The ProForm Carbon EX - A Step Up From the Base EL Elliptical

The ProForm Carbon EX is the middle elliptical in the company's entry level series...a step up from the EL and a step down from the E7.

All three provide a great workout and are great choices for those looking for an affordable cardio machine for their home gym.

Let's jump into our review to see what the EX is all about...

What You Get

The Carbon EX looks a lot like the EL, black and grey with red accents. It offers stationary and moving handlebars, front drive design, oversized pedals and a relatively compact footprint.

Here are the most important space...

ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical with Bluetooth iFit Workouts
  • SMR™ silent magnetic resistance
  • 20 digital resistance levels
  • 20 lb. inertia enhanced flywheel
  • 19" power adjustable stride
  • 6" high contrast display
  • iFit® Bluetooth Smart enabled
  • 0-20 degrees adjustable incline
  • Dual 2" speakers
  • 10 year frame, 2 year parts & 1 year labor warranty
  • 68.5" L x 25" W x 67.75 H

The Word On the Street

The Carbon Series has been very well received thus far, as it is a welcome improvement on the previous Endurance Series that it replaced.

As we mentioned, there are three ellipticals in the Carbon Series: the base Carbon EL, the EX and the top of the line Carbon E7.

Although they are considered entry level ellipticals, they don't lack for features and capabilities. ProForm, and its sister company NordicTrack, are known for packing a lot into their cardio machines without charging a ton and making them unaffordable.

The ProForm Carbon EX elliptical has a 19" adjustable stride, 20 levels of magnetic resistance to choose from and 20 degrees of power incline. As such you can change up your workouts from one session to the next, or even within the session, to make things more challenging for yourself.

It comes with iFit technology as well, which is an interactive workout program with Google maps, tracking, sharing, unlimited programs with trainers around the world, and a lot of other great features.

You access iFit on your own tablet via Bluetooth. The nice thing is that the tablet doesn't block the display, so you can see your stats on the elliptical itself while you use the iFit app.

iFit does require a monthly or yearly fee, but for all that you are getting it's well worth it in our opinion. You can choose from an endless library of workout programs at all fitness levels with a range of different instructors. You can also work out outside as well by choosing a location anywhere in the world with Google maps.

The ProForm Carbon EX has a 300 lb. maximum weight capacity, and also includes a water bottle holder, an audio port with dual speakers, transport wheels and leveling fit to get it situated in your home gym.

All in all, this is a very capable elliptical with everything you need for a solid workout.

How Does the Carbon EX Compare to the Other ProForm Ellipticals?

ProForm Carbon EX Console With iFit Workouts

ProForm currently has 4 different elliptical series to choose from: Hybrid Trainer Series, Carbon Series, HIIT Trainer Series and Pro Series.

The Carbon and Pro Series are traditional ellipticals...the Hybrid and HIIT Trainers are hybrid machines, meaning they combine two machines in one.

The most affordable are the Hybrid Trainers, which are ellipticals and recumbent bikes in one machine. Currently there is only one model, the Hybrid Trainer XT, which ranges in price from $599-$799 on sale.

Moving up you have the Carbon Series, which as you read about above consists of the EL, EX and E7 ellipticals.

Here's a quick rundown of each so you can see the differences...

ProForm Carbon EL- You get a 19" stride, 20 degrees of incline, 18 resistance levels, 15 lb. flywheel, a 5" LCD display and a 300 lb. max user weight.

ProForm Carbon EX - You get a 19" stride, 20 degrees of incline, 20 resistance levels, 20 lb. flywheel, a 6" LCD display and a 325 lb. max user weight.

ProForm Carbon E7 - You get a 19" stride, 20 degrees of incline, 24 resistance levels, 25 lb. flywheel, a 7" Smart HD display and the same 325 lb. max user weight as the Carbon EX.

So as you move up in the Carbon lineup you get a more of everything...user weight capacity, flywheel weight, screen size and number of resistance levels to choose from.

The HIIT Trainer Series features two machines that are like an elliptical and a stepper combined into one. The Carbon HIIT H7 and advanced Pro HIIT H14 have 10" vertical elliptical strides, touch screen displays, workout fans and heavy 30 lb. flywheels.

The Pro Series is the higher end traditional ellipticals, and are built for heavier usage than the Carbon Series. So if you're more serious about your workouts, or there will be multiple people using it, the Pro Series, featuring the Pro 9.9 and new Pro E14, might be better options for you.

These ellipticals have heavier flywheels, more resistance levels, more incline and even more advanced displays. They also have higher weight limits. So overall these are going to be your more durable machines, although they do come at a higher price tag.

So to sum up, starting from the bottom you have the basic Hybrid Trainers, followed by the Carbon Series, then the HIIT Trainers, then the Pro Series ellipticals.

Which ProForm Elliptical Should You Choose?

Choosing one ProForm elliptical over another really comes down to the type of workout you want, i.e. traditional elliptical vs. hybrid machine, and your budget. The Hybrid Trainers and Carbon Series ellipticals are going to be more affordable, with the HIIT Trainers and Pro Series on the pricier side.

If you're looking for something similar to what you'd find in the gym, and you don't need something heavy duty, then one of the Carbon Series ellipticals will be perfect for you.

Here we like the Carbon EX, or if you can afford it the Carbon E7 with the touch screen display is a nice choice.

If you're looking for something more advanced or more durable, then look at the Pro Series...all of those models will have better features and capabilities than the Carbon Series.

If you like the idea of a hybrid machine, look at the Hybrid Trainers if you're on a budget or the HIIT Trainers if you want a high quality machine like the Pro Series. They're also more compact which is always a consideration.

Final Thoughts on the ProForm Carbon EX

ProForm makes some great ellipticals, and the Carbon EX is certainly a great selection for your home gym. It has power incline, plenty of resistance levels, a generous stride and loads of great workouts through the iFit program.

Consider a jump up to the Carbon E7, which comes free with a 3 year iFit subscription as of this writing. Also look at the up-level Pro Series if you want something for more serious workouts.

Either way, you're likely to be very happy with any ProForm elliptical that you choose. They have just about everything you could ask for and will provide a more than adequate workout.

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