NordicTrack EXP 10i Review Summary
The NordicTrack EXP 10i is part of the new entry level EXP series treadmills that have replaced the now discontinued T series. It shares many of the same features as its predecessor with an upgraded modern design and technology. While the older NordicTrack T 6.5 Si we reviewed is cheaper, components are no longer manufactured and it is only available through third parties, which is a customer service hassle you won’t want for a long-term investment like this. Especially when waiting times for part replacement can already take a while. But how does the 2023 NordicTrack EXP 10i treadmill hold up against its competitors and is it the right choice for you?
- One of the best treadmill designs
- Intuitive console with one touch. speed and incline buttons.
- 10″ tilt HD touch screen.
- iFit software with thousands of workouts and world-class coaches.
- Good cushioning to reduce impact on joints.
- EasyLift folding capability.
- Premium speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for immersive audio.
- 2.75 HP motor is slightly too weak for more intense training.
- Requires iFit membership for anything beyond basic function.
- Too early to know if it’s durable.
NordicTrack EXP 10i specifications
|Item Weight||230 lbs|
|Motor Horsepower||2.75 CHP|
|Speed Rating||10 mph|
|Dimensions||70.8″ L x 34.9″ W x 59.7″ H|
|Running Path||22″ W x 55″ L|
|Maximum User Weight||300 lbs|
|Maximum Incline||0 to 12%|
|Step up Height||9 inches|
The NordicTrack EXP 10i treadmill provides a top speed of 10 mph with a 2.75 CHP motor to power your running. We found this treadmill to be well optimized for jogging. The 300 lbs maximum weight capacity makes it a good choice if your goal is to lose weight, especially with their engaging personalized workouts. But for fast runners and sprinters looking to step up the duration and intensity of training, the motor may be slightly too weak and something like the NordicTrack commercial 1750 treadmill is a more robust option boasting 3.75 CHP and 12 mph top speed.
Incline on the EXP 10i goes from 0% to a 12% slope. This is on par with most mid range treadmills with a few competitors reaching 15% such as the Sole F63 or Xterra TRX4500 but they have more powerful 3+ HP motors. Another similar alternative also includes a -3% decline as seen on the ProForm Pro 2000. The EXP 10i is auto incline so you can adjust the angle throughout your workout. It changes relatively fast and doesn’t make too much noise, though doesn’t include Quiet Drive tech like the NordicTrack commercial series for a quiet experience.
In our experience, Runner’s Flex Cushioning does a good job at reducing impact on the joints. The running surface doesn’t feel hard and provides shock absorption to make it comfortable. This is an area where NordicTrack treadmills excel. And while there are softer treadmill decks on the market, this closer mimics running outside with less risk of injury. At the same time, historically, negative reviews point to the belt as a part that has needed replacing within the first few years of owning previous models. Of course, the heavier you are and more intense your training is, the more a commercial treadmill becomes a preferable purchase instead.
The 2023 NordicTrack EXP 10i treadmill console brings everything together into one space. They have abandoned the control buttons by the handlebar in favour of placing everything around their magnum opus – the 10″ HD touch screen display. In my opinion this doesn’t have much affect on usability because you have the one touch buttons for speed and incline along the side of the console which are more convenient. For example, when I’m walking at 2mph I often find myself wanting to go to move up to 6 mph and this allows me to do that instantly without awkwardly running with one hand out. The speed transitions over a period of 2-10 seconds depending on the gap between the numbers so it’s perfectly safe. There are also separate buttons in the bottom corners to make incremental adjustments of 0.1mph and 1% slope grade. Although, if you’re 5′ 7″ or under the console becomes harder to reach to change settings so you need to stay at the front of the treadmill.
Although there is a 10″ treadmill screen to access your workouts and tracked performance metrics, below is a device holder as well in case you want to connect your phone for music or watch TV on a tablet. The central in-built screen is for iFit, even though some reviews of other models claim you can bypass the app and use it for other things.
You have big start and stop buttons along with an emergency stop. One thing I’ve seen on some Matrix treadmills is the addition of a cool down button. While iFit workouts usually incorporate this for you without needing to adjust anything, it’s always a nice reminder to have for those free running sessions where you’re not following any plan. That’s just personal preference, though.
Below the main console there’s a built-in AutoBreeze fan that offers an adequate amount of air circulation. You have 3 fan modes for the airflow strength to cool you down. The downside is that it’s fixed so usually hits the upper torso at a central position as opposed to the full body.
The speakers are a big improvement from the awful noise we’ve experienced on most treadmills up to the $1599 price point. Wearing headphones can be annoying when they loosen during exercise so decent speakers are welcomed. The focus on the the mid frequencies as they are practical for listening to workout classes but podcasts and audiobooks are another great choice that work best with the NordicTrack EXP 10i treadmill. Volume can be adjusted on the console with Bluetooth connectivity.
New to this NordicTrack treadmill model is the ability to tilt the 10” HD Touchscreen. The 2023 EXP range now allows you to adjust the screen up and down so it’s easy on the eye whatever your height. Upgrade to the commercial series and you can also twist it sideways and make use of other iFit workouts in the surrounding space such as HIIT, strength training and yoga.
iFit technology is the main appeal of NordicTrack. Since most competitors have up to 20 preset workouts, it’s fair to say that the thousands of virtual classes that are suggested to you based on your fitness level puts it on top with ProForm treadmills if this is a key selling point for you. Plenty of NordicTrack reviews state that these classes led by world-class coaches is the reason they are motivated to keep exercising. We found the gamification approach of challenges to earn badges and rewards a nice touch to make an otherwise repetitive activity a bit more fun.
Google Maps™ Workout Technology lets you plan real life routes you can familiarize yourself with before going outside to try. Unfortunately, when using this it’s not a smooth streaming video. Instead, it’s like using the street view on Google maps where static images go from point to point. This is more of a Google technological limitation. Still we found this to be a really useful standout feature and the EXP 10i treadmill will automatically adjust incline to match terrains where possible.
ActivePulse technology also enables your new EXP 10i treadmill to automatically adjust speed and incline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone but this requires a SmartBeat™ Heart Rate Monitor. This proved to be effective at burning fat. This external HR device is much more accurate at providing your true heart beats per minute compared to the typical monitors you find integrated on treadmill handgrips.
It’s too early to know the effects of high intensity running on the new 2023 EXP 10i but you get the sense that frequent high speed running near 10 mph isn’t sustainable over several years. Going off the record of NordicTrack treadmills, you can expect to require minor part replacements within the first 2 years such as wheels and belt. But the motor may soon follow when pushed too hard. For that reason we would recommend buying this for moderate training and upgrading to something like a Sole F65 or the ProForm Pro 9000 for iFit integration as they are more reliable treadmills with 3+ HP motors. Although, the new belt is commercial grade so we anticipate it outlasting older versions of this model.
The frame is a steel alloy construction, which makes it easier to move than solid steel but it’s more susceptible to damage or cracking if moved around too much.
If you are making a long-term investment it will go the distance (5+ years) but it’s highly likely that during its lifespan you will have to pay hundreds extra to replace parts over time. NordicTrack offset some of that cost with a 10-Year Frame Warranty, 2-Year Parts Warranty, and 1-Year Labor Warranty.
Size and storage review
The NordicTrack EXP 10i is somewhere between a light and heavy treadmill. Just under 230 lbs, it’s not the type of treadmill you’d move between rooms by yourself but you could fold and wheel it around a room with a low friction hard floor.
The EasyLift™ Assist folding capability is great for saving space and easy to use. Just grab a hand bar beneath the deck and once elevated a pole will snap it into place. This shouldn’t require multiple people in most cases. The deck doesn’t fold fully vertical so expect there to still be a good 40″ length.
The running path is 20” W x 55” L, which is suitable for most runners unless you are over 6 foot with long strides and looking to hit that stride running at high speed. But the width provides plenty of space for heavy users. I can run off balance without stepping onto the side rails.
The height is about 60 inches so it’s suitable for use and storage in rooms with low ceilings. Just bear in mind that using this treadmill in a room with a 7 foot ceiling would be impractical if you’re 6 foot. Find somewhere with an 8 foot ceiling so you can make use of the incline.
Eamon is a long time fitness enthusiast with extensive experience in running, weight lifting, and nutritional health. He studies the latest research to find science-backed information about treadmills and cardiovascular health to help our readers transform their body and mind the right way.