Tech Specs


Build Quality


Exercise Bike Review

Updated: October 25, 2023

In this review of the NordicTrack S22i Studio Exercise Bike, we will consider the ups and downs (though there are far more ups) of one of the top studio bikes. The NordicTrack studio bikes, including the S22i, are the only exercise bikes with incline and decline capabilities. The S22i is a staunch competitor against the renowned Peloton Bike and Bike+.

NordicTrack S22i Exercise Bike Review 2024
This is no ordinary studio spin bike.

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Who The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike Is Best For:

  • Outdoor Cyclists: You are into cycling outdoors, not so much in the studio. Yet, the weather and plans don’t always hold up. iFIT, the bike’s premium fitness platform, is known for its outdoor classes. As one of the only bikes with incline/decline capabilities, the S22i can help simulate the changing grade of the great outdoors.
  • Mountain Bikers: Nothing beats the trails. When you have to take things indoors, continue to climb those mountains and navigate the downhills with the S22i’s incline and decline settings.
  • Subscribers: Take the studio or the great outdoors into your home with iFIT’s fun and entertaining content. Pay monthly or yearly after your first 30 days free!
  • Short and tall users: The S22i has great adjustability and can comfortably accommodate users from 5 feet to over 6 feet.

Pros And Cons Of The NordicTrack S22i Exercise Bike


  • A -10% to 20% incline/decline feature makes the S22i a standout in the exercise bike market.
  • The 22” touchscreen has great graphics and reduced lag.
  • iFIT’s content takes your workout up a notch with personalized and hands-free content.
  • The speakers are sufficiently loud, and the bike is Bluetooth-enabled for a private listening experience.
  • The 350 lb weight limit is one of the highest on exercise bikes.
  • The fan in the console is a nice feature and does succeed in providing a cooling breeze.


  • The saddle is very firm. Most users will benefit from replacing the saddle.
  • The NordicTrack S22i is a heavier bike than its competitors.

Exercise Bike Review Of The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike

Build Quality


The frame is a sturdy welded steel frame with welded front and back stabilizers. The all-black coating is corrosion-resistant to keep your sweat from damaging the bike. That’s a big plus for heavy sweaters like me. The S22i is very heavy, weighing 205 pounds (in its shipping box). It is harder to wheel around on its two transport wheels than other studio bikes. Most users should be able to manage wheeling it across a hard surface alone.

NordicTrack S22i profile
The NordicTrack S22i is a heavy and sturdy bike built for serious training.


The saddle is called an ergonomic “padded” saddle, but I wouldn’t quite use those words to describe it. This is the biggest downside to the S22i for me. Fortunately, the saddle is replaceable, as the bike is compatible with standard road bike saddles. It was way too firm for my liking, and other reviewers agreed.


The handlebars are comfortable and textured for a comfortable grip when sweating. The NordicTrack S22i gives all three indoor cycling grip options. Conveniently, NordicTrack has placed the buttons for resistance (right) and incline (left) on the ends of the handlebars. When your hands are at the top of the bars, the third position, you can easily access these buttons to adjust your resistance and incline.

NordicTrack S22i handles
The handlebars are comfortable and provide a good range of grip options.


The NordicTrack S22i has hybrid pedals. These pedals work with SPD cycling shoes and cleats. They also have toe cages to work with any athletic shoe. The cages are easy to use and adjustable. My foot (women’s size 8B) fits comfortably over the pedal. These pedals can also be swapped out for any standard road bike pedal.

NordicTrack S22i pedals
The pedals are hybrid, with toe cages on one side and SPD clips on the other.


The S22i has an inertia-enhanced flywheel, weighing 32 pounds. It is powered by a belt drive. Both of these features translate to a smooth experience while pedaling. The flywheel can be stopped by pressing the red stop knob. Unlike other exercise bikes, this knob does not change resistance. Its only function is to stop or slow down the flywheel if the pedals start getting away from you.

NordicTrack S22i fan
The flywheel is heavy, providing a smooth pedaling experience.


The NordicTrack S22i has 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance. Magnetic resistance is quieter and more durable. There is little risk of damaging the flywheel or magnets compared to friction resistance. One concession made with magnetic resistance is the decreased levels. Friction resistance allows for almost unlimited resistance levels. Yet, magnetic resistance does allow for more precise tracking of resistance-related metrics. The S22i has fewer resistance levels than competitors like the Peloton Bike+, but it offsets this reduction with its incline and decline features.

NordicTrack S22i controls
Unlike other studio bikes, the S22i’s resistance can be adjusted with these buttons or on screen.


NordicTrack is a step ahead of its competitors with the ability to incline and decline (-10% to 20%) its studio series bikes. The S22i has a DC motor on its rear stabilizer for powering this feature. The incline takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to riding on stationary bikes without this feature. That said, it adds a new dimension to indoor cycling, making the experience more fun and immersive. Outdoor cyclists will certainly enjoy the ability to replicate their outdoor activities more closely. The resistance levels and incline/decline work together to make a more realistic experience. For example, a level 13 resistance is a piece of cake while declined, a sustainable resistance at a neutral grade, and a challenge while inclined. If it helps, think of the resistance levels as gears.

NordicTrack S22i profile decline
The S22i has a DC motor in the back for controlling its incline and decline feature.

Features & Accessories

The NordicTrack S22i excels at taking you outdoors or at least simulating the outdoors. This pairs perfectly with the premium iFIT platform. The cinematic experience of the touchscreen kept my attention for every ride. Every additional feature feels thoughtful and easy to access. The S22i helps you ride smoothly and confidently.


The S22i has a 22” touchscreen; hence the name. The screen can be a little hard to reach from the saddle. It was for me at 5’4”. It is much easier to control from the saddle, but I preferred to rely on iFIT’s hands-free adjustments. The screen has some adjustability. It pivots for offscreen viewing and tilts to accommodate differing heights.

There are buttons for controlling the volume and fan speed beneath the screen. These are easy to use, and I am thankful to NordicTrack for including them. Onscreen controls can be more precise but harder to manage while working out intensely.

NordicTrack S22i display
The 22-inch touchscreen dominates your view from the saddle.


The speakers on the NordicTrack S22i have been updated to be front-facing. They stole some room from the large fan found on older models, but it was a change for the best. The speakers are good quality. With the bike being so quiet, I had no problem listening to the classes or music without turning the volume up. NordicTrack S22i speakers
The speakers are powerful, but you can also pair Bluetooth earbuds to listen to iFIT classes.


Bluetooth makes listening to trainer-led classes or the genre stations from Feed.fm radio even easier. Most Bluetooth headphones should pair. I have not had any issues pairing my Microsoft Surface headphones with iFIT equipment.


The fan is effective, even at the lowest setting. Like other NordicTrack cardio equipment, the S22i has AutoBreeze–a feature that lets the fan speed match your current intensity level. I love how hands-free NordicTrack equipment is, down to the details.


There are two bottle holders on the S22i. These are typical cycling bottle holders. They will accommodate the typical bidon or sports water bottle. There is also space at the front of the console to place a phone. My smartphone stayed put and was easy to access during my rides.

NordicTrack S22i cup holder
Two water bottle holders are mounted on the frame beneath the stop knob.


The NordicTrack S22i studio bike comes with two 3lb dumbbells. These are stored at the front of the bike, whereas many exercise bikes have weight racks mounted on the rear. These weights are for adding a bit of upper body resistance. I don’t typically use them, but it is nice that NordicTrack included them at no additional cost for those who do.

NordicTrack S22i weights
The 3 lb weights are mounted in the front of the S22i, unlike the S27i.


I will admit that I have always been a little bit intimidated by studio cycling. I have taken exactly one class, while the rest of my cycling experience has been outdoors or solo spinning at the gym. If you are like me, you might prefer the NordicTrack S22i to the Peloton Bikes. The NordicTrack has studio-style classes for those who want that experience upgraded with incline and decline capabilities. However, iFIT and the S22i really shine in the outdoor classes. The 22-inch screen, paired with the phenomenal -10% to 20% incline, brings you right to the trails or bike paths.

iFIT’s content is global, so you can tour just about anywhere you want. This destination training is driven to the max with Google Maps integration. Create a route wherever you please and travel through the Streetview. I like riding along old routes to see how accurately the incline matches the real-world grade. So far, it has been pretty realistic!

NordicTrack S22i display
Beautiful graphics transform your indoor ride.

The bike is very quiet until the incline motor engages. The noise is more noticeable, because the rest of the experience is quiet. If you are listening to content or music out loud, it won’t be disruptive. However, I noticed it whenever I was in a manual activity or had the volume turned down. There is also a beeping noise when manually changing the resistance or incline using the buttons. It is a bit annoying.

Overwhelmingly, my experience on the NordicTrack S22i was great. I love iFIT’s content. Automatic incline and resistance keep my focus on my training. I like not having to think about how hard I should go. If I need to back off, iFIT remembers my performance and alters future workouts to be more personalized.

NordicTrack S22i pedalling back
The S22i is a really fun bike for indoor training.

iFIT Subscription & Content Options

The NordicTrack S22i is better with iFIT. I think this bike works best when you are a subscriber. I did not enjoy my time in the manual activity setting nearly as much as I liked the hands-free experience with iFIT. If you forego the subscription, you can still access the manual activity and a few of iFIT’s featured workouts. There are some basic onboard training programs, too.

iFIT is a monthly or annual subscription. It can be used with all of your compatible equipment from brands like NordicTrack and ProForm. There is also an iFIT app available from the Apple and Google Play app stores. I found that iFIT even has an app for my Roku smart TV, so I can keep exercising no matter where I am! These apps are handy for strength, yoga, and meditation content.

NordicTrack S22i display
Tour faraway trails on the S22i, gliding up and down the hills.

The AutoAdjust features on the NordicTrack S22i are better than the manual adjustment buttons. I like that you can manually adjust the incline and resistance. Manual adjustments are a lot when you change them in large increments or regularly. If you are new to iFIT, the trainer will recommend the settings. iFIT learns your current fitness level to make better recommendations after you alter the settings as needed.

iFIT is a more affordable alternative to Peloton. It has thousands of fitness classes for on and off the exercise bike. There are challenges and series to take part in. You can also track your metrics and workout history over time. I have really enjoyed the instruction as it is a balance of informative and entertaining.

NordicTrack S22i display
The iFIT classes are renowned for their outdoor locations.

Bottom Line Review of the NordicTrack S22i Exercise Bike

The NordicTrack S22i is an exciting exercise bike. The incline and decline feature cannot be found on another brand’s studio bike. The S22i and others in its series are the very best for replicating outdoor cycling. The construction is high-quality, though heavy. It performs well and adjusts to accommodate many users. The hands-free experience and 22” touchscreen make global rides on the S22i immersive and cinematic.

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