ProForm 250i Elliptical Review

ProForm 250i Elliptical is one of the best cross trainers for under $500. With 14 magnetic resistance and 14 preset programs, iFit compatibility and also 17-inch stride the ProForm Elliptical 250i is one of the top-rated compact budget elliptical trainers.

You have probably heard the word ProForm as they are one of the best fitness, especially elliptical manufacturers around the world.

The 25oi elliptical is not one of the ProForm’s best equipment, however, compared to its competitors in this price range, it really stands. According to consumers the Bluetooth doesn’t stay connected and isn’t great. Other than that this machine offers what you might be expecting from a compact budget elliptical.

This ProForm compact budget elliptical is not as easy to store as EFITMENT however, it’s sturdier and offers more functionalities compare to Efitment.

With 133-lb weight and transport wheels, it’s easy to move around in the house and doesn’t take much space due to the front drive system compared to many other ellipticals.  To find out if this ProForm elliptical is for you, please read the article, including the Pros and Cons at the end of the article.

With all this being said, we don’t recommend this ProForm Elliptical for serious cross trainers. This compact elliptical machine is only good for beginners and intermediate exercisers who lack in space and have a tight budget.

It nor provides the challenging resistance neither is sturdy for intense exercise. Therefore, if you are a heavyweight or an elite exerciser, I recommend you search for better elliptical machines such as Body Solid E300 or HIIT Trainer Pro.

They are two well built sturdy and compact elliptical machines that cost less than $1500 and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any levels of trainees.  ProForm Elliptical 250i also lacks in incline ramp which is not a surprise for this price range. So, if you can’t afford to spend $700+, I recommend you not to look for incline ramp functionality.

ProForm 250i Elliptical Overview


You should go for the ProForm 250i elliptical if:

  • You are a novice trainee. If you are new to elliptical training and not going to spend more than “let’s say” 3 hours per week on this elliptical.
  • You are below 200-lbs and shorter than 6.3 feet. ProForm 250i is a total body workout budget machine but not durable for heavyweight exercisers. The 17″ stride length allows only riders between 5 to 6 feet to stretch both arms and legs fully for a full body cardio workout. With this being said the stride length can be also a matter of personal preferences. Some taller trainees wouldn’t mind exercising on shorter strides.
  • You are a trainee with a tight budget and small space who don’t mind a bit of wobbling during tense training. ProForm 250i is a good low price elliptical for the mid-weight novice with a tight budget. If you are above 200-lbs and taller than 6.3 feet, we recommend you to look for an elliptical with the longer stride and sturdier structure such as Sole E35  or AFG Sports 9.5AE.
  • You are an exerciser who don’t intend to push to your limits. ProForm 250i elliptical is made for those exercisers who simply want to do an easy low-impact workout and stay active and not for intense cardio workout.

You should NOT go for PreForm 250i elliptical if:

  • You are a serious elliptical exerciser. This ProForm budget elliptical doesn’t offer a durable mechanism or frame for hard-core training.
  • You are a heavyweight and tall exerciser. The weight limit is 250-lb but we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone above 220-lb due to the light flywheel and not so solid frame and parts. Stride length is not sufficient for tall exercisers to do a maximum workout on the lower body or stretch the arms. Keep in mind if the stride is short, not only the lower body won’t get the maximum benefit of the workout but also the arms and shoulder can’t stretch out completely.
  • You are a novice and intermediate trainee who can stretch your budget to $600 for Smart Strider 495 CSE Folding elliptical.
  • Multiple users want to use the machine. ProForm 250i elliptical is not to be used more than a few hours a week. If you want an elliptical machine that can offer cardio training for multiple family members, it’s better to go for a more solid and durable elliptical such as 953 CSE

What is special about ProForm elliptical 250i

  • Bluetooth, you can connect your device to the console and take your workout online to the iFit apps and Google Map street views during the workout. You can also connect and share your progress with your friends on the web. You can track your daily workout data for monthly comparison or use the limitless number of programs on the apps. Note: According to some reviews on the web, the Bluetooth connectivity isn’t so great and sometimes disconnects.
  • Programs and resistance, this ProForm elliptical offers 14 silent magnetic resistance levels and 14 programs. Every workout-app is designed by certified trainers to eliminate the need for you to spend extra money on a personal trainer.
  • Mp3/iPad and cooling fan. this ProForm compact elliptical allows you to plug in your device to the console and listen to your music through the built-in speakers. Therefore, you wouldn’t need to have headphones while training.

ProForm 250i Elliptical Review


There is barely any elliptical produced today with non-magnetic resistance. However, not all of them offer enough tensions to challenge the exercises. The 250i ProForm cross trainer provides a good amount of tension for novice trainees.

You get 14 magnetic resistance levels adjustable from the console. You can also track your resistance level on the LCD display.

Stride and incline

ProForm 250i elliptical has 17 inches strides. It’s not adjustable, unlike more expensive machines where you can set stride motion longer. Adjustable strides allow users with different heights to get the most out of their exercise.

By changing the stride you can do running on the machine and stretch your legs more for better lower body workout. Unfortunately, it’s also something you won’t get in budget elliptical machines. If you want Mid-price elliptical with an adjustable stride, I recommend to check out the Sole e35.

17-Inch stride is good for trainees from 5 to 6.3 feet tall. However, taller trainees can still use this compact elliptical but without being able to stretch much.


495 Proform folding elliptical has a very basic console that displays the necessary information of your workout. However, you can not see the values at once.

It scans and changes through every value at a time. You can connect the console to your device and track the data on the tablet or phone so, the basic LCD isn’t an issue.

You can track the following values of your workout.
Resistance Level, Watts, Distance, Speed, Total Strides, Calories and Average Heart Rate

The console doesn’t have user profile to save your daily data on the machine. So, you either track your info on the iFit App (you need to subscribe to do so) or write it down at the end of each exercise session if you want to see your weekly/monthly progress.

Preset- Programs
There are 14 programs built in the console that you can get on the machine and enjoy using them. It’s not bad at all for this price range.

The machine picks your heart from the pulse sensors located on the stationary handlebars. You can obviously connect your heart rate chest strap to the Bluetooth. However, there is no information that LCD will display the result of the chest strap. So, I suggest you check that out with the seller or company if it’s an important factor for you.

Speaker and cooling fan
Both these options exist on the console. You can Plug in your iPod/MP3 and use the sound system. As far as the cooling fan goes, I can’t find information if you can change the speed or not.

Bluetooth and App connectivity
This ProForm Elliptical has built-in Bluetooth it’s compatible with iFit App. There are countless workout programs on the App, however, it requires the subscription.

Pedals and Handlebars

This compact elliptical offers over-size pedals to accommodate large feet. However, unlike most other ProForm elliptical trainers the pedals don’t have the cushion.

The handlebars have soft cushion pads and provide multiple hand-grip options. It doesn’t have control on the buttons to change resistance or volume. Again, the built-in controls on the handlebars can be found only on more expensive elliptical machines.

More information on ProForm 250i elliptical machine

Customer Service β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†Power Source: Battery&Adapter
Warranty β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†Flywheel:11-Lb
Average Rating β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†Programs14
Machine Weight:133 LbsFolding:No
Dimensions:60L X 25.5W X 69HSpeakerYes
Max user weight:250 LbsCooling FanYes
Resistance: 14-Level Magnetic Bidirectional:Yes
Incline Ramp:NOBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:17 Inches Media Shelf Yes

Flywheel and drive

This elliptical has one of the lightest flywheels with only above 10 Lbs. However, the motion is pretty smooth because of the Eddy Current resistant system.

ProForm 250i elliptical is a front drive machine and that’s what makes it compact and easy to store. The operation on this ProForm elliptical is smooth and quiet which bring us to the point that it’s a good fit for apartments.

Last Word

If you are on tight budget and novice looking for a compact elliptical machine, this Proform cross trainer can be your choice.

Although, you need to keep in mind that it lacks in some functionalities such as adjustable stride, incline, and might wobble during intense exercise.


  • Bluetooth and iFit compatible
  • 14 Resistance levels
  • 14 Preset-Programs
  • Affordable price
  • Speaker & cooling fan
  • iPod/MP3 connection
  • Media tray
  • Adjustable foot levelers


  • It rocks when exercising.
  • iFit connectivity issue, according to some consumers.
  • To keep track of the workout on the App, you need to subscribe and pay around $11 per month.
  • Small LCD display.
  • The console doesn’t have user profile to record the daily workout

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.