Tag: Peloton Alternatives

Bowflex Bike Reviews, Specs, Price: Is it Worth it?

Indoor cycling classes have exploded in popularity in recent years. Indoor cycling classes are currently the most popular way to work out because they not only offer an enjoyable and low-impact way to burn some calories with others with similar fitness goals.

If you are not too much into indoor cycling classes, you can invest in your own indoor exercise bike that allows you to work out within the comfort and convenience of your home. Today’s bikes are more portable compared to other options and even provide access to live and on demand workouts.

Today’s home exercise bikes can be linked to fitness and training apps such as Zwift, which is a virtual reality training program or iFit that uses Google Maps to simulate an actual route. Unfortunately, most of these bikes are largely inaccessible due to their high price because some can cost $2,000 or more.

The key reason why anyone would consider investing in home-fitness equipment is to avoid hefty gym or class memberships. However, some of the bikes that have been released recently will probably leave you scratching your head.

The exercise bikes are not only expensive to buy, but you also have to pay a monthly membership fee ranging anywhere from $20 to $40 to enjoy access to their app, which is essentially the reason why you would actually consider investing in them in the first place.

Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom. It is still possible to find an affordable exercise bike without the need to compromise on the high-quality build and features of the more expensive options. If you are in the market for such a bike, then the Bowflex C6 is exactly what you need.

What is the Bowflex C6 Bike?

bowflex bike with a tablet mounted

The Bowflex C6 is the first ever indoor exercise bike from Bowflex, which is a popular manufacturer of fitness equipment such as the TreadClimber and Max Trainer cardio machines. The company is looking to get into the exercise bike market as people are increasingly buying its home gyms.

The Bowflex C6 comes equipped with all the features and technology you can expect from a high-end ultra-modern exercise bike but at a fraction of the cost. It even allows you to connect to popular third-party apps that allow you to stream on-demand classes online. It uses Bluetooth to sync up your resistance levels and vital stats to the app you are using this creating a seamless riding experience.

How Does it Work?

If you have never used this type of exercise bike before, you can expect to have much fun with it. It is the best low-impact alternative to using a treadmill, and it makes working out much more fun when you factor in the availability of pre-recorded workout videos or live classes.

To stream the workouts, you will need to have a smartphone or tablet, download a compatible app, and have a reliable internet connection. You will also need to have a subscription to your preferred workout or fitness app. Bowflex currently recommends using the C6 with the Peloton app that has a massive library of pre-recorded workouts as well as live workout classes.

In both the recorded and live classes, you can compete against other riders while being guided by professionally trained instructors during the ride. It is not only the best way to have fun while working out but will also allow you to get a great workout while at it.

The Bowflex C6 also has an “Explore the World” function that allows you to ride virtually through exotic places all over the globe with HD videos and real-world maps of these locations displayed on the screen. New routes are added regularly.

Features and Specs

streaming a live workout on a tablet

The Bowflex C6 is packed with high-tech features and options that you would expect from an expensive exercise bike. It features an electromagnetic resistance system that features intuitive resistance knob with 100+ resistance levers. It is also relatively compact in size and can fit in just about any room of your house.

The following is a detailed look into the features and specs of the Bowflex C6:

100 Micro-Resistance Levels

The Bowflex C6 comes with an intuitive tension knob and 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels. So, there are numerous ways to challenge yourself with the bike as your fitness level continually improves, which makes it a great option regardless of your fitness goals.

Adjustable Handlebars

The Bowflex C6 has curved handlebars with multiple grip positions, which means that you are free to choose a grip that feels most comfortable to you. The handlebars can also be adjusted horizontally and vertically to suit your preference.

Comfortable, Adjustable Seat

The Bowflex C6 comes with a high-density, race-style foam seat that ensures optimal comfort for long rides. The seat is also adjustable both horizontally and vertically for optimal versatility.

Simplified Console with Tablet Holder

The Bowflex C6 comes with an integrated smartphone or tablet for placing your device while you stream workouts. It is also Bluetooth ready and allows you to connect seamlessly with the Zwift App, Peloton App, and other third-party apps to help you track calories, distance, cadence, and time.

With the tablet holder above the console, you are not only free to stream cycling apps but you can also go online and watch YouTube or Netflix videos or surf the net while you ride, which will add some fun entertainment to your workouts.

Wireless Heart Rate Arm Band

The Bowflex C6 also comes with an arm band that’s designed to wirelessly monitor your heart rate while you cycle. The arm band can sync with your apps and display. The arm band will help you stay in your target rate fat-burning zone while you cycle.

Free Hand Weights

The Bowflex C6 also comes with a pair of 3-pound hand weights. The weights fit neatly into the wire rack on the bike and can be used for working out the upper body as you ride.

Other Features of the Bowflex C6 include:

  • Magnetic resistance that delivers an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Easy-to-reach cradles

What Fitness Apps is the Bowflex C6 Compatible With?

a woman rides the C6

The Bowflex C6 is unique in the sense that it can connect and work with a number of fitness and workout apps, which is something that you usually don’t find on most other indoor cycling bikes. You can connect your Bowflex C6 with its own proprietary app “Explore the World” that provides an immersive riding experience. Other apps that are compatible with the C6 include

  • Peloton App
  • Zwift App
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Google Fit
  • Under Armour Record
  • Apple Health
  • Sufferfest
  • Tacx
  • Strava
  • TrainerRoad
  • FulGaz
  • Rouvy

The Bowflex C6 has you covered when it comes to fitness apps to provide you with all that you need to get the most out of your workout sessions while having fun at the same time.

Bowflex C6 Price: How Much Does it Cost

The Bowflex C6 is considerably cheaper than much of the competition. For instance, the Peloton comes in around $2,245 in addition to the cost of the monthly streaming subscription package. It is currently available from the company’s official website for $899, which is over $1,300 less than the Peloton exercise bike.

For the price, you will get a stable, adjustable indoor exercise bike with the option to stream or sync the apps of your choice using your tablet or phone attached above the console.

If you want to buy the C6, you can do so by visiting the manufacturer’s website directly, which is always something good and convenient should you ever run into warranty. It is highly likely that additional purchase locations will be made available over time.

Bowflex C6 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy and well-built construction with minimal plastic components
  • Well thought-out, functional, and compact design, which makes it ideal for those with limited space
  • Assembly is relatively straightforward
  • The electronic magnetic resistance system delivers a smooth, quiet ride
  • It comes with a high-quality and highly functional forearm heartbeat monitor
  • It comes with an integrated tablet or smartphone holder
  • It also comes with 2 water bottle holders
  • It offers 100 levels of tension adjustment
  • It works with a variety of apps without tying you to a specific riding application
  • It allows you to stream live classes
  • It is much more affordable compared to the competition
  • The company offers amazing customer service
  • Financing is provided where you can pay as little as $50 a month
  • Lightweight: The Bowflex C6 weighs just 106 pounds when fully assembled

Cons

  • Paid Cycling Apps: If you buy the C6, you will be saving money since you will be getting your own cycling apps, but most of the good ones charge a monthly subscription fee. It is something that you have to consider.
  • Limited Reviews: The C6 has not been in the market for too long, which means that there isn’t a lot of feedback or reviews to find out what actual customers in the real world have to say about the product.
  • You require a tablet to sync with the workout app of your choosing. You must also have a reliable internet connection to use the streaming app. All these are things you need to consider before you buy the C6.
  • Bowflex offers exceptional customer service, but it is unfortunately not available on weekends, even though you can chat with them online.
  • Assembly instructions are overly concise. However, that’s not too much of a problem since no user has complained about being unable to assemble the bike successfully.
  • The pedals and levers don’t appear to be of the same quality as the rest of the bike.

What Are Real Customers Saying About the Bowflex C6?

The Bowflex C6 is one of the company’s newest releases and customer feedback has so far been overwhelmingly positive. Verified customers continually weigh in at the company’s official website, and so far, most people seem to appreciate the good quality and the affordable price tag.

Here is what some of the verified reviewers have to say about the Bowflex C6:

One user commented that having the Bowflex C6 is just like going to the gym, but with the added convenience of working out whenever you want. You never have to wait for classes. The user was hoping to lose weight but ended up enjoying great cardio too. The user also oved the monitor and especially loved how it is compatible with different devices.

A different user was looking for a decent workout while their plantar fasciitis healed and get back in shape for skiing and mountain biking. The user commented how they loved the bike as well as connectivity to third-party apps such as BitGym and Peloton.

Yet another user described the Bowflex C6 as an amazing bike. He got it for his wife for Christmas. He reported that she uses it 3 to 4 times every week while he uses it 1 or 2 times. He stated that he loved the adjustability and build quality. He also loved that the device shows all kinds of stats such as calories, resistance, time, cadence, etc. He also loved the fact that the magnetic resistance is completely silent.

One user stated that she loved the bike because it is not only smooth but very quiet.

She explained that her husband had an easy time setting it up. She loved the fact that it is very sturdy and the location of the water bottle holders. She also loved the weight racks and the heart monitor that comes with the bike.

A different user stated that it was very easy to set up the bike. He loved the fact that it is very sturdy and quiet and offers incredible value for money compared to other bikes. He explained that he preferred working out at home at his own time and the bike was an excellent addition for some cardio workouts.

Bowflex C6: Review Summary

If you have been looking for an affordable indoor exercise bike to buy that provides access to live and on-demand studio biking experience, then the Bowflex C6 is an excellent option. It comes with top-of-the-line features that you would expect from a premium bike.

The Bowflex C6 is somewhat more basic compared to other exercise bikes, but it still provides what you need for a good cycling workout such as the adjustable handlebars and seat as well as the 100 resistance levels, which is more than you are likely to find in any other exercise bike.

The C6 offers an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride and you get free dumbbells with each purchase, which is a nice bonus.

Bowflex understands that customers want the freedom to customize workouts according to their preferences and the C6 delivers exactly that. Users are free to use their preferred digital training apps and tap into unlimited workout sessions, ride from virtually any destination in the world, and train and compete with fellow users.

The bottom line is that the Bowflex C6 is just as good as the other more expensive options such as Peloton when it comes to design and features, but it is definitely the superior option when you consider the cost and flexibility it provides.

The Bowflex C6 is a recommended buy!

Peloton Alternatives: Top 7 Competitors

Peloton is one of the most popular names in the fitness tech industry right now. Not only is their innovative exercise equipment with real-time coaching popular among enthusiasts, but it is reaching the masses with excellent marketing.

That being said, there is still a major barrier to entry among those that might not be fitness enthusiasts. After all, the price is rather expensive.

Either way, if you are committed to changing your fitness habits, the technology can be a game-changer. Whereas you might have had to join an expensive gym in order to get real-time access to professional coaching, you are able to bring that expertise to your home gym with Peloton.

There are plenty of different kinds of exercise and fitness alternatives including competing brands and products to Peloton (source).

Therefore, you aren’t forced to pay Peloton’s higher price tag in order to better your fitness routine.

Below, we will go over some budget options for those looking for Peloton alternatives starting at just under $200.

Top 7 Best Alternatives to Peloton in 2020

  1. Echelon Smart Connect (EX3 MAX) Bike – Just over $800 with financing through Echelon
  2. Bowflex C6 – Starting at $899
  3. L Now Indoor Bike – Just over $250 when using a coupon
  4. Gold’s Gym 300i Exercise Bike – Just under $200
  5. Schwinn Indoor Bike IC3 – Around $500
  6. ProForm – Smart Exercise Bike – Just under $900
  7. NordicTrack S22i Bike – $2,000

1. Echelon EX3 MAX Bike – Just over $1,000

a woman rides the Echelon Ex5

When it comes to weighing the various alternatives based on ‘bang for your buck’ the best option would have to be the Smart Connect EX3 by Echelon (read our Echelon Bike review for more info).

Not only does it feature live streaming workouts just like Peloton, but it offers access to them through a fully connected app. When you combine this with a free iPad Air using code (FIT15) at checkout, you will be able to get a lot of the features of a Peloton at a much-reduced price.

While you will need to purchase both an application and a subscription to get Echelon’s premium workouts as you would with Peloton, the financing code above will give you 30 days of free access.

2. Bowflex C6 Bike – Starting at $899

bowflex c6

The Bowflex C6 is one of the more affordable bikes on our list, but you know it’s packed full of quality coming from one of the top fitness companies on the planet.

The C6 can even be used with the Peloton app, or a whole host of other riding apps that provide live and on demand workouts.

All you need is a tablet to stream your favorite fitness app, which can be easily mounted on their included tablet mount.

They’re currently offering some great introductory pricing, and financing is available.

3. L Now Indoor Bike – Just over $250 with coupon

L Now Indoor Bike

This bike isn’t only included because of its low price. While it’s a great deal, it’s on this list because of the positive feedback it has garnered.

After all, it features rave reviews on Amazon and it is one of the highest-rated bikes at its price point on the entire marketplace.

While you won’t get the same bells and whistles with this entry-level model, you will get a very durable bike that is made up of heavy-duty steel.

Along with this, it operates quite enough to avoid disturbing people in your home and it also features a convenient mobile device holder to accommodate your device.

4. Gold’s Gym Cycle 300 Ci Trainer – Starting at $198

Gold's Gym Cycle 300 Ci Trainer

Gold’s Gym Trainer is a good option to consider. It features a magnetic resistance flywheel in order to provide 16 digital resistance levels.

Along with this, it comes with a very comfortable over-sized cushion seat in order to accommodate longer workouts.

By using the device holder featured on the unit, you will be able to sync it up with iFit personal trainers and a 30-day trial membership comes included.

5. ProForm Smart Power Exercise Bike – Under $900

ProForm Smart Power Exercise Bike

This is another excellent bike that you could consider. It has an inertia-enhanced flywheel that provides fully magnetic resistance in order to accommodate a smooth ride. This means you won’t have to worry about disturbing others throughout your home when using it.

It also features a fully adjustable seat along with 22 levels of resistance in order to accommodate optimal posture during riding sessions and to maintain the right workout intensity.

When buying this bike, you get a full one-year iFit membership included which features interactive workout and training sessions that can control both your speed and resistance levels. These workouts will play on its built-in 10 inch HD color touchscreen.

6. Schwinn IC4 – $749

Schwinn IC3

If some of the models we have as low-cost alternatives are still out of your budget range, you might want to reconsider what your priorities are when it comes to buying a bike like this. After all, Peloton does provide classes through their app.

If so, you can consider the Schwinn IC4 which includes a media shelf that will allow you to leverage Peloton’s app without having to pay for such an expensive bike.

The reviews it has garnered are positive and they typically refer to the solid construction of the bike.

Basically the exact same bike as the Bowflex C6, but about $300 less.

7. NordicTrack Commercial S22i Bike: $2,000

NordicTrack Commercial S22i

This might not be too much cheaper than a Peloton, but it comes with comparable features and a high-build quality. It has a screen that is identical size as the Peloton. However, it has the ability for instructors to adjust your resistance and incline for you. With Peloton, you have to do this on your own.

Therefore, it can help to keep you much more focused throughout your workouts.

Full 1-year membership to these workouts is also included at its retail purchase price which is another significant advantage over the Peloton.

Summary

We’ve detailed some very solid alternatives to the Peloton bike, so if you’re looking for a more affordable option, any of these can be a good place to start.

If we had to narrow it down to just one option, we’d recommend considering Echelon.

They have a number of different pricing points, making them an option for most budgets. They also offer their own live and on demand workout app, so you get that experience as well.

You can learn more about the Echleon line of bikes below.