ProForm 325 CSE Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

Proform Fitness are a global manufacturer of fitness equipment with a range that covers everything from small folding bikes right the way to high end machines that would sit comfortably in semi-commercial environments. The 325 CSE is very much aimed at the home market and especially for those seeking a decent elliptical, but have limited space. So, what’s it like to own and use?

As with all budget ellipticals, the 325 CSE arrives flat packed and requires assembly. The instructions take an assembly process that could be daunting for those that have never assembled a machine such as this and break it down into a fairly large number of small steps. The fact that each of the steps has words as well as a diagram to clear explain what needs to be done was great to see. The assembly can be done by one person, but it’d be a fair bit easier to have a 2nd person. In all, it takes about 45 minutes to assemble the machine. The machine is fitted with leg levelers at the back and these should be adjusted to ensure the unit sits without wobbling.

The 325 isn’t likely to win any awards for visual design, but it’s not a bad looking machine. Its standard grey colour will blend in happily into most rooms in which it’d be housed. It looks functional and practical and has a solid enough visual appearance to inspire confidence in using it and not worrying about it being a rickety piece of equipment that would fall apart with use!

Using the machine for the first time is a pleasant surprise: it feels impressively solid and stable and the stride action is impressively smooth. The 9kg flywheel combined with its tweaked gear ratios produce a smooth and steady pedal rotation that we’ve been used to seeing on more expensive models and its feel is certainly much better than most extra compact units that we’ve used on the market. Having followed the assembly instructions carefully and applied the supplied grease, there are no annoying squeaks. The 14″ (36cm) stride is on the short side, so it may not suit very tall users but the smoothness of the motion and the sturdy feel result in being able to give the machine high speed use with confidence.

In terms of the console, it’s more advanced that we’d expected to see on a budget priced elliptical. For those who like things simple, the manual mode couldn’t get simpler: Just turn on the machine and start using it! The resistance can be adjusted using the up and down buttons and in addition, there are 11 dedicated buttons on the console for quick resistance changes. The quick keys are a very pleasant surprise as it’s something we’d simply not expect to see on an elliptical of this sort of level. The console is very much based around interval training and estimating / targeting of the user’s power output (which is measured in Watts). To make proper use of this functionality, you’re given the option of entering your weight when starting up the machine and a round LED display is acting as a power meter to show how much you’re exerting yourself.

The console is also iFit compatible and has an eye-level tablet holder at the top of it. To make use of the iFit functionality, a subscription is needed and thankfully a 12 month subscription is included in the price when you buy this machine. As an iFit subscriber you get the ability to map out your own custom running routes on Google Maps, access to a huge library of hundreds of high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers, the chance to participate in online races against other iFit members and personalised advice for nutrition, exercise routines and sleep schedules.  There’s also a daily updated map based workout that takes you on a different run each day just to keep things interesting.

Additional features include a Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver which provides more reliable heart rate feedback than the older Polar compatible receivers, a water bottle holder, multi-speed fan and a pair of speakers!

So, how does it stack up? Clearly, this machine isn’t targeted at the hardcore gym bunnies, but those looking to improve their fitness levels efficiently through regular exercise at home. It’s compact, quiet, smooth, easy to use with a good range of workout options at an excellent price!

Best Price

The ProForm 325 CSE is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

So, how does this stack up? The 325 CSE is a good little elliptical and does have plenty of features making it a good choice as a general-purpose elliptical for the family. It's got a nice smooth motion, is comfortable to use and is compact enough to be able to fit in just about any room without taking up all the space. It also comes with a 1 year iFit subscription included in the price so you're going to be able to get all the motivation you need. This is a tidy little package that gives you a lot of elliptical without spending the earth to get it and we're happy to recommend it.

ProForm 325 CSE Specifications

  • 9kg (19.8lbs) Effective Inertia flywheel
  • 14” (36cm) stride
  • 20 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR™) with 11 Quick Resistance keys
  • Round Watts LED display with Endurance, Tempo and Peak zones, Work and Recovery buttons for Interval Training
  • Feedback: Speed, time, distance, pace, RPM, calories, watts, resistance and pulse plus scan mode
  • 21 workout programmes (1 manual, 20 pre-set workout apps) + interval training
  • iFit® Bluetooth Smart (BLE) Enabled (12 month iFit subscription included)
  • Heart rate measurement via EKG hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • Soft Touch upper-body workout arms
  • Oversized pedals with several foot position options
  • Compatible music port for iPod/MP3 player + two 2” speakers
  • Extras: bottle holder, tablet holder, adjustable levelling feet, trasportation wheels
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 137cm (53.9″), 66cm (25.9”), 160cm (62.9″)
  • Max. User Weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
  • Product weight: 47kg (103.6lbs)
  • Power: mains
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (must register within 28 days for 2nd year)

ProForm 325 CSE Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 325 CSE Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Smooth Motion
  • iFit Compatible
  • Compact design
  • 1 year iFit subscription included

The Cons

  • Not suited to users over 6ft in height
ProForm 325 CSE Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 9
Appearance - 8
Smoothness - 9
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 9.5
Controls - 9.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9
Best Price

The ProForm 325 CSE is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer 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

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