The NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill is one of the EXP series treadmills by NordicTrack. Overall the EXP 7i is a great addition to any home gym. For a beginner runner, it is one of the best budget-friendly treadmills. If you are in search of a versatile treadmill that has over 17k training sessions pre-programmed in the iFit program the EXP 7i is good choice. The EXP 7i offers a sleek design and impressive features to optimize your running including a 2.6 CHP motor, up to a 12% maximum incline, and speeds up to 10 MPH that are easily adjusted with NordicTrack’s One Touch Control Technology. Although the screen is quite small compared to other NordicTrack Treadmills and the incline function is quite noisy, the EXP 7i comes with NordicTrack’s “Flex Cushion” technology which gives you the power to select the deck cushioning that you prefer most to reduce the impact on the joints of the lower body or simulate the running surface of real road running.
- Motor Horsepower is high enough for regular jogging
- Easily stored vertically
- Lighter than other models
- Modification of surface impact
- One-touch control of speed & incline
- Bluetooth and multi brand heart rate connectivity
- Comes with a warranty for parts, frame & labor
- Shelf for phone/tablet
- No fan
- Small screen size
- Not suited for more performance-based runners
- Trainer-led workouts are part of the iFIt subscription
- Incline function is reported to be noisy
|Item Weight||228 lbs|
|Motor Horsepower||2.6 CHP|
|Speed Range||0 – 10 mph|
|Dimensions||70.8″ L x 34.9″ W x 59.7″ H|
|Running Path||20″ W x 55″ L|
|Maximum User Weight||300 lbs|
|Step up Height||8 inches|
The EXP 7i Treadmill motor boasts a 2.6 CHP motor or continuous horsepower motor which is above what most fitness enthusiasts will be searching for in a treadmill. Heart rate zones are ranges of heart rate that correlate with exercise intensity. The ranges are classified as percentages of your max heart rate which is Max HR = 220-Age. The percentages range from 50%-60% (Zone 1), 60%-70% (Zone 2), 70%-80% (Zone 3), 80%-90% (Zone 4), and 90%-100% (Zone 5). These are titled as very light, light, moderate, hard and maximum. Most people looking to improve their fitness will be operating within a “zone 2” heart rate zone. This would make the EXP 7i an ideal choice as a CHP motor level of 2.6 is best for regular jogging. Whereas a power level of 3.0 or 4.0+ would be best for running or sprinting. This is because the faster pace could bring the user into “Zone 3”, “Zone 4” and even “Zone 5” heart rate levels. If you consider yourself a high-level runner a treadmill with a larger CHP motor (3-4HP) may be a better option for you.
The EXP7i also has an incline range of up to 12%. This level of incline percentage is what most standard treadmills will build to. According to NordicTrack, this is best suited for runners who are new to incline training. If you enjoy running but not running at high speeds then a treadmill with an incline of 0-12% is great for you. This is because the incline function can enhance the response to your training.
If you use your treadmill workouts to prepare for hikes or road running with hills then you may want to go with a different treadmill. The NordicTrack Commercial Series treadmills like the Commercial X32i have a 40% max incline and a -6% decline.
The speed of the EXP 7i treadmill reaches industry standards with a speed range of 0-10 MPH top speed. For a lower-priced NordicTrack Treadmill, this is great as most treadmills will go up to around 10 MPH. The Commercial X321i can reach 12 MPH but is more than double the price of the EXP 7i at a price tag of $4,499. So, if you are looking for a treadmill that is more performance it will likely cost you. But with the incline grade of 12% and a top speed of 10 MPH, you have plenty of room to work to get an effective workout in.
The EXP 7i allows for good capacity with regard to the size of the user. If you are a larger individual the EXP 7i has the ability to support 300 pounds.
A purchase of the EXP 7i Treadmill comes with a free 30-day free trial period of the NordicTrack iFit subscription program. The program has 17k workouts with NordicTrack’s professional trainers who can also use the automatic trainer control feature: Autoadjust. This lets them adjust your speed and incline mid-workout so that you don’t have to.
An iFit subscription also lets you use Google Maps Workouts to train wherever you would like in the world. If you choose to forego the Instructor-led classes. After the trial period, if you don’t want to buy iFit, the EXP 7i has manual modes just like a traditional treadmill.
The EXP7i Treadmill has the ability to connect to your headphones via Bluetooth technology. If you wish to track your heart rate, the treadmill can link with your wearable heart rate tracker. This is an ideal situation for people who want to track what zone they are training in. NordicTrack has its own heart rate tracker: the iFit SmartBeat forearm heart rate monitor. But most other watch brands like Polar, Garmin, Wahoo, and many WHOOP products connect to the treadmill. The iFit subscription comes with the ActivePulse feature. This will adjust your speed to maintain the challenge of your workout based on your heart rate. If your heart rate slows down too much the ActivePulse feature will adjust the speed.
The NordicTrack Runner’s Flex Cushioning is one of the best features of the EXP 7i. It allows for full control over the impact on the lower body with each step. But if you are preparing for jogging on the road then you can use it to simulate the natural impact of the pavement. The technology includes a soft cushion that is over four coil springs and then mounted over high-deck deflecting rubber dampers.
The EXP 7i Treadmills incline is adjusted by their OneTouch Control. These allow you to quickly and seamlessly adjust the incline as you are moving. The incline grades are situated to the left of the monitor and range from 0-12 in descending fashion. From a safety standpoint this is ideal as deviating from natural arm swing during running to adjust the treadmill speed may result in tripping over your feet or accidentally stepping off the 20” x 55” commercial tread belt.
Similarly, the NordicTrack EXP 7i has its speed settings to the left of the screen to allow for quick adjustments from no movement all the way up to maximum speed with a simple touch.
The screen size for the EXP 7i is the main feature that leaves something to be desired. Although it is a touch screen, can tilt, and is an HD screen, the 7-inch HD display may make it more difficult to see for older runners or people who are visually impaired compared to the 10 inch EXP. For example, anyone who would like to use the iFit program or Google Maps technology and fully immerse themselves in the location they choose to run in such as the Swiss Alps. Additionally, whether you are in manual mode or the iFit program, the smaller 7-inch HD display may make viewing the onscreen data like heart rate, time, distance, speed, and calories difficult to read. If you find yourself struggling with viewing smaller monitors then the larger screens of the Commercial X32i or the Commercial 2450 may be better for you with 32′ and 22′ screens, respectively.
Under the screen, the EXP 7i comes with an integrated Tray and Device Shelf that is fitted with standard water bottle holders for easy hydration during workouts and storage of your phone or tablet. The only setback with the positioning of the tray is that a larger device like a Tablet may impair your view based on the distance between the shelf and the bottom of the screen. However, if you plan on streaming your own content when you run then this is no issue.
Unfortunately, there is also no workout fan on the EXP 7i.
Size and storage review
The Treadmill in box weight comes in at 228Lbs making it quite a bit smaller than its counterparts. The Commercial 2450 model weighs in at 303Lbs and the Commercial 32Xi weighs in at a whopping 462lbs. If easier transport of the treadmill is desirable for you then you will most definitely want to go with the EXP 7i.
The NordicTrack Exp 7i treadmill has a footprint of 70.8” L x 34.9” W x 59.7 H making it smaller than the Commercial X32i and the Commercial 2450. So, if you plan on keeping your treadmill out in a garage gym or workout area in your home then the EXP 7i would be ideal for you. If you are very low on space, despite the smaller footprint of the EXP 7i, then the treadmill has the ability to stand up for vertical storage using its EasyLift Assist technology. With one push the Treadmill can be folded vertically with low effort by the user.
NordicTrack’s warranty on the EXP 7i is the same for the Commercial X32i and Commercial 2450 with a 10-year warranty on the frame post-purchase and the parts and labor warranties standing at 2 years and 1 year respectively.
EXP 7i treadmill reviews
NordicTrack posts several customer reviews on their product page for the NordicTrack EXP 7i. In general, the reviews are pretty positive and largely are 5-star reviews. It seems that many of the runners who reviewed the treadmill favor various locations that you can run in as well as the features of the iFit subscription. Suggesting that the EXP 7i is one of the better home treadmills that you can buy but It is worth mentioning that some runners who reviewed that treadmill rated it a low score due to shipping issues. Citing that although it is lighter compared to other models some sort of a trunk is needed to transport it or you must pay higher prices for shipping. Yet, this would be true of any of the treadmills that NordicTrack offers. Finally, despite the good warranty on the frame and parts, there are mixed reviews about the level of resiliency of the EXP 7i. Some runners believe it to be extremely sturdy while others complain of breakdown too soon after purchase.
As you can see there is a lot to consider about the Nordic Track EXP 7i if you are in the market for a new treadmill. Overall I believe the EXP 7i to be an excellent choice for casual runners or elderly folks who are looking to get healthy and improve their fitness. Given the motor power, speed, and incline capabilities it is well suited for regular jogging and can be a great choice for beginners, home gyms, and even apartments, or small commercial gyms that must consider maximizing the space that they have. If you need a new treadmill for regular jogging that can be easily stored then look no further.
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.