Bowflex Velocore 16 Review – What You Should Know
Bowflex Velocore 16 Overview
The Bowflex Velocore 16 is an exciting exercise bike. You might have heard of this bike before, as unlike any other bike on the market, it can lean side to side. The Velocore range has two cycles in it, the Velocore 16 and the Velocore 22. The primary difference between these two is the size of the screen. Today we are going to be speaking about the Velocore 16. The Bowflex VeloCore spin bike is currently priced at $1,700 for the 16” screen model and $2,200 for the 22” model. This is an outstanding value for money compared to its competitors. When shipped, the bike comes in a relatively small box, knowing it has a bike inside and the screen comes separately this was impressive! Assembly is fairly straightforward, for a bike that can lean side to side I was pleasantly surprised. The warranty isn’t as good as their lower models, which is interesting; they offer ten years on the frame and one year on mechanical and electrical. Unlike two years mechanical and electrical for the Bowflex C7 indoor cycling bike. When I saw this bike, the first thing I thought was it going to be a gimmick or good?
Let’s start with the monitor. It’s excellent in my opinion. The size is 16” is fine, and everything can be seen not a problem. The 22” seems to be the one to go for though as people do say they feel much more immersed in the experience especially knowing that you’re moving around the screen, the price difference is quite substantial though. Touch screen technology is excellent, and even when you are a bit sweaty works fine. The operating system is an android system, and it is locked to their Subscription App JRNY. That wouldn’t put me off though it is a fantastic app full of lots of classes, and you have lots of scenic rides to go through as well. One thing to mention is only about 100 of these classes use the lean function. Most of them are made for indoor cycling bikes in static mode. You can even use it to stream Netflix, Disney+, and have access to a music database. This does come at the cost of $19.99 a month, which I think if you’re getting this bike, it’s a no-brainer. They do offer compatibility to such apps as Zwift and Peloton. For this, you will need a tablet of your own, which you connect the bike to, and it will send the data across. It’s not capable of being on the big screen, unfortunately. However, it has a holder for a tablet or your phone to help you if this is the way you want to use the bike. On the display screen, while you are riding, you will have all the data you need RPM, Calories, Watts, Heart Rate, Burn Rate, and Resistance Level. The power meter on this bike is an estimate of the resistance level and RPM, so it might not be as accurate as a power meter-based bike. From what I can tell, though, it’s about where it needs to be and power figures most people don’t worry about unless you’re an elite cyclist. It can connect to Bluetooth and Ant+ devices which covers the whole market of heart rate monitors and accessories. It also comes with an armband heart rate monitor, so you don’t require to have your own already.
The Bowflex Velocore 16 has a carbon fiber belt drive system. This will be very strong and durable, giving you a lot of confidence during those heavy climbs and sprints. Only a few higher-end bike manufacturers such as Stages SC3 use a Carbon Fibre belt as the technology isn’t cheap to produce. It has a magnetic resistance system on which you can select 100 levels on. This offers so much variety for your workout, and you can see yourself as you get fitter climbing up the levels. The transmission between the levels is exceptionally smooth, and it’s effortless to get the resistance you want with the levels being displayed on the screen. The bike is very quiet. The Carbon Fibre belt mixed with the Magnetic resistance system is incredible. Now for the lean function. I first thought it was pretty gimmicky, but now, I feel like they’re really onto something here after learning a bit more about it. It can be turned on and off with the simple switch above the resistance dial. When on gives you the ability to lean either side while you’re riding. It’s on a spring system, so the return is straightforward, and it’s not going to go too far, so don’t worry about falling off. It not only adds another element to the ride, but the core workout is something else. The obliques will be firing, and you will know that you have been engaging them by the end of the workout. Though if this isn’t for you, it’s straightforward to turn it off and use the bike as a stationary bike. I like this because BowFlex Fitness has made a bold, inventive move to try something new, and I love it!
The Pedals are dual-sided toe cage and SPD so that you can clip in. The quality of them looks good. BowFlex, like the C6 model they don’t disclose the Q Factor. This is the size of the bracket between the crank arms. From what I can find online, people say it is between 160mm and 180mm, which would be fine, but I cannot confirm this. The Flywheel weighs 33lbs which is an ideal weight to challenge you while you’re exercising. With the magnetic resistance, it is frictionless and smooth to use. The Flywheel is positioned in the rear. They do this to avoid sweat getting into the transmission and indoor bikes and does look much nicer aesthetically.
The spinning bike itself is probably one of the larger bikes I have seen coming in at 59.8” in length, a width of 24.1”, and a height of 55.3”. Although the bike is quite large, I don’t feel it can be judged as a negative attribute as iit is something so different from a regular cycle. However, I don’t feel it would be suitable for a spin studio or gym because, and with the lean could cause accidents. It weighs 175lbs, but it’s easy to move around by the wheels on the front. It can suit a rider from the height of 4ft 6” to 6ft 6”, which is a reasonably good range, especially on the lower side. It can also accommodate a rider up to 325lbs. The frame is made of Aluminium and comes with two water bottle holders. Another thing I liked about this bike is that it comes with two 3lbs weights provided, which sit in a bracket just in front of you. The handlebars are a classic spinning shape, and they will move vertically but not horizontally. The saddle is of good quality, and you can adjust it vertically and horizontally.
Bowflex Velocore 16 Indoor Bike Features:
- Q-Factor: Unknown
- Pedals: Dual-sided Toe Cage SPD
- Flywheel: 33lbs
- Resistance: Magnetic
- Transmission: Carbon Belt
- Weight capacity: 325lbs
- Height capacity: 4ft 6″ – 6ft 6”
- Bike weight: 175lbs
- Bike dimension: 20″W x 45″H x 50″L
- Monitor: 16” Touchscreen
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+
- Applications: JRNY
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: Estimation
- Heart rate: Total and rate per minute
Bowflex Velocore 16 Indoor cycling Bike Pros:
- JRNY App compatible for indoor cycling classes
- Touchscreen and compatible with entertainment applications
- Lean Ability to mimic road curve cycling
- Durable Carbon Belt Transmission
- Silent Magnetic Flywheel Setup
- Great Price point considering the features
- Rear Positioned Flywheel and less to clean
- Dual-sided cage and SPD Clip-in Pedals
- 100 Resistance levels
Bowflex Velocore 16 Indoor cycling Bike Cons:
- Large to store and heavy to move
- The screen is only for the JRNY app requires a subscription
- Warranty is not impressive
- Watt/power is estimated (no power meter)
- Handlebars don’t adjust horizontally
- No elbow-rest or racing drop bars
The Final Verdict
I think this is an excellent bike, and this is impressive work from BowFlex. It has all the capabilities of a standard spin bike, but it adds so much value to the experience with the lean function. It costs much less than its competitors, not only on the bike but the JRNY subscription, but it doesn’t have a budget feel to it at all. I wouldn’t recommend this to an elite cyclist as the lean doesn’t replicate being on a bike outside, and the power data is an estimate and not completely accurate. I would highly recommend this to someone who wants to spin at home and wants to add a little more fun and core work to their workouts. I can’t compare this to other bikes. It has the rear Flywheel like the Life Fitness IC7 and the screen and classes like the Peloton, but it’s not trying to be like them. I feel the Velocore wants to be something unique unto itself. It intends to offer what other bikes can, but with an improved experience. I highly rate this bike. It is great fun and value for money.