Pros / Its console provides detailed workout feedback, and you can store up to four user profiles.
Cons / It is heavy and may be hard to assemble, and its stride length isn’t adjustable.
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.
The BXE216 is Bowflex’s top-of-the-line elliptical machine. It’s built to provide a smooth, full-body workout, and its signature Burn Rate console provides extensive user feedback.
This elliptical has a 35-pound flywheel, which is the heaviest in our lineup. The machine weighs a hefty 263 pounds and can accommodate users weighing up to 400 pounds. It has a 22-inch stride length, which is two inches longer than average. Unlike the Icon Health & Fitness ellipticals we reviewed – manufactured under the NordicTrack and ProForm brands – the Bowflex 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. Only the Horizon Evolve 5 provides this convenient storage feature.
The BXE216’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. Fifteen 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. While this machine only has 11 workout presets, compared with 39 on the Evolve 5, 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.
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. One of our testers thought its buttons were too complicated, but other members of our panel were impressed with its user interface. This provides a good illustration of why industry experts recommend personally testing exercise equipment before you buy it, so you can get a feel for your preferences.
The BXE216 is 77 x 31 x 70 inches (length, width, height). Like Horizon Fitness, Bowflex offers free delivery inside your front door. 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.
Bowflex guarantees this elliptical machine with a 15/15/5/5/2-year warranty (frame, drive motor, mechanical parts, electronics and labor). Customer service is available by phone, email and live chat, and you can also request support on Facebook.