ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE Review
ProForm elliptical machines in general are popular for their program options. With this model you get 18 preset workout apps and the option to download an unlimited number of iFit workouts (iFit membership required). A favorite type of iFit workout uses the interactive Google Maps format as featured in most ProForm elliptical ads. These workouts can replicate any outdoor path that you specify, provided that Google’s fleet of cars has charted the path. By connecting your own tablet computer to the console you can train along with a streaming Google Street View of your chosen route… whether that’s through your own neighborhood, along a scenic coastline or through city streets half a world away.
Besides working with a tablet computer as its monitor, the Smart Strider 495 CSE console has a standard data window for time, distance, calories and pulse. A round display indicates your exertion level based on Watts per kilogram; color-coded lights represent the zones Endurance, Tempo and Peak. Pulse is measured through sensors that you grip on the handlebars.
Other features include iPod-compatible speakers, a water bottle holder and transport wheels for easy repositioning when the elliptical frame is folded.
Warranty coverage for the ProForm 495 CSE elliptical includes lifetime coverage for the frame, a year for parts and a year for labor.
ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE - Notable Specs:
|Compact / Folding:||Yes|
|Dimensions:||65" L x 32" W x 80" H|
Our Favorite Features
- Supports low impact exercise to sculpt your body and improve cardio endurance without stressing your joints
- Rear drive elliptical frame helps you keep good posture during training
- 18-inch stride is ideal for shorter trainees
- 18 resistance levels let each beginner get a very customized challenge
- 18 preset workout programs help trainees use their exercise time efficiently
- iFit Coach Ready for unlimited Google Maps workouts, customized elliptical routines, video workouts, stats tracking and other fitness support
- Water bottle holder to help you stay hydrated
- Commercial-gauge steel frame with 275-pound user weight capacity
- Folding frame with transport wheels for easy storage in between workouts
Our Least Favorite Features
- 13-pound flywheel is very light duty; compared with heavier alternatives it offers low resistance and produces a choppy ride
- Pedals aren't cushioned unlike on pricier ellipticals
- No incline that would diversify the stride for even better muscle toning
- No personal cooling fan, so you might want to set one up near the machine
- Grip pulse monitor isn't as convenient or accurate as a wireless pulse monitor
- Short warranty on parts means this isn’t one of ProForm's best elliptical deals
- Foldable, but has a large footprint when in use (80 inches long and 32 inches wide)
The Bottom Line
ProForm’s new 495 CSE elliptical for 2017 is eye-catching with its low, low full price of $599. Although it has some great features for beginners in terms of training support and motivation, it’s not such a great value compared with alternatives that cost little more. Most importantly, this unit has one of the lightest flywheels in the industry. This makes it impossible for the machine to provide a club-quality smooth ride, plus the resistance is so light that many trainees would quickly move beyond its top challenge level.
Instead, for another couple hundred dollars you can buy a new ProForm elliptical that has better components and a parts warranty that’s two or three times as long. Two high-scoring options that we’ve seen for $999 are the ProForm Pro 9.9 and the Smart Strider 935 CSE.