Features

6/10

Tech Specs

7/10

Build Quality

7/10

Exercise Bike Review

Updated: July 6, 2023

The Bowflex C6 is a quiet spin bike with magnetic resistance levels. It pairs well with Bowflex’s JRNY fitness platform, but it can also be used with other fitness platforms like Peloton or Zwift. The lack of screen saves you money and gives you more freedom to use any app you want. The C6 doesn’t overwhelm you with features you may or may not need. It focuses on being a well-built spin bike with substantial resistance. This review of the Bowflex C6 exercise bike discusses its tech specs, features, and performance after multiple testing sessions.

Bowflex C6 Exercise Bike Review profile 2024
The Bowflex C6 is a sturdy spin bike with a black frame and red accents.

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Who The Bowflex C6 Bike Is Best For:

  • Subscription Cyclers: You cycle indoors, and you cycle through subscriptions. You can’t commit, but with the Bowflex C6, you don’t have to. The bike rides along well with JRNY, Peloton, and more.
  • Simple Cyclers: You don’t need a subscription to be happy. The C6 doesn’t require one and works well without it. You can try JRNY for 2 months free and then cancel, if you wish.
  • Cross-trainers: The Bowflex C6 is a pretty standard spin bike, making it great for cross-training athletes. If you invest most of your time and money elsewhere, you might not need a bike with all the bells and whistles.

Pros And Cons Of The Bowflex C6 Bike

Pros PROS

  • The C6 can be used with many different training apps.
  • The 40 lb flywheel creates a smooth ride.
  • The pedals are hybrid, offering toe cages and SPD clips.
  • There are 100 levels of silent magnetic resistance.
  • The device rack holds a phone or tablet stable for content viewing during your ride.

Cons CONS

  • Despite performing well, it is hard to say what makes the C6 shine. It has pretty standard features.
  • There is sometimes a slight noise while pedaling.


Exercise Bike Review Of The Bowflex C6

Build Quality

Bowflex C6 wheels
The transport wheels are on the front stabilizer.

Frame

The Bowflex C6’s frame is steel with a matte black finish. The bike has a few red accents (Bowflex red, not Peloton red!). The front and rear stabilizers are wide enough to give the bike a supportive base. The rear stabilizer has been updated from the bike I tested. It is now curved, giving the bike a larger footprint (reflected in the listed specs).

I never felt unstable while riding. Though it is sturdy, the C6 is easy to move. It has two transport wheels in the front. Lifting the bike from the back engages these wheels. It is much lighter compared to the NordicTrack S22i and S27i Studio Bikes.

Saddle

The Bowflex C6 has a red and black saddle. I would not consider it plush by any means, but I did not notice any saddle soreness from my rides on the C6. Bowflex does sell an extra comfort bike seat that is appropriate for the C6 Bike for cyclists who prefer something a bit softer and more padded. The saddle is adjustable vertically and horizontally. The updated saddle has a larger cut-out than the one I tested for improved circulation and comfort.

Bowflex C6 saddle
The updated Bowflex C6 includes more black details than ours and a larger cutout.

Handlebars

The handlebars are adjustable up/down and front/back, allowing cyclists to get the right fit. The handlebar adjustments are much easier than on other exercise bikes, with large screens attached to the handlebars. The grip options were all comfortable. I felt indifferent toward the flattened segment on the end of the bullhorn handles (third position). They were neither an improvement nor detrimental to my experience.

Bowflex C6 console
The handlebars are textured, ensuring a secure grip even while sweaty.

Pedals

The pedals are hybrid, offering SPD clips on one side and toe cages on the other. The toe cages were easy to adjust and positioned my feet properly over the pedals. The crank arms positioned my legs at a comfortable width.

Bowflex C6 pedals
The hybrid pedals have SPF clips and toe cages.

Flywheel

The flywheel on the C6 is 40 lbs. This is a great weight, as it keeps the drive train moving smoothly. The flywheel is turned with a belt drive, not a chain drive for an even smoother ride. The flywheel is front-mounted with an exciting red accent.

Resistance

The Bowflex C6 has 100 magnetic resistance levels. It feels on par with Peloton’s resistance levels, making it easy to keep up with Peloton trainer suggestions if you subscribe to their platform. The magnetic resistance is silent for an almost noiseless ride. The resistance level can be adjusted with the standard red knob attached to the bike frame. Pushing down on the knob brakes the flywheel.

Bowflex C6 tension
The resistance knob increases and decreases the magnetic resistance. Pushing down brakes the flywheel.

Features & Accessories

The Bowflex C6 has a basic set of features. It doesn’t congest your workout with unnecessary extras or premium add-ons. The tablet rack supports whatever content you have on your smart device as easily as it allows you to view the optional JRNY content from Bowflex. Some spin bikes overly complicate the experience by trying to be different. The C6 sticks to the tried and true formula for a pleasant workout every ride.

Console Overview

The Bowflex C6 has a simple console that powers on once the bike is plugged in. It displays a few metrics like time, calories, speed, distance, resistance level, and pulse (if connected with a HR monitor). The console is Bluetooth for connecting with the JRNY app on your phone or tablet.

Bowflex C6 display
The screen is backlit for viewing the metrics in low lighting.

Bottle Holder

The C6 Bike has two water bottle holders. These fit standard-sized 16oz water bottles. They are easily accessible from their position right beneath the handlebars. I like that they are not plastic, so they feel a bit sturdier.

Device Holder

The device rack is very small but built to hold a phone or tablet. It has two tiny arms to help stabilize your device on either side. I trust the device holder to keep my smart device safe. It is excellent for viewing training content or just keeping your phone nearby. The device rack position does put your device in the danger zone of being dripped on by sweat!

Bowflex C6 phone holder
The device rack holds a phone or a larger tablet.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth setup is very easy on the Bowflex C6 Bike. Download the JRNY app, enable Bluetooth permissions, and turn on your bike. The app should automatically detect a Bluetooth Bowflex device nearby. All it took for me was one click within the app! Once connected, you gain access to a variety of training content from JRNY (with an active subscription). The suggested content is tailored to the type of device you have connected.

Heart Rate Monitor

The C6 comes with an armband heart rate monitor. The monitor will display your pulse on the console, JRNY, and a few third-party training apps.

Weights

Two 3 lb weights are mounted at the front of the C6 beneath the water bottle holders. These weights are red to match the vibrant accents on the rest of the bike. They are textured rubber for a good grip. The weights are a standard inclusion on spin bikes but add minimal upper-body training for experienced athletes. I am thankful that Bowflex includes them at no extra cost. These weights are perfect for someone just starting out or with limited upper body strength.

Bowflex C6 weights
The red 3 lbs weights are there when you need them.

Performance

The Bowflex C6 feels familiar to me. It stands up to most spin bikes in a gym setting. The features are basic but effective. The resistance knob can be a little finicky. I noticed the resistance level jumping around onscreen by about 2 levels. This did not noticeably affect my ride, but if you are being particular about your exact level, it could be frustrating. I kept up with a Peloton ride as well as I do on the actual Peloton bikes (which is to say, I struggled). The resistance feels similar enough that you can follow the trainer’s resistance recommendations.

This bike is sturdy enough for a hard workout. I ended up drenched in sweat after coming off the C6 more than once. Short rides and long rides feel comfortable on the C6. I did drip a lot of sweat on my phone when I took the third position on the handlebars. My phone was fine, but note that the device rack places your device in the danger zone!

Bowflex C6 pedalling front
The Bowflex C6 is ready for a quick workout or an endurance effort.

The bike isn’t terribly heavy to move. I think it would be fine if you need to relocate it often. The wheels engage pretty quickly once the bike is tilted forward. Taller users may notice that they engage more quickly than is comfortable. Yet, I think the C6 is simple back to push in and out of a corner in your home.

Adjustments are easy to make on the saddle and handlebars. Households with multiple users won’t struggle to change the post heights back and forth. Bikes with large screens can make the handlebar post hard to adjust, so that’s one plus for the lack of a touchscreen on the C6. The small backlit LCD screen works fine!

Bowflex C6 pedalling feet
The toe cages keep your feet positioned right over the pedals and let your hamstrings bear some of the work.

JRNY Subscription & Content Options

The Bowflex C6 Bike comes with two months free of JRNY premium content. After the free trial, you can continue your JRNY subscription for $11.99/month or $99/year. Unlike the competition, the C6 does not force you into a subscription. You can train without a premium platform without losing the bike’s features.

JRNY Ride
A screenshot of a JRNY ride for the C6 bike from the Google Play app.

The C6 bike is not restricted to JRNY. You can use Bluetooth to connect to other training apps like Peloton and Zwift. I don’t care too much about metrics besides what my Garmin watch tracks without being connected to the equipment, so I don’t mind training with any cycling app without a Bluetooth connection. This gives me tons of freedom on how I want to train. Additionally, I like that I can listen to music or an audiobook without the bike’s smart features going to waste.


Bottom Line Review of the Bowflex C6 Exercise Bike


The Bowflex C6 Bike is a no-frills studio bike. It offers a spin class-like experience at a moderate cost. The lack of a smart touchscreen keeps the price low and permits the user to train on any training app from a smart device. The C6 makes the perfect bike for cyclists who like to rotate through subscription services or anyone who doesn’t want to pay the price for high-tech bikes. The C6 has great magnetic resistance levels and a sturdy build for your toughest workouts.

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