Bowflex C6 Review: Here is what I Think After 3 Years.
The Bowflex C6 is a top indoor cycling bike offering smooth, ergonomic, and powerful exercise at an affordable price. This high-quality offering from the Bowflex fitness family improves the spin experience on every level, adding innovation after innovation into its design process to create one of the best mid-range spin bikes by Bowflex available today.
The Bowflex C6 spin bike offers studio and boutique performance elements to your spinning experience, making anyone into a spin expert from their own home. The Bowflex C6 indoor cycle offers an innovative design and high-tech machinery for a smooth and streamlined indoor cycling experience any level of cyclists can use and enjoy for years.
The C6 is ideal for any level of spinner due to its personalized intensity and sleekly ergonomic spin design that will keep you on track with any spin class or workout. Spinning enthusiasts will be drawn to the sturdy yet portable build of this bike that offers a heavy-duty and long lasting performance no matter how many times you power them up.
Having a personal, high-quality spin bike in your home makes working out feel more approachable and higher quality than ever before. Being able to exercise in the safety and comfort of your home or controlled workout space is more important than ever, so finding the right exercise equipment for you is key to taking decisive control over your fitness regimen. This innovative bike is the perfect high-performing and affordable fitness machine for your home, priced reasonably and offering payment plans that make your purchase even more affordable.
Bowflex Indoor Cycling Bikes Comparison:
The Bowflex C6 is the entry model in the Bowflex indoor cycling bike series. Although it is the cheapest model, it still offers a great deal value for the money. The console is not touch or HD, it’s a basic LED monitor but it displays all major statistic that you would need to reach your goal.
The second model is the C7 which is exactly the same as the C6, except it has a 7-inch touchscreen monitor and slightly higher price. So, if you want a screen to display the progress more clearly, the Bowflex C7 is for you.
The latest model is the Bowflex VeloCore that is available with a 16 and 22-inch screen. It’s nothing like the Bowflex C6 or C7. It’s a completely different indoor cycling bike that has a unique leaning technology and sturdier built construction. It would be a good fit for those serious cyclists who want to the ability to lean and try to mimic road cycling.
|Bowflex Velocore 22||$2200||22" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, burn rate, heart rate, RPM, resistance, lean, and watts||Yes||With Flywheel Lock||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Third-part apps work on the screen if you are subscribed to JRNY ($20 monthly)|
|Bowflex Velocore 16||$1900||16" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, burn rate, heart rate, RPM, resistance, lean, and watts||Yes||With Flywheel Lock||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Third-part apps work on the screen if you are subscribed to JRNY ($20 monthly)|
|Bowflex C7||$999||7" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, intervals, and resistance,||No||No||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Third-part apps work on the screen if you are subscribed to JRNY ($20 monthly)|
|Bowflex C6||$699||LED Console||Time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, and resistance,||No||No||Bluetooth||Peloton and Zwift||LED console, apps can't be installed on the bike's console|
Bowflex C6 Alternatives:
Being on the fitness equipment market for almost a decade (reviewing, selling, importing, and designing), I like to consider myself well-aware of the indoor bikes by popular and lesser-known brands. And that brings me to the point why I think I know there is no other indoor bike (except for the Schwinn IC4) that could beat the Bowflex C6 at this price tag.
Generally speaking, both of these bikes (Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6) are the exact same bikes, from the same parent company (Nautilus Inc) but with different prices and names. I know it’s confusing but it’s a marketing trick so they can increase the visibility and sell more.
They both come with Bluetooth monitors, magnetic resistance, dual-sided pedals, and weight holders. However, the Schwinn IC4 is usually priced less than 850 (can vary by the time you are reading this review) which helps you save 150 and still get the same indoor cycling bike as the Bowflex C6.
So, if you are on the market for the Bowflex C6 spin bike, you may also want to check the Schwinn IC4. You might be lucky to find a good offer with one of these bikes. With that said, if you can afford to bump up your budget to 999, I strongly suggest you to check out the Bowflex C7 indoor cycling bike. It has everything the C6 is known for, plus a 7-inch HD touch monitor.
|Bowflex C6||Best choice at $799. There is no better spin bike that could beat the C6 at this price.||LED with Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance Readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistance||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY (You need to use your tablet or laptop).|
|Schwinn IC4||Best choice at $799. There is no better spin bike that could beat the IC4 at this price.||LED with Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance Readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistance||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY (You need to use your tablet or laptop).|
|ProForm Studio||Great choice and I highly recommend this model at $699. At this price point, there is no bike with a 10″ HD monitor.||10″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||Tablet holder and Friction resistance||Compatible with iFit application and includes 1-free month.|
|Bowflex C7||At its current price of $899, I would recommend it without hesitation. It’s also often available for discounted price of $700.||7″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistance||Zwift, Peloton (if you are subscribed to JRNY).|
Bowflex C6 Review, Pros, Cons, and Verdict:
- Width: 21.2”
- Length: 48.7″
- Height: 51.8”
- Bike Weight: 106 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 330 Pounds
- User Compatible Size Range: 5”0” to 6’6”
- Power Sourced through included AC Adapter
- Transportation Wheels
As if the high-performance and aesthetic appearance of this sleek Bowflex spin cycle weren’t enough, the technical offerings of the Bowflex C6 spin cycle are industry-leading and competitive with even the highest-priced bikes on the market. Built with a 40-pound front-mounted fixed flywheel that partners with a strong magnetic resistance while maintaining the same drive of an outdoor bike, this cycle generates maximum spin for maximum workout progress.
The smooth belt transmission drive ensures a silken, hard-working ride without any bumps or issues, integrating both heavy-duty resistance and power into your workout. Built with a commercial grade aluminum frame that’s designed and contoured for both strength and sweat protection, the Bowflex C6 offers a powerful transmission and resistance system that pair with the ergonomic saddle and pedal locations to create a maximum workout with minimum strain on your body. High-performing and low-maintenance, the Bowflex C6 spin cycle is a surefire success in any home, workout space, personal gym, or light commercial facilities.
Digital LCD Monitor:
- Bowflex C6 comes equipped with a backlit LCD monitor that powers with standard home outlet power.
- The console has a USB port to allow charging your device during the ride.
- The Bowflex C6 monitor is capable of tracking RPM, resistance level, speed, distance, time, heart rate, and calories (no watt).
- This monitor features the standard Bluetooth technology that enables the bike to send the workout feedback to many cycling apps including the Zwift, Peloton, and more.
- Note: You are not required to do any paid subscription to use the bike or its monitor.
The innovative Bowflex C6 cycle features a streamlined, electronic, and high performing cycle console that’s simple, affordable, and built right into your bike for easy access while riding. The console is powered through electricity, so you’ll need to be able to plug your cycle into a nearby outlet to power your ride. The cycle includes an AC adapter to help facilitate your spin experience. This easy to read electric monitor features clear, helpful power measurements that provide valuable feedback on your ride, as well as Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. The direct power measurements achieved through fitness tracking built into the cycle include pulse, RPM, distance and time cycled, heart rate, speed, and calories burned.
A standout feature of the Bowflex C6 cycle is that the fitness monitor enables Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, a major benefit that means that your workout data can instantly connect to any number of spin apps like Zwift, Peloton, or any other leaderboard system. Track your rides, post your statistics, and compete with other riders, all while following along to other workouts or charting your own pace without being limited to any one particular app.
You can track heart rate as well through the console and connected telemetry heart rate monitors, a helpful tool when it comes to monitoring your performance throughout the ride. An armband monitor is included to help you track your heart rate. A built in tablet mount holds phones or tablets for easy entertainment while riding, so feel free to turn on an episode of your favorite show or movie or follow along to a spin class for maximum efficiency and convenience during your rides. No more expensive monthly class fees or long commutes to the gym: you can experience Peloton, SoulCycle, and more all from the comfort of your own home.
- Bowflex C6 indoor cycle comes equipped with dual-sided SPD and toe cage pedals.
- Dual-sided pedals are compatible with cycling shoes and will accommodate both high-performance SPD cleats and traditional fitness shoes.
- The Q-factor of the Bowflex C6 indoor cycling bike is 190 mm (not narrow but not too wide either).
Whether you’re a beginning spin cyclist or a hardened veteran, the SPD pedals on the Bowflex C6 offer everything you’ll ever need. The extended crank arms slip easily and securely into top-of-the-line pedals that are dual-sided SPD models. These pedals can be clipped into on either side and slide on to pedal cranks easily, creating maximum flexibility for spinners whose workouts require lifting on or off the pedals rapidly or repeatedly.
The SPD capabilities are another plus; any expert cyclist recognizes the importance of SPD to an efficient ride, and the benefits of high-performing SPD pedals that can clip into cleats will prove themselves in just a few workouts. The included optional toe cage also means you can take to your bike with traditional tennis or athletic shoes as well, so you have options for your gear when it comes to creating a perfect fitness experience.
The Q-factor on the Bowflex C6 spin bike is 190mm, an unusually wide q-factor stance. Known as a “wide” pedal size, this Q-factor generally puts the pedals at a wide-set distance from each other, which can sometimes be uncomfortable for shorter cyclists who find themselves placing additional strain on their body by pushing out at an uncomfortable angle. A narrow stance is generally preferred for spin bikes because it positions the feet and knees in a line that drives smoothly downwards, allowing maximum drive on the pedal and creating ergonomic positioning for legs and knees that reduce strain on joints and other muscle functions. However, many riders have noted that the Bowflex pedals still feel comfortable despite being wider set, so this may be a matter of personal preference and trial and error for each individual user.
Bowflex C6 Flywheel Weight:
- Bowflex C6 is equipped with a 40 Lb fixed flywheel.
- Carefully balanced front-mounted fixed flywheel (not free-wheel).
- Magnetic resistance works with belt transmission to ramp up the intensity.
Of the many resistance systems available to spin bike manufacturers, magnetic resistance flywheels are by far the best to work with. The Bowflex C6 proves why a magnetic flywheel is so great: the C6 has a powerful drive with little to no strain on the muscles and a no-contact braking system that prevents wear and tear to the machine over the years.
The fixed front flywheel prevents casting and works to generate powerful magnetic resistance that forces you to work harder with every stride. The heavy flywheel is also heavy-duty, with a protective bumper to isolate it from exposure to the elements and to keep the magnets performing in top shape.
The heavy-duty belt drive system, front flywheel, and strong srame make this bike reliable, meaning your durable flywheel and transmission system will stand the test of time regardless of how many times you fire the bike up. As is standard for Bowflex bikes, the flywheel is built to withstand any amount of use, so you’ll have no problem riding it for many years or taking it with you if you move homes, apartments, or gym spaces. Your flywheel is also coated and chromed to protect people from injury should they bump into it. Even if there were any issues with your flywheel, Bowflex offers a generous warranty (which you can read more about later) that protects your flywheel and insures your investment.
Bowflex C6 Resistance:
- The Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike offers reliable and powerful magnetic resistance systems with 100 micro-adjustable levels for precise resistance measurement.
- Micro-adjustment resistance knob cranks up resistance before or during rides quickly yet precisely, allowing minute adjustments to find the perfect resistance level.
The Bowflex C6 spin bike uses innovative, industry leading magnetic technology to perfect the incremental approach to adjusting the degree of magnetic resistance without needing to click through endless levels or push yourself too hard because you can’t find the right balance. The micro-adjustable magnetic resistance reacts instantly to a user’s desired magnetic increase or decrease adjustments, creating a silent but responsive resistance adjustment that won’t disrupt your workout.
The Bowflex C6 spin bike resistance knob offers 100 levels of micro-resistance, allowing a minutely customizable approach to resistance where users can tweak their desired resistance exactly how they’d like it and have plenty of resistance levels to choose from. The real benefit to the Bowflex C6 resistance knob versus other knobs or levers is the ability to easily click through resistance levels.
The infinitely adjustable resistance is a life-changing addition to this spin cycle, especially if you prefer a workout that demands a gradual resistance switch you can achieve through slow clicking through levels with a traditional resistance knob. With these manually adjustable resistance levels, you can easily create a cardio burn style workout or turn up the resistance and generate a hill, terrain, or HIIT training environment, making your workout much easier to personalize. However, because the resistance is manually adjustable, that does mean you’ll have to do it yourself, instead of being able to hook it up to a software that changes the resistance for you.
Handlebars and Seat:
- Multi-position handlebars with horizontal and vertical adjustment;
- Height adjustable padded race style seat;
- Lever system for easy adjustment;
The handlebars on the Bowflex C6 are multi-position and fairly functional, but there are some important limitations to note. The handlebars aren’t easily adjusted, so you’ll have to place it at a different crank and wrench height, requiring a good deal of tinkering each time you want to switch up your handlebar adjustments.
The handlebars feature the included electronic console for ease of access, and they also come equipped with a tablet or phone mount so you can follow along with video workouts or watch a movie or show while you ride. Directly beneath the Bowflex C6 handlebars are an included pair of dumbbells for weight resistance training and a conveniently located water bottle holder for ease of access.
The padded, race style saddle on the Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike is slightly more personalizable. Featuring height adjustments, this bike can fit a variety of different rider heights. Most sizes of riders will feel comfortable on this bike with this comfortable saddle that shifts up and down as needed. For riders who need flexibility with their spin cycles, this feature is a huge bonus. It also makes it easier to switch between users of different size, though you will need to invest a little extra time if you’re hoping to adjust your handlebar adjustments.
Transmission and Gear Ratio:
- C6 spin bike by Bowflex features a quiet Poly-V belt transmission (not carbon/toothed belt).
- The gear ratio is not specified but considering the weight of the flywheel, it’s probably 4:1
- Bowflex C6’s drive system is fixed (not free-wheel) so you can’t do the casting.
The Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike’s transmission drive system features a straightforward, low-maintenance polymer belt for an easy pedalling stride and drive. This high-performing transmission belt works twice as hard and lasts twice as long as chain drives, providing a simple and ideal ride for every user. Belt systems improve on the standard chain system common in outdoor bike models by eliminating the rustle and clank of the typical greasy chains that road bikes feature.
The Bowflex C6 belt drive is made of a durable polymer that doesn’t require oiling, adjustment, tightening, or rust-prevention. The poly belt drive provides a superior drive experience, including a tight fit to the gears and the smooth overall ride. You’ll never experience your pedals slip, jerk, or catch with the Bowflex C6 belt, leading to a consistently smooth ride that will feel like you’re pedaling among the clouds.
The other benefit of the Bowflex C6 spin bike’s poly transmission belt is its virtually silent performance. Spinning on this bike is a full-body-workout against a strong drive and tough resistance that will challenge you without the clanking or creaking you’d expect from a typical chain or heavier-weight fitness machine. The gear ratio is another contributor to this silent experience: quick switching between levels of magnetic resistance reduces the clank or creak of changing weights and keeps your bike quiet at any level of resistance. The low-noise component of these belt drives is incomparable: when combined with the silent magnetic resistance system on the Bowflex C6, this bike is almost entirely silent, meaning you can take a spin anywhere, anytime without worrying about creating a racket or disturbing your home.
Bowflex C6 Price and Warranty:
- The Bowflex C6 spin bike is currently priced under 1500
- The Bowflex C6 spin bike’s warranty includes ten years on the frame and three years on parts and other components
- You can purchase additional coverage through a Bowflex protection plan for an additional fee
- If you need parts for this bike while still under warranty, visit the “http://bowflex.online/best-bowflex-products/bowflex-warranty-claim/” and fill the claim out completely to order the part.
If you’re concerned about the longevity of your machine, you can also purchase a Bowflex Protection Plan. The five-year protection plan, available for an additional 109, extends your parts and labor warranty to five years of coverage, making your cycle eligible for company protection for a few extra years.
The price of this bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is mediocre. The spin cycle is mid-range in terms of price and affordability, and it’s also mid-range in terms of offered features.
This is a solid bike that will serve cyclists and spinners well over the years, but the investment is certainly not the most valuable or the most worthwhile on the market. These are good quality bikes that are consistently available at a mid-range price, but for someone who’s ready to fully commit to the world of spin the Bowflex C6 spin bike may not prove the most worthy investment.
C6 Assembly and Shipping:
- Expected delivery is within two weeks using standard shipping.
- Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S, and $99 for Hawaii and Alaskan residents.
- Package is 48 x 21 x 50” and weighs around 130 lbs.
- Most parts come preassembled (60% assembled) and all assembly tools are included with the Bowflex C6 bike.
Assembling your Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike will take a little bit of focus. Following the included and clearly diagrammed and labeled manual will help most figure out how to assemble this bike, and you can always look online for additional videos to show how to put the more complex parts together.
The more detailed parts, such as the flywheel and the chain system, come pre-assembled, so you won’t need to worry about how to assemble the inner workings of the bike. However, you will need a wrench and some muscle to get each part situated firmly and safely within each other.
The parts that you need to assemble are the feet, seat, handlebars, pedals, and the screen. The Bowflex C6 indoor cycling bike’s flywheel and transmission come preassembled. Overall, you should be able to follow the instructions and check out the internet if you need extra assistance, or you can always reach out to the manufacturer for further assistance.
Bowflex C6 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros:
Streamlined and Straightforward
The Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike creates a compellingly simple spin bike experience that’s both aesthetically pleasing and performs well. The Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike provides a reliably taxing workout with every ride. The carefully designed yet simple to use Bowflex C6 will perform sleekly, strongly, and efficiently, making it a user-friendly and streamlined fitness experience that fits snugly into even the busiest of calendars.
Silent Magnetic Resistance
The magnetic resistance system is probably the most attractive component on the Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike. The sleek no-contact braking and quiet belt work together to make your spin a silent yet intense workout. The magnetic system is also highly durable and adjustable in a hundred different ways thanks to the variable resistance knob, meaning that your bike is very customizable and features a longer than normal lifespan (and extensive warranty) that can stand up to years of regular and intensive use without sacrificing any of the performance quality of your ride.
Integrated Digital Monitor
The digital console and technical bells and whistles shouldn’t be ignored on the Bowflex C6 as well. The straightforward ride diagnostics provided by the electrical monitor is easy to read and generates accurate and useful feedback with every stride. The Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity are other impressive features, making this cycle Peloton and SoulCycle compatible as well as keying into other useful apps like Zwift or iFit.
Bowflex C6 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons:
Stiff and Awkward Frame:
The somewhat uniform frame is the biggest drawback to the Bowflex. Though the seat offers height adjustments to accommodate a wide range of rider heights, the challenging handlebar adjustment process is a big negative for riders who prefer a more intimate level of control over their fitness equipment. Not being able to easily adjust the positioning of your bike as easily, especially when you also consider the wider than average q-factor, just makes this frame feel stiff and awkwardly built.
Poly-V belt Not Timing/Carbon Belt:
Unlike some Schwinn Fitness indoor bikes or Stages indoor cycling bikes, the Bowflex indoor bikes use the poly-V belts for transmission (not the toothed/carbon belt) which can be slippery under high-intensity spinning workouts (especially if you are on the heavier side or often do high-resistance standing-posture spinning).
The Final Verdict
The Bowflex C6 indoor exercise bike is a mediocre player in the spin bike marketplace that can perform well in any gym, studio, or workout space. The sturdy design and durable flywheel and drive guarantee many years of powerful rides and workouts, and the versatility of the SPD pedals allows riders to pursue all types of workouts. The Bowflex C6 indoor spin bike offers compelling performance capabilities and top of the line technological integration, but there are a few major drawbacks that place the C6 firmly in the middle of the pack.
The Bowflex C6 indoor exercise bike is a mid-range bike that underperforms in a few key areas considering its hefty price tag, specifically its fixed handlebar location and wide q-factor. It’s still a worthy investment in the spin machinery world, and its notably strong and durable resistance system ensures consistently intense workouts that will build your resistance intensity, but considering the more fleshed outperformance of other similarly priced competitors, the Bowflex C6 just isn’t your best option.
The Bowflex C6 Indoor Spin Bike is a high-performing cycle that offers strong performance with a few important caveats. The simple, low-maintenance belt and magnetic drive are big draws for many riders, offering a powerful spin and a challenging workout, and the built-in feedback monitor provides detailed instant and top-level data that can help with immediate workout transition. The extensive connectivity capabilities of the bike are another major plus, making this a far more affordable option than the Peloton line-up, but considering other bikes in its class the price is still a bit high. The Bowflex C6 Indoor Spin bike promises powerful workouts, but the mid-range price tag and awkward build set it back a ways from its competitors.