When I got an opportunity to review the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle, of course, I said yes. I had been shopping recently for an at-home option for cycling during the rainy winter months in Oregon, so trying out this cycle was an exciting prospect. Indoor exercise equipment has come a long way from when I was in my early 20’s and there are many affordable options for those who want to skip the gym occasionally or try a training program on their own.
NordicTrack as a brand has been in the business for a very long time. In fact, my 12-year-old treadmill is a NordicTrack (and it still works perfectly). NordicTrack has a history of creating long-lasting and quality products for gyms and for home use. From those I’ve talked to, NordicTrack is a household name and is commonly recognized from the average Joes to fitness enthusiasts. Most agree, there is a place for stationary equipment in the home.
About the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
The S22i is a fully adjustable stationary bicycle. It has a 22” adjustable touchscreen that includes two digitally amplified speakers and an auxiliary port. There is also an HDMI option to use with a TV, but you may not need to because the monitor can tilt and also rotate 360 degrees.
The bike uses wifi to connect to NordicTrack’s iFit programming, where all the workouts are housed. You can track your stats, adjust the volume, and much more via the touchscreen. The monitor also includes an AutoBreeze adjustable fan, so when you are riding the hot mountains of Chile, you can feel the wind on your face.
The flywheel is inertia enhanced and offers SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) technology, so the spinning is very quiet. There are leveling feet installed on the base, so the bike remains stable during the workout. The frame is commercial-grade steel construction and is rated for riders up to 350lbs.
Every part of the bike is adjustable, from the saddle position to the handlebars, and it is easy to customize the ergonomics to fit a range of body types. The bike comes with regular bike pedals and straps, but can be changed to pedals of your choice.
The multi-position handlebars of the S22i start near the seat of the bike for closer hand positioning and go up to near the screen where adjustable OneTouch controls sit on the handlebars for manual resistance (24 levels) and incline adjustments from -10% to 20%. The handlebars have a non-slip grip, as well.
The saddle is adjustable vertically and horizontally to fit a range of inseams and comfort levels.
The studio cycle comes with a 1-year iFit membership, which gives you access to hundreds of rides of all types—studio, beginner, mountain bike, road bike—and includes off-the-bike training options. In addition, the S22i comes with two 3lb dumbbells that are used in some of the workouts that are guaranteed to make you thirsty, so it’s a good thing there are two places for water bottles.
The workouts include boot camp style workouts, high-energy studio sessions, trainer-led global workouts, incline cycling, yoga, and full-body options, among many others. There is just about every type of ride and difficulty level available along with varying options for length of rides, some as short as 20 minutes, others longer.
The frame of the S22i is 56.9” high, 55” long, and 21.9” wide, so it is small enough for apartment living or storage when necessary. The bike only requires a regular wall plug-in for power and can be easily moved when needed via small wheels attached to the frame. There is a 3-year parts warranty and a 1-year labor warranty included should anything come up.
NordicTrack iFit Programming
Once connected with wifi, and you are logged into your account, the user has a vast amount of programs to choose from. New workouts are uploaded daily and there are a wide variety of trainers to choose from depending on your mood, or your goals.
The programs all offer interactive training, so as the program moves along, the trainer adjusts the incline and resistance for the workouts. You can override this feature at any time during the workout, but you will most likely hit the calorie and watt goals if you are able to keep up with the cadence and allow the bike to adjust for you.
iFit programming uses Google Maps, so you are able to see parts of the world you might not normally during your training rides otherwise. With your login, your stats are tracked and will show weekly totals along with ride totals. The program is multi-user friendly, so four profiles per membership can be created so the whole family can track their statistics.
Pricing and Delivery
The S22i is $2999 (currently there a discount of $1000 applied to the cart) and includes a 1-year membership to iFit. There are financing options available, as well.
There is an option for White Glove Delivery and Installation for $249—this includes delivery, assembly, and installation. If you opt not to go with the delivery service, shipping is free and there is a 30-day return policy across the board.
So, What Did I Think?
This is one great looking bike. The quality of the frame and components are all very good. The engineering behind the design is well-researched and planned. Everything you need is within easy reach when you are spinning, so if you need to grab your weights, get a drink of water or adjust the resistance, it’s all quickly available.
I think the workouts available on iFit are truly fabulous—there really is something for everyone at every level. There is a wide variety of coaches, and some are former Olympic athletes. When you are riding, the experience is that you feel like you are there with them. All of the coaches are encouraging for the duration of each workout and all are excellent at communicating cadence and positioning during the ride so that you can get the most out of the workout.
The seat took a few sessions to get used to, as I expected. It can be easily switched with another seat type if it is not to your preference. By the third ride, I didn’t even notice the seat. My first few rides were with the pedals and straps included with the bike.
They are quality components, but for my preference, I switched those out for clip-in pedals and even though I got a lot out of the workouts, to begin with, the clip-ins made a big difference in my ability to keep up with the cadence needed on some of the workouts. If you decide to purchase an S22i, I highly recommend installing clip-in pedals—the swap was fast, just a few minutes.
The bike is stable while you are riding and does not feel flimsy or light if you stand up and sit down quickly. The handlebars provide a comfortable hold and grip whether you are standing or sitting. At first, I couldn’t get the handlebars to move up and down but realized that because the monitor is part of the handlebar assembly, it took more force to adjust. It is easy, but some pressure does have to be applied. The seat adjustment is much easier because there is no weight on the piece that slides into the frame.
The fan works well and the screen is very responsive to touch during the rides. The background music can be adjusted separately from the voice of the trainer, so you can get as little or as much of each of those as you would like during your workout.
The top of the screen tracks your stats during your ride, so you know where are you are at during the ride, and at the end of the ride your totals are calculated and displayed. There is a separate warm-up and cool-down before and after each workout at a few minutes each. Some of the workouts provide warm-up and cool-down instruction within them as well.
One thing that I did notice is that the first time the incline adjusted, the sound of it surprised me. It isn’t silent like the spinning is. It works very well and is part of the workout so after the first couple of times hearing it, I got used to the sound. Besides, I should be pedaling hard enough I can only hear the trainer’s instruction, right?
The bike can also be used manually, so if you opt not to do a workout, you can still use it as a regular stationary bike. One cool thing is that with the HDMI cable, you can play the ride on your TV. I have a separate good ol’ spin bike and my daughter sometimes hops on that and rides along beside me, and that makes it even more fun.
The Bottom Line
My opinion is that this bike is well worth the money. Along with the 30-day return policy, if you don’t like it, you really can’t go wrong. It is great fun and something that I look forward to using each time. This is an excellent purchase and I don’t see a downside to this bike. Everything works as it should and as advertised.
Two very enthusiastic thumbs-up from me.
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