Category Archives for "ProForm"

ProForm 510E Elliptical

For Smoother Workouts on a Budget

The ProForm 510E elliptical is made for the beginning cardio trainer on a budget. Its 18” to 20” stride fits almost any user’s natural gait. Handlebars move to provide a full-body workout and a stationary set provides support during lower-body workouts. There’s also an incline, which is excellent for developing muscles and burning fat calories. However, exercising with the incline might feel too choppy for taller users. This affordable elliptical trainer is smoother and quieter than others in its price category thanks to an inertia-enhanced flywheel and magnetic resistance.

The 510E sells for less than $600 online. As this review indicates, a $600 elliptical is usually a dud – and the ProForm 510E is no exception. We recommend spending a bit more or at least trying a different discount brand such as Horizon. NordicTrack also makes better-quality elliptical trainers for this model’s price category.

What’s Included

A 5″ backlit display shows speed, time, distance, resistance, heart rate and calories burned. A RaceTrack™ graphic shows your progress around a quarter mile track. Here’s the specs list:

  • Front drive
  • 18 – 20″ stride
  • 20° incline
  • 18 resistance levels
  • 18 workout programs
  • iFit Live compatible (adaptor needed)
  • Music port & 2” speakers
  • Grip heart rate monitor
  • Oversized pedals
  • 275-lb. capacity
  • Shipping weight: 250 pounds
  • Warranty: lifetime frame, one year parts and labor

Customer Opinions of the ProForm 510E

The 510E wouldn’t be mistaken for a fitness club machine. Perhaps the first sign is that it’s sold with lots and lots of lubricant. Excessive maintenance is required to keep this machine squeak-free. It takes a handy person up to an hour to assemble because parts don’t align as easily as they should.

Most importantly, customers report that the 510E can’t handle its advertised max capacity or otherwise just isn’t durable. People weighing less than 200 pounds have quickly snapped the frame or pedals. In some cases the machine has stopped working within ten minutes of the first start-up. Sometimes the elliptical even arrives damaged and isn’t replaced for weeks, according to customer reviews.

One woman wrote that her ProForm elliptical arrived broken, but that now she’s enjoying the calorie-targeted workouts. Overall she gave this product four stars out of five. With all due respect, we think she’s not expecting enough! There are too many instances of customers waiting weeks to work out, and that just isn’t right.

Our Overall Review

The idea of the 2012 ProForm 510E elliptical is attractive: a discount elliptical full of perks like oversized pedals, iFit and a ramp. But ProForm didn’t pull it off. These machines break down too quickly to justify their low price. The one-year warranty is of little value when customer service is so slow.

If you like the basic features of this model, check out NordicTrack’s ellipticals for similar products. The ProForm 510E has been compared to the NordicTrack E8.0. These two brands are owned by the same parent company, but NordicTrack has a better reputation in terms of product quality and customer service. Also check out Horizon elliptical trainers before making a decision.

  • December 22, 2012
  • ProForm

ProForm XP StrideClimber 600 Elliptical

ProForm XP StrideClimber 600 Elliptical, a Hybrid Stair Stepper & Strider

Although it’s a very low-end fitness machine, the ProForm XP StrideClimber 600 supports two types of muscle-toning motion: steep stair-stepping and a longer 18” elliptical stride. It can therefore be likened to an elliptical trainer with an adjustable stride. Other highlights include eight preset workouts, an iFit exercise journal and a heart rate monitor.

Unfortunately, this model has inspired a number of very critical consumer reviews. Customers complain of easily broken parts and sometimes report that ProForm technicians deem their ellipticals “unfixable.” The price has therefore dropped dramatically from the $1199 MSRP to attract more buyers.

Instead of taking a gamble with this discontinued unit, consider a few models that we’ve given better ratings. Check out our elliptical trainer comparison charts or see suggestions at the end of this review.

Features of the XP StrideClimber 600 (A Discontinued ProForm Elliptical)

As mentioned above, this trainer’s overall quality is substandard. It looks OK on paper though except for the very short warranty. Here’s the specifications list for the ProForm XP StrideClimber 600:

  • 18″ stride
  • Stairclimbing option
  • 10 resistance levels
  • Magnetic resistance
  • 8 preset workouts
  • Target pacer (indicates when to speed up or slow down)
  • Grip heart rate monitor
  • iFIT™ journal (tracks progress for up to 10 years)
  • Beverage holder
  • 275-pound user weight capacity
  • 90-day warranty (parts & labor)

The warranty on this unit is especially poor and almost insulting to the consumer. ProForm almost forces people to purchase extended warranties. (After all, why would you spend $1199 on a product that’s only guaranteed for 90 days?) Most other ellipticals selling for $1199 have at least one-year warranties on parts and labor. Look at the Sole brand for starters.

Popular Opinion of the StrideClimber 600

Fitness equipment experts warn that this unit can only handle light to moderate use. They do like its stride options compared with those on other cheap ProForms but say that the overall quality of this unit makes it unworthy of recommendation.

Customers have reported satisfaction with this purchase if they train for just 20 minutes at a time. People who choose longer workouts tend to burn out the machine. It’s almost comical that ProForm describes the iFit fitness

journal as capable of tracking progress for ten years. This machine has a lifespan of just a few years, if that.

Owners’ reviews of this and most other cheap ProForm elliptical machines consistently associate this brand with disappointing customer service and poor product quality. Problems with the XP StrideClimber begin as early as delivery day with machine parts being accidentally omitted from the shipment. Customers have trouble obtaining replacement parts in a timely manner.

Our Overall Review of the StrideClimber 600

Complaints about the StrideClimber are excessive. There’s nothing special about this trainer that would make it worth buying; it’s only distinguished by its proneness to falling apart. For $1299 with shipping included you can buy the Sole E35 elliptical instead. It’s miles ahead of the ProForm XP StrideClimber. You’ll get smooth motion, 16 resistance levels, audio entertainment, wireless heart rate monitoring and a decent warranty.

In the sub-$1000 category there are plenty of options too. Our Ironman 420E review gives four of five stars. This compact elliptical trainer is durable and includes heart rate workouts. It sells for $700 or less now that it’s been discontinued. Also check out LiveStrong elliptical trainers. They tend to have stable frames, heavy flywheels and ergonomic strides.

  • December 2, 2012
  • ProForm

ProForm StrideSelect Elliptical

The Proform StrideSelect Elliptical Trainer – A Bargain for Lightweight Users

You’ve found the almost impossible: a sub-$500 elliptical trainer that really works! The ProForm StrideSelect offers a sturdy ride and smooth workouts for smaller trainees. Highlights include an adjustable stride (12” and 18”), six preset workouts and a fan to help trainees keep working.

Do take our size warning to heart: If you weigh 200 pounds or more, you’ll break the StrideSelect before its first birthday. The plastic pedals and relatively light frame can only take a limited pounding. Check out our elliptical trainer comparison charts for a view of other discount machines’ weight capacities.

Features of the ProForm StrideSelect

The StrideSelect provides two kinds of crosstraining. First, the moving handlebars allow for a synchronized upper body/lower body workout. Second, the elliptical path can be manually adjusted to focus on different muscles in the lower body. Five preset workouts and a manual mode are available.

Here’s the manufacturer’s specs list:

  • Rear drive
  • Motorized resistance
  • 10 resistance levels
  • 6 workout programs
  • Pacing coach
  • 12″ and 18″ strides (manually adjusts)
  • Battery-powered console
  • 250-pound capacity
  • Two-speed cooling fan
  • Footprint: 24” x 65”
  • Transport wheels
  • 90-day warranty

The specs are better than expected for such a cheap trainer.  The 18” stride option and 6 workout programs put this trainer ahead of similarly priced competitors. Also, the pacing coach on the LED helps trainees meet their targets.

Still, there are signs of lower quality. For example, the StrideSelect 825 has motorized resistance. This type of braking system is usually noisier than magnetic resistance and more likely to break down. The 90-day warranty is also a hallmark of cheap ProForms. Better crosstrainers have at least one-year parts and labor warranties.

Customer Reviews of ProForm’s StrideSelect

Shorter users are big fans of this small rear-flywheel elliptical. They benefit from both stride positions.  Taller trainees tend to consider the 12” stride too choppy for effective workouts.

Customers advise that just like most other low-end ellipticals, this model has a lower weight capacity than advertised. A person weighing more than 200 pounds will make the trainer become squeaky and imbalanced.

Our Overall Review of ProForm’s StrideSelect

We recommend considering the ProForm StrideSelect if you’re smaller than average, are a beginner at elliptical training and can’t spend more than $500. This unit will hold your weight and support low-impact workouts with high calorie burn. Customers concur that it will help you get toned quickly.

Some extra costs are to be figured into this purchase though: shipping, an extended warranty, and an AC adaptor or a constant supply of batteries for the console.

If it meets your capacity requirements, put this trainer on your “maybe” list and check out reviews of other inexpensive elliptical trainers. The durable Schwinn 430 and a few Ironman elliptical trainers might be available for $600 or less.

  • December 2, 2012
  • ProForm

ProForm 900 CardioCross Elliptical

ProForm 900 CardioCross Elliptical – Durable & a Good Bargain

The ProForm 900 CardioCross elliptical saves its family’s reputation. While the ultra-cheap 650 and 675 CardioCross models are sad cases, the 900 CardioCross has remarkably better ergonomics and programming. Highlights include a 17” stride, a pacing coach and iFit compatibility. We recommend it to beginners who aren’t so tall.

This unit, now discontinued, sells for just $600 or less online. That’s an unusually low price for a decent cross trainer. The 900 CardioCross is comparable

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to other models that sell for about $800.

Features of the ProForm 900 CardioCross Elliptical (Discontinued)

This beginner’s fitness machine has the following features:

  • Moving handlebars for an upper body workout
  • 17” stride
  • Manually adjustable resistance (10 levels)
  • LCD console with pacing coach
  • 6 or 8 preset workouts (varies with model year)
  • iFit compatibility
  • Grip heart rate monitor
  • Cooling fan
  • Compact size
  • Warranty: 90 days

The Specs Interpreted

The short warranty excepted, for $600 or less this trainer’s features are surprisingly good. First,

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the rear drive is generally preferable in the very low budget category because it’s more durable. Second, the resistance is smooth enough and can get a beginner into effective cardio training. Third, the preset programs and pacing coach help beginners ease into elliptical training and learn to adjust their effort levels for maximum efficiency.

The 17” stride is a bit shorter than we like to see, but it’s adequate for shorter people and most average-height adults. Taller trainees might feel restricted. If you spend just a bit more you can get an elliptical trainer with an 18” or possibly 20” stride instead.

The programming options on the 900 CardioCross are especially appealing. Enough basic workouts are presented to show trainees their elliptical exercise options. Further training can be done in manual mode or by activating the iFit workout technology. The iFit card reader lets people add eight weeks’ worth of personal training. iFit cards sell for as little as $5 on Amazon and are available at three workout levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced).

The grip heart rate monitor seems attractive but should be checked occasionally for accuracy. Unlike the wireless monitors you’ll see on more expensive trainers, grip pulse monitors aren’t 99.99% accurate.

Finally, the cooling fan is a nice touch but isn’t so powerful. Some trainees will still want to keep a separate fan in their home gym.

Our Overall Review of ProForm’s CardioCross 900

We’re pleasantly surprised by ProForm’s CardioCross 900. If you know how awful the CardioCross 650 and 675 models are, don’t let that turn you away from this offer! Still, be sure to protect your purchase with an extended warranty. The standard 90 days of protection is essentially worthless.

If you don’t buy the 900 CardioCross, remember this truism: Of all the budget elliptical makers, ProForm is the least consistent. Don’t choose a different ProForm without reading reviews first. Some other recommended closeout bargains are the 1200E and the ProForm StrideSelect.

  • December 2, 2012
  • ProForm

Proform 675 CardioCross Elliptical

Proform 675 CardioCross Elliptical – A Limited & Limiting Crosstrainer

ProForm’s 675 CardioCross elliptical is supposedly an upgrade to the lowly one-star 650 CardioCross. Both models have been discontinued and

sell for about $300 online. Loose bolts, cheap components and an awkward stride make both options untenable. Read this review to learn about what to avoid and which cheap ellipticals are better alternatives.

Tip: The best ProForm CardioCross model is the 900 CardioCross. Also discontinued, it’s a much more durable option that sells for about twice the price of the 675. As for other reliable ProForm elliptical trainers in the sub-$1000 category, we recommend the 20.0 or the StrideSelect. These four-star trainers have clearance prices.

Features of the ProForm 675 CardioCross (A discontinued elliptical trainer)

The Proform 675 CardioCross has the following basic features:

  • Synchronized upper body/lower body workout
  • 14” stride
  • Reverse motion
  • Manually adjustable resistance
  • LCD console
  • Pulse monitor
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • MSRP: $299

Programming information isn’t available for this unit but likely includes four to six preset workouts; the CardioCross 650 has four preset workouts and the CardioCross 900 has six.

The features list is characteristic of most low-budget elliptical machines. Most owners would advise saving up for a more durable trainer with better ergonomics and possibly some entertainment (e.g., an iPod-compatible console).

Typical Reviews of the ProForm 675 CardioCross Elliptical

Fitness professionals are quick to dismiss most cheap ellipticals and especially ProForm’s 650 and 675 CardioCross contraptions. With a shipping weight of just 100 pounds each, these units can’t be expected to provide smooth resistance and a stable ride.

Customer reviews of the CardioCross are scathing. The consensus is that the machine isn’t built to withstand regular use and that customer service is horrible. Buyers report receiving damaged products or easily broken products that aren’t repaired by ProForm for months. Many claim that ProForm doesn’t honor its 30-day guarantee or “doesn’t seem to care” about customers’ problems with the product.

The most common complaints about the 675 CardioCross mention broken axels, a wobbling frame and awkward or malfunctioning resistance. Buyers also address the slippery pedals, broken digital displays and cheap handlebars. One wrote, “The right arm has got so loose that I have actually tied it with a scarf.”

Our Overall Review

Our elliptical reviews are honest. If we hand out a one-star review, you can trust that the product is junk. The ProForm 675 simply doesn’t have redeeming qualities: It doesn’t feel good to use, it lacks enjoyable features and it has a short life span. This is the type of product that people end up donating or foisting upon an unsuspecting garage sale shopper.

It’s virtually impossible to get a decent elliptical trainer for less than$700. Occasionally you’ll find a great deal on closeouts. Provided that an extended warranty is added, we consider the ProForm 900 CardioCross, the ProForm 1200E and the ProForm StrideSelect to be pretty smart alternatives.

  • December 2, 2012
  • ProForm