It’s a choice between ProForm and NordicTrack when choosing the Best iFit Elliptical, and it’s always been this way as ICON Fitness, the guys who own iFit, also own NordicTrack and ProForm.

I’ve been reviewing fitness gear from these guys for many years, and I’ll tell you the main difference between the two brands; NordicTrack makes slightly more heavy-duty machines, and ProForm always offers the best deals on iFit.

Save $1200 With ProForm, or Choose a More Impressive Elliptical From NordicTrack.

It’s a tough choice right now; ProForm are offering their new Carbon 10 Series Elliptical for free if you subscribe to 3 years of iFit. It’s a deal that saves you $1200, or do you choose the new NordicTrack Commerical 14.9 elliptical, an impressive machine that has everything but only comes with one month free of iFit?

Choose Front Drive

When choosing an elliptical from ProForm or NordicTrack, it’s best to choose one of their front-drive machines. Their front-drive ellipticals have always been more impressive than their rear or mid-drives. It’s what they do best.

  • With ProForm, their best front drive elliptical right now is the Carbon E10, with or without the deal.
  • And the 14.9 is NordicTrack’s best front-drive elliptical, and it retails at the same price as the E10.

Without a doubt, the Commercial 14.9 is more impressive than the ProForm Carbon E10, as it has a larger touchscreen, a sturdier build, and a heavier flywheel. Overall, it’s just an elliptical with a more premium feel. Still, there isn’t soo much between them that the choice is easy. They share quite a few features as you’d expect, as they’re made by the same company, which makes choosing between the two more difficult.

So in today’s guide, we’ll take a close look at what these two ellipticals offer and their drawbacks, we’ll check out a few other ellipticals from both brands, and you should by the end of the review know which elliptical with iFit is best for you.

Best iFit Elliptical Comparison Table

Best ProForm

ProForm Carbon E10
  • side view of the proform carbon E10 elliptical
  • Weight Capacity – 275 lb
  • Stride Length – 19″ adjustable
  • Resistance Levels – 24
  • Flywheel Weight – 25lb
  • iFIT – 3 years included
  • Incline – Power Adjust 0-20°
  • 10″ Full-Color HD Touchscreen

iFit Elliptical Reviews

commercial 14.9 elliptical monitor

1. Commercial 14.9 Elliptical (Best NordicTrack)

The reason I like the Commercial 14.9 elliptical so much is that sometimes it can be hit and miss with NordicTrack, but with the 14.9, they got everything right.

They didn’t focus too much on the tech and forget about the rest of the elliptical. Instead, the build quality of this machine is just as impressive as the tech, which is exactly what you want.

It’s a 210 lb elliptical. It’s a heavy, sturdy machine. The heavier, the better when it comes to ellipticals. That extra weight tells me it’s made from high-quality parts and is not a cheaply made unstable machine.

But perhaps what impressed me most was the weight of the flywheel. It weighs 32 lb, that’s commercial heavy. And it’s the weight of the flywheel that plays the largest part in how smooth and consistent the elliptical motion will feel.

Also, a heavy flywheel will ensure the resistance in the all important upper levels is strong.

The incline is another excellent feature of this elliptical. The 0-20 degree, 20-level power incline is about as good as gets in this price bracket.

An Incline is especially important on front-drive ellipticals, as front drives mainly work the smaller anterior muscles of the legs, like the quads. If you want to burn more calories, you need to work the much larger posterior chain muscles like the glutes and hamstrings, and for that, you need an incline, and thankfully you have one of the best with this elliptical.

You can adjust the incline using the one-touch buttons of the monitor or let the iFit trainers adjust it for you; a cool feature called auto trainer adjust.

14″ HD Touchscreen

As you’d expect from NordicTrack, the monitor is the best in this price range. There’s nothing else that comes close. You get a 14″ HD Full Color Tilt Touchscreen with one month free of iFit, cooling fans, the handy one-touch buttons, built-in dual speakers, and BlueTooth.

And lastly, the stride length is adjustable, which is excellent to see on a midlevel elliptical. It has a max stride length of 19″, giving the elliptical a max height limit of 6’2″, and you can adjust it by an inch or two, a useful feature, especially if more than one person is using the elliptical.

One last thing, remember you don’t have to buy the family package for iFit you can choose the individual package, which works out at $15 a month, half the price of the family package.

The Good

Sturdy build can handle 350lb

Crisp 14″ HD touchscreen – looks great

Impressive 20% power adjustable incline – work your glutes and hamstrings

Power adjustable stride 

Auto adjust technology for resistance and incline – can be used with global routes, trainer-led classes and Google maps

1 month free of iFit

32lb flywheel keeps things nice and smooth

Wireless heart rate capabilities

26 levels of magnetic resistance and its strong in the upper levels because of that heavy flywheel

Built-in transport wheels, cooling fans, BlueTooth, speakers, and tablet holder

The Bad

Needs more built-in workout programs for people who dont want to subscribe to iFit

Warranty is a bit dissapointing

Although they have improved lately, customer service with NordicTrack can still be slow


carbon e10 elliptical monitor showing ifit workout

2. Carbon E10 Elliptical (Best ProForm)

Straight away with the ProForm elliptical, you’ll be able to tell the E10 isn’t as heavy-duty as the 14.9 Commerical from NordicTrack. It weighs less and has a lower weight capacity of 275lb compared to the 350lb of NordicTrack’s 14.9.

It’s still a mid-level elliptical. Don’t get me wrong; it’s no lightweight unstable machine; this is an impressive mid-level elliptical that outshines most in its price bracket, including ellipticals like the Scwhinn 470. It’s just not quite up there with the 14.9 when it comes to build quality.

What impresses me most about this elliptical is that you have the 0-20 degree power incline and the handy one-touch buttons to adjust it.

You also have that impressive 19″ adjustable stride, and you get a pretty heavy flywheel weighing 25lb. That’s heavier than most ellipticals I’ve reviewed, and it’s only trumped by the 14.9 in the under $1500.

A 25lb flywheel is more than heavy enough to keep things smooth, and you have a frictionless resistance system, actual wheels for the pedal rails, and a belt drive system. All of these features contribute to the smoothness of the motion.

The montoir is impressive too, with a 10″ HD touchscreen, it’s crisp, and it doesn’t feel small on the Carbon E10, it’s large enough to view all your iFit workouts with ease.

The E10 is a decent elliptical even without the deal, but If you’re already thinking of subscribing to iFit and there’s more than one person who’s going to use this elliptical, then I’d have to say choosing the ProForm Carbon E10 is a no brainer. You basically get one of the best mid-level ellipticals on the market for free.

Unless you’re a serious athlete in training, you won’t need anything more heavy duty than this., It’s a great choice for beginners and intermediates.

The Good

Decent build quality for price point – sturdy

Adjustable stride length – max user height of 6’2″

Impressive 0-20 degree power adjustable incline

Excellent deal on iFIT and elliptical

Whisper quiet thanks to magnetic resistance and belt drive

heavy 25lb flywheel helps keep elliptical motion smooth and resistance strong

10″ HD color Touchsceen

Automatic trainer control for resistance and incline

Built in transport wheels, Bluetooth speakers, cooling fan, and bottle holder

The Bad

No built-in workout programs, this elliptical is designed around the iFIT app

I was disappointed to find there’s no wireless heart rate monitoring option

Max user weight is on the low side at 275lb

Our Full Review: ProForm Carbon E10


3. ProFrom Carbon EL (Best Affordable)

I’ve always liked the ProFrom EL elliptical. It’s an $800 machine that punches way above its price tag.

What impressed me most about this machine is that it uses the same frame as the ProForm Carbon E10, so it’s not like the lightweight ellipticals you usually find in the under $800 price bracket. This thing is heavy.

It weighs close to 200 lb assembled, making it sturdy and well-built. It doesn’t feel cheap. Something else that surprised me when this elliptical was first released was that it comes with a 0-20 degree power adjustable incline, which is very impressive. There’s no other elliptical with a similar price tag that can boast such an incline.

And you’ll be glad to hear it includes the 19″ adjustable stride, just like its bigger brother, the E10, so overall, when you look at the essentials, there’s not much you can fault here.

Still, the flywheel weight isn’t as impressive as the Carbon E10 or the NordicTrack 14.9. It weighs 15 lb which is okay, it’s about right for the price point.

A 15 lb flywheel will keep things smooth, it won’t feel jerky, but it’s not going to feel like a machine you might use in your local gym. And because the flywheel is that much lighter, resistance strength in the upper levels won’t be so strong. This is an elliptical targeted more toward the beginner.

The monitor is where ProForm really cut back with the Carbon EL, there’s no HD color Touchscreen with this elliptical. You’ll have to use your tablet to view iFit.

Still, the lack of a large touchscreen is the main reason why this elliptical is a lot cheaper, and if you’ve already got a tablet, this might be your best choice as it saves you a lot of money.

Overall this is the best iFit-enabled elliptical for those on a tighter budget.

The Good

19″ adjustable stride suitable for users up to 6’2″

Sturdy build for price point

Easy to use elliptical

Very quiet thanks to the magnetic resistance and belt drive systems

20 degree power incline – work your glutes and hamstrings

18 levels of resistance suitable for beginners and intermediates

One month free of iFit – stream thousands of workouts from their extensive online library

Built-in transport wheels, BlueTooth, speakers, bottle and tablet holder

The Bad

No built-in workout programs 

When using your tablet it covers some of the control buttons of the monitor

No cooling fan


NordicTrack fs10i elliptical

4. NordicTrack FS10i Elliptical ( Best 3-in-1)

I’ve never been a massive fan of these mid-drive 3-in-1 ellipticals. I’ve used them in gyms, reviewed them, and still don’t really get the appeal.

They love to boast their 3-in-1 capabilities but what you really have is an elliptical that’s only half good at doing three things. It doesn’t make a very good treadmill or a stepper, and it feels kind of weird as an elliptical.

And they claim to be compact, when at full stride, they take up more room than most commercial front drive and rear drive ellipticals.

So as you might have guessed, it’s not one of my favorite types of elliptical, but some people love this elliptical, so it’s worth a mention in this guide.

NordicTrack makes the most affordable 3-in-1 ellipticals on the market, and the FS10i is surprisingly impressive on build quality and features for the price point.

It weighs over 250lb. It’s about as close to commercial grade as you’ll find for under $2000. It’s a solid machine. You also get a power-adjustable incline and a 32″ adjustable stride which power adjusts to fit, a cool feature.

And perhaps what’s most impressive is that it also comes with a 10″ touchscreen, auto trainer control, and everything else you love about the iFit app.

I recommend the FS10i over the FS14i because you’re basically paying an extra $400 for a larger screen on the FS14! and it’s not worth paying that much extra for a few inches.

Overall the FS10i offers a lot of bang for your back. It’s a well-made machine. And if you like this type of elliptical, you won’t find better for the price point.

The Good

Heavy duty build, can handle 375lb

Impressive 32″ auto adjustable stride

3-in-1 capabilities – use as a stepper, elliptical, or treadmill

24 levels of magnetic resistance

10″ HD color touchscreen

10 level power incline

One month of iFit included

20lb flywheel

Built-in – transport wheels, speakers, cooling fans, water bottle holder BlueTooth

The Bad

Hrad to get on to the elliptical as there’s no static pair of handlebars to grab on to for support

Needs plenty of room when in use


Elliptical Buying Tips

It’s great to have a large HD touchscreen on an elliptical and a cool app like iFit, but these two features are not essentials. Features like the stride length, flywheel weight, incline, resistant system, and smoothness of motion are more important, so you must get these right before worrying about the screen size and apps. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for and what to avoid.

Stride Length

The stride length of an elliptical is important as it determines who can use the elliptical machine. The ideal stride length for an elliptical machine is 20″. You’ll find this stride length on most commercial ellipticals in your local gyms.

The reason a 20″ stride is desirable is that its a stride length that suits most people’s heights, with a range height range of 5ft to 6’3″.

When choosing an elliptical, you want to get as close to this length as possible.

An adjustable stride length is a feature you don’t find on many ellipticals built for home use. It’s normally a feature reserved for high-end commercial machines. However, if you’re lucky, you may find a few mid-level ellipticals that will include an adjustable stride.

stride length of an ifit elliptical

Weight/Build Quality

The weight of an elliptical or any cardio machine is more important than many people might think. The weight of a machine gives you a good clue to the overall quality of the parts used in the build. And for cardio gear, the heavier, the better.

A decent mid-level elliptical should weigh more than 150lb. Anything lighter than this will be made of cheap, lightweight parts, and durability can often be an issue.

Commercial ellipticals weigh over 250lb and are the most durable, sturdy machines out there; you need to get as close to this weight as possible for your budget, especially if you want a machine that’s going to last.

Also, a heavy elliptical will be a stable elliptical; that extra weight keeps the elliptical planted to the floor, this is what you want.

How Smooth Does It Feel? (flywheel weight)

I feel this is one of the most or if not the most important things you need to get right when choosing your elliptical. The elliptical motion must be smooth. You don’t want an elliptical with a stuttering, jerky motion, its off-putting and negatively affects your workout.

One of the main factors that affect how smooth your elliptical motion is is the weight of the flywheel. You don’t necessarily always need a super heavy flywheel but look for at least 15lb or above. This amount of weight will help keep everything smooth and consistent.

Other features that affect the smoothness of the motion are the resistance system – look for frictionless resistance (magnetic). And for the drive system – look for belt drives. They’re much smoother than a chain drive and quieter.

Also, the elliptical gears’ ratio can significantly affect how smooth the motion feels. High-ratio gears are ideal. You don’t often find high-ratio gears on mid-level ellipticals, but there are a few mid-level ellipticals out there that boast high-ratio gears. Sole Fitness ellipticals are the best example.

elliptical being pedaled on an incline

Burn Twice as Many Calories Pedaling on an Incline

Front drive ellipticals mainly work the anterior muscles of the legs, like the quads, as the flywheel is in front of you. And because it’s in front of you, you tend to lean forward on the front of your feet as you push the flywheel to get it spinning, thus using the quads.

It’s great to build and strengthen the quads, but they’re relatively small muscle compared to the larger posterior leg muscles like the glutes and hamstrings. The hamstrings are three times larger than the quads, and the glutes are the largest muscles in the body. They have a much higher caloric output requirement than the anterior legs muscles.

So if you want to burn more calories, you need to work the posterior muscles most when using a front-drive elliptical, and to achieve that, you must pedal on an incline.

Front drive ellipticals come with manual or power-adjustable inclines. It’s always best to try and find an elliptical with a power adjustable incline as it saves you from getting off the machine in a middle of a workout to adjust the incline level.

Look for an incline feature with at least a 10-degree max.

Resistance System

The best resistance system for an elliptical is a frictionless one. Why? It’s smooth, and because it’s frictionless, it’s whisper quiet, so you can watch TV or listen to music without being disturbed by the sound of the machine. Most ellipticals are equipped with a frictionless resistance system, like magnetic resistance.

Also, because magnetic resistance is frictionless (the magnetics never have to make contact with the flywheel), there’s little to no wear and tear, which means it is maintenance free, which is always a good thing.

To Sum Up

The best iFit elliptical on the market right now is the NordicTrack Commerical 14.9. It has a heavy, sturdy build, an extra smooth motion thanks to that impressive 32lb flywheel, an excellent power incline, and the best monitor in its class. The 14.9 is, by a small margin, better than any other elliptical with iFit.

Still, is the 14.9 the best deal? Yes, I think it is if bought with the individual iFit package, which costs $15 a month, as this halves the price of the iFit subscription, and you still have the best iFit elliptical on the market.

However, for a family or if a few people are using the elliptical, the family deal with the Free ProForm elliptical is best. Yes, the ProForm elliptical isn’t as impressive as the 14.9 from NordicTrack, but it’s still one of the top mid-level ellipticals. If you were going to choose the family package anyway when buying a NordicTrack or Proform elliptical, as I mentioned earlier, this deal is a no-brainer. Go for it.