Bowflex C6 Bike Review from a Bike Expert

When it comes to indoor cycling, there are so many quality exercise bikes on the market today, but how do you choose the right bike for you?

This article takes an in-depth look at one of the most popular indoor bikes, the Bowflex C6.

The Bowflex bike is jam-packed with features that really do make the experience of riding it and working out an enjoyable one. Many bikes have features that sound great, but they are neither functional nor necessary in reality.

Several factors need to be considered before purchasing an exercise or spin bike; bikes these days are not cheap, and as such, you need to be thorough in your research.

Bowflex C6 Detailed Review

Some of the factors to take into consideration are :

  • Your goals for your fitness levels
  • How much money are you willing to spend
  • Do you have adequate space
  • Is your wifi strong?
  • Do you have fitness apps, or will you have to sign up?
  • Will you be the only one using the bike, or will other family members be using it?

Ok, now we got some of the fundamentals out of the way, let’s delve into the Bowflex C6 review and see if it’s the right fit for you. 

Overview of Bowflex C6

Bowflex C6 Bike Bowflex C6 Bike
4.9

An excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes. A quiet magnetic resistance bike, proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices such as Peloton® and Zwift®.

The Bowflex C6 is one of those bikes that over-delivers on nearly every aspect. Many avid cyclists and indoor athletes have been waiting for the arrival of this bike, and it doesn’t let you down. 

We asked 165 owners of this bike to tell us how satisfied are with their bike. 89.1% of participants gave a score of at least 7 out 10! On average, the satisfaction rate was 8.18 / 10.

With a whole heap of features, this solid bike actually makes the rider feel like you’re riding outside.

When you compare this to other indoor bikes on the market, such as the Peloton, it becomes clear the Bowflex C6 is an excellent option for those not looking to spend the big bucks. One of the main reasons for developing the Bowflex C6 was to give users an inexpensive, high-quality alternative to stream apps on an indoor bike. 

As with any bike, there are a couple of negative points, but to be completely honest, they are hardly worth mentioning and, in my opinion, do nothing to take away from the quality of this bike. The Bowflex bike should be suitable for almost everyone. Our survey of the 165 owners showed some pain points like cadence display and crank arm issues, but we do not believe that any of the issues listed would justify avoiding purchasing C6.

how to adjust spin bike - distance between the saddle and handlebars 2

Anytime you review products, in this case, the Bowflex C6 bike, many factors need to be considered before you go ahead and burn a big hole in your wallet. One of the essential elements that you need to consider is the App that you intend to use and the wifi quality in the room you intend to use.  

To sum up:

Things We Like

  • The Bowflex C6 is Zwift and Peloton app compatible
  • The magnetic resistance is incredible smooth 
  • It comes included with a heart rate monitor 
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • The ride is very smooth
  • You can use your own tablet

Things that could be Better

  • Some riders found the graph more challenging to read the cadence bar graph. They would prefer a number 
  • Few owners wanted a little more range in adjustments of the seat and handlebars.
  • Sometimes, the pedals get squeaky. Most of the owners with such problems replaced their pedals with quality SPD or flat pedals.

GirlBikeLove.com C6 & IC4 Survey

GirlBikeLove.com Blog is always trying to find the most critical and useful information for our users. That’s why, except for our own Bowflex C6 review, we asked 165 C6 & IC4 bike owners to share their feelings on these models.

You can see the whole survey and results here.

In short, we had the following results, based on the answers we got.

How happy are the owners with their bike?

IC4 C6 Survey @2021 2
The rate scale is from 1 to 10. The question was mandatory.

We asked owners to rate theirexercise bike satisfaction level on a scale from one to ten. On average, the satisfaction rate of the 165 respondents was 8.18 / 10, which is one of the highest we have seen in the indoor cycling category.

Most Loved Bike Features

Most Loved Features - Schwinn IC4 & Bowflex C6 Survey

It seems that connectivity, construction quality, and smoothness of the ride were the most loved attributes of the IC4 and C6 bikes. Other high-ranking features included the bike’s price point and how quiet the bike is when riding.

Some of our respondents made the following statements regarding connectivity capability: 

  • “I like that the bike is not tied to a specific streaming service…”
  • “It feels really sturdy. You can more or less just jump on and jump off…”
  • “I like the smooth motion of the flywheel when it’s operating smoothly.”

Common Issues

Based on our survey that included 165 owners of either the Bowflex C6 or the Schwinn IC4 models, 70% of them didn’t have any issues with their bike.

For the 30% of people who did find something that bothered them, noise, pedal, and crank arm issues are some of the most common issues.

IC4 C6 Survey @2021

Below is a selection of responses from our participants describing bike issues they encountered:

  • “Clicking noise on the right pedal when pedaling down. It seems to happen when I’m standing, and I’m really putting my weight into it.”
  • “Need to recalibrate as too much tension at bottom end.”
  • “Seat post wobbles and appears to be squeaking.”

Pro Tip: Most of the owners replaced their pedals with quality SPD or flat pedals. With an extra cost of $50-$100, you can get an excellent Shimano or a Venzo set; and yet your IC4 or C6 bike will be again way more affordable than the Peloton. 

Main Features

Adaptable Saddle
Adaptable Saddle
Pedals with cages
Pedals with cages
Weights Included
Weights Included

The pedals are a stand-out feature, in my opinion, as they are designed with traditional style pedals on one side, and on the other side, they are fitted with SPD clips perfect for those riders who like to use cycling shoes.   

  • The saddle is completely adaptable and comes with a standard stem 
  • The Bowflex has pedals with cages but is also harmonious with road bike pedals
  • Numerous convenient handlebar settings
  • Three-pound weights are included; this provides an excellent upper body workout
  • Two lightweight holders for water bottles
  • Suitable wheels which make it very easy to move around 
  • The weight capacity of 330 lbs is right up there with the very best of bikes
Console & Monitor Holder
Console & Monitor Holder
Magnetic Resistance
Magnetic Resistance
Transportation Wheels
Transportation Wheels

Tracking data with the heart rate monitor that is included is made easy with the connectivity of Bluetooth. The monitor itself is very reliable and provides more accurate data when compared to the older handlebar sensor type. 

App Connectivity

As mentioned earlier, the primary reason for developing the Bowflex C6 was to make it compatible with popular streaming apps such as Peloton App, Zwift, Sufferfest, and many others. The bike delivers and provides the user several different options, not locking you into one specific App. 

Almost all of these fitness apps will offer a free trial period and can range anywhere from 7 days to 1 month; this makes it an ideal opportunity, especially for newcomers, to get into indoor cycling. 

As with any app, they all offer their pros and cons and can offer vastly different workout experiences from App to App. Zwift offers life-like virtual worlds and courses, making it feel like you are riding outside; the graphics and interface are fantastic and straightforward to use. 

Some of the indoor cycling apps like Zwift allow the user to see their position on a virtual leaderboard, motivating the athlete to want to improve their performance. 

Note: Bowflex C6 is fully supported by Peloton App. The only downside is that you cannot access the virtual leaderboard.

Assembly And Functionality

Bowflex C6 Bike Assembly

The Bowflex C6 bike is a well-built and produced bike that grants the latest high-tech innovations that help the rider appreciate the experience and perform better. Let’s be honest; at the end of the day, we all want to perform better and get the most out of ourselves. 

The Bowflex C6 is a very user-friendly bike, mainly due to the ergonomic design, which makes this bike suitable for almost every person’s height, shape, and weight. Because the bike is easily adjustable, it’s effortless for riders to find a position that best suits them. 

This does two critical things; it reduces long-term injury and makes the riding experience an enjoyable one. 

Resistance Mechanism

The resistance on this bike is something else. The magnetic resistance offers the user a smooth riding experience, and because there are more than 100 resistance levels, it’s straightforward for the rider to find their correct riding position. 

Monitor And Screen

A nice sized LCD screen provides the rider with a whole heap of valuable workout data, including :

  • Time
  • Speed
  • RPM
  • Distance
  • Calories and 
  • Resistance Level 

bowflex c6 console e1614442835714

These data points are crucial to getting the most out of your workout, and they help you progress in your journey to becoming a better athlete. 

Warranty 

When it comes to the warranty for the Bowflex C6, the company offers one of the best in the industry. A 10-year warranty is standard, and when you compare that to the 1-year warranty most other companies offer, you see just how good it is. 

The Bowflex C6 actually offers an even longer-term warranty, but to be honest, the bike is so well designed and built that I don’t think the long-term warranty is worth the extra money. The standard 10-year warranty that comes with the Bowflex C6 is all you need. 

Community

So, you bought this versatile bike, but you have questions or want help with your rides!

Worry not!

We suggest the Private Facebook Group “Schwinn IC4 and Bowflex C6 Riders” with a huge number of members: almost 20.000! Besides, you can join Reddit on “Bowflex C6 & IC4 Owners” with more than 2500 members.

Bowflex C6 Alternatives

Peloton

Peloton Bike Peloton Bike
4.7

Maybe the most popular indoor cycle, and for a good reason. Excellent quality with an excellent app for beginners and experts. The only downside it that users cannot change resistance when using apps like Zwift etc.

An exceptional alternative to the Bowflex C6, the Peloton Bike has a long-lasting, durable frame and includes diverse indoor cycling classes. 

It has all the characteristics you’d anticipate from a bike of this value and status, and the two hand weights positioned just behind the seat are an outstanding addition. 

Nevertheless, the cost is considerably steep at just over $2000, and if you don’t have Look-Delta shoes, you will need to buy some to ensure adaptability. The indoor cycling classes possible are incredible but are a hefty $37 monthly.

Overall the Peloton Bike is an attractive alternative for serious people about cycling and boosts their performance to the next level. 


Peloton to Bowflex C6 Conversion Chart

We said that Bowflex C6 can be an excellent alternative to Peloton and I personally believe that it is the best value for money indoor cycle.

So, if you go with the C6 but want to use Peloton App, you can create or buy a Resistance Conversion Chart. You can find such products on Etsy or eBay.

peloton to c6 resistance conversion

Schwinn IC4

Schwinn IC4 Bike Schwinn IC4 Bike
4.9

The Schwinn IC4 comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to link to several apps such as Peloton® and Zwift®. The Schwinn really does offer excellent quality at a very affordable price.

In many ways, the Schwinn IC4 are almost identical, and if it wasn’t for the decals and stickers, you might not spot the difference. They have several features in common, and the only main difference you need to factor in is the price point. 

The Schwinn IC4 is an excellent exercise bike that offers the rider a smooth and comfortable riding experience without the hefty price tag of the bikes you see in gyms; those bikes can set you back thousands and thousands of dollars. 

The Schwinn IC4 also comes equipped with magnetic resistance and offers the rider 100 different settings allowing you to find the correct form and technique. Another benefit of having 100 settings is that people of any fitness level can enjoy the bike and get a good workout. 

The Schwinn IC4 also comes equipped with a heart rate monitor that fits nicely around your arm and connects seamlessly to Bluetooth. These heart rate monitors are a great way to track your workouts, and over a long period, they provide valuable data points. 

Related:
C6 vs IC4 Detailed Comparison

Bowflex Velocore

Bowflex VeloCore Bike Bowflex VeloCore Bike
4.8

Provides the rider with an incredibly realistic riding experience, closely simulating riding outside on roads or up and down your favorite mountain climb.

The VeloCore is a little more on the pricey side, but, in my opinion, it still manages to squeeze into the affordable bike category. At just over $1700, it does leave a big hole in your wallet, but the features, design, frame build, and overall feel of the bike definitely make it worth the money. 

As a matter of fact, you can even pay an extra $500 and upgrade to the 22-inch LCD screen. The real stand-out feature is that the VeloCore not only moves forwards and backward but can also move side to side

This provides the rider with an incredibly realistic riding experience, closely simulating riding outside on roads or up and down your favorite mountain climb. 

The VeloCore also allows users to link to their favorite cycling & fitness apps such as Peloton or Zwift. 

Echelon

Echelon EX5-S Echelon EX5-S
4.4

New and improved stabilization handles and seat post adjustments including a competition seat with 6' lever-style adjustment, and a precision resistance motor are just a few of the exciting new features you only get with the EX5-S.

If you’re searching for an excellent option for the Bowflex C6 bike, then the Echelon might just be the bike for you. The brand is well-established and gives very comparable class combinations, and gives both on-demand and live streams, all with high-quality and economical hardware. 

Cost does vary, and the company also offers an excellent package that includes a yearly subscription giving you unlimited access to all classes and other features. 

The bike’s cost does vary, but in saying that being such a reputable and well-known brand, they offer a year free subscription giving the user access to the bike’s primary features. 

One big negative is that you are unable to sync with Peloton or ZWift, and at this stage, Echelon only offers the link to their own App. 

Keiser M3i

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle
5.0

The App takes the cycle to another level, and with compatibility and connectivity, the bike offers all of the latest conveniences the digital age has to offer. 

The Keiser M3i is a great indoor cycling bike that has a heap of high-tech features. The bike is made from durable material, and the build quality is second to none. 

An extremely quietexercise bike and very easy to assemble, the Keiser M3i is fully adjustable with ergonomically designed seats and handlebars that provide an excellent riding experience. 

At just over $2000, the Keiser M3i is quite an expensive bike and is an excellent option for the serious indoor cyclist. The App takes the cycle to another level, and with compatibility and connectivity, the bike offers all of the latest conveniences the digital age has to offer. 

If you have the money for this rather great exercise bike, then I definitely recommend it. With the durable materials and the build quality, this bike should last for many years. 

Verdict – Is The Bowflex C6 Bike For Me?

Bowflex C6 Bike Bowflex C6 Bike
4.9

An excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes. A quiet magnetic resistance bike, proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices such as Peloton® and Zwift®.

The Bowflex C6 is worth every penny, and the good thing is with the reasonable price point, you don’t need many pennies; it is maybe one of the most value-for-money magnetic resistance spin bikes.

  • The main features are the connectivity to Peloton and Zwift along with the full adjustability, which makes it ideal for almost all riders and newcomers. Because you can exercise and ride from the comfort of your own home, the Bowflex C6 is excellent for the entire family.
  • The pedals are a great feature, and the fact they give the rider the option of using sneakers or cycling shoes is very convenient, well thought and much appreciated by users. 
  • The bike is fully adjustable, smooth, offers exceptional features, like, ergonomic handlebars, adjustable saddle, compatible pedals, and excellent connectivity. 

Remember, everyone is different, and everyone has different goals, so choosing the right exercise bike for you requires research and time. 

We hope that this Bowflex C6 review helped you in your research. Good luck!!

Brenton Barker

Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute.Brenton currently consults with several Professional Athletes and clients in Self- Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.