This review will provide all the information you need about the NordicTrack Studio Cycleby IFIT. Although I previously wrote thoughts about the S22i here are some new updates. Let’s find out if this connected exercise bike is right for you.
EDIT Check out our review of the Nordictrack 2022 S22i Studio Cycle, and the new S27i bicycle here!
As I did with my reviews of connected fitness equipment, this review will be broken down into three parts.
- First, let me share my thoughts about the S22i hardware. This includes the design and tech that came with it, as well as how the bike feels and quality. Unless iFIT releases a new model, this part of the review will remain relevant.
- Second, my thoughts about the software and integrated classes. This will show the current status of the iFIT membership as well as the available class options. Here are my thoughts about the prebuilt programs and instructors included in the S22i. As iFIT updates their software, this section could become obsolete. This review will be updated as soon as I learn of any major changes.
- The third is my overall thoughts about the NordicTrack S22i bicycle and for whom I believe it would make a great match.
The S22i’s unique power incline/decline feature is what sets it apart from other bikes. The decline can be as low as -10 degrees while the incline can reach 20 degrees. Treadmills have the ability to incline or decline. The S22i is the only bike that offers this feature.
You can follow along on rides by using the incline, which automatically matches the terrain. It really enhances immersion since most of the top programs are outdoors rides.
You will become a little spoilt after you’ve used it. Even if I ride with bikes that do not incline up a hill during scenic rides, I wish I was riding on my S22i. It’s possible that this is why other companies don’t focus as much on outdoor classes as we do. The experience wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable.
Magnetic resistance S22i
The S22i has magnetic resistance, as many premium bikes have. It’s great, it works fast, is super quiet, and allows you to adjust the resistance quickly and easily.
Digital control of the magnetic resistance allows for Auto Resistance. You don’t have to worry about the resistance changing based on instructor cues when you are taking classes. This will happen automatically unless you tell it otherwise.
The buttons on the right hand side of the handlebars allow you to adjust the resistance. You can adjust the incline using buttons on the left side.
S22i control center
The S22i has a 22-inch HD rotating display. This screen is ideal for taking classes off your bike, since the iFIT program offers tons of yoga and strength classes.
Overall, the screen looks great. The only thing that I don’t like about the screen is that it doesn’t turn off. It is the only bike that the screen doesn’t just go black, and there is no off button. If you leave it unplugged, the screen will continue to be lit even if it isn’t in use. Although this isn’t a big deal, it was something I did not think was well-suited for home use.
A tray for your smartphone and a fan are integrated into the handlebars. This fan is a great addition to your bike for those hot days or hard rides.
A place is also available to store light dumbbells in order to use them for arm classes. The dumbbells are included with the S22i for free, which I find very useful. You can take all their classes without worrying about purchasing additional equipment.
NordicTrack seems to have the same philosophy, having everything you need ready to go with your pedals. Cage clips are included with the S22i pedals. These clips are great for beginners who don’t want to buy additional shoes. These clip-ins can be replaced with real clips if necessary. It is quite simple. Clips will only enhance your cycling experience.
The iFIT software is included with the S22i. iFIT has a lot of content that will appeal to all fitness levels. You can take thousands of classes all around the globe, and you’ll be able to ride in some truly unique places.
The best part about iFiT is the scenic rides. You will see the benefits of an auto incline/decline to match the terrain. This makes the experience more real.
Studio rides are still fun, but not as good as scenic ones. Although they aren’t terrible, the scenic rides are my favorite. There are many other options than studio classes that I enjoy more than the studio classes.
Music is a big part of the reason. Over the last few months, iFIT’s music has greatly improved. There are 11 music genres available. This is great for outdoor classes. Music is a key component of the studio ride experience. You lose the extra touch of studio rides if you don’t have a playlist for each class.
iFIT has a variety of programs that can be followed, from beginners to experts. You can also choose to take individual classes.
S22i Follow the Trainer
You can adjust the resistance of your bike during a class. You can also choose to “Follow the Trainer” which allows the S22i to adjust your resistance automatically to match the instructor’s suggestions. It works in theory but not in practice.
The resistance will stop adjusting if you move up or down from the trainer’s resistance. To ensure that you can follow along, the class must be tailored to your fitness level. Because a lot the resistance was designed for beginners, this limited my enjoyment of the rides. Their latest update has fixed everything.
Smart Adjustment S22i
You can adjust the resistance by using the Smart Adjustfeature. The rest of the class will then be adjusted to the same settings. It will continue to auto-adjust, but it will do so in a way that makes the most sense for you. This has allowed me to take many more rides. I am now able to take beginner rides in amazing locations, and the ride will be adjusted to suit my fitness level.
Smart Adjust can also recall your past classes’ results and use that information to modify future workouts. It works great and I cannot express how important this update is. The resistance issue made it so difficult for me to ride my S22i. I’m back on the bike and so excited. It has made a big difference in my enjoyment of the bike.
iFIT offers many live classes. The coaches are great at engaging everyone. Although they may not be the most popular live classes, they are very well-produced and provide a lot of accountability.
Google Maps routes for S22i
Google Maps allows you to create your own routes. You can then ride through Google images to see the exact elevation of your route.
This could be a great tool for preparation for a race, or even a ride. It’s not something I enjoy as much as the scenic classes.
Stat tracking for S22i
iFIT allows you to view your stats after every ride. Recent updates allow you to link your data with Apple fitness, Strava and other services. They don’t have any stats or badge collections that allow you to sort through all the data.
The iFIT membership gives you access to all of the iFIT workouts. Access to all their workouts can be accessed via an app on your smartphone, TV or other iFIT-enabled devices . You can also jump into thousands more classes from the bike.
Connect the Watts’ Take
This bike is currently one of the most popular on the market. This bike is great value for money if you are looking for a high-quality bike with endless workout options. Smart Adjust is now available in beta on all bikes.
Only one thing to consider is whether you like scenic rides that take your around the globe, or studio classes with great music and playlists. iFIT isn’t yet the best option for studio classes. This is the place to go if you are looking for scenic classes.
Apart from the NordicTrack S22i Bicycle, I have also reviewed the NordicTrack Vault, NordicTrack 2450 Treadmill and NordicTrack 2950 Treadmill . Another great thing about iFIT is the fact that they offer a wide range of equipment. You can expand your home gym with the huge selection of equipment they offer. They all share the same iFIT membership and work together.
My thoughts about the S22i hardware will probably not change, as I already mentioned. However, software for devices such as the S22i is always receiving big updates. Sometimes they are large enough to change my mind. I will continue to monitor the S22i and keep this review up-to-date.