|ProForm 740 ES
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Although the 740 ES recumbent bike is not one of the newest models from ProForm, it’s still is one of their best commercial exercise bikes to this day. Not only that it has a broad resistance spectrum offering the possibility to undertake workouts from light to intense, it’s also equipped with a versatile console, with a multi-color display which can directly use iFit workouts.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 58.9L x 22.2W x 52H inches (150L x 56W x 132H cm)
- Shipping weight: 149 lbs (67.5 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 20 lbs (9.0 kg)
- Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Pedals: With adjustable straps
- Resistance: Eddy current, 26 levels
- Console: 34 workout apps, Recovery function, iFit enabled, USB charging port
- Amenities: Sound system, workout fan, bottle holder, tablet holder
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year
The ProForm 740 ES recumbent exercise bike features a frame made of steel tubing. It’s steel parts are coated with corrosion resistant paint. However, most of the frame is covered by heavy-duty plastic “shields” which not only add protection from scratches, they also improve the bike’s aesthetics and compactness.
Both bike’s bases are equipped with rubberized stabilizers. However, only the rear ones are adjustable. The bike itself is fairly heavy, weighing more than 120 lbs, weight that also plays an important role in its overall stability.
The bike’s transport (once it is assembled) isn’t too difficult, though. That’s because its front base bar includes a set of transport wheels, while the rear base bar is equipped with a lifting handle. By using the handle and the wheels to relocate the bike you will basically handle only half of its total weight.
This ProForm exercise bike is also fairly large. It takes 58.9″L x 22.2″W (150 x 56 cm) of floor space when fully assembled. It also requires at least two feet of clearance all around it for safe operation.
The frame features a step-through design. Due to this fact, taking position on the seat isn’t difficult, an aspect that might be important for users with various disabilities.
Seat and handlebars
The ProForm 740 ES recumbent bike is equipped with a seat that simply excels in ergonomic factors. To begin with, it integrates a layer of padding and features a highly durable vinyl upholstery. The backrest is built on a metallic frame, but features a vented structure, in order to promote a superior blood flow and prevent overheating during the most demanding workouts. Needless to say, it has an anatomical arch, delivering excellent lumbar support.
The bike’s seat is adjustable. It’s attached to an aluminum rail and can slide closer or farther in relation to the pedals and console. Its adjustment mechanism is fairly simple. It consists of a small lever, situated on the right side. In order to adjust the position of the sea, you simply have to push the lever down which will disengage the seat allowing it to be moved to the most comfortable position.
An important aspect with regards to this exercise bike’s seat is that it doesn’t recline. It’s fixed, attached directly to the seat. So, in case you’re looking for a recumbent bike with a reclining backrest, one of our recommendations would be the Body Solid B5R.
The seat’s adjustment rail is long enough to accommodate tall users, over 6’5″ (195 cm). It can also be locked very close to the pedals, so it can accommodate short users, beginning with 5’0″ (153 cm). Also, the seat is rated for a weight capacity of 350 lbs (159 kg).
This ProForm recumbent bike is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One is attached directly to the seat assembly and will slide along with the seat when you adjust it. However, they cannot adjust independently from the seat; in other words, you can’t change their angle.
Another set of handlebars is attached to the machine’s console mast. These also integrate metallic pulse sensors and by holding on to them the console can monitor your heart rate.
Both handlebar sets are rubberized, in order to provide an excellent, comfortable grip.
Drive and resistance
The ProForm 740 ES recumbent bike features a current assisted magnetic tension system. In other words, it uses a motorized magnetic brake to create drag onto the flywheel. The resistance is controlled exclusively from the console. You can adjust it as you pedal. Or, in case you will be using one of the pre-set programs, or one of the iFit programs, the bike will adjust the resistance automatically.
In order to provide any resistance, this exercise bike requires being connected to a power circuit. An adapter with cable is supplied with it, adapter which plugs into the bike at the front, right above the base.
The bike’s resistance system offers 26 tension levels. The lower settings are very light, perfect for anyone who requires rehab training, for users with impaired movement or for elderly users. Conversely, the top 22-26 resistance settings are quite tough. They offer the possibility to create a workout that simulates a steep climb or undertake high-intensity interval training.
This recumbent exercise bike features a smooth and quiet belt drive, which basically doesn’t require any maintenance. It uses a v-belt type, highly resistant to stretching. It integrates a 20 lbs (9.0 kg), perimeter-weighted flywheel which generates a consistent momentum and excellent stability during pedaling.
The bike’s pulley is finished with steel crank arms, shielded by PVC covers for improved aesthetics. The pedals have a ribbed design, integrating adjustable straps. They also have standard threads, and in case you want a different model, you should be able to easily find replacements for them.
This exercise bike has a narrow Q-Factor, which means your feet positioning on the pedals is natural, which eliminates any extra lateral stress on the knees. Also, pedaling in reverse is possible, but due to the bike’s resistance system, you won’t benefit from any resistance when pedaling in reverse.
The ProForm 740 ES recumbent exercise bike features a highly versatile console. To begin with, the unit is equipped with a 7-inch multi-color display, similar to a tablet. It is Bluetooth enabled and iFit ready, thus you can sync it with your laptop, tablet or phone, in order to directly transfer your workout data to your iFit account. Due to the highly advanced monitor, you can use iFit workouts and GoogleMaps trails directly on the machine’s console. It also gives you the possibility to watch high-definition videos with simulations and workouts, use custom workouts, or compete with other iFit users.
Of course, in order to use any of the iFit functions you will need an iFit membership, which is not included, and costs approx. $10 per month.
The console itself has 34 built-in workout programs; therefore, if you don’t have an iFit membership, you can still benefit from a wide array of well-designed training programs. Its onboard workouts are divided into three main categories: Calorie Workouts, Intensity Workouts and Performance Workouts. There is, of course, the Manual program which allows you to adjust the resistance as you like during pedaling. Other workouts will automatically adjust the machine’s resistance.
When using an onboard workout or the Manual mode, the machine’s display will indicate speed, time, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and cadence. You can choose to view the distance reading in miles or kilometers, while speed can be calculated in MPH or km/h.
As we’ve mentioned above, the front handlebars of the bike are equipped with metallic EKG pulse sensors. However, the console unit is also telemetric and compatible with all Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitors. Thus, there is the option of monitoring your heart rate by using a wireless HR chest strap transmitter. This accessory is not included, though.
The console’s capabilities don’t end here. The unit also integrates a sound system, a cooling fan, a tablet holder and a USB charging port. The sound system is compatible with most smartphones and MP3 players; doesn’t render a sound of extraordinary quality, but still, it’s better than the speakers of most phones and tablets. The workout fan features two speed settings, while the tablet holder is placed right under the console display.
Last but not least, the angle of the control unit is angle-adjustable. It has a small handle at the bottom which offers the possibility to adjust its angle by a few degrees, in order to benefit from a better view of the display.
Assembly and Maintenance
This ProForm exercise bike is easy to assemble; the whole process shouldn’t take longer than one hour. However, since the bike is rather heavy, two persons are required to receive and transport the box.
The assembly basically requires you to attach the base tubes to the frame, the seat and its backrest, the handlebars, pedals, and console, connecting the wires. The manual supplied offers clear guidance for the assembly steps. Two Allen wrenches required for assembly are included, however, you will need your own adjustable wrench and a Phillips screwdriver.
Maintenance for this bike is almost inexistent. Basically, you just need to keep the bike clean, and periodically check for loose bolts and parts.
- Extremely sturdy, commercial grade construction;
- High user capacity (350 lbs);
- 2-inch padding on seat and backrest for optimal comfort;
- Adjustable seat;
- Automatic, magnetic resistance, with 26 available settings;
- 34 pre-set programs;
- Versatile console with a 7-inch color display, which can directly use iFit applications and videos;
- Bluetooth enabled console, iFit enabled;
- Pulse sensors integrated into the front handlebars;
- Sound system included;
- Workout fan included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Tablet holder included;
- USB charging port included;
- Smooth and quiet drive;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Excellent warranty plan.
- A tablet placed on the console’s tablet holder may partially cover the unit’s display;
- No pulse sensors in the seat handlebars.
- iFit membership not included;
- HR chest strap not included.
The ProForm 740 ES is a commercial grade recumbent exercise bike. It offers 26 levels of automatic magnetic resistance, 34 pre-set workouts, and an iFit enabled console. The console is equipped with a 7-inch color display which can directly use iFit workouts and applications. It’s an extremely sturdy fitness machine, which can offer workouts for users of all levels. It’s perfect for light to intense cardio training, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s not exactly an affordable machine, but considering what it can offer, we can safely say that it offers an excellent value for the price.