Welcome to this in-depth review of the NordicTrack E11.5, A premium home elliptical cross trainer from NordicTrack. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this machine, good and bad! Let’s dive in.
NordicTrack E11.5 Latest Pricing
The E11.5 Cross Trainer at a glance
A quick overview of what this gym gear features
- Gym quality elliptical cross trainer
- Stride length: 20 – 22″
- 9kg fly wheel
- 20 levels of resistance
- iFit compatible
- 10° – 30° incline powered levels
- 30 built in workout programs
- Over-sized cushioned pedals
- Folding design
- Heart rate monitor
- Audio port
- Good-sized shelf for an ipad or your phone
- Fixed vertical bars as well as pull ‘n’ push bars
In-depth on the specs
Unless you work in a gym equipment shop or have spent a lot of time working with elliptical machines, some of those terms might be new. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each one means, and whether it’s marketing nonsense, or a useful thing to have.
Stride length is one of the things that’s worth taking time on when you’re plonking down cash for a new elliptical. What is stride length? It’s the measurement of an average step you take. It’s measured from the heel of the toe of your read foot, to the tip of the toe of your front foot.
What’s a ‘good’ stride length?
Some cheaper machines will have a smaller length but any good elliptical machine will have around the 20 – 21″ stride length. Anything shorter can place more strain on knees and joints so it’s worth getting a machine with the correct length.
The NordicTrack E11.5 has an adjustable stride length of 20 – 22″
The E11.5 lets you adjust the ‘stride’
While having a large stride is especially useful if you’re a taller user, not everyone needs that much room. The NorticTrack elliptical lets you adjust this and the machine will fit you whatever height you are.
Powered incline level
Another thing that some elliptical skimp on is the incline level. This is the range of steepness your elliptical machine is capable of. The slope is measured in degrees and is an extra way that an elliptical can increase difficulty and make you work harder.
Powered incline = more useful and interesting programs
The NordicTrack E11 and other elliptical machines can adjust the incline digitally during a workout program, without you doing anything. This means your body will have to adjust to the varying degrees of slope and you’ll workout more much efficiently, getting more exercise in a shorter period.
Video introduction to the E11.5
Here’s a fast video showing off the features of this NordicTrack cross trainer.
Who is this machine for?
Suitable for all ages
Elliptical training is an exercise you can safely recommend to everyone. I’ve got people in their late 70s training on elliptical cross trainers who would struggle to find other forms of exercise. The E11.5 is a good machine for users of any age.
Anyone recovering from injury
This machine also a good choice for some kinds of injury, where jolting the spine or joints is out of the question. Elliptical offer a smooth motion that’s great for recovery. As research as shown:
“during a cross training or non-competition-specific training phase, an elliptical device is an acceptable alternative to a treadmill.”
Capable of giving you a hard time… in a good way
The E11.5 is a substantial machine too. There’s probably more resistance and enough here than most people could ever use – even if you’re very fit this is a machine that will give you a hard workout.
Who are NordicTrack?
NordicTrack are a company specializing in home fitness equipment who have been around since 1975. Despite their Icelandic sounding name, they’re actually a US company based in the Utah. Their main focus is on:
- Running machines
- Ski training equipment
- Exercise bikes
They’re known for making high quality, modern gym equipment for home use and are up in the premium end of the market. NordicTrack treadmills are currently the #1 best selling brand of treadmills worldwide.
What are the 5 best things about the E11.5?
So lets cut to the chase. Here’s the main 5 reasons you’d wand to splash out on this NordicTrack elliptical.
- It’s VERY sturdy – As you might expect from NordicTrack, this machine is as solid as a rock. (As it should be in this price range). It’s robust and will not warp over time, rock about or do any of the stuff you’d expect from cheaper machines.
- It’s quiet – A lot of people say this machine is silent but that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration. But thanks to the SMR magnetic resistance, there’s no friction and it’s definitely one of the more quiet machines out there.
- It’s comfortable – The E11.5 can be adjusted in a number of ways to fit your stride. You can set the angle of the pedals along with the stride length. All elliptical machines have ‘over-sized’ pedals, but the E11.5’s are padded, and have way better grip than other machines on the market.
- The programs are awesome – One thing this elliptical does really well is in it’s various programs. There’s 30 to keep you busy, covering everything from interval training, weight loss and cardio. The console has full control over everything from resistance levels to incline, offering a huge variety of work during each program.
- It folds – Due to the mechanical limitations of ellipticals, there aren’t many on the market that actually do this well. But the NordicTrack E11.5 folds up in the middle and it’s quick enough to do. While you won’t be hiding it out of the way, it will save you a decent chunk of space in your home.
How well does the NordicTrack E11.5 Fold up?
Credit where credit’s due – it’s not easy making a folding elliptical machine. It’s not like a rowing machine that can be stood on it’s end, or a treadmill where you can fold the track up. So some fancy engineering has had to be done on the E11 to get it to fold into a more compact size. Is it successful?
Yes and no.
How the E11 folds up
There’s nothing especially difficult about how you fold up this elliptical. There’s some large buttons under the read of the stride arms, where they attach to the flywheel.
- Press lightly upwards on those and release the bars with the pedals on.
- Fold upwards towards the handlebars.
- Lift up the flywheel and fold forwards towards the handlebars too.
It takes a few seconds once you’ve got the hang of it. Does it buy you much space? You’re saving a couple of feet at the rear and it does take away some of the footprint of the elliptical.
Not a vast amount of space-saving, but every little helps
Just don’t expect something that will fold away discreetly and you won’t notice it. Overall, it’s not the most compact bit of training gear, but if it’s between this and a non-folding machine, and those extra couple of square feet will help, sure – that might swing it in the E11’s favour.
Have you discovered elliptical training yet?
A great form of exercise that’s far from an easy option
If you’ve not tried elliptical training before, it might look like a bit of an easy option. But don’t write off this form of exercise just yet. Ellipticals offer one of the best ways to get in shape, lose weight and tone up a lot of muscles at the same time.
And they’re far from easy.
One of the best things about ellipticals is that they offer a smooth, rounded motion which doesn’t have any impact on your joints. You’re also working your upper body and legs at the same time in a unique motion.
I’ve trained extensively on cross trainers over the years and they’re a huge part of my training. But the benefits of ellipticals, mainly that they are better for your joints than other forms of exercise such as running, and that they are also better for your back, are supported by plenty of medical research too.
Kinds of workouts you can do on the NordicTrack E11
- Weight loss
- Gentle walking
Reception of the E11
What are the reviews like for this NordicTrack Elliptical?
The NordicTrack E11.5 X-Trainer currently sits at 4.5 stars. At the time of writing, there’s a good number of reviews of this product.
Here’s some opinions from users of this cross trainer:
“Thank goodness I bought it! The Nordic Track E11.5 X-trainer is an excellent training aid. Robust and stable it provides an excellent workout. It was remarkably easy to build. I have used it almost daily”
“Thank you, perfect Home Training. All Levels working brilliantly. Silent breaks. Easy to assemble. Just great”
“Just love my cross trainer! It was important to me that it was as sturdy and reliable as a gym cross trainer, the kind I would use in a local gym… I was not disappointed.. it’s great with lots different levels and produces a good, hard work out.”
Smaller stuff we like about the NordicTrack E11.5
Here’s some stuff that’s easy to overlook in the big specs, that are still worth knowing abot this cross trainer.
- CoolAire fan – A lot of ellipticals have these built in now and they’re a nice way to get a bit of a boost when you’re flagging towards the end of your session. The built in fan can be turned on when you need some fresh air and helps bring a fresh feel of striding up a mountain side, especially when used with one of the virtual training apps.
- Good tablet holder – I sound like a broken record in some reviews but the amount of machines that overlook a safe place to put your tablet in 2020 never ceases to amaze. Thankfully the E11.5 does a great job here.
- Built in Speakers – Although we’d have liked to have seen Bluetooth connectivity here, this cross trainer does have an above average speaker system. Plug the cable into your headphone jack and take advantage of the NordicTrack’s quiet movement to enjoy your favorite training tracks.
- Compatible with the Polar Heart Rate sensor. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with a chest strap, as they’re much better than those shiny hand grips. But you can grab the heart rate strap fairly cheaply and it will integrate with the E11.5’s console to keep you in your target hart rate. Smart!
Where can you get the best price for the NordicTrack E11.5?
The E11.5 is frequently on sale at Fitness Superstore. If you’ve not bought from them before, they’re one of the UK’s biggest and most reliable fitness retailers. They’ve got branches across the country and a massive online store.
What are the negatives to the E11?
Here’s a few things that aren’t so amazing with NorticTrack’s elliptical.
No bluetooth connection
The cable that connects your phone or tablet to the built in speakers looks really dated now. While the old school cable is arguably quicker than bluetooth to get running, it would have been better to include a simple Bluetooth connection.
You’ll have to wear trainers
One thing that’s worth noting with the over-sized pedals is they have an interesting ‘bumpy’ texture. This gives you a lot of grip but has a weird, kind of uncomfortable feel when you kick your shoes off that other ellipticals don’t have.
The heart rate monitor is extra
If you’re serious about training on the E11.5 integrating heart rate, you’ll likely need more than the included grip pulse sensors. They work well enough but it’s good having the freedom of movement a proper chest sensor gives you. You will have to fork out extra on something like the polar strap though as it’s not included.
It’s always a double edge sword when it comes to the weight of an elliptical machine. On the one hand. the weight is a benefit. On the other, the E11.5’s whopping 87kg weight might be a problem for some. Use our old faithful tip of taking the parts up stairs (if that’s it’s destination) and assembling there, as it will be easier to carry.
Full NordicTrack E11.5 Specs
|Computer Console||5" Monochrome screen|
|Resistance type||Magnetic / flywheel|
|Heart Rate Training||Pulse sensors on handlebars track heart rate|
|Chest strap included?||No|
|Stride length adjustments||20" - 22"|
|Adjustable incline||Yes, powered|
|Pedals||Over-sized, pedals with extra 'bump' grip|
|Built in speakers?||Yes|
|Dimensions||204 x 67 x 166cm|
|Folded size||132 x 67 x 166cm (folded)|
|Max user weight||150kg|
|Built in fan||Yes|
|Estimated assembly time||1 hour|
References and sources
- A good alternative product is the NordicTrack FS9i
- If you want to learn more about ellipticals, check out Elliptical Trainers are not Total BS!
- Dive deep into the proper research on the benefits of elliptical trainers in this free PDF here
- There’s also some seriously heavy reading in a comparison of ellipticals, cycling and other training here.
- The official NordicTrack Youtube channel is packed with high quality videos of their products, if you’d like to check out other rowing and fitness machines.
- Find out more about what you can do with KinoMap here
- Read more about NordicTrack on their Wiki
- NordicTrack Homepage
- If you need a user manual for the E11.5 you can download those direct here.
- You can also contact them for help or any other queries on the E11.5 on 0330 1231045
- How good is Fitness Superstore’s customer service? Check out their Trust Pilot company reviews here. Currently at 4 / 5 stars.
- Are you up to it? Check out the Live well website on NHS before you dive into your new elliptical machine