Currently available for £1599.00 from John Lewis
ProForm Tour de France TDF Pro 5.0 Indoor Cycle Review
If you’re in the market for a home indoor cycle then it’s almost inconceivable that you won’t have come across bikes made by Proform at some point. Proform is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of home fitness equipment and has been building home exercise equipment for longer than a lot of its customers have been alive! With something in their range to suit just about everyone they deal in everything from base entry-level models right the way through to top end high-spec bikes loaded with goodies. Their Tour de France TDF Pro 5.0 indoor bike arrived on our doorstep on a rainy afternoon courtesy of a grumpy delivery driver who gave a good impression of someone who spent his days driving from one place to another convincing himself that delivering goods to people was most definitely not the job of a delivery driver 🙂 Had to mention that, you know who you are!!!…. ANYWAY……..
Despite the less than content demeanour of our delivery driver, the box was immaculate on delivery and the contents in perfect condition. This is in no small part due to the fact that Proform makes sure that this bike is packaged properly and removing the packaging is probably around a 3rd of the whole job of assembly. The assembly itself is simple enough and can be done by one person, though the instructions do recommend two people for the job. The manual is clear and easy to read and all in all the time from the moment the TDF Pro 5.0 arrived at the door to moment of being able to start a workout was less than an hour.
Once built up the TDF Pro 5.0 looks great with racing style seat, handlebars and pedals and thick gauge steel. Looking at it it’s immediately obvious that this isn’t an ordinary run of the mill spin bike and features such as the 10” internet-enabled touchscreen display, exposed rear flywheel and the really do make it look a bit special. Just before jumping on for the first time it’s important to get things set up correctly so taking the time to use the leg levellers to get the bike absolutely flat is really worth it. It only takes a couple of minutes and once adjusted and fully level this heavy-set bike feels as solid as a tank.
Riding adjustments include the saddle, horizontal and vertical, and the handlebars which also adjust horizontally and vertically. The rotation of the racer handlebars is also adjustable so these can be turned towards or away from you until it’s easy and natural to reach the gear shift paddles and brakes on each side. As the vertical adjustments on both the handlebars and the saddle run along angled lines rather than vertical ones, adjusting the height also changes the size of the frame. All in all, there’s a ton of ways of getting comfy on this bike and it really does allow you to quickly get a superb riding position that’s pretty close to a real road bike. Unlike some other TDF models in the range, the Pro 5.0 makes use of quick release levers for the seat and handlebar adjustments, apart, that is, from the horizontal adjustment on the handlebars which needs to be done via a screw adjustment that requires a tool rather than a quick release lever. Quite why this is the case we’re not sure, but a guess would be added stability as there are two screws fixing here on the join rather than the one you’d expect to see if a quick release lever was used. Quite incredibly the customisation options don’t end there for in addition to the positionally related adjustments that can be made, it’s also possible to calibrate the gears, both front and rear! This isn’t a step that needs to be done in order to get started, but if you’re intent on copying your road bike setup as closely as possible then this is a feature you’re going to want to know about and it’s definitely approaching the category of harcore – there’s even a note in bold in the manual suggesting that one should consult a road cycling book before playing around with these settings!
Something worth noting is that while the riding position is very comfortable once you’ve set the bike up, not everyone will get on with the racing saddle that comes as standard. This is, of course, a racing bike first and foremost so it makes perfect sense to include a racing saddle but if you’re not used to riding a bike you should probably be prepared to be a little saddle sore until you become accustomed to the bike. Also, if you’re the sort of rider that’s interested in playing around with the gear ratios then there’s a strong possibility that you also have specific requirements for your saddle. The good news for those that really can’t get on with the stock saddle is that it’s possible to swap it with one purchased from your local cycle shop as the fittings are standard. This is definitely an option that some riders both new and experienced alike will very be glad to have. In addition, the pedals on the TDF Pro 5.0 use a standard thread so if you have SPD pedals you want to fit, that’s no problem at all either.
Take the time to set TDF Pro 5.0 up correctly and your reward is a machine that you’ll be able to push yourself hard on, and push hard you will want to because the way the console interacts with the mechanics on this bike is engaging and really quite a lot of fun. There are 24 preset workouts, a manual mode and a selection of high definition video workouts. The preset workouts are divided into various categories such as goal or weight loss and the manual mode is just that. Pretty standard stuff, and then we come to the video workouts and that’s where the experience of this bike starts to shine. Select one of the high definition workout videos and you’ll find yourself cycling a section of the actual Tour de France. As you start to climb a hill on the screen, the resistance increases to match the angle of the slope that you’re looking at and at the same time the entire frame of the bike will also tilt backwards to match the angle of the slope. If it gets too hard, you have the option of changing down the gears in order to maintain your cadence, just as you would a road bike. The same thing happens in reverse when going down a hill and as the frame can tilt both ways up to a significant 20 degrees the rider is left thoroughly immersed in the ride. In fact, we had so much fun on this that we were almost left wondering why anyone would bother with the other workouts 🙂 Accessing all the menus and selecting your workout is all done via that 10″ full-colour touch screen display making operating this indoor cycle feel as easy as using a tablet. This really elevates this bike and how it feels to use, setting it apart from the overwhelming majority of indoor cycles on the market.
If all that wasn’t enough, the console on the TDF Pro 5.0 is also iFit compatible. Amongst many other things iFit allows you to set your own cycling routes using Google maps (which also simulates hills), to download additional personalised training workouts, to compete against other cyclists on the same routes, to upload your training data into the iFit cloud and track your progress and accomplishments, to download additional high definition cycling videos, and also get advice on diet and sleep. It does more than this but there’s no room in this review to cover everything so for more information visit the iFit website. iFit is a subscription based service however the first year is included with the purchase of this model so you can get started using it straight away without paying a penny for the first 12 months.
Other features include a water bottle holder, tablet holder and transport wheels. The wheels are more important on this cycle than on other models as it’s much too heavy to easily move around by way of lifting. The large wheels at the front make switching the location of the TDF Pro 5.0 a non-issue. Last but not least the TDF Pro 5.0 is covered by Proform’s 2 years parts and labour warranty.
This isn’t a cheap bike, not at all. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good value for money. In our opinion, this really is worth every penny if you’re in the market for an indoor cycle. The build quality, the training options and the sheer amount of detail you can dive into should you choose to make this a very impressive bit of kit that wouldn’t be out of place in any home gym.
If you're looking to slim down with some gentle exercise once a week then this isn't the bike for you. If on the other hand you love riding your bike on the road and want to replicate the experience as much as possible, then this definitely a good choice. But, before you push that buy button it's worth checking out the NordicTrack Commercial S10i which comes from the same manufacturer, has a 20% incline/10% decline, shares many of the features of the TDF 5.0 but comes with a 12 month iFit subscription included, a better warranty, and is available for the price of a weekend getaway for less than the TDF 5.0. Another alternative if you like the look of the TD5.0 but can't justify the budget is the Proform TDF 1.0 which is a scaled-back version of the TDF5.0 but one that retains the core essence of the Tour De France range.
ProForm Tour de France TDF Pro 5.0 Specifications
- 9.5 kg Inertia Enhanced flywheel; freewheel clutch
- Resistance: 30 gears (triple front chainring and 10 rear gear speeds) with computer controlled SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance
- Incline: 0-20%, computer controlled
- Decline: -20-0%, computer controlled
- Console Display: 10” Web-enabled touchscreen with Power Meter
- Console Feedback: incline/decline level, time, calories burned, calories per hour, distance, speed, heart rate, resistance, Watts – several display modes are available
- Programmes: 24 pre-set workout apps with HD video workouts
- Heart Rate Measurement: Bluetooth® Smart wireless heart rate receiver (chest strap optional)
- iFit® Coach Ready™ (* comes with a 12 month subscription)
- Audio: stereo speakers + music port fot mp3/iPod
- Seat: Horizontally and vertically adjustable racing seat
- Pedals: ergonomic with toe cages and adjustable straps
- Dual water bottle holder
- Levellers: Adjustable levelling feet
- Transport Wheels: Yes, front-mounted
- Multi-position, non-slip handlebars
- Product Dimensions: Length=163cm (64.2‘’), Width=64cm (25.2‘’), Height=143cm (56.3‘’)
- Product Weight: 64kg (141lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
- Warranty: 2 year parts, frame and labour (must register within 28 days of purchase)
ProForm Tour de France TDF Pro 5.0 Indoor Cycle - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £1599.00 from John Lewis
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