Indoor cycling is a huge industry, and it’s growing and growing constantly. Companies are bringing new bikes out all the time. We also have bikes continually updated with amazing features such as the ability to lean side to side and even lower and heighten the front to make it feel like you’re on a climb.
A common question we are often asked is about two heavy hitters when it comes to the spin bike world, the Bowflex Velocore, and the Nordictrack S22i. They are completely different bikes and incredible machines to ride. In this article, we are going to let them fight it out and find the best bike for you.
The Bowflex Velocore is an incredible machine and has so much to offer the user. Let’s start with the bike itself. It’s quite large in its floor footprint, but it does have to be for a feature that we’re going to speak a little about later. The weight is 175lbs, so it is fairly heavy too, but in its defense, it does move around easily. It has magnetic resistance and a belt-drive, so you have smooth riding consistently, and you can expect it to be very quiet and require little to no maintenance over its life.
This bike is equipped with either a 16” or 22” monitor depending on the model you pick. It’s a touch screen and very easy to use. It offers JRNY as an application and is even compatible with Zwift and Peloton if you fancy using their apps, but you will require a separate tablet. Another great feature is the auto resistance system which will control the pressure on the pedals to suit your workout. You have Bluetooth connectivity, so you are able to link up things like headphones and heart rate monitors easily. What is very impressive is the Bowflex Velocores lean feature. So when you’re riding the bike can lean side to side like you would get riding outdoors.
Things I liked:
The Bowflex offers so much, from an incredible resistance system to amazing entertainment
Also the lean feature. This bike is the full package.
Things To Consider:
The bike is very large, and it has to be too because of the lean feature. You not only need space for the footprint of the bike but even side to side to get the best lean possible.
The bike itself is an incredible machine and has an incline and decline feature, which means when you ride, a motor will raise and drop the front of the bike. The screen is 22” HD and uses an application called iFit for all your live and pre-recorded classes.
If there’s one bike that can stand up to legendary Bowflex Velocore, it is the Nordictrack S22i. This bike is incredible and has so much to offer. Like the Velocore, this isn’t a small bike and does take up a fair bit of floor space. It also is fairly heavy, coming in at 194lbs fully built. When it comes to user capacity, this bike is excellent as it works for riders up to 350lbs and heights from 4ft 11” to 6ft 4”. It has a magnetic resistance system and feels amazing to ride, and even in sprints, feels completely solid.
The 22” HD monitor is a lovely touch and works excellently. It is linked with an application called iFit, and this is where you will get all your workouts from. It’s not just spinning. You have yoga, strength and conditioning, and plenty of others to keep you entertained. The bike has auto resistance, so you don’t have to worry about shifting up and down when you are in a class. It does it for you. The bike has Bluetooth connectivity and can be linked with headphones and heart rate monitors. The final thing to mention is the incredible incline and decline feature, which is amazing. When you hit a resistance incline, the bike‘s front shifts up, and on the decline, it goes down.
You can always check our detailed Nordictrack S22i Review, if you want to learn more details about the latest model.
Things I liked:
The Nordictrack not just looks great, but it performs excellently too.
The extra features like the auto resistance and the incline and decline feature set this bike apart from the competition.
Things To Consider:
The bike isn’t small, and it will take up a lot of floor space.
It also is one of the most expensive bikes on the market, but in its defense, it’s incredible to ride and feels solid at all times.
How do the Bikes Compare?
The Bowflex Velocore and the Nordictrack are very high-quality bikes, and although they share a place in the spin bike market together, they are, in fact, very different. The best way to explain this is to break them down and tell you a little bit more about their features and how they compare against each other.
Both of these bikes use a frictionless resistance system. They will offer silky smooth resistance, and both be quiet to use. They also both have the capability of using their applications to have automatic resistance so the instructor in the class can change it for you while you focus just on giving you all. The Bowflex has 100 levels of resistance, and the Nordictrack has 24. Just because the Bowflex has more levels doesn’t mean it can challenge you more. It means that you have more options for different resistances. They both will challenge anyone, even a Pro Cyclist. The Bowflex uses a typical dial to change resistance, and the Nordictrack uses buttons. For me, the buttons worked much better.
Screen and Connectivity
The Nordictrack screen is a 22” HD touch screen, and so does the Bowflex Velocore if you get the more expensive model. They are both amazing to use, and both have swivel brackets for the off-the-bike classes. The Nordictrack S22i is locked to iFit and scenic routes, and for the membership for the bike‘s full capability, you’re looking at $39 a month, but they do give you the first year free. The Bowflex screen is locked into JRNY, and this comes in at the cost of $20 a month, so it’s half the price. Both JRNY and iFit give you similar content from live and pre-recorded classes and also things like strength training and yoga.
Size and User Capability
Both these bikes are not small and they do take up a fair bit of space in the house. The Nordictrack only being slightly smaller and not having a lean feature does mean it can fit in a slightly tighter gap. The Bowflex weighs about 175lbs, and the Nordictrack weighs 193lbs, but they easily move around on their front wheels. As far as weight capacity goes, you have 350lbs with the Nordictrack and 325lbs with the Bowflex. So although the Nordictrack is heavier, it can hold more weight. The Bowflex does have a better height range going from 4ft 6” to 6ft 6” compared to the Nordictrack, which goes 4ft 11” to 6ft 4”.
Special features on bikes make a lot of difference, in my opinion, and if you are going to be buying a high-end bike, you want it packed with cool stuff to help you enjoy the experience. The Bowflex Velocores lean feature is a lot of fun and does give you an epic core workout. Then you have the Nordictrack incline and decline feature, which does provide an amazing climbing experience. They are completely different bikes because of this. One extra thing the Nordictrack has over the Bowflex, though, and it is an amazing feature, is that it has a fan on the screen to throw air at you while you’re riding.
Which one is for me?
I personally think it comes down to a couple of things when picking between the two of these bikes. The first is budget. The Bowflex Velocore is cheaper to buy and has a more affordable subscription cost than the NordicTrack, which is more expensive and with a higher subscription cost.
Then you have special features. I personally love both the lean and the incline and decline feature, but if I was to pick one, the incline and decline give it a feel like you’re out on a road bike, and I absolutely love that.
I also love the fact that the Nordictrack had buttons instead of a dial. That makes a big difference. When it comes down to picking between these two bikes, it is all about budget and how much you value the extra features the Nordictrack has.
These are both very high-end bikes and offer a very different experience from each other. Whatever you choose, they will give you an amazing indoor cycling and fitness experience.
A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.