|ProForm 520 E|
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Although it’s designed for home use, the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical trainer meets all the requirements of at least a light-commercial cross-trainer. It’s quite an advanced piece of training equipment, doesn’t come too cheap, but it offers a consistent array of features and options, a very neat design, and superior training possibilities. For reference, this is the ProForm part number PFEL55916.
- Assembled dimensions: 68.25L x 34.4W x 69.3H inches (173 x 87 x 176 cm)
- Shipping weight: 200 lbs (90 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 15 lbs (6.8 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Stride: 19 inches (48 cm)
- Incline: Manual, 4 levels, 0°-5°-10°-20°
- Footplates: Standard with articulation
- Resistance system: Eddy current, 18 levels
- Console: 18 workout programs, Bluetooth, iFit compatible
- Extras: Sound system, bottle holder, tablet holder
- Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year
The ProForm 520 E elliptical features a one-piece, really heavy frame, 200 lbs (90 kg), steel-made, which adds a lot of stability to the machine and to your training. Even if you weigh over 300 lbs (136 kg), you can be sure that this elliptical trainer won’t move or wobble while you workout, even during high speed and intensity training sessions.
The back base of the frame is equipped with small leveling feet, quite useful in case the machine is placed on uneven flooring. Also, it features a transportation handlebar, for an easy grip when moving the machine. The front base is finished with transportation wheels, quite necessary for such a heavy machine.
Like most advanced ellipticals, the ProForm 520 features both fixed and mobile handlebars. They’re non-adjustable, but they have a nicely curved design, with angled padding, in order to offer just the right grip to every user. The fixed handlebars include heart rate sensors, an important feature for just about any user who requires the monitoring of their heart activity during exercising.
The pedals of this elliptical are super-sized, being able to accommodate even users with a 13 shoe size or even higher. They are non-adjustable but feature a layer of cushioning for improved comfort. They also have side and front guards, as well as a ribbed surface for extra foot stability.
This ProForm elliptical machine also features a water bottle, which comes attached right under the console of the machine, on the main handlebar post. Even though this may be an insignificant accessory, it’s actually a good reminder that you must maintain an optimal hydration level during exercising.
Incline, elliptical path, stride, and step-up height
The ProForm Endurance 520 E is equipped with a manual incline adjustment system. This means you can only adjust the incline if you pause your workout. The incline system consists of a metallic ramp with a handle and a lock button. In order to adjust the incline, you have to step off the machine, grab the handle and press the button to unlock the ramp system, then hook it to the desired position.
There are 4 incline levels, between 0° and 20° which expand the training possibilities of this machine by a lot. The maximum lift of the pedals reaches approx. 22″ (56 cm) above floor level. Therefore, it is recommended to use this machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 25″ (63 cm) higher than your own height.
The machine’s elliptical path is slightly inclined forward with the incline set to 0°. By lifting the ramp, the angle of the elliptical path becomes even more inclined forward. This position allows you to put more focus on your glutes and hamstrings.
The machine offers a stride length of 19″ (48 cm). This being said, the machine can accommodate users up to 6’4″ (193 cm) with no problem, allowing a complete range of motion. Also, although various sources mention that the machine’s stride is adjustable, its length is fixed. The stride “adjustment” refers to the incline. Basically, when you adjust the incline, you adjust the position of the stride, but not its length.
Drive and resistance
The ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical features an eddy current resistance system. This means that the machine requires a power source, for the use of the console and to be able to adjust the tension. The box includes the adapter for the machine. The input for the adapter is situated at the bottom of the frame, just a bit above the front base.
The resistance system consists of an internal magnetic brake and a servo motor. As you adjust the resistance from the console, the motor moves the brake closer or farther from the flywheel which adds or reduces the pedaling difficulty. There are 18 levels of resistance that you can choose from. On top of that, the incline level can add a lot to the intensity of your workouts.
The drive system features a rather large pulley, a 15 lbs. (6.8 kg) inertia-enhanced flywheel, and a heavy-duty v-belt, leading to a smooth, steady and quiet workout. All these components are made to last and function at normal parameters for a long period of time, even with low maintenance.
The unit’s pedal bars are equipped with large wheels which hug the side rails of the ramp frame for extra stability. They integrate industrial-grade ball bearings and have a rubberized outer layer for reduced noise.
The Endurance 520 E elliptical from ProForm is equipped with a multi-function console. Apart from the fitness-oriented capabilities, it includes several other amenities. For starters, it has its own sound system, compatible with most MP3 players. Therefore, in case earplugs or headphones become too inconvenient, you can listen to your music or audiobooks through the speakers of the console.
The upper part of the console is furnished with a tablet holder, great to have if you want to browse the web, view online videos or movies or reading while you exercise.
In terms of on board fitness-oriented features, the console has quite a lot to offer. First of all, it can indicate calories burned per session, or per hour, distance, pulse, RPM, the total number of strides, time spent working out, and speed. It also indicates the resistance level, and for resistance adjustment, there are 9 digits on the console, 2 for gradual (-,+) and 7 for quick adjustment, allowing you to quickly select the 1,3,6,9,12,15,18 resistance settings. Goal setting and tracking functions are also available with this console.
There are 18 workout apps available on the console unit of this elliptical machine, and you can also customize your own training routine. Each workout routine is divided into one-minute segments, with resistance and RPM programmed for each segment. Depending on the moment of the workout, the console will display various motivational messages, to keep you as connected as possible to your workout.
One of the coolest functions of the console is the “My Trail” tab. This function shows a track which represents a 1/4 mile (400 m), also indicating how many laps you have completed. This is not only a cool function, it actually can serve as an important base for professional training.
The console of the ProForm Endurance 520 E is also iFit compatible. However, the iFit connection is not necessary in order to use this elliptical. Even if at the start it will prompt you to connect to iFit, this can be skipped by pressing and holding for 30 sec. the iFit button (that looks like a sticker) on the right side of the monitor. Once this is done, you should be able to access the console menu, and all its onboard programs and functions. But nonetheless, if you choose to register to iFit and purchase a membership, you will have access to many online features, such as interactive training sessions, running on virtual trails, or monitoring your workout data online.
Assembly and Maintenance
The assembly of this elliptical trainer isn’t too difficult, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park either. It should take up 2 hours, and since the machine is rather heavy, it might require two people. The box includes a very detailed and comprehensive assembly manual, which will guide you step-by-step through the assembly process. It also contains the tools necessary for the assembly.
The drive and brake systems come already assembled, sealed within the main body of the elliptical, which is attached to the main frame. You will need to attach the bases of the machine, main handlebar post, arms, lateral leg bars, footplates, and console. The manual specifies that the main joints of the machine should be lubricated with a PTFE-based lubricant (i.e. SuperLube). Petroleum-based lubricants (i.e. WD-40) are not recommended.
The maintenance of this ProForm exercising machine is not exactly a bother. All you have to do is keep the rails of the incline mechanism and leg bars clear of any dirt and debris, to ensure a smooth motion. In case the joints, pulley or flywheel become squeaky, lubrication is required, evidently with a PTFE lubricant. The manual also includes complete guidelines for maintenance.
One of the important aspects related to the assembly is the registration of your product. In order to activate your warranty, save time with customer support, and also benefit from upgrades and offers, it’s best to register your product with proformservice.com
- Sturdy frame – 300 lbs capacity;
- Professional-looking design;
- Adjustable levelers;
- Transport wheels;
- Cushioned pedals;
- Perimeter weighted flywheel for a consistent momentum and smooth pedaling;
- Quiet operation, ideal for apartment use;
- 18 levels of eddy current resistance;
- Manual incline – 4 levels;
- 5-inch LCD console;
- iFit compatible;
- 18 workout programs;
- Goal tracking functions for time, distance and calories;
- Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars;
- Sound system included;
- Media tray and tablet holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- HR chest strap is not included;
- iFit membership is not included.
The ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical trainer is an elliptical trainer designed for home use. It offers 18 levels of eddy current resistance, 4 levels of manual incline, a multi-function console with 18 workout programs, and iFit compatibility. It’s an excellent trainer for cardio training of various intensities, stamina development, muscle toning, recovery training, and weight loss. It’s not one of the most affordable trainers but definitely offers excellent value for the price.