It might be that you are getting ready to train for a big biking marathon, but don’t necessarily want to hit the road every day. It might be that you are a bike enthusiast, but spend a ton of time at work, and so would love to have an indoor bike waiting for you to hop on for a few minutes on your lunch break. Or it might be that you are simply looking for a way to up your exercise game and think an exercise bike is the way to go. Whatever the reason for your interest in exercise bikes, one thing is for sure – you want to make sure it’s durable and of good quality.
Thankfully, that’s precisely what you’ll get with the NordicTrack S22i. This unit is supposed to be built to last and features some of the most advanced screen technology of any racing spin bike on the market.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at it and see if it really lives up to the hype surrounding it.
Features of NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle
“What’s in a name?”
Juliet’s time-honored question may not be in reference to racing bikes, but it definitely applies here, as the “22” in the NordicTrack S22i refers to the 22-inch screen, which is the defining feature of this unit.
Screens on racing bikes are nothing new. With the modern craze for tracking one’s vitals and distance traveled in as up to date and technologically-sound fashion as possible, screen readouts are becoming an increasingly prominent part of many racing bikes. That said, these screens are often far smaller. Size matters, and 22 inches makes a big difference.
For one thing, the big size makes any display that much more vivid. What’s more, the screen isn’t “just” big – it’s also quite good, with the readouts easy to read.
Perhaps the biggest upside of this large screen, however, is the fact that it’s high-definition and able to stream live workout classes. This is a huge upgrade to other bikes’ screens, and a definite plus in this bike’s favor compared to others.
In addition to these workout programs, you can track certain metrics for free, including:
- How long you’ve been riding
- Your speed
- How many calories you’ve burned
- Heart rate
This bike has a good, strong build. Once assembled, the metal parts stay firmly in place, and the whole thing has a strong feel of sturdy, enduring quality. Of course, that assumes you can assemble it first, as this has proven tricky for some users. That aside, the frame itself is solid.
The amount of resistance this bike offers is another big plus. With 22 different resistance levels available, you can take greater control over the degree of resistance and, thus, the intensity of your workout. What’s more, with the flywheel’s Silent Magnetic Resistance build, you’ll be able to pedal and change speeds and degrees of resistance smoothly and without making a ton of noise.
The OneTouch TM Controls allow you to switch your workout intensity quickly, eliminating the need to pause and reset. This can be great for those who really like to get into the rhythm of a workout. Stopping and starting can break up the flow and intensity of a workout, robbing you of the feeling of progress. These OneTouch TM Controls do a great job of counteracting that, letting you spend less time preparing to work out and more time actually doing so.
Helping you get “into the groove” workout-wise are a pair of 2” digitally amplified speakers, allowing you to listen to music or podcasts while putting the pedal to the metal. An auxiliary port is also included.
The unit also comes with a pair of three-pound dumbbells. You probably won’t use them while pedaling, but they’re still a nice little bonus to help add a light bit of upper body activity to your workout routine.
All that working out can really cause you to work up a sweat, which is why it’s good that this bike comes with a built-in Autobreeze Workout Fan.
That concludes the features.
Not Like the Others
By far, the most defining aspect of the NordicTrack S22i “experience” is the 22-inch screen and its ability to stream workout classes in high-definition. This has the potential to be a game changer, as anyone who has tried balancing an iPad or laptop on a bike to follow along with a workout class knows. That kind of balancing act is at best extremely tenuous and at worst doomed to failure. You want to focus on your cycling, not the annoying rattling sound caused by a tablet or laptop sitting atop your cycling bike, let alone whether or not it falls off.
By having a high-quality high-definition screen capable of screening built right into the bike, you can do away with those distractions and focus on the class – and the physical benefits you gain from it.
However, it should be noted that you only get that streaming ability if you sign up for iFit, the company’s online fitness tie-in.
Pros and Cons
Is NordicTrack S22i Worth the Money?
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
All things considered, the NordicTrack S22i is a high-quality bike that delivers what it promises. The 22-inch screen, which is at the center of its appeal, is as good as advertised. While a small subscription fee is necessary to take full advantage of its features, it is nevertheless one of the best such screens for a racing bike and truly helps set this model apart. In addition, this bike offers a great deal of resistance, operates silently, and comes with a wide range of good additional features.
Whatever reason keeps you riding, this is a stationary racing spin bike that can keep you going.
If you find the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle too expensive, then have a look at our guide on the very best, yet affordable spin bikes.