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Thursday, December 3rd
One of the first names that comes to mind when considering home fitness equipment is Bowflex. Originally made famous for their all-in-one strength training system, their product line has expanded over the years to include a variety of cardio equipment as well.
When it comes to treadmills, Bowflex offers just two models: the BXT116 and the upgraded BXT216.
With the BXT116 retailing for $1499 and the BXT216 for an extra $300 at $1799, what are the main differences between the two treadmills?
First, let's look at what they have in common:
The console is essentially the same for both models, and all of the tech might make you feel like you're working out in an airplane cockpit - in a good way. You'll see all of your workout stats at a glance, from the total workout time to your heart rate and much more. We encourage you to check out the images on the Bowflex site for yourself.
So, with all of those great features, why would anyone spend the extra money to get the BX216? It depends on what you need. For example, the maximum user weight on the 116 is 375 pounds, while the 216 allows users up to 400 pounds. The 216 also has a wider run path: 22" compared to the 116's 20".
The 216 also adds controls for incline and speed into the handrails, gives you an extra 1.5" on the full color LCD screen (9" compared with 7.5"), and comes with a more cushioned running surface. You'll also get an extra 0.25 in the horsepower, and a total of 11 pre-programmed workouts (as opposed to the 116's 9). You'll have to decide for yourself if any of those extras are worth the additional $300. At the time of our review, there was a free shipping offer on the upgraded model, compared with $99 for the lower-end version, bringing the price difference down to just $200.
We recommend that you take a look through the customer reviews on the Bowflex website. They're very detailed and represent a wide variety of users, from athletes training to improve performance in races to beginning exercisers starting with walking. We appreciate Bowflex's positive responses, even to negative comments, and their obvious commitment to constantly improving products and taking their customers' concerns seriously. Reading the comments will help you determine if there are any known issues with the way you plan on using the treadmill - like syncing with apps like Strava or using the higher inclines at high speeds.
Bowflex's return policy is 6 weeks from the date of delivery. You'll have to get an RMA from their customer service department, and your refund will not include any shipping fees. That's more generous than a lot of their competitors, who only give you 30 days and charge hefty restocking fees.
Overall, the two treadmill models offered by Bowflex are great: solidly built, good warranty and return periods, ample technology features, and backed by a responsive customer service team. But, when compared with the variety of treadmills offered by other retailers in our review, Bowflex's limited selection comes up short and may not offer the types of features - or the budget range - that some shoppers are looking for.
Treadmills are a great way to get an excellent workout at home when it best fits into your schedule. Regular use of a treadmill is also a great way to lose weight and get into good cardiovascular shape. Treadmills range from the most basic model with no frills, to those with high tech workout programs, TV's, and more.
Treadmills are generally easy to set up and are suitable for just about anyone to use. Changes in the designs have allowed treadmills to reduce the amount of space required, thus making them feasible for those with a limited area.
If you can't set aside a dedicated space for your treadmill, there are excellent foldable models available. Collapsing your treadmill and wheeling it out of the way is a piece of cake.
Several different brands of treadmills exist today and range greatly in cost and quality. Before you make the move to purchase a treadmill, consider the following:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best treadmills available today. We hope this information helps you find the right treadmill to meet your needs!
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