Currently available for £899.00 from ProForm
ProForm Tour de France TDF 1.0 Indoor Cycle Review
With a long history of producing well designed, feature rich, quality home fitness machines Proform are one of the largest players in the global home fitness market. Their current range of exercise bikes covers all the bases from entry level right through to bikes designed for serious enthusiasts. To see what they’ve currently got on offer outside of the industry standard bikes we turned our attention to the ProForm Tour de France TDF 1.0 Indoor Cycle. The bikes in the Tour de France range we’ve reviewed before have been pretty good but how did the entry level model stack up? Here’s what we found….
Assembly took just over 40 minutes and was very straight-forward. The most fiddly bit was threading the cables through the main post at the front though fiddly isn’t the same is complicated or difficult. The manual is very clear, the list of parts small and effort involved really quite minimal and while the manual clearly states this is a two person job most people will be able to manage the assembly without the help of a second person.
Looks-wise the TDF 1.0 is clearly part of the Tour de France family of Proform bikes and looks like a ‘racer’. It’s got clean lines and a heavy-duty, machine-like quality to it that immediately makes you feel as if this bike is just waiting to be hammered. It’s modern but also looks tough and wouldn’t look out of place in a gym, even though it’s intended for home use.
Once assembled the first thing to do before getting on is to set up your riding position which is made all the easier by the quick release mechanism for the seat and handlebars which both adjust horizontally and vertically. While the number of adjustments is more than enough to allow you to get a really good riding position it’s the amount you can adjust each element by that really stood out. All 4 members of the team (who vary a great deal in physical stature) that tried the test unit found it easy to get a comfortable position literally within a minute or two. This is an all-important aspect – if you can’t get the right position after buying an exercise bike then in 6 months or less you simply won’t be using it anymore and it’s likely that your bike will join the legions of “hardly used, almost brand new”other exercise bikes up for auction on eBay!
We kicked off proceedings by ignoring the bit where you enter your weight and just getting on and starting to pedal (which automatically selects the manual mode) to simply ‘go for a ride’. Entering your weight will give you more accurate training feedback but we were just too keen to get going to bother for the purposes of our test but it’s definitely a worthwhile thing to take the time to do this if you’re serious about your training. There some immediate, very obvious and very entertaining differences between the TDF 1.0 and other traditional exercise bikes here. Firstly, resistance isn’t called resistance, it’s called incline which is an absolutely accurate way of describing things because this bike has 15% actual incline (and also 15 % decline). Increase this and not only does it get harder to pedal but the entire frame of the bike tilts upwards! This mechanism is driven by a motor and the whole angle of the bike changes as if you are riding uphill as well as using magnetic resistance to increase the difficulty. In addition to the incline there are also 26 digital gears with the +/- gear buttons located on both left and right handlebars that work in the same way as a normal road bike. Find the going too tough on your hill and you can use the paddles to shift down gears maintaining the incline of the bike while still making it easier to pedal. If you’re on a decline setting heading downhill and the going is too easy just shift up through the gears to increase the difficulty (and inevitably your road speed). The result is just brilliant and within reason really does feel like you’re really cycling up or downhill.
The digital gears and the incline/decline function are, in themselves, enough to make the TDF1.0 a viable option for a bike that’ll keep you entertained but this is a Proform machine and they were never going to stop there and build a bike that you just get on and ride. In addition to the manual mode there are 24 preset workouts and a manual interval training setting which are selected via the console. For those who like their interval training the console features a ‘Work’ and a ‘Recovery’ button which you set the criteria for yourself. For Work, simply set the desired incline level to a setting that’ll make you break a sweat and then press and hold the Work button until it beeps. Then set the incline level to one that’ll give you a breather while still having to do some work and press and hold the Recovery button until it beeps. Having done this you’ve now programmed those two buttons to your own settings and all you have to do is press either one to revert back to the pre-programmed settings. Your power output in realtime is displayed on the screen by way of the bright LED power output dial. Your target for power output is displayed on the screen at all times. This is such a simple idea and in practice it’s excellent. As long as you strive to hit (and ideally hit) the target shown on the screen, you’re guaranteed to get a great workout. Press work to work hard, press recover to recover and back and forth as often as you like. It’s quick, easy and effective and holds real appeal to those who like their interval training. As you’d expect the 24 preset programmes divided into ‘Temp’ and ‘Interval’ categories with both taking you through a wide range of workouts ranging from easy to seriously challenging. With the incline changes automatically you do still have control over the gears so it’s easy to adjust the difficulty while still maintaining your power output on the gauge. The LED display is really nice and clear with nice large characters on the screen making it easy to see your training feedback which includes Calories, distance (mi/km), gear, incline, pace, pulse, rpm, speed (mph/kph), time and Watts so it’s nice and simple to keep an eye on all your training data.
If you want to take things even further you can subscribe to iFit (paid for service) which vastly increases the already large number of training options on this bike. Subscribers to iFit get the added bonus of Google Maps workouts that allow you to map out your own cycling routes on Google Maps, online bike races against other iFit members and personalised advice for nutrition, exercise routines and sleep schedule. iFit is a whole world unto itself and offers far too much to cover in this review but if you want to know more visit the iFit web site for full details.
In terms of add-ons there’s a tablet holder located on top of the console so you can mount your tablet right in front of you while you workout, a water bottle holder and built-in speakers you can plug your music player into. The pedals have toe clips, there are leg levellers so you can make the bike stable on uneven surfaces and Proform have included a Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver, which is always good to see.
If want to ride a bike in your living room and don’t want to spend a fortune the TDF1.0 simply has to be a serious contender. It’s an impressive and entertaining bike that’s got plenty to keep you interested and challenged. It’s easy to use, comfortable and above all, with that power gauge, it’s effective. Built well and just as tough as it looks, something that’s backed up by Proform’s 2 year on-site parts and labour warranty, it’s without doubt a cut above the average exercise bike.
While the TDF1.0 is the entry-level bike in the Tour de France range, it's by no means inferior in build to it's bigger brothers. It's as well built as any bike you'll find in this price range. It's loaded with enough workout options, even without an iFit subscription, to ensure that you're not going to get bored but above all it feels great to use. The 15% incline/decline function is also really good. However, at this point we should point out the NordicTrack Grand Tour. It has a huge range of functions compared to the TDF1.0, including a web-enabled touchscreen console and is a superb machine.
ProForm Tour de France TDF 1.0 Specifications
- 9.5 kg Inertia Enhanced flywheel; freewheel clutch
- Resistance: 26 digital gears with computer controlled SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance
- Incline: 0-15%, Quick Touch controls
- Decline: -15-0%, Quick Touch controls
- Crank: 3-piece crank
- Console Display: Round Watts LED with Endurance, Tempo and Peak zones, with Work and Recovery buttons for Interval Training
- Console Feedback: Calories, distance (mi/km), gear, incline, pace, pulse, rpm, speed (mph/kph), time, Watts
- Programmes: 24 pre-set workout apps
- Heart Rate Measurement: Bluetooth® Smart wireless heart rate receiver (chest strap optional)
- iFit® Bluetooth® Smart Enabled (subscription optional)
- Audio: stereo speakers + music port fot mp3/iPod
- Seat: Oversized cushioned seat, adjustable horizontally and vertically
- Pedals: Extra wide ergonomic, with toe cages and straps
- Water bottle holder
- Levelling Feet: Yes
- Transport Wheels: Yes
- Adjustable handlebars
- Product Dimensions: Length=163cm (64.2‘’), Width=64cm (25.2‘’), Height=143cm (56.3‘’)
- Product Weight: 64kg (141lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
- Warranty: 2 year parts, frame and labour (must register within 28 days of purchase)
ProForm Tour de France TDF 1.0 Indoor Cycle - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £899.00 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