What You Need To Know About Proform’s 2013 Tour De France Exercise Bike
If you’re looking for the ultimate indoor cycling trainer, you’ll want to consider the Proform Tour De France Exercise Bike. It’s really the first of its kind and one of the most impressive indoor cycling bikes on the market right now.
(It’s the official training bike of the Tour De France).
With 20% incline and 20% decline, it works with Googlemaps and Google Terrain to simulate the actual terrain that you’re cycling (inclining and declining with the actual trail). You can watch actual landmarks pass you by in the console – or see a visual map of where you are in your course.
You can choose from pre-mapped courses or map out your own trail. You can change gears with one-touch handlebar shifting. And the bike actually adjusts the resistance of your bike to suit your personal profile.
So is it a good choice for you? Here are a few things you should know before buying.
Strengths of the Proform Tour De France Exercise Bike:
20% Incline and Decline
This bike works with GoogleTerrain to simulate the actual feel of whatever path you are cycling on – whether on a premapped course or on one you choose yourself.
So when the trail inclines, your bike also inclines. When the trail declines, your bike will decline. This is a great way to stay in top training shape when you can’t cycle outside.
This connects your bike to the Internet (and Googlemaps). From there you can map out new trails to ride or choose from 24 pre-mapped tour trails (complete with landmarks and trail scenery).
But you can also do so much more with iFit. You can track your workout progress, compete against your friends online and set new workout goals.
Note also that the iFit module is included with this bike. You usually have to buy it separately with most Proform bikes, so it’s nice bonus to have it included with this bike.
Intelligent Wind Resistance
Another features that lends a realistic feel to your workout is the Intelligent Wind Resistance. Basically it calculates your height and weight and then applies the natural resistance that you would naturally get out on the road.
Handlebar Gear Shifters
This is a new addition to the Tour De France Exercise bike that adds much more of that real feel to your ride. Note however that you won’t find these on the 2011 model.
Another tool that cycling pros will love – this shows basically how much power you’re generating at any one time – you see a visual display of both watts and rpm.
Recommended By the Pros
It’s always reassuring when you find a bike that the pros use and love (kind of finding a restaurant that the “locals” eat at when you’re on vacation).
The Proform Tour De France Exercise Bike is the “official” training bike of the Tour De France. And Lewis Elliot, Former US National Team Cyclist says:
“The Tour De France Trainer is incredible because it has a very realistic road feel. In over 20 years of riding trainers. I’ve never ridden anything even close. My favorite features are the Googlemaps iPhone application, and that the bike actually roates up or down based on uphills and downhills. The ‘Tour De France Trainer’ is by far the closest stationary bicycle to the road I’ve evern experienced! Five stars!”
Ok, so those are the benefits of this bike – are there any downsides?
Weaknesses of the Tour De France Exercise Bike
There aren’t a lot of weaknesses with the bike itself. However it sold so well when it first came out a couple of years ago that Proform has kind of gone bonkers and made about 4 different models.
And it gets confusing for buyers as to which model they are actually getting. This review is of the newer 2012-2013 model however there is an older 2011 model (the first one to come out) that doesn’t have the gear shifting or power meter and has a different seat adjustment mechanism.
There’s also the much more expensive Tour De France Centennial which is really souped up (HD video workouts, a larger touchscreen console, etc.)
So just make sure that you’re getting the model that you want when you buy (you can see all 4 models and compare them here)
Conclusion? Best Training Bike On the Market
If you’re looking for the cream of the crop indoor cycling bike, the Proform Tour De France bike is definitely one of the best – if not THE best option out there. It’s built to give you the most realistic “outdoor training” feel of any bike on the market.
From the Googlemaps and iFit LIVE mapping out your route to the Intelligent Wind Resistance to the incline and decline features, it’s a great way to stay in ‘peak’ training condition all year round. Just be sure that you know which model you’re getting if you go to buy this bike to make sure you get the best value for your money.
Where To Save:
You can buy the Proform Tour De France bike directly from the Manufacturer. You’ll get the iFit LIVE module included without having to buy it separately. You’ll also get Free Shipping to your home (as of this writing).