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Wednesday, February 28th
Bowflex is a well-known name for all sorts of exercise equipment. The company offers a lineup that includes treadmills, stationary bikes, home gyms, and elliptical machines. In fact, Bowflex, a subsidiary of Nautilus, has been making home gym equipment for over 35 years.
With global shipping and a global reputation, Bowflex stands out as a popular option for an exercise bike. You can find four different exercise bikes on the Bowflex website with all four of them available for purchase at the time of this review. And as an added bonus, all of them come with a JRNY membership when you purchase, offering a high-value exercise program along with your new equipment.
Basic model: C6
The base-model exercise bike from Bowflex is the C^6 bike. This bike starts at $699 and goes up to $868 if you opt for the added cost for in-home assembly. With the C6, you can expect to find a backlit LCD display that helps you manage your machine, which provides you with 100 magnetic resistance levels for versatile workout intensities. The bike also includes a media rack designed for your phone or tablet and is compatible with the JRNY app, as well as the Peloton and Zwift apps for a range of different workout styles. You can also expect to find a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband, SPD clips for your cycling shoes, and a pair of 3 lb dumbbells that come with your purchase. On top of that, you can expect a 2-month free trial of JRNY with your purchase, so if you don't already have a fitness app you use, this is a great way to dig in with your new workout bike right away. The best part is that the frame of this low-cost option is warrantied for up to 10 years.
Top-tier model: Velcore Bike
The top-level model at Bowflex is the Velcore Bike. The price for this option ranges from $1,799 to $2,199 depending on if you want a 16" screen or a 22" screen. If you add in-home assembly you'll pay an extra $199 on top of that. Whether you prefer leaning or stationary mode, this bike has got you covered. Adjust your workout intensity with ease using the 100 magnetic resistance levels, and dive into the built-in JRNY experience. On top of the huge LCD touchscreen, the Velcore Bike comes with a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband, SPD clips for your cycling shoes, and a pair of 3 lb dumbbells. However, these things are starting to sound familiar. Really, the only upgrade between this machine and the basic model is the LCD touchscreen, which seems to be pretty minimal when you consider the $1,400 difference. While the Velcore Bike is a recipient of the 2021 CES Innovation Award, recognizing its outstanding design and engineering, we're not sure it stands out enough to justify the huge price jump from the basic Bowflex model. And, when you consider that this "high-end" model only has a 2-year warranty on the frame, it raises some quality questions.
No BBB score and low-rated reviews
During our research on Bowflex's reputation, we ran into a small snag: Bowflex doesn't have a page with the Better Business Bureau. And, after digging through Bowflex's parent company, Nautilus, we found it doesn't have a BBB page either. This means the company and many of its subsidiaries are currently unrated. So, we're left with ratings from third-party websites to gauge the trustworthiness of Bowflex. In general, the average from verified reviewers is 2.7 out of 5 stars. While the brand receives some positive reviews, it has a lot more criticism. Comments often include worries about product quality. Some customers said they had equipment malfunctions within a few months of use, and when they tried to contact Bowflex for help with their in-warranty machines, many customers had difficulties getting in touch with the company.
Good for extras, but bad customer service
Where exercise bikes are concerned, Bowflex is more impressive on the extras side. On top of your bike, you get shoe clips, dumbbells, and a free 2-month membership to JRNY. However, when you look at the bikes themselves, they aren't particularly exciting. Other than an LCD touchscreen, the base model is the better choice for value at Bowflex. If you're looking for an option under $700, the C6 might be worth your time. On the other hand, with questionable reviews and complaints from customers that show it's hard to get into contact with Bowflex if they want help repairing even "in-warranty" machines. So, with that in mind, we think it's probably better to pick a site where you'll be taken care of when issues arise.
If you're looking for a versatile machine easily accessible for a home gym, exercise bikes are a top choice. Exercise bikes offer motion that's ideal for individuals with sensitive joints, sore backs, bad knees (shout out to the crunchy knees gang), or other conditions that make high-impact exercises hard or impossible to do.
On top of being low-impact, one of the popular points for exercise bikes is the all-season approach. Picture this: you get to sweat it out whenever it suits you. No gym crowds, and no clock-watching. Convenience is your new fitness buddy. Plus, no more worrying about how you look or comparing yourself to others. Or whether the sweaty guy before you wiped down the bike seat (ew!). Basically, you get all the pros of a spin class without any of the ick of a public gym.
For athletes (especially you biking enthusiasts) who don't want to lose their form during the winter, nabbing an exercise bike can change your winter fitness regimen to more closely fit your regular training. But if you're not a tri-athlete (like many of us aren't), having an exercise bike at home is still a huge plus.
As you start browsing the different exercise bike brands, you'll realize that there's a lot of variety to choose from. Many modern exercise bikes come with cool features like built-in screens for virtual classes, fitness app hook-ups, and even virtual outdoor rides. So, exercise bikes aren't like one of those creaky metal contraptions from your grandma's basement anymore. They've got all the bells and whistles to upgrade your workout.
Imagine pedaling through scenic routes without leaving your living room or gamified paths to keep you engaged. These bikes aren't just tools; they're like your personal fitness sidekick, cheering you on and giving you all the stats you need to track your growth and celebrate your fitness level-ups. There are even exercise bikes designed to fit under your desk or that feature a built-in tabletop/desk, so you can work and work out at the same time.
But there's a lot to look at when you're shopping for the perfect exercise bike. Starting your search for the right exercise bike can be overwhelming. Studio style? Recumbent? Touchscreen or basic console? Fortunately, we've gone through the best options out there and put together some criteria to help you narrow down your choices and find a bike that suits you.
To make sure that your fitness journey takes off, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best exercise bike brands available online today. We hope this will help you curate your perfect home gym and get back to the ride of your life on your new exercise bike. Pedal on, friend!
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