NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer Review

As the top-selling brand of treadmills in the world, NordicTrack offers a comprehensive range of running machines suitable for everyone from beginners to battle-hardened runners. They are also pioneers of the incline trainer, which they brought to market back in 2009. Since then the incline trainer has become one of NordicTrack’s most popular type of fitness machine and they’ve continued to develop it over the years, refining it along the way. We took a look at their X11i incline trainer to see how one of their high-end incline trainers perform.

Assembly of the X11i isn’t as scary as the size of the box that it comes in! There are just 7 steps to complete and the incline trainer is ready to use. It’s all simple stuff and there are good diagrams in the manual accompanied by well-written instructions and along with well-machined components, this amounts to a pain-free and relatively quick assembly. Weighing in at 135kg and with a footprint of 182cm x 101cm (71.6” x 39.7”) and with a height of 178cm (70”) this is a large machine so you’ll need a friend or two on hand when arrives to help with the build. You’ll also need to make sure you have the space for it as being an incline trainer the X11i does not fold in the same way a conventional domestic treadmill does, so it’s worth double checking this before it actually arrives

Once it’s built this incline trainer doesn’t look quite as large as it actually is. NordicTrack’s curved design features on the X11i make it blend into the room more than you’d expect it to. Don’t be fooled though, this machine is not compact and actually features an oversized 55cm x 152cm (21.6” x 59.8”) running deck making it larger than many conventional treadmills. In the past, incline trainers have tended to have smaller decks than ordinary treadmills as they were focused solely on incline training however the oversized deck and the high top speed featured on this model makes the prospect of using the X11i as a proper treadmill as well as an incline trainer a reality. This is great news for people that want both a treadmill and an incline trainer but either don’t have the budget or don’t have the space for two machines.

Talking of space, the running area on this model is very roomy indeed and provides the runner with plenty of capacity to move around. This is especially useful on a machine that has an incline of a heart thumping, body shaking 40%. You WILL get tired at this level of incline and start to move around on the deck as your muscles, heart and lungs start to feel the pressure and having all that space to move around on really makes the X11i feel safe to use. As well as the uber-steep 40% incline there’s also a decline setting of up to -6% so it’s possible to add a good deal of variety to your workout as well as exercising a range of different muscle groups by simulating real-world conditions. The transition speed between levels of incline and speed is smooth and progressive making the X11i feel responsive and slick. It’s quiet too, impressively so for this type of machine. That’s because on this particular model NordicTrack has fitted a huge 4.25hp drive motor which delivers more than enough power to drive that over-sized running belt effortlessly to a max speed of 20kph (12.4mph) regardless of the size of the person on the machine or the incline setting. As long as you’re within the 135kg/21 stone max user weight limit the X11i doesn’t bat an eyelid and just powers through seemingly without noticing. For safety reasons, as the incline goes beyond +15% the max speed becomes gradually more limited until on inclines beyond +25% and -5% it’s limited to 9.7kph (6mph). While the fanatics out there may be a little disappointed that you can’t sprint at full speed on a +40%/-6% incline, this is a good thing. Safety is paramount when using this type of equipment and the speeds that it does allow are more than suitable for the sort of incline you’re running on. The cushioning system employed here is NordicTrack’s ReFlex cushioning setup that delivers a really comfortable run by striking an excellent balance between the need for impact absorption and a solid surface to toe-off from. You land on a soft surface but push off from a hard one and it’s this slick setup, along with the large 2.5″ rollers and the upgraded 4.25hp drive motor (which makes the X11i noticeably quieter in operation than some of its kin) that make it a pleasure to run on. There are also two sturdy handlebars, each with a high and a low grip position, that provide support when you’re in the middle of your workout, and you’ll be glad that they’re there when you’re training at 40% incline! Such steep inclines can sometimes result in unwanted side effects such as the belt slipping due to gravity, making the whole belt speed up when the incline is set to maximum and the belt is set to a low speed (this was an issue we saw on some older models) but NordicTrack has completely resolved this issue with the X11i and try as we might we couldn’t get the belt to slip or speed up when it shouldn’t. NordicTrack has been making running machines for decades, and it really shows here.

Unlike many other fitness machines, the X11i has a console that’ll really grab your attention. It has all the basics that you’d expect of course such as one-touch quick-access keys that allow you to select a speed an incline with the single press of a button, large easy-to-push Start and Stop keys, a safety key (please, please, please, always use that safety key!)  and manual controls for speed and incline but then it really starts to shine. There’s an adjustable tablet holder that allows you to change the angle of viewing so that you can easily see the tablet screen even when you’re on a high incline. The console display itself is a slick 10-inch full-colour touch-screen display that provides access to all the goodies this incline trainer has to offer. Apart from the manual mode, there are no other programmes on this machine. Yep, no built-in programmes!  However, as long as you have a wireless internet connection the X11i provides you with access to more than 50 high-definition video workouts with a personal trainer guiding you and motivating you through the whole training session. Just like programmes, each workout video has a particular aim such as weight loss, cardio, endurance and so on. So instead of looking at a boring flashing graph on your screen, you’re participating in a personal trainer led workout. Frankly, we think this is a genius move. The videos are superbly made, covering ground in locations all over the world and feature expert personal trainers who do a great job in making the training sessions fun and enjoyable. It’s light years away from the old way of doing things and really makes a huge difference to a workout. This experience is expanded upon even more by iFit which is a subscription service. However, when you purchase the X11i new then your first-year subscription to iFit is included as standard with the machine. As an iFit subscriber you get the added bonus of being able to map out your own custom routes on Google Maps, even more (an entire library of, in fact) high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers, online races 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.

Other features include a dual cooling fan which helps to keep you cool during intense workouts, a Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver that comes with a chest belt included, hand pulse sensors (use the Bluetooth!), stereo speakers and a 2.5mm input jack to plug in your music player, accessories tray and NordicTrack’s lifetime frame, 10 year motor and 2 year on-site parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.

So what do we think? Well, if you don’t mind needing a permanent internet connection to access the video workouts, then this is simply the best incline trainer we’ve ever tested. the fact that it’s also an oversized traditional treadmill simply increases the appeal. It’s built well, performs brilliantly, puts you into the most immersive training sessions and offers an incredibly wide array of training options. It’s not cheap, but it’s not expensive for what you’re getting either. We can think of many models at similar prices that don’t offer anything like as much as the X11i. So if you’re looking for an incline trainer and have the budget, we’d say your search is over. This is a superb machine that we’re happy to recommend.

Best Price

The NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer 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

Without a doubt, the NordicTrack X11i is a steal at its current price. It's easy to use, doubles up as a proper fully-fledged, full-sized, premium treadmill that provides a stunning array of training options and is built like a brick. It's also quiet, smooth and has all the features that we could possibly hope for in an incline trainer. It's also on offer at present and at the current price we think it's amazing value for money. As such it's easy to recommend this brilliant bit of kit.

NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer Specifications

  • 4.25 HP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor (4 HP peak)
  • 0–20 kph speed range (0-12.4 mph) with OneTouch™ Speed Keys
  • -6 to +40% incline range with OneTouch™ Incline and Decline Keys
  • 55cm (21.6”) x 152cm (59.8”) running area
  • 1o” full colour capacitive touch display
  • Feedback: Incline, vertical gain, vertical loss, elapsed time, calories, heart rate, distance, pace, speed, a track representing 400m (1/4 mile)
  • Programmes: Manual mode, access to 50+ video workouts and a daily updated map based workout
  • iFit® Coach Enabled (12-month subscription included)
  • Heart Rate Measurement: Hand pulse grips + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap included)
  • ReFlex™ cushioning technology
  • 2.5” precision machined and balanced non-flex roller
  • Conveniences: Dual Autobreeze workout fans, adjustable tablet holder, transportation wheels
  • Audio: Compatible Music Port for iPod®/mp3 and Intermix Acoustics™ 3.0 speakers
  • Dimensions in use: Length=176cm (69.3”), Width=100cm (39.4”), Height=183cm (72”)
  • Max. user weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
  • Power Supply: Mains
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 10 year motor, 2 year parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)

NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer - Console / Display Unit

NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Massive running area
  • Large, powerful and quiet drive motor
  • 50 immersive personal trainer led workout videos
  • iFit subscription included
  • Full colour touch-screen console
  • -6% Decline and 40% incline settings

The Cons

  • Doesn't fold
NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Power - 10
Appearance - 8.5
Running Area - 9.5
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9
Best Price

The NordicTrack X11i Incline Trainer 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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