ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Review

The ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike is a recumbent exercise bike from the people who have a very good reputation in treadmills.

Which you’d hope they can live up to with their bikes.

We’ll see if they do.

This bike has some great features. A seat that can be adjusted to fit the bike properly to people of various sizes.

Plus there is 22 levels of magnetic resistance, 24 pre-set workouts for variety and guidance and a range of accessories such as speakers, fan and media shelf.

As well as that it needs to be quiet and dependable. Then there is just how fluid and smooth the pedaling is.

In my review I look at just how all these features and quality of the bike combine to provide a workout that is gentle on the joints and provides good support for the back.

In a hurry? >>>
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Let’s take a look at how it measures up.

Sturdiness

Weighing in at 150 lbs this is a solid bike with steel frame and stabilizer bars. There should be no shaking or wobbling as you exercise. Nor should there be any annoying creaks at any level of intensity.

You can just get on with working out and if you have the TV on or palying music, so you can enjoy that without interruption.

If the bike does rock a little due to an uneven floor there are 2 levelers on the rear stabilizer that you can turn to balance up the bike. They work in the same way as you can find on a washing machine.

The limited warranty covers the frame for lifetime and parts and labor for one year.

At present there is only one customer review and they’ve only had it a short period so it’s not possible to see how it has stood up to use in people’s homes yet.

Adjustability

It does say that the seat is adjustable to fit any leg length (I assume adult leg length).

I have asked the company for clarification on this as most bikes do have a lower and upper limit – normally around 5ft 2 ins and 6ft 3 ins.

The bike has an easy adjustment method for moving the seat.

There is a lever under the seat that you push down to release the seat and then move it back and forth while on the seat to get it in to the right position. Once there you pull the lever to lock it into place.

It will only take a few seconds to do this so it can be used by multiple users to get their workout.

Resistance

The 22 levels of magnetic resistance are controlled using the up/down buttons and quick jump buttons on the console when riding in manual mode.

When following one of the pre-set programs the resistance is adjusted automatically as you progress through your workout.

If the resistance on a workout program is not at the level you want you can change it using the resistance buttons on the console.

The up/down buttons move the resistance up/down one level at a time. The quick jump buttons can move the resistance to one of 11 levels with one push – the levels are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22. It does transition to the new level rather than jumping

The resistance is quiet and there is no requirement for ongoing maintenance.

It starts out low and moves up in increments to hard. It means those who want low resistance can use the bike to get started as well as those who want something that will challenge them.

The transition between levels will be smooth without any sudden increases or decreases in resistance.

Drive Type

It has a belt drive and flywheel inside the shroud. This provides a quiet and low maintenance pedaling motion.

It has a freewheel clutch which is like you have on an outdoor bike where when you slow down your pedaling the flywheel disengages so the pedals don’t get pulled around by the flywheel when you want to stop pedaling. It makes stopping easier on the joints.

It still provides the round pedaling motion so you don’t get any choppiness which might add impact to it due to inertia weighted flywheel being able to keep the speed consistent at the higher levels of resistance.

The cover helps to prevent injuries to pets and children as well as stop damage to these parts

Pedals

The pedals screw into a 3 piece crank which provides a more secure and durable experience that should stand up to the most intense workouts without any maintenance issues.

The pedals are textured and have straps to keep your feet in place as you pedal. Once adjusted for your shoe size you can just slide your feet into place provided the strap adjustment hasn’t been changed.

It is a plastic strap with holes along it that are fitted over a tab on the pedal to make the adjustment.

With these type of straps it can be a little tough to fit them over the tabs initially until the plastic softens a little. But once adjusted you can just slip your feet in each time you use the bike

Comfort

Seat. It is an oversized padded seat with padded back rest to provide comfort and support as you workout. There isn’t any contouring but most people should find this a comfortable seat and gives good support to the lumbar region.

The backrest is angled slightly to provide more support and comfort. The angle or vertical position can’t be changed.

You may find despite the cushioning that you find yourself uncomfortable or experiencing pain that cuts short your workout or ability to “enjoy” it. If that is the case most people find a small cushion and/or folded up towel adds the comfort needed to make it a much better experience.

The bike has an easy step through design so you don’t have to lift your foot up over the frame.

You can also use the handlebars at the front to help in supporting you as you get on and off the seat.

Handlebars. The bike has two sets of handlebars one set by the console at the front of the bike and the other set is by the seat. As well as being helpful to get on and off the bike the set at the front give you a more upright position to exercise in for a more effective overall workout.

Unlike most recumbent exercise bikes the hand pulse sensors are in the handlebars at the front of the bike. The positioning of the handlebars does mean you shouldn’t have to lean forward off the backrest to grip them. It also does mean there is less wiring running through the bike.

The set by the seat are at the height of the seat so shouldn’t get in the way while you exercise. It does mean you can probably slide into the seat without too much trouble. They do have grip on the end to make them easy to hold when hands get wet. The height of them is reasonable to be able to use as leverage when pushing hard pedaling.

Noise. The bike is going to operate very quietly. It will be quiet enough to hear the TV without turning it up. It won’t disturb others in the house and unless they are very light sleepers you should be workout while they are a sleep so you can fit it around your hours of work etc.

If you live in apartment you won’t disturb your neighbors like you might do with a treadmill. If you do have some concern about anyone living below you then a rubber exercise mat should stop any vibration or noise that might arise from transmitting through the floor.

Cleaning. There isn’t too much cleaning involved with this bike. It does need to be wiped down to stop sweat from damaging the bike as this can be very corrosive. Sweat may also drop onto the floor. If you want to protect your floor you may want to put the bike on rubber exercise mat.

Storage

It needs an area of 25.4 by 56.8 for storage, so won’t fit in most closets. It is likely if you can’t leave it in place that the best place to store it is against a wall.

It is a heavy bike weighing in at 150 lbs but you don’t have to lift it to move it along the same floor level, but you probably don’t want to be moving it up or down stairs that often.

The end caps on the front stabilizer work as transport wheels which makes them easier to tip the bike to use them. You do this by using the handle on the back stabilizer bars. As much of the weight is at the front of the bike.

It doesn’t take too much effort to do this and won’t have to lift it too high to have the wheels working. You can then move the bike to where you want it.

One person can do this but a little care needs to be taken due to the weight even if most of it is supported by the wheels at the front.

You should not have any issues on most surfaces except very soft carpet or carpets with a deep pile where you may find it is more of a drag then roll.

Also if moving across a wood floor you may want to test it out to ensure the wheels don’t scratch the floor before moving it all the way across the floor.

Assembly

The bikes comes partly assembled.

To finish the assembly is straightforward and can be completed within 1 to 2 hours.

In addition to the tools supplied you need a Phillips screwdriver and adjustable wrench.

You can do this on your own but it is heavy so it is much easier having a second person to help with holding pieces in place as you fix them to the frame (the manual recommends two people).

The instructions and diagrams are clear. The most difficult parts, aside from the weight are likely to be ensuring you don’t pinch the wires as you attach the front support and console.

You are adding the major pieces of the seat, pedals, console etc. to the frame and drive which have already been assembled which makes it easier than most kitset furniture.

ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Console

It has a nice looking display but doesn’t provide you with the same type of workout progress that you see on other recumbent exercise bikes that have pre-set programs i.e. a matrix display with columns at different heights showing you where you are up to and what is to come with the columns signifying time segments and height letting you know the resistance level for that segment.

Instead it has a dial in the center of the console for displaying measures and progress.
On the left of the dial are up/down buttons for inputting your weight, selecting temp pre-set programs and recovery button for use when using manual option

To the right of the dial is Bluetooth button for connecting to smart devices with the iFit App and smart heart rate monitors. Below this is a manual button for going direct into a manual workout, next down is the button for selecting the interval programs and then there is interval button to use when using the manual option

The +/- buttons inside the dial is where you set a power target based on watts per kg. If you set one a segment of the power ring will flash to let you know if you need to increase or decrease pace to maintain target output.

The display button allows you to select the measures you want to see displayed inside the dial.

The ring at the edge of the dial graphically indicates power output.

The measures displayed individually in the center are calories, distance, pace, heart rate (if monitoring your heart or pulse), resistance level, time (elapsed or remaining) or watts. By pressing the display button you can scroll through the measures or if you select scan it rotate through the numbers displaying each for a few seconds.

It has 12 tempo programs and 12 interval programs you can select using the tempo button and interval button respectively on either side of the measures dial. The manual doesn’t provide information on the individual profiles.

They work in the usual way where the resistance is changed automatically as you move through the program and prompts you to keep to a target watts output (power based on resistance and RPM).

As well as those there is the manual option where you can just get on the bike and change resistance as you go or set up your own custom program. You can set up your own intervals that will repeat if you want using the recovery/interval buttons and the resistance buttons to determine levels as well as a power output target.

When choosing any of the options you are asked to set your weight which you use the up/down weight buttons if you want or it uses the default of 150 lbs.

The dial shows your power in terms of watts per kilogram that colors in as you increase output and erases as output decreases – there are 3 segments to this dial endurance, tempo and peak.

To select a pre-set workout you push either the tempo or interval buttons repeatedly until you get to the workout you want. The programs are split into time segments of 1 minute long where there is set resistance and a target power set (for motivation only). The workouts last for a pre-determined time that you can’t change.

Apart from time showing remaining time left rather than elapsed there is nothing to track else to track progress through workout (you do have all the measures available).

There is plenty of choice but the information on each of the workouts is lacking as you don’t know how long they are or the resistance profile to get an idea how hard each one might be. They’re not described in the downloadable manual. Seems to be a bit of an oversight as you can’t see them on the display.

The measures of distance and speed can be shown in English or metric

After several minutes of inactivity the console will turn off and reset itself automatically.

If you want to record and track your workouts you can do this manually or download the iFit App on to a smart device and then pair with your bike. This doesn’t give you extra pre-set workouts but does allow you to track and record workouts as long as enter calories etc. to help track your overall fitness too.

To use heart rate monitor you have to grip both hand pulse sensors on the handlebars (by the console) or using a bluetooth compatible heart strap (which needs to be bought separately).

When using the hand pulse sensors you need to grip them both and if you take a hand off it loses signal, so you need to keep them on the whole time for consistent reading. In addition many people find these type of sensors difficult to get a good reliable reading anyway. That is just the way with them unfortunately.

Heart rate straps do tend to be more reliable and convenient – your hands don’t have to be “fixed” to the handlebars

To connect a Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate monitor involves pressing the Bluetooth smart button on the top right of the console and that will connect them together. You then can have a more reliable monitor of your heart rate to help with exercising at the most effective rate for your fitness goals.

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight of the bike are

Height 49.8 ins
Width 25.4 ins
Length 56.8 ins

Bike Weight 150 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs

Accessories

The bike comes with some good accessories for a more convenient workout.

Water Bottle Holder – At the end of the drive shroud closest to the seat is the water bottle holder. It puts it in a handy position to reach for it when you want to take drink.

Media Tray. At the top is a tray that you can place in tablets and ipads. It holds them securely and can be turned to the angle you want to use your tablet at. Being at the top of the console it means you can still your workout progress while enjoying your videos etc.

Fan. At the bottom of the console is a fan that is multi speed. You adjust the speed by pushing the fan button just above it to the left.

Speakers. These are on both sides of the console. To use them you plug your media device into the audio jack on the with a male to male audio cable (needs to be supplied separately). You need to press play and select track using your media player, but to adjust the volume you can either do it on your player or use volume buttons on the console.

Pros

  • Levelers to balance out the bike
  • It is very easy to assemble
  • It is a very quiet bike
  • Step through design for easy access
  • Has a good number of accessories for a more convenient workout
  • Can use a bluetooth heart rate monitor to monitor heart rate on console
  • You can use the free to download IFit App to track and record your workouts
  • Good range of resistance from easy to difficult
  • Can be quickly and easy adjusted to fit a range of heights
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame

Cons

  • No track record with customers to judge durability and reliability in the real world
  • If there is a power outage you can’t use the bike as you can’t change the resistance
  • It doesn’t work with IFit premium which gives you more selection of workouts using google maps but there is an annual fee
  • Doesn’t have a charger for your media players
  • Console doesn’t provide a graphical workout profile of pre-set workouts
  • Can’t set up your own user profile for more relevant measures on the bike but can use iFit App to do this

ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings

ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Review

On a previous model the 315 CSX reviews are mixed with 30% rating the bike a 1 or 2 due in the main to problems with repair issues when out of warranty.

And it seems the company charging almost as much for parts as it does for the bike.

Most of the issues did seem to be when the bike is out of warranty.

It does seem the bikes aren’t as reliable as their treadmills.

We shall see – at least it’s started off on the right foot.

When there are some more reviews I’ll come back and update this section.

It seems things didn’t get better with there being problems with customer service and the issues with being forced to subscribe to iFit. This definitley should have been obvious from the description.

ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Price

Included in the price are a range of accessories as well as pre-set programs which at current price provides pretty good value compared to other bikes with similar features and benefits.

Click here to check latest availability and pricing at Amazon:
Proform 325 CSX Recumbent Bike

Summary

It has some very good features for a comfortable low impact workout and keeping track of them
I think based on the reviews of the previous bike I unfortunately do have some reservations about how durable the Proform 325 CSX Recumbent Bike is likely to be.

If you do buy it is worth checking out an extended service/ protection plan of some sort for peace of mind based on the experience with the previous model. (I’m not usually a fan of these type of policies but in this case it probably is worth it).

As an alternative you might consider the well rated Schwinn 270 ( but it is can be more) or the Ironman X-Class 410 (again can be more) with similar features but they don’t work with iFit App.

It does depend really on how important the iFit App is to you and the more affordable price as to whether the bike is the right one for you.

20 comments for “ProForm 325 CSX Recumbent Bike Review

  1. July 28, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    It looks so comfortable too!

    • warren
      December 1, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      I just bought one and find it is very good value for money, being 5″ 11″ and quite heavy, the machine doesn’t move and is very quiet.
      IFIT is a big let down, you have to subscribe to IFIT,PERHAPS pro-form could come to an agreement with IFIT
      With Bluetooth you can still connect to your laptop and get info
      Its very comfortable

      • Paul
        January 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

        Thanks for this. It is very much appreciated. Pity about IFIT though.

  2. Chris Christian
    November 26, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Just purchased this on 11/25/17. Was looking forward to having same luck as other users. On the surface the bike looks great. Assembly was ok except for the slider for the seat adjustment. I spent two hours trying to figure out what the problem was. Eventually I had to completely dismantle the slider assembly and discovered the plastic brake was assembled or flipped in the wrong direction.

    The bike isn’t so silent. I am hearing a rattle noise when pedaling. After reviewing the documentation it is clear what the issue is. “Made In China” excellent job pro-form on your outsourcing. <<Not really I'm disgusted. The durability of the equipment and how it is made is poor. Just putting it together very carefully resulted in chipped paint.

    For anyone giving this product higher than 6 out of 10 needs to get your eyes checked or you just don't know how to rate a product. I'm giving this product a 5. I'm very fair when writing reviews. This isn't a top end stationary but for 449.00 the materials should be better. I will be contacting pro-form for the rattling issue which is completely unacceptable.

    • Paul
      January 9, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      Sorry to hear about your troubles. Thanks for taking the time for rating and posting this. I hope you got your rattling problem sorted with ProForm.

      • John
        May 6, 2018 at 6:55 pm

        I’ve just bought one and am also having problems with the seat / brake. The seat lever is shown in diagrams and photos as being parallel with the frame but the lever on my bike hangs down loosely and does not lock the seat in place.

        • Paul
          June 1, 2019 at 1:08 pm

          That’s not good. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Diane
    March 31, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I am on my third re-order. Yes, you read that right. The two previous orders came damaged-when unpacked broken parts were all over! I was hesitant to reorder for the third time, but was told it will be hand picked. If it comes damaged once again, I give up! Very disappointed as I had planned on using the bike over a month ago. Instead I have spent countless hours trying to get these bikes returned and having a credit issued. They better come up with some suitable compensation or they will be receiving some very bad reviews from me, which would result in lost revenue for them.

    • Paul
      September 3, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      That’s not good. I hope it was third time lucky. Where did you buy it from?

  4. Sean Irealnd
    August 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

    While the bike is well constructed and comfortable to ride there are some significant problems. I got mine about three months ago, purely for weight loss rather than any serious exercise regime. Like others I had an immediate problem with the seat assembly – the brake was in upside-down and even after reversing the seat tends to rock a bit during use. Basically I can’t can’t adjust the seat once set as it will cause the whole unit to shake. The upright handlebar unit is very solid and nuts are tightened fully but it rocks quite a lot. The biggest drawback is the computer’s shortcomings. It has no memory function worth talking about. After use the unit switches off automatically after a few minutes and if I return 15 minutes later I have to re-enter the weight details again. I’ve stopped doing that because all it does is tell how many calories you’ve burned – nor is there an odometer electronic or otherwise to tell you total distance travelled – basically once the computer auto switches off everything is lost. There is the option of adding the iFit via bluetooth but I don’t see why I should have to pay extra for something which should be standard – my aunt had a basic non-computerised bike 20 years ago which had a speedometer / odometer and it cost a fraction of the price. In general the Pro-Form 325 CSX would be an excellent bike if the seat issue could be sorted out and a computer that actually store key data and the user’s use history .

    • Paul
      August 15, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks for letting us know about the problems with the seat. I agree the computer is a disappointing that it doesn’t store your details and workouts and a basic Ifit account should be included with the bike.

    • Colin
      October 5, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      Just assembled one, the seat adjustment is a big issue, my lever just hangs down and the is nothing to lock it in the up position, i would have thought there was a modification for this by now. Will try cuistomer servic3 tomorrow

      • Paul
        November 29, 2019 at 7:56 pm

        A bit late in response but just in case – did you manage to get this sorted with the help of custoemr service.

  5. Kev G
    September 12, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Just purchased this machine having same problem with adjustment / brake not holding. Very disappointed as I spent nearly 4 hours trying to put it together and sort the problem out, not sorted.

    • Paul
      December 3, 2019 at 7:38 pm

      Sorry to read about your issue. I hope you managed to get it sorted in the end and are getting use out of the bike. Thanks for letting us know about it.

  6. Tom
    September 25, 2019 at 12:34 am

    ProForm 325 CSX Exercise Bike

    Just got mine and the console will only show “hello”…no matter what buttons I push. Any ideas?

  7. Colin
    October 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Had the problem with the seat adjuster handle, found that if you pull it up really hard it stays up in the locked position level with the seat. This is the position shown in most of the drawings.
    You then have to push it down to unlock it so now its ok

    • Paul
      November 30, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Great. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. R. Williams
    February 25, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I Purchased my Pro-Form 325 CSX on 21/11/19. unfortunately I like many other’s on this site had trouble with the adjustment / locking seat brake not holding. Even had to remove all the paint and d-bur the locking arm so it would fit. My lever like others, just hangs down. After spending hours I rang the customer service (icon UK) They informed me that they would order the parts and the engineer will receive them in 3 to 5 working days, and get in touch. That was their answer on two more phone calls, 3 – 5 days! Eventually after, an email and a visit to the shop. (they were very helpful, and chased it up). The engineer arrived on the 3rd of February 2020. Apparently the engineer knew what the problem was before even seeing the machine, as he had had seen this problem before. The instruction are not very clear, the bar does hang down when not locked, the first couple of locks it does make a bang when releasing, but that soon goes. So I have now been billed by icon UK for £102 as “the engineer has advised that the issue was not a manufacturing defect, rather a fitting issue. Unfortunately, as assembly errors are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, this engineer intervention wouldn’t be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The engineer intervention fee is of 102 GBP, which can be paid by contacting us on the below phone number.”

    So be aware, you have to pull the handle up very hard, you might get a bang for a couple of times. And it doesn’t look right hanging down. But they know about it, so it should be in the instructions! I have never come across such a unhelpful support centre as the above and I hope I never do. Stay clear of the Pro-Form 325 CSX.

    • Paul
      February 25, 2020 at 6:29 pm

      Sorry to hear about your issues with the bike and being charged too. They should update the instruction and let customer service know too. Thanks for taking the time to inform us about the issue. (I hope the bike is working properly now.)

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