If you can’t decide between an elliptical or a recumbent bike, or you just like the idea of getting two different ways to exercise with a single machine, you should certainly check out ProForm’s Hybrid Trainer XT.
The “Hybrid” part of the name refers to this machine’s ability to be used as both a recumbent bike and a traditional elliptical machine.
There are a bunch of these affordable combo cardio machines on the market, but ProForm is easily the most reputable brand to offer one so far.
Highlights of the Hybrid Trainer XT include 16 magnetic resistance levels, an iFit compatible console, and of course the ability to easily switch between recumbent and elliptical mode.
It’s also backed by a decent warranty, considering the price.
Overall, the Hybrid Trainer XT isn’t a great recumbent bike or elliptical, but it’s the best hybrid option I’ve seen for people looking to get the benefits of both machines.
But before you decide, you should continue reading.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this trainer has to offer, including all performance specs, features, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
After reading, you’ll know once and for all whether or not the ProForm Hybrid Trainer is really worth investing in.
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT
Ok, first and foremost, I know it’s a little weird for me to be talking about ellipticals because BVB is an exercise bike site, but I thought I’d make an exception here because the XT is part exercise bike.
Part recumbent bike, part elliptical.
As I eluded to in the intro above, we’re seeing more and more of these hybrid trainers on the market, but as far as I can see, they’re all really affordable… and I don’t really mean that in a good way.
All the other ones I’ve seen cost a couple hundred bucks, weigh like 80 lbs, and come with tiny stride lengths.
And buyers are still somehow surprised when they buy one and it doesn’t feel like the elliptical (or recumbent bike) they use at their local gym.
Well, I’m not saying ProForm’s Hybrid Trainer XT (which I’ll probably just refer to as the “XT” from now on) is perfect, but I am saying it looks a lot better to me than these other options.
But I’m probably getting ahead of myself.
Let’s start by running through all the specs and features this trainer has to offer.
- Combines function of recumbent bike and elliptical
- Easy to adjust pedals to switch between modes
- 16 magnetic resistance levels
- 13 lb flywheel
- Heavier-duty frame
- Brightly lit console
- iFit compatible
- Quick-touch resistance buttons
- Built-in speakers
- Comfortable seat
- Stationary and moving handlebars
- Pretty good warranty
- Stride length only 15″
- Weight capacity only 250 lb
I’m not used to talking about ellipticals on this site, so even though the XT is a combo machine, I’m still gonna organize this article the same way I do my recumbent bike reviews.
I hope it makes sense.
So, let’s start with a look at the resistance system.
The XT uses a magnetic system, so that’s a good start.
Pretty much all recumbent bikes and ellipticals use these types of resistances, so it makes sense the XT would too.
Magnetic systems create resistance by placing magnets near a spinning metal flywheel – the resistance is adjusted by changing how close these magnets are from the flywheel.
It turns out that flywheel weight is important to consider for ellipticals and bikes because this can significantly affect how smooth the pedaling motion is.
Having a heavier flywheel is usually beneficial because it creates more momentum as it spins, which in turn leads to less awkwardness between pedal strokes.
The XT comes with a 13 lb flywheel, which is pretty light for higher-end recumbent bikes and ellipticals, where most are packing at least 20 lb.
But for a recumbent bike (or elliptical) in this price range, 13 lb isn’t bad.
For the sake of comparison, Schwinn’s 270, which at the time of writing this is identically priced, also comes with a 13 lb flywheel.
So there ya go.
The XT pairs that 13 lb flywheel with 16 digital resistance levels that are adjusted from the console.
Having this many resistance levels is a good thing because it gives you more control over the intensity of your workouts and most users agree the resistance is substantial enough to get a great workout in.
When transitioning from elliptical to recumbent bike, all you really have to do is flip the bike pedals up and you’re ready to go.
Some folks have mentioned that using the XT as a recumbent bike feels a little different because the pedals have a more linear pathway than a traditional recumbent, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Overall, the flywheel isn’t massive, but it’s pretty average sized for cardio machines in this price range and most users agree it offers a pretty smooth pedaling motion.
I also like that it comes with so many resistance levels to work with.
The frame on the XT looks exactly like what you’d expect to get if you combined a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine.
With a footprint of roughly 2′ x 6′, it’s pretty similar to your average home elliptical machine, so you have to make sure you have enough floor space before purchasing.
Something I find impressive is that the XT comes with an assembled weight of roughly 115 lb, making it a lot heavier than most of the other hybrid trainers out there.
Most of the other affordable trainers I’ve seen weigh somewhere in the 80 – 100 lb range and if you ask me, being heavier is always a good thing.
Yes, being heavier makes it harder to move around, but again – that’s a good thing.
If it’s harder to move, it’ll be less likely to move around while you’re using it.
And nobody wants a wobbly, shaky piece of fitness equipment.
So, in terms of heavy-dutiness, I’d say the XT beats out any other hybrid trainer I’ve seen, but it still only comes with a max weight capacity of 250 lb.
Which is pretty low for any recumbent bike or elliptical trainer.
With a 250 lb weight limit, the XT is obviously designed with smaller users in mind, so it probably isn’t the best option for larger folks.
I also want to point out that the XT only has a 15″ stride length as well.
This is an elliptical term referring to how far apart the pedals move with each step and it’s an important spec to consider (when comparing ellipticals).
Most higher-end home ellipticals come with a 20″ stride because at this size, most people are able to comfortably use it.
With only a 15″ stride length, most folks will likely find themselves having to shorten their natural stride (this is especially true for taller individuals).
Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to know what to expect.
Using the XT as an elliptical is going to be more like jogging in place than running… if that makes any sense.
Overall, I with the stride length was a little longer on this model, but I like how heavy it is compared to similar hybrid trainers.
Proform backs their Hybrid Trainer XT with the following home warranty:
- 5 year frame
- 1 year parts
- 1 year labor
Ok, 5 years on the frame sounds short compared to the lifetime frame guarantees more expensive ellipticals come with, but for a hybrid trainer in this price range, not bad.
Especially considering most other hybrids I’ve seen only come with a 1 year warranty (and some only a 90 day parts guarantee).
So again, I think a year on parts is ok for this machine (and a year is standard for any price range).
Overall, not a bad warranty here.
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT comes with the following features:
5″ LCD console- the console on the XT is pretty basic, especially for ProForm who likes to put an HD screen on everything, but it’s brightly lit and big enough to read easily during workouts.
Bluetooth- the console is also bluetooth compatible with the iFit app, allowing you to follow along with the instructor-led workouts through your tablet or phone. You can even let the instructors automatically control your resistance if you like.
30 day iFit trial- ProForm throws in a free 30 day trial of iFit with purchase, then you’ll be responsible for the $39/month membership fee for as long as you’d like to use the service.
Quick-touch buttons- you can rapidly adjust the resistance settings using these convenient buttons.
Adjustable seat- the seat is easily adjustable when you’re using the recumbent mode and most folks agree the seat is pretty comfortable too.
Stationary/moving handles- when in elliptical mode, you can use either the stationary handles to focus on your legs, or get your whole body involved with the moving handles.
Tablet holder- there’s a tablet holder located above the console, making it easy to view iFit or any other app you’d like during workouts.
Water bottle holder- there’s even a place to put your water bottle.
At the time of writing this, ProForm has the XT going for $649, although I know it’s been available at other retailers at lower prices before (I even think Costco had it at one point).
Anyway, a lower price is always good, but I don’t think $649 is a bad price either – considering how much heavier duty this hybrid is and the longer warranty.
Plus, the ProForm name is better known than a lot of the competitors too… for whatever that’s worth.
In terms of comps, the Body Champ 3-in-1 is one of the more popular ones.
It’s suppose to combine the functions of an upright bike, a recumbent bike, and an elliptical, but if you ask me, I’m not sure there’s that much difference between upright and recumbent mode…
Anyway, the Body Champ trainer goes for around $400, weighs around 100 lb, but you have to rely on the workout programs to adjust your resistance for you.
It also only comes with a 1 year frame and 90 day parts guarantee.
There’s also the Body Power 3-in-1 Hybrid Trainer, which is very similar to the Body Champ.
They don’t offer any real specs for this trainer, although it weighs somewhere around 90 lb and comes with the same 1 year/90 day warranty.
I think it’s safe to say the XT has both these trainers beat.
Alrighty, I think it’s about time to wrap this up.
As hybrid trainers go, I think ProForm’s XT is as good as it gets.
I like that ProForm made a real attempt at making the XT a legit piece of fitness equipment, giving it some respectable performance specs and backing it with a decent warranty.
That said, I don’t think the XT is particularly great as either a recumbent bike or an elliptical.
But where else are you going to be able to get some of the benefits of a recumbent bike and an elliptical in a single machine?
Overall, I think the XT would make a good option for folks who want both machines, but don’t have the floorspace or budget to purchase a stand alone bike and elliptical.
So, to answer my question – yes, I think the XT is worth investing in… as long as you have realistic expectations.