ProForm SE Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

If you’ve been planning to purchase an elliptical trainer then it’s almost impossible to think that you won’t have come across Proform while doing your research. With a wide ranging catalogue which contains enough models to make your head spin, this venerable manufacturer has been making elliptical trainers for decades and it’s fair to say that, the odd model here and there notwithstanding, they’ve got a great record in producing quality, feature-rich machines that won’t break the bank. We got a hold of their Proform SE model to see how it performs when put under a bit of pressure. Here’s what we found..

Putting the SE together is, of course, the first job but mercifully this is a far easier task than it is on many ellipticals. This is thanks to the fact that a good bit of this elliptical is pre-built in the box. Assembly in this case therefore consists of attaching the front and rear stabilisers, unfolding it, attaching a few bits of plastic, attaching the arms and connecting the pedals to them and attaching the comptuer. If that sounds like a lot, take it from your reviewer that it really, really isn’t. Thanks to this low step count process and a clear manual, assembling this model should be within the grasp of pretty much anyone.

We’ve not yet come across an elliptical trainer that likes to be placed on an uneven floor and the SE is no exception to this. Thankfully Proform has included built-in leg levellers on each corner so if your floor happens to be a little less than completely flat it’s easy to get the SE sitting completely level with no unwanted movement. Set up completed, this looks every bit a modern elliptical. With clean lines and a smart 3 way colour scheme dominated by black and silver this is a good looking elliptical.

Stepping up onto the oversized pedals the cushioning pads on them immediately feel soft and and while it’s not possible to adjust the angle of attack, the space that you get to position your feet and the padding underneath make for a nice comfortable workout position. It doesn’t take long to for the penny to drop that despite the relatively low price tag, this is not a cheap and nasty elliptical. In fact it’s a very good one. With a 16″ (41cm) stride and a heavyweight 10kg flywheel, the action on the SE is quiet and smooth all the way throughout without any discernable change of pace past the point of no return on the cycle. The maximum resistance setting on the SE is plenty enough to work up a good sweat regardless of your fitness levels and the change between one level and another happens at a swift enough pace to make high intensity burst training a realistic option. Our test unit handled everything we threw at it during testing and even when being pushed hard it kept on running smoothly without groaning or creaking as we approached max user weight limits. All these components come together to make the SE feel like a machine that’s in a higher price bracket.

For training data feedback and menu navigation the SE features a 6” high-contrast, backlit LCD display that shows calories, calories per hour, pace, pulse, resistance, RPM, speed and time elapsed/remaining. The characters on the screen are large and bright making them easy to see with the only downside being that the comparatively compact screen size means that it isn’t possible to display all the training data in one go. However, there is a scan mode which can be switched on and off, or manually advanced by the user and which can also be customised to display only the data sets you want to see. With the ability to remove the data from the scan that don’t want to see, it’s possible to set things up so that each time you look at the screen, you’re only ever seeing relevant information. It’s an effective sytem that does a very good job of overcoming the inherent restrictions of working with a 6″ screen. Hats off to Proform on job very well done here as they’ve also added a handy button on the console that allows you to switch between MPH and KM with a single press. A feature we really like and one that’s sure to find favour with UK users of this model.

The total number of buttons on the console has been kept to a minimum making the SE easy to use but for added complexity, it’s possible to connect a tablet to the console and access the iFit interactive training service which you get a free 12 month subscription for when you buy the SE. Even without iFit, there are 19 preset workouts including providing a solid selection to choose from broken down into calorie based, target time based and interval training based programmes. In short, there’s plenty enough here to keep things interesting but if you want more, it’s right there at your fingertips.

Other features include a Bluetooth smart wireless heart rate receiver, hand pulse sensors, 3mm audio input socket, stereo speakers, water bottle holder and a tablet holder. It also comes with a 2-year on-site parts and labour warranty. At this price point, The Proform SE stands out and if you’re looking for a quality cross trainer without breaking the bank then this little gem should definitely be on your shortlist.

Best Price

The ProForm SE 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

The Proform SE elliptical trainer represents good solid value for money. We've tested ellipticals that cost more that don't feel as nice as the SE to use. There are plenty of onboard workouts to choose from and you get a world of engaging entertainment and very effective workouts via iFit that more or less completely remove the risk of you getting bored as time goes on. For the money being asked, the build quality you get and the training options at your disposal this is an elliptical that stands out and is easy to recommend.

ProForm SE Specifications

  • 10kg (22lbs) inertia enhanced flywheel
  • 20 digital levels of SMR Silent™ Magnetic Resistance with 9 Quick Resistance buttons
  • 16” (41cm) stride with adjustable stride path
  • 6” high-contrast, blue backlit LCD display
  • Feedback: Speed, time, resistance, distance, RPM, calories, pulse, pace; scan mode
  • 19 programmes (manual, 18 pre-set workout apps including 7 calorie, 6 time and 5 interval programmes)
  • iFit® Coach BLE Enabled – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones (1-year iFit Coach subscription included)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via EKG hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • Audio: iPod/MP3 player compatible, dual 2” speakers
  • Extras: integrated tablet holder, water bottle holder, levelling feet, transportation wheels
  • Soft Touch upper body grips for a comfortable workout
  • Oversized, cushioned pedals
  • Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 152cm (59.8”) x 63cm (24.8”) x 160cm (62.9”)
  • Product Weight: 60kg (132lbs)
  • Max. User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (must register within 28 days for 2nd year)

ProForm SE Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

ProForm SE Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Ergonomically good training position
  • Lots of training options including interactive workouts
  • 1-year iFit membership included

The Cons

  • Stride might be a little short for users that are over 6ft tall
ProForm SE Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

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

The ProForm SE 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

Cross Trainers We Like