ProForm 290 SPX Indoor Cycle Trainer Review



An upright stationary bike that's a great indoor training alternative, this is really a spinner bike that operates by friction with unlimited resistance. The seat's a bit hard for some, but the bike provides an excellent workout.

The ProForm 290 SPX (starting at $297, Amazon) is technically a spinner bike, albeit a downscale version of the stand-up-and-ride models found at many gyms. If you push yourself hard enough, say most ProForm 290 SPX reviews, you get a terrific workout and generate quite a sweat. In ProForm reviews on Amazon, users comment approvingly on the tight friction-based resistance, which is set with a tension knob, and roundly praise its user-friendly assembly, solidity, and worth for anyone who's into serious training. Two critiques, though, waft through the bulk of stationary bike reviews. On Walmart, users generally rave about the exercise bike but groan about what they consider to be an exceedingly hard seat (one likens it to torture) and a loud, irritating noise while in motion. Similar comments show up in exercise bike reviews on Amazon, where one user even posted a video with audio accompaniment to prove how grating the noise can be; another suggests some Teflon spray on the moving parts might help. We also read a few reports about a bit of wiggle in the handlebars during high intensity spinning and some comments from shorter users who couldn't get the seat low enough for comfortable pedaling, although others say they manage just fine.

There's nothing fancy or electronic about the ProForm 290 SPX. It's completely mechanical, and there's no console to track and display your achievements. The seat adjusts horizontally and vertically, but as noted above, such flexibility doesn't compensate for the hard feel or insufficient accommodation for some shorter users. The weight capacity is 250 pounds. About the only frills on this model are a holder for a water bottle and front wheels that make it easy to move around. It measures 47 inches long and weighs close to 100 pounds. There's a five-year warranty on the frame and 90 days for parts and labor.

This is a low-cost spinning bike for dedicated users that won't disappoint. If you don't plan to ride standing up, though, you might want to invest in a softer seat or a good gel pad cover. And if you're sensitive to noise, ear plugs might come in handy.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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