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ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike

UnitSizeSupported
weight
ResistanceWorkout
Apps
Warranty
ProForm 235 CSX

Check Discounted Price
L:56"
W:24"
H:44"
275 lbsEddy
current,
18 lvls
18Frame: 7 years
Parts: 90 days

The CSX 235 is one of the most affordable recumbent bikes from ProForm, and also one of the most inexpensive bikes with an automatic resistance system. It’s not exactly the best ProForm exercise bike, it has its pluses and minuses, and in this review, we’re going to cover them all. For reference, this is the ProForm bike part number PFEX52715, one of the models released in 2015.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 56L x 24W x 44H inches (142L x 61W x 112H cm)
  • Shipping weight: 102 lbs (46.2 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Pedals: With adjustable straps
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 18 levels
  • Drive: Belt
  • Console: 18 workout programs
  • Extras: Sound system, tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame 7 years, Parts 90 days

Frame construction

The ProForm 235 CSX recumbent bike features a steel frame with a durable construction, able to withstand users up to 275 lbs (125 kg). The base of the frame along with the console mast and the frame of the seat feature a black paint finish which is corrosion resistant. The adjustment rail of the seat, on the other hand, features a gray finish. The bike’s construction also integrates several plastic parts, these being the casing of the console and the covers of the resistance system.

This exercise bike is not extremely heavy; however, compared with a road recumbent bike, it weighs approx. twice as much. Its weight is close to 100 lbs, and this weight adds quite a bit of stability. Plus, the rear base bar is equipped with a set of adjustable levelers.

The relocation of the assembled unit isn’t too difficult, despite its weight. Its front base caps rotate and can act as transport wheels.

The assembled unit is fairly large; its assembled length is approx. 56″ (142 cm), while its width is 2′ (61 cm). Several other sources state that the bike’s height is 61″ (155 cm) which is not correct. Its highest point is given by the top of the console and reaches approx. 44″ (112 cm) above floor level. Along with these dimensions, ProForm recommends assigning a usage space for the unit of a minimum of two feet all around it.

One last aspect to mention here regards the bike’s step-through design. This can be quite a useful feature for users with disabilities or elderly users as it provides an easy access to the seat.

Seat and handlebars

The ProForm 235 CSX recumbent bike is equipped with an ergonomic seat. Both the seat and the backrest feature a 2″ layer of foam padding, with durable vinyl upholstery. Also, its base frame and adjustment rail are durable enough to support users up to 275 lbs (125 kg). 

The whole seat assembly is adjustable. It can move forward or backward on its rail and you can lock it in the desired position via the lever on the right side. In case you’re wondering, the backrest cannot be adjusted independently from the seat as for the LifeCore 860RB for example. It moves along the rail with the whole seat assembly.

The bike has two sets of handlebars, one attached to the seat, and one attached to the console mast. Both handlebar sets are non-adjustable. They have rubberized grips for extra comfort and the front handlebars also have integrated pulse sensors.

Now, there are two main downsides to mention here. The first one regards the pulse sensors. There would have been a better placement for them in the seat handlebars not in the front handlebars. But since the console mast comes pretty close to the user, holding the front handlebars isn’t too awkward as for other bikes.

The other downside regards the placement of the front handlebars. Several users, 5’8″ (172 cm) or taller, have reported that they have been hitting them with their knees during exercises. Therefore, we don’t recommend this recumbent exercise bike to users taller than 5’7″ (170 cm).

Resistance and drive

The ProForm 235 CSX exercise bike features an eddy current resistance system which consists of a small servo motor and a magnetic brake. Therefore, the console requires 4 D-type batteries to function, which are not included. The bike can also be powered via adapter which is also not included.

The bike’s resistance can only be adjusted from the + / – buttons on the console. As you adjust the resistance, the servo motor changes the position of the magnetic brake in relation to the flywheel, which increases or decreases the intensity of the internal magnetic field. This way, the pedal resistance is also increased or decreased.

Like most other bikes with a magnetic resistance system, there is no contact between the brake pad and the flywheel. Thus, the usage of the bike generates almost no noise.

This ProForm exercise bike provides 18 levels of resistance. The lower levels (1-3) provide very little pedal tension, being great for users with disabilities or users who require recovery training. The 17-18 levels of resistance, on the other hand, simulate a steep climb and offer the possibility to perform a more intense cardio workout and leg muscle burn.

Like most other exercise bikes with a magnetic resistance system, the ProForm 235 CSX features a belt drive system. Its internal transmission integrates a heavy-duty poly-v belt, which is stretch-resistant, made to last for many years of use. Just as any other belt drive system, it comes with three main advantages. One, you don’t have to lubricate it; two, it generates less vibration than a chain; three, it promotes an almost completely silent drive.

The bike’s internal flywheel is inertia-enhanced. In other words, most of its weight is placed in its perimeter, in order to provide a more consistent momentum and a steadier motion. It weighs 14 lbs (6.3 kg), which is a mid-range weight for a recumbent bike.

The crankset features solid steel crank arms. However, since this is a recumbent bike, it’s not made for standing up on the pedals. Both pedals are weighted and feature a non-slip surface. They’re equipped with adjustable straps to perfectly secure your feet during pedaling.

Console

The ProForm 235 CSX upright bike features a pretty impressive console for this price range. To begin with, it has an LCD display with blue LED backlight. The display is divided into three main sections. The top section indicates speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), the power output in watts, and your heart rate when you use the handlebar sensors. It also shows the resistance level for a few seconds when you change it. The display shows each one of these metrics for several seconds.

The center section of the display shows distance and time. The distance can be set either in miles or kilometers. Also, if a goal value is set for time, the display will show the time remaining for reaching that target instead of the elapsed time. These two metrics will be shown alternatively, each one for a few seconds.

The bottom section of the display shows pedaling speed and calories burned. You can set up the unit to indicate speed either in kmh or mph. Just as for the middle and top section of the display, the speed and calories metrics will be alternated, each one being shown for a few seconds.

The console unit does not have any online connection capabilities. However, it does have 18 preset workout programs in its memory. They’re divided in two categories: Watts Workouts and Calorie Workouts. The Watts Workouts focus on resistance and watts, while the Calorie Workouts focus on resistance and speed. Each program category has its own button on the console. When you select a preset workout, the bike will auto-adjust resistance depending on each one of the program segments.

Apart from the fitness-oriented features, the console also integrates two extras. One is the sound system, the other is the tablet holder. The sound system consists of two small speakers placed on the bottom of the unit. There’s an audio jack input on the console and controls for sound volume. The unit is compatible with most smartphones, tablets, or MP3 players. The tablet holder is placed above the unit’s controls. It can accommodate most tablets or phones. However, a tablet placed on it will cover the console display at least partially.

Assembly and Maintenance

The internal parts, including the servo motor, the flywheel, the belt, the pulley, and the crank arms are already assembled and attached to the main frame. Thus, you only have to attach the base bars, the seat, the backrest, the console mast, the handlebars, the console and the pedals. This may take up to an hour. A basic toolkit is included, but you will need a Phillips screwdriver. The manual provides all the necessary information and schematics for the unit’s assembly.

For maintenance, you only have to check the bike for any loose bolts and parts from time to time and remove the dust from it. The internal parts don’t require lubrication or any other maintenance, at least not for a few years of use.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 275 lbs;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Step-through design;
  • Foam-padded seat and backrest;
  • Adjustable seat;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the front handlebars;
  • Silent eddy current resistance system with 18 tension levels;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps; 
  • Three-panel LCD display console with blue LED backlight;
  • 18 workout programs available;
  • Sound system included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • Front handlebars too low for users taller than 5’8″;
  • Batteries are not included;
  • A power adapter is not included;
  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder will cover the console display.

Summary

The ProForm 235 CSX is a mid-range recumbent bike featuring an automatic magnetic resistance system with 18 tension levels and a console with 18 preset workout programs. It’s equipped with a comfortable and adjustable seat. It’s sturdy enough to support users up to 275 lbs. It’s great for light to medium intensity cardio workouts, weight loss, stamina development, recovery training, and muscle toning. And finally, it’s one of the most affordable recumbent bikes with a motorized magnetic resistance system.

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