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Wind, hail, sleet, and snow. If you enjoy biking, chances are you don’t want to be out in these conditions.

Or, if you prefer the experience of a cycling studio, you may not always want to drive to a class.

Either way, indoor cycling bikes offer a convenient, low impact cardio workout from the comfort of home.

The Bowflex C6, in particular, is an appealing option, as it’s designed to provide a more affordable alternative to luxury brands like Peloton and SoulCycle.

However, you may wonder whether the Bowflex C6 is actually a good deal.

The article provides a comprehensive review of the Bowflex C6 to help you decide whether it’s right for you.

Pros

  • magnetic resistance offers a quiet ride
  • smaller footprint than many other bike options
  • priced under $1,000 and comes with a 1-year JRNY membership
  • financing options available
  • doesn’t require an app subscription
  • equipped with a tablet holder and USB charging port for streaming classes on your device

Cons

  • difficult to assemble
  • doesn’t include a built-in touch screen
  • doesn’t have automatic trainer control like some other bikes

Bowflex is a respected name in the fitness community, as the brand has been producing quality exercise equipment for over 35 years.

In addition to home exercise bikes, the brand offers treadmills, stair steppers, elliptical machines, free weights, and home gyms to help people achieve their fitness goals.

Bowflex currently offers two indoor cycling bikes, including the VeloCore and C6, with the C6 being the more affordable option.

Featuring a design similar to those of bikes you’d find at an indoor class, the Bowflex C6 includes 4-way adjustable handlebars, an adjustable saddle, dual-sided pedals, and 100 levels of magnetic resistance.

The Bowflex C6 is designed to accommodate users of varying sizes, thanks to its 4-way adjustable handlebars and padded seat, which can be adjusted vertically and horizontally.

The bike also supports users up to 330 pounds (150 kg) and includes dual-sided pedals, with toe cages on one side and SPD clips on the other.

The C6 features a heavy, 40-lb. (18.1-kg) flywheel and a center resistance knob with 100 microadjustable levels. As a result, the bike suits riders of all fitness levels.

Unlike the VeloCore and other high end spin bikes, the C6 doesn’t include an integrated touch screen.

Instead, it’s equipped with a media rack and USB port, allowing you to stream live and on-demand classes from your favorite fitness apps using a smartphone or tablet.

It also includes an LCD, which tracks your speed, revolutions per minute (RPM), distance, calories, and resistance level.

To engage your upper body as you ride, the bike comes with a set of 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells.

The Bowflex C6 bike measures 48.7 × 21.2 × 51.8 inches (123.7 × 53.9 × 131.6 cm). You’ll also want at least 15 in. (38.1 cm) of clearance above your head while riding.

Bowflex C6 quick specs

  • Dimensions: 48.7 × 21.2 × 51.8 in. (123.7 × 53.9 × 131.6 cm)
  • Weight: 112 lbs. (50.8 kg)
  • Max user weight capacity: 330 lbs. (150 kg)
  • Warranty: 10-year parts, 3-year parts and electronics, 1-year labor
  • Resistance: 100 levels, magnetic
  • Screen: LCD screen
  • App connectivity: JRNY, Peloton, Zwift, and other third-party apps
  • Other features: Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband, set of 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells, USB port, dual-sided pedals, device holder

Streaming capabilities

Unlike many other bikes, such as the SoulCycle At-Home bike or Peloton Bike+, using the Bowflex C6 doesn’t require an app subscription. What’s more, you’re not locked into just one fitness app option.

Instead, the C6 allows you to stream classes from your favorite fitness apps, including Peloton, Sufferfest, Rouvy, FulGaz, Tacx, TrainerRoad, and Zwift, using your own device.

Just keep in mind that some apps include features that require integration with a workout machine. While you won’t be able to take advantage of these features, you’ll still be able to enjoy trainer-led classes from the comfort of home.

While not required, the Bowflex C6 is compatible with the JRNY app for phones and tablets. Additionally, the purchase of a C6 bike includes a free 1-year subscription to the JRNY app.

The JRNY App offers on-demand classes and real-time coaching and tracking. It also allows you to stream music to keep you motivated while you ride.

Class options with a JRNY membership include cardio, bike, treadmill, HITT, whole body, yoga, Pilates, and strength.

If you prefer to watch shows while you work out, a JRNY membership will allow you to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max from any existing accounts you may have.

The Bowflex C6 currently retails for $999, which includes free shipping and a 1-year JRNY app subscription.

Bowflex also offers special financing options for qualified customers, which can lower your payment to just $50 per month.

Additionally, each purchase includes the following warranties:

  • 10-year on the frame
  • 3-year on parts and electronics
  • 1-year on labor

For $109, you can also opt for an extended warranty, which covers parts, electronics, and labor for up to 5 years.

Finally, if you want help setting up your bike, you can arrange in-home assembly for an additional $129.

While the bike itself is easy to use, customers note that assembling it can take over an hour. Additionally, you’ll probably need multiple people to help assemble the bike as parts are heavy and some steps require extra hands.

You can choose to pay for expert in-home assembly, which costs an additional $129. This includes movement of the bike’s box into the desired room, assembly of the bike (optional accessories not included), and removal of the bike’s packaging materials.

Once the bike is assembled, it’s easy to change the resistance with just a twist of the resistance knob. While it doesn’t have automatic trainer control like some other smart bikes, the C6 has 100 resistance levels so you can fine-tune your workout. Reviewers appreciate that the pedaling feels very smooth and that the bike runs quietly.

The seat height is adjustable via the seat post knob, and you can move the seat positions with the adjustment handle. The handlebars can be adjusted in four directions with the handlebar post adjustment knob.

Wondering how to watch your workouts? You’ll need to set up any workout apps you wish to use on your phone or tablet and then place your device in the media holder. The C6 also has a USB port for charging your device.

The bike comes with a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband that you can connect to your phone or tablet.

The Bowflex C6 is a solidly built stationary bike with plenty of training options for beginner and advanced riders alike.

Plus, as it doesn’t require a monthly subscription service, the C6 is ideal if you’re looking to save money or want the option to use multiple apps.

However, if you prefer a bike with high tech extras, like a touch screen you’ll want to consider a different product, such as the Bowflex VeloCore or MYX.

Overall, the customer reviews for the Bowflex C6 are very positive.

The bike is designed to be an affordable yet well-built home exercise bike option, and most customers feel that it meets this objective.

It also gets good reviews for being sturdy, even during intense sprints.

Still, no product is perfect. Some users complain about the quality of the pedals, while others find the cadence bar graph difficult to read.

A few customers also note that there aren’t enough seat or handlebar adjustment options to perfectly match their height.

Still unsure of whether the Bowflex C6 is the right home exercise bike for you?

Here’s how it stacks up to its top two competitors.

Bowflex C6Peloton BikeSchwinn IC4
Price (MSRP)$999$1,445$999
Dimensions48.7 × 21.2 × 51.8 in. (123.7 × 53.9 × 131.6 cm) 59 × 23 × 53 in. (149 × 58.4 × 134.6 cm)48.7 × 21.2 × 51.8 in. (123.7 × 53.9 × 131.6 cm)
Weight capacity330 lbs. (150 kg)297 lbs. (135 kg)330 lbs. (150 kg)
Flywheel40 lbs. (18.1 kg)38 lbs. (17.3 kg)40 lbs. (18.1 kg)
Resistance levels100100100
Cadence trackingyesyesyes
Dumbbells3-lb. (1.4-kg) weights includedpurchased separately3-lb. (1.4-kg) weights included
Warranty• 10-year frame
• 3-year parts and electronics
• 1-year labor
• 5-year frame
• 1-year parts, electronics, and labor
• 10-year frame
• 3-year parts and electronics
• 1-year labor
Memberships• not required
• 1-year JRNY trial included
All-Access Membership ($44/month) required to access full content • not required
• 1-year JRNY trial included
App compatibility• JRNY
• Peloton
• Explore the World
• Strava
• Rouvy
• Zwift
• SYSTM
• TacX
• FulGaz
• MyFitnessPal
• Google Fit
• Apple Health
Peloton• JRNY
• Peloton
• Explore the World
• Strava
• Rouvy
• Zwift
• SYSTM
• TacX
• FulGaz
• MyFitnessPal
• Google Fit
• Apple Health
Screen• LCD
• device holder
21.5-in. (54.6-cm) touch screen• LCD
• device holder

The Schwinn IC4 and Bowflex C6 are nearly identical besides a few minor differences in their appearances.

As a result, deciding which to buy really comes down to style preferences or if one happens to be on sale.

In contrast, the Peloton Bike is more expensive. However, as it includes an integrated tablet, you’re able to take full advantage of all that the Peloton app has to offer, including on-screen performance tracking.

If a touch screen is a high priority, you may want to check out the MYX II bike, which retails for $1,399 and includes a 21.5-in. (54.6-cm) display.

Bowflex also offers the VeloCore, which starts at $1,699 and offers a unique riding experience. In addition to being used as a stationary cycling bike, the lean mode allows you to lean the bike side to side for a serious core workout.

The VeloCore also includes an integrated touch screen, which is available in two sizes.

Is the Bowflex C6 the same as the Peloton?

The Bowflex C6 is quite different from a Peloton bike. The Bowflex C6 has dual-sided pedals, a device holder, and can be used with the JRNY, Zwift, and Peloton apps. The Peloton requires special cycling shoes, comes with a touch screen, and is only compatible with a Peloton subscription.

Can you use the Bowflex C6 without a subscription?

Yes, you can use the Bowflex C6 without a subscription. (A 1-year JRNY membership is included with your purchase.)

Is the Bowflex C6 the same as the Schwinn IC4?

The Bowflex C6 is nearly identical to the Schwinn IC4, but there are a few differences in the aesthetics of each bike. If you’re trying to decide between the two since they have basically the same features, it may help to keep an eye out for a sale on one of the bikes.

The Bowflex C6 Bike is a high quality indoor cycling bike that provides an affordable alternative to pricier models.

While it doesn’t include high tech features, such as an integrated touch screen, it still offers a challenging workout thanks to its heavy flywheel and 100 levels of magnetic resistance.

Plus, as you can use your own device to stream classes, the C6 allows you to choose the fitness app that works best for your fitness needs and budget.

Regardless of whether you choose the C6 or another stationary bike, make sure to talk with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regimen.