The ProForm 8.0 EX is an upright exercise bike with the best console of any we’ve seen. It has a 5-inch LCD display with a user-friendly interface, and its integrated, top-mounted tablet holder has an adjustable DeVice Grip design that clamps down to hold your device securely.
This exercise bike is an upright machine with 30 workout presets and 25 digital resistance levels. It’s very similar in design to the NordicTrack GX 4.4, which is no surprise since both ProForm and NordicTrack are Icon Health & Fitness brands. The 8.0 EX and the GX 4.4 each employ Icon’s patented SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance, which lets you adjust your workout’s intensity by pressing a pre-programmed QUICKTOUCH control button.
To help you stay in your heart rate target zone, the 8.0 EX has pulse grips, but it doesn’t provide telemetric heart rate monitoring like the Nautilus U618 and the Schwinn 270 Recumbent. It has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, which is true of seven out of 10 bikes we reviewed. The machine with the lightest capacity – the XTERRA Fitness FB350 – can accommodate 225 pounds.
With an MSRP of $799, this exercise bike is one of the most expensive machines we reviewed. Despite its higher price, it doesn’t offer all the best features we’ve seen for user comfort and convenience. While it does have a water bottle holder, there’s not a compartment for accessories. It has pedal straps and an adjustable seat, but it doesn’t have adjustable handlebars. On the plus side, its console can be tilted to your preferred viewing angle, and it’s fully equipped with a two-speed workout fan and a USB charging station. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and a sound system. This is important, ProForm’s website says, because music impacts the quality of a workout.
“Experts have learned that we actually increase or decrease our pace to match the tempo of our tunes,” it states, “and music has been proven to lower perceived exertion.”
To enhance your workout experience, the 8.0 EX is enabled for iFit Coach, where you can create to four user profiles to track and store your fitness data. This proprietary Icon Fitness membership gives you personalized access to professional trainers and lets you ride anywhere in the world with Google Maps. There’s also a virtual studio, complete with thousands of trainer-led workout videos you can stream to your tablet as you exercise.
The ProForm 8.0 EX has assembled dimensions of 42 x 23 x 61.5 inches (length, width, height), and the machine weighs 119 pounds. Although it doesn’t fold, it has front-mounted wheels for easier transport. Oversized leveling feet help keep it stable during use, and you can power its console with either batteries or an AC adapter.
Icon provides the best frame guarantee of all the manufacturers we reviewed, with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser. For parts and labor, however, you’ll only get one year. If you need help with the 8.0 EX, you can reach customer service by phone, email and live chat. Our experience with customer service during multiple interactions was mixed. While some representatives provided a quick, upbeat response to our questions, others were less helpful.