ProForm Exercise Bike Review

Quality & Reliability
Customer Service & Support

ProForm is a leader in mass market fitness equipment. This brand especially appeals to people seeking home fitness machines with fun nonessential features: touch screens, Internet connections, interactive workouts and so forth. The best ProForm bikes combine lots of electronic goodies with not-so-powerful resistance. Unfortunately, their bikes with more serious resistance aren’t as well-made.

The brand is owned by ICON fitness, which also owns NordicTrack and other fitness equipment labels. ProForm and NordicTrack exercise bikes stand out for having iFit compatibility. This feature, which requires a membership for activation, takes exercise bikes online with Google Maps Street View for immersive riding experiences. iFit also provides unlimited customized workout downloads.

ProForm makes all three types of exercise bikes: upright bikes, recumbent bikes and hybrid trainers. Hybrid trainers offer a 2-in-1 machine with both a bike and elliptical option, such as the Hybrid Trainer XT. We’ve considered all product types for this review.

The Great:

  • Built-In Programs: ProForm fitness machines provide lots of workout guidance. The ProForm Cycle Trainer, is an upright bike designed to work with the iFit Coach workout app. The ProForm Studio Bike Pro also comes iFit-enabled. These workouts were all designed with a certified personal trainer.
  • iFit Compatible: An iFit membership makes the most of a ProForm bike. iFit uses your home Internet connection to provide immersive workout experiences with interactive video, daily downloads, data tracking and more. Family memberships cost $396/year or $39.99/month, while individual plans are $180/year.
  • Touch Screens with Web: ProForm’s touch screen consoles are a hit. Web-enabled, they let you watch video and read online content, plus they work beautifully with iFit. Stream a Google Maps workout and virtually experience the destination! The Tour de France (TDF) bikes have real-life video race routes built in too, so no iFit membership is required. Many of these models offer adjustable consoles which can rotate, such as is the case with the 8.0 EX Upright Bike.
  • Data Screens: Not all ProForms have touch screens, but their lower-tech screens are nice too. They show time, distance, calories, speed, resistance and heart rate simultaneously. The information is backlit and easy to process in a glance.
  • Computer Shelves: ProForm bikes and Hybrid Trainers come with removable shelves for a tablet computer. Adding a tablet computer won’t obstruct your view of the data screen.
  • Adjustability: The ProForm bikes allow for seat adjustment both vertical and horizontal, while the handlebars also adjust into multiple positions.
  • Quiet Resistance: Designed for home-friendly use, these bikes all get ProForm’s patented Silent Magnetic Resistance system.
  • Extra-Wide Pedals: Depending on the bike, you’ll get extra pedal width, straps and/or toe cages to promote comfort and stability.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: ProForm bikes have wireless receivers and grip pulse readers on the handlebars.
  • Adjustable: These bikes have adjustable saddles to fit riders of different heights. The consoles can be tilted too.
  • Audio: Bikes made for 2015 have Intermix Acoustics 2.0 Sound Systems. These work with iPods and other MP3 players.
  • Water Bottle Holder: Water bottle holders are built into the bike frames.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 350 pounds.
  • Compact Size: These bikes generally don’t take up much space, with the 8.0 EX Upright Bike measuring 3’ 6” L x 1’ 11” W.
  • Good Warranties: ProForm warranties are customer-friendly when the machines are on sale. For instance, the 8.0 EX Upright Bike has a discount price of $599. The warranty includes a 10-year guarantee on the frame, and one-year parts and labor.

The Not-So-Great:

  • Flywheel Weights: The flywheel weights mentioned in our ProForm bike reviews range from about 12 to 20 pounds, and then 48 pounds. The lighter flywheels are effective for cardio training, toning and boosting your metabolic rate. They will not, however, challenge elite athletes or support bulking up. Meanwhile, the TDF or Tour de France series with heavy flywheels has been plagued with other problems. It would be nice to see a 30-pound option on the uprights and recumbents, or a more robust spin bike.
  • Limited Programs: Coming iFit-enabled, these bikes don’t have many built-in workout programs relative to their competitors.
  • Not High-End: ProForm exercise bikes aren’t extremely well made. They generally require regular user maintenance such as bolt-tightening, and it’s not uncommon for customers to complain about broken parts.
  • Customer Service: Getting replacement parts can take longer than what reasonable people expect. This drags down our overall ProForm rating.

Who Should Choose ProForm Exercise Bikes?

ProForm’s upright bikes, recumbent bikes and hybrid trainers are well-stocked for leading virtually anyone through lower-impact exercise. They are especially popular with people who like the electronics such as iFit, built-in workouts, audio and web-enabled touch screens.

The Bottom Line

Moderate prices and lots of tech help make the ProForm collection popular. These fitness machines often require home maintenance, but for many owners that’s a small price to pay for their motivating features. We recommend checking out most of their products.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do ProForm bikes work without iFit?
    Yes, there is an option on the console to switch the bike into manual model. Also, keep in mind that these bikes can always be parked in front of a smart television chock full of other options.
  • How hard is the setup/assembly of ProForm bikes?
    It’s not hard at all. The process takes just under an hour, and can be expedited with some assistance.
  • Do ProForm bikes adjust automatically change resistance?
    They can, particularly when used with the iFit workout program which allows professional trainers from remote locations to control the resistance and speed.
  • Can I return a ProForm bike?
    Yes, the bikes come with a 30-day return policy.
  • How much space is typically needed for a ProForm bike?
    You should figure about 22” by 50” for the bike.
  • Do ProForm exercise bikes fold?
    ProForm does indeed make a series of X-Bikes which do fold up.