Cycling is a very popular sport and it isn’t hard to see why. It is a low-impact sport that offers a very challenging workout compared to other exercises.
Today, indoor cycling classes also known as spin classes are hugely popular and the option to have an indoor exercise bike in your home is not only easier but also cheaper.
Spin Bikes vs. Stationary Bikes
Spin bikes are not the same as regular indoor stationary workout bikes. Spin bikes tend to be more solid because they have a heavy weighted flywheel.
The flywheel in a spin bike is used for adjusting the resistance and challenging yourself through the workout. The flywheel and types of resistance are designed to closely mimic that of riding outdoors. The user creates momentum that can be resisted and the challenging part of the workout is the momentum.
The other key difference is the bike’s shape. A spin bike is very similar in appearance to a road bike. If you think about a stationary exercise bike, you will notice that users sit very upright while on a spin bike, the user lean forward and towards the handles.
Spin Bikes + App-Based Workouts: A Match Made in Biking Heaven
If you thought that spin bikes completely revolutionized the fitness industry, think again. Today, spin bikes come with an integrated app and monitor for high performance workouts. However, this modern take on the spin bike does not come cheap.
Peloton is the most famous brand in this market segment and its greatest drawback is the price of their equipment. The company’s spin bike starts at $2245, which is far beyond what most people can comfortably afford and this does not include the $39 monthly membership fee.
The major competitors of Peloton are not doing much better either.
They offer a similar product but at a slightly lower price, and you will still be required to purchase their membership. In addition, none of these options will let you use apps beyond the native apps.
Meet the Bowflex C6…
What happens if you would like a good quality spin bike and would still like to use all kinds of cycling apps without having to pay a premium? Invest in a Bowflex C6 bike. It was released towards the end of 2019 and it seem to be the solution that many people were looking for.
The Bowflex C6 is specifically designed to be a much cheaper Peloton alternative.
At just $949, you get a good quality bike whose specs are very similar to those of the Peloton but without the attached monitor.
The Bowflex C6 has a tablet holder and Bluetooth connectivity instead of an integrated monitor. This lets you use just about any tablet as a monitor. If you would like a larger screen, all you have to do is mount a TV on the wall in front of the bike and run your preferred apps with Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, or Apple Airplay.
The flexibility offered by the C6 means that it can be used with just about any fitness app. If you would like to use the Peloton app, you will only need to pay $12.99, which is surprisingly cheaper than the $39 you would have to pay if you purchased a Peloton.
What is the Bowflex Bike?
It is the first spin bike/ indoor cycling bike from Bowflex, the popular company that introduced the Tread Climber and Max Trainer cardio machines. Bowflex is now looking to capture part of the spin bike market as people increasingly include them in their home gyms.
The Bowflex C6 features all the advanced features you would expect in a high-quality, modern, spin bike without having to pay thousands of dollars.
It is designed to let you stream live workouts on a smartphone or tablet and syncs up with your devices via Bluetooth.
Here’s a quick overview of the Bowflex C6 in action…
Can You Stream Live and On Demand Workouts?
The Bowflex C6 is a wonderful piece of workout equipment since it offers an impressive biking experience for less than half the price of what the competition is offering, which makes it a more affordable option for those looking for spin bikes that are compatible with any smartphone or touchscreen tablet for online spin classes.
Bowflex C6 users can connect to popular third-party apps on the bike, which allows them to stream live and on demand classes. Users who subscribe to the Peloton app enjoy access to the massive library of live and on demand classes with trainers all over the globe.
Bowflex C6 users can also compete against other on Zwift. The Bowflex C6 is not app dependent, which means that users are free to cancel their subscriptions but still jeep using the goal-based program workouts.
The Bowflex C6 also has an “Explore the World” function that allows users to virtually ride through exotic locations throughout the world with high-definition video of the locations displayed on the screen and the bike will automatically adjust the speed.
What Apps Does the C6 Work With?
The Bowflex C6 is unique in that it is not tied to one specific app.
With the C6, you can connect to several different fitness and cycling bike thus enjoying all kinds of capability and an immersive riding experience.
The C6 currently works with the following apps:
- Explore the World (Native)
- Under Armour Record
- Google Fit
- Apple Health
The great thing about the vast majority of apps listed above is that you will get a free trial, which means that it will not take too long before you are able to narrow everything down to the line of training that works best for you.
Features and Specs
The Bowflex C6 has the same sleek, modern look and feel as the other new machines from the company. It is jet black with fire red accents, which means that it makes a very bold statement.
It is packed full of the features and high-tech options you can expect from Bowflex, which means that it is an excellent choice when looking for a spin bike to buy.
Here are some of the features that make the Bowflex C6 a bike worth considering:
- Magnetic resistance that ensures a very quiet and smooth ride
- Adjustable seat and handlebars that ensure optimal versatility
- 100 Micro-Adjustable Resistance Levels
- Bluetooth ready
- High-Density, Race-Style Foam Seat
- Dual Water Bottle Holders
- Connects with all kinds of fitness and cycling apps such as Peloton, Zwift, Google Fit, etc.
- Dual-Link Pedals with Built-in Cages
- Tablet Rack for Streaming Your Workouts
- Comes with two 3-Pound Dumbbells
- Syncs with the Heart Rate Armband Monitor
- Backlit LCD Metric Console
- Supports a Maximum User Weight of 330 Pounds
- Dimensions are: 48.7” x 21.2”x 51.8”
- Total Weight of the Bike is 106 Pounds
- Minimum Height of Ceiling Required: Rider’s Height + 15”
- AC Adapter Used for Power Source
- Warranty: Parts and Frame – 2 Years, Labor – 90 Days
Pros & Cons of the Bowflex Bike
It is always advisable to consider both the positive and negative aspects of a product before you buy and this also applies to the Bowflex C6. The following are some of the pros and cons of the C6 to help you make a better purchase decision.
- It has a small footprint, which makes it ideal for smaller spaces
- It offers a smooth ride
- It is made using high-quality components
- It works with a variety of fitness and cycling apps as listed above
- It is capable of streaming live and on-demand classes and workouts, which makes it more fun
- It has an easy-to-read digital display that shows important information (Heart Rate, Distance, Speed, Calories Burned, Resistance Level, Time, RPM)
- Financing Available from As Little as $50 monthly
- It is Highly Affordable Especially When Compared to the Competition i.e. $949 vs. $2245
- Streaming Workouts Requires an active Internet Connection
- Cycling Workouts Are Not for Everybody
- Compatible Apps Require a Subscription to Really Enjoy the Service
- Need a Tablet If You Want to Sync with Your Preferred Cycling/Fitness App
- If You Don’t Already Have a Tablet, You Must Account for the Price of Buying a New One for Streaming Even Though You Will Save Money By getting Your Own Apps
Bowflex C6 Price: How Much Does It Cost?
The Bowflex C6 might not be as expensive as some other popular biking options, but it certainly doesn’t come cheap. You can buy it from the official Bowflex website for $949, which is about $1,300 less than what a Peloton might cost you.
For that price, you will get a stable, adjustable spin bike with the option to connect to your preferred cycling/fitness app using your tablet or phoner attached above the console.
The Bowflex C6 is currently only available from the official company website, which is actually a good thing since buying directly from the manufacturer is more convenient should you ever run into warranty issues.
It is likely that the product will become available for purchase in more locations, but this still hasn’t happened as of the writing of this article.
C6 Review Summary
Spin bikes are an exciting way to get an incredibly intense workout from the comfort of your home. Today, there are many manufacturers of spin bikes and they are still growing in terms of popularity.
If you would like to try the Peloton but don’t see yourself spending over $2,000 on a bike, you should definitely consider the Bowflex C6.
The Bowflex C6 has all the features needed to really give you a decent workout. It is also Bluetooth compatible with the tablet holder above the console, which means that you can still access the streaming workouts and classes offered on Peloton and various other cycling/fitness apps.
The C6 might not be a commercial-grade spin bike, but it is a much simpler, cost-effective, and elegant alternative to the Peloton.
The Bowflex C6 is truly a magnificent piece of fitness technology and is something you need to consider investing in if you are truly looking to get a decent workout right from the comfort of your home.
- Is the C6 a Top alternative to Peloton?