I received my Bowflex Treadmill on Monday, 7 March 2022 and it is now Thursday as I’m writing this and after owning it all of 4 days, I have a lot to say on this delivery and first 3 days of use.
Deciding on a Treadmill
When looking for a treadmill, I kept in mind how I wanted to use the treadmill. I am a distance runner. I run 3+ miles in a session and go between level 12 incline to 0 incline and between 2 mph and 6.5 mph averaging around 4 mph. I want to make sure my treadmill lasts me YEARS and not dies out within the warranty. So, I also kept in mind that I wanted to track who had the longest/best offering for the warranty. I also had in the back of my mind the limited space that I have in my 2 bedroom 800 sq ft apartment. I wanted something that was smaller and possibly folded.
I started by looking through the r/Nordictrack subreddit and I also looked through other subreddits, I watched a lot of videos on YouTube (P.S. I definitely recommend the Treadmill Review Guru on YT, great videos!) and I thought about what treadmills I’ve used at gyms and commercials I’ve seen online. In the end I narrowed it down to these 3:
When I was first looking at the Peloton Tread, they had a sale where it was free delivery & setup, and the treadmill was around $2k… not the $2495 MSRP. Plus they have a military discount that comes with a workout matt and a set of dumbbells. So that made the deal pretty sweet.
I went to my local Peloton store (lucky me for living near one) and I ran on one and it had a great feeling. The knobs on the side were easy to reach, it was quiet, the belt was short but so am I so it wasn’t a problem for me and the screen was nice, didn’t wobble as much as I’ve seen on reviews even on my own top speed. Overall, it was a nice bike. What worried me was the motor. It is a 2.0 horsepower motor and while that is fine for long walks or light jogs, but not great for distance running. Also the lower the horsepower, the easier it is for the motor to die out over time. I don’t want to worry about being easy on my treadmill. I just want to use it and take care of it and go on my way. Also, the Peloton does not fold up so while the track is smaller and would fit, it isn’t as convenient.
So, I kept Peloton in mind while looking online at the NordicTrack offerings. I ended up narrowing what I wanted to use down to these:
- Commercial 1750
- Commercial X22i (2022)
- Commercial X32i
- EXP 14i
I wanted these because they “looked modern” and by that I mean they had bigger, brighter touch screens like the Peloton, they had higher motors (compared to the Peloton) and the incline was great and they folded up.
None of the NordicTrack Treadmills really caught my eye while researching. Then, randomly, my husband came up to me and was just like “What about the Bowflex?” I never even thought about Bowflex offering a treadmill because I’ve only ever seen other exercise equipment offered on commercials. We took a look at the Treadmill and it offered everything I wanted or needed. The only drawback was the fact that while you can have access to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, etc. on the screen, you have to be part of the JRNY membership ($149 per year according to their promo page) in order to access those things. You can use the manual mode without it but those premium subscriptions that you have to pay for separately you cannot access on the screen. It does come with 1 year of JRNY and you can cancel the auto-renew so it doesn’t charge you and just stops working after 1 year but you have to do that after your purchase.
I decided to go with the Bowflex because it exceeded my wants and needs.
Placing the Order
Placing the order with Nautilus’ customer service was great. I could have placed the order online but they do offer a military discount of 10%. The Memorial Day sale of $300 off was better than the military discount though so we went with the sale and the representative provided us with an additional $50 off, so it ended up being $1699 after taxes and the free shipping promotion that they offered. So, that isn’t a bad deal. I got an email confirmation for my order and a separate one for my JRNY membership before I canceled and the representative was great.
Receiving the Order
This is where all the problems started. The shipping took about 2 weeks to get from CA to Tampa, FL, which is fine. The company, ArcBest Delivery, was horrible. On my tracking it shows ABF Freight. Whatever name they go by, doesn’t matter.
They called me to say they were on their way 15 min before they arrived, originally when they scheduled the delivery they blocked out ALL of Monday and said “it can happen anytime between 9am and 6pm” which, if I didn’t work from home” would have been a problem. I would have had to take a day off work (spoiler, I had to anyway). What if I was out of the house when they called and it took 30 min for me to get there? They wouldn’t deliver it? That’s why I was fine with the whole 9am to 6pm because not only do I work from home but they also said that they would call an hour beforehand to let me know they were on their way… not 15 minutes…
Not only that but when he did arrive, I did not sign anything. He did not ask me to sign, he did not ask me if he could sign for me. None of that.
It was just 1 guy in a mini-18 wheeler trucks. It looked almost like this one to the left. It had the ABF Freight name on there and it was just 1 guy on the truck. The treadmill is 400lbs, mind you. So how is he supposed to do threshold delivery?
Threshold delivery means it is delivered inside the door of wherever it is going. Whether it be inside a garage, inside an apartment, doesn’t matter. It should go inside SOMEWHERE. It clearly had this on the sticker of the box, unable to miss.
He uses a dolly to get it off the truck and uses our apartment’s disabled ramp to get it onto the sidewalk and our walkway is small, it has two small garden patches on either side and there are 4 apartments on floor 1 and 4 apartments on floor 2. It looks almost like the picture on the right. That is the closest thing I could find. You see that small area that has bricks, that is what he had to work with as far as space.
He didn’t cut the corner correctly so instead of backing up and trying again, he goes right over the garden (in the picture he would be coming from our angle, over the flowers) catches a whole bunch of dirt and just pulls it right through. There was just mulch and dirt there but there could have been flowers or who knows what else there and he just pulls it with the treadmill and the pallet that the treadmill was on. He brings it to our door and we ask him what about the threshold delivery. He says “I talked to my manager about that and he said we don’t do that because of COVID.” I bring up the fact that it says it in a clear bright yellow or orange (can’t remember now) sticker on the box and he just laughs and says “Good luck” and literally runs away as fast as he can. That’s all we heard from him.
So, I’m stuck here with my husband trying to figure out how we are going to bring a 400lb treadmill into our apartment from right outside and we are thinking, what if we were on a second floor? What if it was just me with no one else? What kind of delivery is this?!
We end up getting help from a neighbor (a frequent thing with me no matter where I live) and we were able to take the box apart and pull all of the pieces parts out and bring the heaviest part inside our apartment. Just doing that and throwing away the trash at our apartment’s dumpster took over an hour. I ended up having to take the rest of the day off for assembly… the next fun part… I hope you can hear my sarcasm.
The box comes with the belt, motor etc. on the bottom already assembled. That is the heaviest part. Then the screen and everything else come in boxes and you have to use an Allen wrench as well as a normal screwdriver to put everything together.
The instructions are easy enough to understand that my husband and I were able to get it put together. You just have to make sure you have the cables completely fastened. We had to unscrew the side rails holding the screen up on both sides and tip it over in order to send some of the cables down the right side again because the ones on the bottom connecting to the motor were not secure and 1 was plugged in the wrong way (oops!). That took an extra few hours to figure out how we were going to fix that until we came up with that solution. The heart rate monitors on the machine itself still don’t work but that is fine because it comes with a strapped one that I attach to my arm and it is just as reliable as my apple watch and I’ve compared my apple watch HR tracker to the ones at the doctor’s offices and it is right on point. Sometimes my apple watch is 1bpm off but most of the time it was exactly as accurate as the ones you use when you visit the doctor’s, which is impressive.
Anyway, we made a huge mess of my office and it took us hours to get it assembled but works and that’s all that matters.
Final First Impressions
The treadmill itself is a great treadmill. It works great, has a long track like at the gym, isn’t too loud, and the screen works well. The only changes I would make are where the bottom bar is where you place your water bottles and such, that is way too low and the cup holders on the top face me instead of facing up towards the sky and that means I can’t place much that sticks out otherwise I hit it while running. The fan works great and so does everything else but those are two things that definitely need fixing when Bowflex creates a new model.
Overall the treadmill is great, the delivery and assembly was the worst part of it all.
I’ll be going into more detail on the treadmill, its features, and other items in my full review which I plan to do in another few months. I want to get full usage out of the treadmill and get more experience with it before I post that. If there is anything you’d like me to go over, let me know in the comments!