When’s the last time you considered a Bowflex? Your memories of the fitness brand may be tied to those massive home gyms (and those infomercials!) that promised hundreds of customizable workouts from one bulky piece of equipment.
These days, Bowflex still offers that all-in-one home gym, albeit at a much more streamlined size and with new comfort and technological features to boot. But the piece of fitness equipment bringing the flex back to Bowflex is their Bowflex VeloCore Bike.
More from Rolling Stone
What is the Bowflex VeloCore?
One of the best pieces of home fitness equipment introduced in recent years, the Bowflex VeloCore is an indoor bike designed to mimic a real outdoor cycling experience.
Bowflex VeloCore vs. Peloton
Unlike other home bikes like the Peloton, the Bowflex VeloCore offers not one but two riding modes: stationary, for a traditional spin studio-style workout, and “leaning mode,” which gently tilts you side to side, to mimic the feeling of riding through winding roads and steep hills. While Bowflex offers a classic spin bike (starting at $999), the company actually calls the VeloCore their un-stationary bike.
While many companies tout a “full body workout” on their indoor bikes, the VeloCore delivers a workout — and results — that you’ll actually feel. The tilting motion requires you to activate your core, while engaging your arms, quads and legs to brace yourself while you ride. You can literally lean into your ride as you push against the resistance, and it’s at-once a high-intensity cardio burn, and an effective strengthening and toning routine.
Like Peloton and the other spin bikes with digital screens, the VeloCore can track all the important metrics while you ride, like time, distance, calories, burn rate (calories per minute), heart rate, resistance and more. Everything is easy to read and follow on the HD touchscreen, which is adjustable if you want to move it out of the way too.
Are Bowflex VeloCore Classes Good?
The other main difference between the Bowflex VeloCore and other spin bikes, is their virtual class and entertainment offerings. Like Peloton, Echelon and other popular bikes, you’ll want to subscribe to VeloCore’s workout classes, which include more than 75 on-demand videos, virtual coaching and freestyle rides as well. We’re partial to the “destination” rides, which offer more than 50 locations around the world that you can cycle through, either as a scenic jaunt or for an adventure-packed chase.
Prefer Peloton classes or a playlist from YouTube? A convenient device holder lets you easily call up your favorite workouts on your phone or tablet, and have it right in front of you (say, while you’re enjoying the sights of a beach or trail on the main VeloCore screen).
The difference between VeloCore and Peloton though, is that your membership to JRNY (VeloCore’s name for their subscription program) also lets you binge content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ by logging into your favorite streaming service from the home screen. Peloton and other bike companies currently do not support apps like Netflix.
How Much is a Bowflex VeloCore Subscription?
While a monthly subscription to workout classes can get expensive, your VeloCore purchase currently includes a free two-month trial to JRNY. That’s a great value, considering most bike brands only offer a two-week or 30-day trial period.
Bowflex says more classes and features will be added to JRNY in the coming months.
Bowflex VeloCore Review: Is the Bike Worth It?
There is no shortage of home fitness bikes on the market right now, and while most of them will deliver a decent workout, the Bowflex VeloCore will really help you work up a sweat. It’s dynamic enough to support a range of exercises, from a recovery ride to an all-out sprint. It’s durable enough to not shift or move under you either, with the ability support up to 325 pounds of weight on its 59.8″ x 24.1″ x 55.3″ frame. In short: this is a beast of a fitness machine disguised in a sleek and streamlined unit.
The VeloCore offers more spinning positions and options than other spin bikes too, thanks to its “leaning mode,” while the built-in resistance knob gets you 100+ resistance levels. A set of three-pound dumbbells is included with every purchase to turn up the resistance even more. The monthly JRNY membership is cheaper than most plans as well. Perhaps the most relevant factor: while some bikes have been back-ordered for month (and won’t ship till late spring), Bowflex has VeloCore bikes in stock and shipping in two weeks or less. See full details at Bowflex.com.
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.