When Pro-Form launched its Tour de France indoor cycle, I’ll admit I was skeptical. Did the brand—traditionally sold in department stores—have the chops to turn out a bike worthy of its lofty name?
But as the official training bike of the actual Tour de France, it intrigued me enough that I had to see it for myself. Let the record show: This is a terrific bike, made for cyclists.
First, this bike brilliantly taps into wireless technology (in a way I believe more and more fitness products are headed). With a direct link to Pro-Form’s proprietary iFit web site, the Tour de France indoor cycle harnesses Google Maps to download and create a topographically authentic route. The result? Users ride the real Le Tour de France course, or experience the Pan Mass challenge, or train for their next group bike race—wherever in the world it may be.
What’s more, this bike literally inclines and declines (up to a whopping 20% either way) according to actual changes in terrain. Users get a realistic ‘road feel’—and as close to an authentic experience as possible on a stationary bike.
Some other cool features include:
- An “intelligent wind resistance” capability, which mimics wind conditions according to a user’s specific weight and height
- 24 pre-loaded, pre-mapped courses from around the globe
- Realistic handlebar gear shifts, along with built-in watts and RPM monitoring
If you’re an avid cyclist looking for serious indoor training, the Tour de France indoor cycle is worth a look. One caveat: Be sure you try the 2012 model, since Pro-Form has made significant upgrades to the original.