If you are looking for a cycling option during the cold winter months, a stationary bike will be the bike for you. Thanks to advanced technology making its way into the fitness world you can have a great riding experience from the comfort of your home. I’m talking about smart stationary bikes. There are a lot of options that spread over a vast price range when it comes to smart stationary bikes. That’s why we are doing this ProForm stationary bike review.
One of the most popular versions of stationary bikes is the Peloton. When you buy a Peloton you are buying an experience rather than a simple exercise bike. With a price tag north of $2,000 its not a viable option for many people. The ProForm Carbon C10 gives you a similar experience for a price tag under $1,000. Thanks to the free iFit membership you get certified instructors taking you on bike rides across the globe. We have ridden trails in our home state of Colorado, as well as trails in China. Thanks to the 10″ screen we get the feel of riding in those areas while actually sitting in our basement.
You can also race against other iFit members. There are live events, courses from certified instructors and so much more packed into the ProForm stationary smart bike. Let’s dive in to some of those details.
ProForm Stationary Bike Pricing
Like many bikes, there are several different models with the ProForm stationary line up. The Studio Bike Pro 22, the Carbon CX and more. All ProForm models range in price from $600-$1,400 with varying options. The $600 Carbon CX will need a tablet not provided on the bike to enjoy the ride videos. The Pro and Pro 22 models come with built in screens. The Carbon C10 models sold at many sporting goods stores will run $800-$900 and will be optioned with a built in 10″ screen.
With the cost of the ProForm Stationary Bike you get an iFit family membership. Depending on where you order from that membership may last 1 year or up to 3 years. The cost of iFit memberships direct from the company are roughly $400/year for the annual family plan or $40/month. Individual plans are available for roughly $200/year.
When compared to the $2K price tag of the Peloton there is definitely value for the budget conscious customers by going with the ProForm. You aren’t getting all the perks of the Peloton, including free professional installation, but you are saving $1,000-1,500.
ProForm Carbon Stationary Bike Review Problems
There are two major problems with this stationary bike, but they are both easily fixed. First, the wireless card built into the monitor is not very strong. You will need to add a WiFi Range Extender (Check Price on Amazon) to the room with your ProForm. It will be a big help when the system is downloading updates, as well as making sure you don’t lose connection during your ride. The first week we tested ours, I had completed 20 miles and the metrics didn’t save to my profile because I lost connection. It is an easy fix for less than $40.
The second problem is the pedals. Like many bikes, when the pedals are included they usually need to be replaced anyway. The ProForm Carbon Stationary Bike is no different. This is another quick fix thanks to Amazon. I prefer the Clip/Flat combo pedals for under $50. (Check Current Price on Amazon). I probably wouldn’t put those pedals on my mountain bike, but for a stationary bike getting used in the winter they are good enough.
The final issue with the ProForm Carbon Stationary Bike is the internal speaker. It’s not great. You can hear the instructors no problem, but if you want to blast the built in radio station you will be better suited syncing a Bluetooth speaker.
Thankfully, we haven’t had too many other problems with the ProForm Stationary Bike. Its a great machine. If you don’t ride with cycling shorts the saddle may be an issue, but saddle replacement or a pair of cycling shorts will give you more than enough comfort.
ProForm Stationary Bike Features
What makes this bike so great is its features. It is easy to stay motivated thanks to the built in programs. You can still use the programs even after your iFit membership expires. I would recommend sticking with iFit because the various ride locations ensure you won’t get bored.
The touch screen on the ProForm smart bikes is great. There is no lag and when you touch the screen it works. I’ve seen units that you have to be careful where you touch otherwise it clicks a nearby option. That doesn’t happen with the ProForm. The screen will also show the time, calories burned, resistance and more.
Speaking of resistance, you get 22 levels of magnetic resistance on the ProForm Carbon C10 model. Most ProForm models come with 16-24 digital levels of resistance. When using iFit the resistance automatically adjusts throughout your ride. The best part is how quiet the bike is even at high resistance levels. You can get a workout in without waking up the rest of the house.
Should You Buy A ProForm Exercise Bike?
The bottom line is for the money you won’t find a better value in the stationary bike market. This is not a high end bike, but with the occasional maintenance its a stationary bike that will serve its purpose for many years. When installing I would recommend putting red Loctite (Check Price on Amazon) on the bolts. They don’t line up great in every spot, and in the past I have seen some bolts work themselves loose.
In this ProForm Stationary Bike review I am giving it a “Highly Recommend” rating due to the value. You will save hundreds over competing models, and having used higher end stationary bikes the value lands firmly with the ProForm. Initial installation can be frustrating, and having to replace pedals and potentially a saddle are not ideal for many users. That being said, for less than $100 in upgrades you have a stationary bike that competes with Peloton and still costs under $1,000. That is going to be hard to beat, making the ProForm the best bike on the market for getting through winter.
I would also recommend riding your stationary bike with the most comfortable pair of cycling shorts on the market.
Check out our Bike Reviews section for more reviews on outdoor bikes.