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Is The Bowflex Treadmill 22 A Smart Buy? [A Review]

bowflex treadmill 22 review

If you’re looking for a hi-tech treadmill with streaming options out the wazoo, Bowflex’s Treadmill 22 is definitely worth considering.

The star of the show here is the 22″ adjustable HD touchscreen that allows you to access unlimited instructor-led workouts, watch entertainment apps, and explore the world through scenic routes.

But the Bowflex Treadmill 22 has a lot to offer when it comes to the performance specs too, including a 22″ x 60″ running surface, a 4.0 HP motor, and the ability to reach an astounding 20% incline.

It’s also very heavy-duty and backed by a solid warranty.

In other words, Bowflex’s Treadmill 22 is the real deal.

But is it the right treadmill for your home gym?

Well, that’s what this review is here to help ya figure out.

In this article, I’ll go over everything this treadmill does and doesn’t have going for it. After reading, you’ll know everything you need to in order to make that call.

Off we go.

The Bowflex Treadmill 22

bowflex treadmill 22 review

Photo courtesy of Bowflex

I doubt there’s anybody out there reading this that hasn’t heard of Bowflex before- I mean they’re one of the most recognizable fitness brands in the world.

It’s funny though- even though they got their start with their innovative home gym systems, I feel like we don’t hear about their Bowflex gyms anymore.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial for one of their gyms and it’s been years since the last time they came out with a new model.

Seems like they’ve transitioned to other things once and for all.

I’m not saying that’s a necessarily a bad thing. I mean their cardio equipment is legit. Bowflex equipment is always heavy-duty and well-built.

And even though it doesn’t seem like they’re progressing their gym lineup anymore, they’ve been very busy with their cardio lineup.

Between their Max Trainers, bikes, and treadmills, Bowflex has come out with a lot of new products over the last few years.

Speaking of treadmills, the aptly named Bowflex Treadmill 22 is one of 2 new models they’re offering- the other being the similarly named Bowflex Treadmill 10.

The Treadmill 22, as the name might imply, comes with a 22″ touchscreen and is priced on the high side of moderate with a price tag of roughly $2700.

Pros

  • 22″ x 60″ running surface
  • 4.0 HP motor
  • 22″ HD touchscreen display
  • Unlimited instructor-led workouts through JRNY app
  • Scenic workouts (JRNY)
  • Advanced metric tracking (JRNY)
  • Access to entertainment apps (JRNY)
  • -5 – 20% incline
  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • Quick touch speed/incline buttons
  • Folding frame
  • 400 lb weight capacity
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • Some complaints about user-friendliness of apps
  • Large footprint (85″ L x 39.6″ W)

Running Surface

I like to start with the running surface when looking at treadmills. To me, this is the most important performance spec because it instantly tells you whether or not the treadmill will be comfortable for ya.

This spec refers to the physical dimensions of the belt and is usually written as “width x length” (measured in inches here in the USA).

When it comes to running surfaces, bigger is better because it makes for a more spacious workout experience.

Most high-end treadmills will come with a running surface of at least 20″ x 60″ because at this size, the treadmill will be able to comfortably hold pretty much all users.

The Treadmill 22 comes with a running surface of 22″ x 60″.

The extra couple of inches in the width is nice, because you’ll have a little extra wiggle room from side to side in case you tend to drift a little (or a lot) during your workouts.

And the 60″ length will be long enough for most folks to run at full speed without having to shorten their stride.

The running surface on this treadmill is quite spacious, which is nice, but it’s the heavy-dutiness (I’m not sure that’s a word) of the frame that gets my attention.

This treadmill weighs 336 lb assembled, which is pretty massive for a residential machine.

Personally, I see the heavy weight as a good thing. True, it makes it more difficult to move, but it also makes for a more stable base during workouts.

With a treadmill this heavy, you won’t have to worry about the frame wobbling or feeling flimsy during runs.

No, I see the high weight as a sign of increased stability.

Speaking of stable, the Treadmill 22 has a max weight capacity of 400 lb, which is also higher than most. Seeing such a high weight limit is another good sign of overall build quality.

Overall, this treadmill scores highly in this department. I like the large running surface, but I really like how heavy-duty this thing is.

Motor

If the running surface is the first thing I look at, the strength of the motor is a close second. Simply put, you want to make sure your treadmill is strong enough to support your workouts.

I’m of the opinion that when it comes to motors, stronger is pretty much always better.

I say “pretty much” because I might go for a weaker AC motor vs a stronger DC motor, but that decision rarely comes up when talking residential treadmills (most home treadmills come with DC motors).

Anyway, stronger motors are better because they don’t have to work as hard to provide the same output.

This means stronger motors will feel smoother and operate more quietly. They should also last longer than weaker motors since they aren’t being stressed as much.

Most home treadmills fall somewhere in the 1.5 HP – 4.0 HP range. If you plan on running regularly, I recommend going with at least a 3.0 HP motor.

With this in mind, Bowflex’s Treadmill 22 is packing a 4.0 HP motor.

This is at the top of the expected range for home treadmills and it’s plenty strong to support regular running at fast speeds.

This treadmill has a top speed of 12 mph, which is standard for most treadmills, but what isn’t standard is the top incline of 20% this machine can reach.

Most home treadmills can reach a top incline of 15% (with the exception of NordicTrack’s Incline Treadmills of course), which, honestly, is more than most of us might need.

But if you’re looking to take your workouts to the next level, you might like the steep inclines the 22 can reach.

This treadmill can also reach a decline of 5%, giving you the option of training downhill- another feat most treadmills can’t offer.

Overall, even though the Treadmill 22 is marketed for it’s large console, it has the performance specs to compete with any home treadmill out there.

Features

The Bowflex Treadmill 22 comes with the following features:

22″ HD touchscreen- it’s hard to miss the huge television sitting in front of this treadmill. At 22″, I’m pretty sure it’s bigger than my wife’s old tv. You can adjust the angle for optimal comfort and the touchscreen makes making selections a piece of cake.

JRNY app- the JRNY app is what powers the large console and even though it isn’t required, you can’t take advantage of all the cool features without signing up. It costs $19.99/month (or $149/year) and gives you access to all of the instructor-led workouts and extensive metric tracking. Bowflex includes a 2-month free subscription with purchase.

Entertainment apps- unlike most streaming treadmills, the 22 allows access to a lot of the popular entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. This means you can watch your favorite shows from the comfort of the huge, HD touchscreen in front of ya. Just know that you can’t use the apps without a JRNY subscription.

Bluetooth- you can use the bluetooth capabilities to connect with other popular fitness apps.

Heart rate monitoring- you can also use bluetooth to connect heart rate monitors (an arm band is included with purchase).

Quick speed/incline buttons- you can instantly set the speed and/or incline with the push of a button- very handy.

USB charging port- you can plug your devices in and keep them charged up during your workouts.

Fan- there’s a multiple speed fan built-in in to help keep you comfortable during those more strenuous workouts.

Extended handles- this treadmill comes with large, extended handles that you wouldn’t normally see on a treadmill. These are to ensure you have a good grip when working on such high inclines.

Water bottle holders- plenty of space to store your beverage of choice to ensure adequate hydration during workouts.

Tablet holder- there’s a place to hold your tablet if you need it, but I’m not sure what you’d be doing with it (there’s a huge touchscreen right in front).

Assembly

Bowflex does a really nice job on their assembly manuals and the assembly process for the Treadmill 22 should be a fairly straightforward one.

There are several steps to work through, but the process itself is pretty simple.

The deck comes preassembled, but you’ll be responsible for attaching the uprights, the console, the screen, and several covers.

And given the hi-tech console, the 22 has a few more wire connections than most treadmills. These aren’t that hard, just make sure you take your time and don’t pinch any wires in the process.

And you’ll probably want to have another person around to help.

Not only does this come in handy when attaching the console, but remember when I said this thing weighs over 300 lb? This treadmill is big and heavy, so unless you’re a professional power lifter, you’ll probably need some helping moving things around.

Otherwise, putting this treadmill together shouldn’t be too bad.

Warranty

Bowflex backs the Treadmill 22 with the following residential warranty:

  • 15 year frame
  • 15 year motor
  • 5 year parts
  • 1 year electronics
  • 2 year labor

Overall, I think this is a pretty good warranty. Even though I prefer to see “lifetime” for the frame and motor, realistically speaking, 15 years is probably just as good.

Five years on parts is also quite good and only a year on electronics is pretty standard.

And 2 years on labor is better than the 1 year most other brands offer.

All in all, a fair guarantee.

Final Thoughts

It’s kind of a relief to see such a simply named treadmill. I mean with a name like “Bowflex Treadmill 22″, you know exactly what you’re getting- unlike some of the confusing, letter/number combos most fitness machines are named with.

Jokes aside, I think the Treadmill 22 has a lot going for it.

Performance wise, it’s got a large running surface, a strong motor, and a heavy-duty frame- the 3 most important specs in my book.

It’s also backed by a good warranty.

And the 22” HD touchscreen speaks for itself.

I like the idea of being able to access all of the entertainment apps from the console, but some users have complained that accessing and using the apps can be kinda tedious.

This seems to be an ongoing theme (Sole’s F85 has gotten similar complaints), but it’s something Bowflex is aware of and will surely remedy with future software updates.

Otherwise, I think the Treadmill 22 is an impressive specimen. If you’re looking for a smart treadmill that’s built to perform, it is indeed a smart buy. Recommended.

 

 

Will

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