NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill Review

An effective but basic treadmill

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3.8

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

 Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers

What We Like
  • Can handle high speeds without shaking

  • Belt is comfortable to run on

  • Controls are simple and straightforward

  • Sturdy build

What We Don't Like
  • Setup process is confusing and misleading

  • Doesn’t fold up completely

  • Requires AUX connection for cell phones

  • Kind of pricey for what you get

Bottom Line

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S is a good introductory treadmill if you’re just looking to run or walk. If you want bells and whistles—like compatibility with your smartphone or a high-end design—though, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

3.8

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

 Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers

When it comes to workout equipment, there’s a lot to choose from. Even when you narrow it down to a treadmill, you have to decide which features are important to you. Are you looking for comfort and durability or advanced technology? We took a look at the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill to see what it could offer from each category. Keep reading for our take on NodicTrack’s design, performance, price, and more. 

Setup Process: Lengthy, but clear instructions made it easy

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S comes almost completely disassembled, so prepare to set aside an hour to an hour and a half for setup. The treadmill is also heavy, and some of the steps require the help of an additional person who can handle holding the weight of the belt. Even removing the treadmill from the box requires at least two people, so make sure you have an extra set of hands. 

While it’s nice to have the option to connect a device to the treadmill, the need for an AUX cable felt a little outdated to us.

The belt portion is already assembled in the box, but you’ll have to attach the arms and the center console which require various steps. You’ll also have to connect the electrical wires as well as secure the grounding wire, but don’t be intimidated. The complicated wiring is already done for you, you just have to follow the instructions.

Speaking of instructions, they’re straightforward and easy to follow. The written directions are accompanied by detailed diagrams, which are helpful for more visual learners. Almost everything that’s required to set up the treadmill is included in the box, but you will need your own Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable Allen wrench. We didn’t run into any problems with the setup process, and it was painless and easy, although it did take an hour to get everything together.

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers 

Once the treadmill was set up, though, it did take us longer than we would have liked to get it working. After you plug it in and turn it on, the display screen will prompt you to go to iFit.com to activate the treadmill. We pressed all of the buttons to try to bypass this, but while the screen shows this prompt, all of the other buttons are deactivated. 

Since we couldn’t get the treadmill working, we went to iFit where we were asked to sign up for a 30-day trial membership that required us to enter our credit card information. After the 30-day trial, the card would be charged $15 per month for the membership (unless you canceled the trial first). We didn’t want the membership, but since we couldn’t find any way to get around this step (even in the treadmill’s manual), we eventually signed up for the free trial.

After this, the treadmill started working, but we thought it was a definite downside to the setup process. 

 After doing some additional digging, we found out that you can hold down the iFit logo (on the face of the treadmill) for 30 seconds and the activation screen will disappear allowing you access to the controls without signing up for the trial. This isn’t noted in the instruction manual though and we thought it seemed dishonest on the part of NordicTrack to make users think they had to sign up for a monthly membership. 

Design and Comfort: Simple but comfortable

When it comes to design, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S looks like your standard treadmill. There’s nothing that really makes it stand out, looks-wise, although it does have somewhat of a high-end feel. The belt and console are black while the attached handles are brushed gray. There are bright orange accents under the belt and in the NordicTrack logo that give the treadmill a little pop of color that looks nice against the dark design.

The frame is extremely sturdy whether you’re walking or running full speed, and it’s outfitted with a FlexSelect 22 x 55-inch tread belt that you can toggle between cushiony and firm. The first reduces the impact on your joints and gives you a softer landing, while the latter feels more like running on open road

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers 

We preferred running on the softer tread deck. We’re prone to shin splints and joint pain, but we didn’t experience any pain while running on the NordicTrack. There was just enough cushion and support to soften our landing without making the treadmill feel wobbly. 

Although we like the softer tread deck better, the firmer option is a great feature for someone who is training for a road race or a marathon but can’t get outside to run due to weather or other personal circumstances.

Features: Basic without any bells and whistles

The features on the NordicTrack T 6.5 S are pretty standard. We were satisfied with what we got, but weren’t blown away. Everything was pretty much what you would expect from a treadmill in its class. You can use one-touch buttons to choose from pre-programmed workouts or start the treadmill manually by simply increasing the speed. There’s also a heart rate monitor that you can use by holding on to the handle.

Like most treadmills, the NordicTrack has a safety key, which is a magnetic piece that must be in place on the handle before you can turn the machine on. If the piece isn’t in place, the treadmill won’t power on.

Unlike the Si model, which has a full color touchscreen, the S model has a 5-inch backlit display that shows what’s going on with your workout: your time, your speed, your calorie burn, and your incline. The screen also shows a simulation of a track that allows you to monitor the distance you’re running or walking while you’re using the treadmill. Next to the display screen are two speakers that you can use—via an AUX cable and your phone—to blast your favorite workout music or a podcast. 

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers 

The treadmill also boasts a SpaceSaver feature. When it’s not in use, you can lift the belt up and it will click vertically into place so it takes up less floor space. The plus side of this feature is that it’s extremely user-friendly. While the belt is a little heavy, one person can lift it up and it will automatically click into place without the need to fiddle with latches or clamps to hold it up. The downside is that the belt doesn’t go completely vertical; it stays on an angle. Because of the angle, you can’t push it right up against a wall or in a corner, so it doesn’t save as much space as it could if it went completely straight. 

Performance: Solid and quiet

When it comes to performance, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S does everything you need for a basic treadmill. You can adjust the belt speed from 0 MPH to 10 MPH and the incline goes up to 10 degrees. Even at the highest speeds, the frame holds strong and doesn’t wobble or shake. We weren’t fast enough to run at 10 MPH, but we set the treadmill to the speed to test its performance and we were pleasantly surprised.

We’re prone to shin splints and joint pain, but we didn’t experience any pain while running on the NordicTrack.

While you can hear the whir of the belt (especially at high speeds), the treadmill is fairly quiet. It didn’t produce any excess noise that would disturb others in the house.

The speakers on the treadmill are a bit lackluster. If you’re walking at a leisurely pace, you’ll have no trouble hearing whatever you’re playing. If you’re running, though, the sound gets drowned out pretty easily. While the speakers are a nice touch, we prefer to use our headphones instead. 

Compatibility: Falls short

While the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill has some high-tech features, we think it falls short overall. If you download the iFit-Smart Cardio Equipment app to your phone or tablet, you can connect to the treadmill through Bluetooth. The app allows you to access all kinds of interactive video workouts and track (and record) your stats. You can also workout with personal trainers and control the features (like speed, incline, and resistance) of your treadmill.

The iFit-Smart Cardio Equipment app requires you to keep the $15 per month subscription to the iFit service, though. If you decide to cancel after the free trial, or you don’t sign up for it at all, you won’t have access to any of these additional features.

In addition to the iFit-Smart Cardio Equipment app, you can also connect some heart rate monitors directly to the treadmill through Bluetooth. These two things are the only Bluetooth compatibility that the treadmill offers.

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
Verywell Fit / Lindsay Boyers 

If you want to play music or an audiobook on your phone or tablet and have the audio come through on the treadmill’s speakers, you’ll have to connect the device directly to the treadmill with an AUX cable. Since the treadmill doesn’t come with an AUX cable, you’ll also need one of your own. While it’s nice to have the option to connect a device to the treadmill, the need for an AUX cable felt a little outdated to us, especially since the treadmill allows Bluetooth connections for other features.

We also don’t like the idea of having to rest a phone or tablet on the display, especially if you’re running on the treadmill at high speeds. It seems like a recipe for disaster to have an expensive piece of technology on the treadmill’s display, attached with a cord that could catch on your hands as you’re running.

While you can hear the whir of the belt (especially at high speeds), the treadmill is fairly quiet.

Price: A little steep for what you get

With a retail price of $1,299, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill feels a little steep for what you get. There are other treadmills at that price point that offer more technology and larger, full color LED touchscreens. If you’re mainly after durability and comfort while running, though, the NordicTrack definitely gives you that.

Competition: There’s a lot out there

Gold’s Gym Trainer 720 Treadmill: If you’re looking for an entry-level treadmill like the NordicTrack but you’re on a tighter budget, the Gold’s Gym Trainer 720 Treadmill (view on Walmart) might be a better fit. Like the NordicTrack, the Gold’s Gym treadmill allows you to choose from pre-programmed workouts or design your own. It also folds up for storage and will only set you back $600.

ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill: If budget isn’t a concern, but you’re looking for something with a little more to offer, the ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill (view on Walmart) is probably a better fit. The upgraded treadmill has a 10-inch full-color touchscreen, goes up to 12 mph, and has a 4.25 CHP motor for which provides more power.

Final Verdict

A good buy if you’re looking for simplicity.

If you’re looking for a basic treadmill without many bells and whistles, you’ll be happy with the NordicTrack T 6.5 S, but if you want something with more advanced technology or full Bluetooth capability, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Specs

  • Product Name T 6.5 S Treadmill
  • Product Brand NordicTrack
  • SKU NTL17915
  • Price $1,299
  • Weight 198 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 67.5 x 35.75 x 73 in.
  • User Weight Capacity 300 lbs.
  • Motor 2.6 CHP
  • Warranty Lifetime frame warranty, 25-year motor warranty, 1-year parts and labor warranty
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