Trusted in-home equipment brand NordicTrack tells us what to look for when purchasing a modern indoor cycling machine.
Let’s face it: Indoor biking used to be pretty boring. It was stationary and static. However, with today’s dynamic tech-boosted spinners like the NordicTrack S22i, riding inside is something fitness fanatics look forward to.
But not all indoor bikes are alike. If you want a complete indoor cycling experience, you need a spinner with features specifically designed to help you pedal over the long haul at home. Start with these five essentials.
1. Commercial-Grade Mechanics
Look for a studio-style indoor bike. Often, the phrase “commercial-grade” marks these workhorses, meaning the indoor bike system is built with a gym in mind. Brands manufacture these to hold up under the heavy demands of a busy gym. And they should hold up longer at home too.
A commercial-grade studio bike comes with heavy-duty belt drive, and, in the case of the NordicTrack S22i, an “inertia-enhanced” flywheel. You’ll also want a silent digital-magnetic resistance system on indoor cycling equipment. That will ensure smooth, quiet transitions for adjusting the most important fitness feature on the bike: how hard you’re pedaling.
2. Live Content & Coaching
These days, the best indoor bikes are web-enabled for on-demand cycling content. That means endless new and engaging ways to ride along, whether that’s pretending you’re in the Tour de France with the bike’s terrain-matching technology or getting some one-on-one power tips from a trainer.
The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle uses a technology called LiveCast to stream prerecorded personal trainer-led workouts and group classes right to the bike. Just hit the start button, begin pedaling, and the content is ready when you are.
Taking that technology a step further, you can sign up for a personalized fitness plan with a NordicTrack iFit Coach membership. This plan’s smart technology allows your coach to auto-adjust the bike’s resistance and create custom workouts (even meal plans) based on progressing activity levels, nutrition, and sleep.
Plus, NordicTrack screens all iFit bike coaches for professional credentials. The coaches bring a variety of expertise in everything from athletic training to biomechanics.
3. Multifunctional Display
For serious cyclists, a studio cycle’s display can be one of its most motivating aspects. A big, multifunctional screen can mean the difference between a lot of squinting and button-pushing and a smooth ride that feels like you’re outside.
So when buying an indoor cycling machine, look for a screen of industry-leading size: 22 inches. The display should also be a smart, high-definition touchscreen with two more critical features: rotation and connectivity.
The NordicTrack S22i has a 360-degree horizontal display that tilts and rotates for optimal viewing. And a built-in HDMI port lets you connect the existing display to your big-screen TV for a more immersive biking experience.
4. Auto Incline
It sounds like a gimme, but not all indoor bikes come with the ability to auto-adjust the incline and decline on the equipment. For example, the popular Peloton bike, which is often compared to the NordicTrack S22i, has no such feature.
Thanks to the patented iFit technology, NordicTrack’s is the only equipment on the market that can automatically adjust bike incline and resistance based on trainer cues and terrain change. This means you never have to touch your bike settings.
The S22i’s digital incline/decline drive system lets bikers pedal uphill with an optional 0- to 20-percent incline control and scream downhill at up to 10 percent. Just pedal along, or manually adjust incline if you’ve got a specific training plan.
5. Smart Fan
And last but certainly not least is the integrated fan feature. If you’ve ever tried to maneuver a house fan or a mini clip-on blower to the right angle and wind level, you know how annoying this can be when you just want to ride.
NordicTrack wanted to eliminate that hurdle. To keep cyclists cool even in the toughest, sweatiest pedal sessions, the S22i Studio Cycle comes with AutoBreeze. The built-in workout fan automatically adjusts to match your workout intensity. No manual cranking, angling, or regulating necessary.
We promise this simple but stellar feature might just be your favorite.