Image by prostooleh on Freepik
By Simon Gould
The Bowflex BXT116 is an impressive treadmill for the price. The motor and running surface are big enough to make it ideal for runners. I always advise at least 3.0 CHP for the motor for runners and you have 3.75 CHP here. The motor also means the BXT116 can stay and reach an industry standard top speed of 12 mph.
As with many modern treadmills, you’re able to sync with apps through the Bluetooth connection. These make your workouts far more enjoyable than just running on a treadmill. You will need a tablet which isn’t included. There is a media holder is built into the console specifically for the tablet. In this review I’ll describe this BXT116 treadmill in detail.
The treadmill still has it’s own console so you don’t necessarily need to use the apps. There is a 7″ full color display in front of you that gives you your complete workout stats. These are shown in little graphs and the 9 workout programs are shown here too, so as you progress you can see any incline you have to navigate. You can also see your heart rate using the included heart rate chest strap. You don’t often get them included but you do here.
There is a special folding system Bowflex has called Soft Drop. This is important as this treadmill weighs 280 lbs so you need help to fold and unfold. I always like a big and sturdy machine and that’s what we have here. You’ll need multiple people to move it and although the assembly is clear in the manual, I would always pay a professional to assemble it for me.
+ 15% Incline – This competes with high end treadmills. I usually see 12% as the maximum. When it’s 15% you can get some great workouts in. This is especially the case if you plan to do a lot of walking. Using the incline will give you aerobic exercise which is recommended by the World Health Organization.
A good incline also means you can replicate running routes or races. With the BXT116 treadmill you can press a button while you’re exercising that can take you directly to the incline you want. Some of the workout programs use it to give you routines that will provide good results. The settings can even be changed on the handlebars as well as the console.
+ 3 Cell Comfort Tech Cushioning – A treadmill is already easier on the joints than running outside. But buy a good treadmill and the cushioning will make a really big difference when you exercise. You will really notice it and that’s before you’ve got some really good running shoes. They are a further, but necessary, purchase when you’ve got a treadmill.
I always advise buying special running shoes even though you’re only on a treadmill. They will last longer because of this and you’ll prevent over use injuries like shin splints. The 3 cell technology you can see in the picture where the deck is divided into 3 red parts. Decent cushioning comes at a price and you have it here for a lower price.
+ Bowflex JRNY App – This is the special Journey app Bowflex have created that helps you get better workouts. You get 2 months free with the BXT116 and you can continue it or not depending whether you think you’ll use it. The treadmill syncs to the app using Bluetooth technology and it opens up a whole new world of fitness.
The best thing about the app, I think, is it adjusts your workouts to keep you being challenged. This way your fitness improves because the app gives you tougher routines. This is how you should exercise anyway, all training plans including my couch to 5k have a built in progression. This is great for losing weight or to train for a future race.
Not only is there the progression but you train with a virtual coach. This gives you encouragement and tips to help you achieve the longer run you’ve been given. There’s also an app Bowflex call “Explore The World” where you have 3 built in locations around the world to run in with the option of buying more. Bowflex have thought of everything here.
+ Excellent Warranty – What I like the most is the 2 years of labor. Even modern Noridctrack treadmills have a 1 year labor warranty. They are the best selling machines in the US. A long warranty shows the company has faith that their products can stand the test of time. I also like the electronics warranty of 5 years.
The 15 years of warranty on the frame and drive motor is a bit strange. I could understand if it was lifetime. I always thought that legally, a lifetime warranty was 20 years of cover. Perhaps that isn’t the case but do Bowflex think the motor and frame will last 15 years? Most treadmills have done very well if they last 12 years. Ten years is usually the maximum.
+ Heart Rate Zone Display – This is used with the included heart rate chest strap. There are up to 4 user profiles you can have on this BXT116. One of the entries is your age, this number is used with the chest strap to see what intensity your working out is. This is displayed on the left of the console and I think it’s a great little feature.
The selections the display shows is either “warm up or cool down”, “fat burn”, “endurance” or “performance”. This is all depending on the percentage of your maximum heart rate based on your age. So it’s tailored to you, if you’re in the fat burn zone, you’re burning fat and keep going if you can. When your workout is done you enter the cool down zone.
I have never seen this on another treadmill. If you enter the endurance zone then you’re increasing your ability to keep going. You’ll be able to run for longer if you keep exercising in this zone. All this information is not usually readily available, you normally have to do the calculations yourself to find out the heart rate zone you’re in.
+ User Profiles – You can choose and program up to 4 user profiles. I wish every treadmill would have this option. They are great at accurately giving you a fitness score and telling how many calories you’re burning. The BXT116 takes details of every user and every workout is saved which can be viewed on the Bowflex online health tracker website.
The information for each user profiles include the following; Gender, age, display units, weight, sound volume and erase workouts. It’s easy to select a user profile as there is a user button on the console. To define the user you hold the button down for 3 seconds. It’s easy and takes no time to have something that’s a real feature of this treadmill.
+ Buy Back Guarantee – I have never seen a 6 week money back guarantee on a treadmill. The website says if you’re not completely satisfied, all you need to do is contact customer service for a return number (RMA). There’s an 800 number to make this easier for you. There are a few conditions to this and they are on the Bowflex website.
I’ve seen a 30 money back offer on treadmills but never 6 weeks. They are becoming popular and there is a lot of competition between manufacturers. For this reason Bowflex are able to offer such good deals. There are far more features I could have gone through in this review but I had to stop somewhere. The BXT116 manual is very useful for further details.
– No Touchscreen – You don’t really need one as everyone has their own tablet. Plus there’s a device holder that will keep your tablet stable and secure while you workout. A touchscreen would increase the cost greatly and you don’t need to use the apps anyway. The BXT116 has everything you need as a stand alone treadmill if that’s what you want.
– Small Fan – There is a 3 speed fan but it’s not very big. I have never seen a decent fan on a treadmill, ever. You’re better off buying a separate fan or turn your AC up. No treadmill fan has ever kept me cool as I workout, and this one won’t really do the job either. I could list this drawback for all treadmills but my reviews would be all the same if I did.
|Sale Price||$1,599 (May 2020)|
|Running Surface||20″ x 60″|
|Belt||Durable 3-ply 2.5 mm|
|Display||7.5″ full color back-lit LCD display|
|Dimensions||L 84.6″ x W 36.3″ x H 55.2″|
|Max User Weight||375 lbs|
|Treadmill Weight||280 lbs|
|Workout Programs||9 “Push and Go”|
|Speed||0 to 12 mph|
|Incline||0% to 15%|
|Warranty||15 Years: Frame & Drive Motor|
5 Years: Mechanical Parts & Electronics
2 Years: Labor
Not many drawbacks with this treadmill. The Bowflex BXT116 is perfectly built for runners. The large motor does it for me. I don’t often see this size. Even on two thousand plus Nordictrack treadmills only have 3.5 CHP and we have 3.75 CHP here. Then there’s the incline which is also a leading 15% for a machine at the price.
As you can see by the 5 stars and the features, I recommend this treadmill. And I haven’t touched on all the fantastic workout programs which can be accessed each with it’s own button on the console. The manual goes into these further and I recommend you investigate these. I think this review speaks for itself on what a good treadmill the Bowflex BXT116 is.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*