Currently available for £1699.00 from Sweatband.com
NordicTrack Commercial S10i Studio Cycle Review
NordicTrack is one of the world’s leading producers of home fitness equipment. Their products have become increasingly reflective of the connected world we live in and it’s Commercial S10i Studio indoor cycle is yet another product in their existing range to make use of the benefits of the internet. To see just what you’re getting for your money at the high-end of their bike range we got one in to take a closer look.
Assembly is a simple thing with the S10i. If only it were always this straightforward! The instruction manual has clearly had a lot of work put into it and is easy to follow and easy to understand. Step back to take a look at the bike once it’s built and you find yourself looking at a slick, stylish bike that looks like it belongs in a pro studio. It’s got a quality black finish with a splash of silver and the merest hint of red splashes in a few select places. It’s also obvious just from looking at it that this isn’t a lightweight piece of equipment. Thick gauge steel dominates everywhere from the base to the frame, to the handlebars, seat and pedals. The console has an impressive 10″ full-colour touch-screen display and greatly adds to the slick look. Console aside, there’s not one bit of this bike that looks like it won’t withstand a grenade being thrown at it. Given the price bracket, it’s easy to be wary but once this bike is standing in front of you, any fears one is harbouring are immediately cast aside. Sitting there, stock still, it oozes quality.
Of course, good looks are always a nice thing to have but how does it perform? Getting a comfortable and ergonomically correct riding position is paramount on any bike. Get this bit wrong as the manufacturer and your bikes will soon flood the auction and bargain websites as people attempt to get rid of a clothes horse they don’t want. We’re happy to report that there are no such concerns here. Adjustments to the saddle can be made horizontally and vertically via quick-release knobs and the handlebars also adjust vertically via the same type of mechanism. The pedals are in a fine position too and it’s clear that there’s plenty of know-how gone into the construction of this indoor cycle. The vast majority of riders will quickly be able to find an excellent riding position here, and even if you’re particularly tall, there’s plenty of height available to make sure you get comfortable. The saddle, as you’d expect for this type of bike is in the racing style, but if you’re not used to this type of saddle the good news is that it’s possible to fit a wider, more padded one as long as it has a standard bicycle fitting. The pedals too also use a standard fitting so if toe-clips aren’t your thing and you’d prefer SPD pedals it’s easy to just switch them over as you would do on any road bike.
As mentioned earlier, the console on the S10i features a large, 10″ full-colour touch-screen display which is used to navigate the various menus however NordicTrack has, sensibly in our humble opinion, kept some physical buttons. These come in the form of quick access keys for speed and incline settings that run vertically down the left and right-hand sides of the console. There are also controls for the speed and incline settings on the handlebars themselves. This combination of on-screen and physical controls make selecting workouts intuitive and controlling them just as much so. This setup works, pretty much, perfectly and gets a big thumbs up from us. The display is exemplary, with good contrast, more brightness than most people will need and nice large characters for easy reading, even when you’re busting a gut. One of the nicest things about this console though is the way you access the preset workouts, because it’s essentially just like using a tablet to swipe through various options, and that is light-years away and ahead of 98% of its competitors.
In addition to the navigation differences between the S10i and other indoor cycles that feature computers (not all that many do) the way the workouts are delivered is unique to models made by this manufacturer. Instead of the traditional heart based, calorie based, time-based etc workouts you can select from more than 50 HD video workouts which feature a personal trainer guiding and encouraging you throughout the programme. There’s also a daily map based ride that uses Google maps to show you the course and take you along it as you ride. Though the map-based workouts are not videos, you do get to see the map route and your progress along it, and you get a series of still images from Google Earth at street view level as you progress along the course. It’s the videos that really shine here because they’re so engaging. Each video takes you through a particular kind of workout that focuses on a particular element such as cardio improvement, calorie burn and so on. They’re a lot of fun, making normal indoor cycles feel incredibly dull by comparison, and they are without a doubt very good at getting you to push yourself and put that extra bit of effort in right at the end to get you over the line. With a selection of videos that include road rides, off-road bike trail rides and spin classes as well as interval sessions that have you dismount the bike and do work with weights during the workout (a set of dumbbells is included with this bike for this purpose) it’s highly unlikely you’ll get bored. The videos are fun, engaging and very effective – much more so than a boring graph on a screen that blinks at you every few seconds!
If this all sounds good, it’s because it is, and if it ended there we’d be impressed, but it doesn’t end there. There’s a motorised incline/decline system on this bike that works hand-in-hand with the video-based workouts. Ride up a hill on screen and you’ll find the bike inclining at the front up to a maximum of 20% to simulate the hill, the resistance automatically increases at the same time. The same thing happens the other way around too so when you’re riding down a hill on screen, the bike tilts forward to a maximum of 10% and the resistance decreases. The effect of all this is to completely immerse you in the ride in a way that’s just not possible in almost all other home indoor cycles. The leap forward between this way of delivering a workout session and the traditional way is simply huge. You’ll need an internet connection at all times in order to stream the videos direct to the console as they’re streamed rather than stored in internal memory. This requirement shouldn’t be an issue for most users but it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re planning to locate the bike in a garden studio where there isn’t already a WiFi connection. The way training sessions are delivered here is very accomplished and slick. We’d go so far as to say that it can’t actually be compared with the old way of doing things as its simply chalk and cheese. This is way ahead and definitely leaves you feeling that you’ve just met the 21st century way of doing things. There’s no going back once you’ve tried this and we’re sure that as time goes by more and more manufacturers will take this approach to training at home. Right now though the S10i shares this space with only a very, very limited number of other machines, some of which cost several times the price and most of which don’t do things as well as the S10i does them!
In addition to the free workout videos that do not require a subscription, the S10i comes with a 12-month family subscription to iFit included giving you access to an ever increasing number of videos in a library that’s already huge. iFit also gives you access to tailored personalised training programmes, allows you to race courses against other iFit members, lets you map out your cycling route using Google maps, provides advice on sleep and nutrition and a good deal more. For full details on everything iFit click here to visit their website.
To round things off, the S10i comes with Bluetooth chest belt and heart rate receiver, compatible music port for your mp3 player, stereo speakers, dual water bottle holders, cooling workout fan, and two 1.4kg (3lbs) dumbbells. It’s also covered by NordicTrack’s 5-year frame, 2-year onsite parts and labour warranty. Judging by the build quality on show here it’s unlikely you’ll need it.
The Proform Commercial S10i is an outstanding indoor cycle. It's way ahead of the competition, especially at the current offer price. Some bikes out there costing a lot more do similar things but when it comes to this price point the S10i is one of the best bikes out there at the moment. A truly exceptional bike that delivers a total workout experience in a very premium sort of way and one that with the current offer and family iFit membership included is truly outstanding value for money.
NordicTrack Commercial S10i Specifications
- Inertia Enhanced Flywheel
- 22 levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- -10% to 20% Incline and Decline with One Touch Control ™ system
- 10″HD backlit touch display
- Feedback: speed, incline, distance, heart rate, time and calories
- Programmes: more than 50 workout session videos available with iFit membership
- Interactivity: iFit® Coach Enabled (1-year Family membership included)
- Heart Rate Measurement via Bluetooth Smart HR Receiver
- Audio: Music port for MP3 compatible
- Extras: bottle holder, pair of 3Ib dumbbells, transportation wheels
- Oversized cushioned seat
- Comfortable handlebars
- Autobreeze Fan workout available
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 140cm (55”) x 56cm(22”) x 141cm(55.5”)
- Max. User Weight: 135kg (298lbs)
- Product Weight: 74kg (163.1lbs)
- Power Supply: Mains;
NordicTrack Commercial S10i Studio Cycle - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £1699.00 from Sweatband.com
Also see our Exercise Bike Comparison Table
Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer