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 indoor cycle trainers. They manufacture hybrid trainers for whole body workouts too. We’ve considered all product types for this review.
- Built-In Programs: ProForm fitness machines provide lots of workout guidance. The 14.0 EX, for example, is an upright bike with 32 preset workouts for calorie burn and performance. The Hybrid Trainer Pro has 20 presets. 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. Memberships cost $99/year or $9.99/month.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 300 pounds.
- Compact Size: These bikes generally don’t take up much space. The ProForm 14.0 EX bike measures just 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 $499. The warranty includes parts replacement for the first two years, plus labor costs are free for one year.
- 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.
- 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?
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.