As streaming cycles go, it’s going to be hard to find one that’s more affordable and packing a larger screen than ProForm’s Studio Bike 22.
As the name may imply, ProForm’s newest cycle comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen console designed to pair with iFit, the streaming platform that provides access to unlimited instructor-led workouts and all that stuff.
But it’s got a few other highlights worth mentioning too.
Like a 32 lb flywheel, an included pair of 3 lb dumbbells, and a pretty solid warranty.
All things considered, I think the Studio Bike Pro 22 is a pretty good buy for people trying to enjoy the streaming lifestyle while saving a few bucks.
But it’s got a few flaws worth considering as well.
In this review, I’ll go over everything the this bike does and doesn’t have going for it – after reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right cycle for your home.
Off we go.
The ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22
ProForm’s a brand most of us probably recognize.
What you might not know though, is that they’re owned by the same company that owns NordicTrack (and iFit), hence all the similarities between the brands.
ProForm machines are generally more affordable and not quite as high-end as NordicTrack machines, but they’re still generally pretty well reviewed by users.
Anyway, ProForm’s Studio Bike series is their solution to the Peloton.
It seems like every fitness brand has a streaming cycle these days and I guess it makes sense – the success of Peloton and most of the other streaming giants is hard to deny.
But at how many streaming cycles can the market really support?
A lot I guess.
Anyway, ProForm’s Studio Bike Pros have been around a little longer than some and they’re certainly priced competitively.
The newer, 22 version we’re here to discuss now comes with a larger screen than the older Studio Bike Pro model, but that’s also still available too.
- 22″ HD touchscreen console
- 32 lb flywheel
- 24 levels of magnetic resistance
- On-demand/live instructor-led workouts (iFit)
- Automatic Trainer Control (iFit)
- Scenic rides (iFit)
- Belt drive
- Fully adjustable seat
- Strap heart rate monitor compatible
- Pair of 3 lb dumbbells included
- Good warranty
- Weight limit only 250 lb
- Handlebars not fully adjustable
Spin bikes are designed first and foremost to mimic the feel of riding an outdoor bike and it’s up to their resistance system to pull this off.
Like all stationary bikes, indoor cycles operate by using spinning flywheels and some type of resistance mechanism (friction brakes or magnetic).
Most home cycles, especially affordable ones, rely on heavy flywheels to provide a smoother pedal feel (more weight spinning builds more momentum, which decreases lag between pedal strokes).
Flywheel weight can vary greatly and these days, even really affordable cycles are packing 40 lb + flywheels, but most bikes packing at least a 30 lb flywheel can usually provide a pretty smooth ride.
The Studio Bike Pro 22 (which I’ll refer to as simply the “Pro 22” from now on) comes with a 32 lb flywheel.
So, certainly not the heaviest flywheel in town, but it’s definitely packing enough weight to provide a fluid pedal motion.
The Pro 22 pairs that 32 lb flywheel with a magnetic resistance system with 24 levels.
I’m not a fan of friction brake systems, so I like that the Pro 22 uses magnetic resistance, but I have to admit I’m a little disappointed with only 24 resistance levels.
And this doesn’t have anything to do with the bike, it’s just that I’m used to the 100 levels my Peloton comes with and I like being able to make such small adjustments to the resistance.
And having more resistance levels doesn’t necessarily mean more total resistance, but it does mean you can make smaller adjustments between resistance levels.
But to be fair, 24 levels still gives you plenty of range to work with.
Oh, the Pro 22 also utilizes a belt drive (as opposed to a chain), which makes for a quieter workout and requires little to no maintenance.
Overall, I think the Pro 22 scores pretty highly in this department. It comes with a flywheel heavy enough to provide a smooth feel and with 24 magnetic resistance levels you have a lot of control over the intensity of your workouts (although 100 levels gives you more control, just sayin’).
At first glance, it would appear ProForm made a conscious effort to make their Studio Bike Pros look a lot like the Peloton.
Same general shape, black frame, red accent on the gears, clear drive train shroud…
Either way, I think the Pro 22 looks pretty sharp.
But more importantly, how heavy-duty is it?
Folks tend to call bikes heavy-duty all the time without any evidence to back it up, but I like to think about this issue a little differently.
I like to look at a bike’s assembled weight to see exactly how heavy it is (and heavier bikes will feel more stable during use).
ProForm makes is a little tougher on us because they don’t provide the assembled weight spec – instead, they give us the “in box weight”, which includes the weight of packaging as well.
I don’t know why they choose to provide this spec and not the assembled weight, but NordicTrack does the same thing.
The Pro 22 comes with an in-box weight of 144 lb.
It’s hard to say how much the box and packaging weighs…20 lb? 40 lb? Less?
Conservatively, I’d guess somewhere between 20 – 40 lb, meaning that the bike itself would weigh somewhere in the 100 – 120 lb range.
Which by the looks of the bike, is probably fairly accurate.
Assuming this is in the right ballpark, this is a pretty heavy weight for a spin bike.
For the sake of comparison, the Peloton weighs in around 135 lb, the popular Schwinn IC4 weighs about 106 lb, and Sole’s SB900 weighs about 160 lb.
So, at the low 100’s, I’d say the Pro 22 is pretty average in terms of weight, but with a max weight limit of only 250 lb, it’s a bit below the average weight capacity of 300 lb found on most elite cycles.
This means larger and heavier users might want to consider a heavier-duty cycle, but smaller folks should do just fine.
Overall, the Pro 22 isn’t the heaviest duty cycle in its price range, making it a better option for smaller riders who fall well within its weight limit.
ProForm backs their Studio Bike Pro 22 with the following residential warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
Ok, I really don’t have any complaints here – this is one of the better home warranties you’re gonna find on an indoor cycle.
For some reason, many cycles stop at 5 years on the frame (although Sole still offers lifetime frame warranties, God bless ’em).
So by comparison, the 10 year warranty on this bike is quite good.
Two years on parts is pretty average for bikes in this price range, although some still only offer 1 year.
And a year on labor is pretty standard regardless of price range.
Overall, I think ProForm offers a generous warranty on the Pro 22.
Ok, that about does it in terms of performance, let’s switch gears (see what I did there?) and check out all the other bells and whistles this cycle has to offer.
The ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 comes with the following features:
22″ HD console- it’s hard to miss the huge flatscreen console mounted to the front of this bike and this is probably the most compelling reason to invest in it. The 22″ HD touchscreen display makes it easy to make all selections, see workouts, and track metrics.
iFit compatible- that huge screen is also intended to pair seamlessly with an iFit subscription, giving you access to unlimited instructor-led workouts, scenic rides, and metric tracking. You get a 30 day free membership with purchase, but then you’d have to pay the monthly subscription to keep using. iFit is optional, you still have access to some workouts without it, but honestly, I don’t see much reason to buy this bike if you don’t plan on using iFit.
Heart rate monitoring- the console is compatible with strap heart rate monitors, allowing you to track your pulse during workouts.
Fully adjustable seat- the seat is fully adjustable, meaning you can adjust the height and fore/aft position making it easier to find a good fit.
Height adjustable handlebars- the handlebars aren’t fully adjustable, but you can choose between 5 height positions.
Toe cage pedals- this cycle comes with standard, toe cage pedals that are designed for use with sneakers. This is nice if you don’t want to mess with cleats, but you can always easily swap ’em out if you prefer riding cleats.
Audio port- you can plug your mp3 player into the audio port and listen to your workout music through the built-in speakers. Do people still do this? This day and age I thought we had all switched to bluetooth??
Pair of 3 lb dumbbells- ProForm includes a pair of 3 lb dumbbells, so you’ll be ready to participate with those arms and intervals workouts from day 1 (a nice touch considering some competitors make you pay extra for the dumbbells).
Water bottle holder- and yes, there is a place to store your water bottle.
Time to talk dineros.
At the time of writing this, the Pro 22 is going for around $1,199 (I apologize if this isn’t true by the time you read this, prices do vary some).
At around $1200, the Pro 22 falls in the mid-range for home bikes, but it’s quite affordable when compared to other streaming cycles.
Especially ones with such a large screen.
For the sake of comparison, The Peloton Bike costs around $1,500 and that’s not including the cleats or dumbbells.
There’s also NordicTrack’s older Commercial S22i which is also around $1,500.
Bowflex’s VeloCore 22 is around $2,200, so much more expensive.
There’s also Bowflex’s C7, which is only about $700 at the time of writing this, but its screen isn’t really comparable at only 7″.
So, long story short – I think the Pro 22 is about as affordable as any streaming bike I’ve seen with such a huge HD console.
Ok, that about does it.
All things considered, I think ProForm’s Studio Bike Pro 22 has a lot to offer.
I like that it comes with a heavy flywheel and that it uses a magnetic resistance system and you can’t beat this price on a streaming cycle with a 22″ HD console.
And I love that it comes with such a long frame warranty.
The biggest downside I see is that it isn’t quite as heavy-duty as some of the other competitors – with only a 250 lb weight limit, larger folks aren’t going to be able to use it.
Otherwise, I think the Pro 22 is a good option for folks looking to access streaming workouts on a tighter budget.