Smooth 9.45ST vs. Nordictrack Incline Trainer X7i

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We’ve got an interesting duo today. We’re going to compare the Smooth 9.45 St to the Nordictrack X7i. It’s hard to objectively compare a regular treadmill to an Incline Trainer. They’re built a bit differently, and have slightly different focuses, which makes comparing difficult. It’s kinda like comparing apples and…pears. So, this comparison might end up as more of my opinion than all objective, but it will be informative nonetheless.

The Smooth 9.45st has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It offers a compelling set of specs and features with an even more eyebrow-raising price. The $1,999 starts to look like less and less the more you look into the treadmill. The Nordictrack Incline trainer is also $1,999 and, is also a compelling machine by most standards. The Smooth 9.45st has one small weakness: the engine is a bit smaller than you’d expect. The 3.0 CHP engine is an excellent engine in every aspect except size. It’s extremely quiet, strong, cool, and solid. The size however is smaller than average motors at this price. The weight capacity of the machine, however, is rated at 400 lbs. Which is better than the average treadmill at this price. The treadmill itself is one of the strongest built machines in the home market. The frame is welded steel that doesn’t budge a bit no matter how hard you are on it. The engine on the Nordictrack Incline Trainer is a 3.0 CHP motor as well which is actually positioned on the rear of the deck, and underneath it. It works practically the same as an ordinary motor, but it’s hard to get at if you need to make any adjustments. The motor is strong and well made, and can go up to 12MPH like most ordinary treadmills. The frame on the Nordictrack is strong and well made, but not as strong as the Smooth. The weight capacity on the incline trainer is 350 lbs.

The Smooth 9.45st has a 20″ x 60″ treadbelt with a strong, multi-ply belt. The cushioning system is called Hydra-suspension cushioning which is sort of a hydraulic suspension system with small knobs that allow you to adjust the amount of cushioning. Nordictrack uses their well known Reflex cushioning for the incline trainer. I’m impressed that Nordictrack didn’t compromise many specs to add the extra 40% incline capability to their incline trainer. The specs on the X7i are almost up to par with regular treadmills at this price, which makes the incline trainer hard to pass up. Incline trainers help you burn way more calories and define your legs much better. So, if you’re looking for an incline trainer, this is probably the best choice out there right now. If you’re not, the Smooth 9.45 is an excellent regular treadmill.

I’m not going to recommend one over the other, I’ll just say they’re both the best at what they do, and move them both on to the next round. Here are the more detailed specs below.

Here’s a little comparison table:

Smooth 9.45st

  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • 20″ x 60″ treadbelt
  • 400lb weight capacity
  • 11.2 MPH
  • 15% Incline
  • 6 programs
  • Hydra Suspension Cushioning
  • Large LED screen
  • Non folding
  • No Ifit
  • Music Port w/ speakers
  • Lifetime Frame and Motor
  • Lifetime Parts, 2 year labor
Nordictrack Incline Trainer X7i

  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • 20″ x 65″ treadbelt
  • 350lb weight capacity
  • 12 MPH
  • -6% – 40% Incline
  • several programs
  • Reflex Cushioning
  • 7″ full color touch screen
  • Non folding
  • Ifit Live, google Maps
  • Music Port w/ speakers
  • Lifetime Frame and Motor
  • 1 parts and labor

Although the Nordictrack Incline Trainer X7i is a great machine, the only downside to it is the weak warranty. One year on parts and labor isn’t very much. Especially when you compare it to the Smooth’s Lifetime parts and 2 year labor. If I am stuck between two models, I look at the warranty, and it’s a good swaying factor. However, I’m still going to move both of these treadmills onto the next round.

Click Here to Save on the Smooth 9.45st
Click Here to Save on the Nordictrack Incline Trainer X7i

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About Treadmill Sensei

Treadmill SenseiThe Treadmill Sensei has been in the fitness industry for several years. He is familiar with several brands of fitness equipment and has written several reviews of many different treadmills and elliptical machines. You can see what he thinks are the best treadmills or you can get help choosing a treadmill.

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About My Treadmill Reviews

TreadmillMy treadmill reviews are both subjective and objective. They are objective in the sense that I will provide you with information about each machine, such as motor, weight capacity and other features. But they are subjective in the sense that I am really giving my opinion of each treadmill. You may agree or disagree with my opinion, but my hope is that my elliptical and treadmill reviews can be helpful to you in making a decision on what to buy. Remember that each review is just what I think. You can always check out Treadmill Doctor, Treadmill Review Guru or these other treadmill reviews if you want another opinion.