Buy From: Fitness Superstore
Ratings (out of 5)
Overall Rating: 4
Build Quality: 4
Ease of use: 3
Console Features: 5
Value for Money: 5
For the most part, choosing a more compact cross trainer like the NordicTrack E9 ZL means compromising on the stride length. At 17 inches and with a rear drive flywheel system, this elliptical has a traditional, slightly cyclical feel to it. If your experience of using a cross trainer has been with a rear flywheel model in a gym or health club then this will certainly have a familiar feel to it. The balanced 22kg weighted flywheel and the silent magnetic resistance system has a class A certified ergometer rating. This really makes for a very smooth ride and with 25 levels of resistance, it would be a challenge for even the fittest of users to maintain a workout at the maximum level for extended periods.
The footplates are large and cushioned for greater comfort. Taller users however, may find that the tendency for a rear drive flywheel to tip you forward towards the console, could put pressure on the lower back. The pedal spacing is also quite wide at 7 inches which causes the knees to invert slightly, resulting in a movement which increases hip rotation and creates a slight bouncing sensation. None of this is likely to concern individuals of average height as the stride and huge crank inertia will still give a workout which makes the E9 ZL one of the best performing compact elliptical trainers at the price point.
The console is another area which performs well. With 12 preset smart programs, 8 heart rate and 2 watt workouts combined with 25 levels of quick digital resistance. The large, blue backlit screen displays general feedback clearly and they have also included a 2 speaker input for an mp3 player. Heart rate pulse grips are supplied on the stationary handles and a polar chest pulse receiver built into the console with a wireless Polar T34 chest strap included for more accurate feedback. The piece de resistance however, is the iFit SD card option which enables users to purchase interactive workout programs which come in a variety of result specific categories including weight loss, wellness, performance and more. These programs control the pace of the workout and provide verbal prompting for those who need a little push when it comes to motivation.
This is a pretty substantial machine weighing in at 68kg with a maximum user weight to match, (150kg or 23.5 stone).
The warranty covers the frame for 5 years and 12 months parts and labour for the remainder although Nordic track will upgrade this to 2 years for free if the product is registered within 28 days of purchase.
- Great console features including optional iFit motivational SD cards
- Fantastic value for money
- Masses of resistance
- Slightly short stride length resulting in a more bouncy, stepper like movement for taller users
In summary then, the E9ZL is a lot of elliptical for your money. If space and budget are your primary consideration then there aren’t many, if any alternatives at this price that will give you so much specification. The compromise is that you need to be no more than average height to get the most from this cross trainer.