BowFlex C7 Review: What You Should Know
Bowflex C7 Bike Overview
The BowFlex C7 indoor cycling bike is something quite special when it comes to a home spin bike. When I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to try and see how it compared to my expectations!
Let’s start with appearance, to look sleek and attractive. The build quality is what you would expect for the price, it’s excellent, and it’s what you would see in a high-end gym environment. Bow Flex has three different bikes in their range, the C6, C7, the Velocore 16, and the Velocore 22. They also have treadmills and lots of other home fitness machines available, it’s evident they have a passion for fitness equipment. Surprisingly the C7 is the mid-range model, and in my opinion, you definitely get what you pay for. It’s $1,199, which is an average price for a bike of this type when compared to other similar models on the market. It comes with a two-year warranty on the bike and a one-year warranty on labor, but you have the option to upgrade this.
The assembly was straightforward and took only around half an hour, but if you haven’t put a bike together before, I would allow an hour. They advertise this bike to be very compatible with apps such as Peloton and Zwift, which is something only high-end indoor bikes are usually capable of, so this was a nice surprise and it really enhances your workouts. Is this bike too good to be true?
Once the bike is up and running, you will discover the startup is an inbuilt touch screen tablet technology, it is backlit and its high quality. It feels like a classy piece of equipment to have in your living room! They recommend their subscription app called JRNY, which costs $29.99 per month but they kindly reduce the price to $20 for the first month. The app shows your RPM, time, calories, distance, speed, and heart rate. It has easy Bluetooth connectivity and even comes with a heart rate armband. So it’s got everything you need for a basic workout with all the relevant details about your performance. However, it lacks a power meter, other bikes at this price would typically have.
A unique selling point of this bike is the connection with Zwift, Peloton, and other similar apps. Although they are not associated with these companies, it is compatible, which it is but it’s not very straightforward to set up. To connect to these apps, you would require your tablet, which defeats the object of this bike’s screen. Also, without the power meter, the experience of such apps is less enjoyable. The Screen they provide can only work with JRNY, and all the streaming services such as Netflix will require the JRNY Subscription. The bike is limited if you don’t have a tablet of your own.
The transmission is magnetic resistance and is capable of 100 different levels of resistance which is incredible. I can see they have put time into this system. When using it, I can pinpoint the resistance to exactly where I want it without any trouble. It has a Poly V Belt drive inside. The combination of these makes the bike extremely quiet. It’s very smooth, and you can dial resistance in and out using the dial-in front of you. It has a solid and secure feel when in those big climbs and feels very controlled at high cadence work. One thing to note with this bike, like
Many it has fixed gear, so it doesn’t freewheel. I like this as it adds so much more momentum to your pedaling and promotes smooth rotation, but it’s something to be wary of if you need to stop suddenly. This kind of setup will require next to no maintenance over the bike’s life span and will always feel like the day it was fresh from the box.
The Bow Flex C7 has a 40lbs flywheel that is perfect for an indoor bike this size, heavy enough to move and gives a great riding experience. In my opinion, the heavier, the better when it comes to the flywheel. On a bike of this price, this would be what I would expect to see. It has Q link metal pedals with toe straps, but it also has the SPD Clip in, which is what you would find on studio spin bikes in a gym environment. You can remove the straps if you wish and use them as flat pedals or just as clip-ins. They are high quality and really work well.
The bike has an incredible build quality, and this was the first thing I noticed when looking at the bike. It’s a simple design, but everything seems to flow, and instead of straight tubing, it bends into place. The weight of the frame is heavy, which allows it to absorb a lot of the noise as the bike is in motion, which is exactly what you want in a piece of fitness equipment for your home. The bike itself is 41.5” x 10.25” x 33.75” , which for its weight is compact. The max user weight is 330lbs. It doesn’t specify what size riders will fit, but after looking at the seat height and reach, I can make a strong estimation of about 5ft to 6ft 5”.
The Total weight of the bike is 115lbs, but in my opinion, that’s a good thing, and you can feel how strong and sturdy it is as soon as you climb on. It’s easy to move around the house, and the wheels don’t mark the floor. The adjustability of the bike is excellent, the seat will move vertically and horizontally, and unlike many other bikes on the market, the handlebars can also do the same. Having the ability to bring the handlebars closer is something you only see on high-end magnetic spin bikes. This shows they have put a lot of time into the design of this indoor cycle. Another thing to add is the handlebar design is unique with a holder for a tablet or phone. It comes with Free Weights included, which is excellent for some upper body fitness, you can feel the burn of a good workout all over!
Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycle Features:
- Pedals: Q link Dual side SPD & toe Cage
- Flywheel: 40lbs
- Resistance: Magnetic (100 levels)
- Transmission: Belt Drive
- Weight capacity: 330 lbs
- Height capacity: 5’0″ – 6’5″
- Bike weight: 115lbs
- Bike dimension: 52” x 21” x 50
- Monitor: LCD 7” Touchscreen
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Applications: JRNY, Zwift, Peloton, Netflix and more
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: None
Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros:
- Build quality is excellent and easy to assemble
- Touchscreen with ability to install streaming apps
- Bluetooth Connection to synch with Zwift, Peloton and more
- JRNY App installed on the bike’s monitor
- 100 Levels of magnetic resistance
- Smooth and quiet belt transmission
- Easy vertical and horizontal adjustments
- Compact design and Easy to move
- Free Weights Included
Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons:
- JRNY App Subscription cost
- Not Ant+ technology
- Tablet has limited capabilities
- Tablet/phone required to connect with Zwift or Peloton
Our Bowflex C7 Indoor Bike Verdict
The bike is of excellent build quality. It comes with free weights, a heart rate monitor, and a 7” touch screen. It’s heavy but easy to move and so sturdy and supportive when riding. Along with the JRNY app and the capability to connect to Zwift and Peloton. One fundamental issue to me is the lack of a power meter function, you could add this, but it would be costly. The JRNY app is good, and it has some great features like Netflix. Still, it does cost, and it is limited in terms of apps you can use, which is fine, but it’s advertised to give the impression you could run Zwift or Peloton but you need a separate tablet. So take away the JRNY Subscription, and you have a basic spinning bike.
It’s an excellent quality indoor cycling bike, but it would suit someone who will subscribe to the JRNY app and be happy with just using that as a good value-for-money product. If you are buying it to connect to other apps, I feel you would be disappointed because you would need to use your own Bluetooth device (tablet or phone). I rate the bike, but I do not think the advertising is clear and is almost misleading. In my opinion, it’s worth spending more and going for a Bowflex Velocore model as these exercise bikes are much more capable and have many more features.