If you are anything like me, your world stopped right around mid-march. Chances are, you went from being a pretty active person who regularly hopped on airplanes and hiked up some cool trails to traveling from your kitchen to the living room, where the only hoping you did was back onto the couch cushions. Truth be told, this pandemic kicked my ass. Maybe it kicked yours a little too. But, life gave us lemons and we all tried our best to make a little lemonade and maybe even a little lemon meringue pie (mmm… pie). Maybe you started a new side hustle, maybe met some new folks online, and maybe you just survived, and seriously, just surviving 2020 is basically a major accomplishment. But my physical fitness level plummeted from “can get on a mountain if she tries really hard” to “out of breath after a few flights of stairs,” and maybe you feel the same. The problem with being a couch potato is, of course, it limits what you can do outside of your own kitchen and living room. One day, hopefully soon, we will have a chance to explore this beautiful world again. If you are ready to start your preparation for post-pandemic travel, this review of the NordicTrack s22i bike is for you.
Just to clarify:
Although it might sound like I’m being paid by this company I’m going to discuss – I am not. I bought the bike of my own volution, at full price. I have no contact with the company. I just adore this product and I wanted to share it with you. The article does have some affiliate links, and if you chose to click on those and make a purchase, I may get a small commission.
So here is the short of it – the NordicTrack s22i bike review summary
Let’s be honest, working out at home can be boring AF. Who wants to stare at the same video, do the same exercise, run the same mile looking at the same wall day in and day out? Especially after you’ve had the whole world to explore? Awful. Let’s be even more honest, what choice do we have? If you are lucky you might have some places to run or bike, but after doing the same route day in and day out you are probably bored with it too.
Enter Nordictrack S22I
Knowing that you need to get in shape, and actually getting in shape when you are stuck at home are very different things. That’s why when I randomly came across an advertisement for the Nordictrack S22I I was intrigued. I don’t remember what the ad said exactly, but it was something along the lines of exploring different places in the world from the safety of your home.
That’s a thing?
Apparently. So you hop on this bike, you got this large screen in front of you, and you can “ride” all over the world from Turkey to Patagonia, from Utah to Paris, and beyond. And the ride is realistic because the trainer you are following changes both the resistance and incline for you. So, you can focus on your ride rather than following instructions. I hate instructions anyway. The bike is paired with a software called Ifit, which also offers other workouts all over the world, including, yoga, strength training, and more, many of which take place in super cool locations.
So what does a workout on the Nordictrack S22I actually feel like?
Ok, I’m not here to tell you that it feels like you are actually there. I mean for that you’d probably have to use a VR set or you know, a star trek style transporter. BUT. It feels like a video game, and it is actually really fun. You are following a trainer, and they are riding in super cool places, sharing with you a little bit about the history of the place, a bit about the culture, and of course giving you lots of encouragement to keep going. They are changing your resistance and incline automatically so there is no interruption to your workout, things just get easier or harder as the trainer tells you they will. And you are definitely feeling the burn. Yes, you still have to push yourself. Yes, sometimes you want to give up (but don’t of course). But you are not bored.
You are not bored.
And that to me, is the most important thing about getting in shape on the Nordictrack S22I, you are never bored. There is always a new bike path, a new trainer, or even a new floor workout.
To summarize, Nordictrack S22I: the good
The workouts are fun, engaging, the machine changes the resistance levels and inclines and it feels like you are in a video game. You want to work out, you actually make improvements day in and day out. There are a couple of great FB groups with a real sense of community and people who support each other. This is a workout you can look forward to doing. And for us travelers, we can get new ideas for places we will explore once we can.
Nordictrack S22I: let’s look at the bad
Well, the biggest stumbling block for most folks is that the bike ain’t cheap. The bike comes out to about $2,000, a little cheaper than a Peleton but not by much. I have a trick to help you get a 5% discount on the price with free financing. You can do so by ordering on Amazon and using their in house credit card (which earns you 5% back on any purchase). That way shipping is free too, assuming you have prime. Your other option is to order from Nordic Track, but they take longer to ship, charge for shipping, and don’t take the bike back if it doesn’t work.
Which brings me to the second bad – technical issues. The online world is full of people bitching about their NordicTrack not working. This is probably a combo of two things. The first is user error. You have to put some of the bike together yourself which means you should really read instructions and watch some videos before you try it. Once you do, most people won’t have a problem. The second is probably manufacturer error as some bikes do appear to be damaged. The good news, if you got it from Amazon and it’s a lemon, they’ll pick it up for free. If you got it from Nordic track you are pretty much screwed as they try to fix the bike and send parts which takes forever. Not worth it IMO.
So, the conclusion.
Is it awesome?
Darn yeah. It really is, for the first time in a year, I’m enjoying working out. As are my sons – both elite athletes. It’s great for all levels.
Accessories to go with the Nordick Track S22i
Some people recommend changing the bike seat, but it’s not a great idea because it can mess up your form. Your butt will hurt for the first few rides and then it’ll be fine, so stick it out if you can.
Heart rate monitor – this I really recommend. We are all at different levels, and being aware of how much work you are doing is important. This way you can be sure you are always doing the work that’s right for you (I use a Fitbit which automatically tells me when I am working hard and when I am overdoing it).
You can also change your bike pedals and use them with clip-on bike shoes. I might later, but the bike pedals they have are fine to start with.
Happy trails folks. I really hope to see you out there soon