ProForm 525 CSE+ Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

Looking squarely at the mid-range ellipticals out there at the moment it’s obvious that there’s no shortage of models to choose from. Just about every major manufacturer has something to offer their customers in this space, and the competition is fierce in this space. So how does the ProForm 525 CSE+ stack up when compared with its direct competitors vying for your hard-earned cash?

Assembly of this particular elliptical is typical of many similarly priced models but does involve slightly fewer steps than many other cross trainers which is always welcome. There’s nothing too difficult about it, though removing the machine from the considerable amount of packaging it comes with is a task all of its own. With another person helping with holding things in place, it’s likely to typically take about an hour or so to construct. We had the build complete in just over 40 minutes, but then, we have built more than just one elliptical lately!

Like with all ellipticals it’s important to get this model sitting properly flat on the floor to avoid unwanted squeaks and creaks. This is particularly important on ellipticals as failure to get them sitting flat often causes creaks and squeaks to manifest. In this instance there’s a leg leveller on each of the four corners of the frame, rather than just two at the rear which does make it simple to get the unit sitting in a position where there’s no unwanted movement. Even if your floor is particularly uneven you shouldn’t have any trouble in getting the 525 CSE+ nice and flat with the minimum of fuss.

Once set up it only takes a few turns of the pedals to realise that this is not a cheap pretender. It’s a smooth elliptical that’s obviously got know-how behind it. The 16″ (41cm) stride action is smooth, uniform and quiet all the way throughout and most of our testers found the stride was comfortable albeit that a couple of testers who were more than 6ft tall find the stride a little but restrictive.  The change between resistance levels takes place quickly enough for most standard types of training though if you’re an interval training fan you’ll likely be looking for slightly faster changes from maximum to minimum. That being said, it’s not unuseable for interval training by any means and the 525 CSE+ does have some of these built in (more on that in a moment). The top end of the resistance levels is respectably difficult too and should be challenging enough for all but those dedicated gym goers who have switched from going to the gym to working out at home, who may want to look at something a bit more heavy-duty. The footplates are oversized and well padded so rather than having to adjust the pedal to get comfortable, all you have to do is move your feet around until you get the position you want. Everything is nicely complemented by a decent sized 10kg (22lbs) flywheel that ensures everything keeps on rolling smoothly. The action here is not at all bad as long as you’re not too tall.

In terms of training data and controls there’s a 6” high-contrast, backlit LCD display that displays all your training data with large, clear characters making it easy to see how you’re progressing. The number of buttons has been kept to a minimum making this elliptical easy to use but for added complexity, it’s possible to connect a tablet and sign up to iFit which allows you to connect your tablet to the console and access the iFit interactive training service. If you really want to increase your training options and the number of workouts you’ve got access to, iFit is a great option. Away from iFit, the 525 CSE+ has 18 preset workouts built-in offering a good selection of workouts broken down into calorie, target time and interval based programmes. In short, there’s plenty enough here to keep things interesting but if you do want more, you can get more by joining iFit which provides a nice way to keep things interesting if you start to get bored. The only downside here is that if you do choose to become an iFit member you’ll need a strong wifi signal and a good internet connection for things to run smoothly. Without those, the interactive experience can be less than slick.

Other goodies include a Bluetooth smart wireless heart rate receiver which worked as intended during testing, hand pulse sensors, audio input, stereo speakers which don’t provide the best quality sound but still make it easier to workout with some beats, water bottle holder and a tablet holder. The 525 CSE+ also comes with Proform’s 2-year on-site parts and labour warranty.

Best Price

Currently available for £609.00 from ProForm

Review Summary - In Brief

The Proform 525 CSE+ represents good value for money. It's smooth and quiet thanks to a decent size flywheel and it's easy for a wide range of users to get comfortable, though if you're 6ft or more the 16" stride might feel somewhat restrictive. Being iFit compatible it also offers plenty of additional training options, for a fee, with the only caveat being that you'll need a fast connection and a good wifi signal to get the best out of it. Overall this is a pretty good elliptical. If interactive training is your main aim, then this is a good choice in this price bracket. If however, the intended users are of a larger/taller kind of stature or your priority is making sure your elliptical provides enough of a challenge, then we'd recommend taking a look at the DKN XC-190 which is built like a rock, features a 21" stride length and provides a super-tough workout. Right now it's on offer too saving you quite a few quid off the usual price and bringing in at a fraction less than the 525 CSE+ making it well worth considering.

ProFrom 525 CSE+ Specifications

  • 10kg (22lbs) Effective Inertia flywheel
  • 16” (41cm) extra-large stride
  • 20 levels of smooth Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR™) with 9 Resistance buttons
  • 6” display with blue backlit LED screen and integrated speakers for staying motivated with training playlist
  • Feedback: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, pulse and pace
  • 19 workout programmes (1 manual, 18 pre-set workout apps)
  • iFit® Coach BLE Enabled (comes with a 30-day Family membership)
  • Heart rate measurement via EKG hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • Soft Touch upper body workout arms
  • Oversized, comfortable pedals
  • Compatible music port for iPod/MP3 player with integrated dual 2” speakers
  • Extras: bottle holder, tablet holder, adjustable levelling feet, transportation wheels
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 152cm (59.8″) x 63cm (24.8”) x 160cm (63″)
  • Max. User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 60kg (132lbs)
  • Power: 9v Power Supply included
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (must register within 28 days for 2nd year)

ProForm 525 CSE+ Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 525 CSE+ Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Good range of in built programmes
  • Comfortable ride
  • iFit compatible

The Cons

  • Stride may be a bit short for taller users
  • Strong wifi signal with fast internet a must for smooth interactive workouts
ProForm 525 CSE+ Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 8
Appearance - 8
Smoothness - 8.5
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 8
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 7.5
Controls - 7.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9
Best Price

Currently available for £609.00 from ProForm

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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