We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Studio cycling bikes are kind of like the Fast & Furious movies—there’s way too many and they’re all basically the same thing with small tweaks, but we’re still going to see the next one because they’re always fun. Every so often, though, one comes along and you find yourself thinking, “Huh, that wasn’t too bad. I’d watch it again.” 

Our Bowflex C6 review will show you why this bike is exactly like one of those movies. It’s not the best, but it delivers on all the elements you’d want in a one of the best exercise bikes. Not only that, but it’s compatible with various training apps, including JRNY, Zwift, and Peloton. That’s a lot of versatility for just one piece of equipment.  

Hands-on Testing From Industry Pros

By the time I started my research for this Bowflex C6 review, I had looked at and put my hands on well over two dozen exercise bikes (both as a GGR product tester and someone who just likes to work out). This allows me to not only look at the bike in and of itself, but compare it to other options on the market to answer the question “Is this the best exercise bike for me, or should I get something else?” 

And because the Garage Gym Reviews team is filled with certified personal trainers, CrossFit and nutrition coaches, and competitive athletes, we know what to look for in the best home gym equipment to help people improve their overall health and fitness. 

Bowflex C6

Bowflex C6 Bike

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Free 1-year JRNY trial for new members
  • JRNY allows you to stream popular entertainment apps
  • You can integrate with other apps like Zwift, Peloton, Sufferfest, Rouvy, and TrainerRoad
  • Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband monitor
  • 100 resistance levels
  • Tablet holder for custom experience
  • Pair of 3-lb dumbbells are included in price

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Priced well
  • 1-year JYNY membership included
  • Integrates with third-party fitness apps
  • Bluetooth heart rate armband monitor included
  • Free shipping in continental U.S.
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Affordable alternative to pricier brands

Cons

  • Reportedly noisy
  • Display is not touchscreen

Bottom Line

The Bowflex C6 is a high-quality, well-priced bike with impressive streaming capabilities making it a solid choice for anyone looking to cycle solo or virtually.

A Quick Look at the Bowflex C6

The Bowflex C6 is a relatively straightforward piece of fitness equipment compared to most studio bikes being released today with features like high-tech touchscreens, speakers, and even smart fans. This bike, however, is just that—a bike. 

It has a 40-pound flywheel that’s smooth and quiet, 100 levels of magnetic resistance, a simple backlit LCD console, dual-sided pedals (SPD clips on one side and adjustable toe cages on the other), and a media holder. So unlike many similar models, you don’t need a membership to a fitness app to access all of its features. 

If you are a fan of fitness apps, the bike does come with a free year of JRNY programming that can be streamed to your tablet or smartphone, and you can also connect via Bluetooth to the Zwift and Peloton apps

Bowflex did offer a C7 bike, which was essentially the same bike as the C6 but with an included 7-inch touchscreen (this bike has now been discontinued). 

front view bowflex c6

My Tips 

  • Start off on a low resistance, as the higher settings make for a grueling experience (even for experienced riders).
  • If you’re on the fence, Bowflex gives you up to six weeks to decide if you want to return a product. 

Bowflex C6 Video Review

Is the Bowflex C6 Worth It?

The Bowflex C6 exercise bike sells for around $1,000, not including shipping and handling. On top of a high-quality stationary bike, you get a free year of JRNY programming, the ability to connect to other cycling apps, and a Bluetooth heart rate monitor. 

RELATED: Best Exercise Bikes Under $500

In my opinion, I think that’s worth the price tag. When I’m looking for an indoor cycling bike I want something that has a smooth and quiet flywheel, can fit easily in my home gym, and is made with high-end materials that will last a while. This bike meets all those qualifications. 

If it didn’t have Bluetooth compatibility I would have a different opinion, but we live in a time where having a smartphone or tablet is the norm. That’s what the tablet holder is for, and during my test I found it steady enough to hold whatever smart device you place on it. 

Yeah, having live and on-demand classes right there on your bike is convenient, but I personally don’t like the idea that you need to pay a monthly subscription just to access a bike’s most basic features. 

Great for:

  • Anyone looking for a low-tech Peloton alternative 
  • Trainees looking for a cardio machine that will provide them with a challenge 
  • Those who do heart rate zone training

Not recommended for:

  • Those looking for an exercise bike with built-in programming 
  • Anyone shopping on a budget 
  • Anyone who wants a larger console on their exercise bike
anthony pedaling on bowflex c6

Bowflex C6 Specs

Footprint51.8″ H x 48.7″ L x 21.2″ W
Weight112 lbs
Weight capacity330 lbs
DisplayBacklit LCD
Seat adjustmentUp/down, front/back
Handlebar adjustmentUp/down, front/back
Drive systemBelt
ResistanceMagnetic (100 microadjustable levels)
PedalsSPD clips/adjustable toe cages
Flywheel weight40 lbs
ConstructionSteel/plastic
Warranty10 years frame, 3 years parts and electronics, 1 year labor 
ConveniencesDumbbell holders, two water bottle holders, media stand
Compatible appsJRNY, Zwift, Peloton, MyFitnessPal, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, Rouvy, FulGaz, Tacz, Apple Health, Google Health

Workout Experience With the Bowflex C6 

After testing so many exercise bikes and the best treadmills that require you to log into an app before you can use them, it was nice to just hop onto the Bowflex C6 and get to pedaling. 

But if I’m being completely honest, there wasn’t really anything special about this bike…that’s also not a bad thing, though. The flywheel provided a quiet ride, I never experienced any wobbling, and the resistance was tough enough to give my legs that “hurts in a good way” feeling while also getting a cardio workout. 

I believe this is an exercise bike for people who are already committed to getting regular aerobic exercise and just want something that can withstand daily use. This could either be cyclists who want an alternative on days when outdoor riding isn’t an option, or anyone who simply wants to keep their activity level up. 

side view bowflex c6

The Bowflex C6 very much reminded me of the Schwinn IC4, and that’s because they’re probably the same bike (seriously, they have the same exact footprint, features, and price). Oh, and they’re also owned by the same parent company, Nautilus. 

To get our thoughts on the Bowflex C6’s cousin, read our full Schwinn IC4 review

It should also be noted that the same product being sold with different branding is a common practice in the home gym equipment industry. In fact, some manufacturers sell their products to brands owned by different companies, but one will be sold to the consumer for much more simply because of that brand’s prestige.

App Compatibility  

With the exception of iFIT and Echelon Fit, the Bowflex C6 can connect to just about every cycling app to access workouts and leaderboards, like:

  • JRNY (2-month free trial included)
  • Zwift
  • Peloton
  • Sufferfest
  • Rouvy
  • FulGaz
  • TacX
  • Trainer Road
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Apple Health
  • Google Fit

(These apps, of course, require a subscription.) The bad news is there are some features, such as automatic resistance control where your live or on-demand trainer adjusts the resistance for you, that can’t be accessed with this bike. 

RELATED: The Best Exercise Bikes With Virtual Courses

Here’s how to connect your Bowflex C6 to an app.

  • Turn on your iPad or smartphone’s Bluetooth 
  • Go to the app of your choice 
  • Press the bike’s Bluetooth button 
  • Pick a workout class 
  • Select the Bowflex C6 bike from the connected devices list 
  • Go back to the program 

The app you’re using will be able to track your cadence, speed, and distance so you can measure your progress in real time. I was able to connect it to Apple Health via my iPhone with no problems, and many of the other reviews I read said there was no problem connecting it to Android devices.  

LCD Display

Although you might not be able to watch Netflix on it, the Bowflex C6’s display gets the job done. The metrics on it are time, calories, speed, resistance levels, distance, and pulse. I like that it shows you what resistance level you’re on, as not every micro adjustable exercise bike offers that. 

There’s a Bluetooth button on the display that you use to connect the bike to the JRNY app, or any other fitness app, and the included heart rate armband. 

RELATED: The Best Exercise Bikes With Screens

bowflex c6 monitor

Seat

The seat on the Bowflex C6 isn’t the most comfortable in the world, but you can buy an “extra comfort bike” seat from the brand (or use one of your choice) without voiding the warranty. It adjusts horizontally, and vertically, and is advertised as being good for height levels ranging from 4’6” to 6’6”, but I read some reviews stating shorter people had problems reaching the pedals even after putting the seat at the lowest position. 

adjusting seat bowflex c6

Pedals

The Bowflex C6 has SPD clips on one side and adjustable toe cages, so you can ride them with cycling shoes or your everyday best cross-training shoes. I was able to get my size 15 shoes into them with no problem, so I imagine most people will also find them to work for their feet. 

bowflex c6 pedals close up

Conveniences 

The Bowflex C6 comes with a media stand, two water bottle holders placed in front of you (instead of behind the rider), dumbbell cradles, a USB charging port, and transport wheels. 

Durability and Construction

The Bowflex C6’s frame is made with steel, and has some plastic parts. Overall it seems durable and it was heavy enough where someone of my 6’3” stature didn’t experience any wobbling. 

There are some plastic parts, but as long as you don’t hit the bike against anything it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. 

Footprint and Portability

The Bowflex C6 isn’t the most compact exercise bike out there, but it will also fit in just about any home gym or apartment. It’s 51.8 inches tall, 48.7 inches in length, and 21.2 inches wide.

Weighing in at 112 pounds, the bike has smooth transport wheels that make it easy to move around the home gym. 

Bowflex C6 vs. Peloton Bike

Peloton

Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike

Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 21.5" touchscreen for immersive training
  • Live classes and on-demand cycling sessions
  • Leaderboard-style competition
  • Adjustable screen, seat, and handlebars
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Immersive experience
  • Access to thousands of classes, challenges, and a large variety of workout options
  • Compact footprint
  • Sleek design
  • Financing options
  • “Try before you buy” option

Cons

  • Disappointing warranty
  • Membership is required to use bike
  • Expensive
  • Shipping is not included

Bottom Line

One of the more expensive options for virtual biking, the Peloton Bike is designed to be an all-in-one fitness solution on a high-quality cardio machine. You’re paying not only for the bike, but the unique training experience it makes accessible from the comfort of your home.

If we were to leave out all the extra features and just compare the bikes side-by-side, the Bowflex C6 gets the win here. Both it and the Peloton bike are made with steel and utilize durable magnetic resistance, but the Bowflex bike has a slightly heavier flywheel (40 pounds compared to Peloton’s 38), and has a higher weight capacity. 

RELATED: Peloton Bike Review

After trying out both, I noticed the Bowflex bike had a smoother ride and there was slightly less wobbling on it than the Peloton. 

Plus, you can get the Peloton experience by connecting the bike to the Peloton app. 

Bowflex C6 vs. Bowflex VeloCore 

Bowflex VeloCore

Bowflex VeloCore

Product Highlights

  • Simulates outdoor bike riding
  • Easy to use
  • Large monitor
  • Interactive programming
  • Incredibly stable and durable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Leaning feature activates core muscles
  • Large monitor with lots of information
  • Durable with almost no shaking while in use
  • User-friendly and simple to get started

Cons

  • Difficult assembly with unclear instruction
  • Limited music options with JRNY membership
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Sub-par warranty

Bottom Line

We were very impressed with the Bowflex VeloCore. It’s a durable, innovative exercise bike that will appeal to a lot of people. We would consider adding it to your fitness equipment repertoire.

This isn’t so much an apples vs. oranges comparison as it is a honeycrisp vs. granny smith comparison—they’re both roughly the same, with some differences in appearance and experience. Both bikes offer 100 levels of magnetic resistance and are compatible with the JRNY, Peloton, and Zwift apps. 

The C6 bike has a heavier flywheel—the VeloCore’s is 33 pounds—and has a better warranty (the VeloCore only has a two-year warranty). 

Of course, the biggest difference here is the VeloCore’s leaning feature that simulates a road cycling experience. The VeloCore also comes with its own built-in screen, unlike the C6 Bike. 

As of this writing, the VeloCore will run you $1,699 for a bike with a 16-inch console, and $2,199 for a 22-inch console. 

Do we think the VeloCore is worth it? At the end of the day it’s going to depend on what you’re looking for. Do you simply want a quality exercise bike that can help you burn calories? The C6 Bike is probably the better choice based on price alone. Are you looking for a unique experience to shake up your cardio workout routine? Go for the VeloCore. 

To learn more, read our full Bowflex VeloCore review.

Customer Experience 

Bowflex can be reached through their website, social media, email, or telephone on Mondays through Friday. Customer service representatives are unavailable on weekends and holidays. 

Warranty, Financing, Returns 

The Bowflex C6 comes with an excellent 10-year warranty on the frame, three years for parts and electronics, and one year for labor. 

Bowflex offers different financing options, and has a credit card program you can apply to. One benefit of using that card is you pay no interest on the product if you pay it off in 18 months. 

You have six weeks from the date of delivery to decide if you want to return your Bowflex C6 bike for a full refund, minus the cost of shipping. 

Ordering and Assembling the Bowflex C6

Assembling the bike is pretty simple, and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. Essentially, you’ll take the mainframe and screw it into the front and back stabilizers, then proceed to attach the seat, pedals, dumbbell rack, and handlebars. 

Customer Reviews

The Bowflex C6 has a 4.7 average rating, out of 5 stars, with more than 2,700 reviews on Bowflex’s website. Of those, more than 2,000 are 5-star reviews. People love the versatility of the bike and said it helped give them the cycling bike experience they wanted at a lower price.

Others, though, found that the C6 broke down shortly after they received it. We’ll be keeping an eye on how ours does over time.

Final Verdict of Our Bowflex C6 Review

Here’s the bottom line: The Bowflex C6 is a simple exercise bike. This is for people who don’t necessarily need the motivation of a virtual trainer, or the ability to watch Netflix on a screen right in front of them, to get their cardiovascular system pumping. And there’s nothing wrong with needing that type of external motivation—we’re all different in how we approach fitness. 

But if you’re someone who just wants a bike that’s built to last, and has high-quality parts, then the Bowflex C6 bike is it. 

Bowflex C6 Rating

Bowflex C6

In our Bowflex C6 review, we’ll examine this minimalist exercise bike and who we think would enjoy it.

Product Brand: Bowflex

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 999.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.88

Bowflex C6

Footprint & Portability – 4
Delivery & Setup – 4
Durability – 4.5
Customizations – 4
Adjustability & Ergonomics – 3.5
Tech Capabilities – 2.5
Conveniences – 3.5
Customer Reviews – 4.7
Value – 4
Warranty, Financing, Returns – 4
Customer Service – 4
Buy Now

Bowflex C6 FAQs

Is Bowflex C6 the same as Peloton?

The Bowflex C6 is similar to the Peloton, but Bowflex doesn’t have a built-in screen or dynamic programming. Both have 100 levels of micro adjustable resistance, utilize silent magnetic resistance, and have Bluetooth connectivity. 

The Bowflex C6 can connect to the Peloton app and other cycling programs, whereas the Peloton only allows you to use the Peloton app.

Is Bowflex C6 the same as Schwinn IC4?

The Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are probably the same bike. They have the same specs, features, and are owned by the same parent company, Nautilus. 

Can you use Bowflex C6 without subscription?

Yes, the Bowflex C6 can be used without a monthly subscription but you can also sign up for a cycling app and connect it to the bike if you wish.

Is the Bowflex C6 a smart bike?

The Bowflex C6 is not a smart bike because it doesn’t come with any built-in screen or dynamic programming, but you can connect it to different cycling apps. 

What subscriptions can be used with the Bowflex C6?

The C6 is compatible with a number of fitness apps, including:

– JRNY (2-month free trial included)
– Zwift
– Peloton
– Sufferfest
– Rouvy
– FulGaz
– TacX
– Trainer Road
– MyFitnessPal
– Apple Health
– Google Fit

Further reading

Glute Ham Raises: Add the GHR Exercise to Your Routine For Bigger Gains Cover Image
Glute Ham Raises: Add the GHR Exercise to Your Routine For Bigger Gains

Adding the GHR exercise to your routine will bulletproof your hamstrings and add muscle to your glutes. Read more

Does Cycling Build Muscle? Cover Image
Does Cycling Build Muscle?

Studio cycling bikes are kind of like the Fast & Furious movies—there’s way too many and they’re all basically the same thing with small tweaks, but we’re still going to see the next one because they’re always fun. Every so often, though, one comes along and you find yourself thinking, “Huh, that wasn’t too bad. I’d watch it again.” Our Bowflex C6 review will show you why this bike is exactly like one of those movies.  » Read more about: Bowflex C6 Review 2024: A Simple, But Very Capable, Exercise Bike  » Read more

CAP Barbell 150 Pound Dumbbell Set Review (2024): An Affordable Beginner Set Cover Image
CAP Barbell 150 Pound Dumbbell Set Review (2024): An Affordable Beginner Set

These dumbbells are budget-friendly and come with a rack. Find out what we think in our CAP Barbell 150 pound dumbbell set review. Read more

What’s In Buttery Bro Heber Cannon’s Gym Bag? Cover Image
What’s In Buttery Bro Heber Cannon’s Gym Bag?

Studio cycling bikes are kind of like the Fast & Furious movies—there’s way too many and they’re all basically the same thing with small tweaks, but we’re still going to see the next one because they’re always fun. Every so often, though, one comes along and you find yourself thinking, “Huh, that wasn’t too bad. I’d watch it again.” Our Bowflex C6 review will show you why this bike is exactly like one of those movies.  » Read more about: Bowflex C6 Review 2024: A Simple, But Very Capable, Exercise Bike  » Read more