16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
From my wife Sarah: I had an old Proform recumbent bike that broke. I was really happy with it for many years. My back was comfortable on it, and it worked well for me. The first level of pedal resistance was very low, which was great for my knees. The chair felt good on my lower back, and the seat was tall enough to support my upper back. The seat back was straight up and down, so that my neck and back were straight, and not leaning backwards which most bikes have. This was comfortable for me. I have rather severe back, neck and knee issues, so these things are really important for me.
I had to replace my old Proform quickly, so I tried every bike on the floor at Sears, Sports Authority, Dick's, and even in some specialty exercise equipment stores. Nothing came close to the comfort of the Proform I had, not even the newer Proforms. After exhausting every option, I finally decided to buy another Proform anyway, since it gave me the least discomfort of any of the bikes I tried, and seemed more sturdy than most in that price range.
This bike was not available in any of the stores to try. The Proform bikes that the retail stores were carrying had so many terrible reviews on Amazon that I decided to take a chance and buy this bike, site unseen, because the reviews on Amazon were better.
Here are the pros and cons of this bike:
- It's very sturdy and seems well built.
- The seat back and bottom are padded, and wide enough to provide support. I strongly dislike the seats that look like regular bike seats because they're quite uncomfortable and non-supportive. This seat is shaped like a regular chair seat, which I find more comfortable.
- The control panel is easy to understand and use. I like that you can choose what you want displayed as you work out. You can see everything at once, and continually if you prefer, including speed, time, distance, calories and pulse.
- Some people will like the 20 pre-programmed trainer workout rides. Personally I don't use them because I can't use higher than level 1 resistance. There are 16 resistance levels which is great if you can use them.
- The heart rate monitor is on the handle bar grips found by the outside of your thighs at your sides. I find the placement of those bars comfortable. You also have the option of holding on to the handle bars in front of you, on the sides of the monitor.
- Personally I don't make use of the sound system and iFit Live technology, but some people will really enjoy that.
- It's very quiet and the pedals are smooth.
- Another reviewer mentioned that the pedals are too close to the center console. In fact I found the opposite, so I think it depends on your body. I'm a female, five feet five inches, and I feel like I could use the pedals even slightly closer to the console, but it's reasonably comfortable where they're placed.
- Putting it together was a nightmare. My husband did it, and it was really difficult and frustrating for him. He's done a lot of this type of thing over the years, and it took over two hours. The brochure says it's friendly and easy. NOT.
- Service is HORRIBLE. When I was trying to get some questions answered prior to buying, I got tossed from person to person, and each time they knew absolutely no more than what they read from the manual. I never got my question answered, so I realized I had to make a decision without that info. After the bike came, I had a question and had to call. I had to wait on the phone for over an hour to speak with someone. The person was nice once I got him, but the wait was just wrong.
- The bike came with a couple of cracked pieces. Luckily they don't impact the function or appearance of the bike, so we just left them. To have to take apart the bike and add new pieces would be much too difficult.
- The heart rate monitor doesn't seem to be functioning properly. I'll have to call again and get that fixed. I'm not looking forward to having to deal with their customer service process.
- The bike isn't as comfortable as the old one I had. The seat leans back slightly, which hurts my neck. It probably won't be an issue for most people though. The seat bottom is angled slightly in a strange way. I found that using a wedge seat cushion on it helps. Most people won't have this issue either. Also the level 1 resistance is stronger than my old Proform, so my knees get more sore.
- The bike has wheels on the front base, and the ads show a women easily picking it up and moving it. It's heavy and awkward, and my husband found it challenging to use the wheels to get it where he wanted it to. He ultimately moved it without using the wheels.
Bottom Line: Normally I have a definite opinion on whether I recommend something or not. I think it will depend on what's important to you. So far, despite the challenges, I still think this was a solid bike for the price with some nice features, but you need to know that you may have some challenges with it, and that service will be less than stellar.