ProForm 520E EllipticalProForm 520E

Web Price: $999 | Sale Price: $999

A solid entry level elliptical from ProForm with a 19 inch stride and tons of workout programs.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4.0 / 5.0

300 lbs
Stride Length:
68.5″L x 25.7″W x 68.25″H

UPDATE: The ProForm 520E has been discontinued and replaced with the all new ProForm Carbon EL. Check out our review.

Overview: Before we start our ProForm 520E elliptical review I’d like to point out that we are coming across a lot of good machines these days at lower price points. That is to say, we are finding a lot of sub $1000 elliptical trainers with the features we only used to find on machines $1000 and up. That’s really great news for those looking in this range for a quality machine.

So here we go…

The 520E is an entry-level model in the Endurance Series from ProForm. A front-drive machine with some nice features, it is designed to cater to the needs of beginner to intermediate level users.

Here is what I liked about the 520E….

Adjustable Incline

The angle of the incline can be adjusted from zero to 20 degrees, with five set positions. You can adjust the angle to target different groups of muscles in your lower body. Along with the movable arms you can really get a full body workout on this one.

19″ Stride Length

This was a bit of a surprise to me as most entry-level machines on the market only have an 18″ stride length. The difference results in a more natural, comfortable stride, which improves the workout experience considerably.

Workout Programs

The ProForm 520 E comes preloaded with a bunch of calorie, incline, performance, and speed workout programs. There are a total of 18 workout programs, all of which are designed by professional fitness trainers. The machine is also iFit Coach ready. You can set the machine to simulate running trails from around the world. You can get customized workout programs and also access the unlimited workout library to reach your fitness goals faster.

Digital Resistance Levels

There are 18 digital resistance levels, which allow you to increase the intensity of your workout progressively. The Silent Magnetic Resistance technology makes the transition from one level to another frictionless and silent. I was amazed at how quiet my test machine actually was.

Upper Body Workout Arms

The upper body arms are easy to grip and help you enjoy a total body workout experience. They also have a built-in heart rate monitor, which helps you stay in your target zone during your workouts.

Adjustable Foot Pedals

The foot pedals are large and easy to step on. They are adjustable with a variety of foot position options to make sure your feet stay comfortable during the workout.

Backlit Display

There is a 5″ backlit display, which is pretty standard in these machines. There is, however, an interesting feature called Priority Display, which allows you to keep a close eye on a particular data of your choice.

Entertainment Options

There is an integrated tablet holder, which is located right above the display. There is also a built-in sound system, into which you can plug your MP3 player or iPod and listen to your favorite tracks while you work out. There is also a USB charging station to charge your MP3 player or phone.

The Endurance 520 E has an integrated water bottle holder. It is fitted with transport wheels to help you move the machine around easily. It also comes with an AC adapter, which I think is a neat little addition. It gives you the option of powering the console electrically instead of using batteries.

What Could Have Been Better

The only problem I have with the machine is that the incline needs to be adjusted manually, which can be irritating, especially if you are used to an elliptical trainer with automatic adjustment. There is no button or switch control to change the angle of the incline, like there is on the up level 720 E model as well as the top of the line 920E elliptical trainer. So, every time you want to make an adjustment, you have to stop your workout and do it manually. I feel like it affects my rhythm and takes me out of my zone, but for some it’s not a real deal breaker.

Final Thoughts

The ProForm Endurance 520 E is an affordable, easy to use machine which is ideal for home use. Despite its small price tag, it does not compromise much in terms of design, engineering, or features. So, if you are a beginner or intermediate level user looking for a budget-friendly elliptical, it is a good choice for you.

You can take a look at the new ProForm 520E and decide if it has the features you’re looking for. Although it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some pricier ellipticals, it’s got everything you need and the price is right.

The 520E is no longer available. Check out our latest ProForm elliptical reviews.