Bowflex Indoor Cycling Bike Reviews and Comparisons
Bowflex C6, C7, Velocore 16, and Velocore 22 Indoor Bikes Overview and Comparison
Bowflex has been around the indoor cycling field for a while now. However, it’s only recently that we have seen some next level of innovation that they are bringing to that field. Their Velocore bikes in particular have set an impressive precedent for future bikes to follow on account of their ability to lean back and forth.
Today, we’re going to compare the two versions of the Velocore bikes and the two other mainline Bowflex indoor cycling bikes: the Bowflex C6 and the Bowflex C7. Obviously, the two Velocore bikes will be rather similar to one another, but we think that it would be beneficial for all four of these bikes to be compared in order to see which one truly comes out on top.
After all, everyone is looking for which Bowflex exercise bike provides the best experience for the money. That’s what we’re here to figure out. So without further delay, let’s hop into our comparison of the Bowflex indoor cycling bikes!
- Bowflex Velocore 22 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Bowflex Velocore 16 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Bowflex C6 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
Compare Bowflex Indoor Cycling Bikes
|Bowflex Velocore 22||22" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, burn rate, heart rate, RPM, resistance, lean, and watts||Yes||Yes||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Bowflex JRNY compatible|
|Bowflex Velocore 16||16" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, burn rate, heart rate, RPM, resistance, lean, and watts||Yes||Yes||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Bowflex JRNY compatible|
|Bowflex C6||Backlit LCD Monitor||Time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, and resistance,||No||No||Bluetooth||Peloton and Zwift||N/A|
|Bowflex C7||7" HD touchscreen||Time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, intervals, and resistance,||No||No||Bluetooth and WiFi||Netflix, Youtube, Zwift, Peloton, and More||Bowflex JRNY compatible|
The first elements that we are going to examine are the technical ones from each of the bikes. These show what the bikes are made of and generally give an indication of what they are made to handle. Starting with the max user weight, all of the Bowflex bikes are consistently quality in this department. The Bowflex C6 and C7 both have a max user weight of 330 lbs (150 kg), which is only 5 lbs (2.2 kg) more than both versions of the Bowflex Velocore bikes. This means that they are all flexible in who can comfortably get on the bikes and use them for an extended period of time.
The actual weight of the Bowflex bikes are also fairly straightforward. The only exception here comes in the form of the Bowflex C7. Both the Velocore 22” and the Velocore 16” weigh 175 lbs (79.4 kg). This is because they are larger than the C6 and C7, with additional abilities in regards to their learning and monitor capabilities. Yet, the C7 weighs 174 lbs (79 kg), which is nearly identical. This, despite being slightly smaller and having nowhere near the same amount of abilities as the Velocore pair. Meanwhile, the Bowflex C6 weighs about 70 lbs less. It just seems rather strange for the C7 to weigh so much without offering the same sort of package.
The dimensions of the bikes are pretty straightforward. The Velocore bikes take up a decent amount of space, though one should add on some space around them if they intend to make use of the leaning features. The Bowflex C6 takes up the least amount of space, but still does a good job of holding anybody who determines to hop on and start pedalling. The C7 is OK in terms of the dimensions and technical aspect alone. However, as we shall see further down the line, you cannot judge a bike solely by the technical aspects.
Drivetrain and Frame
The drivetrain and frame of the various Bowflex bikes were somewhat frustrating during the research process. For the Bowflex Velocore bikes, they have been released so recently that nobody has any information (nor has any information been released by Bowflex themselves) about certain aspects of the bikes. Meanwhile, the Bowflex C7 appears not to even exist in the minds of many people, nor Bowflex themselves. They don’t even have it listed on their main site. Nonetheless, we felt that it is important to find this information and make the most of what we could gather.
There are a couple of common elements that are present across all of the Bowflex spin bikes. One of these is the drivetrain that the bikes use. They all use belts, which requires much less maintenance and makes less noise than the older chain drivetrain systems that pop up every now and again. Another common feature is the resistance system, which is magnetic. All of these Bowflex spin bikes have 100 levels of resistance that one can change through in order to fine tune whatever level of challenge they feel is needed for that particular session. Finally, all of the Bowflex bikes have Dual-Link pedals with toe cages. This means that the pedals can be used with regular athletics shoes to a higher level of efficiency.
That’s where the similarities between all of the bikes end. Of course, the Bowflex Velocore 22” and the Bowflex Velocore 16” are basically identical besides the size of the monitor. That means that they still have many of the same aspects. Their flywheel weight is not specified by Bowflex, but it is estimated that it is somewhere under 20 lbs. You won’t find the exceptionally heavy flywheels of other traditional bikes here. As for the Q-Factor of the Velocores, they are also unspecified. However, a rough measurement puts them somewhere between 160 mm and 180 mm. The Q-Factor of the C6 is 190 mm, while the C7 Q-Factor is not mentioned anywhere.
For those who are unaware, the Q-Factor is the distance between the two pedals of a bike. Generally, the narrower the Q-Factor, the better it is considered. If the Q-Factor is too wide, it leads to general discomfort during workouts. However, if it gets too narrow, the legs could bend inwards and lead to injuries. This second condition is more rare, though it still does happen occasionally.
Unfortunately, for all of the Bowflex indoor bikes, there’s no information on the gear ratio. This is rather irritating, as the more information we have about the bikes, the better we can judge them. For those who are unaware, these bikes have a small pulley belt and a big belt ring connected to the flywheel. If a bike has a gear ratio of 3:1, for every turn of the big wheel, the small pulley turns 3 times.
Handlebars and Saddles
The handlebars and saddles of the Bowflex bikes aren’t the most revolutionary that we’ve ever seen, but they do the job they are supposed to quite well. Most importantly, they are all adjustable both vertically and horizontally. This allows more cyclists to adjust the bikes to their own dimensions and get more comfortable as a result. Anything that leads to a better experience for the cyclist is a definite plus in our book.
The handlebars also offer more than simple adjustments or a place to hold onto during the workout session. On every one of the Bowflex spin bikes, there is a media tray that will allow the user to place a phone or tablet right in front of them to get some entertainment while they cycle.
What the Bowflex indoor cycling bikes are missing in terms of handlebars are the drop bars (also known as racing drop handlebars) and padded elbow-pads. But these are not dealbreakers, at least not for most people. Especially, because you can buy these indoor cycling accessories separately and installed them on pretty much any spin bike (if you are mechanically inclined).
Monitors and Connections
The monitors and connections of the Bowflex bikes are some of the best available. Thanks to their JRNY subscription service, they can allow for users to connect to other fitness apps, as well as be entertained by Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Videos while they exercise.
Starting off by judging the monitors without any sort of subscription, they all do a very good job of displaying a whole host of statistics. The time, distance, speed, cadence and resistance are all common measures across the bikes. This is the bare basic ability that you would expect from bikes of this quality, but it is nice to have nonetheless.
Another aspect that all of these bikes have in common is that of Bluetooth connections with any device that is capable. Phones and tablets that have any of the mainstream fitness apps like Zwift or Peloton can be connected to the bike and displayed on the screen. This is great for those who consistently use these apps in order to get pre-made workouts or want to track their long-term statistics through these apps.
The highlighted aspects of the Bowflex Velocore bikes and the Bowflex C7 are the JRNY Membership subscriptions that you can order with them. As mentioned above, this gives the ability to watch Netflix or one of the other top streaming services while you exercise. However, that’s not all. The JRNY membership also gives the ability to have adaptive workouts. The fitter you become, the more intense and challenging the workouts get. There’s virtual coaching that will allow newcomers to find their way of getting a schedule or even experienced users to get a few rounds of coaching under their belts. But perhaps the best part of the JRNY experience is the ability to travel to over 40 different destinations and view them as you ride. Especially with the interactive feel that many of these destinations have, it almost adds more entertainment and wonder compared to simply watching shows on Netflix.
The only one of the bikes that doesn’t offer the JRNY experience is the Bowflex C6. However, this doesn’t make it useless in terms of its abilities. While it might not be able to connect to Netflix and the like, it does still maintain that ability to connect to a whole host of different fitness apps. Zwift, TrainerRoad, MyFitnessPal, Peloton, Google Fit and Apple Health are just some of the apps that are compatible. While it might not be the same as the JRNY experience, Bowflex certainly made sure that they tried to make up for it.
Prices and Warranties
Here we come to the part where we judge just how much these bikes are worth and how their warranties stack up against one another. We’ll start with the Velocore bikes, since they are identical in all but the initial price.
The Bowflex Velocore 22” has an initial price of $2200, while the Bowflex Velocore 16” has an initial price of $1700. Both of them have general warranties on both the frame and parts of 2 years, while they also have a 1 year warranty on the labour of the bike. These are OK warranties, though we think that they should probably be a bit longer if Bowflex were truly confident in the longevity.
The JRNY Membership that you can order with the bikes can be ordered one of two ways: either a monthly payment of $20 or a yearly payment of $150. Obviously if you know that you are going to consistently use it, the second option is by far the better option. However, if you just want to try it for a month or two and find that you aren’t using it that much or simply not cycling enough to justify it, then the first option might be the one to go for.
Moving onto the C7, that costs $1200. This is a decent first price based on what was offered, with a 2 year warranty on the frame, 3 year warranty on the parts and a rather strange 3 month warranty on the labour. The price for the JRNY experience remains unchanged from before. These warranties are better than the Velocore ones, with the exception of the labour. For the price, this is…OK? It’s hard to judge, as the C7 has so little information or reviews on it to actually see how much it is worth.
Finally, there’s the C6. The base price for this bike is $1000, and this one comes with some lovely warranties. 10 year warranty on the frame, 3 years on the parts and a 1 year warranty on the labor. These warranties are really what should be the base across the board, but we’re glad Bowflex at least have them on one of their bikes. Considering the quality that is on offer from the C6, this certainly seems like a fair price for those who just want a bike that will let them exercise and keep track of their statistics.
|Name||Image||Price||Frame Warranty||Electrical Parts Warranty||Mechanical Parts Warranty||Labor Warranty||Verdict||Additional Notes|
|Bowflex Velocore 22||$2200||2 years||2 years||2 years||1 years||Good Value||JRNY costs $20 a month or $150 a year|
|Bowflex Velocore 16||$1700||2 years||2 years||2 years||1 years||Good Value||JRNY costs $20 a month or $150 a year|
|Bowflex C6||$1000||10 years||3 years||3 years||1 years||Good Value||N/A|
|Bowflex C7||$1200||2 years||3 years||3 years||3 months||Good Value||JRNY costs $20 a month or $150 a year|
Other Notable Parts
Finally, we come to the rather notable aspect of the Bowflex Velocore 22” and the Velocore 16”. The one that cannot be missed if you even glance at their marketing materials; the fact that these bikes can lean. This gives an extremely different feel to workouts that can otherwise become somewhat stale or boring. Combine the leaning with the ability to look at different destinations around the world with the JRNY membership and you have the ability to really get immersed in these workouts. In a land of similar bikes that can all start to feel a bit samey after a while, this is a fun and cool addition that we might start to see added in competition models if the long-term viability of this feature turns out to be quite successful.back to menu ↑
What We Think (Conclusion)
Here is where we give our thoughts on these Bowflex stationary bikes and sum up which ones we’d recommend. Let’s start with the two Bowflex Velocore spin bikes. These indoor bikes are some of the most advanced bikes that have been released in recent years and can offer a truly different experience to anything else on the market. This is down to their combination of the leaning feature and the optional JRNY experience that you can pick up alongside it. Toss that into an already solid experience of having comfortable seating, Bluetooth connections to fitness apps, adjustable resistance and a whole host of other benefits. It becomes extremely hard not to recommend either of these two bikes. The only issue might be in the realm of the warranties. After all, they haven’t been out long enough to really get a sense of how long they last without problems popping up. Considering the cost of the two, it would be nice to have an idea of their long-term durability.
The Bowflex C7 is a tad harder to recommend, as it has some of the same elements of the Velocore bikes. Yet, there is just so little information about it available and so few reviews, that it seems that the $1200 investment seems far too risky to give a solid recommendation. If neither recommendations or solid information is a worry for you, then we suppose you have nothing to worry about.
Finally, the Bowflex C6 is a much easier bike to recommend. It might not have the fancy leaning abilities of the Velocore indoor cycling bikes or the entertainment value of the JRNY experience, but it still offers an excellent workout experience. The amount of fitness app connections that it offers through Bluetooth is quite brilliant. Considering that it is also well-built and has fantastic warranties to match, the $1000 price point looks quite fair when you bring it all together. The mass positive reviews that are available online can certainly back this position up. It might not be revolutionary, but not every bike needs to be.
That concludes our comparison of the various Bowflex indoor cycling bikes. Hopefully you have taken away the various advantages and disadvantages of each bike, and now have a better idea of which one might fit best. As always, it pays off to do your own research and find out some more details. How would it affect your financial situation, how often would you use the bike, etc. More planning will always pay off, especially with bikes that could set you back $2000 or more. Now get out there and get cycling!