NordicTrack T17.2 Folding Treadmill Review

Nordic Track is the flagship company of ‘Icon’, who are the world’s largest manufacturers of fitness equipment. Their experience spans over 20 years and during that time they have developed a good reputation for developing innovative, affordable machines that are packed with features. With such time-served expertise, we are always eager to see what their latest machines have to offer. Brand new for the 2013/14 season, we have the T17.2 treadmill….

Fortunately, the manual adequately illustrates and explains the 19 step(!) sequence of assembling, tightening and tinkering that is needed before you can start to actually enjoy the T17.2! Once done, this large, impressive machine looks fantastic, which thankfully makes the assembly process very worthwhile but no less painstaking (so if you’re not so confident with assembling it, we’d recommend asking your retailer if they offer an on-site assembly service).

Although laborious assembly is rather typical of a Nordic Machine, so too are powerful motors and spacious running areas and we were pleased to see those two assets present. There’s plenty of power coming from a 3.0 horsepower continuous duty motor and part due to having 2.5” rollers, the motor performed surprisingly quietly even when it’s belting along at the top whack of over 13 mph.

Bigger rollers means less stress is put on the motor which is certainly reassuring in terms of it’s life expectancy, however, there is also the peace of mind you get from the 10 year guarantee on the motor as well as a lifetime warranty on the frame and 2 years parts and labour.

The build quality is very price appropriate and reflected in the confidence of Nordic’s warranty and the 25 stone maximum user capacity.

Whether you’re a heavier, taller user or simply one that wants to stride out, the 20” x 60” running area is ideal. Certainly, heavier users and joggers will benefit from the deck’s shock absorbency and it will undoubtedly appeal to those aiming at slower-paced ‘weight loss’ sessions, or users who want to protect their joints from the pounding that can often be associated with running. However, we must add that it won’t suit everyone. If you’re more concerned with personal best times rather than personal joint protection then you may prefer a firmer platform to push off as the T17.2 may feel too springy and bouncy. Opinions on suitability will vary but it cannot be denied that the 4 pairs of springs and rubber elastomers that make up the ‘Quad Flex Cushioning’ system are certainly effective in absorbing shock!

The vast running area and the soft cushioning system, really comes into it’s own when set uphill. If you want to get your legs pumping as well as your heart then you can set the gradient anywhere up to 15%!

We are big fans of ‘Quick keys’ in general (they’re particularly useful for interval training) and, as found on most Nordic treadmills, there are a great selection of these handy one-touch controls on the T17.2. On either side of the whopping great console is a strip of 12 keys to make instant adjustments. On the left are the incline buttons from 0 up to 15% and on the right are speed keys going up in 2 Km/h increments from 2 all the way to the 22 Km/h top speed.

In addition to those quick keys, NordicTrack have gone to even greater lengths to ensure the user complete convenience and control in the design of their handlebars. Pulse grip sensors on the handles are standard fare but these ones have the added benefit of being angled for comfort with thumb controls inlaid onto the tops, rather like a pair of static joysticks! On the left are up and down arrows for adjusting the incline and on the right handle there are plus and minus keys for speed. We love this feature!(and it is especially ideal for users who wish to keep holding on for balance throughout their session)

If you prefer to go hands-free then you can still monitor your heart rate by using the Polar Chest belt transmitter (included) that wirelessly links to the inbuilt receiver.

Unfortunately, there are no Heart Rate controlled programs inbuilt that would have further utilised the belt, but at least the inclusion of it allows you to get better accuracy of your readings.

What more than makes up for the absence of HRC are the huge array of other inbuilt programs. There are 32 of them(!) and thankfully the clear, user-friendly layout of the console makes for easy navigation.

The 32 programmes are divided into 4 groups. There are 8 Calorie sessions, 8 Intensity sessions, 8 Incline and 8 for Speed. As the title of the buttons suggest, they are designed to be especially effective in achieving certain goals.(i.e ‘Intensity’ sessions are loosely based around interval style training)

Being as there is such a wide selection of programs, it’s probably a good thing that there are no course profile pictures printed in a menu format as you sometimes see on the consoles of some other brands. Instead we rather like how uncluttered the console is, besides as you run through the selection, the 6”x3” display screen does a great job in showing you the profile as well as other important details. Sessions last anywhere from 20 minutes up to 1 hour and each program is nice and varied and automatically makes adjustments to speed and incline levels.

The T17.2 is iFit live compatible so has even greater capabilities to further expand your programming choices once you pop in an iFit Module into the dock on the top of the console and subscribe to the iFit website. There you can download more programs, track your progress, plus the software is also powered by Google Maps, meaning that you can plot your very own courses from anywhere around the world.

It’s impossible to adequately convey all the options available to you through iFit live in a quick paragraph, just as it’s also highly unlikely that anyone can get a lot from it without some time and perseverance spent in getting to know the software! This is technology suited to the more studious users out there, rather than the folks that just want a plug in and play machine.

Whether you’re interested in the iFit Live component on not, shouldn’t ever negatively effect the user-experience that’s on offer here. There are loads of other welcome features to keep one entertained.

For starters there’s the MP3/iPod connection which sounded surprisingly clear and crisp through the quality inbuilt speaker system. Also there are console controls to adjust the volume. This is not only convenient for the user, it also protects your device by reducing the times you have to handle your player with sweaty hands during a workout.

The inbuilt fan is also at hand to keep perspiration to a minimum. Most often we find inbuilt treadmill fans to be underpowered to the point of useless, but this one really did make a ‘refreshing’ change!

Another commendable area of the machine is the capacity of the accessory compartments built around the base of the console. In fact, there’s probably more storage space on this machine than we have seen on any other model in tests! You should be able to have everything close at hand, from your water bottle to every single remote control that’s normally lodged down the side cushion of the sofa!

Storing a few small items is probably not high on the list of concerns for most potential buyers – how to store this huge machine in the home, often is. Thank fully the T17.2 is easily folded and although it’s a full-size machine, the footprint that it takes up is greatly reduced once the deck is lifted and locked in the upright position.

Overall, there’s a lot that we really liked about the T17.2. Below the console, it’s very similar to Nordic Tracks T15 model which throws up the same issues of who would, or would not, get on with the cushioning system. To wrap that up we’d simply say that we wouldn’t recommend this model for serious runners due to the issue of the soft shock absorption. Aside from that, we can’t think of many people that won’t enjoy this treadmill. After all, with 32 inbuilt programmes and plenty of features all contained in an intuitive console, there is certainly LOTS to enjoy!

Best Price

The NordicTrack T17.2 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

There are few brands out there that can pack in so much technology, and high specification components into a treadmill as NordicTrack. The T17.2 is a LOT of treadmill for the money and the only reason that this machine doesn't get a big thumbs up from us is that there's currently another machine from the same brand with a bigger motor, a colour touch screen display and iFit Live built into it for the same money! So, if you're tempted by the T17.2, be sure to check out the NordicTrack T23.0 :)

NordicTrack T17.2 Specifications

  • 3hp continuous duty motor
  • 22 km/h (13.6mph) speed range
  • 0–15% incline
  • 51cm (20”) x 152cm (60”) running deck
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 212cm (83.4″) x 94cm (37″) x 152cm (60″)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 114cm (45″) x 94 cm (37″) x 184cm (72″)
  • Console with backlit LCD display
  • 32 programmes (8 intensity, 8 speed, 8 incline, 8 calorie goal)
  • Heart rate measurement via hand pulse sensors or a wireless receiver (chest strap included)
  • Conveniences: foldable, transportation wheels, Intermix Acoustics™ 3.0 sound system with 2 speakers, iPod compatibility, iFit Live compatibility, cooling fan
  • 118kg (260lbs) product weight
  • 159kg (350lbs) maximum user weight
  • Guarantee: Lifetime frame, 10 years motor, 2 years parts and labour warranty

NordicTrack T17.2 Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

NordicTrack T17.2 Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • iFit Live compatible, powered by Google Maps
  • 32 inbuilt programs
  • Large 20” x 60” running area
  • Packed with ‘extras’ i.e. iPod compatibility, Speaker system, cooling fan etc

The Cons

  • The Cushioning system is very soft (Not ideal for running)
  • No safety delayed countdown timer when the ‘start’ button is pushed
NordicTrack T17.2 Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 9
Running Area - 9
Comfort - 7
Reliability - 8
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 7
Controls - 8
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 6
Best Price

The NordicTrack T17.2 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

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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