ProForm Elliptical Machine Reviews
The brand ProForm Fitness dates back to the 1980s and is now owned by Utah-based ICON Health and Fitness. ICON is the world’s largest manufacturer, developer and marketer of ellipticals and other fitness machines for home use. It also owns NordicTrack and a number of other fitness equipment brands.
ProForm helps keep trainees highly motivated by providing non-essentials on cardio trainers in all its price categories. All ProForm ellipticals for 2017 feature iPod-compatible sound systems and tablet computer holders, and the higher-end models also have integrated touch screens with Android web browsers. Each has an extensive workout menu and can support iFit Coach programming too, so the pro workout guidance on board is potentially infinite.
iFit Coach can be accessed directly through the console on a ProForm elliptical with touchscreen. For those with classic displays, iFit Coach is accessible through your own connected mobile device.
As for power and other aspects of physical performance, ProForm ellipticals for 2017 are diverse. Shoppers can choose from a wide range of resistance systems, stride length settings and incline options as explained below.
Endurance ellipticals by ProForm have their resistance systems up front instead of at the back of the machine. This helps them take up less room (compared with rear-drive trainers) without cutting down on the potential stride length. For 2017 the collection includes the Endurance 520 E, 720 E and 920 E. Although retail prices are hundreds more, these units have debuted with sale prices starting at just $599. ProForm provides free delivery to addresses within the 48 contiguous US states.
Moving up from the cheapest elliptical to the top-of-the-line (520 E to 920 E), upgrades include heavier drives, more advanced incline systems and adjustable stride. The consoles become more feature-rich as well, with the 920 E making the most of iFit Coach and the web with its 7” HD control screen. Each trainer has a maximum user weight capacity of 325 pounds.
The Pro Series of ellipticals consists of three trainers: the 9.9, 12.9 and 16.9. Unlike those in the Endurance Series described above, these weren’t upgraded with high-def displays for 2017 — but two have touchscreens with web browsers (7” or 10”), and this collection is more powerful overall. Pro Series trainers have front drives like those in the Endurance Series, but their drives are significantly heavier to support even smoother motion and to offer greater challenge in terms of strength-training. The Pro 9.9 for 2017 has a 28-pound flywheel and the 16.9 has a 32-pound flywheel. Offering up to 26 levels of resistance, these trainers can serve well for light to intense training for people at all ability levels.
The top-of-the-line model has a 375-pound user weight capacity and 35 preset workout apps as well as a 10” touchscreen that can connect with iFit Coach and the Internet. Typical sale prices for machines in this series start at just $999.
The ProForm CSE Series is home to four Smart Strider ellipticals for 2017. Smart Striders are rear drive elliptical trainers, so they require more floor room than most front drive trainers (such as those above) but can be stored vertically to help you maximize your living space.
Normally rear drive ellipticals cost more than front drive alternatives, but Smart Striders are pretty cheap ellipticals because the drives aren’t heavy. These are definitely ellipticals for beginners, but the top two models (the 895 and 935) are especially feature-rich. The top model (935 CSE) has a 10-degree power incline and ships with a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring. Online discount prices for trainers in this collection start at just $599.
Part recumbent bike, part elliptical, a Hybrid Series trainer from ProForm does double time for a low, low price. These unique fitness machines have enticing extras but are lower-end in terms of the basics. A short 17” stride and maximum 15-pound drive for the series make it most definitely a collection for low-intensity training by smaller individuals. The basic Hybrid Trainer sometimes sells for $349 and the Hybrid Trainer Pro has a sale price of $599.
- Touchscreen consoles with web browsers plus the option to use your own mobile device as a secondary display; iPod compatible speakers; wireless telemetry; a two-speed fan and other advanced features on select models
- Customizable performance features including stride length, incline and resistance
- Incline options including manual and power-adjustable systems for workouts that keep your mind and muscles engaged
- Moving handlebars to support total body training
- Workout program diversity including generous preset program menus plus the option to integrate iFit Coach for unlimited personal training support and interactive workouts
- Steel frames with lifetime warranties
- Competitive warranties on the higher-end models, including five or six years on parts and electronics
- iFit Coach expense required to access the most engaging workouts designed for these trainers
- Quality control is inconsistent; shoppers report that ProForm equipment doesn’t always arrive with perfect parts, and getting replacements could take awhile
- Warranties on the low-budget models are a poor match for the purchase price compared with buyer protections in the higher price tiers
ProForm builds home elliptical machines that not only train but also entertain. The top models have integrated web browsers, and every unit has a tablet holder and speakers for your favorite workout music. Each can be used with iFit Coach too, so you can literally have a new workout plan every day. With varied strides and incline levels too, it’s easy to avoid a rut and stay on track toward fitness goals.
Keep in mind that the resistance systems on ProForm ellipticals vary significantly, as do the warranties… but if you make careful comparisons, you can probably find a machine with just the right combo of power, durability and price for your preferences.
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