Most people will love the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical because it folds for storage and it’s super easy to assemble, taking just 15 minutes compared to the 2 or 3 hours it takes to assemble most ellipticals. But that’s not why I like it, and it shouldn’t be the main reason to choose an elliptical what’s more important is the smoothness of the elliptical motion, the build quality, the flywheel weight, and where the flywheel is positioned.

Spacesaver SE7i: an elliptical that delivers on the essentials.

NordicTrack got almost everything right with their spacesaver elliptical; the build quality is there, weighing just over 200lb; this machine is pretty heavy, which tells me it is made from quality materials. Also, it’s a rear drive, much better than a front drive because rear drives work the larger posteriors muscles and naturally put you in a straight upright position, which is exactly what you want.

It’s the only well-made rear drive elliptical in this price bracket, and the fact that it comes with a 10″ Smart HD touchscreen as well as iFit are just the cherries on top.

Yes, there are a few drawbacks that I’ll get into later. But overall, it’s an elliptical I think is worthy of some serious consideration, and today, I want to take a look at everyhting this impressive machine from NoridTrack has to offer.

At the end of the review, I will compare the SE7i with the Sole E25 elliptical, one of my favs in this price bracket, it’s a front-drive, but it’s the best on the market for around $1100.

First, let’s check out the Speacesaver SE7i product specs!

Product Specifications


Product dimensions – 80″ L x 32″ W x 67″ H Footprint


Weight – 195lb assembled, 212lb in box


Resistance Type – magnetic


Resistance levels – 22


Folds for storage – yes


Flywheel weight – 18lb


Weight capacity – 325lb


Stride length – 18″ adjustable


Transport wheels

Why Do We Like The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical?

I know I touched on it in the intro, but I need to explain why a rear-drive elliptical is more desirable than a front-drive in a little more detail.

When you pedal a front-drive elliptical, you tend to stand on the front of your feet, and the reason you do this is because you have to push the flywheel to get it spinning.

And because you’re pushing the flywheel to get it spinning, you’re working your anterior muscles like your quads. There’s nothing wrong with this, but your anterior muscles are much smaller than the posterior muscles. When they contract, they dont have such a high caloric output demand as the much larger posterior muscles.

rear drive flywheel spacesaver se7i elliptical

Burn Twice As many Calories With a Rear Drive

So if you want to burn more calories and give the large posterior muscles like your glutes and hamstrings a really good workout, you need to pull the flywheel to get it spinning rather than push, and thats exactly what you do with a rear-drive elliptical because the flywheel is behind you’re forced to pull it to get it spinning.

Pulling burns a ton more calories because you’re contracting those large posterior muscles. It also naturally puts you in a straight upright position, rather than leaning forward as you do on a front-drive machine which can put too much stress on your lower back.

Heavy but Not Too Heavy

You’ll find a lot of folding ellipticals are lightweight, which is a shame because it makes them unstable, and they feel cheap.

What’s surprising with the SE7i foldable elliptical is there’s actually a good amount of weight there, which is a telling sign that the quality of materials used in the build is high, and that extra weight helps aid stability, yes it’s not commercial heavy, so dont expecting gym quality, but its good weight for a mid-level folding elliptical and its one of the reasons why people like the feel of this machine.

side view of noordictrack spacesaver SE71 elliptical

What Happened To The Incline?

The SE7i elliptical has been updated recently, and they’ve taken away the power incline, but to be honest, nearly all the rear drive ellipticals, including the ones costing $5k +, don’t include an incline.

The primary function of an incline for front-drive ellipticals and even treadmills is to allow the user to shift the focus of their workouts from the front muscles to the posterior muscles. However, you are already naturally working the glutes and hamstrings on a rear-drive elliptical, which is why an incline is not an essential feature. 

So did NordicTrack give us anything else to compensate for the loss of the incline? Yes, you now get a cool 10″ smart touchscreen. Before this update, it was just a 7″ LCD. And I can tell you the new touchscreen is crisp and looks great.

man looking at NordicTrack elliptical monitor

New TouchScreen for the Monitor but Missing a Few Features

NordicTrack usually excels with their monitors, but I must admit im a little disappointed with this one.

Why? There’s no pulse sensors on the handlebar grips, and they dont supply an HR chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring, so if you’re someone who loves to train in your chosen heart rate zone like myself, there’s basically no way to monitor heart rate unless you pay out for an HR chest strap, which is disappointing.

Still, what I do love about his monitor is that it’s very easy to use. The large one-touch buttons allow you to assess everything with a single touch of a button.

Other features include a cooling fan, BlueTooth speakers, and my favorite feature, automatic trainer control. This feature allows the iFit trainers to adjust the resistance for you depending on the studio class you have chosen or the Global route you are running.

And lastly, the 10″ smart HD touchscreen, a feature only NordicTrack can offer in this price bracket; it’s impressive and great to see, but sadly can only be used with iFit you can’t download any other apps on it.


This brings me to iFit NordicTrack’s subscription app, it costs around 50c a day for one person, which isnt bad considering what’s on offer. You get 1000s of trainer-led studio classes, global routes, Google maps, meal plans, diet tips, and there’s a ton of other stuff too much to mention here. It’s a cool app and worth it, as you’ll never get bored with your elliptical if you have iFit.

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i stride

18″ Adjustable Stride

Rear drive ellipticals usually boast the longest stride lengths, so I was surprised to find the NordicTrack Elliptical only had an 18″ stride. An 18″ stride is about what you’d expect in this price range. Still, there are some ellipticals with the same price tag boasting 20″ strides, so I feel it is a little on the short stride, especially for a rear drive. 

An 18″ will allow users up to 6’1″ to use this machine without feeling restricted, but anyone over this height who wants to jog or run will need an elliptical with a longer stride.

On the positive, the stride length is adjustable by an inch from 17″ to 18″, which means you’ll be able to adjust the stride to fit, which is a big plus for shorter users.

Minimum height for an 18″ stride is around 5ft.

How Smooth is the Elliptical Motion?

This is where this elliptical shines. It’s a rear-drive elliptical which always means the elliptical motion will be that much smoother than a mid or front drive because the flywheel is at the back you’re pulling rather than pushing, so it will deliver the smoothest of motions. Still, other factors affect how smooth the elliptical motion will feel.

And one of those other features is the weight of the flywheel.

18lb Flywheel

Typically for machines in this price bracket, we look for a flywheel weight of over 15lb, with 25lb being the ideal. The SE7i boasts an 18lb flywheel, which isnt impressive, but it’s not light either, there’s enough weight there to help keep things smooth, and it’s an Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel which is what you want.

You also need a frictionless resistance system, like the magnetic resistance system of the NordicTrack elliptical. Why? Because magnetic resistance is frictionless, it feels smooth. The magnets never have to make contact with the flywheel, so there’s no jerky or stuttering motion with a magnetic resistance system.

Whisper Quiet

Something else you’ll love about magnetic resistance systems are just how quiet there are; measured at 20DB, magnetic resistance is the quietest resistance system out there, you can watch TV or listen to music without being disturbed by the sound of the machine.

For Beginners and Intermediates

You get 22 levels of resistance with this elliptical. Still, the number of levels really isnt that important what’s vital is how strong it feels in the upper levels. And this is where a heavier flywheel is important because the weight of the flywheel will determine how strong those upper levels feel.

An 18lb flywheel is suitable for beginners and intermediates: the SE7i isnt a heavy-duty elliptical built for serious athletes in training. It’s designed more for losing weight and increasing your overall fitness levels.

Moving and Stationary Handlebars

You’ll find most ellipticals come with two pairs of handlebars, one moving and one stationary. The stationary pair are great for beginners because you can use them to get used to the elliptical motion, and once you’ve built your confidence, you can move on to the moving pair for a full-body workout.

Still, you’ll find even seasoned elliptical users love to use the stationary pair because they allow you to focus fully on your low body. You can crank up the resistance and give the legs a really hard workout.

15 Minute Assembly

This is where I usually warn you that assembling an elliptical is a headache, but not today. The SE7i is one of the easiest to assemble ellipticals on the market, taking just 15 minutes. However, it’s still a heavy machine, so I recommend you have someone help you unbox it and get the machine in place. Then all you’ll have to do is attach the stabalizer bars to the base and attach the moving and stationary handlebars thats it!

All tools for the job and an illustrated manual are included.

The Good

Suprisingly sturdy build for a foldable elliptical that can handle 325lb

Rear drive machine – naturally keeps the torso upright

Impressive 10″ smart HD touchscreen

Includes one free month of iFit with 1000’s of workouts

Auto adjust trainer control

Smooth elliptical motion

Very quiet machine thanks to being a rear drive and using a frictionless resistance system

22 levels fo resistance can be quickly adjusted from the one touch buttons of the monitor

adjustable stride length

Folds for storage

Built in transport wheels, BlueTooth, speakers, and cooling fan

The Bad

Would have liked to of seen a 20″ stride

Some people may be disappointed there’s no longer a incline feature

HR chest strap isnt included and theres no pulse sensors

( at the time of wirting this review Amazon were selling the older version of this elliptics with the incline but not the HD othcscreen. If you want the new version it can only be purchaced from Nordictrack. Both links below.)



SOLE E25 Elliptical side view

Sole E25 Elliptical Review

I’ve always liked Sole Fitness because these guys really focus on the build quality and not the techy stuff. They offer the best warranties and stand behind their products which gives you that peace of mind.

The Sole E25 is a solid mid-level elliptical weighing well over 200lb, so it’s nice and heavy for the price point.

These guys got all the essentials right with this one, including the desirable 20″ stride, a 20-level power adjustable incline, a 20lb flywheel, and my favorite feature has to be the dual rails with wheels for each pedal.

These dual rails help keep the pedals running straight and prevent any sideway movement, and the wheels really help to add to the smooth feel of this elliptical. Yes, it doesn’t have the fancy monitor of the NordicTrack elliptical, but at least these guys supply you with the HR chest strap so you can monitor your heart rate, and with ten workout programs, Bluetooth, and the one-touch buttons, the monitor really isn’t that bad.

If you’re after a front-drive machine in this price range? This is the best option by a long way, the build quality is what sells it, and thanks to the dual rails, the 20lb flywheel, and its magnetic resistance system, it probably has the smoothest elliptical motion too.

An excellent machine for users up to 6’3″.


To Sum Up

I’d choose the SE7i elliptical from NordicTrack because it’s a rear drive elliptical. It’s the rear drive, and all the benefits that a rear-drive brings that sells it. And it’s pretty heavy, so we know the quality is high; well, it’s high for the price bracket dont expect commercial quality.

Yes, it’s great that the NordicTrack SE7i is so easy to assemble and that it folds for storage, but I was more impressed by what else it offered. The smooth elliptical motion, the excellent 10″ smart touchscreen, and a flywheel heavy enough to provide strong resistance in the upper levels. On top of that, it’s whisper quiet when in use and comes with a free month of iFit, an excellent fitness app that offers 1000s of workouts to keep you challenged.

It’s an elliptical that has everything you need for low-impact workouts at home. I was disappointed there are no pulse sensors or a free HR chest strap, but these are minor drawbacks to an overall good value rear drive elliptical.