Bowflex has been around for a long time and gained huge popularity from their Treadclimber and Max Trainer machines. Recently, they created a treadmill line including this BXT216 model and a BXT 116 treadmill. We got the chance to interview several of Bowflex’s top engineers in a recent conversation.
At first glance, they may seem like pretty run-of-the-mill treadmills, but a closer look reveals some exciting features. Yet, we still prefer the long track record and interactive tech features found on other brands like NordicTrack and ProForm. We recommend you check out the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 as an alternative to this one.
WEEKEND SALE ENDS MONDAY: The Bowflex BXT 216 is currently discounted to $1,899. But we would actually recommend the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 instead.
Fitness Tracking – Bowflex has some stiff competition in the world of fitness tracking, but they came up with an interesting and unique spin. Like Horizon and Sole, they opted for a free fitness app that they call the “Results Series App.”
We interviewed top Bowflex representatives and they told us:
“Ultimately what we developed is a treadmill that is a weight management solution that is calorie centric. We really are trying to assist people in getting their results by keeping them motivated with a nice clean interface that is corresponding to all of their goals.”
“We also have a lot of digital fitness and partnership packages that offer the ability to track their metrics for outcome measurements. This is free! This is something where you can track your last workout and compare total calories burned over the previous, heart rate, time, distance. You could track workout over workout.
“You can also track week over week stats. The ability to see the burn while you’re working out, the ability to actually see your results over a progressive amount of time. It’s all inclusive within the system that we’ve built.”
RunSocial – One of our favorite features on the new Bowflex BXT 216 treadmill is the RunSocial programming. With this program, you can run in 19 virtual destinations like Cambodia or Australia. This seems similar to virtual runs provided by other companies. There is a really cool thing that sets Bowflex apart:
You can create an avatar that runs in your virtual location along with the avatars of other runners around the globe. Imagine this – You live in NYC and have a cousin you hardly ever get to see in San Francisco. Using this technology, you can both plan to meet each day in Australia to go for a run together on the beach. Your avatars will be able to run side by side, race each other and even push each other out of the way. Get your elbows ready!
This is a pretty cool program that is unlike others available from competitor brands. Sample runs for free and then purchase the full runs for around $4-5 per run. Nothing too crazy.
DailyBurn – This is another digital fitness and partnership package that you can choose to add to your treadmill for around $119. Try an 8 week trial for free. This system allows you to see custom workouts led by trainers. You have the option to input your body weight for maximum results.
Display – The display on this machine is a 9″ VA (Vertical Alignment) Full Color LCD screen. It has a Calorie Dial designed to let you “see the burn” while you’re running. This is somewhat similar to the Watts RPM console seen on the ProForm Power 995i. If you want to use the Run Social feature described above, you will view your virtual running location using a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Cushioning – The Bowflex BXT 216 uses 5 Cell Comfort Tech cushioning that is 25% softer on the front for a soft landing and a firm push off while running. This is very similar to the cushioning available on other brands.
Motor – Bowflex provides a very powerful 4.0 CHP motor on this machine. Surprisingly, it only comes with a 15 year warranty. We’re not sure why they don’t offer a Lifetime Warranty like other companies, but this is something to note.
Deck – This machine comes with a very spacious 22×60″ deck that will work for taller users.
Programs – Free programs on the machine are available. There are 11 programs in all.
This is a great company that clearly has some winners with the Bowflex Treadclimber TC200 and Max Trainers. We appreciate the unique technology features that they’ve incorporated into their new treadmill line up. The Run Social feature is especially attractive.
The main competitors in this price range are going to be machines like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750. The Commercial 1750 comes with a 7″ Smart HD Touchscreen, iFit Live programming, a 4.0 CHP motor, 22×60″ treadbelt, the ability to decline 3%, adjustable shock absorption, and a much stronger Lifetime motor warranty. .
The Bowflex BXT 216 stacks up fairly well against the competition, however we still feel the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 may be your better option.