The NordicTrack E7 makes a solid entry in the bargain elliptical trainer market. Its 18-inch stride length weighs in on the short end of the "acceptable" range, although front-drive elliptical trainers sometimes produce a relatively choppy stride that feels shorter than it really is. The only way to make sure the E7's stride will suit you is to try it out first. The E7 also offers 20 levels of magnetic resistance -- more than enough to challenge any exerciser.
Preprogrammed workouts are one of this elliptical trainer's primary features. It comes with four calorie-goal-oriented weight loss workouts, and 12 personal trainer workouts that adjust the elliptical's resistance automatically. You can also control the elliptical's resistance manually, or manually override a programmed workout at any point.
Other notable features on the E7 include a built-in sound system with MP3 or CD player dock, a handgrip heart rate monitor, oversized pedals, a backlit console and a quarter-mile track display that shows your progress, in terms of distance, throughout the workout. The incline ramp adjusts manually; working out at different inclines changes which leg and hip muscles bear the primary stress of your workout.
Like most cardio equipment from ICON Health & Fitness, the NordicTrack parent company, the E7 SV is iFit compatible. You insert iFit cards, which resemble standard media memory cards, directly into the console. Each card contains several preprogrammed workouts, effectively increasing your elliptical's repertoire. You'll hear a personal trainer's voice prompting you through the workout as the elliptical automatically adjusts resistance.
Capacity and Specs
The E7 SV has a maximum user weight capacity of 275 lbs. It must be plugged into a standard U.S.-current electrical outlet, or you can power the console with four "D" batteries. You must leave 3 ft. of free space to the front and rear of the elliptical trainer, and 2 ft. of clear space to either side for safe operation.
Price and Warranty
As of November 2010, the NordicTrack E7 SV retails for about $600 from Sears. The manfacturer's suggested retail price is $1,000, but selling home exercise equipment at a steep, constant markdown is common practice in the fitness industry. The E7 SV is in the upper end of the bargain price range. It comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a seven-year warranty on the resistance mechanism and one year of parts and labor coverage.