Proform 4.0 ES Recumbent Bike Review

proform-4es-whole-bike-backWhen you are looking for recumbent exercise bikes at a mid-price range, you may be looking for something that doesn’t look cheap and something that will provide you with good performance. You may not expect to have a professional gym quality bike, since that is not really possible. As for this Proform 4.0 ES recumbent bike, it is very interesting considering the features it has. However, there are some points that you may have to look into if you want to buy it. This review will give you what you need to know before you make a decision to purchasing this recumbent exercise bike.


This is a medium-priced exercise bike which helps you to work out in a semi-reclined position and help you to achieve good aerobic exercise with less strain on your body, particularly on your knees and back. The product has the reputable name of Proform to endorse its performance. Proform is owned by Icon Health and Fitness, who are the world’s largest manufacturer for exercise equipment. They have facilities in 9 locations around the world. They have a wide range of products including treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, weight machines and benches. The brands that the company produces for include Proform, Weslo, Weider, NordicTrack, Altra Zero Drop, HealthRider and FreeMotion. The company has been in the business since 1977.

The product comes with 16 built-in workout programs and 16 levels of resistance. The resistance system is SMR, or silent magnetic resistance, allowing you to have accurate and quiet resistance adjustment. You can use this product in many ways in order to achieve your fitness objectives. By using one of the built-in workout programs, you can achieve good and effective aerobic exercise. The drive and flywheel system provides consistent and smooth pedaling. You will not feel any inconsistent pedaling when you use this unit.

The seat is a larger size, allowing you to have more comfort and a better position while seated. The seat and backrest are well-padded with good materials. However, if you wish to work out for longer than half an hour, a pillow or two will help to provide you with more comfort. Seat adjustment is easy thanks to its adjustment lever which is situated below the seat. You don’t have to step down from the bike in order to make the adjustment – just like adjusting a car seat. You can sit on the seat and adjust it exactly the way you wish.

The console is oversized, providing you with an LCD display which allows you to track your workout data including speed, time, calories and resistance levels. There are also only a few buttons on the console which creates ease of use. The heart rate monitoring system uses hand grip sensors which are located below both sides of the seat. The sensors send pulse signals to the digital display on the console and here, you can keep track of your heart rate. The pedals are large in size, which means they can easily fit any foot size. The pedals come with safety straps to prevent you from slippage whilst pedaling. The straps are also adjustable in order to fit most sizes.proform-4es-console

Other accessories include an iPod compatible music port, a water bottle holder, and transportation wheels. As for the power supply, the product needs 4 D-sized batteries. You can also use an adapter and cord. Unfortunately, the adapter is not provided – you will have to buy it separately from any local store, or online.

Because of its good and solid frame, the product is very steady and looks durable. This makes the product heavy, which is quite favorable since it is more stable for use, even at high speeds. The maximum weight capacity is 250 lbs, which is a little light for a bike at this level. However, if you do not have members in your house who weigh heavier than this, the bike will be fine for your needs.

The product’s flywheel

Heavy flywheel is better for exercises bike because it can help better the performance of the unit. The perimeter weighted flywheel allows you to have better weight distribution toward its perimeter, resulting in smooth and consistent pedaling. This is what you should expect with a bike at this level.

Drive, Crank and Pedals

The two-way drive system allows you to pedal both forward and backward. Its one-piece crank gives you efficient and quiet pedaling and the pedals are made oversized. The pedals can fit different sizes and have straps for securing your feet while you are using the bike. Although the pedals and straps are made of plastic, they look strong and durable.

Seat and Backrest

The product’s seat is made in a chair-like style and it has a modern design. It accommodates different body shapes thanks to its oversized feature. The seat and backrest are well padded and they are thick enough to give you enough comfort during your workout. However, if you plan to exercise for longer than 45 minutes, you may need some extra padding to prevent you from soreness. A pillow or two will do the trick.

The material covering the seat and seat back is vinyl and the padding inside the seat is foam which provides comfort and a firm feeling when in use. Using the seat adjustment lever is easy compared to the seat adjustment knob in cheaper bikes. The adjustment of the seat is at a slight angle to match your sitting position. The seat allows you to experience a true semi-recline position, no matter what your body shape and size. The back rest is almost connected to the seat so your lower back area has extra support. Some bikes at this level do not have this and some leave a large space between the two parts.

The Display Type and Readout

The unit comes with a large console which can be clearly seen when you are exercising. Since there are only a few buttons, use and control is easy so you don’t have to worry about not knowing how to use the console. The LCD display is large and comes with blue backlit light, making it easy to see, even in a dark room. One of the cool things on this console is that you can adjust the speakers by using the buttons. Once an iPod or mp3 player is connected to it, you can use these buttons to increase or decrease the volume without having to adjust using the iPod or mp3 player.

The product’s console has many features. It’s designed to help you exercise more effectively and to have more fun. You can use manual mode by selecting the resistance level that you want and there are buttons to increase or decrease the resistance level immediately. You will be able to track your workout data easily on the LCD display. You can also use the handgrips for the heart rate monitor to measure your pulse and have it sent to the console. There are 16 preset workouts including eight weight loss programs and eight performance workouts. This adds more fun and variety to your workout routine. Each of these programs will automatically change the resistance level over time and this is a convenient and effective way to exercise.proform4es

How to Start Working Out

You can turn the machine on by pedaling or by pressing any button on the console. Manual mode will automatically start. Press one of the 8 weight loss program buttons or the 8 performance program buttons repeatedly if you want to select one of the 16 preset programs until you find the program that you want. Then you are good to go.

On the LCD display, you can track the following workout information:


shows distance travelled in miles or kilometers.


shows estimated calories burned.


The display shows the resistance pattern of the workout.


The unit shows heart rate, which is transmitted from the handgrip heart rate sensors.


shows the resistance level each time the level changes.


shows pedaling speed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour.


shows the elapsed time if the manual mode is selected. If the preset program is selected, it will show the remaining time and it will count down until it reaches zero.


When in manual mode, the display shows a track of one fourth of mile or 400 meters. Throughout the workout, tracks will appear in succession until the workout is finished.

All above information can be read on the display mode by pressing the mode repeatedly until you find the information you want.

The other two buttons on the console include the speaker volume button and the reset button. You can use the reset button if you want to set all the information on the console back to zero.

proform-4es-heart-rate-sensorsHeart Rate Monitoring System

You can read your heart rate on the console in order to see how your heart performs during exercise. You will be able to read your heart rate after gripping the sensors for a short time. To use the heart rate monitor, grip the sensors with your palms resting on the contacts. Do not move your hands. When a pulse is found, a heart symbol will be shown on the display. You can then read your heart rate. Normally, you will have to hold the sensors for at least 15 seconds before you can read your pulse and your pulse may not be picked up by the sensors some of the time. If this happens, you need to ensure that the position of your hands is correct and that you do not squeeze too tightly or too loosely. Clean the sensors with soft cloth and do not use alcohol or any chemicals to clean them.

Sleep Mode

To save energy, the machine turns off if it is not in use after one minute. There will be a series of sounds to indicate that the bike is going into sleep mode. The console will pause and the time will flash on the display. After four minutes, the console will turn off and all the information on the display will reset to zero.

Unit Measurement Changing

You can change the unit from miles to kilometers by selecting the unit of measurement on the console. In order to do so, you need to press and hold down the display mode button for a few seconds until the user mode appears on the display. You will then be able to select either E for English miles or M for metric kilometers. This may be a little tricky since some people may think that M represents mile. Press the resistance decrease or increase button repeatedly until you get to the unit you want. If you replace the batteries, you will have to reselect the unit measurement.

In this user mode, you will also be able to read the total number of hours that the machine has been used. The lower display will also show you the total distance that the machine has been pedaling so far.

Maximum Weight and Height

The maximum weight that the unit can carry is 250 lbs.

As for maximum height, the product can be adjusted to different user height. There is no limitation of the height as far as the manufacturer is concerned.


A water bottle holder is available on the front of the unit. You can also use speakers with the sound volume button which are built-in on the console. You can use an iPod or other mp3 player with the unit. Transportation wheels on the front stabilizer allow you to move the machine freely. In addition, the base of the unit can be adjusted for use on an un-even floor, allowing more stability when in use.

Assembly of the Proform 4.0 ES Recumbent Bike

The ProForm 4.0 EScomes un-assembled so assembly is required. The assembly process is not difficult thanks to a clear manual and well prepared spare parts. Tools are also provided with the package. It may take one or two hours to complete assembly.

Dimensions and Weightproform-4es-seat-adjustment

The assembled product weighs 110.5 lbs, which makes it quite sturdy. The finished product measures 53.25”x 23.9”x 47” ( L x W x H ). Please make sure that you prepare 25 inches clearance space on each side of the bike to ensure you do not hit any surrounding objects during exercise.


The unit comes with a 5-year limited warranty on the frame and 90-day warranty on labor and parts. Ensure that you have kept proof of purchase in case you need to claim.


  • The product is well-made and sturdy enough to last for years
  • The flywheel is heavy. You get consistent strokes from pedaling
  • The unit works quietly and it will not disturb you or anyone else in the room
  • The console is easy to read and easy to use
  • 16 preset programs are more than enough for you to enjoy your workout
  • Modern design
  • The seat is comfortable enough and the seat adjustment is easy to use. This is beneficial, especially for households that have multiple users with different heights. The adjustment of the seat has a slight angle, allowing you to have a better sitting position after adjusting the seat.


  • There are some complaints on quality. However, only a few users have encountered this.
  • The product doesn’t provide batteries or an adapter. You will have to buy them separately – it is recommended that using an adapter may be more economical and better in the long run. You can buy an adapter (6v/2a ) at a local store or online.


[contextazon id=’31’]The product is sold at a price range of $339-$399 depending on promotion. You can check the most current price via Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers, by clicking one of the links here.


This bike is a great-quality product and is easy to use. However, exercise equipment and its features very much depends on your exercise goals and objectives. The unit’s strengths are its sturdy frame and easy to use functions. ProForm 4.0 ES also provides smooth and effective pedaling. However, there may be some quality issues on the product. Although only a few units suffer from this problem, you may be at risk of receiving a flawed unit. In our opinion, Proform 6.0 ES may be a better choice since it has more options and better reviews.



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