NordicTrack C12.9 review

The NordicTrack C12.9 is a high-performance, front drive elliptical that introduces several upgrades to our previous top pick, the NordicTrack C9.5.

NordicTrack C12.9 review

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The NordicTrack C12.9 has a 32-pound flywheel, 26 levels of resistance and a 20 percent incline. Its options for customization make it the best elliptical we've reviewed, and it accommodates up to four users.


  • +

    35 workout presets

  • +

    Adjustable stride length and pedals


  • -

    Only works with iFit

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The NordicTrack C12.9 is the newer model in the brand's range of cross-trainers and has several upgrades over previous models. Its flywheel is heavier, its stride length is longer and its weight limit is higher. It also has more preset workouts and resistance levels to add variety and intensity to your exercise routine, just as the best elliptical machines should.

Ellipticals intended for home use can range in price from under $200 to more than $5,000. The NordicTrack C12.9 is a mid-range machine featuring a 32-pound flywheel, a 20-inch adjustable stride length and a durable design. Heavier flywheels can improve your momentum and create more fluid, natural motion. An adjustable stride length lets you customize the machine to your height. This feature is especially helpful if you have multiple users in your household.

This elliptical machine’s maximum user weight is 375 pounds. It has a workout fan integrated with its console, along with two digitally-amplified speakers. Its multi-position upper body grips give you a full body workout, and its stationary grips, like those on every elliptical we reviewed, have pulse sensors. 

The C12.9 also has a wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring, helping you stay in your target heart rate zone. Consider using one of the best fitness trackers for more in-depth monitoring, or take a look at our guide to the best Amazon Prime Day Fitbit deals for the latest discounts.

The C12.9 inclines from 0 to 20 degrees and has 26 digital resistance levels. Increases in incline and resistance make workouts more challenging and help you target different muscle groups. Among the 10 ellipticals in our review, resistance ranges from 16 to 26 levels. All the machines but the Horizon Evolve 5 give you incline options.

The NordicTrack C12.9 has 35 preset workouts, and comes with a one-year membership to iFit that is programmable for up to four users. An auxiliary music port and water bottle holder add to its features, and it has front-mounted wheels for easy transport. The C12.9 also has cushioned, adjustable pedals that are oversized for maximum comfort.

The NordicTrack C12.9 is comparable in many ways to the ProForm SMART Pro 12.9. Both machines are manufactured by Icon Health & Fitness, but the ProForm model is higher priced. While the ProForm machine has a heavier flywheel and more resistance levels, the NordicTrack has a longer stride length.

The best ellipticals from NordicTrack and ProForm have HD touchscreens, and the C12.9 has a 7-inch, full color display. Its console is Bluetooth compatible and can sync with your mobile device. This lets you maximize the benefits of iFit as you learn from professional personal trainers, dieticians and sleep experts. You can also enjoy scenery from around the world as you work out with Google Maps Street View.

The C12.9 has a footprint of 80.25 x 26 x 64.5 inches (length, width and height). NordicTrack will deliver the C12.9 to your curbside free of charge, but assembly costs $249. However, the machine is reported to be easy to assemble, so you may not need to pay the extra setup fee. This elliptical machine comes with a lifetime warranty on its frame, five years on parts and two years on labor. Customer service is available by phone and live chat.

Jennifer Christensen

Jennifer Christensen has written for many newspapers and magazines and has broadcast experience in television and radio. She has earned journalism awards from the Utah Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists and enjoys being a writer for Top Ten Reviews. Jennifer has five amazing children and loves to hike, play the piano, kick a soccer ball and eat ice cream.