Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Review

Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill is definitely worth considering when one is looking for a sturdy treadmill. Its durability and features can certainly be compared to a commercial-grade machine though it’s not advertised as one.

Although Bowflex has come up with the upgraded BXT216 with slightly improved features, the BXT116 too has a solid motor and maximum user weight capacity for a lower price, and is able to offer almost everything a health-savvy user needs.

Published: August 17, 2020.

bowflex bxt216 treadmill 1

Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Specifications

- Dimensions when assembled: 84.6 x 36.3 x 55.2 inches (215 x 92 x 140 cm) (L x W x H)

- Weight when assembled: 280 lbs. (127 kg)

- Motor: 3.75 CHP

- Maximum user weight capacity: 375 lbs. (170 kg)

- Dimensions of running belt: 60 x 20 inches (152.4 x 50.8 cm) (L x W)

- Incline: Automatic, 0% to 15%

- Speed: 0.5 MPH to 12 MPH

- Warranty: 15 years on motor and frame, 5 years on electronics and parts, 2 years on labor

Features of Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill

Assembly

Assembly of the Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill is pretty easy, because most of its parts like motors, belt, rollers, and cushioning system come already assembled. Users only have to attach the two console masts, console, handlebars, and the plastic covers. It should not take more than an hour, especially with an assistant. The manual provides detailed assembly instructions and schematics, and all the tools required are included.

Motor

The Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill is powered by a 3.75 CHP heavy-duty motor. The continuous-duty motor is designed to withstand prolonged exercises at maximum speed without losing performance or overheating, even if the user is close to the maximum user weight capacity. There is a small flywheel in the motor that reduces vibration making the running experience much smoother.

Folding Design with Soft Drop System

bowflex bxt216 treadmill foldedHowever, the machine has a folding design and when folded, the length of the machine is reduced by more than half, and thus offers great storage possibilities.

The Soft Drop mechanism with a gas shock folding system has been integrated in the machine. It helps users smoothly unfold the deck for safety.

Frame

The frame of the Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill is very strong and is made of steel. However, there are several parts in the frame made of ABS and plastic, but they are only for protection or cosmetic purpose and don’t affect the overall durability of the frame.

The steel parts of the frame have a double coating of scratch-resistant and corrosion-resistant paint. The paint is black and the Bowflex logo is painted in red and white.

Stability

The weight of the machine when fully assembled is 280 lbs. (127 kg) and thus it’s extremely stable and supportive. Plus the front side of the base has adjustable rubberized stabilizers which add to the stability.

Footprint

The Bowflex BXT116 is significantly large. When fully assembled, its length is 84.6″ (215 cm) and width is 36.3″ (92 cm). Plus, it’s recommended to leave a clearance of at least 2 feet on each side and at least 3 feet on the back of the machine for easy and safe access and operation. Thus, it’s actually not a perfect machine for small spaces.

Portability

Although the Bowflex BXT116 is heavy, it’s not at all difficult to relocate it after folding because of its two transport wheels featured on the mid-part of its base.

Console

bowflex bxt216 treadmill consoleThe Bowflex BXT116 has an advanced console with a large 7.5” backlit LCD display and multiple panels. It displays workout stats like distance, time, speed, incline, speed, average calories burned per minute, total calories burned, heart rate, and heart rate zone.

A special feature of this console is that it has a multi-color Burn Rate Display which displays the rate of calories burning per minute at the user’s current workout levels.

It also has a Sprint Display section for the remaining sprint segment during an interval program.

Plus, it displays the segment grid of the workout program the user is using at present.

Distance traveled and speed can be measured in both metric and imperial units.

Another best feature of the console is the Bluetooth connectivity which provides the possibility to sync it with the Bowflex JRNY, a personalized coaching technology (subscription required – converts to a paid subscription with the end of the free trial), on users’ laptop, smartphone or tablet.

This app tracks users’ goals, offers them awards for reaching those goals and enables them to maintain a journal for their progress.

The Bluetooth connectivity allows users also to use the Explore the World app that lets users run through virtual courses, stunning trails and exotic locales from around the world and automatically stream their workout data to other fitness apps or websites like Under Armour, MyFitnessPal or Connected Fitness.

Moreover, the console also features a USB port which not only allows users to save and manually transfer their workout data online, but also doubles as a recharging/docking port for a user’s smartphone or tablet.

The console offers 4 user profiles which are great to let multiple users use the machine without having to change the previous settings every time to their own settings. They can create their profile by entering their personal data like age, gender, weight, sound volume, and display units. This lets the console measure the number of calories burned by each user with greater accuracy.

Preset Workout Programs

The Bowflex BXT116 console comes with 7 preset workout programs, 1 custom program, and 1 manual program. The 7 Preset programs consist of Fat Burn, Calorie Goal, Calorie Burn, Strength, 8 Min. Interval, 16 Min. Interval and Heart Rate. The Custom program offers users the possibility to design their own program, save it, and re-use it anytime they want. The Manual program lets users run, jog, or walk freely, adjusting speed and incline at their own wish.

Heart Rate Monitoring

bowflex bxt216 treadmill heart rate

The console measures a user’s heart rate via the pulse sensors integrated in the handgrips. However, the console is also telemetric and can read the pulse via a heart rate chest strap transmitter that runs in the range of 4.5Hz – 5.5Hz. The chest strap is included in the package.

Running Deck

The design of the running deck of the machine is quite impressive. Firstly it can support users up to 375 lbs. (170 kg). Next, it features the Comfort Tech cushioning system that comprises of 6 trapezoidal deck cushions. 4 cushions are placed at the front and significantly absorb the impact of the stride of each foot. The other 2 cushions placed on the backside promote a better loading.

This unique cushioning system protects users’ joints and muscles by absorbing shocks. Since running or walking becomes less painful and more comfortable than walking outdoors on asphalt or concrete surfaces, users tend to exercise for longer and enjoy it.

The belt is 3-ply type (2.5 mm), highly stretch-resistant, durable and designed to offer superior adherence. It provides running surface measuring 60L x 20W inches (152.4L x 50.8W cm) and can comfortably accommodate users up to 6’6″ (198 cm), offering a natural, healthy motion without any restraints.

The deck consists of 2.75” extra-large, crowned rollers with industrial-grade ball bearings for smooth motion and enhanced lifespan.

Incline

The Bowflex BXT116 comes with an automatic incline system consisting of a small lift run by the incline motor, located at the front of the deck. The incline can be controlled only via the console of the unit and the unit should be connected with an electric outlet.

The range of the incline is from 0% to 15%. Adjustments can be done in the increments of 1%. There are quick incline controls for 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 percent on the console; however, there are keys too for gradual incline adjustments. Also, when users select one of the preset workout programs, the machine automatically adjusts the incline and speed as required by that particular workout program.

Step-up Height

At 0% incline, the deck is located at around 12″ (30.5 cm) above the floor level, whereas at 15% i.e. the highest point of the deck, the deck is raised to a height of 16″ (40.6 cm). Hence it’s advisable to place and use the machine in a room where the ceiling is at least 16″ (40.6 cm) higher than users’ own height.

Speed

The Bowflex BXT116 offers a speed range of 0.5 MPH to 12 MPH. Just like incline, speed too can be adjusted only from the console. Also, like incline, speed also has quick and gradual adjustment keys. Users can adjust the speed in the increments of 0.1 MPH. This offers users the possibility to find the perfectly suitable speed for them for every workout.

Noise Level

The motor itself of the machine makes very little noise when a user is using the machine. However, the user’s cadence while running can produce some noise.

Electrical Requirements

The Bowflex BXT116 comes with a standard U.S. 3-prong plug, but not an adapter. It needs a 120V 15A power circuit. It’s advisable to connect the machine to a power circuit solely, i.e. with no other devices connected to the same circuit, to eliminate surges.

Also, users can use a surge suppressor to protect the motors or console from any damage, if at all a surge takes place.

Add-ons

Among add-ons, the Bowflex BXT116 comes firstly with a sound system that consists of two speakers placed at the top of the console. The sound system is compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players. This enables users to play music of their choice during their workout to avoid boredom. The sound of the speakers is remarkably superior to that of smartphones or tablets.

The next accessory is a cooling fan placed at the bottom of the dashboard. It has 4 settings (off, low, medium, and high).
Then there is an accessory tray placed between the speakers. It comes with an anti-slip surface. It’s conveniently placed above the display so that tabled placed on it doesn’t block the view.

Next is an accessory tray that is placed on the crossbar that connects the two console masts. Users can place a towel on this or store a water bottle or other accessories.

Finally, there are 4 accessory pockets molded into the dashboard.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance of the Bowflex BXT116, users have to lubricate the deck after every 25 hours of usage for which they should use 100% pure silicone lubricant. Then they should vacuum and clean the belt and surface beneath it regularly to prevent any textile fibers, dust, or other similar objects from getting dragged into the motor or air vents and block them.

Also, they should regularly check the machine for loose or damaged parts.

Pros of Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill

- Heavy-duty machine with strong construction

- 3.75 CHP heavy-duty motor

- Strong deck with 375 lbs. of maximum user weight capacity

- Excellent stability plus rubberized adjustable stabilizers

- Transport wheels for relocation

- Folding design with Soft-Drop mechanism with a gas shock folding system

- Comfort Tech cushioning on the running deck that significantly reduces the impact on joints and muscles while users land their foot and boosts kick-off at the back for an energy boost

- 3-ply light commercial belt for an increased lifespan

- Good speed range of 0.5 to 12 MPH creating the possibility to do a wide range of exercises

- Speed adjustments can be done in the increment of 0.1 MPH allowing users to find their perfectly suitable speed

- Automatic incline in the range of 0% to 15%

- 9 “Push and Go” workout programs

- 4 user profiles

- Bluetooth-enabled console that allows users to connect to the Bowflex JRNY personalized coaching technology or transfer their workout data to various online apps including MyFitnessPal

- USB port for charging users’ devices or transferring workout data

- Various amenities for users’ enjoyment and comfort like sound system, 3-speed workout fan, tablet holder and bottle/accessory holders

- Heart rate monitoring through integrated pulse rate sensors as well as telemetry with heart rate chest strap which is included

- Smooth and quite silent operation

- Easy assembly

- Easy maintenance

- Good warranty

Cons of Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill

- Cooling fan is not very powerful but is able to cool users while walking

- Heavy machine that needs at least two people for transportation and assembly

- No decline available

Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill vs Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill

Bowflex BXT116 and BXT216 are two very similar high-end models, with their most important features and differences listed in the following comparison chart:

Model Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill
Photo table bxt116 h300px  table bxt216 h300px 
Built-In Workout Programs 9 11
Bluetooth Connectivity Yes Yes
JRNY App Yes Yes
 Display 7.5" Full Color, Backlit LCD 9" Full Color, Backlit LCD 
Incline 15% 15%
Motor 3.75 CHP 4.0 CHP
Heart Rate Monitoring Contact and Telemetry Enabled
(Chest Strap Included)
Contact and Telemetry Enabled
(Chest Strap Included)
Running Deck 20 x 60 inches 22 x 60 inches
Rollers 2.75 inches 2.75 inches
Maximum User Weight 375 lbs 400 lbs
Amazon Link Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill

Note: Amazon links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

As one can see, Bowflex BXT216 features somewhat more built-in workout programs (11 vs 9), larger backlit full-color LCD display (9" vs 7.5"), stronger motor (4.0 vs 3.75 CHP), larger running deck (22x60 vs 20x60 inches) and it supports heavier users (400 vs 375 lbs).

Also, Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill costs slightly more than Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill - nonetheless, both are excellent, Bluetooth enabled units, that can and should be used with various workout apps for achieving the best results.


Bottom Line

bowflex bxt216 treadmill mAlthough the Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill is not promoted as a commercial-grade machine, its construction and sturdiness can certainly be compared to one. It has a powerful 3.75 CHP motor and an impressive maximum user weight capacity of 375 lbs. Plus, it has an automatic incline system with 0% to 15% incline levels and an excellent Comfort Tech cushioning system to reduce exercise-related pain and allow extended workout sessions.

Moreover, the console offers 9 workout programs with a great variety and 4 user profiles, along with Bluetooth connectivity to allow users to stream their workout data on fitness apps or websites for better tracking of progress. What’s more, the machine comes with several add-ons to keep users comfortable and entertained.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).