Review of the Official Training Bike for Le Tour de France
The ProForm TDF Pro 4.0 is theoretically one of the best indoor bikes on the planet.
The ProForm TDF Pro 4.0 Indoor Cycle Trainer is billed as “the ultimate endurance trainer.”and has now been replace by the TDF Pro 5.0 This bike was developed with Tour de France organizers and is the official indoor training bike for the famous race. It has 30 gears and is designed to replicate the feel of a regular road bike. Other neat features are a 20% incline/decline, the simulation of real bike routes and unlimited workout downloads.
It sounds fantastic and we’d love to rate this bike a “10.” But buyer beware, definitely avoid buying the older version! The first generation of this product was a flop in 2011. So many customers reported problems that some vendors stopped carrying the product. Our review is for the second generation TDF Pro 4.0 Cycle Trainer, which was first released in 2012 and got a software upgrade for 2015. This bike can offer a great combination of engineering, coaching and entertainment. Packed with features, the bike is simply amazing. The second generation is clearly better than the first.
Officially this bikes costs $2999 but we’ve seen it as low as $1649 with shipping included. Here’s our point-by-point review of the ProForm TDF Pro 4.0 for model year 2015.
- Realistic Shifting: Unlike a typical upright exercise bike, an indoor cycle trainer like the TDF Pro 4.0 feels like a road bike. Movement through the 30 gears feels smooth and intuitive. There are 10 back derailleurs and a triple chainring up front.
- Incline/Decline: The 20% incline/decline is one of our favorite features on the TDF Pro 4.0. The bike will automatically adjust to simulate the rise and fall of a real-life route! Riders can choose from 24 race routes that are preloaded on the console, draw a unique route with the Google Maps app, or let the machine interact with a customized iFit workout.
- Video Routes: Train with interactive high-def video! Three scenic segments of the 2013 Tour de France are ready to stream.
- Colorful Touchscreen: The TDF Pro 4.0 is topped with a 7″ full-color touchscreen. It’s a great display for iFit, which tracks fitness stats, delivers customized workouts, and lets you ride any route in Google Maps.
- iFit: This bike has ample built-in programming, but adding an iFit membership really makes a difference. It can automatically chart your workout data, let you download new workouts daily, and virtually take you anywhere mapped by Google Maps.
- Adjustable Saddle: The seat can be moved both forward and backward, up and down.
- Adjustable Handlebars: The adjustable handlebars are designed for good ergonomics.
- Pedals with Cages: To help with grip and stability, the pedals have toe cages and straps.
- Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring: The ProForm TDF Pro 4.0 is compatible with ANT+ and BLE hands-free heart rate monitoring systems (sold separately).
- Dual Water Bottle Holder: Two bottle holders are placed conveniently on the console.
- Sound System: A pair of 2″ speakers is included for iPods and compatible MP3 players.
- High Capacity: The user weight capacity is 350 pounds.
- Easy to Move: Transporting this unit is made easy with front-mounted transport wheels. Levelers are included too.
- Faulty Equipment: We are very disappointed to report that customer reviews of the ProForm TDF Pro series early on were quite negative.
- Warranty: The purchase price includes a 10-year frame warranty and one-year parts and labor warranty. In our opinion, a machine with this MSRP should include more generous consumer protection. The short warranty is especially a red flag when you consider that many customers have had negative experiences.
- If You Are Sharing: Adjusting the seat and handlebars can take awhile. If trainees are of different heights, they might spend five or ten minutes making adjustments before use.
WHO SHOULD USE THE PROFORM TDF PRO 4.0 INDOOR CYCLE TRAINER?
See ProForm’s Promotional Video on the TDF Pro 4.0 Indoor Cycle Trainer
The Bottom Line
We’d very much like to see a longer parts warranty. With tons of features and exercise guidance, it can please everyone from the newbie exerciser to the long-distance pleasure biker and competitive racer.