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Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical review

The Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical is built to provide a smooth, full-body workout, and its signature Burn Rate console provides extensive user feedback.

Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical Trainer review
(Image: © Bowflex)

Our Verdict

The Bowflex BXE216's interactive console has quick-touch buttons, volume indicator lights and a large media rack. While it only has 11 workout presets, it gives you excellent feedback on your progress.

For

  • Low-impact strength and cardio training
  • 11 built-in workout programs
  • Stores up to four user profiles
  • Power incline for muscle toning

Against

  • Stride length isn't adjustable

The Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical is a superb goal-focused trainer to help you get fit at home. It's designed with a 35lb flywheel for quieter workouts, and like some of the other best elliptical machines we've tested it can accommodate users weighing up to 400lbs. It has a 22-inch stride length, which is two inches longer than average, and would therefore suit taller people.

Bowflex has a great reputation when it comes to home exercise equipment, and has made some of the best treadmills for walking and running indoors, not to mention one of the best home gyms for proper weight training at home. The BXE216 Elliptical is fitted with a Results console that displays your per minute calorie burn, so you can easily spot when you're working the hardest. Is it right for your fitness needs though? Let's take a closer look now...

Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical review: Overview

The Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical doesn’t have an adjustable stride length. However, it does come with desirable features like a stowable design and oversized, adjustable footplates. You can adjust your pedal angle at three levels of tilt and, like on all high-quality ellipticals, the pedals have impact cushioning to improve comfort. Our reviewers especially liked the BXE216’s step-up platform and said the machine felt stable.

The BXE216 has a leveling feature to help you position it properly on your floor. To find out whether you have enough ceiling height for the machine, simply add 29 inches to the height of the tallest user in your household. The BXE216 doesn’t fold when it’s not in use. For a more compact trainer, read our Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical Machine review.

The Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical’s moving handrails have integrated controls that let you adjust the machine’s incline and resistance, and its stationary supports have pulse grips to help you monitor your heart rate as you exercise. 15 incline levels and 25 levels of resistance let you customize your workout either to your current fitness level or to challenge yourself toward your next goal. 

(Image credit: Bowflex)

Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical review: Design

The Bowflex BXE216 measures 77 x 31 x 70 inches. Because this machine is heavy and may be difficult to assemble, you might want to consider budgeting an additional $249 for placement in the room of your choice and professional assembly. If you want to assemble it yourself, set aside at least four hours.

While this machine only has 11 workout presets, the BXE216 gives you more console feedback and has a 9-inch LCD display. It’s also Bluetooth compatible and syncs with Bowflex’s free Results Series App. 

The app is available on iOS and Android devices, providing you with workout tracking data, personalized motivation and “level up” rewards for your progress. We'd also recommend wearing one of the best fitness trackers to monitor your workouts.

The Bowflex Burn Rate console lets you store up to four user profiles. It tracks your fat and calorie burn, calorie goals, heart rate, intervals, weight loss, endurance, performance and more. It also houses a media rack, a workout fan and an integrated speaker system. 

Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical review: Performance

This elliptical has 15 levels of power incline to help you reach new heights in your cardio and resistance training. This can give your metabolic rate a big boost in addition to helping you hone in on your hamstrings and glutes. We also like how it can support up to four different users, storing results for each.

Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical review

(Image credit: Bowflex)

The machine comes with a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring, and while this is effective, we'd still recommend wearing one of the best fitness trackers for in-depth monitoring. The Bowflex BXE216 is Bluetooth-enabled too, so you can export your heart rate, calories burned, distance covered and other fitness metrics to a range of apps including Bowflex Results and Google Fit. For another Bluetooth-enabled trainer, read our ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 review.

While the machine is well built and clearly designed to last, we did find the control buttons to bit a bit fiddly at first. The user interface was clear and simple to use though, which made up for any other niggles.

Should you buy the Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical?

The Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical is a great machine for this particular bracket, and is ideally matched to those of you who want a high amount of fitness data to comb through post-workout. There's no integrated touchscreen as found on the top-rated NordicTrack FS7i FreeStride, but you could draft in your own tablet. 

While it's more expensive than well-featured cheaper ellipticals like the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical Trainer, it's a good price for a solid Bowflex trainer that's built to last. 

Jennifer Christensen has written for many newspapers and magazines and has broadcast experience in television and radio. She has earned journalism awards from the Utah Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists and enjoys being a writer and product reviewer for TopTenReviews. Jennifer has five amazing children and loves to hike, play the piano, kick a soccer ball and eat ice cream.