Currently available for £1999.00 from Amazon.co.uk
ProForm Le Tour De France Indoor Cycle Review
Proform home fitness machines have always packed a huge amount of punch for the money being asked, consistently delivering high specs and lots of features that other brands struggle to match. We heard lots of things about their original Tour De France bike but never actually got the chance to get out hands on one. That bike’s no longer available as it’s been replaced by the all new ProForm Le Tour De France Indoor Cycle which presented an opportunity we weren’t going to pass up!
Once of the first things we noticed looking through the manual is that this is a bike, as the name would suggest, built to endure some serious punishment – the max user weight is 153kg, that’s over 25 stone! That’s simply huge for a bike and is a good indicator of just how sturdy a piece of kit will be. Promising start on paper then!
Assembly was the next thing and was very straight forward though did include some more unusual steps to the norm such as applying grease (supplied in box) to the seat post and pulling wires through the front post. Other than that it went together easily enough with all the parts fitting together perfectly which again is another good indicator of the quality of a machine.
Aesthetically the bike looks like it’s from the future! With casing kept to an absolute minimum you can see lots of the bike, it’s almost like an exoskeleton with flywheel exposed. It’s different from anything else out there at the time of writing this review and in our opinion presses all the right buttons. It’s a Tour De France bike, and it really does look the part.
There are a number of adjustments that can be made to ensure that you get into just the right position on the bike. The handlebars adjust vertically with the whole front post moving up and down and also horizontally with the main bar sliding directly towards and away from you. It’s the same story with the seat and the really nice bit is that none of the adjustments have preset positions meaning you can move them exactly the amount that’s needed to suit you for the ideal fit. Interestingly Proform have opted to stay away from any quick release mechanisms meaning you need to loosen and tighten allen bolts to release and tighten the part’s that you’re moving. While this isn’t ideal if several different people of varying sizes need to use the bike the up-side is that the fixings are incredibly tight and stable allowing for absolutely no movement at all – sturdy? Yes, VERY!
The other thing that really stands out is range of people this bike is suitable for in terms of size. At its lowest setting the saddle height is such that it’s suitable for anyone with an inside leg measurement of just 31inches and at its maximum setting it’s right up to 44 inches. To put that in context, your reviewer is 5ft 11” and the saddle at max height is level with his chest! If you’re tall, you don’t need to worry and if you’re a bit shorter than average, well, you still don’t need to worry as it should be possible to find a nice, comfortable riding position.
So, what does the Tour De France feel like to ride? Well, it feels more like a real bike than an exercise bike. The whole set up really does feel like a ‘racer’ and the only thing it’s missing in this regarding is the ability to lean left and right like a real road bike does when you accelerate hard or go around corners. Other than that the combination of racer style handlebars and pedals, stiff frame, gear paddles, hill simulator (more on all this in a bit) and overall seating position means that it feels good. Really good in fact! The more we played with the Tour De France, the more we liked it.
There are many features on this bike that you simply don’t get on other home bikes. The Tour De France really is as much a simulator as it is an exercise bike. It’s got gears for instance. They take a little getting used to but are quite a lot of fun once you do. They allow you to alter the resistance but as if you’re riding a real bike – the higher the gear, the harder it is to pedal. The great thing is that higher gears also translate into higher speeds shown on the training data as they would do in the real world. There are 33 gears to choose from and your current gear is displayed on the screen at all times during a workout making it easy to select the right gear when going uphill or downhill (though you can turn this off in the settings if you like). Speaking of uphill and downhill the Tour de France has a motorised incline/decline function so that as you’re cycling up or down hill, the whole bike tilts forward and backward and when this combines with sharp increase or decrease in resistance based on whether you’re going up or downhill, the effect is an accomplished one.
As you might expect, being a flagship model from Proform the Tour de France comes with iFit live built into the 7” full colour touch-screen display and a 12 month subscription. For full information of all the things that iFit Live can do check out https://www.ifit.com/ there are too many features on iFit Live for us to delve into here but you can do various types of workout including training workouts to target personal goals, compete against other opponents in the iFit Live community and you can also map out your cycling routes on Google Maps opening up the possibility of cycling just about any route you like on the planet!
Talking about cycling routes brings us nicely onto the Tour de France itself! There are 21 stages to choose from. Once a stage is selected you can enter a target average speed and then start the stage. Again this makes use of Google Maps and you can choose between street view, satellite view or map view to monitor your progress. Depending on whether you’re going uphill or downhill the incline will automatically adjust and you can use the gears as you would a real, on-the-road, bicycle. In addition to the Tour de France stages, as a separate function and workout, the clever chaps at Proform have actually filmed hi definition videos of routes, which you can cycle along in simulated stages. Put simply these are a lot of fun! There are 3 videos to choose from, just select your stage, do the warm up (or skip it) and you’re off! The video of the route plays back smoothly and while it’s not directly linked to your theoretical cycling speed, after a few minutes you do get the feeling that you’re cycling on the route. It’s a very, very good feature and one that’s bound to keep you interested and motivated to do the next one. We get the feeling that you can add videos but couldn’t work out how so for now we’ll have to advise that it’s limited to 3. Still, even three is three more than anyone else in this marketplace and when combined with the literally limitless map based workouts you can download and create you really are seriously spoiled for choice wit this bike. In addition to the clever videos and map based workouts you can create workouts based on time, calorie burn, distance and watts and set goals for these.
We could keep going on but as this bike is closely linked with iFit Live and the options go on and on (such as scheduling daily workouts, routes, goals, competitions and more) we’ll stop here and just say that the Proform Tour De France bike has a ridiculous amount of training options to choose from and not something you’ll be getting bored with any time soon. It also benefits from built-in speakers and a tablet holder.
All in all, this is a pretty awesome bike and there’s nothing else out there that we’ve tested that’s really quite like it. If you’re looking for something different that oozes quality then your search is over.
We were waiting for something like this to hit the market at anything other than the sort of astronomical price you need to pay for a commercial version - and here it is. Programmes galore, hi-def videos, preset routes with option to download more, limitless customisable routes, iFit Live membership, good for lots of different shapes and sizes and built very well. What's not to like? If you're looking for a cycling simulator at an affordable price then you've found one in the Tour De France. We loved it and are happy to recommend it. :)
ProForm Le Tour De France Specifications
- Flywheel Weight: 12kg (26.5lbs)
- Resistance: Intelligent Wind Resistance
- Console Display: 7’’ full-colour touch display
- Console Feedback: Distance, speed, time, calories, heart rate, incline/decline
- Programmes: 24 tour workouts (including HD video workouts)
- Heart Rate Measurement: BLE and ANT+ Compatible Wireless Heart Rate Receiver (Chest Strap optional)
- iFit Live Compatible: Yes (One Year Subscription Included)
- Audio: Music Port Compatible with iPod® or MP3 player + Intermix Acoustics 2.0 speakers
- Seat: Adjustable with a replaceable saddle
- Pedals: With toe cages and straps
- Bottle Holder: Dual
- Levelling Feet: Yes
- Transport Wheels: Yes
- Product Dimensions: Length=163cm (64‘’), Width=64cm (25‘’), Height=143cm (56‘’)
- Dimensions Folded: Length=130cm (51‘’), Width=38cm (15‘’), Height=78cm (30.7‘’)
- Product Weight: 64kg (141lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 159kg (350lbs)
- Warranty: 2 year parts and labour (must register within 28 days to get 2nd year)
ProForm Le Tour De France Indoor Cycle - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £1999.00 from Amazon.co.uk
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