Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
When it comes to at-home spin bikes, the Bowflex C7 exercise bike is a top competitor. It is a home bike that seeks to motivate and reward your fitness routine. Bowflex has several interesting indoor bikes in their collection, including the C6, C7, VeloCore 16, and VeloCore 22 bikes. The C7 is the C6’s upgraded version, with many delightful features to show for it. It is also reasonably priced at $1,199, which falls in the mid-price range category. And isn’t it amazing that you will get your money’s worth and more! In this Bowflex C7 indoor bike review, we detailed the ins and outs of the bike to help you make a worthy purchasing decision.
The bike offers ten-year warranty coverage on its frame, three years on its parts, and a year for labor. We have to admit that the C7’s warranty is a lot better than that of other bikes within its class. Shipping typically takes about 1-2 weeks. Note that shipping fees and timeframe are wholly dependent on the retailer you are purchasing the bike from. The Bowflex C7 indoor bike assembly isn’t all that tedious. Bowflex was thoughtful and considerate enough to assemble the machine’s bulk before delivery, so users only have to install a few parts, and the bike is set to spin. Assembly takes anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on users’ hands-on assembly experience.
Bowflex C7 Spin Bike Review and Technical Information
- Q-factor: N/A
- Pedals: Dual-sided pedals
- Flywheel: 40lbs
- Resistance: Magnetic resistance
- Transmission: Poly-V belt
- Weight capacity: 330lbs
- Height capacity: N/A
- Bike weight: 115lbs
- Bike dimensions: 41.5” L × 10.25” W × 33.75” H
- Monitor: HD touchscreen
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Applications: JRNY and several third-party apps like Zwift and Peloton
- RPM Tracking: Yes
- Watt Tracking: No
The C7’s monitor is one of its primary attractions. The monitor’s appeal transcends its physical make-up and encompasses its brilliant functionality. To begin with, the bike equips a 7-inch, adjustable HD touchscreen with excellent readability and visibility. As with most bike monitors, it provides detailed workout feedback to help you measure and fast-track your progress. These include speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, heart rate, and calorie consumption. Unfortunately, you can’t track your power (watt) readings because it has no power meter. A glitch-free Bluetooth connectivity adds to the monitor’s appeal.
The Bowflex C7 indoor cycle’s highlight is its ability to connect to several cycling apps, including Zwift and Peloton. Because most indoor bikes are hardly compatible with fitness apps that aren’t associated with their brand, the C7 spinning bike is one-of-a-kind in this regard. However, these apps are incompatible with the bike’s monitor, so you will need to make the connection via your tablet or smartphone.
If the C7’s app versatile app compatibility blew your mind, wait until you hear it has its membership. Yes, the C7 comes with a JRNY membership that does a lot more than track your workout statistics. With the membership, you can stream Netflix, Amazon Prime videos, Hulu, and the like. Amazing right? This serves to revitalize your workout routines by eliminating the all-too-familiar boredom and monotony. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice your workouts for a TV show or vice versa when you can do both simultaneously. You also get lots of customizable workout options and a tour of 40 different cycling locations. But of course, good things don’t come free; the JRNY membership costs $19.99 per month. If you can afford the subscription, by all means, go for it.
Resistance and Transmission
We would have been utterly disappointed if the Bowflex C7 indoor bike was not equipped with magnetic resistance technology. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. Our favorite bike employs a magnetic mechanism to decrease and increase pedaling force (resistance). While magnetic resistance is the standard for advanced home spin bikes, nothing prepared us for the C7’s 100 distinct resistance levels.
Having so many resistance levels can only mean one thing; unbelievable resistance versatility! You can choose to spin with an extremely easy, moderately easy, a tad difficult, relatively difficult, or intensely challenging resistance ─ you name it. However, its resistance control is not automatic, which means you have to adjust it manually.
The Bowflex C7 indoor bike works with a Poly-V belt drive train. This type of drivetrain is famous for its supremely quiet and smooth cycling momentum. Belt transmission is typically miles ahead of a chain drive in terms of functionality and ease of use. It is effortless to maintain as it requires little lubrication and tightening.
Pedals, Q-factor and Flywheel
The Bowflex C7 spin bike is furnished with toe-caged, dual-sided pedals. Dual-sided means you can clip onto the bike on either side of the pedals. The most significant advantage of the dual-sided configuration is its compatibility with SPD cleats. Serious cyclists will be happy with this bit of information, as they typically favor SPD cleats over regular toe cages. You can also use your regular gym shoes to clip on to the toe cages if you aren’t interested in using SPD pedals. Whatever your pedaling preference, the C7 pedals will meet your demands.
For some reason, Bowflex did not specify the C7’s Q-factor. For clarity’s sake, a bike’s Q-factor is defined as the distance between its pedals. Generally, bikes with a smaller distance between their pedals are considered ideal, while those with a broader distance between their pedals are ergonomically disliked. The explanation is that narrower pedals maintain the right ergonomic balance between the feet, hips, and knees, thus reducing injuries and discomfort to the bare minimum. However, we can’t say for a fact the category the C7’s pedals fall into (whether narrow or broad), so you may have to take your chances with this one.
The C7 indoor bike boasts a heavy, 40lbs bi-directional flywheel. Most industry experts will give a nod of approval to the C7’s flywheel weight heavier than standard. In case you didn’t know, heavy flywheels are touted for a super smooth and consistent pedaling motion; this is why the C7’s flywheel is excellent in this regard. As a bonus, it also has a sweat-resistant guard to protect it from the ravages of sweat and moisture.
Specifications and Accessories
Due to space considerations, size matters a lot when buying an indoor cycling bike. The good news is, the Bowflex C7 indoor bike is compact enough to fit into most homes. It is only 41.5” L × 10.25” W × 33.75” H. Its excellent build quality is another selling point of the C7 spinning bike. Though its design and construction appear unassuming and straightforward at first glance, the high-quality steel fabrication and other components make the C7 a rock-solid home exercise bike. So rest assured, you won’t be calling for replacements or maintenance that often.
Given the solid construction, it isn’t far-fetched that the bike can support a maximum weight capacity of 330lbs. The C7’s net weight is 115lbs which lends a measure of stability and support to the cycle. There are also transport wheels to facilitate easy relocation and mobility. While the C7’s handlebars feature a straightforward design, they are practical and comfortable to the grip. They also offer vertical and horizontal adjustments, allowing people of different heights and sizes to use them comfortably without issues.
Sitting on top of the handlebar is a device tray where users can lodge their mobile devices during exercise. A bottle holder sits beneath the handlebars, enabling workout hydration and refreshment. The C7’s seat mirrors that of a race-style seat with vertical and horizontal adjustments. The seat is quite comfortable, but it tends to get “sore” as you work out. Finally, Bowflex includes extra dumbbells to enhance the C7 workout experience.
Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros
- The build quality is super solid, which translates to considerable durability.
- The monitor is compatible with several third-party apps such as Peloton and Zwift, in addition to its JRNY subscription app.
- It supports wireless heart rate tracking via Bluetooth
- The monitor’s JRNY app is packed with many several performance-optimizing features that motivate good workout results
- Its drivetrain is marked by a smooth Poly-v belt that generates a seamless ride
- It has a significantly heavy 40lbs flywheel that is on par with industrial recommendations
- Includes 100 resistance levels that maximize workout intensity options
- Its seat and handlebars are vertically and horizontally adjustable
- Features dual-sided pedals with SPD compatibility
Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons
- The JRNY app requires a monthly subscription, thus increasing the cost of ownership.
- You cannot use third-party apps directly with the monitor, only with a tablet or smartphone.
The Bowflex C7 indoor cycling bike has all the features that promise to make your indoor spinning sessions a fun, comfortable, and productive experience. What particularly stands out is its compatibility with third-party apps like Peloton ─ most indoor bikes, including the upscale types, cannot achieve this feat. We can’t but applaud its infinite 100 resistance levels; users of all competency levels can find the ideal intensity range that complements their routine and preference.
The C7 also has its signature fitness app, JRNY, which is chock full of exciting trainer-led workout videos and scenic, virtual locations. It is also oh-so-amazing that users can stream their favorite entertainment channels like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and so on. The only real issue with the Bowflex C7 exercise bike is the absence of a power meter. However, you can include this at the expense of your budget.
We have covered everything worth noting and knowing about the Bowflex C7 indoor cycling bike. We hope this review will help you make a regret-free buying decision.