The Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical Review – Quality Incline Elliptical Under $1000


Here at the DOJO we get a lot of emails asking about the Icon Health & Fitness lines of treadmills and ellipticals. Icon is one of the largest fitness manufacturers in the world and is best know for budget priced equipment and so-so quality. You may have seen their equipment under one of the following brands: Proform, Nordic Track, Epic, Reebok (in the US…outside of the US Reebok is made by Smooth Fitness), Image, Weider, Gold’s Gym and a few others I’m probably forgetting. Overall their equipment seems to be cheaply made and for consumers looking to spend as little on equipment as possible because they won’t be using it in 6 months. Icon tends to tack on a ton of special features to help take the focus off the lack of quality in construction and components, and this is reflected in their often very short term warranties. Why support a project that won’t be used (or working) in a year?

Now, with all that being said, a recent arrival here at the DOJO really surprised the Treadmill Sensei with its durability and solid construction…heck, even the components it was built from were fairly decent. The product I’m talking about is the Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical. Yes, it has an ungodly long name but I was impressed by the unit we brought in to the shop and was very impressed by its incline feature. An incline ramp is something not often done well and especially not at a budget price point. I don’t know how they did it, or what kind of deal they had to sign with the Devil to do it, but Icon has produced a very solid incline elliptical trainer in the Proform Epic 1200 Pro.

Before I get in to the positives on the Proform Epic 1200 incline elliptical, I want to talk a bit about the problems with the machine. The only major issues we encountered with the unit were in assembley. A few of the holes in the Proform Epic 1200 were machined just off enought to be very annoying. The holes weren’t so far off that assembley was impossible but they were a bitch to get the elliptical put together. What should have been a 20 minute assembley turned in to about 45 minutes of frustration. From speaking with other service techs who deal with the Proform Epic 1200 Pro, this seems to be a fairly common occurance. Estimates are at about 1 in 10 of the ellipticals have this problem.

The only other problem I had with the Proform Epic 1200 was the lack of articulating pedals. Since the unit is a rear drive elliptical, Proform went with static pedals as is most common with the design. Now, in Proform’s defense they did an excellent job in providing some very comfortable pedals (Gelstride) and great pedal placement for anyone under about 6’1″. Someone taller than that may want to go with a longer stride unit. Also, the large, heavy duty flywheel provides an excellent elliptical motion during your workouts. So, the lack of articulating pedals is a minor strike but the machine makes up for it with a well designed drive and elliptical motion.

And that was really it for the negatives of the unit. Mat and I worked out on this machine for 5 days at an hour a day. Being taller, he prefers a 19″-20″ stride but thought the frame was very solid – Mat weighs right around 300 pounds so he was definitely pushing the weight limit. He thought it would hold up to heavy duty work outs for sure. As a smaller user, the Proform Epic 1200 Incline elliptical felt as solid as a rock…something very unusual to say about a Proform elliptical. In the past their machines tended to feel a bit more rickety. Not so with the Epic 1200 pro elliptical which is built from much heavier duty steel tubing than normally found in a budget priced elliptical.

**UPDATE** The ProForm Epic 1200 Pro is no longer available for sale. You can check out the entire new lineup of ProForm ellipticals here, featuring several choices in the same price range.

Aside from that, the incline feature was a very nice addition to have in the Proform Epic 1200 Pro. You don’t often seen an incline on budget ellipticals under $1000 and when you do they are usually poorly constructed. The Proform Epic 1200 performed very well in our tests at different inclines and even held up well to the additional weight of a larger user.

Wrapping up the features of the Proform Epic 1200 Pro Incline elliptical (I get winded just saying that name!) are an 18″ stride, 18 programs, 16 levels of resistance and a very beefy 350 pound user weight. All-in-all, this was a very solid offering (and a huge surprise) from Proform. If not for the construction issues and the frustration it caused me, the Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical would have received a much higher rating.

For being a great incline elliptical at a budget price under $1000, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical and its very long name 3.5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.

The Epic 1200 Pro is a surprisingly decent elliptical from Proform and gets 3.5 gold buddahs
The Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical is a solid buy incline elliptical priced at under $799 with 3.5 gold buddahs.

Proform Epic 1200 Pro Elliptical Specifications
Flywheel: approximately 18lbs
Incline: Yes
Display: LCD
Readouts: incline, RPM, distance, resistance, pulse and calories burned
Programs: 18
Resistance Levels: 16
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: No
Max User Weight: 350lbs
Unit Weight: Approximately 160lbs
Price: Under $800

-The Treadmill Sensei