Stationary bikes have been a very popular form of indoor exercise for a long time.
Jumping on a stationary bike is very convenient and you can do it whatever the weather, which makes it ideal for people who like to exercise at home.
They can take up quite a bit of space in your home, but the cost benefits of having a stationary bike over an ongoing gym membership encourage many people to convert their garage into a home gym or to make a bit of space in their living room for their exercise equipment.
The technology and design for indoor bikes have come a long way and new developments are still being made.
The Bowflex Velocore is a perfect example of this as they have taken the next step in stationary biking.
To help you decide whether this product is right for you, we have reviewed the Bowflex Velocore and weighed up the pros and cons. Keep reading to find out more.
The Bowflex Velocore is a smart bike that is designed for exercising at home. It features an interactive console that connects to the internet so you can access the Bowflex online subscription to their adaptive fitness membership.
This means that you can have real-time coaching or stream on-demand fitness classes.
You can also try out various workouts that increase resistance over time to challenge you and get your heart rate up.
If you want to feel like you are cycling outside then you can choose from one of the 50 virtual destinations that offer different challenges and levels of resistance to mimic an outdoors bike ride.
If you want to be entertained as you exercise then you can also access radio and music through your console to motivate you as you pedal.
In addition to the workouts and entertainment provided by Bowlfex, you can stream services like Netflix and Hulu so you can watch your favorite movies and television shows while you workout.
The bike is also compatible with memberships to Peloton and Zwift. The console comes in 16 inches or 22 inches so you can decide how big you want the screen to be.
The speakers are integrated into the bike at the end of one of the arms, which also has a holder for your mobile phone.
The downside to this fancy feature is that it is not very accessible for the hearing impaired.
Whilst there are some visual displays, a lot of the online classes lack subtitles or only give very basic, reduced information that can be easily understood without listening to the accompanying audio.
Not only is this difficult for people who are hearing impaired, it could also cause issues if you want to listen to music on your headphones whilst using the bike or you want to keep the bike volume low.
There are two different riding positions that you can use on the Bowflex Velocore.
You can ride in a classic stationary position, or choose the leaning position which allows you to shift your weight to the left and the right which makes the riding experience much more realistic.
This is a big step forward for indoor biking as it enables you to use the same muscles you would use to control an outdoor bike, and makes your workout more interesting and varied.
It might not sound very safe – leaning side to side on a stationary bike – but the unit is designed not to fall over.
As you lean to one side, the resistance builds up that is pushing you back to center so the bike is well balanced and won’t topple over.
The bike keeps track of your leaning and will tell you if you have worked one side more than the other.
If you don’t want the ability to lean from side to side then you can leave the locking pin in place and the bike will remain as a standard stationary bike.
This means that different members of the family can choose to use the bike however best suits them.
However, be careful not to knock the locking pin with your knee if you lean over the handlebars to interact with the screen.
This stationary bike comes with the features that you would expect from this kind of equipment- a built in water bottle holder, a bluetooth armband to track your heart rate, and the ability to track various metrics like time, distance, calories burned, cadence and resistance.
You can also track how many calories you are burning per minute to check the intensity of your pace, and if you have an active Bowflex fitness membership then you can also track your intervals.
The handlebars are adjustable so you can move them up and down and front and back until you find a comfortable position. The seat can also be adjusted vertically and horizontally.
The pedals have toe gauges to stop your feet from slipping off them as you cycle and they are compatible with clip in cycling shoes.
The spin wheel of the bike is magnetically controlled and you can adjust the resistance using a knob that is very easy to reach.
There are 100 resistance levels which gives you lots of options when it comes to training your muscles and making your cardio more intensive.
The downside to this is that it is not very responsive – this can lead you to tweaking the resistance multiple times and then it suddenly changing drastically as opposed to the fine-tuning you were aiming for.
The bike also comes with two 3 pound dumbbells which you can use while you pedal to train your upper body.
This is quite a hefty piece of equipment – weighing in at 175 pounds. This means you will probably need help getting it into position in your home and once it is in you won’t be able to move it easily- so make sure you are happy with where the bike is placed!
It doesn’t come pre-assembled so there is some work you will need to do to get the bike set up, but it is quite straightforward and doesn’t take too long.
This is a premium piece of equipment that comes with a substantial price tag. You pay for the brand and the piece of mind that comes with owning a quality stationary bike that you know will last and will be reliable, but you also pay more for the ability to lean from side to side.
If you don’t think you will use this feature then there are other stationary bikes that would be better value for money.
However, if this more realistic style of cycling is appealing to you and you want a more dynamic workout then this product could be ideal for you.
You also need to consider the cost of the monthly subscription to make sure that you can make the most of all of the features and the online fitness classes that make the experience so immersive.
- Innovate design allows you to lean from side to side like on an outdoor bike
- Great console with access to online classes and entertainment with the ability to use streaming services like Netflix
- Tracks useful metrics to help you monitor your workouts
- Adjustable handlebars and seat for comfortable riding position
- Dumbbells included so you can train upper body
- Quite expensive compared to other products
- Very heavy so difficult to move once in position
- Not accessible for the hearing impaired
- Resistance is not very responsive
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should You Wear To Workout On Your Stationary Bike?
The most important thing when you are exercising is that you are comfortable.
However, when you are cycling it is also important not to wear loose fitting clothes on your lower body as they could get caught in the wheels which is very dangerous.
It can also be useful to wear clothes with moisture control or sweat wicking technology as this will help to keep your skin dry even as you sweat.
How Do You Clean Your Stationary Bike?
After each workout you should wipe down the bike with a towel to make sure there is no sweat leftover that could cause rust or damage.
You should also clean the areas that get the most use like the seat and the handlebars – use a damp cloth or an antibacterial cleaning wipe.
Overall this is an excellent stationary bike that will give your body a great workout.
There are lots of options for making your exercise more interesting, with online classes and virtual locations and even real time coaching.
The most unique feature is the ability to lean from side to side as you ride which is a revolution in stationary biking.
If you have a big budget to spend on fitness equipment then this could be the perfect product for you.
However, if you aren’t going to get a lot out of the learning feature then there are other bikes that will be better value for money.
By the time you add up the cost of the unit and the monthly subscription this is quite an expensive option.
Whilst there are a few downsides to the bike- the resistance is not always very responsive and there are limited options for subtitles on the console- there are no major flaws that stand out.