to the point where the metal connected and didn’t return so this is most likely an issue found on our individual unit rather than a general issue). There are no unwanted rattles or excessive movement/shaking of the frame – again CHECK – for the most part. It’s always nice to see a crossbar going across from one pillar to the other as this does add a good deal of stability. Nevertheless, our test model did creak and rattle a very small bit when bigger members of the team were on test. All in all, this is perfectly acceptable and considering the other elements of what this machine has to offer it’s certainly nothing that should be considered a deal breaker.

The console and the available training options are where the C990 shines most of all. There’s simply a huge amount of training options and the way that the training is delivered on this treadmill is truly excellent. There’s a lovely 7″ full-colour touch screen display which, while it could be a bit bigger, really does it’s job fantastically well. There’s also the fact that traditional programmes have been replaced by more than 50 high definition workout videos which are effective and enjoyable with personal training sessions delivered in HD video.  Each video has a specific aim such as a cardio workout, a weight loss workout and so on just like a traditional program, but instead of a boring graphic, you get a certified personal trainer motivating you and helping you to stay focused on your goal throughout the entire workout.  Some videos even involve getting off the treadmill to perform certain exercises and then jumping back on to complete your workout. This really does change the nature of the experience compared with a traditional treadmill and is a big step forward when it comes to working out at home and trying to stay motivated. As well as these new features, some of the old features are retained such as being able to set a timed target workout and so on. The result is an experience that you can’t get on a traditional treadmill while ensuring continued access to the more traditional features of a treadmill. It’s a nice combination all round and one that delivers a smooth, slick experience.

The C 990 also comes with a years’ iFit subscription included, which increases even further the already large number of workouts on this treadmill has to offer. As an iFit subscriber, you get the added bonus of being able to map out your own custom running routes on Google Maps, a whole host of additional high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers, the ability to race against other iFit members and personalised advice for nutrition, exercise routines and sleep schedule. iFit is a whole world unto itself and offers far too much to cover in this review but if you want to know more visit the iFit website for full details.

Additional features include Bluetooth wireless heart rate monitor (worked flawlessly during testing), music port for your MP3 player, built-in speakers, automatic workout fan and NordicTrack’s Lifetime frame, 10 years motor, 2 years parts and labour warranty.

Overall this is a very solid offering from NordicTrack. If you’re into your bells and whistles and want a solid, reliable, quality treadmill, then the C990 should be on your list marked for serious consideration.

Best Price

Currently available for £1234.05 from NordicTrack

To get the NordicTrack C990 Treadmill for only £1234.05, enter voucher code NT5 on the Nordictrack's basket page!

Review Summary - In Brief

The NordicTrack C990 treadmill is a solid offering. It's big enough to accommodate pretty much any size of user, no matter how tall and it benefits from solid build quality.  There are plenty of workout videos to keep you entertained and it comes with a lifetime frame, 10 year motor and 2 years parts & labour warranty making it worthy of serious consideration. That being said, competition is fierce at this level and for a bit more you could go the whole hog and choose the Proform Pro 5000 treadmill which benefits from a decline feature as well as an incline and has a larger motor. It's also impossible to ignore the DKN EnduRun treadmill which, for a couple of hundred pounds more, gives you a commercial grade AC drive motor (normally found only on commercial machines), has a steeper and truly monstrous 15% incline, bigger rollers and thicker running belt, and is one of the quietest treadmills we've tested in a long time.

NordicTrack C990 Specifications

  • 3.0 CHP DurX™ motor
  • 0 – 22kph (0 – 13.6mph) top speed
  • 0 – 12% incline
  • 51cm (20’’) x 152cm (60’’) running area
  • 36 workout programmes
  • 7” full colour capacitive touch display
  • Feedback: incline level, elapsed time, calories burned, calories per hour, distance, vertical gain, speed, a track representing 400m (1/4 mile), pace, heart rate
  • FlexSelect™ cushioning technology
  • Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse grips or Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • iFit® Bluetooth Smart Enabled (subscription included)
  • Space Saver folding design with Easy Lift Assist
  • Conveniences: transportation wheels, Autobreeze™ workout fan
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 201cm (79.1”) x 90cm (35.4”) x 153cm (60.2”)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 105cm (41.3”) x 90cm (35.4”) x 181cm (71.2”)
  • Max. user weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 85kg (187.3lbs)
  • Power Supply: Mains
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 10 years motor, 2 years parts and labour

NordicTrack C990 Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

NordicTrack C990 Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Large running area
  • High Definition workouts led by personal trainers
  • Adjustable cushioning
  • Powerful motor

The Cons

  • Running deck may be too high for some users
  • A few squeaks and rattles when under stress from heavier users
  • iFit subscription is included but you will need to pay an annual fee to keep using those videos
NordicTrack C990 Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8.5
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 8.5
Noise - 7
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Best Price

Currently available for £1234.05 from NordicTrack

To get the NordicTrack C990 Treadmill for only £1234.05, enter voucher code NT5 on the Nordictrack's basket page!

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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