|ProForm 8.0 EX
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Parts: 2 years,
Labor: 1 year
The ProForm 8.0 EX is an upright bike quite close to commercial grade quality. It offers most of the features and functions you would expect from the upright cycles in a gym, except it’s not self-powered, and does not come with a commercial warranty. It’s similar in specs with the Nautilus U616 and Schwinn 170. However, as opposed to these particular models, this exercise bike is iFit capable, rather than MyFitnessPal capable.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 42L x 23W x 61.5H inches (106.6L x 58.4W x 156.2H cm)
- Assembled weight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 16 lbs (7.25 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Handlebar: With pulse sensors and elbow rests
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: Weighted, with straps
- Resistance: Eddy current, 25 levels
- Performance monitor: 30 workout programs, iFit compatible
- Amenities: Speakers, fan, media tray, bottle holder, USB charging station
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year
Frame and parts
The bike’s frame is made of steel tubing, all steel parts featuring an anti-corrosive finish. It’s not an extremely large machine. With a footprint of only 42″L x 23″W (107 x 58.4 cm), we can safely say it’s pretty much half the size of your average running treadmill. Differently put, it’s a bike than can easily fit even in a smaller apartment room.
The assembled bike is slightly heavier than other similar models. However, the front base features transport wheels, and the relocation of the assembled machine shouldn’t be a problem. The rear base incorporates a small handle to facilitate the tilting of the bike forward on its wheels. The rear base also features adjustable stabilizers on its ends, but the front base rests on two small pads. In order to maximize the overall stability of the bike, and of course, prevent any damage to the floors, it’s best to use a mat underneath it.
The seat supplied with this ProForm bike offers high ergonomics and 4-way adjustability. It’s a bit wider than the saddles offered with other upright exercise bikes, such as Schwinn 130 or Kettler GIRO P. It’s also cushioned and contoured, in order to adapt better to any user, to offer the required support, and reduce the impact on the tailbone and lower back.
The seat post features 14 adjustment holes, at a distance of approximately 1 inch from one another. This being said, the bike can be adjusted to accommodate comfortably, users between 5′ and 6’5″ (152 – 195.5 cm) tall. As far as user weight capacity goes, it can hold 300 lbs of user weight.
The bike’s handlebar assembly is angle-adjustable, but its adjustment isn’t extreme. It features a multigrip design, with integrated elbow rests. The top grips of the handlebar incorporate pulse sensors, therefore the console can track pulse via grip contact.
The ProForm 8.0 EX features a belt-drive system, using a heavy-duty v-belt, highly resistant to stretching, designed to last many years of use. Since it uses an eddy current brake mechanism, the bike also features a magnetic flywheel. Although it’s not as heavy as the flywheels used by spin bikes, at 16 lbs of weight, it still supplies a smooth, and consistent pedaling motion.
The bike’s crank is connected to a pulley actually bigger in diameter than the flywheel, which contributes to the smoothness of the pedaling motion. The crankset is a 3-piece part, featuring two solid steel crank arms. Now, even though the crank and pulley assembly is pretty durable, and may withstand users up to a certain weight in a complete stand-up position (as for a stand-up climb workout), this still is an upright bike, meant for pedaling while seated. So, in order to prolong its life, stand-up workouts are not recommended.
One last aspect to cover here regards the pedals. This upright exercise bike is equipped with extra wide pedals, with adjustable straps, to maximize stability and comfort. They have a ribbed design, to increse adherence, in case you’re not using the straps. The pedals are also weighted, automatically turning face up.
An eddy current brake system makes available the resistance levels of this upright exercise cycle. This being said, machine requires to be connected to a 120v nominal power circuit, and comes with an adapter. Resistance can only be adjusted from the bike’s console. Since it’s an eddy current brake, resistance is generated by adjusting the magnets’ pull. The resistance parts do not touch, therefore you shouldn’t experience any drag sensation as you pedal, similar to the one in friction resistance, indoor cycling bikes.
This bike provides 25 levels of resistance. The top resistance levels aren’t extreme, as for a spin bike. However, you can be sure that above level 20, it offers quite a challenge. Resistance can be changed freely as you pedal, or, in case you use one of the on-board workout programs, or iFit programs, it will change resistance automatically.
The console supplied with the ProForm 8.0 EX offers an impressive array of features and functions. First of all, it has 30 built-in, ready-made workout programs, which will automatically adjust resistance. The workouts include calorie burning programs, intensity programs, speed-oriented programs, hill programs, and of course, heart rate test programs. It allows you to setup goals for distance, calories and time, and it also includes a trail function, which represents distance in 1/4 mile (400 m).
The performance monitor will keep you informed on various values, including, speed, time, distance, calories, calories per hour, and pulse. It also indicates the current resistance setting.
This console is iFit compatible. But in order to connect to this fitness database, an iFit module is required. This module is not supplied with the bike. It’s a separate purchase, costs cca $100, and comes with one year of membership. iFit gives you the possibility to exercise on various tracks around the world, using GoogleMaps. It opens a wide database of workouts, allows you to manage your workout data on a superior level, and you can also compete with other users on various tracks.
iFit modules use WiFi and can connect to your laptop, tablet or smartphone. However, the console is also Bluetooth enabled. But via Bluetooth it can only read pulse if you use a compatible HR chest strap transmitter. In case you’re wondering, you cannot listen to music on the bike’s console, via Bluetooth.
Along with the fitness oriented functions, this console also offers several other features and functions. These include sound system, 2-speed fan, tablet tray, and USB charging port. The sound system is compatible with most MP3 players and smartphones, rendering a pretty decent sound. The table tray is connected to the console at the top, thus the tablet placed on it won’t obstruct the view to the console’s display. The fan isn’t extremely powerful, but does supply enough cooling to render an intense workout more bearable.
Assembly and Maintenance
The bike is fairly easy to assemble, and you get a detailed manual that will guide you through the assembly process. Tools are also attached. The resistance mechanism, flywheel, crank, transmission belt are already assembled, and enclosed by the guards. All you need to add are the bases, the seat post and console mast, seat, handlebars, console and pedals. The most difficult part to attach is the console, as you need to connect the wires, and there are quite several small pieces and bolts to work with for this part. But nonetheless, the manual offers step-by-step guidance. The whole assembly shouldn’t take more than one hour, one hour and a half tops.
Maintenance doesn’t require much. All you need to do is keep the dust off the bike, check if the bolts hold tight in their place, and re-tighten them if you must.
- Solid construction, elegant design;
- 4-way adjustable, wide and cushioned seat;
- Handlebar features elbow rests;
- Smooth and quiet drive;
- 25 levels of resistance;
- 30 built-in workouts;
- Goal tracking;
- iFit ready;
- Grip pulse sensors;
- Bluetooth enabled console, can read pulse via a HR chest strap transmitter;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Various amenities, including sound system, 2-speed fan, USB charging port, tablet support and water bottle support;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Excellent warranty pack;
- Excellent price/quality ratio.
- HR chest strap not included;
- iFit module not included.
Comfort, sturdiness, microadjustability, effectiveness and an excellent price/quality ratio are only some of the words that can describe this bike. The ProForm 8.0 EX is an excellent upright exercise bike for light to medium workouts, with a minimal impact on the joints. It’s great for stamina building, muscle toning, cardio and weight loss. Just like any other light commercial upright bike, it can surely help you burn up to 5-600 calories per hour. On top of that, you can use this bike for interval workouts, alternating pedaling sessions with various other types of training.