Bowflex Bike Review: Cutting-Edge Technology for Your Best Ride Yet

man riding Bowflex bike

Indoor cycling has increased in popularity in the last few years, and companies like Bowflex continue to evolve to match demand. If you find it hard to make time for the gym or cycling classes, an at-home stationary bike can be a convenient option: You don't need to sign up for a spin class to reap the benefits of a good cycling sesh. In this Bowflex Bike review, we explore the brand's three most popular models, examining what sets them apart so you don't have to.

If you're new to cycling, know that it can be a great way to build muscle endurance and release endorphins. You can incorporate cycling into your running routine, or have it in your training rotation to diversify your workouts and become a more well-rounded athlete.

And while there are a lot of indoor cycling options on the market, Bowflex bikes are top contenders. Compared to their competitors, Bowflex bikes pack a lot of features into their sleek frames with price tags that won't take your breath away. Keep reading for a complete breakdown of our favorite Bowflex bikes.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full affiliate disclosure Here.

A Quick Look at Bowflex Bikes

Bowflex entered the scene in 1986 with its first piece of home gym equipment: the Bowflex 2000X. Since then, Bowflex has developed several innovative products including smart activity trackers, treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes.

Bowflex offers three main indoor exercise bike options: the Bowflex C6, Bowflex VeloCore, and Bowflex C7. Each has access to the Bowflex JRNY app, which gives you the option to do Peloton and Zwift workouts, and stream entertainment like Netflix and Hulu (with a JRNY subscription).

Bowflex bikes are often known as more affordable alternatives to their pricier counterparts. You still get a quality machine with cutting-edge features, plus a few added bonuses (like the three-pound dumbbells and armband heart monitor that are included with the bike).

The Bowflex C6 is a streamlined model with a device holder and a LCD screen to keep tabs on your stats, while the VeloCore is a more premium bike that comes with a leaning mode for a more natural ride. The C7 brings a nice balance between the two with its seven-inch touch screen. All three bikes have dual-sided pedals and multi-adjustable seats and handlebars, but we dig more into each model below.

The Bowflex C6

bowflex C6

SPECS

  • Footprint: 48.7"L x 21.2"W x 51.8"H
  • Weight: 106 lbs.
  • Mode: Stationary
  • Seat style: Light padding, racing style seat
  • Handlebar style: 4-way adjustable handlebars
  • Pedal style: Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100
  • Flywheel: 40 lbs.
  • Display: LCD backlit computer console with tablet holder
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • JRNY app: Compatible
  • Max user weight: 330 lbs.
  • Key features: Quiet ride, Bluetooth functionality pairs with variety of apps, freedom to use your own device
  • Warranty: 10-years frame; 3-years electronics and parts; 1-year labor

Check Price

Starting us off in the Bowflex line-up is the C6, which is the most affordable option on this list. We like how the frame is light but still sturdy and two oversized water bottle cages are located by the holders. Front and rear stabilizers anchor the bike for when you’re trying to get ahead of the pack, while a built-in computer display records stats like speed, RPM's, estimated calories, and wattage. Cadence sensors in the pedals transmit RPM's and estimated speed to the console.

Use the tablet holder above the computer display to prop up your devices where you can sync to a variety of apps and programs via Bluetooth. If you prefer to use your own subscription services on your preferred device, this is a great option. In comparison, Bowlfex VeloCore and Bowflex C7 have built-in screens that use the subscription-based JRNY app to stream workouts and entertainment. There are no speakers on the bike itself, but it does sync with Bluetooth headphones.

Try adjusting the resistance levels by cracking the knob: Choose from over 100 levels of resistance to amp up your workout intensity or take it easy. We also like how the Bowflex C6 can be adjusted to fit riders between 4-foot-6 and 6-foot-6—simply move the handlebars back or forward for more space between your knees and the bars. The Bowflex C6 also uses a 40-pound flywheel which is heavier than Peloton and NordicTrack flywheels (both weigh in at about 30 pounds). Gym bikes typically have 50-pound flywheels, so the C6 flywheel is a great balance for a smooth feel and consistent motion while riding.

PROS

  • Easy Bluetooth syncing; compatible with any device
  • Hybrid pedals support SPD or athletic shoes
  • 4 adjustment points makes it easy to find your fit
  • 40-pound flywheel and magnetic resistance make for a smooth, quiet ride
  • Comes with a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells
  • Affordable
  • 1-year membership to the JRNY app included with purchase
  • JRNY app has dozens of playlists to choose from
  • On-demand classes, over 50 virtual destinations, and real-time coaching available within the JRNY app

CONS

  • No built-in speakers
  • Device holder doesn't swivel or adjust
  • JRNY platform doesn’t currently offer live classes or leaderboards

BUY: Bowflex C6

The Bowflex VeloCore

VeloCore

SPECS

  • Footprint: 59.8"L x 24.1"W x 55.3"H
  • Weight: 158.3 lbs.
  • Mode: Stationary or leaning
  • Seat style: Light padding, racing style seat
  • Handlebar style: 4-way adjustable handlebars
  • Pedal style: Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100
  • Flywheel: 33 lbs.
  • Display: Adjustable HD touch screen in 16" or 22". Plus a media rack to hold phone or tablet
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • JRNY app: Built-in
  • Max user weight: 325 lbs.
  • Key features: Leaning mode, built-in JRNY app, two screen size options
  • Warranty: 2-years frame and parts; 1-year electronics; 1-year labor

Check Price

If you're looking for the ultimate at-home cycling experience, we think the Velocore might be right up your alley. The Bowflex VeloCore elevates your ride with its unique "lean" mode—Bowflex is currently the only connected bike on the market with this feature. Designed to mimic a true outdoor pedaling experience, the leaning mode gently tilts you side to side, to simulate the feeling of riding through winding roads and steep hills. This also helps strengthen your core muscles and keeps the ride from feeling stale. You can keep it "locked" upright or switch it into lean mode using the red knob on the crossbar of the bike. It’s easy to maneuver, and you can switch between the two modes while you’re mid-ride.

We also like how the built-in display on the VeloCore comes with two screen size options, a 16-inch console or a 22-inch console. Both offer the option to stream Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and JRNY Radio during your workout with a JRNY subscription. You can also connect your phone or tablet to access Peloton® and Zwift® subscriptions. Similar to the Peloton app, the JRNY app offers a variety of on-and-off-bike content. Enjoy adaptive workouts led by a virtual instructor, on-demand classes guided by trainers, and scenic rides that tour through destinations around the globe. One caveat: The JRNY platform doesn’t currently offer live classes or leaderboards.

Similar to the C6 and C7, the VeloCore comes with two three-pound dumbbells and a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor. And while the bike itself is a bit heavier than its competitors, it does have small wheels on the front and a handle on the back that makes it easier to slide around. The resistance style also has the same set up as the C6 and C7, with levels that range from 1-100. Plus the VeloCore is equipped with dual-sided pedals, so you can easily share your bike with friends and family who didn’t bring their SPD cleats.

PROS

  • Built-in display with streaming options
  • Multiple riding styles; leaning mode offers a “natural” cycling experience
  • Bluetooth-enabled for syncing with smart devices and heart rate monitor (included)
  • Adjustable seat, handlebars and touch screen angles for a customized ride
  • JRNY app has dozens of playlists to choose from
  • On-demand classes, over 50 virtual destinations, and real-time coaching available within the JRNY app
  • Comes with a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells
  • 1-year membership to the JRNY app included with purchase

CONS

  • Shorter warranty compared to the Bowflex C6 bike
  • Assembly can be challenging, especially with the weight of the bike, so you may want to opt for professional assembly
  • JRNY platform doesn’t currently offer live classes or leaderboards
  • Priciest option on this list

BUY: Bowflex VeloCore

The Bowflex C7

C7

SPECS

  • Footprint: 48.1"L x 21.3"W x 57.5"H
  • Weight: 111.1 lbs.
  • Mode: Stationary
  • Seat style: Light padding, racing style seat
  • Handlebar style: 4-way adjustable handlebars
  • Pedal style: Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100
  • Flywheel: 40 lbs.
  • Display: 7" HD touch screen
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • JRNY app: Built-in
  • Max user weight: 330 lbs.
  • Key features: Compact but sturdy, high-quality touch screen with access to a variety of programs and entertainment
  • Warranty: 3-years frame; 3-years mechanical parts; 1-year electrical; 1-year labor

Check Price

The Bowflex C7 offers a nice middle ground between the no-frills C6 and the dynamic VeloCore. Similar to the C6 in its build and ride, including the dual-sided pedals, magnetic resistance, 40-pound flywheel and Bluetooth compatibility, it also has a high-quality seven-inch touch screen with built-in access to the JRNY app. The media rack still gives you the option to bring your own screen, but the crystal-clear display can transport your ride with guided virtual classes and scenic routes around the world.

The frame of the C7 feels solid, especially when you're out of the saddle. Although the aerodynamic frame appears light and compact (great for small spaces), the bike is still incredibly sturdy and shouldn’t feel shaky when you're tackling hills. We also like the adjustable front and rear stabilizers which makes it easy to get comfortable. And depending on your ride style, the handlebars easily accommodate narrow, wide and natural grips. The handlebars also come encased with a soft rubber foam, so you can comfortably train for the long haul.

PROS

  • Media rack in addition to the 7-inch touch screen
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 40-pound flywheel offers a smooth riding experience
  • Wheels make it easier to move out of the way (just be sure to remove the hand weights before lifting)
  • JRNY app has dozens of playlists to choose from
  • On-demand classes, over 50 virtual destinations, and real-time coaching available within the JRNY app
  • Comes with a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells
  • 1-year membership to the JRNY app included with purchase

CONS

  • Lacks a power meter
  • JRNY platform doesn’t currently offer live classes or leaderboards

BUY: Bowflex C7

Bowflex Bikes Comparison

  Bowflex C6 Bowflex VeloCore Bowflex C7
 Footprint  48.7"L x 21.2"W x 51.8"H  59.8"L x 24.1"W x 55.3"H  48.1"L x 21.3"W x 57.5"H
 Weight  106 lbs.  158.3 lbs.  111.1 lbs.
 Mode  Stationary  Stationary and leaning  Stationary
 Seat style  Light padding, racing style seat  Light padding, racing style seat  Light padding, racing style seat
 Handlebar style  4-way adjustable handlebars  4-way adjustable handlebars  4-way adjustable handlebars
 Pedal style  Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages  Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages  Dual-sided SPD clips or toe cages
 Resistance  Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100  Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100  Magnetic resistance; resistance knob adjusts levels 1-100
 Display  LCD backlit computer console with tablet holder  Adjustable HD touchscreen 16" or 22" media rack to hold phone or tablet  7" HD touchscreen
 Bluetooth capability  Yes  Yes  Yes
 JRNY App  Yes  Built-in  Built-in
 Max user weight  330 lbs.  325 lbs.  330 lbs.
 Warranty  10-years frame, 3-years electronics and parts, 1-year labor  2-years frame and parts, 1-year electronics and labor  3-years frame and mechanical parts, 1-year electrical and labor

Final Thoughts on Bowflex Bikes

Bowflex continues to keep pace with competitors with its collection of indoor bikes. The sleek and sturdy frames, cutting-edge features and thoughtful customization make Bowflex bikes a great addition to your workout routine. With three solid options in the Bowflex bike family, you have a variety of options to choose from depending on your budget and preferences.

From a tech perspective, we think Bowflex's JRNY app subscription truly elevates the riding experience. With a variety of guided workouts, scenic rides, off-bike classes and a bevy of streaming options, you’ll get a lot for your investment. The Bluetooth syncing, multiple ride styles and seamless magnetic resistance also mimic that of Peloton but at a lower price point.

Whether you opt for the screenless C6, the 7-inch touch screen on the C7, or the fully-loaded VeloCore, we think Bowflex bikes can help you generate some serious at-home workout power.

FAQs About Bowflex Bikes


Is a Bowflex bike as good as a Peloton?

Bowflex and Peloton each bring unique offerings to the indoor cycling experience; they both use magnetic resistance and have a similar flywheel weight. But if you're looking for customization and a more affordable option, Bowflex is a better bet. The dual-sided pedals and multi-adjustable seat and handlebars meet riders where they’re at in both experience level and fit.

Can I use a Bowflex bike without a subscription?

The Bowflex C6 can be used without a subscription to Bowflex's JRNY app, since the bike's LCD console does not come with the built-in program. You can use the Bowflex VeloCore and Bowflex C7 without a subscription to the JRNY app, although it does minimize the functionality and experience of the workouts. You can do manual workouts on the VeloCore and C7 without the app, but it won't store your workout info. All of the Bowflex bikes come with a device holder, so you could also use your own tablet to watch a show or follow a workout from a different app or program on your tablet.

Why does the Bowflex VeloCore lean?

The Bowflex VeloCore is currently the only connected bike on the market with the "lean" feature. It’s designed to mimic a true outdoor pedaling experience by gently tilting you from side to side in order to simulate the feeling of riding through winding roads and steep hills.

It also helps strengthen your core muscles and keeps the ride from feeling stale. Keep it "locked" upright or switch it into lean mode using the red knob on the crossbar of the bike. It's easy to maneuver, and you can switch between the two modes while you're mid-ride.

Discuss This Article