ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike Review

The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike is certainly worth a glance of health enthusiasts looking for affordable exercise machines.

Not only is it one of the lowest-priced machines from ProForm, but also one of the most affordable recumbent bikes with an automatic resistance system.

Published: May 8, 2020.

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ProForm 235 CSX Specifications

- Dimensions when assembled: 56 x 24 x 44 inches (142 x 61 x 112 cm) (L x W x H)

- Weight: 102 lbs. (46.2 kg)

- Maximum user weight capacity: 275 lbs. (125 kg)

- Resistance: 18 levels, Eddy current

- Warranty: 7 years on frame, 90 days on parts

Features of ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike

Assembly

All the internal parts, i.e. the flywheel, servo motor, pulley, belt and crank arms of the ProForm 235 CSX comes already assembled and attached to the main frame. Thus users just need to attach the seat, backrest, base bars, console mast, console, handlebars, and pedals.

This may take around an hour. However, some users may find the assembly process complicated and may take around 2 hours for it. The manual has all the necessary information and schematics for the assembly. A basic toolkit is also included, but users will need a Phillips screwdriver.

Construction

The construction of the ProForm 235 CSX is extremely strong to withstand users up to 275 lbs. Although the main frame is made of steel, the construction integrates many plastic parts, such as covers of the resistance system and casing of the console.

Frame

The ProForm 235 CSX features a solid steel frame. Its base as well as the seat frame and console mast have a black corrosion-resistant paint finish. The adjustment rail of the seat however has a gray paint finish.

Step-thru Design

To enable users undergoing recovery from illness or injury, or elderly or disabled patients to step in and out of the bike easily, the ProForm 235 CSX has a very comfortable step-thru design.

Stability

The ProForm 235 CSX is not a very heavy bike but weighs around double as much as a road recumbent bike. This weight adds to the stability of the bike. Moreover, the rear base of the bike has a set of adjustable levelers.

Seat

proform 235 csx seat

The ProForm 235 CSX features an ergonomically designed seat and backrest, both furnished with 2” thick foam padding, covered with durable vinyl upholstery.

The entire seat assembly is adjustable, and can move back and forth on the adjustment rail. The lever placed on the right side helps users lock it in their desired position. However, the backrest is not independently adjustable.

Console

The console of the ProForm 235 CSX is quite impressive for its low price. It has an LED-backlit LCD display which is divided into three sections. The top section displays speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), power output, and heart rate when users use the front handlebars with pulse rate sensors.

Each of these metrics is displayed for several seconds. It also displays the resistance level just for a few seconds when users change it.

proform 235 csx console

The middle section displays time and distance. Users can set the distance in kilometers or miles. Both these metrics are displayed alternatively for a few seconds each. Goal value can also be set for time, and the display will show the time remaining for achieving the goal rather than elapsed time.

The bottom section displays pedaling speed and calories burned. Speed can be set either in mph or km/h. This section too will display these two metric alternatively, each for a few seconds.

Preset Workout Programs

No online connectivity is available for the console unit. However, there are 18 preset workout programs, classified into two categories: Watts Workouts that focus on watts and resistance and Calorie Workouts that focus on speed and resistance.

The console has separate buttons for each of these program categories. When users select a preset workout, the resistance on the bike will be auto-adjusted depending on the each one of the program segments.

Handlebars

There are two sets of handlebars on the bike, one attached to the seat and the other to the console mast. Both the sets are non-adjustable. For additional comfort, they are covered with rubberized grips. The front handlebars have pulse sensors integrated in them.

Resistance

The ProForm 235 CSX is equipped with an eddy current silent magnetic resistance (SMR) system comprising of a small servo motor and magnetic brake. Hence 4 D-type batteries are needed to run the console; but, the batteries are not included. The bike can also run on an adapter which too is not included.

Users can adjust the resistance from + / - buttons on the console. Once users adjust it, the servo motor changes the position of the magnetic brake corresponding to the flywheel, increasing or reducing the intensity of the internal magnetic field. The pedal resistance is also increased or reduced this way.

The ProForm 235 CSX comes with 18 levels of resistance. The lower levels from 1 to 3 provide very little pedal tension which is great for elderly, ill, disabled or injured users for recovery training. The uppermost i.e. 17th – 18th levels of resistance simulate a steep climb and thus offer a more intense leg muscle burn and cardio workout.

Drive

The ProForm 235 CSX also comes with a belt drive system, just like most exercise bikes featuring a magnetic resistance system. There is a heavy-duty poly-v belt integrated in its internal transmission. This belt is stretch-resistant and is made to last. This belt-drive system doesn’t need any lubrication, produces less vibration than a chain-drive system and it’s almost quiet.

As in most other bikes with a magnetic resistance system, brake pad and flywheel are in no contact with each other; thus there is no noise when the bike is in use.

Flywheel and Crankset

The internal flywheel of the ProForm 235 CSX is inertia-enhanced i.e. most of its weight is located in its perimeter, thus providing a steadier motion and more consistent momentum. Weighing 14 lbs. (6.3 kg), it’s a mid-range flywheel for a recumbent bike.

The crank arms of the crankset are solid steel though users cannot stand on the pedals, since this is a recumbent bike. The weighted pedals have a non-slip surface and adjustable straps to secure the user’s feet while pedaling.

Portability

Once the bike is assembled, it’s not very difficult to move around although it’s a bit weighty, thanks to its front base caps that can rotate and serve as transport wheels.

Footprint

Once assembled, the ProForm 235 CSX is quite large-sized, with a length of around 56” and width 24”. Its highest point is around 44” above floor level. It is at the top of the console. In addition, it’s recommended to maintain a clearance of around 2 feet on all the sides of the machine.

Add-ons

The console of the ProForm 235 CSX features a sound system and tablet holder.

The sound system comprises of 2” dual speakers. The console features an audio jack input and buttons for volume control. The system is compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players.

The tablet holder is positioned above the controls of the unit and can accommodate most phones and tablets. However, placing a device in it will partially cover the display.

The bike also comes with a bottle holder placed on the console mast, so users can keep themselves hydrated during the workout.

Maintenance

The ProForm 235 CSX needs minimal maintenance. The internal parts don’t need any lubrication or other type of maintenance, at least for a few years. Users just have to keep the unit free from dust and regularly check for any loose nuts and bolts.

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Pros of ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike

- Solid, sturdy construction

- Maximum user weight capacity of 275 lbs.

- Step-thru design

- Adjustable seat assembly

- Seat and backrest padded with 2” thick foam for optimum comfort

- Pulse sensors integrated into front handlebars

- 18 workout programs

- 18 levels of resistance

- Quiet operation

- LED backlit LCD display divided into 3 sections for convenient viewing

- Sound system with speakers included

- Bottle holder included

- Tablet holder included

- Very little maintenance needed

- Good warranty

Cons of ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike

- Batteries and power adapter not included

- A tablet placed on the tablet holder covers the display partially


Bottom Line

The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike is a solid, sturdy bike, great for light to medium intensity cardio exercises, stamina development, muscle toning, weight loss as well as recovery training. It has many attractive features like an automatic magnetic resistance system, 18 levels of resistance, comfortable and adjustable seat and backrest, and 18 preset workouts.

Being a mid-range recumbent bike, it offers the best price to quality ratio.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).