What to know about using the Bowflex VeloCore Bike
It seems Bowflex has managed to accomplish what its many fitness industry competitors have yet to with its new VeloCore: An at-home workout bike that does it all and feels like the real thing.
The VeloCore is similar to the popular Peloton stationary bike, with a few more features that we’ll discuss in detail. With a VeloCore Bike, you’ll get a stationary bike that’s great for at-home workouts. It also has a built-in HD touchscreen so riders can access their workouts and entertainment straight from the bike.
What makes the VeloCore Bike so unique?
Besides the usual high-tech workout bike features that we have come to expect from "smart" gym equipment, Bowflex has kicked its bike up a notch with a lean mode. When engaged, the special lean mode allows the rider to move from side to side, similar to how it feels when you ride a bike in real life.
This feature also adds in a bit of an arm and core workout since riders need to try harder to balance atop the bike rather than only focusing on keeping the pedals moving. If you would rather skip the balancing act, you can use the bike in the standard stationary mode to keep your workout simple.
Other cool features to know about the Bowflex VeloCore Bike:
VeloCore has 100 magnetic resistance levels that make for a challenging but relative quiet workout experience. VeloCore competitor Peloton offers similar resistance features, in case you were wondering.
Connect to anything you need right from the bike
Sure, the VeloCore touchscreen is cool - and at either 16 or 22 inches it is certainly easy to see while you are on the bike. But Bowflex decided to give its riders direct access to popular streaming and fitness apps, as well as Bowflex’s fitness content.
That means you connect your Bluetooth headphones to the bike and watch your favorite TV show or movie. It offers access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ accounts (if you have a subscription to those apps). Alternatively, if you already subscribe to a fitness app, you can pop on one of those workouts and follow along from your VeloCore as well. It even lets you access the Peloton app. Bowflex’s workout app, JRNY is also enabled on the bike. The app connects you to a library of workouts designed for VeloCore riders, virtual coaching, dozens of scenic rides for a more relaxed workout.
Speaking of connections, the bike’s Bluetooth connectivity cannot be beaten. You can easily sync up with a pair of headphones, heart rate monitor, or fitness tracker directly from the bike to get engaged with the modern workout experience.
If you hate keeping track of your workouts, your VeloCore has your back. The bike keeps track of workout time, intervals, distance, calories burned, calories burned per minute, your heart rate, cadence, resistance, and lean. The VeloCore comes with a Bluetooth-enabled HR armband that tracks your heart rate.
No cycling shoes? No problem. The dual-sided pedals allow you to clip into the stirrups with your cycling shoes, or you can flip the pedals over and wear your usual workout shoes.
Bowflex VeloCore drawbacks
There are a few drawbacks to the VeloCore Bike that take some fun out of the user experience.
No pivoting screen
The HD touchscreen looks clear when you are on the bike, but if you wanted to finish up your workout with some sit-ups off to the side, for example, you will have a hard time seeing the screen.
Limited availability of content
Some reviewers have remarked that the amount of content on the JRNY app is rather limited compared to other subscription-based apps currently available, especially for workouts that include the bike’s lean mode. However, Bowflex is continuing to add workout content to the app, so the library is growing.
Not a space-saver
Because of the VeloCore’s lean feature, you will need more room on either side of the bike to account for the extra movement. This could make it challenging to fit the bike into smaller spaces or apartments and still take advantage of all its features. Bowflex recommends allowing for at least 48.4 inches for the leaning mode and 24.1 inches for the stationary mode.
No live classes or leaderboards
Part of the fun many people have with their Peloton bikes is the access to live classes and leaderboards, which can be a way to keep you motivated and accountable. While the VeloCore does allow you to access the Peloton App from the touchscreen, you cannot take advantage of all of Peloton's features or other workouts, like yoga.
VeloCore specs and price
The VeloCore starts at $1,699 for a 16” console, or $2,199 for a 22” console. It includes a heart rate armband, pair of 3 lb. dumbbells, and two months of free access to the JRNY app.
In-home assembly is $199 extra.
The Bowflex JRNY app that is packed with workout content is $19.99 per month or $149 per year. Bowflex gives you two months free when you purchase a new VeloCore Bike.
There is a two-year warranty on the bike and one-year electronic and labor warranties.
Bowflex seems to have set a new standard for high-end stationary workout bikes with the VeloCore, particularly for the immersive lean feature. The lean mode will be tough for fitness enthusiasts to pass up when they are in the market for a new at-home workout bike.
The VeloCore also gives riders more freedom to choose the content they view from the bike’s built-in touchscreen, rather than forcing you to purchase a subscription to its specific library of content. Starting at $1,699, the bike is priced competitively, but it is still not a small investment for a piece of workout equipment.