ProForm exercise bikes belong in the entry-level, low cost price category. If you’re a serious bike user or think you will be then you are best advised to spend a little bit more and look at another brand. However, in many respects, these machines do offer value for money and could be worth considering, but there are some models best avoided.
The cost of ProForm exercise bikes start at around $150 to $500 and their price makes them an attractive proposition for many. There are a number of models on offer; some are worth buying while others are best left on the shelf.
There are 3 upright bikes to choose from; the GR 75, GT 30 and GL 35, costing $150, $150 and $250 resp. Let’s start off by looking at the two cheaper models.
The GR 75 upright comes with more features than you might have first thought. You get a 2-speed CoolAire workout fan, magnetic resistance that can be increased or decreased with a push of a button, an EKG heart rate monitor that is incorporated into the handle bars, and an RPM meter (revolutions per minute). The best feature is the 4 personal trainer programs. They will automatically adjust the resistance helping you get the best out of your session.
There are no heart rate programs, which is to be expected on such a cheap machine but you do get a Target Pacer that has arrows that light up on the console to let you know when to pick up your pace when you need to.
For its price it’s an okay piece of kit and would be acceptable for a complete beginner.
The GT 30 is a different story. It costs the same as the GR 75 but it’s minus the 4 personal trainer programs and the Target Pacer feature. Its biggest claim to fame is that is has a Step-In design to allow easy access on and off the bike, but the GR 75 also has a very similar design. If you’ve only got $150 to spend, get the GR75 and forget about the GT 30.
However, if you’ve got another $100 dollars in your pocket, take a look at the GL 35. For starters, the shape of the handle bar allows for different grip positions. It also has a workout program that can be customized to your own requirements. Finally, there are optional iFIT workouts (these will cost your more).
If you want an upright, then consider either the GR 75 or GL 35 and if you can afford it, just look at the GL 35.
ProForm also makes 3 recumbent exercise bikes; the GR 80, GR 90 and GT 120. They cost around $250, $400 and $500 resp.
Don’t even bother looking at the GR 80. The seat doesn’t have horizontal adjustment, something which is pretty much required on a recumbent bike. Enough said.
The GR 90 comes with a CoolAire fan, a comfortable enough seat, EKG Grip Pulse sensors, iFIT training programs and 6 Smart Programs. The GT 120 finally looks like the real McCoy. The overall build quality is good with an oversized, comfortable seat. You also get features such as CoolAire fan and iFIT personal training.
As to which is better, the GR 90 or the GT 120, the answer is that the 120 is a slightly better built machine, but if you buy the GR 90 you’ll be saving $100. Personally, I’d save the $100.
A ProForm exercise bike is cheap and would be perfectly adequate for first time users who are unsure if they will stick to using a bike. Deciding whether you want upright or recumbent is important as is avoiding one or two of the models mentioned above.