A few weeks into the pandemic, I, like many other people, cancelled my gym membership. When it became obvious that stay-at-home orders weren’t going to be lifted anytime soon, I decided to buy a fancy at-home exercise bike, instead. Although my original intent was to buy a Peloton bike, a friend ultimately persuaded me to go with the Bowflex C6, which I can now say has proven to be an excellent alternative.
The Bowflex C6 looks quite similar to the Peloton in both color and structure, with the most noticeable difference being that the Bowflex C6 doesn’t come with an included TV screen. Instead, it has a mount where you can prop a tablet, which I’ve found to work just as well. The C6 has all of the other basics: a backlit LCD metric console, magnetic resistance with 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels, dual link pedals with toe cages, a pair of 3 pound dumbbells with cradles that are easy to reach, and a Bluetooth enabled heart rate armband monitor.
The ride is smooth and quiet, and the seat is about as comfortable as a stationary bike seat can be. The seat and handlebars are adjustable, and you can choose to wear regular sneakers or clip in with cycling shoes depending on which you’d prefer. As someone who regularly did cycling at the gym or SoulCycle before getting this bike, I find it to be just as good, if not better, than the professional equipment I’ve used in other studios. It also has wheels, so it can easily be moved around in your space, and I love how simple it was to adjust everything to my height.
There’s no necessary app like there is for Peloton, making it super versatile for watching whatever gets you pumped for a ride. I opt to pay for the Peloton app, though, which allows me to use Bluetooth to connect my heart rate and cadence (though resistance levels aren’t a 1:1 dupe). I don’t get the competitive aspect of the Peloton app, since other riders don’t see my scores, but it doesn’t make a difference in my ride.
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