What category should this review go under? Is it an elliptical, or is it a recumbent bike? In fact, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is both! The Proform Hybrid Trainer is quite unique in that it is both a recumbent bike and an elliptical based on how you adjust the foot pedals.
If you’re one who gets bored of simply biking, or going on the elliptical all the time and want to change it up without having to own two machines, then the Proform Hybrid Trainer could be what you are looking for.
Similarly, perhaps you want an elliptical but someone else in the house loves a home bike and you can’t decide which one to get?
The Hybrid Trainer could well stop those arguments.
Not only is the Proform Hybrid Trainer flexible, but it costs under $400 which is great value.
Overall Elliptical Rating: 3.5/5
- Both a recumbent bike and elliptical, in one machine
- The 2-in-1 trainer makes it great value for money
- 350-pound weight capacity
- Quiet when in use
- Speakers and water bottle holder
- If you want a high-quality bike or elliptical, it’s best to buy them separately
- Stride length on the elliptical could be longer
- Relatively short warranty (only 90 days labour and parts)
- Assembly time may take a while (Over 2 hours; average time seems to be 3-4 hours)
- 2 Machines in 1 (Recumbent bike and Elliptical)
- Tablet Holder
- iFit Bluetooth Smart Enabled
- 16 workout apps
- 16 digital resistance levels
- 15” Elliptical Stride
- Water Bottle Holder
- 350 lb Weight capacity
At just shy of $400 the Proform Hybrid Trainer does represent excellent value for money because of it’s ability to be both a recumbent bike and an elliptical. If it was solely a bike, it would be a little overpriced, and if it were just an elliptical machine, it would be a little expensive. However, the fact that it’s both, will tempt a lot of people to part with their money.
Put it this way, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to buy both a high quality elliptical and bike for under $400.
Reliability & Warranty: 3.5/5
The warranty that comes with the Proform Hybrid Trainer isn’t overly that spectacular but rather slightly below the standard you’d expect for a machine of this price.
The frame warranty is for 5 years, whereas parts and labour are only covered for 90 days. 90 days for parts and labour is pretty low, and most people would feel much more comfortable if these were covered for at least a year, particularly when buying a piece of cardio equipment.
That being said the Pro model of the Hybrid Trainer (which is $200 more), does have a warranty that covers parts and labour for a year.
If there is a reliability issue with the Proform Hybrid Trainer it appears that users mostly experience this right at the beginning, specifically at the time of delivery. Users on Amazon have reported that the packaging is poor, and often parts arrive damaged resulting in having to get in contact with Proform’s support (which also hasn’t been painted in the most positive light).
However, it seems if you get a good machine on delivery it should last.
Stability and Quality: 4/5
Despite the Proform Hybrid Trainer being a machine that’s 2-in-1, it’s surprisingly sturdy and of a good build quality; something you wouldn’t expect from a hybrid machine. Although it’s not going to be the quality and durability of a piece of equipment you’d find at the gym, considering it’s price, it is reasonably good.
The other surprising feature the Proform Hybrid Trainer possesses is that it can take a maximum user weight of 350 pounds. Most ellipticals/bikes max out at 300 pounds so it does show that the Proform Hybrid Trainer is a fairly sturdy machine.
The fact that the Proform Hybrid Trainer is neither completely a recumbent bike nor an elliptical almost guarantees that it’s not going to be perfectly comfortable when in either mode.
First of all, as an elliptical, the stride length is 15 inches which may be too short for some people. From what I’ve learnt, the stride length required by a user isn’t always correlated to their height, although most of the time it is. For example, there are users who are 5’10 and say that 15 inches is too short for them, and there are users who are over 6ft who are fine with 15 inches.
It all comes down to personal preference, however, it would make the Proform Hybrid Trainer better if it could at least accommodate a 20-inch stride length (to eliminate the debate of whether 15 inches is too short or not). If you are desperate to get the Proform Hybrid Trainer and are concerned about the stride length, the ‘Pro’ model has a slightly longer stride length at 17 inches.
In other areas, there have been complaints that the handlebars when in elliptical mode aren’t in a comfortable position. Furthermore, as a bike, there have been some complaints that the seat isn’t adjustable to how some people would like.
Noise & Assembly: 3/5
When working well, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is quiet and can be used without bothering other people in your home. There are some users who report that the machine does start to make some noise after a while, but it’s unclear whether these users grease their machine.
On delivery, the Proform Hybrid Trainer should come with grease that you put on whilst assembling the machine. This helps the joints run smoothly, so it’s important you use it at this time.
Regarding assembly, it seems that it takes a lot longer than what you would expect to put the Proform Hybrid Trainer together. Some users have been reporting durations of around 2 hours, however, the majority seem to take between 3-4 hours. Whatever the length, it seems to be quite a tedious process. This may be a situation where taking the professional assembly option may be a sensible investment.
Not counting the 2-in-1 as a feature, there isn’t too much the Proform Hybrid Trainer has to boast about.
It has the basic metric tracking such as speed, time, distance, calories burned as well as heart rate monitoring, however, the accuracy of the last two metrics could be called into question since the console doesn’t know your details, such as weight and height etc. If you’re serious about tracking these, you will want to go with an external device.
Other than the console, there are also built-in speakers and a water bottle holder, which are nice additions. There is also a tablet/kindle holder you can place your devices on so you can watch or read as you use the machine. The other plus about the tablet holder is that it is designed in such a way that it doesn’t block the LCD screen.
The Hybrid Trainer is also compatible with iFit, which Proform seems to push as one of it’s best features.
iFit sounds great. You can get customised workouts from professional trainers, as well as being able to download Google maps to your console. With this feature, you can view and ride to a real trail somewhere in the world and the machine will match the resistance levels as you go over hills, however, it requires a paid membership and is not a totally free feature that comes with the bike.
If you already have a subscription or are prepared to pay for iFit, then this feature is one you’ll love, but probably in most cases, not everyone will find this feature of any direct benefit.
That being said the number of features the Proform Hybrid Trainer has, is good bearing in mind it is priced at under $400.
Should I Buy the Proform Hybrid Trainer?
It may sound obvious but the reason you’d want to buy the Proform Hybrid Trainer is for two reasons, firstly for its 2-in-1 machine capability, and secondly for its low price. The fact that it is a machine that can be both a decent quality recumbent bike and an elliptical machine for under $400, makes the Proform Hybrid Trainer an appealing purchase.
Perhaps you’ve always loved home fitness bikes but someone else in your household prefers an elliptical machine, and you don’t want to buy both? The Proform Hybrid Trainer is the perfect solution. Or maybe you want to mix up your workout routines so you don’t get bored of always biking or going on the elliptical? Once again the Proform Hybrid Trainer solves this problem.
Its 2-in-1 capabilities are most likely going to be the make or break feature in your decision whether you purchase the Proform Hybrid Trainer or not because there are better bikes (that are just bikes) and ellipticals (that are just ellipticals) on the market. However, for the casual exerciser, both the bike and the elliptical are still good enough to provide a challenge.
That being said, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is remarkable value for money and at under $400 you will never be able to purchase a quality elliptical and bike separately. Furthermore, with 16 workout programs and 16 resistances, it will keep most challenged well into the future.