Pro Fitness is a popular seller of budget home exercise equipment in the UK. They produce everything from weighted vests to boxing gloves, but are probably best known for their cardio machines. In this article, we'll review several of the most popular Pro Fitness exercise bikes to help you decide which to buy - and which to avoid.
Update 2019: Pro Fitness bikes are no longer in production. For an excellent alternative in a similar price range, check out Roger Black exercise bikes on this page.
Who is Pro Fitness?
Pro Fitness is a brand of exercise equipment sold by Argos. Like the Roger Black Fitness brand, which is also sold by Argos, Pro Fitness exercise bikes target the lower end of the market. However, while Roger Black bikes range up to £400, Pro Fitness bikes are even cheaper (most are in the £100-£200 range).
With low prices it's clear that the bikes are designed to provide value rather than advanced features. But the real question is are they any good? While we wouldn't recommend a Pro Fitness exercise bike to experienced riders or people who want a highly intensive workout, they can provide a solid low-budget option. We don't think all Pro Fitness bikes are worth the money though, so make sure you read our mini-reviews below.
List of Pro Fitness Exercise Bikes
One of the hardest parts about choosing a Pro Fitness exercise bike is knowing which model is best for your fitness goals. That's why we've put together a simple comparison of the models currently available. You can also view our list of the top-rated exercise bikes in the UK.
|Name||Type||Max. User Weight||Flywheel Weight||Pre-Set Workouts?||Resistance Type||View Price|
|Pro Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike||Upright||100kg||4.2kg||No||Magnetic||View Price|
|Pro Fitness JX Aerobic Training Bike||Indoor Cycling||120kg||13.8kg||No||Frictional||View Price|
|Pro Fitness Recumbent Folding Exercise Bike||Recumbent||100kg||1.7kg||No||Frictional||View Price|
1. Pro Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike
One of the most popular models in the Pro Fitness range is its basic magnetic exercise bike. Compared to more expensive magnetic bikes it's a simple model that's lacking in features, but it could be an option if you want a light workout from home.
The Pro Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike is built with a 4.2kg flywheel. This is relatively light, even for a bike in this price range, so don't expect the smoothest ride or the most intense workout. Its magnetic resistance system is relatively quiet though, and there are eight levels to adjust the difficulty of your workout.
As you would expect from a cheap exercise bike, it has a simple console that displays basic statistics about your workout. These include speed, distance, calories burned, pulse (via the handlebar sensors) and total time. There are no built-in workout programs included.
A downside to this bike is you can't adjust the seat horizontally. You also can't adjust the height of the handlebars. This makes it unsuitable for long workout sessions, in our opinion, as it's important to be able to adjust a bike to your height and build to prevent overuse injuries.
Despite these drawbacks, as a low-budget magnetic bike it does a solid job. If you don't want to spend too much on a bike, or only want one for short or low-intensity workouts, it's an option to consider. A word of warning though - we don't recommend this bike to people with back problems. The lack of adjustable handlebars could mean extra strain is put on your back if the bike isn't the right size for your body.
2. Pro Fitness JX Aerobic Training Bike
If you want a more intense workout than other Pro Fitness exercise bikes can provide, the JX Aerobic is a good alternative. It's a spin/indoor cycling bike that's designed for tough training sessions - and we think it provides reasonable value for money in comparison to other similar bikes.
One of the big differences between the JX Aerobic and other Pro Fitness exercise bikes is that this is a frictional resistance model. Unlike magnetic bikes, which use magnets to increase or decrease resistance, the JX has a simple manual system. This means it's louder and requires more maintenance - but it also keeps the cost down.
Another difference is the weight of the flywheel. As you would expect from an indoor cycling bike, the JX Aerobic has a much heavier 13.8kg flywheel. This increases the smoothness of the pedalling action while allowing for more intense workout. The heavier weight of the bike overall also allows you to pedal faster without worrying about it toppling over (although this makes it less convenient to move around the home).
The Pro Fitness spin bike also has a simple on-board console, showing basic statistics such as time and speed, and an adjustable seat and handlebars.
So how does the JX Aerobic compare with other spin bikes? The flywheel is around average for a model in this price range, so we don't have any complaints there (although the similarly priced XS Sports Aerobic has a 15kg flywheel). It's also relatively comfortable, but we recommend buying a gel seat cover for long riding sessions. The frictional resistance system is louder and not as smooth as magnetic bikes, but you're unlikely to find a magnetic spin bike in this price range.
Overall, the Pro Fitness JX Aerobic Training Bike is a surprisingly solid model considering the low price. It's not close to "gym standard," but can provide a great workout and is easy to put together.
3. Pro Fitness Recumbent Folding Exercise Bike
The Pro Fitness Recumbent Folding is an interesting bike. As you can see from the picture to the right, the folding design means it looks very different to other recumbent exercise bikes. But is it worth the money?
Firstly, like all folding or mini exercise bikes, this isn't designed for people who want intense workouts. Instead, it's a simple model that can provide a light cardio workout without leaving home.
It's built with a manual frictional resistance system. This allows you to adjust the difficulty of your workout using 8 different levels, although it's not as smooth as magnetic models. The 1.7kg flywheel is also very lightweight - but considering the low price and folding design this is to be expected.
So what are the advantages of this bike? The recumbent design means it places less strain on your lower back, although your body position isn't "fully" recumbent like non-folding models. It's also relatively cheap and doesn't take up much space when folded.
Despite the folding design and low price, it's difficult to recommend the Pro Fitness Recumbent Folding exercise bike. It doesn't have the flywheel weight or stability for a difficult workout, so it's only useful for light cardio. There are also complaints from buyers that it's not suitable for shorter people, as even the lowest height setting forces you to stretch. Overall, this is a bike to be avoided.
If you're looking for a low-budget piece of exercise equipment to help you get in shape from home, a Pro Fitness exercise bike could be a good option. While the brand's bikes don't have advanced features and aren't suited for intense workouts, they are worth considering if you don't want to spend too much money.
In our opinion, the best Pro Fitness exercise bike is the JX Aerobic. While we don't think it's the best spin bike in its price range, it provides a solid workout that can handle intense sections. We definitely don't recommend the Pro Fitness Folding Recumbent for anything more than very light workouts though.
Do you have any questions about Pro Fitness exercise bikes? Or do you own one and want to give feedback about how it performs? Let us know in the comments!