Proform Elliptical Too Hard To Pedal

Proform elliptical trainers are one of the most popular choices for home cardio machines. 

It is such a frustrating experience when your Proform elliptical pedals are hard to move (even at low resistance levels), especially if it is still a brand new machine you have just received recently.

Well, if your Proform elliptical machine is so hard to pedal, then let’s review the most proven troubleshooting steps to follow when your Proform elliptical too hard to pedal before calling the manufacturer or a repair person.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Why Is My Proform Elliptical So Hard To Pedal?

proform elliptical machine in my home gym setup

An elliptical machine is designed to simulate the difficulty of running on different types of terrain. Typically, this is done by controlling the resistance which can be adjusted using a knob on the console.

When your Proform elliptical resistance system is not functioning properly, it can cause other issues, hard pedals can be one of them. 

There are a few other reasons why your Proform elliptical is hard to pedal. Common issues include power supply problems, resistance motor not getting enough power, or the resistance motor being broken.

Proform Elliptical Too Hard To Pedal – Troubleshooting Guides

The following troubleshooting guides will help you identify and fix your Proform elliptical issue.

1. Check The Power Source

If your Proform elliptical too hard to pedal, nine times out of ten the cause goes back to the resistance system.

So the first thing to do is to check the elliptical machine’s power source.

The elliptical power source is the most likely reason for the resistance to stop working. It is what provides power to the resistance motor to respond and operate

If it isn’t working, the resistance won’t work either. Thus leave you stuck with a certain resistance level that can’t be changed.

First, unplug the power supply for about 30 seconds and then plug it back and you should hear the servo motor resetting itself.

Next, check the elliptical if it is plugged in properly and that there are no loose wires or other objects in contact with the power cord.

Lastly, make sure you are using the appropriate voltage your Proform elliptical requires. If the cord has been damaged then you may need to replace it with a new one.

2. Check The Resistance Motor

There is a small motor under the shroud that operates the resistance motor. It is about the size of a roll of half dollars. 

To check the Proform resistance motor, you want to use a multimeter to see if the console is actually sending power to the resistance motor when you manually adjust the resistance on the console.

If the resistance motor receives no voltage from the console when you manually change the resistance, then your Proform elliptical console is not working as the resistance motor can’t receive your inputs on the elliptical console.

Replacing the Proform console is what is going to solve the problem here.

Next, unplug your elliptical from the power outlet, and check the wire harness connections between the console and the resistance motor.

Through the use of a multimeter, check the continuity between the wiring and the resistance motor.

If any wires are no longer working, replace them immediately.

If the Proform resistance motor gets power from the console but still doesn’t run, then the resistance motor needs to be replaced.

3. Replace The Resistance Motor

nordictrack elliptical machine picture from my home gym

If the Proform resistance motor gets power from the console but still doesn’t run, then the resistance motor needs to be replaced.

Replacing the Proform elliptical machine resistance motor with a new one is a very easy task to accomplish. 

  1. Remove the pedal arm

Remove the right pedal arm cover screw, and then pull the cover off.

Using an Allen wrench, remove the bolt at the pedal arm and crank arm connection by turning it clockwise.

Carefully remove the pedal off the crank arm and push it forward the machine.

  1. Remove the side shield

Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws attaching the right side cover, then pull it off to uncover the elliptical motor.

  1. Remove the resistance motor

Using a wire cutter, cut the wire harness container on the Proform frame base to release the motor wires, and disconnect the wire harness from the motor.

Take the tension off the resistance cable. To do this, loosen the resistance cable by pressing down on the part of the eddy mechanism using a flat head screwdriver.

Next, pull off the cable from the resistance motor.

Using the screwdriver, remove the screws that mount the resistance motor to the frame of the elliptical and place it aside.

  1. Install the new resistance motor

Line up your new machine’s resistance motor with the hole on top of your old elliptical, so that it is centered in the same place as it was before, and tighten down all screws on top to hold it into the frame.

Replace the resistance cable to the motor and reset the tension.

And finally reconnect the wire harness to the motor .

  1. Reinstall the side shield 

Line up the side shield, and reinstall the side mounting screws

  1. Reinstall the right pedal arm

Push the right pedal arm to the end of the crank arm shaft and attach it.

4. Check The Flywheel Magnet

When you change the Proform elliptical resistance level, but there is no actual change in resistance, and also none of the above guides seem to solve the problem, then you need to check the flywheel magnet.

To do that, start off by prying up the lower upright covering using a slot screwdriver, then slide the cover up to release it from the side shield.

Next, slide the right side shield off to expose the flywheel magnet.

Look inside the unit and find the magnet, which is located near to the motor and flywheel. There is a cable running upwards from the motor and is attached to the magnet housing.

If you adjust the resistance now, the cable should move up. This is supposed to make the magnet closer to the flywheel and increase its strength.

If the magnet gets stuck and doesn’t move upwards, then you need to adjust the resistance magnet cable.

5. Adjust The Resistance Cable

To go through this step, you will need two wrenches. You have to move to the opposite end of the machine, towards the front, and you will see it is connected with a nut and bolt. 

Using the two wrenches, hold the barrel nut while loosening the small nut away from the large barrel nut on the resistance cable

Turn the barrel nut so it unthreads from the elbow and the resistance cable.

This would lengthen the distance in the cable sheath so that the slider is pulled further towards the center of the resistance mech, pulling the magnet slightly further from the flywheel.

You can adjust and test it and decide whether to adjust it more.

Once the barrel nut is in the desired position, tighten the smaller nut to lock the barrel nut into place.

Get on Proform elliptical assembly to reassemble everything back together.

Once it’s all back together, check to see if the resistance works again.


There are a few potential reasons for why your Proform elliptical is hard to pedal. These include power supply problems, the resistance motor not getting enough voltage, or the resistance being broken.

First of all, make sure that the machine is properly plugged into a power source. 

If it still doesn’t work after this, check the wire harness connections between the console and the resistance motor.

You may need to replace the resistance motor if it gets enough power but doesn’t work appropriately.

If you have tried all the steps but still your Proform elliptical machine resistance is not functioning, you should call Proform customer care at 1-888-533-1333..

The customer service team will help you diagnose the problem and offer solutions.

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