When it comes to fitness equipment brands, few are as iconic as Bowflex. Beginning with their revolutionary power rod strength training system in the 1980s, Bowflex has expanded its home fitness range to include ellipticals and treadmills. The range of treadmills sits at the higher end of the home gym market. Today we focus in on the Bowflex BXT116.
The concept of polymer rod resistance was devised by an Ethiopian engineering student who was inspired by bamboo bows. This gave rise to the first Bowflex gym, the Bowflex 2000X in 1986. The product was an infomercial sensation, establishing Bowflex as a major player in the fitness industry.
New versions of the Bowflex gym were introduced every few years. Then, in the late ’90s, Bowflex introduced a new innovation. This was the selectable weight dumbbell. Cardio equipment, including treadmills, was introduced in the 2000s.
Bowflex is now a part of Nautilus, Inc.
The Bowflex BXT116
- Motor: 3.75 CHP
- Incline: 0-15 degrees
- Running Belt: 20 inches x 60 inches
- Folding: Yes
- Max Speed: 12 mph
- Max Weight: 375 lbs.
- Dimensions: 84.6” L x 36.3” W x 55.2” H
The Bowflex BXT116 is powered by a 3.75 CHP motor. This provides plenty of power for almost any running application. The standard for treadmills in this price range is between 3.0 and 3.5 CHP, so the BXT116 impresses at 3.75 CHP. The only users who may need more power will be marathon runners. Bowflex offers a step-up version, the BXT216 which has a 4.0 CHP motor to cater to marathon runners.
This is a serious treadmill for serious runners. It is very solidly made from premium quality steel. The maximum user weight of 375 pounds attests to the durability of construction.
Heart Rate Monitoring
The Bowflex BXT116 provides you with top quality monitoring of your heart rate with the inclusion of wireless chest strap functionality. It also comes with a chest strap. The system is connected to a heart rate program on the monitor, allowing you to train within your ideal workout zone.
The Bowflex BXT116 comes with 9 inbuilt workout programs. These professionally designed programs cover interval training, fat burn, heart rate zone, distance and calorie burn.
The monitor on this treadmill provides you with a full color 7.5 screen to display your program details. The monitor provides you with a running record of your key training diagnostics, including time, speed, distance, heart rate, incline, and total calories burned. On top of these usual data points, it also provides you with a per-minute calorie burn calculation. This is a cool feature that is designed to motivate you to keep going as you see how many calories you are churning through.
The monitor is also enabled with Bluetooth technology. This allows you to log your training data to the Bowflex Results mobile app as well as external apps such as MyFitnessPal.
You also get a shelf to hold your tablet or another mobile device along with a USB charging port.
The running belt of the Bowflex BXT116 provides you with a decent running area. It is a couple of inches wider and longer than quite a few of its direct competitors. At 20inches by 60 inches, it will allow all but the tallest of runners to get a full, natural running motion.
The running belt is thicker than most, so you can have confidence that it will not rip or stretch. The thicker belt also gives you a quieter operation.
The rollers on which the running belt run are generously sized at 2.75 inches. This again is larger than you will get in most competitors in this price range. The large rollers put less of a demand on the motor, while also minimizing the stress on the running belt.
The foldable frame on the BXT116 allows you to store the treadmill compactly in an upright position when it is not in use.
Bowflex provides a pretty impressive warranty on the BXT116:
- Frame: 15 years
- Parts: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years
DailyBurn & Swift Workouts
Your purchase of the BXT116 comes with an 8-week DailyBurn workout free trial. In addition, you will be able to access free workouts from Zwift.
What’s Not So Good
While it does beat many competitors in turns of its basic functionality, the BXT116 lacks some of the bells and whistles that similarly priced treadmills provide. It doesn’t have as many programs as some, but the nine that it does offer will give you all the functionality you need. Even though you do get Bluetooth, it will only allow you to upload your workout data.
Because the BXT116 is a new entry to the market, there is no history of its actual durability. However, all signs are very positive!
What Customers are Saying
The Bowflex BXT116 treadmill has a high customer rating. The majority of reviewers commented on the strength and durability of the treadmill, along with the smooth operation of the motor. Negative comments included that the incline doe not include a zero angle and that Bluetooth only syncs your workout stats.
The Bowflex BXT116 is a very impressive mid-range treadmill that is designed for serious runners. It is built to last and able to handle larger runners. For the price range, the build, durability and motor power of the BXT116 in unmatched. Also, Bowflex provides a generous warranty on this product. It all adds up to a very impressive treadmill that we highly recommend.