ProForm SmartStrider CSE Elliptical Comparisons

Given that workouts have evolved from gyms to homes, home ellipticals are increasingly in demand. At the heart of this demand are space and functionality considerations, because of course, most houses lack commercial gyms’ accommodation capacity. As a result, home exercisers are constantly on the hunt for good-quality elliptical machines that complement their homes’ space specifications. Fortunately, some fitness brands are in tune with these requirements and have released space-saving and home-worthy elliptical machines into the market. One of such elliptical machines is the Proform SmartStrider CSE ellipticals.

With a pretty long name like that, you can’t but wonder what these ellipticals are. Put merely, Proform’s SmartStrider series is a collection of three rear-drive, space-saving elliptical trainers. The trainers in ascending order of superiority are; the Proform 495 CSE elliptical, the Proform 695 CSE elliptical, and the Proform 895 CSE elliptical. Why Proform chooses to give them such lengthy names, we can’t say for sure, but we know that these ellipticals are made of some pretty good stuff and grit! The ProForm ellipticals in these series have various performance capabilities and features that are nothing but goal-getting.

Be it construction, flywheel specifications, resistance and incline settings, handlebar and pedal articulation, accessories, etcetera ─ these ellipticals are designed to maximize performance without sacrificing convenience and comfort. Of course, these series’ ellipticals are not carbon copies, so you shouldn’t expect one to be exactly like the other. With this in mind, our comparison article seeks to dissect the uniformities and variations of the three Proform SmartStrider ellipticals. So sit back and take some notes!

PROFORM SMART STRIDER CSE 895 vs 695 vs 495:


ProForm Smart Strider Ellipticals Specs Comparison
ProForm CSE 895ProForm-Smart-Strider-895-CSE-Review200 Lbs65” H x 32” x W x 80" L325 Lbs18 lb24-Level
ProForm CSE 695ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE Review190 Lbs65” H x 32” x W x 80" L300 Lbs18 lb20-Level
ProForm CSE 495ProForm Smart Strider 495183 Lbs65” H x 32” x W x 80" L275 Lbs13 lb18-Level

The variations and similarities between the Proform SmartStride ellipticals begin with some key specifications, including footprint, maximum weight capacity, size, and flywheel weight and resistance settings. Although the three ellipticals stem from the same commercial-gauge construction, there is a slight difference in sturdiness. For example, the 695 and 895 CSE ellipticals feel a lot sturdier than the 495 CSE elliptical machine. Consequently, the base 495 CSE trainer has the least maximum weight capacity of 275 Ibs, which is quite limited and out of bounds for heavyweight users. The mid-model 695 CSE elliptical comes in second with a more significant 300Ibs maximum weight limit, while the elite 895 CSE SmartStrider can support users that weigh up to 325Ibs. In light of this, the Proform 695 and 895 CSE models are better suited for big-boned individuals.

On the subject of size, the Proform SmartStrider ellipticals are look-alikes. They all measure 65” by height, 32 inches by width, and 80 inches in depth. And you bet they live up to their storage capability. The SmartStriders integrate what Proform terms a Vertical SpaceSaver design, which refers to the ellipticals’ ability to fold. With this innovative design, you can fold and stow the elliptical away for storage when you are done working out. Hence, it doesn’t get in your way nor mess up your space orientation. While they share the exact dimensions, they weigh differently; the 495 CSE weighs 183Ibs, the 695 weighs 190Ibs, and the 895 weighs 200Ibs (it looks like the more the maximum weight capacity, the more the machine’s weight). To lend a hand to their weight and storage mechanism are rear-mounted porting wheels.

Where flywheels are concerned, the Proform ellipticals have varying flywheel weights. The Proform 495 CSE elliptical has a less-than-average 13Ibs flywheel, which is too light for comfort and does not offer any real challenge. According to industry standards, an appropriate flywheel should measure at least 20Ibs and beyond. Elite trainers will likely find its flywheel dissatisfactory, while beginner and intermediate users may find it satisfactory. The Proform 695 and 895 CSE ellipticals feature an 18Ibs flywheel, which is also below par but much better than the 495’s. So yes, the Proform SmartStriders need a slight improvement in the flywheel department. Anchoring the flywheels is Proform’s Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) System, which delivers a near-silent operation with decent resistance settings. You have 18 resistance levels to choose from on the Proform 495 elliptical, and the Proform 695 gives you 20 resistance levels, while the Proform 895 offers the highest resistance settings of 24 levels.


ProForm Smart Strider Ellipticals Monitors Comparison
ProForm CSE 895ProForm-Smart-Strider-895-CSE-Review7-inchTouchscreenBluetooth32iFit
ProForm CSE 695ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE ReviewN/ALCDBluetooth24iFit
ProForm CSE 495ProForm Smart Strider 495N/ALCDBluetooth18iFit

The Proform 495 and 695 SmartStriders ace the Monitor specification test with a circular Watts display that unfolds on an LED screen. The screens on both CSE ellipticals display and log user performance statics, including time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. The crystal-clear LED translates to quality readability, making it easy to see all that is on display without straining the eyes. The elite Proform 895 CSE elliptical, unsurprisingly, has the best monitor of the trio. While the preceding models’ screen sizes are not specified, the Proform 895 CSE has a bigger 7-inch touchscreen optimized for web browsing. As such, you can check in with the online world while working out. It also offers performance feedback like its sister-models, including resistance and telemetric heart rate data.

There is no shortage of on-board workout programs on the Proform SmartStrider Ellipticals. They each offer various workout programs that increase across the series. The Proform 495 CSE has 18 pre-set workout programs, the Proform 695 CSE is loaded with 24 workout programs, and as always, the Proform 895 CSE provides a broader array of 32 workout programs. The workouts are also programmed to adjust the machines’ resistance automatically. Plus, all three ellipticals, including the entry-level 495 CSE, are Bluetooth and iFit compatible.

iFit availability on the Proform SmartStrider means you can explore an expansive collection of GlobeTrek workouts, adding more variety, fun, and challenge to your workout routine. And you wouldn’t be doing this alone as certified fitness trainers will virtually lead you by the hand. If you are a visually-inclined person (or not), you will find the Google Maps tour greatly exciting and entertaining. Virtual or not, taking a fitness tour around the world is super fantastic. And did we forget to mention the personalized nutrition and lifestyle guide! iFit is undoubtedly a super cool feature to have on an elliptical machine. But here is the thing; you must subscribe to access this app. If your budget will allow, the subscription comes in highly recommended.


ProForm Smart Strider Ellipticals Incline and Stride Comparison
ProForm CSE 895ProForm-Smart-Strider-895-CSE-Review18" Fixed10-Degree PoweredYes
ProForm CSE 695ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE Review18" Fixed10-Degree PoweredYes
ProForm CSE 495ProForm Smart Strider 49518" FixedNoneYes

Fitness enthusiasts know that stride and incline are two of the indispensable features of an elliptical machine. These two factors determine the level of comfort and challenge you’d get on your elliptical. With that said, stride length remains a constant, fixed, 18-inches throughout the Proform SmartStrider series. This length is adequate for petite trainees but not so much for taller individuals. In a nutshell, these ellipticals may not be the ideal choice for taller humans. And we wish it was adjustable too, but never mind!

Moving on to the incline, the Proform SmartStriders don’t do badly here ─ except the Proform 495 CSE elliptical, which regrettably has no incline. Considering that the elliptical incline is the closest thing to indoor hiking and focused muscle toning, this is a minus point for the Proform 495CSE elliptical. But if you don’t care much for incline or hiking activities, this wouldn’t be a let-down.

Forgive the digression, and let’s discuss the incline of the superior models. Both ellipticals offer an incline range of up to 10-degrees, which provides ample challenge to work specific muscle groups in your body. You can focus the “heat” on your calves, glutes, and calves with these incline settings. You can also simulate trail training, which gives the perfect outdoor hiking feel. Lastly, you can make quick adjustments to the monitor’s incline ramp (for both models) and the moving arm bars (on the Proform 895 CSE model only).


ProForm Smart Strider Ellipticals Pedals and Handlebars Comparison
ProForm CSE 895ProForm-Smart-Strider-895-CSE-ReviewWith controls on the handlebarsAdjustable and CushionedSingle-GripYes
ProForm CSE 695ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE ReviewWithout controls on the handlebarsAdjustable and CushionedSingle-GripYes
ProForm CSE 495ProForm Smart Strider 495Without controls on the handlebarsNon-Adjustable, no CushionSingle-GripYes

The Proform SmartStrider ellipticals are equipped with two sets of handlebars; Static and moving arms. The static handles perform two functions. The house EKG pulse grip sensors read your pulse (when your palm makes direct contact with them) and display them on the monitor screen. Secondly, they serve as a resting point for tired arms.

Conversely, the mobile handles augment total-body workout by working your upper body muscles. Additionally, the handlebars rank high for ergonomics. They are adequately upholstered and are soft on the grip. All but the 895 CSE handles are devoid of resistance and incline controls. The upper-end elliptical’s mobile handles allow quick resistance and incline control from its bars.

When it comes to pedal articulation, the superior Proform SmartStrider models take the lead. While the Proform 495 CSE elliptical’s pedals lack cushioning and adjustability settings, the Proform 695 and 895 elliptical machines feature both. Thus, you have better foot positioning, fit and comfort on the upper-end models.


ProForm Smart Strider Ellipticals Accessory and Assembly Comparison
ProForm CSE 895ProForm-Smart-Strider-895-CSE-ReviewTablet holderBottle holderIncludedModerateSpeakers and audio jack
ProForm CSE 695ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE ReviewTablet holderBottle holderIncludedModerateSpeakers and audio jack
ProForm CSE 495ProForm Smart Strider 495Tablet holderBottle holderIncludedModerateSpeakers and audio jack

The Proform SmartStrider ellipticals are not just loaded with key performance features, but they also treat users to several useful accessories that enhance workout quality and experience. Each SmartStrider ellipticals feature a tablet holder located at the top of the console so users can secure and access their mobile device while working out.

The superior models offer dual CoolAire workout fans that tackle the heat and hot weather conditions ─ This is missing on the Proform 495 CSE model. A set of speakers with adjustable volume is also provided to optimize audio entertainment. The speakers are compatible with iPod and a good number of MP3 players. Water bottle holders are made available to aid in-workout hydration. Finally, the Proform 695 CSE and the Proform 895 CSE include chest strap devices with their purchase.

Assembling the Proform SmartStrider ellipticals is the most straightforward task. Proform prides itself with its “out-of-the-box” assembly, which is a straight forward set-up process. The ellipticals are delivered partially assembled, so installation takes less than an hour. There are few parts to be installed, such as the stabilizers and the tablet holder. An easy-to-follow instruction guide with illustrations and labeled components are included to ease the assembly process further. Given that the ellipticals are quite heavy, lifting may prove difficult, so you are advised to get help. While most of the assembly tools are provided, you will also need a Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable wrench.


ProForm Hybrid Ellipticals Comparison
ProForm Hybrid ProProForm-Hybrid-Trainer-Pro-ReviewCushionedLarge LCD17 Lbs17" Fixed20 Levels magnetic10-year frame and 1-year parts and labor warranty
ProForm Hybrid BasicProForm Hybrid Trainer EllipticalPlasticBasic LCD15 Lbs15" Fixed16 Levels magnetic5-year frame and 90-day parts and labor warranty

As expected, the Proform SmartStrider ellipticals are backed by a warranty that is separated into frame, parts, and labor. All three ellipticals get lifetime warranty coverage on their frames and a year of coverage for labor. However, their parts get different coverage periods; the Proform 495 CSE gets a year on parts, the Proform 695 CSE’s parts are covered for two years, and the Proform 895 CSE comes with three-year coverage on its parts. The warranty specification is both great (for frame) and average (for parts and labor).

In addition to the warranty, the company also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee should you decide to return the product. Customers also get an extended warranty if they register the warranty within 28 days of purchase. In line with this, you can register your Proform elliptical on the company website or complete and return the attached warranty registration card to the specified address. Proform’s customer service department is always on standby, and you can easily contact them by visiting their website,

The Proform 495 CSE elliptical is available on the company website for $999. The 695 CSE retails for $1,299, while the Proform 895 CSE sells for around $1999 (price may vary across vendors). The 895 appears to be the most expensive of the bunch, probably because of its upgraded touchscreen monitor. If you don’t mind an LED monitor, the 695 CSE might be a more budget-friendly option for the same features. The company offers free shipping and curbside delivery for its products.


When buying an elliptical machine, your priorities are naturally; utility, durability, and quality—the Proform SmartStrider elliptical check these boxes in various capacities. Though the entry-level 495 CSE model has sparse features compared to its counterparts, it is still an excellent machine for its price.

With the Proform SmartStrider elliptical machines, you get to enjoy a delightful variety of workout programs coupled with the iFit coach app. We understand that this app comes at a cost that may not be financially convenient for some users. Still, even without an iFit subscription, the available on-board workout programs are sufficient.

They are also easy to maintain, thanks to their belt-drive system and magnetic mechanism. Plus, they are the go-to ellipticals if you have fussy neighbors or living companions who don’t respond kindly to noise. The super easy, right-out-of-the-box assembly is another subtle yet significant reason to opt for the Proform SmartStrider ellipticals. Indeed, they may not be the best ellipticals out there, but they deliver acceptable user satisfaction!


The Proform SmartStrider series of ellipticals have proven to be capable and highly-efficient elliptical machines with few defects. They portray decent mechanical configurations and can lodge light-weight, medium-weight, and heavyweight users depending on the select elliptical. Their performance features are generally tailored to serve users’ fitness requirements with little to average competency skills. Each elliptical has one or two characteristics unique to it, and we have highlighted them all. We believe that the content of our comparison guide will positively influence your SmartStrider choice, whichever it may be!

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.