Bowflex Velocore 16 Review: There Are Better Alternatives
The Bowflex VeloCore 16 indoor cycling bike is a revolutionary new model offering innovative, ergonomic, and powerful exercise for all levels of spin enthusiasts. With sleekly integrated technology, smoothly operating drive and flywheel mechanisms, and a streamlined frame and riding experience, the Bowflex VeloCore reinvents the definition of indoor cycling.
The Bowflex VeloCore 16 indoor cycle offers an outdoor experience that combines with boutique performance elements to transform anyone into a spin master from their own home. The Bowflex VeloCore indoor bike blends innovative design and high-tech machinery for a smooth and streamlined spin experience that will last you a lifetime.
Spin enthusiasts will be drawn to the sturdy yet portable build of the Bowflex 16 VeloCore that offers a heavy-duty and long-lasting performance no matter how many times you hop on your cycle. The genius of the spinning bike is being able to work out comfortably in your own space while still challenging your body and your fitness goals, and that’s exactly what the Bowflex VeloCore 16 indoor exercise bike does.
Finding the right exercise equipment for you is essential to taking decisive control over your fitness regimen. This revolutionary bike is the perfect fitness machine for your home, and its consistent quality performance makes up for its whopping price-tag of between $1,900 for the 16″ model and 2,200 for the Bowflex 22 model for those who are interested in leaning mode.
Bowflex Indoor Cycling Bike Comparisons:
|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 is currently offering four models of indoor cycling bikes, the Bowflex C6, Bowflex C7, Bowflex VeloCore 16, and Bowflex VeloCore 22. The Bowflex C6 is the most basic and affordable model, and it comes with an LED monitor. The Bowflex C7 is the next model up and it has a 7-inch touchscreen.
The last two models are the Bowflex VeloCore bikes. One VeloCore comes with a 16-inch touchscreen while the other model comes with 22-inch touchscreen. All of the Bowflex bikes come with a quality frame, semi-comfortable seat, and adjustable pedals. The main differences between the models are the size of the touchscreen, leaning mode, and the price.
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Alternatives:
There are a few Bowflex VeloCore alternatives on the market that provide a similar ride experience but have better and larger screens and cost much less.
The most comparable bike is the Nordictrack S15i, which is often $500 less expensive but offers a more premium experience. The S15i has a heavier flywheel, which results in a smoother ride, and it also has an automatic resistance plus automatic incline-decline system.
If you’re looking for an indoor bike that doesn’t have leaning technology, the S15i is a great option. However, if you’re set on getting a bike with leaning technology, the VeloCore 16 is still the best option available.
Another alternative is the Proform Studio Bike Pro, which includes a bigger screen (22″ vs 16″) and costs $800 less than the Bowflex VeloCore 16. You could also opt for Echelon EX5S which comes with a 22-inch screen and normally costs $400 less than the Bowflex VeloCore 16 indoor bike.
|Proform Studio||No (but a good value bike)||iFit with live and on-demand classes.||Swivel 22-inch||Automatic magnetic||No||No|
|Bowflex Velocore||Yes (but slightly overpriced)||Zwift, Peloton, etc (if subscribed to JRNY)||16-inch (no swivel)||Manual magnetic||No||No|
|Nordictrack S15i||No (but best value and iFit is awesome)||iFit with live and on-demand classes.||Swivel 22-inch||Automatic magnetic||Yes||Yes|
|Echelon Ex-5S||No (Good value compared to VeloCore 16)||Echelon with live and on-demand classes.||Swivel 22-inch||Manual magnetic||No||No|
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Review and Technical Information:
- Width: 24.1”
- Length: 59.8″
- Height: 55.3”
- Bike Weight: 175 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 325 Pounds
- User Compatible Size Range: 4’6” to 6’6”
- Power Sourced through included AC Adapter
- Transportation Wheels
The signature standout of the VeloCore is its revolutionary technological components. Built with a 33 pound rear-mounted fixed flywheel and 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 for both strength and sweat protection, the Bowflex VeloCore 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. However, the highlight of this bike is its tilt and stationary functions.
A revolution in the spin bike industry, the VeloCore is one of the first Bowflex indoor bikes to offer a stationary and lean cycling option that allows you to pedal on inclines, at angles, and straight on for a varied, full-body challenge. High-performing, innovative, and durable, the Bowflex VeloCore spin cycle is a gamechanger for any home or workout space.
Velocor 16 Touch Monitor:
- The Bowflex VeloCore Monitor can be either 16 inches.
- The console displays metrics like time, distance (km or miles), calories, burn rate (calories per minute), heart rate, cadence, resistance, lean, and watts.
- The JRNY™ experience allows for the user to be fully entertained while you ride.
- The Bowflex VeloCore 16 comes with Bluetooth compatible speakers.
- It also comes with a Bluetooth heart rate connection, allowing for that tracking.
- Since it does come with various streaming features, it does need WiFi to enable those programs to work.
- To use any third-party application (to use the screen on the web), you will need to be subscribed to JRNY application which cost $19.99 per month.
The tech-savvy Bowflex VeloCore indoor spin cycle features an expansive and fully equipped console that’s one of the highest tech options available. 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 clearly readable and accessible electric monitor features precise and 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 Velocore cycle is the fully integrated fitness monitor and the compatibility with the JRNY program by Bowflex. The 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. JRNY works similarly, allowing you to track your rides, post your statistics, and compete with other riders, all while following along to other workouts. The included smaller device holder means you can throw on a show while following along to a built-in workout, or you can throw up a Peloton workout and put a show from your favorite streaming service on the larger digital monitor, available in either a 16 or a 22-inch size. Granted, all of these features do require a JRNY subscription, but if you’re already investing in this spin cycle, it makes sense to spend the extra cash for the full-fledged experience.
The monitor stands out in that both its fun and functional capabilities are equally high-performing. 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, and third party fitness equipment can sync up to your machine for even more tracking assistance. 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 while experiencing the best of the best in immersive fitness technology.
Velocore Lean Mode:
- Innovative lean and stationary cycling positions.
- Lean mode emulates turning corners or tight turns as if you were on a real bike.
Bowflex VeloCore is a revolution in the spin industry precisely because of its creative new Lean Mode. This function allows you to lean sideways, rock back and forth, and coast through your workouts with functional lateral movements that make you feel more comfortable and natural on your bike.
The lean mode works well with built in workout functions that take you through winding hill roads, creating an immersive 3D experience that will draw you even deeper into your workout. It also creates even more toning opportunities, exercising glute, core and arm muscles throughout your workout by switching between positions.
- SPD-equipped pedals have toe cages.
- Dual-sided pedals are compatible with cycling shoes and will accommodate both high-performance SPD cleats and traditional fitness shoes.
- Velocore 16 Q-Factor is unknown.
The SPD pedals on the Bowflex VeloCore are versatile and functional. 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; all spinners recognize 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 the ideal fitness experience. The Q-factor on the Bowflex Velocore 16 spin bike hasn’t been published by the company, something that isn’t unusual for some brands. Though its sister model the Bowflex C6 indoor cycle has an unusually wide q-factor stance, this bike looks to offer a narrower q-factor that will set riders up for ergonomic success and minimize strain on the body.
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 especially when you’re leaning or moving around on the bike, so this is definitely a marker for success in our book!
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Flywheel:
- 33 Lbs fixed flywheel (not free-wheel)
- Streamlined rear-mounted fixed flywheel
- Magnetic resistance and belt transmission drive
Of the many resistance systems available to spin bike manufacturers, magnetic resistance flywheels are by far superior, and Bowflex produces some of the most consistently high-performing flywheels available.
The Bowflex VeloCore offers 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 rear flywheel prevents casting and works to generate powerful magnetic resistance that forces you to work harder with every stride, while the rear positioning prevents the flywheel from sweat or workout wear. However, there’s no casing or cover on the edges, so if you have little ones in your home you’ll want to be careful not to hurt them.
VeloCore 16 Resistance:
- The Bowflex VeloCore 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 VeloCore spin bike uses the standard Bowflex 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.
The Bowflex VelOCore spin bike resistance knob offers 100 levels of micro-resistance, allowing a precisely 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 true strength of the Bowflex VeloCore resistance knob versus other knobs or levers is the ability to easily click through resistance levels.
The 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 the monitor changing the resistance for you.
Handlebars and Seat
- Multi-position height-adjustable handlebars (not horizontally adjustable).
- Four-way-adjustable padded race style seat (horizontally and vertically adjustable).
The handlebars on the Bowflex VeloCore are multi-position, offering six different grips for workout versatility. The handlebars are conveniently positioned in front of the monitor 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 VeloCore indoor exercise bike 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 Velocore 16 spin bike is equally flexible and personalizable. Featuring height and fore-aft adjustments, this bike can fit a variety of different rider heights and sizes with ease.
Most riders will feel comfortable on this bike with this comfortable saddle that shifts up and down and back to front 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 different users since you can easily switch between saddle and handlebar positions.
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Transmission:
- The Bowflex VeloCore indoor bike’s transmission drive system features a durable, low-maintenance carbon fiber belt for an easy-pedaling stride and drive.
- This high-quality transmission belt works as hard as chain drives or poly belt drives but lasts even longer, 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 VeloCore belt drive is made of a durable, non-stretch carbon fiber that doesn’t require oiling, adjustment, tightening, or rust-prevention.
The carbon fiber 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 VeloCore belt, leading to a consistently smooth ride that will feel like you’re pedaling on water.
The other benefit of the Bowflex VeloCore spin bike’s carbon fiber 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 industry leading for a reason: when combined with the silent magnetic resistance system on the Bowflex VeloCore, this bike is entirely silent, meaning you can take a spin anywhere, anytime without worrying about creating a racket or disturbing your home.
VeloCore Price and Warranty:
- The Bowflex VeloCore spin bike is currently priced at $1,700 for the 16” screen model and $2,200 for the 22” model.
- The Bowflex VeloCore spin bike’s warranty includes two years on the frame, 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 “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 the Bowflex VeloCore indoor exercise bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is very good. The spin cycle is higher-end in terms of price and affordability, and it’s also top-notch in terms of offered features.
This is a solid bike that will serve cyclists and spinners well over the years, and considering all the technological bells and whistles that improve the spin experience, it’s a worthwhile investment for someone who’s ready to fully commit to the world of spin.
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.
- The package is 48 x 21 x 50” and weighs around 200 lbs.
- All the needed assembly tools and English manuals are included in the box.
Assembling your Bowflex Velocore 16 indoor cycling bike will take a fair amount 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.
Unlike some other bikes, the Bowflex VeloCore comes mostly disassembled however, the more detailed parts, such as the flywheel and the belt system is pre-assembled. It’s probably a good idea to keep a toolkit, some muscle, and some patience to get each part situated firmly and safely within each other.
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. However, if assembly feels completely impossible, you can hire a labor team to come assemble the bike in your home for you.
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros:
Innovative Lean Functions:
The Bowflex VeloCore exercise bike creates a compellingly natural spin bike experience that’s both aesthetically pleasing and performs well through its lean and stationary functions. The Bowflex VeloCore stationary bike provides a reliably taxing workout with every ride, and adding an extra dimension of movement to your workout only further elevates your ride. The carefully designed yet simple to use lean functions will perform sleekly, strongly, and efficiently, making it a user-friendly and streamlined fitness experience that takes your workout to new heights with a fun and fresh take on stationary rides.
Silent Magnetic Resistance:
The consistently top-notch magnetic resistance systems put out by Bowflex never cease to amaze. The smooth no-contact braking and no slip belt work together to make your spin a silent yet hard-working 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 burn or quality of your ride.
Integrated Digital Monitor:
The digital console and JRNY integration is another outstanding feature on the Bowflex VeloCore. 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. Lastly, the streaming capability, Bluetooth speakers, and built in workouts add incredible value and benefits to the monitor all without making it feel clunky or too much like a television.
Bowflex VeloCore 16 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons:
Underperforming Original Warranty:
With such an expensive and innovative bike, you want to be certain that your investment will be protected for years to come. Unfortunately, the Bowflex VeloCore has a very limited warranty that only protects your machine for up to two years. This is significantly shorter than many other industry leaders, especially considering the complex components of this bike that may need maintenance or attention sooner than others. You can purchase an additional warranty extender, but avoiding the cost and investing in a good warranty from the get-go feels like a much better solution.
Screen doesn’t Swivel:
While the Bowflex VeloCore has a lot to offer, there are a few potential drawbacks worth considering. One of the biggest complaints is that the screen doesn’t swivel, making it difficult to use for other exercises like strength training or stretching. Additionally, some users have found that the bike is noisy, which can be disruptive if you’re trying to watch TV or listen to music while working out. Despite these downsides, the Bowflex VeloCore is still a high-quality exercise bike that’s great for a variety of workouts.
It’s Big and Heavy:
The Bowflex Velocore indoor bike is a sturdy, well-built piece of equipment that is sure to give you a great workout. However, it is also big and heavy, which makes it difficult to move the bike from one place to another. If you’re looking for an indoor bike that is easy to move around, you may want to consider a different model. Even Peloton Bike+ is 40-lbs lighter and more compact. If you are in search of a top quality stationary bike and size/weight isn’t an issue for you, then the Bowflex Velocore could be a great option. Just know that it might be difficult to transport if you need or want to.
Handlebars don’t adjust forward and backward:
One downside of the Bowflex VeloCore bike is that it doesn’t have horizontal handlebars adjustment. This means that you may not be able to setup the bike in a relaxed upright position, which can be uncomfortable for some riders.
Resistance is not Automatic:
The Bowflex Velocore is an indoor cycling bike that uses magnetic resistance. Unlike some other models on the market like Nordictrack S22i or Peloton Bike+, the Bowflex Velocore does not have automatic resistance adjustment. This means that when you are following an online spin class, the instructor’s instructions for increasing or decreasing resistance will need to be manually carried out by the user. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually be quite inconvenient and even disruptive to your workout. If you are in the middle of a particularly intense session, having to let go off the grips and adjust the resistance can disrupt your flow and make it difficult to get back into the groove.
Can’t use third-party apps without JRNY subscription:
Bowflex’s Velocore indoor cycling bike is a sleek and sturdy piece of equipment that offers a great workout. However, it’s not secret that Bowflex tries to rip you off by telling you that you can use third party apps on the bike’s screen. But, in order to use these apps, you must subscribe to Bowflex’s JRNY app, which costs $20 per month. This is an unnecessary expense, as there are many free and equally effective apps available. Bowflex’s attempt to force customers into subscribing to their app is dishonest and frustrating. If you’re considering the Velocore bike, be aware that you may need to pay extra for access to third-party apps like Zwift, Peloton, etc.
No live spinning class on JRNY app:
Bowflex’s Velocore exercise bike is a great option for those looking for a quality workout at home. However, in order to use the bike’s screen “online”, you must subscribe to Bowflex’s JRNY app. The bad news is that JRNY does not even offer live spin bike classes. So, if you want live classes of Peloton application, you would have to pay $20 for JRNY + $39 for Peloton which in total becomes $59. And even then, the Velocore bike still will not be able to automatically change resistance like the Peloton Bike+ does.
Potentially more impact on the body:
While the Bowflex VeloCore has some unique benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One of the most notable is that the bike leans to the sides, which can be challenging for some users and potentially lead to more impact on the hips and knees. Additionally, because the leaning motion is not natural like leaning on a road bike, it may take some time to get used to. As a result, those who are looking for a traditional spin bike experience may want to consider another option. However, for those who are willing to put in the time to learn how to use it, the Bowflex VeloCore can be a great option.
The Final Verdict
The Bowflex VeloCore indoor exercise bike is a key player in the spin bike marketplace that guarantees an innovative and top-notch performance in any gym, studio, or workout space. The sturdy design and durable flywheel and drive assure many years of powerful rides and workouts, and the versatility of the SPD pedals allows riders to pursue all types of workouts.
The Bowflex VeloCore spin bike offers compelling performance capabilities and top of the line technological integration that was previously not found in many spin bikes, and its lean function is a knockout new feature that sets the bar for every other stationary bike that comes after.
The Bowflex VeloCore indoor exercise bike is a powerful spin bike that performs well across the board, especially considering its hefty price tag. Overall, it’s absolutely a worthy investment (if you are looking for a leaning bike) in the spin machinery world, and its notably strong and durable resistance system ensures consistently intense workouts that will build your resistance intensity and spinning confidence over the years. If you’re seeking innovation, hard work, and precision, the Bowflex VeloCore is the spin bike for you.
The Bowflex VeloCore Spin Bike is a high-performing cycle that offers consistently strong performance in every regard. The simple, low-maintenance belt and magnetic drive are big benefits for many, offering a powerful spin and a challenging workout. The sleekly integrated built-in feedback monitor provides detailed instant and top-level data that can help with immediate workout transition accompanied with plenty of entertainment options to keep your workouts engaging. The extensive connectivity capabilities of the bike are another major plus, making this an alternative to Peloton line-up. The Bowflex VeloCore Indoor bike promises powerful workouts for a worthwhile price, and its bevy of innovations set it apart from the crowd as a great purchase for all levels of spinners.