The ProForm Tour de France introduces an impressive new concept: Users can map their own routes, which the bike will imitate with resistance and an innovative incline-decline feature. However, owners report reliability issues and complain that customer service often falls short. A new version, the TDF Centennial , is available, but hasn't received many reviews.
Cool, new interactive programming. The ProForm Tour de France has all the makings of a quality, high-performing exercise bike. It's equipped with a silent magnetic resistance system, handlebar shifters, a built-in power meter and 24 pre-mapped routes. iFit live technology powered by Google Maps allows users to map out routes anywhere in the world, then the bike adjusts resistance and incline or decline to as much as 20 percent to match the real-life topography. The Tour de France comes with one year of iFit membership, after which it costs $99 per year. There are no heart rate monitor capabilities. John Macgowan of IndoorCycleInstructor.com believes the power meter calculates power output based only on speed and user data, as gauge-based units would raise the price well over $1,300. Performance is called smooth and quiet.
Nice and easy. Users like the placement of the ProForm's gear shifter, which adjusts the resistance to match the selected virtual gear. The left shifter imitates the front sprocket and the right the rear sprocket, just like a standard road bike. However, several owners say the buttons feel cheap and break easily. The control panel is easy to use, but the full-color display is only 3.5 inches and many find it hard to read. Customers find assembly to be uncomplicated, but some report problems connecting the iFit feature to their home wireless network. Several others say their bikes ceased working after iFit rebuilt its website in December 2012, and some have lost all saved records.
Not a great track record. While many expert reviews heap praise on the ProForm Tour de France as the ultimate riding machine, users say otherwise. Many complain about the bike's construction, from creaking pedals to wobbly handlebars. The incline feature is great in theory, but owners report lots of issues. The Tour de France has a weight limit of 350 pounds, but stability is called only mediocre. A post at Amazon.com notes that most complaints refer to the first-generation ProForm Tour de France, but user comments seem to indicate that problems are ongoing. Feedback on the newer TDF Centennial is too limited to indicate whether ProForm has fixed these issues in its latest version.
Unhelpful, say many. The ProForm Tour de France comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty for parts and service and 10 years on the frame, but owners generally report that customer service is terrible. One Amazon.com user says, "While customer service seems friendly enough, they have been completely unable to produce any results in terms of getting the product working properly."
Here the Tour de France gets just 2.2 stars out of 5 after more than 85 user reviews. One-star posts outnumber 5-star reviews by more than three to one. Owners report inaccurate readings, poor customer service and early failure of essential parts.
Review: ProForm Le Tour de France (2012 Model), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
Thares, a certified personal trainer, named the Tour de France the Best Indoor Cycle in 2012, but it has since dropped from the top spot. His write-up is short and lacks any details on the criteria used to judge the stationary bike.
Review: ProForm Le Tour de France Indoor Cycling Bike, Arthur Thares, Jan. 16, 2012
Indoor cycling enthusiasts post their opinions on various subjects at this site, and Macgowan comments on the ProForm Tour de France. His review is brief and focuses on the bike's potential use in a club setting. He's critical of the power meter's accuracy, but otherwise likes the idea behind the bike. He doesn't personally test it, however, and his comments reflect an earlier version.
Review: Pro Form Le Tour de France Cycling Bike with Power, John Macgowan, July 26, 2011