ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike Review
ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike has some exceptional features. Firstly it’s one of ProForm’s most affordable recumbent bikes. Plus, it has as many as 18 levels of magnetic resistance that are super quiet and 18 workout programs.
Published: April 15, 2020.
Specifications of ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike
- Dimensions when assembled: 56 x 24 x 44 inches (142 x 61 x 112 cm) (L x W x H)
- Weight when assembled: 102 lbs. (46.2 kg)
- Resistance: 18 levels, magnetic Eddy current
- Maximum user weight capacity: 275 lbs. (125 kg)
- Warranty: 7 years on frame, 90 days on parts and labor
Features of ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike
Assembly of the ProForm 235 CSX is pretty simple as all the internal parts such as flywheel, servo motor, belt, crank arms and pulley come already assembled and connected to the main frame. Thus, users only have to connect the base bars, console mast, console, seat, backrest, handlebars and pedals.
This may take approximately an hour. All necessary instructions and schematics of the assembly are provided in the user’s manual. A basic toolkit is also included; however, users will need a Phillips screwdriver.
Frame and Construction
Construction of the ProForm 235 CSX is solid and durable. The frame is made of steel and its base along with the seat frame and console mast is coated with a black corrosion-resistant paint finish. However, the seat’s adjustment rail is painted with gray. The structure of the bike contains many plastic parts, e.g. casing of the resistance system and console.
Although the ProForm 235 CSX is not particularly heavy, it weighs around twice the weight of a road recumbent bike. It weighs around 100 lbs. but this weight adds to its stability. In addition, the rear base bar has a set of adjustable levelers.
The ProForm 235 CSX features step-thru design which is very useful for elderly users and users with disabilities or injuries because it facilitates easy access to the seat.
Although the ProForm 235 CSX is quite heavy, it’s not difficult to relocate as its front base caps can act as transport wheels.
The base frame and adjustment rail of the ProForm 235 CSX are strong enough to support users weighing up to 275 lbs.
The ProForm 235 CSX is quite large when assembled. Its highest point is the top of its console which is around 44″ (112 cm) above floor level. In addition to these big dimensions of the bike, ProForm recommends leaving a clearance of 2 feet around all its sides.
The console of the ProForm 235 CSX is quite promising for this price. It has an LCD display with watts meter and blue LED backlight. It is divided in three sections, of which the top section displays power output in watts, speed in revolutions per minute (RPM) and users’ heart rate when they hold the handlebar sensors.
The resistance level is also shown here for a few seconds when users change it. Each of these metrics is shows for several seconds.
In the center section of the display, time and distance are shown. These two metrics will be seen alternatively, each one for a few seconds. Distance can be seen either in kilometers or miles. A goal setting function is also provided and if it’s set for time, this portion of the display shows the time remaining for meeting the goal instead of elapsed time.
In the bottom section of the display, calories burned and pedaling speed are displayed. Speed can be set up in either mph or kmph. Here too these two are alternatively seen, each one for a few seconds.
Although the console doesn’t feature any online connectivity, it features as many as 18 preset workout programs, divided into two categories: Watts Workouts and Calorie Workouts. The former focus on resistance and watts, whereas the latter focus on speed and resistance. Each of these has an individual button on the console. When users select a preset workout, the resistance will be automatically adjusted by the bike depending on the chosen program.
Seat and Backrest
The seat of the ProForm 235 CSX is ergonomically designed. The seat as well as backrest has 2” thick padding with durable vinyl upholstery.
The entire seat assembly can be adjusted and can be moved forward or backward on its rail. Once users find their desired position, they can lock it with the lever placed on its right side. The backrest cannot be adjusted individually. It moves along the rail with the seat assembly.
The ProForm 235 CSX features two sets of handlebars, one attached to the console mast and the other attached to the seat. Both of them are non-adjustable and provide a firm, comfortable grip with rubberized coating on them.
The front handlebars have pulse sensors integrated into them. This may be considered as a drawback, as pulse sensors in the seat handlebars are more convenient. However, in this bike, as the console mast is quite near the user, it’s not very inconvenient for the user to hold the front handlebars.
However, the position of the front handlebars has been found to be awkward for users who are 5’8” or taller as their knees hit them during workout. Therefore, this bike is not very right for users taller than 5’7” (170 cm).
Resistance and Drive
The ProForm 235 CSX is equipped with an Eddy current resistance system which comprises of a small servo motor and a magnetic brake. Hence the console needs 4 D-type batteries to operate. While the batteries are not included, an AC adapter is - mostly (before purchasing, check if the AC adapter is included; usually it is, but, just in case...).
To adjust the resistance, +/- buttons are provided on the console. As resistance is adjusted, the position of the magnetic brake is changed by the servo motor in relation to the flywheel, which increases or reduces the intensity of the internal magnetic field. The pedal resistance is also increased or reduced in this way.
Just like most other exercise bikes with a magnetic resistance system, the ProForm 235 CSX also has no contact between the flywheel and brake pad. Therefore, the bike operates quietly.
There are as many as 18 levels of resistance. Levels 1 to 3 provide very little resistance which is great for users with disabilities or injuries and who require recovery training or physical therapy. The 17-18 levels of resistance are pretty intense and simulate a steep climb, providing a more intense cardio workout as well as leg muscle burn.
Belt Driven System
Like most other exercise bikes having magnetic resistance system, the ProForm 235 CSX has a belt driven system. A heavy-duty stretch-resistance poly-v belt is integrated in its internal transmission. The belt is designed to last for years of use. This belt-drive system offers three main benefits – firstly, users don’t need to lubricate it, secondly, it produces less vibration than a chain and thirdly, it gives an almost quiet drive.
The internal flywheel of the bike is inertia-enhanced i.e. most of its weight is placed in its perimeter which offers a steadier motion and a more consistent momentum. Its weight is 14 lbs. (6.3 kg), i.e. a mid-range weight for a recumbent bike.
Crank Set and Pedals
The crank set of the ProForm 235 CSX has solid steel crank arms. However, this being a recumbent bike, doesn’t facilitate using it by standing up on the pedals. The weighted pedals have non-slip surface and feature adjustable straps to prevent slipping of feet.
The ProForm 235 CSX features a bottle holder.
The console of the ProForm 235 CSX is equipped with two add-ons. One is a tablet holder and the other is a sound system.
The tablet holder is located above the unit’s controls and can accommodate most phones and tablets. However, a tablet placed in it will cover the console at least to some extent.
The sound system features two small speakers located on the bottom of the unit. The console has an audio jack input and controls for volume on it. The unit is compatible with most smartphones, MP3 players and tablets.
The ProForm 235 CSX needs a very low maintenance as users only have to check for loose nuts and bolts regularly and tighten them if needed, and clean the dust. As mentioned earlier, the internal parts don’t need lubrication or any other type of maintenance, at least for a few years of use.
Pros of ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike
- Solid, sturdy frame and construction
- Step-thru design
- Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base bar
- Three-panel LCD display with blue LED backlight
- 18 preset workout programs
- Adjustable seat
- Foam-padded comfortable and adjustable seat and backrest
- Pulse sensors in front handlebars
- Eddy current magnetic resistance which is almost quiet
- 18 levels of resistance
- Weighted pedals having adjustable straps
- Bottle holder included
- Tablet holder included
- Sound system included
- Easy assembly
- Little maintenance
- Affordably priced
- Outstanding warranty
Cons of ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike
- Front handlebars hit users’ knees who are 5’8” or taller
- Batteries for the console or power adapter not included
- A tablet placed in the tablet holder covers the console screen partially
- Poor customer support from ProForm
The ProForm 235 CSX Exercise Bike comes at a low price but has a lot of bells and whistles including an automatic magnetic resistance system with 18 levels of resistance, a LED backlit LCD console with 18 preset workout programs, comfortable and adjustable seat, add-ons like bottle-holder, tablet-holder and sound system, convenient step-thru design and 275 lbs. maximum user weight.
Users looking for light to medium cardio workouts, stamina development, muscle toning and weight loss, and also those who are elderly, disabled or injured and looking for physical therapy or recovery training will find this bike outstanding. All in all, this bike offers the best features for a low price.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).