ProForm 225 CSX Exercise Bike Review

On paper, the Proform 225 CSX exercise bike looks like a relatively decent bit of kit and something that, if history is anything to go by, will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. This category of exercise bikes is full of manufacturers trying to get one over on their competitors and competition is seriously hot. We took a closer look at the 225 CSX to see how it measures up against the models it’s trying beat.

With a footprint of 96cm x 54cm, it takes up around the same more floor space as most upright bikes around this price. It’s definitely taller though with the top of the console sitting at around 160cm. Proform has opted for a jet black finish with silver and red trim and the end result is a fairly compact, good-looking bike.

The gel saddle is well-padded and adjusts horizontally and vertically to help you get a good riding position. The pedals are wide and easy to reach but unfortunately, there’s no adjustment for the handlebars which does mean that there’s a limit to how comfortable it’s possible to get. Overall the build feels reasonably solid and with a max user weight of 130kg (286.6lbs) this bike will cater for a wide range of people, though weighing in at just 26kg (57.3lbs) it does feel just a little lightweight.

There’s an 8kg flywheel in the 225 CSX and it does a decent job of making the action feel smooth and uniform. There are 20 levels of resistance with the maximum resistance proving to be pretty tough. We’d prefer to see more levels to allow a finer tune for the rider when in manual mode but this isn’t a deal breaker by any means. Resistance changes take place at a fairly leisurely pace but it’s responsive enough for most riding requirements.

The console has 20 preset programmes plus a manual mode and provides the option of entering your body weight to improve the accuracy of the theoretical calorie burn information. There’s a watts output indicator on the console and training data such as calories burned, distance covered etc are all displayed on the centre LED display. The display is too small to show all the training information in one go so scans through the different data showing the information sequentially. The LED characters themselves are bright, clear and easy to read, it’s just a pity that you can’t see all the data at once.

There are hand-pulse sensors built into the handlebars which work ok, and there’s also a wireless heart rate receiver built-in so it’s possible to get a more accurate reading using a chest belt.

Unusually for a mid-range bike Proform has included stereo speakers and a cooling fan and it’s nice to see although it’d be nicer if the quality of both was a bit better. The speakers generate a sound but clearly, you’d be better off with a pair of sports headphones instead. The cooling fan does generate a breeze and it does help, a bit, but again it could be better. Still, you don’t see these things on direct competitor models so in some ways fair play to Proform for trying to set themselves apart. It’s just that we’d have preferred a water bottle holder which is a very useful thing (but which is conspicuous by its absence here) over and above these bells and whistles.

The console is iFit compatible and that’s what that tablet holder is primarily for. To make use of the iFit functionality, a subscription is needed and for more information, you can visit iFit.com – Subscription to iFit is around a £100 a year and provides a whole wealth of interactive features, but you can use the 225 CSX without it so it really is an optional extra if you want more training choices.

The 255 CSX comes with a year parts and labour warranty which reflects the confidence Proform has in its product.

Best Price

Currently available for £329.00 from ProForm

Review Summary - In Brief

With the 225 CSX Proform has clearly decided to load it with goodies to make it as attractive as possible and it's a reasonably good all-round exercise bike that will appeal to a lot of people. But, in this instance, there's a suspicion that all the goodies it's been loaded with come at the expense of some other aspects of the bike. With this in mind, if it's iFit you're keen on then we'd recommend spending just a touch more and getting the NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro which is currently our bike of the month making it well worth the bit extra.

ProForm 225 CSX Specifications

    • Flywheel: 8kg (17.6lbs) inertia enhanced flywheel
    • Resistance: 20 levels of digital SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance
    • Console: Round Watts LED display with Endurance, Tempo and Peak zones; Work and Recovery buttons for Interval Training
    • Console Feedback: Calories, distance, pace, pulse, resistance, speed, time, watts
    • Programmes: 20 pre-set workout apps (tempo and interval), manual interval training,
    • iFit® Bluetooth® Smart Enabled compatible (subscription sold separately)
    • Heart Rate Measurement: EKG hand pulse sensors, Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver with chest strap optional
    • Oversized, cushion seat adjustable vertically and horizontally
    • Ergonomic pedals with adjustable straps
    • Transport Wheels: Yes, front mounted
    • Oversized quick levellers
    • Additional features: CoolAire™ Workout fan, Stereo speakers + music port for iPod/mp3, tablet holder,
    • Dimensions: Length=96cm (37.8”), Width=54cm (21.3”), Height=161cm (63.4”)
    • Maximum User Weight: 130kg (286.6lbs)
    • Product Weight: 30kg (66lbs)
    • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase for 2nd year coverage)

ProForm 225 CSX Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 225 CSX Exercise Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Comfortable saddle
  • Interactive training options (subscription required)
  • Good range of onboard workouts

The Cons

  • No water bottle holder
  • Not possible to adjust handlebars
  • At 26kg, it feels a little bit lightweight
ProForm 225 CSX Exercise Bike Reviewer Ratings

 

Appearance - 7.5
Smoothness - 7
Comfort - 7
Programmes - 8
Ease Of Use - 7.5
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 5
Best Price

Currently available for £329.00 from ProForm

Also see our Exercise Bike Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

Exercise Bikes We Like

Under £250

£251 - £500

Over £500