preview of ProForm's elite exercise bike. Excerpts follow:
"It’s stacked with bells and whistles. Front and center is a new 7-inch tablet-like touchscreen control panel — still not huge by today’s standards, but a radical upgrade over the previous TdF bike’s tiny computer screen."
"The bike tilts 20 degrees fore and aft to simulate steep climbs and descents. The former paddle shifters on ProForm’s older bikes have been redesigned to look and feel like ergo-levers."
"Other goodies: a built-in speaker, an actual power meter, a heart-rate monitor, Google Maps (Street View, even) on the screen, internet connectivity, plus accurate readouts of speed, cadence, and all the other data you’d expect. But, beneath all the flash is a really nice exercise bike. Climb on, and a good old-timey sweat-fest awaits."
"you get to use your own saddle, handlebars and pedals. Gone are the big adjustment knobs for adjusting saddle height, bar height, saddle fore/aft and handlebar fore/aft. Now you can micro-adjust the components to the millimeter using a standard hex wrench, which is great for getting your position perfectly dialed."
"With set-up out of the way, the very first thing you notice when climbing aboard the trainer is how quiet it is. Shockingly quiet. I was able to complete entire virtual rides before work without waking my wife from her cocoon one room over."
"The interface is based on ProForm’s iFit web portal. You can draw yourself a new map, peruse your most recent rides, track and taunt your buddies through social channels, or compete against other schmucks stuck indoors on their trainers."
"The ProForm Le Tour de France training bike will be available this spring, so you can try one out for yourself. The MSRP is about $2,000."