ProForm Endurance 520E Review

  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review
  • ProForm Endurance 520E Review

Gone are the days when great performance was only a preserve of high-end elliptical trainers. For a fraction of their cost, you can still run into an elliptical trainer offering a performance similar to theirs. One good example is the ProForm Endurance 520E.

Presence of numerous workout apps and the capacity to incline are some of the features you only see in high priced elliptical trainers. Interesting to note is that ProForm Endurance 520E also packs similar features despite being a mid-tier elliptical.

You will agree that price and performance matter a lot when it comes to finding the ideal trainer and looking at this machine, these two factors blend in so well. So let’s have a closer look to see what else to expect from this machine.

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ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical Trainer
Build your cardio endurance and muscle strength with elliptical training. The ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical is engineered for greatness-and its ready to take your training to the next level. Mix ...
Start from: $802.46
amazon amazon.com
Last price update: 2019-09-02 21:03:26
Pros:QuietSturdyBacklit DisplayOversized foot padsTablet HolderUSB Port for charging devicesCons:Heart rate monitor can be inaccurateHandle grips can be uncomfortable after long workouts, especially if you’re tallNeed to buy separate/expensive Wi-Fi adapter to use integrated iFit programsNo fanSo-so speakersCan't download workouts via USB port, USB port only for chargingI bought the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical to replace an old ProForm 390 E elliptical that I got off of craigslist years ago. I got a great deal on the ProForm 390 E and it worked well for me for a few years, so I don't have any major complaints about it. However, the ProForm 390 E started making creaking and clicking noises that I couldn't remedy by tightening the bolts, so I decided I needed a new elliptical.I ordered the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical from Amazon and received it about a week later via a freight delivery service. The box was a little beat up, but after checking the contents inside, everything was intact. I put the elliptical together by myself. The manual suggests that it is a two person job, but one person can get the job by themselves if necessary. It probably took me 2 to 3 hours to completely assemble the elliptical. All the instructions were easy to understand and the parts were easily identifiable.Once I got the elliptical together and made sure all the bolts were tightened, the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was in comparison to my old elliptical that had seen better days. Over the next few weeks of using the 520 E there were occasional creaks that would work themselves out after 10 minutes or so, but for the most part this is a very quiet machine. The elliptical is in my bedroom and I can use it late at night once my wife has gone to bed without disturbing her.The backlit display is a very nice feature for anyone using the machine in a dimly lit room, such as a bedroom after your spouse has gone to bed. Another great feature is the tablet holder that ProForm includes with the elliptical. Every piece of fitness equipment from this point own should come with some kind of tablet holder. I'm sure that it is less than a dollar's worth of plastic in the tablet holder, but it is such a nice feature. I find TV shows to watch on my tablet while I'm on the elliptical and try to forget about the fact that I'm working out. Along with the tablet holder, there is a USB charging port so that you don't have to worry about your tablet or phone dying on you in the middle of a workout, which is another good thing.As much as I love this elliptical, there are some things that I think ProForm could have done better for little to no increase in production cost.The handle grips are the most comfortable grips I've used on an elliptical. If you're 6 feet or taller, you'll likely end up resting your hands across the top of the grips, which can become uncomfortable after a while. The grips on the 720 E look like they are much more comfortable than the grips on the 520 E.The heart rate monitor can be all over the place, which isn't a huge deal because I've read that the heart rate monitors on exercise equipment are notoriously inaccurate. For anyone really interested in tracking their heart rate while using this elliptical, I would suggest that they use a separate monitor or simply count the pulse of their carotid artery for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.The 520 E doesn't have a built in fan, which is fine with me because I use a separate fan anyway. However, there are other elliptical machines in the same price range that do include built in fans.The built in speakers on the 520 E are merely okay, but you'd probably be better served by using separate Bluetooth speakers if you have that option.My biggest complaint about the 520 E is ProForm's integration of iFit. I have a ProForm stationary bike that is iFit compatible, but the stationary bike has built in Wi-Fi. In order to use any of the iFit compatible features on the 520 E elliptical, you'd have to buy a separate expensive Wi-Fi module to plug into the 520 E. Without that separate module, about 1/4th of the buttons on the front panel of the elliptical's console are absolutely useless. Instead of forcing you to buy an add-on Wi-Fi module, I think that ProForm could have allowed their elliptical’s USB ports to use USB drives to download information about each workout. This would make it a lot easier to track your progress and you wouldn't have to shell out any additional money. Another nice feature for those wanting to use iFit would be if you were able to download workouts from the iFit website onto a USB drive and then upload those workouts to the elliptical. Then once you've completed those workouts, download the information from your elliptical and upload that information back to the iFit website.Overall, I'm very pleased with the performance of the ProForm 520 E. However, be aware that there are other elliptical machines on the market in the same price range that address some of the minor issues that this elliptical has (use of USB port, fan, etc.)
February 27, 2016
This machine replaced my old Nordic Track AudioStrider elliptical machine (note: Nordic Track/Proform are the same company) .-- my old machine had an arm snap off (at the weld) -- I pondered between replacing the part or replacing the machine... I decided to get a new machine.My old machine had the rear wheel, vs the front wheel. Otherwise they are very similar.Note: This model has a Nordic Track twin - E7.0 -- the differences are price (proform is less $), and the layout of the controls are slightly different.Why I chose this machine?--Price - on sale, plus discount & free ship.. made this a great deal. I bought from Proform, their price with additional discounts, and free shipping was less than a local store (the local store also did not have in stock, but Proform did and shipped quickly -- ordered Jan 5th - shipped the 7th - received the 15th).--Power adapter vs Power plug - most machines now have a power plug vs adapter (I preferred the adapter). The nice thing about the ones with a power plug they will also have an auto adjustable incline, models with a power adapter are a manual adjustment for incline.--Test Drive - after reading & reviewing (and examining online manuals) I liked this machine, I checked it out in store and it fit every need I had.--Assembly -Slightly tricky, a little bit of negotiation with the parts.. But it went together.--Note: make sure you have that rubber mallet.Hauling to 2nd floor - We opened the box on the main floor of our home, to carry the body of the machine to the upper floor -- it is heavy but not back breaking (for two to carry)--Size--This a (relatively) compact machine (in footprint) - but it does add height. It adds about 1 foot, so for my 5'5" height and our standard ceilings I have plenty of room, but if you are taller or have an older home with low ceilings check your headroom.--Using the machine --Very quite & smooth operation -- (but some may find it somewhat bouncy, again try in the store to confirm how it feels for you -- for me it works)Arms/handle - are the right height (my previous machine the arms were too high to really use effectively). I am a 5'5" female, so average height.Display/functions - will take a little getting used to, but far easier than some overdone displays. Love the lap track, and other motivation options on the machine.--Display is easy to read (large enough numbers/graphics to read, blue light, very simple and not overdone.This machine offers a better work out over my old machine, very pleased with this purchase.--I-Fit option -- I did not opt for this add-on.What is I-Fit? it is essentially a router, that adds some work out options to the machine. But this device will cost about $100 plus $10 monthly subscription (note: they are offering 1 1/2 year free subscription).Reading reviews on that device, it requires older network connection, is glitchy & customer service is script fed, so they do not have the information to support or help.In theory the I-Fit is a neat add-on (if works) -- you can ride roads/trails around the world via google maps (add your tablet for the viewing display) -- the machine adjusts incline & resistance according to the route taken (but the proform 520e has a manual incline, so you will not gain all the benefit of the ifit device/program).The ifit has other work out programs and features which sound nice, but their website & customer service are lacking when it comes to informing or helping on their product.Perhaps the device will be updated & improved, but keep in mind for the proform 520e it has limited use/benefit for the added expense.The machine by itself has enough functions to enjoy without an added (i-Fit) device & subscription.If you want the power incline function -- go with the Proform 720E it is about $150 more -- so not a significant difference depending on your needs/wantsother differences between the 720 &520-- 720e has a 20lb inertia enhanced flywheel the 520 has a 15 lb-- the 720 has a 325lb weight capacity the 520 has 300lb capacity-- the 720 has a 2 year parts warranty the 520 has a 1 year - but have lifetime frame & 1 year labor-- the 720 has a power cord, the 520 has a power adapter.-- the 720 has a fan.Both are ifit compatible (so the device will still be an added purchase for the machine)So if you have a choice & a power cord works for you -- go for the 720.. but either the 520 & 720 are wonderful choices.
January 17, 2015
One month in the plug that counts how many steps taken/calories burned came loose. This is a common enough occurrence to end up in the owner's manual but there is no detailed explanation on how to fix it. I contacted proform to ask for help but I never received it so don't count on good customer service on there end; warranty or no. The machine still works I just can't use the display for anything. I haven't tried just tinkering with the machine just to fix it myself yet but that is what I'll have to do in the end if I really want the display to work again.
March 27, 2016
8.6 Total Score
Awesome!

Models under the ProForm brand hardly disappoint and as we can see the ProForm Endurance 520E is not an exception. If what attracts you most to an elliptical trainer is performance and price, then you will find peace of mind in this machine. Keep in mind that it's strong, stable and so durable, which are all factors that any trainer would like to consider. Any user will also find it easy to ride on this machine. So if you are looking for ways to start off your training mission with a bang, then head over to Amazon and look this machine up.

Features
8
Durability
9
Adjustability
9
Display console
8
Value for money
9
PROS
  • Solid construction
  • Smooth and quiet motion
  • Diverse workout programs
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to maintain
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Manual incline system
  • It's heavy
  • Console not telemetry enabled
User Rating: Be the first one!

Product Description

When it was designed, its creators intended it for home use but it’s interesting to note that ProForm Endurance 520E still fits all the requirements of a gym-class fitness machine. Enough proof of this is in its slew of features, workout options, cutting-edge design, and quality training capacities.

Resistance/Workout options

ProForm Endurance 520E makes use of the Silent Magnetic Resistance technology which features an eddy brake system. It’s actually a tension system of its kind.  To adjust the said tension, you will need to have the console powered.

When it comes to variety, this machine leaves nothing to chance with its staggering 18 levels of resistance.  Everything you need to switch between these resistance levels is on the console, implying that you won’t need to halt your workout if you want to adjust the resistance.

If you are looking for a smoother and quiet motion, this machine has it. All those resistance levels will also offer you enough workout challenges.

Part of this machine’s drive system also includes an inertia-enhanced flywheel weighing 6.8 kg (15lbs) and a heavy-duty v-belt that add support in ensuring a steady and smooth workout.

As for the incline, this machine comes equipped with a manually adjustable incline set at 20 degrees. However, this could have been better if it was made automatic so to ensure to ensure a consistent workout.

Console Unit

It’s easy to conclude that this machine’s console is overly tasked. But that’s far from the truth. Being a high-performance console, multitasking is just but part of its many roles. The console comes installed with 18 workout programs that you can customize to suit your needs.

Using this console, you can keep track of:

  • Calories burned
  • Distance
  • Pulse
  • Revolutions per minute
  • Time
  • Resistance
  • Speed

But that’s not all. Also included on the console unit is a set of other superior amenities including:

  • Sound system
  • USB charging port
  • Tablet holder
  • iFit compatibility
  • Water bottle holder

Something else you will love about this machine’s console is the “My Trail’ tab. It’s a function that helps you to keep track of your workout, particularly how many laps you’ve completed. It’s a cool function because it features a track representing 400 m (1/4 mile).

Build quality/ Design

ProForm Endurance 520E packs a steel frame weighing 94kg (207lbs).  This adds lots of stability and strength to the machine. Due to this strength, users who weigh as high as 300lbs can still expect remarkable stability even during intense training sessions.’

To ease movement, the machine was equipped with a transportation handlebar, transportation wheels, and leveling feet all strategically placed to ensure you have an easy time moving the machine around.

Comfort

Like many high-end ellipticals, ProForm 520E also packs both mobile and fixed handlebars. Even though you can’t adjust them, you will enjoy their angled padding and a curved design that ensure you have a firm grip.  You can record your pulse rate by making use of the fixed handlebars fitted with heart rate sensors.

Footplates belonging to this machine have a large size that is enough to fit users with feet of all sizes and shapes.  With their ribbed design, your feet will be held in place so well and you will have a great time riding on this machine.

As we saw earlier, you also have a chance to various workout options, thanks to the many resistance levels. It’s easy to find what makes you comfortable by alternating between the levels.

 Assembly and Warranty

Putting this machine together comes with its share of challenges.  Due to its sophistication, it might take you up to 2 hours to have it up and ready. Keep in mind that the machine is quite heavy and so you might need the help of one or two other people to assist you to screw some parts together.

Here’s a breakdown of the warranty

  • Frame- Lifetime
  • Parts- 1-year warranty
  • Labor- 1-year warranty

As for weight capacity, this machine can take up to 300lbs. Remember that it’s made of commercial-gauge steel which implies that it can take hard punishment.

Alternatives

ProForm Endurance 520E, Schwinn 470 and Nautilus E614 are all kings of the jungle.

Looking at the price, the difference between Schwinn 470 and ProForm 520E is only a few hundred dollars.  What sets Schwinn 470 apart from ProForm is the many workout programs and levels of resistance, which perhaps explains for its higher price. Meanwhile, rest of the options look similar and so a user will be tone between the two based on the level of diversity they like with an elliptical machine.

Nautilus E614 is nowhere far when it comes to pricing- only a few hundred dollars apart. However, what sets it apart from ProForm 520E is the slightly high workout programs, resistance levels and incline positions.  Rest of the features look almost similar. In deciding which one to choose between the two, one will mainly be driven by price.

  • Product
  • Deals
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ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical Trainer
Build your cardio endurance and muscle strength with elliptical training. The ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical is engineered for greatness-and its ready to take your training to the next level. Mix ...
Start from: $802.46
amazon amazon.com
Last price update: 2019-09-02 21:03:26
Pros:QuietSturdyBacklit DisplayOversized foot padsTablet HolderUSB Port for charging devicesCons:Heart rate monitor can be inaccurateHandle grips can be uncomfortable after long workouts, especially if you’re tallNeed to buy separate/expensive Wi-Fi adapter to use integrated iFit programsNo fanSo-so speakersCan't download workouts via USB port, USB port only for chargingI bought the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical to replace an old ProForm 390 E elliptical that I got off of craigslist years ago. I got a great deal on the ProForm 390 E and it worked well for me for a few years, so I don't have any major complaints about it. However, the ProForm 390 E started making creaking and clicking noises that I couldn't remedy by tightening the bolts, so I decided I needed a new elliptical.I ordered the ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical from Amazon and received it about a week later via a freight delivery service. The box was a little beat up, but after checking the contents inside, everything was intact. I put the elliptical together by myself. The manual suggests that it is a two person job, but one person can get the job by themselves if necessary. It probably took me 2 to 3 hours to completely assemble the elliptical. All the instructions were easy to understand and the parts were easily identifiable.Once I got the elliptical together and made sure all the bolts were tightened, the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was in comparison to my old elliptical that had seen better days. Over the next few weeks of using the 520 E there were occasional creaks that would work themselves out after 10 minutes or so, but for the most part this is a very quiet machine. The elliptical is in my bedroom and I can use it late at night once my wife has gone to bed without disturbing her.The backlit display is a very nice feature for anyone using the machine in a dimly lit room, such as a bedroom after your spouse has gone to bed. Another great feature is the tablet holder that ProForm includes with the elliptical. Every piece of fitness equipment from this point own should come with some kind of tablet holder. I'm sure that it is less than a dollar's worth of plastic in the tablet holder, but it is such a nice feature. I find TV shows to watch on my tablet while I'm on the elliptical and try to forget about the fact that I'm working out. Along with the tablet holder, there is a USB charging port so that you don't have to worry about your tablet or phone dying on you in the middle of a workout, which is another good thing.As much as I love this elliptical, there are some things that I think ProForm could have done better for little to no increase in production cost.The handle grips are the most comfortable grips I've used on an elliptical. If you're 6 feet or taller, you'll likely end up resting your hands across the top of the grips, which can become uncomfortable after a while. The grips on the 720 E look like they are much more comfortable than the grips on the 520 E.The heart rate monitor can be all over the place, which isn't a huge deal because I've read that the heart rate monitors on exercise equipment are notoriously inaccurate. For anyone really interested in tracking their heart rate while using this elliptical, I would suggest that they use a separate monitor or simply count the pulse of their carotid artery for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.The 520 E doesn't have a built in fan, which is fine with me because I use a separate fan anyway. However, there are other elliptical machines in the same price range that do include built in fans.The built in speakers on the 520 E are merely okay, but you'd probably be better served by using separate Bluetooth speakers if you have that option.My biggest complaint about the 520 E is ProForm's integration of iFit. I have a ProForm stationary bike that is iFit compatible, but the stationary bike has built in Wi-Fi. In order to use any of the iFit compatible features on the 520 E elliptical, you'd have to buy a separate expensive Wi-Fi module to plug into the 520 E. Without that separate module, about 1/4th of the buttons on the front panel of the elliptical's console are absolutely useless. Instead of forcing you to buy an add-on Wi-Fi module, I think that ProForm could have allowed their elliptical’s USB ports to use USB drives to download information about each workout. This would make it a lot easier to track your progress and you wouldn't have to shell out any additional money. Another nice feature for those wanting to use iFit would be if you were able to download workouts from the iFit website onto a USB drive and then upload those workouts to the elliptical. Then once you've completed those workouts, download the information from your elliptical and upload that information back to the iFit website.Overall, I'm very pleased with the performance of the ProForm 520 E. However, be aware that there are other elliptical machines on the market in the same price range that address some of the minor issues that this elliptical has (use of USB port, fan, etc.)
February 27, 2016
This machine replaced my old Nordic Track AudioStrider elliptical machine (note: Nordic Track/Proform are the same company) .-- my old machine had an arm snap off (at the weld) -- I pondered between replacing the part or replacing the machine... I decided to get a new machine.My old machine had the rear wheel, vs the front wheel. Otherwise they are very similar.Note: This model has a Nordic Track twin - E7.0 -- the differences are price (proform is less $), and the layout of the controls are slightly different.Why I chose this machine?--Price - on sale, plus discount & free ship.. made this a great deal. I bought from Proform, their price with additional discounts, and free shipping was less than a local store (the local store also did not have in stock, but Proform did and shipped quickly -- ordered Jan 5th - shipped the 7th - received the 15th).--Power adapter vs Power plug - most machines now have a power plug vs adapter (I preferred the adapter). The nice thing about the ones with a power plug they will also have an auto adjustable incline, models with a power adapter are a manual adjustment for incline.--Test Drive - after reading & reviewing (and examining online manuals) I liked this machine, I checked it out in store and it fit every need I had.--Assembly -Slightly tricky, a little bit of negotiation with the parts.. But it went together.--Note: make sure you have that rubber mallet.Hauling to 2nd floor - We opened the box on the main floor of our home, to carry the body of the machine to the upper floor -- it is heavy but not back breaking (for two to carry)--Size--This a (relatively) compact machine (in footprint) - but it does add height. It adds about 1 foot, so for my 5'5" height and our standard ceilings I have plenty of room, but if you are taller or have an older home with low ceilings check your headroom.--Using the machine --Very quite & smooth operation -- (but some may find it somewhat bouncy, again try in the store to confirm how it feels for you -- for me it works)Arms/handle - are the right height (my previous machine the arms were too high to really use effectively). I am a 5'5" female, so average height.Display/functions - will take a little getting used to, but far easier than some overdone displays. Love the lap track, and other motivation options on the machine.--Display is easy to read (large enough numbers/graphics to read, blue light, very simple and not overdone.This machine offers a better work out over my old machine, very pleased with this purchase.--I-Fit option -- I did not opt for this add-on.What is I-Fit? it is essentially a router, that adds some work out options to the machine. But this device will cost about $100 plus $10 monthly subscription (note: they are offering 1 1/2 year free subscription).Reading reviews on that device, it requires older network connection, is glitchy & customer service is script fed, so they do not have the information to support or help.In theory the I-Fit is a neat add-on (if works) -- you can ride roads/trails around the world via google maps (add your tablet for the viewing display) -- the machine adjusts incline & resistance according to the route taken (but the proform 520e has a manual incline, so you will not gain all the benefit of the ifit device/program).The ifit has other work out programs and features which sound nice, but their website & customer service are lacking when it comes to informing or helping on their product.Perhaps the device will be updated & improved, but keep in mind for the proform 520e it has limited use/benefit for the added expense.The machine by itself has enough functions to enjoy without an added (i-Fit) device & subscription.If you want the power incline function -- go with the Proform 720E it is about $150 more -- so not a significant difference depending on your needs/wantsother differences between the 720 &520-- 720e has a 20lb inertia enhanced flywheel the 520 has a 15 lb-- the 720 has a 325lb weight capacity the 520 has 300lb capacity-- the 720 has a 2 year parts warranty the 520 has a 1 year - but have lifetime frame & 1 year labor-- the 720 has a power cord, the 520 has a power adapter.-- the 720 has a fan.Both are ifit compatible (so the device will still be an added purchase for the machine)So if you have a choice & a power cord works for you -- go for the 720.. but either the 520 & 720 are wonderful choices.
January 17, 2015
One month in the plug that counts how many steps taken/calories burned came loose. This is a common enough occurrence to end up in the owner's manual but there is no detailed explanation on how to fix it. I contacted proform to ask for help but I never received it so don't count on good customer service on there end; warranty or no. The machine still works I just can't use the display for anything. I haven't tried just tinkering with the machine just to fix it myself yet but that is what I'll have to do in the end if I really want the display to work again.
March 27, 2016