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ProForm 520 E Review

Quick Summary

Often priced at just $599, the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical is a bestseller that consistently earns positive customer reviews.

It’s among the lowest priced elliptical trainers available, yet it supports popular iFit technology and has a respectable 20-pound drive.

Learn about its pros and cons from the full ProForm 520 E review below.

Specifications

FitRated
Model ProForm 520 E
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

69.9%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$599
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the best price we've found.

$599
Resistance

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

18 Levels
Resistance Type

The type of resistance affects the performance of your elliptical. Magnetic and Eddy-Current are the most common types.

Silent Magnetic
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

20 inches
Pedals

Elliptical pedals can be cushioned and adjustable for maximum comfort and minimum impact on joints for injury prevention.

Oversized & Cushioned
Incline

Some elliptical trainers can be set at an incline to increase difficulty and burn more calories.

0 - 20 Degrees
Flywheel

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

20 lb.
Programs

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

24
User Profiles

For each profile the elliptical allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

1 User
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

EKG Pulse Grips
Display

Elliptical Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

5" Backlit LCD
Max. Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

300 lbs
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this elliptical will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

67.1" x 25" x 66.6"
Upper Body

Most ellipticals have handles to hold while you're working out that provide an upper body workout.

Accessory Tray

Some ellipticals include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Ellipticals that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (without headphones).

Cooling Fans

Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout on your elliptical.

Folding?

Some ellipticals are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.

Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 1 Year
Labor: 1 Year

Rating: 69.9%

Our Rating

Rating: 69.9/100. The ProForm 520 E elliptical is very low-priced but gets high marks in most customer reviews. Its selling points include a maximum 20° incline, a maximum 20” stride and potentially infinite workout variety thanks to iFit compatibility. Its automated incline adds impressive resistance to a somewhat modest 20-pound flywheel.

Is the resistance strong enough for your fitness needs? Advanced athletes and heavy trainees would clearly benefit from a heavier drive, but the 520 E can suit beginners very well.

The steep power ramp gives it a definite edge over other elliptical trainers with the same drive weight.

Here are pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • Commercial steel frame
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 18 resistance levels
  • Power incline (Zero to 20 degrees)
  • 18 workout apps
  • iFit-compatible
  • Integrated tablet holder
  • iPod-compatible (2” speakers)
  • Grip sensors for pulse data
  • Water bottle holder
  • Transport wheels

Cons:

  • Basic default display (5” LCD)
  • iFit monitor costs extra
  • Does not have a cooling fan
  • Does not have a wireless pulse receiver
  • Resistance isn’t strong enough for advanced athletes
  • Short warranty on the parts

Alternatives

The Endurance 520 E is likely the best $599 elliptical. Its main potential shortcoming is power. For more powerful resistance (and a smoother ride) you typically need to move up to models with sale prices of $999. Among these the ProForm Endurance 920 E is a top option. It has a 25-pound drive and doesn’t require a special monitor for using iFit.

Introduction

TThe front drive ProForm Endurance 520 E is a good elliptical trainer for most beginners. It’s preloaded with 18 workouts and can be enhanced with iFit’s unlimited programming for extra training guidance and motivation.

Key specs: The 520 E elliptical features a maximum 20” stride to suit most adults. Resistance comes from its 20-pound flywheel and maximum 20 degree power ramp. The default display for workouts is a 5” LCD, but an iFit monitor (sold separately) can bring full color and video workouts.

Workout Programs

The Endurance 520 elliptical arrives with 18 workout programs. For unlimited programming — customized, interactive and high definition — you can add an iFit monitor.

The 18 built-in workouts were designed by a certified personal trainer. Each is especially focused on calorie burn, incline training, speed or performance. Each workout program uses a unique combination of the drive’s 18 resistance levels. By controlling the duration and resistance of each exercise segment, these programs take the time and guesswork out of planning smart workouts.

For unlimited variety the Endurance 520 can be used with an iFit monitor. iFit members can download unlimited Google Maps™ workouts that control the elliptical’s incline while delivering ever-changing Google Street Views. Members can also use iFit video workouts, download new customized workouts every day and get lots of other perks.

Typically an iFit monitor costs $99 and sometimes a membership is included. ProForm ellipticals in higher price categories generally feature newer iFit technology and don’t require a special monitor.

ProForm 520 E Features

This elliptical trainer features an adjustable stride with 20” maximum. It’s a good fit for most adults, but not for those who are especially tall or petite. Resistance comes from a 20-pound drive and can be enhanced with an up to 20 degree incline.

High tech options include integrating your own tablet computer or MP3 player. The ProForm 520 E has a tablet computer shelf, an iPod-compatible port and a set of 2” console speakers.

The control center included for workouts is a 5” LCD. It shows speed, time, distance and calories burned. It can also show heart rate data, which is sent through sensors on the handlebars. This elliptical can be upgraded with a full color iFit monitor.

The 520 E is sized reasonably for most households. It has a 67.1″ x 25″ footprint. Transport wheels are attached to make moving and storage easier.

Warranty & Guarantee

ProForm 520 E warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 1 Year
– Labor: 1 Years

ProForm includes a 30-day money back guarantee with its elliptical trainers.

Conclusion

The ProForm 520 E is among the lowest-priced ellipticals combining a 20” stride with a 20-pound drive. It’s one of the best options for a $599 fitness budget. If you can afford to spend more though, you can get an elliptical with a better warranty and better long-term value overall.