Indoor cycling is one of the most popular forms of exercise. So, it’s no surprise for fitness enthusiasts to compare top-notch machines like NordicTrack vs ProForm bikes. The question is, how are these two different, and which one is better?
To answer, let’s identify the similarities and differences of these bike brands. I’ll list their essential features and performance specs to see which reigns supreme.
Hopefully, this comparison can help you decide which one meets your standards.
- NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike Similarities
- NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike Differences
- NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike: Which One Should You Buy?
- Questions on Exercise Bikes
NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike Similarities
Looking at NordicTrack and ProForm exercise bikes can be confusing.
We previously tested and reviewed NordicTrack and ProForm bikes, and I have to admit, some of their models look very similar in construction and design.
That’s expected, considering both brands are from one parent company, ICON Fitness.
That is not the only factor these bikes share. Here are a few more similarities (displayed in the image below).
1. Design and Pedals
Visually, NordicTrack and ProForm exercise bikes could pass as twins. Both of their spin bike models sport sleek black frames and bullhorn handles.
Their upright bike ranges share similar console and handle designs with a single water bottle holder at the centre.
Their pedal types are also the same. Upright and recumbent bikes get the flat pedal with straps, while spin bikes have the hybrid toe-cage + SPD pedal.
Generally, both brands have well-thought-out bike components to suit riders’ skills and workout preferences. They have adjustable seats and handlebars for maximum riding comfort, too.
2. Resistance Type and Levels
Resistance is perhaps the most vital feature of an exercise bike as this infuses variety and intensity into your indoor cycling workouts.
However, there are multiple bike resistance factors to consider. For instance, what kind of resistance does it have? Or what is its maximum resistance level?
It should be easy to answer these if we compare NordicTrack vs ProForm bikes since these machines share similar resistance features.
As of writing, both brands offer exercise bikes with digitally magnetic resistance systems.
That means you can switch from high to low resistance levels through the bike’s console or computer.
Both brands also have magnets on their bikes’ flywheels working in sync with the console to boost or reduce the cycling tension.
But are magnetic resistance bikes good? This bike type is one of the most popular because it allows precise and quiet rides.
Magnetic bikes also have this hi-tech functionality, which suits riders who prefer modern, fuss-free cycling.
Also, exercise bikes with magnetic resistance are low maintenance and typically more compact and lightweight.
If connected to a compatible app, magnetic NordicTrack and ProForm bikes can also automatically adjust your resistance level, which is another excellent feature.
As for resistance levels, the sister brands almost have the same offerings, about 24 to 26. It’s a good resistance range that covers most riders’ fitness levels.
3. iFit Compatibility
Are you a fan of indoor cycling app workouts? If yes, you’ll be happy to ride a ProForm or NordicTrack indoor exercise bike.
That’s because both are iFit-compatible machines and purchasing a ProForm or NordicTrack bike includes free 30-day access.
iFit, ICON Fitness’ streaming app, gives you access to thousands of trainer-led workouts, scenic cycling routes, and real-time performance tracking.
Also, syncing either bike brand to the app activates its automated functions, allowing the machine to adjust its resistance or incline level.
You won’t have issues with other forms of connectivity with these indoor bike brands, either.
Aside from Internet access, both are Bluetooth-ready and functional with compatible external heart rate monitors.
4. Dumbbell Inclusion
The presence of dumbbell holders and twin weights (about 1.4 kg each) is another common feature I noticed while comparing NordicTrack vs ProForm bikes.
These are limited in their spin or studio bikes, though.
Still, I think these are worth mentioning, particularly for riders looking for ways to turn their cycling sessions into full-body exercise.
Also, it’s an excellent inclusion to optimise your iFit app by using its strength training workouts.
However, keep in mind that NordicTrack and ProForm bikes may have their dumbbell holders in front near the console or at the back behind the saddle.
Check out this article to learn how to work your arms on a stationary bike.
5. Warranty and Return Policy
You should check and understand these factors if you’re after machine quality and longevity.
After all, a pretty good warranty and customer-friendly return policy suggest top-notch products and services.
With NordicTrack vs ProForm bikes, there’s no competition in this case. Both have similar warranty coverages, which include 10 years on frame, 1-2 years on parts, and 1 year on labour.
The sister brands also implement the same return policy conditions and processes. However, warranties and return policies change over time. So, always look for the updated versions before checking out from either bike brand.
NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike Differences
NordicTrack and ProForm bikes have distinct features, which are crucial if you are looking for the best indoor cycling machine.
Here are their important differences (also highlighted in the image below).
1. Frame, Flywheel, and Weight Capacity
These three factors represent how well-made, stable, and durable your indoor exercise bike is.
And in this case, I saw slight differences between the two brands.
Let’s start with the frame. Both have well-built and heavy-duty-looking metal frames. Their product pages say they are also corrosion-resistant.
However, if we compare the in-box weights of their spin bikes, for example, ProForm units are significantly lighter than their NordicTrack counterparts.
In addition, lightweight ProForm models have lower user-weight capacities, too.
The brands also vary in flywheel weights. Specifically, ProForm has a flywheel weight range of 8 to 13 kg, while NordicTrack is 9.5 to 13 kg. The weight variations depend on the bike type.
Based on these numbers, it is easy to see that NordicTrack bikes are typically heavier but have better flywheels and weight limits. It’s a good option for heavy-set riders or professional cyclists.
On the other hand, ProForm bikes suit petite or light riders more. It also seems to be the ideal brand if you’re looking for a bike that is easy to move around.
Looking at NordicTrack vs ProForm bike models shows that the latter brand makes better and bigger touchscreens.
ProForm bike screens are relatively good and have sizes ranging from 5 to 22 inches. However, NordicTrack bikes have a screen size range of 5 to 27 inches.
Moreover, touchscreens are a constant feature in NordicTrack bikes, whereas budget ProForm models would have workout monitors and tablet holders.
Spin bikes from both brands have the swivel-screen feature, while their upright bike models have adjustable console angles.
Still, considering that newer NordicTrack and ProForm bikes heavily rely on iFit programs, getting a machine with a good screen is a better decision.
Also, if you are into interactive or immersive cycling workouts, larger screens can maximise your overall experience.
3. Incline/Decline Function
One of the main differences between NordicTrack and ProForm bikes is the incline and decline feature.
ProForm spin bikes do not have this function to date, while their NordicTrack counterparts can reach up to 20% incline and 10% decline.
It’s an excellent feature that simulates uphill or downhill cycling. You can control this manually or let the iFit app do it automatically.
The incline/decline function lets you work out other muscles, too. It also targets body parts that get minimal attention during regular cycling.
It’s not a must-have indoor cycling bike feature, though. You can still burn calories effectively and boost your cardio fitness with any ProForm bike.
However, this function is worth considering if you want to make your cycling workouts more diverse and immersive.
Indoor rides suddenly become exhilarating as your bike automatically matches those steep terrains and slopes from the iFit app.
4. Special Features
Some riders would argue that special features in exercise bikes only add to the cost and that you can do without them.
While this is true, admittedly, extra bike features can make a significant difference to our riding experience.
So, if you prefer feature-packed exercise bikes that guarantee comfortable rides, you might want to look at NordicTrack options more.
This brand is an expert in incorporating excellent add-ons like cooling fans, water bottle or tablet holders, and handy adjustment buttons into its bike design.
Indoor cycling bikes from ProForm also have special features, but their budget models may not have some of them.
So far, in this NordicTrack vs ProForm bike comparison article, we can confidently say that NordicTrack bikes are more heavy-duty and advanced machines.
This also explains why this brand is also more expensive. NordicTrack bikes cost between $1000 and $3500. This price range covers mid-range to high-end machines.
On the other hand, ProForm offers more affordable units costing between $1000 and $2500.
We somewhat expect this price range, considering the brand’s bikes have feature and design limitations.
The price factor is crucial when comparing these two brands because, remember, there’s an iFit subscription that you have to add to your initial investment.
NordicTrack vs ProForm Bike: Which One Should You Buy?
Unlike NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills, the brands’ exercise bikes have more defined differences, making this machine category easier to compare.
However, if you are still uncertain which one to choose, my suggestions below might help.
Choose a ProForm bike if you:
- prefer good-quality but affordable cardio machines
- are on a beginner or intermediate fitness level
- like magnetic bikes with basic functionality
- want to balance your upfront cost with a full app subscription
- do not mind smaller touchscreens or lower weight capacity
Choose a NordicTrack bike if you:
- are willing to spend on premium cardio machines
- are on an intermediate or experienced fitness level
- like magnetic bikes with lots of advanced features
- need heavy-duty or highly interactive bikes
- prefer large touchscreens or higher weight capacity
Questions on Exercise Bikes
1. Which is better: NordicTrack S22i or ProForm 8.0?
The NordicTrack S22i and ProForm 8.0 have a wide range of resistance levels that users can control digitally. Both magnetic bikes operate quietly, do not take much space, and are iFit compatible. However, the incline/decline function, large touchscreen, hybrid pedals, and heavier flywheel of the S22i fit experienced riders more. On the other hand, casual riders would likely prefer the straightforward functions, built-in workouts, and average weight limit of the more affordable ProForm 8.0.
2. How do I get the most out of my NordicTrack exercise bike?
You can start by adjusting your NordicTrack bike’s seat and handlebar to ensure comfortable rides. Master the proper cycling form, and perform stretching exercises before and after your workout. Also, progress gradually with the ideal resistance level. If possible, wear the appropriate cycling gear as well. Check out our NordicTrack exercise bike tips and tricks for more info.
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