Bowflex VeloCore 22 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
From design to performance, the Bowflex VeloCore 22 indoor cycling bike is unequaled. While it is customary for spin bikes to ride…well…just like a spin bike, the VeloCore bikes deviated from the norm. They introduced a “lean” riding style in addition to the traditional stationary workout mode. That is, you get not just one but two cycling styles. The “lean” mode tilts your body from side to side. When Bowflex promised full-body workouts with the VeloCore bikes, they weren’t just “marketing”; your muscles will bow to the bike’s powerful operation, leaving you sore and satisfied. The “lean” mode, for one, engages the core, arms, quads, and legs. The Bowflex VeloCore 16 and 22 indoor bikes are like two peas in a pod. Save for the difference in their screen size; they are practically the same.
Bowflex sells the VeloCore 22 bike for $3,160. Okay, this costs an arm and a leg, but the value it brings to the table justifies its rather steep price tag. We guess its enormous screen size, lean mode, and other premium features account for this price. The bike offers a two-year warranty on its mechanical and electrical parts and a year on labor. One word for the warranty? Short! On the plus side, Bowflex offers free standard shipping. A shipping fee coupled with the net price and subscription fees would have left a gaping hole in your budget. The VeloCore 22 spinning bike is pretty DIY, though you can request in-home assembly for an extra $199. If you choose the DIY path, be sure to enlist extra hands as some bike parts are pretty heavy. As expected, it includes a detailed instruction guide that makes the set-up easier. Is the VeloCore 22 indoor bike worth the hype? Our Bowflex VeloCore 22 indoor cycling bike review has the answer!
Bowflex VeloCore 22 Spin Bike Review and Technical Information
- Q-factor: N/A
- Pedals: Dual-link pedals
- Flywheel: N/A
- Resistance: Magnetic resistance
- Transmission: Carbon Fiber Belt-drive
- Weight capacity: 325lbs
- Height capacity: 5’1”-6’5”
- Bike weight: 175lbs
- Bike dimensions: 59.8 inches (Length) × 24.1 inches (Width) × 55.3 inches (Height)
- Monitor: 22” HD touchscreen
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wifi, USB charging port
- Applications: JRNY and several third-party apps
- RPM Tracking: Yes
- Watt Tracking: N/A
Indoor bikes with Touchscreen monitors are not new, but an indoor cycle with an enormous, feature-rich touchscreen monitor is all the rage. The screen tilts vertically (up and down) to promote visibility and eye comfort. Like other home bikes with digital monitors, the VeloCore tracks essential workout metrics, including time, distance, calories, resistance, heart rate, speed and RPM. Unfortunately, watts tracking is currently not available, but the company plans to include this metric soon. Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity adds an exciting dimension to the VeloCore 22 experience.
What sets the VeloCore 22 indoor bike apart from most bikes is app diversity. With a tablet and Bluetooth/Wifi connectivity, you can connect the cycle to several apps that are in no way related to the brand. These include the high and mighty Peloton app, Zwift, Soulcycle, among others. The bike’s JRNY membership is also a force to be reckoned with. It gives users access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Not even the legendary Peloton bikes can boast this feature.
But the JRNY app is not all about your favourite entertainment channels; it also serves as your virtual fitness motivation. Its competitive leaderboard adds an interactive element that brings life, colour and fun to your spinning sessions. It creates a customized workout experience for every need, goal and body. The trainers don’t stop until you are breathless and one step closer to your workout goals. And if you want a refreshing ambience, the featured 40+ cycling destinations can take your mood from dull to exciting. In exchange for these juicy perks, you pay a $19.99 subscription fee per month or $149 per year. Though you can do without a JRNY membership (or any app at all), its presence can significantly maximize workout quality and performance output.
Resistance and Transmission
The Bowflex VeloCore 22 indoor bike employs magnetic technology for a smooth and steady operation. It comes with 100 magnetic resistance levels accessible from a knob directly in front of the seat. However, the resistance is not electromagnetic, which means an app cannot alter it to replicate uphill and downhill motions. The progressive approach to decreasing and increasing resistance helps users maintain the right intensity without going over or under their desired intensity.
The beauty of the VeloCore resistance knob is its ease of use. It is strategically and conveniently placed within users’ reach so that they can make quick on-the-ride adjustments. Even while performing workouts that demand timely resistance switches, you can achieve the alterations with ease. That said, you can tweak the resistance to suit cardio and HIIT workouts.
The VeloCore 22 indoor cycle utilizes a standard carbon fibre belt to produce a near-silent and low-maintenance operation. With the silent drivetrain, you can work out at any time of the day without posing disturbance to your living companions. The carbon fibre itself excludes tightening, oiling and rust-prevention practices. Thus, you won’t need routine maintenance as much as you would with a chain-driven bike. As an added advantage, the pedals won’t jerk and throw you off balance.
Pedals, Q-factor and Flywheel
You can use the VeloCore 22 indoor bike sports dual-sided pedals with or without clipless shoes. It integrates adjustable toe cages on one side and SPD-compatible clip-ins on the other. On the one hand, you can securely pedal with regular gym shoes, and on the other, you can use SPD clip-ins. If none of these options is to your liking, you can replace the pedals with 9/16-inches varieties.
The Q-factor of the VeloCore bikes is unspecified, so we can’t tell. Generally, a narrow Q-factor stance is highly recommended. This is because they mimic a natural-feeling posture and minimize strain and injury to specific body parts. Though there is no official measurement of the VeloCore 22‘s Q-factor, a trained eye can tell it is somewhat narrow and ergonomically correct.
Flywheel weight and specifications are a pretty important consideration as they influence the bike’s feel to a large extent. But with the VeloCore 22 exercise bike, this information appears to be missing. There is no word about the flywheel’s make or weight on the product page or anywhere else. To be sincere, this doesn’t speak well of the brand, especially when most brands provide this all-important data on a silver platter. However, the flywheel does look and feel like a good-quality one.
Specifications and Accessories
Shrouded in tasteful black and red colours, the VeloCore 22 indoor cycling bike is a gorgeous feast for the eyes. The bike marries aesthetics with serviceability, a pretty rare combination. The frame is heavy-duty in the word’s true sense and can support a 325lbs maximum weight capacity. The cherry on top is that the structure can lean (remember the side to side motion we talked about?). The VeloCore bike packs some weight at 175lbs. Thankfully, the brand factored in transportation and included porting wheels. The solid weight in itself speaks volumes about the bike’s sturdiness and stability.
Not only is the VeloCore 22 indoor bike sturdy, but it is also portable. Its footprint measures 59.8 inches (Length), 24.1 inches (width) and 55.3 inches (Height). These dimensions should be compact and convenient enough for confined spaces. Because of the lean mode, it is recommended that the designated floor area for the bike should be about 48.4 inches wide, and your ceiling should be 16-inches taller than the tallest user in your home or space. Also, its recommended height capacity is 5’1”-6’5”.
The seat that comes with the VeloCore 22 indoor cycle is a standard road bike seat, so you can switch it out for a better one (if needed). The great thing about the seat is that it is fully adjustable, meaning you can adjust it vertically and horizontally. On the other hand, the handlebars are not as flexible, offering only vertical (fore/aft) adjustments. However, they offer about six different grip positions and are comfortable to the touch. Extras on the VeloCore 22 cycle include a media rack, a bottle holder, heart rate armband, Bluetooth speakers, and a pair of 1.5kg dumbbells. That’s some incentive right there!
Bowflex VeloCore 22 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros
- It is miles ahead of the competition with lean and stationary riding styles.
- Users benefit from an authentic full-body workout that engages the core, glutes, arms, legs and so on.
- It is a highly adjustable and customizable bike with vertical adjustments for the screen and handlebar ─ and vertical/horizontal adjustments for the seat.
- It is a good-looking bike with a sturdy frame that can hold a 325lbs maximum weight limit.
- Pedals integrate toe-cages and SPD clip-ins, allowing pedaling flexibility
- Combines magnetic resistance technology with 100 levels of infinite resistance
- It features an enormous 22-inch HD screen with workout tracking capability for heart rate, speed, calories, time, RPM, among others.
- Users get paid access to the bike’s JRNY app along with several fitness apps (that are outside the company’s jurisdiction)
- The JRNY provides access to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Bowflex VeloCore 22 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons
- The warranty is shorter than expected
- Lacks the ability to track power output (Watts)
Without an iota of doubt, the Bowflex VeloCore 22 indoor cycling bike is one incredible home exercise bike. Bowflex went over and above with this one. We still can’t get over the fantastic” lean” mode, which redefines the cycling experience. While most at-home exercise bikes provide a decent-quality workout, the VeloCore 22 indoor cycle will challenge your body to its limit. It is super dynamic, what with the infinite resistance levels and dual-link toe cages and SPD pedals.
Durability and stability are also guaranteed, as proven by the bike’s pretty yet sturdy frame and carbon fibre belt drive. From users up to 6″5 inches tall to those that weigh up to 325 pounds, the VeloCore bike is home to all. Try as you might nitpick the bike; you will come up short. The only considerable flaw is its sparse warranty coverage and lack of a wattage system. Ultimately, the Bowflex VeloCore 22 spin bike is what the doctor ordered!
We trust that this review has comprehensively addressed any questions, doubts, or curiosity you might have had about the VeloCore 22 bike.