ProForm Hybrid Trainer

A Discount Elliptical Trainer & Bike Combo

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer delivers low-impact workouts for people with sensitive knees or lower back pain. It easily converts from a recumbent bike to a stand-up cross trainer, but note that it shouldn’t be imagined as a fancy fitness machine. It is very low-budget and not intended for intense workouts.

A single console adjusts to be easily read in either workout mode. Other highlights include 14 preset workout modes, moving handlebars and a grip heart rate monitor.

The Hybrid sells for about $400 online during promotional periods. The low price is a good indicator of this fitness machine’s relatively low quality. One important shortcoming is the 15” stride. You should expect at least an 18” stride on an elliptical, and that’s for small folks. To get yourself or another loved one a truly effective, hassle-free elliptical machine, you generally need to spend at least $800. Some alternatives are mentioned at the end of this review.

About the ProForm Hybrid Trainer

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is made of steel and plastic. The display shows speed, time, distance, resistance, heart rate and calories burned. A color-coded light and RPM indicator help you monitor your pace.

Here’s the specs list:

  • Hybrid design – Two-in-one seated bike and standard elliptical
  • Cushioned seat
  • 15″ stride
  • 14 resistance levels
  • 14 workout programs
  • Oversized pedals
  • Grip heart rate monitor
  • 350-lb. capacity
  • Water bottle holder
  • Transport wheels
  • Warranty: Five years on frame, 90 days parts & labor

Customer Opinions of the ProForm Hybrid

The Hybrid makes some people happy and leaves others disappointed. It certainly wouldn’t be mistaken for a commercial cross trainer. It might even move across the floor during use. The console requires AA batteries and drains them quickly.

Customers confirm the advertised set-up time, which is long. Expect two people to collaborate for 2.5 hours or more. (High-end ellipticals like Yowzas, in contrast, arrive ready to use.) You can pay extra for assembly and that’s recommended by many buyers – but if you’re willing to pay extra for assembly, maybe you should spend more on a better elliptical instead.

Our Overall Review

The ProForm Hybrid looks OK on paper, except for the short 15” stride, which is only going to feel right for most people in bike mode. We wouldn’t confidently recommend any fitness machine that’s only protected for 90 days, and especially not one from ProForm. Their customer service has improved in recent years but not enough to give us confidence.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many recumbent bikes in this price range. Schwinn is one brand to try, and we have reviews. Some more expensive seated ellipticals are made by HCI and Stridewell.

If you’re concerned about reducing the load on your back or knees, remember that training on an incline can reduce stress on the body by about 25%. You might be just as happy with an elliptical with an incline as you’d be with a recumbent bike.