The NordicTrack T6.5 S treadmill provides a quality exercise experience at a reasonable price. With a 55" x 20" tread surface, a 10 mph top speed, and up to 10% incline, it should work for most people and workout intensities, though super hardcore runners may be left a little wanting. The folding tread deck has FlexSelect cushioning that lets you choose between impact absorption or a firm surface, and it has a 300-pound weight limit. The console has a bright digital display, intuitive controls, 20 program workouts, bottle holders, and a shelf for your tablet or smartphone. It also has Bluetooth to connect to your device for compatibility with the iFit app. When connected to iFit you have thousands of training videos at your fingertips, and the machine adjusts speed and incline automatically based on the program you're following.Editor's Note: This review was updated on May 3rd, 2022, with additional information on the results of our testing and more detailed product comparisons.
NordicTrack T6.5 S Review
Cons: Using iFit app adds monthly cost, 10 mph top speed may not be enough for serious runners
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NordicTrack T6.5 S
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|Pros||10 mph top speed, up to 10% incline, fairly large tread surface, connected features, 300 lb weight limit||Folds small for storage, easy to move around, good size running surface, 12 mph top speed, works with Echelon app||Large running surface, 12 mph top speed, 350 lbs weight limit, works with third-party training apps, good warranty||Affordable, 9 mph top speed, folds when not in use||Small closed size, very storable, 2 in 1 functionality, Bluetooth speaker, affordable|
|Cons||Using iFit app adds monthly cost, 10 mph top speed may not be enough for serious runners||Less cushioned than other high-end models, doesn't feel as sturdy as some, ongoing cost of Echelon app (if you choose to use it)||Moderately expensive, larger size||Smaller running surface, manual incline adjustment, 220 lb weight limit||Display location, remote control, have to remove handles to fold closed, louder noise level, short and narrow belt surface - not great for running|
|Bottom Line||A reasonably priced model with a great exercise quality enhanced by connected features||A compelling option for those with limited space though not without some minor compromises||Connected features, a large running surface, and a huge speed range make this median-priced model a compelling option for any fitness level||A relatively basic but impressively affordable treadmill that gets the job done for lighter intensity workouts||An affordable and extremely compact 2 in 1 model that works best for walking or very light jogging|
|Rating Categories||NordicTrack T6.5 S||Echelon Stride||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||Sunny Health and Fi...||Goplus SuperFit 2 i...|
|Exercise Quality (35%)|
|User Interface/Ease of Use (25%)|
|Ease of Assembly (10%)|
|Noise Level (5%)|
|Specs||NordicTrack T6.5 S||Echelon Stride||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||Sunny Health and Fi...||Goplus SuperFit 2 i...|
|Belt Dimensions||55" L x 20" W||55" L x 20" W||60" L x 20" W||49" L x 15.5" W||40" L x 16" W|
|Speed Range||0-10 mph||0.5- 12 mph||0-12 mph||0.5-9 mph||1-12 kmh|
|Motor||2.6 CHP||1.75 CHP||3.0 HP||2.2 HP||2.25 HP|
|Incline Levels||10 (0 to 10%)||0 to 10%||0 to 12%||3 (0, 2%, 4.37%)||n/a|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs||220 lbs||265 lbs|
|Open Dimensions||73.5" L x 36" W x 54" H||69" L x 31" W x 49.5" H||77.2" L x 35.5" W x 56.1" H||62" L x 26.5" W x 50" H||49" L x 27" W x 42" H|
|Folded Dimensions||34 L x 36" W x 67" H||69" L x 31" W x 10" H||51.2" L x 35.5" W x 65.8" H||36" L x 25.5" W x 58" H||52" L x 27" W x 5" H|
|Display||5" backlit, Blutooth work with your device||Digital display with integrated device holder||6.5" LCD blue/backlit, Bluetooth connects to devices||7" backlit LCD display||small LED display|
|Workout Programs||20 programs, also works with iFit app||8 programmed workouts, works with Echelon app (subscription required)||30 pre-set programs, 2 custom, 1 heart rate control, plus it works with Zwift, Kinomap, Wahoo SYSTM through Bluetooth FTMS connection||9 programs||No|
|Heart Rate Sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||No|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth and Auxiliary input, works with iFit app||Bluetooth, works with Echelon app||Bluetooth FTMS and Auxilary input||No||Bluetooth|
|Additional Features||Folding, soft-drop, device shelf, bottle holders, transport wheels, safety shutoff lanyard, speakers, auxilary input, Flex Select cushioning, heart rate sensors, Bluetooth, works with iFit||Transport wheels, folding design, 2 bottle holders, integrated device holder, safety stop lanyard, metal safety bracket underneath running deck to prevent objects from being pulled under||Transport wheels, folding deck with soft-drop, heart rate sensors, auxilary plug, 2 bottle/cup holders, XTRASoft deck cushioning, quick jump speed and incline buttons, handlebar speed and incline controls, safety lanyard, built-in speakers, built-in cooling fan, accessory tray, Bluetooth, works with third-party apps||Folding, soft-drop, transport wheels, bottle holders, shock absorption, quick speed buttons, manual incline adjust, device shelf, safety shutoff lanyard||Compact folding design, transport wheels, phone holder, remote control, Bluetooth speaker|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||12-month limited parts and labor||Frame and motor: lifetime, Deck and parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 3 years, Parts: 180 days||not specified|
Our Analysis and Test Results
NordicTrack has been a leader in the home fitness market for many years, and the T6.5 S treadmill caught our attention with its reasonable price, connected features, and positive user reviews. We tested it against a selection of the best models on the market and came away impressed by its price to performance ratio. If you're interested in the connected iFit treadmill experience, this is one of the most affordable ways to get there.
The NordicTrack T6.5 S provides an excellent workout. With a large running surface, a top speed of 10 mph, and up to 10% incline, it should satisfy all but the most hardcore of runners' needs. Additionally, 20 preprogrammed workouts and compatibility with the iFit app provide lots of workout options.
At 55-inches long and 20-inches wide, the running surface of the T6.5 S can handle long strides and running at high speeds without too much fear of catching the side rails. It's not the largest tread we tested, but it isn't far off, and our testers felt comfortable running at any speed. It is capable of speeds up to 10 mph, so it is suitable for everything from walking up to a quick 6-minute mile pace. While that speed range should be adequate for most users, those who like to add some sprints into their workouts may be a little underwhelmed. Incline can be adjusted anywhere from 0 to 10% in 1% increments, so you can definitely incorporate some incline training and hills into your routine. We also found the FlexSelect deck cushioning to be quite effective at absorbing impact or providing a firmer running surface if you prefer.
The T6.5 S can be operated manually for any type of workout you choose, and it is easy to set a time, distance, or calorie goal. It also comes with 20 programs workouts to follow where it changes speed and incline for you, plus it works with the iFit app through your device and its Bluetooth connection. This gives you quite a few options to find the workout experience you want. It has integrated heart rate sensors in the handrail, although it can't connect to wireless sensors the way some other models can.
Through Bluetooth, you can play music through the speakers on the console and the T 6.5 S can connect to a tablet or phone to work with the iFit app. Once connected, your device serves as the display as you follow with the chosen workout. iFit is a subscription service that costs $180/year for an individual or $39/month or $396/year for a family and is an ongoing cost that you'll need to consider. Of course, the T6.5 S works just fine on its own without iFit, but the app has live classes and thousands of on-demand trainer-led scenic runs, walks, and hikes, as well as lots of cycling, strength training, yoga, and more to do off the treadmill. Your iFit subscription will also work with any other compatible equipment like exercise bikes, rowers, etc.
We think iFit is great for the experience it provides. Unlike some other apps that are mostly studio-style classes, the iFit trainer-led scenic workouts are quite different. They take place in beautiful locations all over the world with engaging trainers who provide prompts, tell stories, and give running and training tips. When using iFit, the T6.5 S adjusts speed and incline automatically based on the terrain and prompts of the trainer you're following for an immersive experience. There are a huge variety of locations, lengths of time, types of workouts, music genres, and trainers to choose from, with a filter to help you find the workout you're looking for.
User Interface/Ease of Use
The T6.5 S is generally quite easy to use with intuitive controls that make starting a workout and changing resistance and incline during a workout user-friendly. The display isn't very large, but it's bright and clearly shows your workout stats, and is plenty easy to read. Using the T6.5 S with iFit adds a few steps to starting a workout, but it isn't complicated, and the shelf on the console holds your tablet or phone for viewing.
Starting a manual workout on the T6.5 S is very straightforward. Simply press the start button and change the speed using the quick jump speed buttons on the right side of the console or the + and - speed buttons at the bottom of the console. Likewise, incline adjustments are made in the same way with the buttons on the left side of the console. Unfortunately, there are no speed or incline adjust buttons on the handrails, but the buttons on the console are large and easy enough to reach while running. If you chose to follow a program workout or set a time, distance, or calorie goal, it takes a few moments, but it's really no different than on other models.
Using iFit with the T6.5 S adds a few steps and a little time when starting a workout. You need to open the iFit app on your device and choose a workout and connect your device to the treadmill. Once you're connected, your tablet or phone serves as the display to follow along with the videot and it makes automatic resistance and incline changes based on the iFit workout.
The T6.5 S comes with a number of useful features. It isn't quite as feature-rich as some of the high-end screen-equipped models we tested, but we feel they included a number of things that help to enhance the exercise experience.
The star of the feature show is the Bluetooth connectivity and functionality with the iFit app. This gives you a huge variety of workouts to follow along with should you choose to use it. It also has a device shelf to hold your tablet or phone for viewing when using iFit or maybe even just watching Netflix or the entertainment of your choosing. Speakers on the side of the console can play music or the audio from your iFit workout. There are bottle holders on both sides of the console to help keep you hydrated while you exercise, and heart rate sensors are integrated into the handrail.
The tread deck has FlexSelect cushioning that allows you to choose between a firm or cushioned surface. The deck also folds up and out of the way with a lift assist and soft drop piston that locks in place in the folded position.
Ease of Assembly
The NordicTrack T6.5 S was among the most involved and time-consuming treadmills to assemble. It's not that it's difficult necessarily, it just takes a bit of time, and you'll definitely want the assistance of a second person for several of the steps. One of the first challenges is simply moving the treadmill in the box to the place you want to assemble it, then removing it from the box. This thing is quite heavy.
Once removed from the packaging, the T6.5 S is in quite a few pieces. It comes with detailed instructions and some allen keys, but you'll also need a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench or socket set to finish the job. Again, it isn't challenging to assemble this treadmill, there are just quite a few steps. Attaching the console and console wires and installing the soft-drop piston underneath are steps best completed with two sets of hands. It took us 1.5 hours to complete the assembly of the T6.5 S.
The T6.5 S is a fairly large and heavy treadmill, although its tread deck can be folded up when not in use to reduce the size of its footprint. Still, this is the type of treadmill that you'll want to leave in a dedicated workout space, as there's really no hiding it or putting it away. It is fairly easy to move around on firm surfaces by tipping it and rolling it on its wheels, but due to its weight and size, it is quite challenging to get through doorways or up and down stairs.
In its open position, the T6.5 S has a footprint of 73.5-inches long by 36-inches wide with a height of 54-inches. With the tread deck folded up, its length shrinks by about half to 34-inches and its height grows to 67-inches. If you are super tight on space there are better options, but the T6.5 S is reasonably sized considering its exercise quality.
We have read complaints that the T6.5 S is noisier than other treadmills, and we found it makes just slightly more noise than some of the other models we tested. That said, the difference was fairly marginal in our testing, just a few decibels louder than most. We wouldn't call it excessively loud or consider that a deal-breaker by any means.
Should You Buy the NordicTrack T6.5 S?
We feel the T6.5 S is a quality treadmill with the added benefit of Bluetooth connectivity and functionality with the iFit app offered at a reasonable price. Serious runners may be a little underwhelmed by its top speed of 10 mph and slightly shorter tread length, but we feel it is a solid option for most people to get a great workout at home without breaking the bank.
What Other Treadmills Should You Consider?
If you want connectivity but require a higher top speed, the XTerra Fitness TRX3500 costs a little bit more but boasts a 12 mph top speed, a slightly longer running surface, and FTMS Bluetooth to work with various training apps. If you like the iFit workouts, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is our favorite treadmill. It has a swiveling console with a 14-inch touchscreen and integrates with the iFit app for an even more immersive experience. It costs quite a bit more, but there is no limit to how hard you can train on the 1750.
— Jeremy Benson, Laura Casner
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