Bowflex BXE216 Elliptical Trainer Review

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The Bowflex BXE216 has a lot in common with the Bowflex BXE116, which we’ve recently evaluated.

However, there are a few distinctions between the two units. The BXE216, for example, has a larger user weight capacity, a stronger flywheel, and more console exercise routines.

This Bowflex elliptical is neither branded nor offered as a commercial machine, even though it is heavy-duty equipment that can certainly work well within the confines of a commercial club.

The damage to the item caused by its use in a gym club is not covered by the warranty, but this is currently one of the most sturdy ellipticals for home-usage.

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The Bowflex BXE216 elliptical trainer is the same size as the BXE116 in dimensions and footprint.

It’s rather large workout equipment, taking up 77″L x 31″W (197 x 79 cm) of floor space when completely installed.

On top of that, Bowflex suggests allocating a training area of at least 125″ 79″ for this unit (315.5 x 200.7 cm).

The machine is also rather hefty, especially given its size.

Because it weighs around 263 lbs (119 kg), it is advised to be transported and constructed by two people.

However, it is rather easy to move once it is fully completed because the front base has transport wheels and the back base has a lifting handle.

The back base also has a pair of coverings used as footrests.

The machine’s structure, of course, is built of heavy-duty steel tube.

Its sturdiness is rather astounding, as it can sustain persons weighing up to 400 pounds (181.4 kg).

There are, nevertheless, a few hard plastic pieces in its structure. These are the driving system covers and a few additional covers that bear little on the unit’s overall strength.

All three of its base bars include massive, adjustable stabilizers, allowing it to be precisely leveled on any flooring.

The paint finish of this elliptical trainer is different from the BXE116.

Only the console pole and the base frame are black, while the pedals’ moving arms and bars are gray.

All metallic parts’ paint finishes are rust- and abrasion-resistant, and with appropriate maintenance, they may last a long time.

Step-up Height & Incline

This Bowflex elliptical trainer, like the Schwinn MY17 470 and the Nautilus E618, has an automatic incline mechanism with a range of 0 percent to 15%.

A tiny engine and a lever coupled to the unit’s pedal track assembly make up the inclination mechanism.

Hence, the internal motor moves the lever when you alter the inclination, adjusting the track assembly’s ramp.

The inclination system is motorized. Therefore, it can only be modified from the console of the machine.

A power supply must also be connected to the unit.

The inclination of the machine may be changed in 1% increments.

In the left movable hand-grip, there are incline controls. On the other hand, the console has rapid buttons for the inclination settings of 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15.

In addition, some of the unit’s routines incorporate inclination and will change it automatically.

The Bowflex BXE216 elliptical machine has a 22″ stride length (56 cm).

This implies it can easily fit people ranging in height from 5’2″ to 6’5″ (157 – 196 cm).

The stride can’t be changed. So, if you’re searching for a machine with an adjustable stride, the Octane Fitness Q47x could be worth considering.

When it comes to pedal step-up height, the pedals are approximately 16″ (41 cm) above the floor level at their lowest setting.

The pedal height reaches approx. 29″ at their best point and with the inclination set to maximum (73.7 cm).

Hence, it is suggested that you operate the machine in a room with a ceiling height of at least 35″ (89 cm) higher than your own.

Drive System

The Switch SelectTM pedal articulation mechanism is one of the most crucial aspects of the Bowflex BXE216.

The trainer’s pedals have a mechanism to adjust the angle.

Each pedal features an adjustable lever that allows you to customize the angle and severity of the movement based on your weight.

The lowest cushion setting is 0 (zero) (flat). For people weighing less than 150 pounds, the 1 setting is advised (68 kg). The 2 level is for those weighing 150-225 lbs. (68-102 kg), while the 3 is for those weighing more than 225 lbs (102 kg).

On twin aluminum tracks, the pedals glide.

The twin-track system enhances stability and promotes a sure-footed stride. For a quiet and smooth cycling experience, each pedal arm has two big wheels with sealed ball bearings and rubberized casings.

One pair of handlebars is moveable, while the other is fixed on this Bowflex elliptical trainer.

The mobile handlebars have a multi-grip design with inclination and resistance adjustment buttons.

Heavy-duty ball bearings are used at their connection points with the pedal bars and the console pole, resulting in a smooth, drag-free action.

Pulse sensors made of stainless steel are mounted on the fixed bars.

They have a direct connection to the console mast. The rubberized grips on both handlebars provide improved comfort and hand adhesion.

In case you were wondering, the pedals and the moving arms are attached to the same pulley system and move simultaneously.

You can’t lock your arms and merely move your pedals, or vice versa.

As previously indicated, this elliptical trainer has a slightly heavier flywheel than the BXE116 model.

Its flywheel is 35 lbs (15.8 kg), with most of the weight distributed around the circumference.

Hence, it has greater inertia and continuous momentum than many other models, allowing for higher-intensity exercises.

Although the weight of the flywheel is quite close to that of the flywheels in most spin cycles, the pedaling action causes very little joint stress.

A heavy-duty v-belt drives the machine’s transmission, which provides an extremely smooth, vibration-free operation.

The machine is also almost silent because there is no touch between the resistance parts, and the pedal wheels are rubberized.

Automatic eddy current resistance technology is included on the Bowflex BXE216 elliptical trainer.

Hence, only the console or the controls in the right mobile grip may change the resistance.

In addition, the machine must be linked to a power supply. It requires a 120V power supply and a 120V AC, 60 Hz input, 2 Amp adaptor.

The adapter connects to the machine at the front base.

A tiny servo motor and a magnetic brake pad make up the unit’s resistance mechanism.

The motor will alter the location of the brake to apply more or less drag onto the flywheel as you pick a resistance level.

Some of the unit’s onboard programs regulate the resistance directly, so when you use one, the machine will automatically alter the resistance to match the current training segment.

This Bowflex elliptical trainer has 25 resistance settings.

There are also rapid resistance adjustment keys for the console unit’s 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, and 25 levels.

The first five resistance levels are for gentle exercises, great for warm-ups or recovery, while the highest resistance settings are for strength training or high-intensity aerobic workouts.


The console that comes with the BXE216 treadmill has an extensive list of capabilities.

To begin with, it has a huge, 9-inch diagonal display that is full color and has an LED backlight for improved reading.

It tracks time, distance, pace, incline, total calories burnt, average calories burned per minute, heart rate, and heart rate zone, as well as other training parameters that a professional athlete would want to keep track of.

It also contains a multi-color Burn Rate Display that shows the number of calories expended in a minute at the current workout intensity.

An interval program contains a Sprint Display area for the remaining sprint portion.

It also displays the training program’s segment grid.

The console is telemetric.

It can not only track your pulse using the metallic sensors embedded into the stationary handlebars, but it can also read it using a 4.5kHz–5.5kHz HR chest strap transmitter.

This trainer comes with an HR chest strap attachment.

Because the BXE216 is a Bowflex Results SeriesTM trainer, the console is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible.

It works with the Bowflex Trainer app, allowing you to connect it with your mobile machine and broadcast your exercise directly to this app.

The exercise data may be exported via USB and posted to Bowflex Connect, MyFitnessPal, and UnderArmour.

The USB port may also be used to charge your smartphone or tablet while docked.

This workout equipment is also compatible with RunSocial, an internet program.

This program allows you to watch and run on a virtual route based on a GoogleMaps trail on your smart TV, tablet, or phone.

This software allows you to plan running events, run with friends, and use various other interactive and enjoyable features.

There are 11 onboard programs on the console machine.

The options available are Manual, Fat Burn, Calorie Burn, Calorie Goal, Target Heart Rate, 5k Distance, Varied Interval, 8 Minute Interval, 16 Minute Interval, Strength, and Custom.

The Manual program allows you to work out on the machine at your leisure, changing the inclination and resistance as needed.

The Custom program allows you to create your fitness plan. The remainder of the programs is pre-programmed, although you may always tweak them.

On the console, there are four user profiles.

If more than one person uses the machine, it can have its settings.

Each user profile allows the user to enter their personal information, such as weight, age, and gender, so that the unit can more correctly compute calorie consumption.

This console has a sound system, a cooling fan, and a tablet holder, among other features.

The fan and the sound system are located at the bottom of the machine. The sound system comprises two speakers that provide a good sound reproduction.

It works with the majority of cellphones, MP3 players, and tablets. The fan, which is situated between the two speakers and has three-speed settings, is located between them.

Finally, the tablet is positioned above the unit’s display, so if you set one on top of it, it will not obstruct your view of your exercise data.


The drive and resistance system, or core of the machine, is pre-assembled and mounted to the front half of the frame.

Assemble the console mast, handlebars, pedals, console, and numerous plastic covers by connecting the rail assembly to the front, mainframe portion, connecting the front base stabilizer and attaching the console mast, handlebars, pedals, console, and several plastic covers.

It might take up to two hours to complete this task. It is, however, not a difficult procedure; the provided handbook includes detailed schematics and step-by-step directions.

All of the tools required for assembly are also supplied.

It is advised that you regularly check the equipment for loose bolts and parts for maintenance.

A lube bottle for the unit’s joints is supplied. The pedal tracks should be kept clean to avoid any damage.

The Bowflex BXE216 is an elliptical machine with 25 levels of magnetic resistance, 15 degrees of automatic inclination, adjustable and cushioned pedals, and a Bluetooth-enabled console with the Bowflex Trainer app and RunSocial, as well as 9 exercise programs.

Even though it isn’t branded as a commercial trainer, it boasts a 400-pound weight capacity and a hefty, inertia-enhanced flywheel.

It’s ideal for various aerobic exercises, muscle toning, intervals, strength and stamina development, and weight loss.

Overall, it’s a piece of comprehensive workout equipment with a great price/quality ratio.

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