The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is the most popular choice for anyone that wants the benefits of elliptical training and cycling in the same machine.
But although you save money compared to buying separate machines, do you really experience the best of both worlds?
In this review we take a closer look at the design, including its 15″ stride length, 13 lb flywheel, display console functions, and 16 built-in workout programs. We’ve also added a summary of the pros and cons from customer reviews, to determine whether this is the best elliptical machine for you.
Two cardio machines in one
If you’re thinking about buying a new fitness machine to improve your cardiovascular fitness, the 3 main options you are likely to have come across are the treadmill, elliptical machine, and exercise bike.
But with many of the exercise bikes and ellipticals costing in excess of $400 on their own, you are usually forced to narrow these options down to just one that you intend to buy.
Due to recent developments in the fitness equipment industry, several companies realised that you could benefit from having an option that combined two of these options in the same machine.
One such machine is the ProForm Hybrid Trainer, which combines a recumbent exercise bike and elliptical trainer into the same piece of equipment.
Developed by ProForm, there are a number of features that have been added to ensure you get the most out of each form of exercise.
The angle of the footplates is the first of these features we took a look at, with two types of adjustment available to ensure they are always set to fit the proper leg reach.
When switching from a recumbent cycling position to using the elliptical function, all that’s needed is to fold the footplates down to lie flat against the frame.
As well as adjusting the angle, you can even adjust the distance the footplates are from the seat by using a simple lever underneath each of the support bars.
Whether you are cycling or using the elliptical function the low-impact movement of the pedals creates less strain on the joints than conventional running. This allows for longer, injury-free workouts, which can lead to faster fitness gains.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer – Features Summary
- Recumbent Seat
- Upper-Body Workout Arms
- Oversized Pedals
- 15″ Stride Length
- 14 Workout Apps
- 14 Digital Resistance Levels
- Target Pacer
- RPM Meter
- LCD Window
- Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
- Adjustable Leveling Feet
- Transport Wheels
- Dual-Grip EKG Heart Rate Monitor
- Water Bottle Holder
Reversible range of motion
One of the great benefits of combining the exercise bike with an elliptical machine is the range of motion.
As with many high quality ellipticals, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer has a reversible flywheel motion. This means you can run with the foot plates rotating forwards, but also instantly change to a backwards running motion.
This is also true when cycling with the machine being used as a recumbent bike.
Being able to cycle forwards as well as backwards definitely has its benefits, the most important of which is the ability to target different muscle groups:
- Running / cycling forwards: More of a focus on the calves, hip flexors, quadriceps
- Running / cycling backwards: Focuses more on your glutes and hamstrings
Whether you use the ProForm Hybrid Trainer for more of the elliptical function, or to take advantage of the padded seat and recumbent design, stability is an important part of ensuring a safe and enjoyable workout.
With a 350 lb weight limit and 5 year warranty on the frame, stability and strength can be added to the list of attractive features, together with versatility for the range of different workout options.
Display console design
Together with a smooth cycling / running motion, one feature that can have a big influence on deciding which cardio equipment to buy is the design of the display console.
Although the ProForm Hybrid Trainer doesn’t offer the same large, multi-coloured screen as some machines, it does provide some useful features that can benefit your fitness.
In terms of the actual console design, the support bar rests on a pivot point towards the middle of the handles. This allows you to quickly adjust the position to be within easy reach at all times, whether you are sitting or standing.
This is important for operating the various built-in functions, but also for keeping track of important workout information through the LCD screen.
Information displayed on the screen includes your heart rate, time, distance, resistance, and calories burned.
But despite its low price, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer also provides a useful form of goal tracking.
The built-in target pacer uses an indicator light to tell you when to speed up or slow down your cycling / running motion, to make sure you are always working within the ideal range to achieve your weight-loss goals.
This is all based on the tempo you choose using the precision RPM meter, and lets you set new workout challenges as your level of cardiovascular fitness improves.
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer also includes 14 workout apps developed by a certified personal trainer. Each workout will alter the resistance levels allowing you maximize your time for faster results.
By simply adjusting the resistance level of the Hybrid you’re able to burn more calories, increase intensity and improve muscle tone. There are 14 resistance levels to choose from to cater for a wide range of personal fitness levels.
Plus, with SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance, every adjustment is smooth and natural.
You can burn calories, lose weight and add definition to your lower body all at the same time thanks to the 15″ stride length and heavy-duty, inertia-enhanced flywheel. A faster gear ratio and effective weight placement deliver a more natural striding experience.
The convenient, chair-like seat allows you to target your glutes, hamstrings, and calves in incredible comfort.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Electronics: 90 days
- Frame: 5 years
- Labor: 90 days
- Parts: 90 days
Dimensions and weight capacity
- Product dimensions: 76″ (L) x 26″ (W)
- Weight capacity: 350 lbs
- Product weight: 145 lbs
Although the majority of the 150+ reviews are positive, it’s still important to take into account any issues that people had with the ProForm Hybrid Trainer.
To look at the negative points that were mentioned in a bit more detail, we mostly found that people weren’t impressed with the lack of storage, and that the calories displayed wasn’t accurate.
The problem is, to get a more accurate reading for the calories burned, you would need to enter various personal information such as age and weight.
This is usually only possible on high-end treadmills and ellipticals. If you do have a larger budget and want to find a machine that lets you input this information for a more accurate readout, we can recommend the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical or the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike.
- Low impact nature of the recumbent bike makes it ideal for anyone recovering from knee injuries, or wants to reduce the stress on their joints
- Being able to start off on the recumbent bike and work your way up to using the elliptical is a useful feature for anyone new to fitness programs
- Easy to use
- Operates smoothly
- Sturdy Base
- Easy to store
- No shelf to hold a phone or tablet while your workout
- The amount of calories burned shown on the display isn’t always entirely accurate.
- No warnings to let you know that the batteries are running low in the display console
Overall Review Rating
4 / 5
With the ProForm Hybrid Trainer combining the recumbent bike and elliptical trainer in the one machine, this helps to minimize the cost of improving your overall fitness.
If this is your first piece of fitness equipment, the recumbent is a low impact way to ease you into a new fitness program. Having the elliptical option then lets you increase the intensity of your workouts once your fitness improves, without the need to pay for a whole new machine.
The high 350 lb weight limit is something you don't see very often, which when combined with the highly rated reviews and 5 year frame warranty is testament to the high build quality.
Although it misses some of the more advanced display console features, if you're more interested in the quality of your workout than being able to send emails while you cycle, then this is still an excellent piece of equipment.