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NordicTrack S22i vs Proform Studio Bike Pro 22: Which bike is best for you?

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The NordicTrack S22i and Proform Studio Bike Pro 22 bikes are both elite stationary bikes designed for experienced riders and those looking to enhance their indoor riding workouts. These two bikes each offer unique features/workouts through the iFit App and both currently offer a free 30-day trial of the training system with the purchase of the bike. In this review, we will break down the best features of both and compare head to head. While both bikes will provide you with a great ride, one may be best suited for your personal goals. To be clear, this is going to be a VERY rough battle, as these exercise bikes are very closely aligned in terms of specs and features. They also run the exact same technology, making the choice all that more challenging. That said, there are a couple of key features in play that lead these two bikes to having a $700 price discrepancy, and it’s one that some riders will absolutely love.

NordicTrack S22i

The S22i is a longstanding staple in the category, with a road bike-style design and large 22-inch high definition touchscreen. Its resistance system is magnetic, which is expected when we’re talking about this level of equipment. Aside from a smooth ride, this also makes the bike very quiet while riding. With the adjustability available in both the saddle and the bars, it’s easy for both short and tall riders to get comfortable. One big selling feature of the S22i is the powered incline and decline, which adjusts between a 10% decline to a 20% incline while riding. This helps simulate the hills found in its broad array of iFit training classes. The S22i is also the only bike of the pair that has a built-in cooling fan, which is a really nice feature to have during long and sweaty workouts.

Some of the top features of this bike include:

  • Built in Apps: Google Maps and iFit Coach (requires wifi)
  • 22” HD touch screen
  • 24 resistance levels and adjustable incline/decline
  • Universal pedal design; comes equipped with caged pedals but can easily be switched for clip-in compatible pedals
  • 3lb dumbbell’s for arm workouts
  • Adjustable cooling fan
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Can hold up to 350lbs

Proform Studio Bike Pro 22

Looking at these two bikes side by side, you can tell that there aren’t a lot of differences to speak of. The Proform bike has a nominally smaller footprint, by a few inches. It lacks the incline/decline capability offered by the S22i. It also has a lower weight rating, being capable of holding riders of up to 250 pounds instead of 350. That said, it’s still quite a sturdy bike and doesn’t feel any less well built than the S22i overall. Part of that change in weight rating we presume comes from the design of the seat post and its adjustment setup. The seat on the Studio Bike Pro 22 is mounted on a smaller steel bar that comes forward and up off of the main seat post, whereas the seat of the S22i rests on the post itself. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it would make sense that this design would play into a difference in weight rating.  Some of the best features of this bike include:

  • Built in Apps: Google Maps and iFit Coach (requires wifi)
  • 22” HD touch screen
  • 24 levels of resistance adjustment
  • 3lb dumbells
  • Narrow, cushioned seat
  • Universal pedal design; comes equipped with caged pedals but can easily be switched for clip-in compatible pedals
  • Singular water bottle holder

 

So which one is best for you?

NordickTrack Pros

·  Screen swivels for off-the-bike workouts on iFit Coach

·  Incline mimics road racing/riding

· Supports riders up to 350 lbs.

· Large fan on console

Proform Pros

·  Screen swivels for off-the-bike workouts on iFit Coach

·   More affordable price point compared to NordicTrack

· Equal quality to S22i, minus a few features

· Small, compact screen on console

NordickTrack Cons

· NordicTrack Customer Service support can be subpar

· Price point is higher

·  No tray for personal items such as phone, keys, etc.

Proform Cons

· No cooling fan

· No incline adjustment

· No tray for personal items such as phone, keys, etc.


My Experience

  • I loved the ability to move the screen on the NordickTrack bike especially for off the bike workouts incorporated on the iFit Coach App but the screen is fairly large so may not be ideal in a small space.
  • The Proform screen is smaller but still efficient for users—the con being that it doesn’t turn side to side.
  • The NordicTrack design and setup is ergonomically speaking more similar to a road bike which I preferred over the Proform design but that would be more of a personal preference from rider to rider. The Proform handlebars are angled upwards much like a bike you would find in a gym which may be more familiar to gym goers.
  • The Proform is significantly more affordable than the NordicTrack—so, if cost is of concern then you are definitely going to want to lean towards the Proform. However, if you have the budget for the NordicTrack, the design and features definitely make the bike worth the price point.
  • Both bikes offer a great, smooth and quiet ride. The flywheel on the NordicTrack is slightly smoother than the Proform and located in the front versus the back which was a personal preference for myself.
  • In terms of adjusting the bike setup for each, the NordicTrack is much easier with large knobs. The Proform uses a crank-style adjustment which I found difficult to get the hang of initially.
  • I did prefer the maneuverability of the Proform over the NordicTrack as the NordicTrack is slightly bulkier and with a large screen is not the easiest to move around in smaller spaces—something to consider when deciding where you are going to be keeping your bike.
  • Both bikes have the same App features that offer outdoor rides around the world, indoor spin studio rides, high intensity/bootcamp/resistance training options and the physical movement when inclining and declining which is definitely an advanced feature!

In Conclusion:

Both of these bikes are elite indoor options for users and both have a great design and look. When deciding which of these bikes is best for you I would recommend narrowing down to design, user-friendliness and price. I would start with the design as I feel it is important to be riding a bike that is comfortable and will provide you the best results day to day. This may vary for riders and what you are used to using in general; indoor gym exercise bikes vs. road bikes. The functions of the bike and overall user ability are also very important, as you don’t want a bike that is complicated to assemble, adjust and figure out. Taking a look at specific features such as the setup and functions could make a huge difference for your experience. Lastly, the price point is something to consider for your own budget and what you are looking to achieve from your new purchase. Both bikes offer amazing features so it may come down to the best bang for your buck. In terms of overall features and design my personal preference was the NordicTrack but the Proform offers a better price point, smaller frame and easier to move around your workout space.

7 Comments

  • snowgirl December 4, 2020 at 12:08 pm from CO
    not camparing the bikes with 20 inch screens
  • K. G. December 4, 2020 at 6:32 am
    Can you watch Netflix on both the Nordic track and the proform
    • FitRated January 28, 2021 at 2:07 pm
      Hi KG, you cannot watch Netflix on either of these bikes. The screens are for iFit programs only.
  • arun September 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm from ccanada
    excellent and fair review, found it very useful thanks
  • Susan Hansen July 3, 2019 at 8:12 pm from Madison, Wi
    LOVE this review of both! Thanks for taking the time to do this. It was very helpful.
    • FitRated July 11, 2019 at 1:21 pm
      Hi Susan, we're glad to hear that our review was helpful!
      • Kenny G November 23, 2020 at 12:33 am
        Your review was very helpful, my wife want the s22i but she's a beginner and it sound like basically the same with a few differences, tv size and 1 tilt, 1 is bulkier and will take ME longer to assemble.....pro form cbc sound best for a beginner $400 costco easier assembly, over s22i $1999, bulkier and more complicated to assemble....thats my opinion..but its for the wife

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