Our Rating: 4.6/5
Bowflex’s cheapest treadmill option, the BXT116 breaks the mold of what a ‘budget’ treadmill should offer with a 3.75 CHP motor and a slew of technological advancements usually seen on much pricier models.
If you can do without an HD touchscreen, this model, reviewed below, might just check all of your treadmill requirement boxes.
Bowflex is a commonly heard of brand due their TV ads that have placed them into the forefront of our minds. That being said, their brand recognition is preceded by their unique and quality designed home fitness products.
Bowflex prides itself on being an inclusive brand where all of your home gym needs can be met due to the variety of products they offer. Considering no home gym is complete without a treadmill, Bowflex crafted the BXT116 as the cheaper of the two models they offer. While the BXT116 is the cheapest model they have to offer, it’s without a doubt a strong and durable option.
A 3.75 CHP motor will keep up as you speed up while the 15% incline will lead to a satisfying burn for better growth potential and boosted stamina. As strong as your body will be after using the BXT116, so too is the strength brought forth by the 3-ply 2.5 mm belt. While other treadmill companies, such as ProForm, don’t specify which types of belts they use, Bowflex proudly proclaims the durably that the BXT116 is built with.
This model provides a generous 20” x 60” running surface, which sets the tone for a roomy ride that won’t lead to lost focus due to spatial awareness. In order to prevent injury, 3-Cell Comfort Tech cushioning, included in the deck, mitigates physical stress caused by treadmills lacking an internal shock system. \
An asset when it comes to preserving space, the BXT116 is a folding treadmill. While other treadmills can be a hassle to upwardly store and heavy to bring back down, this model has a soft drop system meant to make the process a simpler one.
A 375 pound weight capacity speaks to the more resilient build of the Bowflex BXT116 when compared to the Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill. Looking at the competition, the Horizon 7.4 AT has a 25 pound lower user limit and 0.25 HP less motor power, while being the same price as the Bowflex BXT116 treadmill. With this treadmill from Bowflex, you get a sturdy build and ultimately more bang for your buck.
Whether you’re spurred on by technology or it just doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Bowflex BXT116 has you covered.
Should you take the technologically advanced path, the JRNY app, which once downloaded on your smart device, pairs seamlessly with your treadmill to automatically update detailed analyses of your workouts, intently tracking personal bests, and pushing you forward to reach your fitness goals. With JRNY, you’re able to receive customized workouts guided by motivational trainers who encourage you with every step.
This ingenious technology makes fitness beyond commonly experienced plateaus simple to pursue. Included with the purchase of the Bowflex BXT116 treadmill is a two month free trial so you can really get a feel for the benefit JRNY can add. Should you enjoy it, you can opt for a monthly or yearly membership, which come at an additional cost.
Bowflex’s JRNY membership is cheaper than the NordicTrack and ProForm offered iFit technology. That being said, the Bowflex BXT116 is B.Y.O.D. (bring your own device), meaning you’ll have to have use own tablet or smartphone to experience JRNY, while competing treadmills such as the ProForm SMART Pro 5000 provides a built-in 10” HD touchscreen.
The BXT116 offers a 7.5” LCD screen. While not smart, this full-color backlit display is how the BXT116 treadmill bridges the gap between futuristic technology and traditional treadmill displays. Inclusive of nine workout programs, this treadmill ensures that you’ll still be covered should you not go the JRNY membership route.
When it comes to heart rate tracking, quality telemetry is essential to proper activity tracking and progress. Installed for accessibility within the hand grips makes staying abreast of where your internal beat is at effortless. Differentiating this model from other comparative treadmills is the included chest strap, which often comes at an additional cost or a much higher overall treadmill price, such as with the Life Fitness T5.
As your body charges forward, you can also charge your phone or tablet through the USB port. Adding to this, if you’re all about cordless connection, the Bluetooth capability has your back.
The union of traditional treadmill tech and the JRNY software makes the BXT116 treadmill the perfect match for those interested in being able to access both live action technology and vibrant active readouts of their workout data.
When it comes to pricing out a particular treadmill among the lineup of quality options, one of the best ways to compare pricing is to compare the treadmill you’re interested in to one with similar motor strength and build. While you’d be hard pressed to find a treadmill without standard features such as cushioning, a lot of time, brands will entice you with fun technology so you look the other way when it comes to design meant to last through the years.
Luckily, the BXT116, while offering solid tech, doesn’t sacrifice on the strength of its function to keep the price down. Considering its 3.75 CHP motor, wireless chest strap, soft drop folding system and good sized running path, the BXT116 treadmill is priced quite well.
Other treadmills, such as the LifeSpan TR4000i, will get you a decline feature to better simulate road running, but only has a 3.5 HP motor and costs more than the Bowflex BXT116. Meanwhile, the Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill is the same price as the Bowflex BXT116, but provides two inches of additional running width for the trade off of .25 less motor horsepower.
As you can see, finding a treadmill with a 3.75 CHP motor for the price of this Bowflex treadmill isn’t easy. If you’re still undecided, it’s best to rank the treadmill features that matter most to you and then see which treadmills most optimally fit your budget.
Pros and Cons
In order to really see what a treadmill is worth, you have to see it through an unbiased lens. So, join us in putting those neutral specs on and let’s get to work!
Unfortunately, while Bowflex is keen to share just what their treadmill belt is made of, they do not disclose the size of their treadmill rollers. Treadmill rollers are important as their size has the potential to alleviate motor strain and belt stretching should they be large enough. For example, we’d recommend the Sole S77 treadmill over the NordicTrack T 9.5 S due to its 0.85” larger rollers.
Roller size is always something worth looking into, especially with this model, as it’s uncommon to not openly share roller size within the specs area. Typically, treadmills with higher motor power like that of the BXT116 will have larger rollers to accommodate the larger motor.
The first of Bowflex’s two treadmill options, the BXT116 treadmill is incredibly strong; that being said, if you’re looking to widen your running path and up that motor strength even more, the bigger Bowflex brother BXT216 treadmill is definitely worth a look.
A great design asset on Bowflex treadmills is the shelf located above the LCD display. Here, you can store your smart device for viewing while not obstructing your workout readouts below. While this doesn’t seem super exciting, this thoughtful placement is hard to find as tablet holders often are placed directly in front of the treadmill’s actual displays, just as Life Fitness irritatingly does with the Go Console on their T5 treadmill.
The wireless chest strap to monitor heart rate keeps you from losing your momentum in order to grab the hand grips. This is especially important for those looking to optimize their running form, as their arms are able to freely move while still getting the benefit of their heart rate being monitored.
Unfortunately, while contributing more warranty protection than NordicTrack or ProForm does, Bowflex lacks the lifetime coverage on the treadmill frame and motor that we like to see. That being said, Bowflex has technology coverage that we really haven’t seen from any other brand.
Furthermore, the automatic fan is a rarity due to its three settings to choose from as other treadmills usually offer one setting, and sometimes two at the most.
Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Specs
|Weight Capacity||375 pounds|
|Running Surface||20″ x 60″|
|Dimensions||84.6″ x 36.3″ x 55.2″|
|Workout Display||Yes; 7.5″ full color LCD|
Warranty and Guarantee
When it comes to motor protection, warranties matter. Bowflex includes a 15-year motor warranty with the BXT116 as well as 15-years of frame coverage. Although neither of these coverages have the coveted ‘lifetime’ terminology, 15 years is still a solid amount of time.
Adding to this, 5-years of parts coverage is included with purchase, which is a considerable amount when seeing how other companies will include around 2-years in this area and call it a day.
Bowflex also takes the cake in the technology warranty category, as the BXT116 includes a 5-year electronics warranty. Not stopping there, the Bowflex BXT116 treadmill provides 2-years of labor coverage, which helps to bring peace of mind when it comes to any unforeseen repairs in the near future.
Summing Up This Review
The Bowflex BXT116 treadmill is for fitness folks not looking to mess around when it comes to investing in a solid treadmill that can handle anything thrown at it. Packed with comfort features, the BXT116 treadmill is user-friendly, has great storage and opts for wireless connection to reduce wired calamity. Overall, the BXT116 is a well-built treadmill at a competitive price.