Best ProForm Exercise Bikes of 2016
ProForm is a leading mass-market brand for home exercise bikes, elliptical trainers and other fitness machines. It is owned by ICON Health & Fitness, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of fitness equipment. It also helps shoppers understand the brand’s history and culture with a ProForm Fitness company profile. The ProForm exercise bike selection includes four kinds of trainers: spin bikes, upright bikes, recumbent bikes and hybrid trainers. ProForm hybrid trainers are recumbent bikes that also work as ellipticals with moving handlebars to provide whole body workouts. Prices for ProForm exercise bikes start at just $349 and reach $1,999.
Top 5 Best Rated ProForm Exercise Bikes
ProForm 440 ES
ProForm 740 ES Commercial
|Type||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle||Recumbent||Recumbent|
|Display||10" Color Touchscreen||Power Meter LCD||Round Watts LED Display||5" Backlit Display||7" Full-Color Touchscreen|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
ProForm Exercise Bikes Buying Guide
When choosing the best exercise brand for your household, you’ll notice that different brands have different priorities. ProForm emphasizes entertainment and workout guidance. Entertainment perks range from iPod®-compatible speakers to touchscreens with web browsers. Workout guidance on a typical ProForm trainer includes 1) an extensive menu of preset workouts and 2) iFit technology for accessing a literally endless selection of new workouts.
Sometimes ProForm pairs its advanced electronics with lower quality components. Here we present the best value in each category of ProForm exercise bikes: upright bikes, recumbent bikes, recumbent hybrid trainers and Tour de France spin bikes. We also take an in-depth look at the Tour de France collection.
In our review the best upright ProForm exercise bike is the iFit-enabled 14.0 EX with three-year parts warranty. Sale priced at $799 and loaded with ProForm’s typical bells and whistles, the 14.0 EX is best for shoppers seeking a lighter duty bike with on-board training and entertainment. This ProForm exercise bike is appropriate for calorie burn but not for strength training or preparing for outdoor competition.
The cost is low partly because the flywheel weighs just 18 pounds. Its resistance is satisfactory to many trainees, but those with more body mass need a heavier drive to get a smooth ride.
Highlights of the 14.0 EX include a 7″ web-enabled touchscreen, 32 preset workouts, iFit technology and Bluetooth compatibility for wireless heart rate monitoring. Sold with a three-year parts warranty, this ProForm bike can be a great value for certain shoppers if obtained for $799.
The 740 ES Commercial is ProForm’s best approximation of a gym-quality trainer. It gets their usual 18-pound flywheel, but here the effective weight is 20 pounds because of how a recumbent bike rider is positioned. This bike also uses a three-part crank design to produce a smoother ride and has a freewheel clutch to help replicate the feel of a road bike.
Features include a 7″ web-enabled touchscreen, 34 workout apps, iFit technology and Bluetooth compatibility for wireless heart rate monitoring. The console also has a water bottle holder, a fan, and a shelf that can hold your tablet computer.
ProForm’s top recumbent hybrid is called the Hybrid Trainer Pro. This full-body trainer works as both a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine with moving arm bars. (See the video!) Available for just $599 online, it offers low-impact exercise on a small budget. Updated for 2016, the Hybrid Trainer Pro now has 20 preset workouts and is iFit-enabled. Data are shown on an LCD, and a watts meter helps you easily stay on target for fitness goals. A tablet computer holder makes it convenient to use iFit or access your other apps during workouts.
Who would like this trainer most? FitRated.com recommends this bike-elliptical only to smaller shoppers. That’s because of its 17″ stride. Although ProForm describes this length as “perfect for users of all heights,” it’s most comfortable for adults under 5’3″. Also worth noting is the rather light 15-pound drive. The more you weigh, the less natural the biking exercise will feel. We prefer the specs on ellipticals by Sole Fitness.
ProForm teamed up with Tour de France organizers to develop a series of tour-inspired spin bikes or indoor cycle trainers. The three models produced this year are called the TDF 1.0, TDF 2.0 and TDF Pro 5.0. The Pro 5.0 is the official training bike for the Tour de France. The other TDF bikes cost significantly less than this top model but share many of its specs. Read on for ProForm bike comparisons.
- Comparing ProForm TDF Exercise Bikes
- Here are some features on all ProForm TDF bikes for 2016:
- SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- 45-pound flywheel
- Adjustable saddle and handlebars
- Pedals with toe cages and straps
- 24 preset tours of real-life bike routes
- Enabled for iFit ($99/year)
- Can hold your tablet computer at eye level
- Speaker system compatible with iPod®
- Two beverage holders
What are the differences among ProForm TDF exercise bikes?
- Monitors: The main difference among ProForm spin bikes is their display screens. The TDF Pro 5.0 has a 10″ touchscreen with web browser. The TDF 4.0 has a 7″ LCD with backlighting, but you can still browse the web or use iFit by integrating your own tablet computer with the trainer. The TDF 1.0 has a round Watts display on its console. It also has a tablet holder.
- Incline and Decline: All of the bikes have automated inclines and declines. On the TDF 1.0 the range is -15% to 15%. On the TDF 4.0 and Pro 5.0 it’s -20% to 20%.
- Gears: On the TDF 1.0 exercise bike you can customize 26 electronic gears to match those on your road bike. On the other models the gear ratios are aren’t adjustable.
Sale prices for ProForm TDF bikes range from $999 to $1999 with free delivery from ProForm.com.
ProForm Fitness Company Profile
ProForm’s roots date back to 1977 when three Utah State University business majors — Scott Watterson, Gary Stevenson and Brad Sorenson — formed the import company Weslo. Weslo imported a variety of raw materials and finished products from Asian countries. Most lucrative among these was wood-burning stoves, but sales were only seasonal. To gain summertime business the trio manufactured trampolines and marketed them with the brand name ProForm Fitness. Weslo and ProForm soon expanded to offer exercise bikes and then a wider selection of fitness products.
Weslo and ProForm have been affiliated with a few different parent companies since the ‘70s. The most recent move was in 1994 when Watterson, Stevenson and other executives teamed up with Bain Capital, an investment group co-founded by Mitt Romney. The group formed ICON Health & Fitness with headquarters in Logan, Utah.
Today ICON is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer and marketer of fitness equipment. It owns a variety of fitness equipment brands and ProForm is among the most affordable. Its mix of low to moderate prices and “bonus features” appeals to many, many shoppers. For the past 20 years ProForm has been an industry leader in terms of units sold.
ICON owns many manufacturing plants. Until late 2015 some of their products were produced in Utah. Currently all production is done overseas. Customer service is based in the US.
Observant shoppers notice overlap between ProForm and NordicTrack, which is another ICON brand. One feature shared by NordicTrack and ProForm exercise bikes is iFit technology. Other examples are SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance, web-enabled touchscreens and iPod compatibility.