Proform TDF Pro 5.0 Bike Review: Unique But Expensive!
When I first came across a Proform Tour De France bike, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The official training bike of the Tour De France is a huge statement to make, and that kind of advertising is going to have a lot of cyclists buy a bike like this.
It’s unlike many indoor bikes I have seen before, and I couldn’t wait to find out a little bit more about it. I started to search around before actually buying one of the Proform Tour De France bikes but there were so many models and they all looked pretty much the same.
I found it difficult to find the exact difference and similarities between Proform Tour De France indoor bikes. So, I decided to buy the TDF Pro (aka TDF 5.0 Pro) It’s not the same as the TDF 5.0 because it has more features such as gear shifters as well as front and rear gears which is more like real road bikes. It’s also about $500 more expensive than the ProForm TDF 5.0.
To help you understand the difference between all the current 6 models of Proform Tour De France exercise bikes, I decided to create a tablet of content and a comparison section right here. So, you may find your answer quickly.
Proform Tour De France Bikes Comparisons
Currently, there are 6 models of ProForm Tour De France (TDF) bikes. The very basic model is the Proform TDF. It’s about $1500 and has a basic round LED screen with a 15% incline/decline system. Its handlebars adjust only vertically so some users may not fit this model comfortably. Also, it doesn’t have front and rear gear shifting, it only has a fixed 26-level of magnetic resistance. Unlike the more advanced models, it’s not customizable or anything.
The next Proform Tour De France model is TDF 1.0. It’s pretty similar to the TDF except it has a better set of handlebars with forward and backward adjustment to achieve a better bike fit. Also, it has a smarter resistance system with the ability to automatically change based on the terrain you choose from Google Maps. As excepted, at $1999, it’s around $500 more expensive than the basic TDF bike.
One model up in the Proform Tour De France Series is the TDF 2.0. Although it is often priced the same as TDF 1.0, it has several better features. For instance, the TDF 2.0 has resistance shifters instead of resistance buttons. The shifters are on the drop handlebars very similar to what you have on your road bike. Just so we are clear, the TDF 2.0 doesn’t have front and rear chainrings/gears. Just like TDF, and TDF 1.0, it has regular resistance. But instead of buttons, it has shifters. Also, instead of a 15% incline and decline, it has a 20% incline and decline system which is more immersive. Its LED monitor is also more clear and easier to track stats than the round LED monitors on the TDF and TDF 1.0 models.
The next model up in the Proform Tour De France Series is the TDF 4.0. This Proform Tour De France bike was a ground-breaking model in the series with 1 major difference compared to the previous TDF bikes. Instead of a simple resistance system, the Proform Tour De France TDF 4.0 has a Triple front chainring and 10 back derailleurs (3×10 = 30 gear levels). So you get to customize your gear levels just like you would on a real road bike. It also has 2 gear shifters on the handlebars. The right-hand shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left-hand shifter controls the front derailleur. Additionally, this model has a 7-inch touchscreen console. It’s not HD but it’s full color and of course much better than an LED screen. So, when you ride on the iFit application, you don’t need to use your personal tablet. You can just use the bike’s console to log into your iFit profile.
The next model in the Proform TDF Bike Series is the TDF Pro. Less expensive than the TDF 4.0 because it doesn’t have the front and rear derailleur system. Instead, it has the standard 26-levels of magnetic resistance system. One important feature that the TDF Pro that you wouldn’t find on the older ProForm TDF models is the 10-inch HD touchscreen monitor. It eliminates the need for using an additional device to connect to iFit and other applications. Although its resistance system is simple (no front or rear derailleurs), you need to keep in mind that it also has fewer maintenance and breakdowns.
Last but not least the most advanced bike in the Tour De France Series is the ProForm TDF Pro 5.0. This model is the best of all. Just like the TDF 4.0, it has an advanced front and rear gearing system. There are 3 front derailleurs and 10 rear derailleurs which mix up 30 gear levels. The right-hand shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left-hand shifter controls the front derailleur. What this model has that the TDF 4.0 doesn’t have is the 10-inch touchscreen HD monitor. It’s a high-quality console that runs perfectly with the iFit application.
The main issue with all of these ProForm TDF bikes is the application support. They are all locked to connect/sync only with the iFit application. It’s simply not right or fair for companies to sell a piece of machinery for $3000 and yet lock the screen so that I am not able to ride on Zwift or other applications unless I am willing to use a third-party application as a bridge.
This is not just an issue with the ProForm but also with Nordictrack, Peloton, and many other fitness equipment companies that build indoor cycling bikes. It’s like selling an iPhone for $1000 and yet doesn’t allow you to install the application of your choice or only use a specific carrier. Thankfully, Roberto, a talented Italian firmware developer has created the QA application to enable these ProForm TDF bikes to work with the Zwift, Strava, Peloton, and other indoor cycling apps.
|ProForm TDF Pro 5.0||HD 10″ Touch||20% incline and decline||Yes||With front and rear gear shifters||30 Electro|
– Triple front chainring and 10 back derailleurs
|ProForm TDF Pro||HD 10″ Touch||20% incline and decline||Yes||With resistance control buttons||26 Electro|
|ProForm TDF 4.0||Color 7″ Touch||20% incline and decline||No||With front and rear gear shifters||30 Electro|
– Triple front chainring and 10 back derailleurs
|ProForm TDF 2.0||7″ LED||20% incline and decline||No||With resistance control shifters||26 Electro|
|ProForm TDF 1.0||Round LED||15% incline and decline||No||With resistance control buttons||26 Electro|
|ProForm TDF||Round LED||15% incline and decline||No||With resistance control buttons||26 Electro|
ProForm Tour De France Alternatives
At around $2999, the Proform Tour De France Pro 5.0 comes with quite a price tag, but it does boast a lot of technology for the money. As you can imagine, at this price, it is the flagship bike for Proform and is up there to battle it out with some extreme competition.
As for my personal professional opinion on the ProForm TDF Series, I don’t recommend them for starters or even mid-level cyclists. These bikes are not like your regular magnetic spin bikes, they are more like road bikes. When using one of these ProForm TDF bikes, you would actually need to get into a racing and/or road cycling position. It means you can’t stay in an upright or semi-upright position, you need to lean all the way forward to reach the handlebars and use the bike. If you are okay with what I mentioned, you are going to like the ProForm TDF indoor cycling bikes.
As for alternative ProForm TDF bikes, there are two that I would highly recommend. If you are a professional cyclist and can afford to spend a couple hundred more, I would highly suggest the Wahoo Kicker bike. It connects to several applications and has better quality and design.
If you are a starter or mid-level cyclist, I strongly suggest that you consider the Nordictrack S15i or S22i. They don’t have front and rear derailleurs but they have incline and decline systems and their screens are bigger.
ProForm Tour De France 5.0 Pro Review
ProForm TDF Pro 5.0 Console
Let’s start with the monitor. It’s a 10-inch HD, and it is a touch screen. It’s a pretty good screen, and the quality is what you would expect, pretty good. The bike will give you loads of data; you have RPM, Time, Distance, Calories, Power, Heart Rate, and Speed.
Now, if you have seen the monitor, you might have noticed quite a few buttons about this bike’s incline and decline settings. You use these to adjust the bike’s resistance, and it also has a fantastic feature of actually moving the whole bike, leaning it back and forward, and you use it.
I want to come back to this feature shortly when I speak about the transmission. The screen is made to be used with the iFit application. The iFit application is similar to companies like Echelon and Peloton. It’s a subscription-based platform.
They give you a year free with the bike. Then it costs $39 a month. If after a year you don’t want this, you have 24 preset cycling programs to use. It’s a pretty good application and has lots of classes. An entertaining feature is in the classes, the instructor can control the bike’s resistance, and the workouts are interactive.
You have some Tour De France Stages you’re able to train on like you’re in a race, and also it has google maps integration where you can pick routes, and the bike will simulate the terrain and adjust the resistance for you as you ride.
The power is a direct power meter that is excellent as many indoor bikes at this price would be an estimation. One thing to note is it does have to be plugged in and have WIFI to use the iFit application.
It’s really intelligent software, and I was impressed. It has Bluetooth connectivity for wireless chest strap HRM and headphones, but the bike is limited to the iFit app. Connecting to applications like Zwift and Peloton isn’t an option out of the box but there is an easy solution which I will explain here.
If you want to connect the Proform TDF 5.0 Pro (or other Proform TDF bikes), to Zwift, Peloton, or Strava, you can do this by reprograming the bike’s built-in console/tablet which can affect your warranty negatively. But of course, if you decide to go this route, I would suggest you not report it to the ProForm. If you don’t like it, you can always reset the console and bring everything back to normal.
So, if you want to use the ProForm TDF 5.0 Pro with non-iFit applications such as Zwift, you have to use your device (Tablet, PC, Mac, or ios) to install the Zwift application. Then, you will need to install the QZ application on your phone. Basically, in order to connect the ProForm bike to Zwift or Peloton, you will be installing two applications on two different devices.
However, if you want to use only one device (iPad, PC, or Mac), to install the Zwift and the QZ, you CAN. You will need to run the QZ application in the background and the Zwift application in the foreground. Very simple and you don’t need to install the QZ Companion app. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect your ProForm TDF bike to Zwift, Peloton, and other apps.
How to Connect a ProForm TDF Bike with Zwift, Fulgaz, Peloton, or Rouvy?
As I explained above, you can connect a ProForm TDF bike with the Zwift, Peloton, Fulgas, and Rouvy. But in order to do this, you need to install the QZ application on your phone and the Zwift on your iPad (or any other device that you prefer).
Both, the ProForm TDF bikes that send stats over WiFi and the TDF bikes that send stats over Bluetooth are compatible with the QZ application.
The only difference is that for the WiFi TDF bikes (the ones that have Bluetooth only for headphones), you might need to install the QZ Companion application on the bike console.
It really depends on the console that comes with your TDF bike, not really on the model. For instance, there are some TDF 2 bikes that connect using the IP address and some TDF 2 bikes that require the QZ companion app. It’s because ProForm used to sell these TDF indoor bikes with different consoles.
That said, for most models of ProForm TDF 1, 2, 4, and 5 bikes, you don’t need to install the QZ Companion app on the bike console.
Without further ado, here is how you can connect your ProForm TDF bike to the QZ app and then to Zwift, Rouvy, Fulgas, Strava, or Peloton apps.
Install the QZ on your phone and install the Zwift on your personal iPad (or Mac, PC, iOS, or Android). Open the QZ app on your phone and go into the settings> bike settings> Proform > insert the IP of your bike in the “TDF IP” section and press ok and restart QZ.
Make sure your bike and your devices running the QZ and Zwift applications are all on the same WiFi network. You can find your bike IP address from the back of the console, user manual, and in the console.
If resistance or incline/decline doesn’t respond correctly between the QZ and the bike, you go and play with the gain and offset features in the QZ application.
If you want more resistance, for instance, you set the “Inclination Gain” in the QZ to 2. Every person has preferences so feel free to play around with the settings in the QZ to achieve what you want.
If you have issues connecting, try these solutions:
- Make sure the Cycling Cadence Sensor “Peloton Compatibility” is off on the “QZ App Settings”.
- Make sure the value of the “Watt Gain” is 1 (not 0) on the “QZ App Settings”.
- Make sure the location services are enabled on your device (phone, iPad, etc) setting.
- Make sure your android device setting is set to visible for Bluetooth.
- Remove all the Bluetooth “paired devices” on your phone and tablet.
- In your Phone and Tablet Settings (not the App Settings), rename your devices to a “4-letter word” like “bike”.
- Those who use a PC to install the Zwift app might need a TP-Bluetooth Dongle to connect the Zwift with QZ.
- Reset the network settings of the iPad and iPhone (or any other device that you are using).
Transmission and Resistance System
The transmission system is exceptional, and it’s pretty different from other indoor cycling bikes. Unlike most spin bikes in the UK where you have a dial in front of you, adjusting it works on the bike shifters located on the handlebars.
There are triple front chainrings and 10 back derailleurs which is really exceptional. The right-hand shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left-hand shifter controls the front derailleur. You can use this to customize the gear ratio.
You electronically adjust the resistance using the buttons made out to be like a road racing bike, and it’s brilliant. They give you options of the gear ratios you want to use, and as you shift, the bike either inclines you or declines you with the bike.
The system is magnetic and completely frictionless. It runs a belt drive and will require next to no maintenance. What’s unique about this bike is that instead of moving the magnets closer to the flywheel, the whole bike moves closer to the flywheel, and the closer you get, the more resistance is generated.
When you shift the gear higher, the bike starts to incline, and the magnets approach the flywheel. When you decline, they come away giving a very realistic feel like you’re on a road bike riding outside. It’s so much fun, and through the iFit application, when the instructor is controlling this for you, it makes such a great workout. The bike is very quiet, and I wouldn’t worry about waking the flat below or my neighbors in night.
Flywheel, Pedals, Crank, and Q-Factor
The pedals on this bike are standard metal pedals with a toe cage but no SPD Clip option. At first, I thought this was a bit surprising, but realistically, most road cyclists who want this bike will be on Look pedals or SPD-SL, meaning they would take the pedals out altogether. The pedal thread is standard 9/16, and this can be done with ease.
The Q Factor is the size of the bracket between the crank arms. On a road bike, you would have around 150mm on a mountain bike 170mm. The Q Factor isn’t listed by Proform, but from what I can find out online, it is around 171mm, which I think is nice and small and will give that road bike feel, not the spinning bike feel.
The flywheel is 27 lbs (12kg) which on a bike with a magnetic resistance system like this is about right. It sits at the rear of the bike, and it doesn’t come with a guard, so it’s not child or pet-friendly.
User Weight and Hight Support
The bike itself weighs 67kg, so it’s not the lightest bike ever, but it’s easy to transport around on the wheels at the front. It’s 62″ in length, 25″ in width, and 54″ in height. It’s pretty significant as far as bikes go, but it doesn’t take over the room.
The max user weight is 350 lb (125kg), and it has a vast user range from 5 feet 4-inch all the way to 6 feet 7-inch. So, if you fit within the mentioned height, you should be able to Proform TDF 5 without any problem.
Since it has several motors for the incline and resistance systems, you should plug in the bike to a standard electricity outlet to make it work. It doesn’t work with AAA batteries and it’s not self-charging.
Handlebars, Seat, and Assembly
Assembly is straightforward, and you’re looking at about an hour to complete the task. All the main parts come assembled. You would only need to put together the front and the back part of the frame which is easier to do if you are two people.
Once you put together the frame stabilizers/feet, you can do the rest without the help of another person. There are the handlebars, seat, pedals, and monitor that you will have to install. Nothing major, there are a couple of blots and screws to tighten. The tools are included but I used my own.
The warranty is two years, which is generous, and I feel Proform that they show a lot of belief in how their product will perform. I am a cyclist myself and find bikes trying to be road-style bikes and something a little quirky compared to a spinning bike very appealing. Is the Proform Tour De France as good as it looks?
The handlebars can move vertically and horizontally, but if you are to move them horizontally, it requires an Allen key and is quite tricky. Vertically is a quick release and has no issues.
The Saddle can move horizontally and vertically on the quick release also. I love this bike because it doesn’t have a pin system where you roughly get your seat height. You can adjust to the millimeter, and it bands itself in place. It comes with water bottle holders on the front, which are great for those longer rides.
ProForm Tour de France Bike Pros
- Frictionless Magnet System
- HD 10″ TouchScreen Monitor
- Rear-Facing Flywheel and Very Stable during intense rides
- 20% Incline Decline System
- 24 Preset Classes without iFit application
- Very Quiet drive system
- Racing drop handlebars
- Speakers and cooling fan
- Tablet, bottle, and phone holders
ProForm Tour de France Bike Cons
- iFit Application cost
- The large size of the bike
- Not compatible with other applications unless jailbroken
- Pedals are not cycling cleat compatible
- Horizontally adjustment on the handlebars requires using a tool
- No elbow rests on the handlebars
When I first saw this bike, I thought it would be a gimmick trying to make a spin bike look like a road bike. When I got the chance to learn a little more about it, I realized they are doing the complete opposite. They have made a training bike completely tailored to road cyclists, and all the little details have been added. I love the incline and decline features. I think it’s incredible and gives a great simulation of going up and down hills. Changing the resistance on the road bike shifters is terrific. I love that it has a power meter and that they have even brought you some Tour De France stages to race. If you want to spin indoors and use the iFit app to change the resistance, it is excellent. I want to compare this to a Peloton or an Echelon, but I can’t because it’s in a category of its own, and that’s what I love about this bike. If you’re a road cyclist, you need this indoor bike!