Bowflex’s C6 Bike Is a Less Costly, More Versatile Peloton

Originally published at: Bowflex’s C6 Bike Is a Less Costly, More Versatile Peloton - TidBITS

Peloton exercise bikes are expensive and lock users into the company’s exercise service. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tried a less expensive alternative, Bowflex’s C6 bike. It gives users the flexibility to use a range of fitness services with an iPhone or iPad, an Apple TV, or a Mac.

This article reminds me of pieces from the early 2000s advocating that people should just buy a Windows computer instead of a Macintosh.

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Another great article, and here’s an interesting aside…rumors have been flying in the business press about Apple maybe purchasing Peloton, a company that has never been profitable, and whose stock recently went swirling down the toilet. Personally, I don’t think that Tim Cook would ever consider making such a bad investment, and Steve Jobs certainly never would have. Apple already has Watch and Fitness+ keeps expanding and focusing on a about a number of health related services. Fitness+ covers a wide focus of at home, outdoor, in the gym, including bikes and treadmills, as well as yoga, dance, etc., health monitoring, fall detection, etc. And there wouldn’t be enough room in Apple Stores to squish in their bikes and treadmills, and there would be the possibility of people hurting themselves.

Apple does have a history of buying companies to acquire talent, but Watch and Fitness+ have been around a lot longer than Peloton.

I wonder if the C6 would connect via Bluetooth with this exercise app for Oculus Quest:

Without the compatible stationary bike, one can animate the app, which leverages Google Street View 360° data to make it seem like your moving through the Googlescape, only by making motions with your arms and hands. I find this not very satisfactory, and have been thinking of buying a compatible stationary bike that would use the pedal rotations to animate the scene in the HMD.

There’s actually an proposed accessory for the original Peleton bike that controls the resistance knob and turns it into a quasi-smart bike that would be better suited to Zwift. I’m not sure whether it’s actually out yet (it didn’t make its Kickstarter goal but said they had found alternate funding and were proceeding). DC Rainmaker did a preview [SHIFT Smart Trainer: First Project To Make A Peloton Bike Zwift Accessory | DC Rainmaker]. The reason I mention it is that this C6 has a prominent resistance knob, so maybe something like this could be jury rigged to turn the C6 into a smart bike with power control.

Real smart bikes, made by Wattbike, Tacx, and Wahoo, have been out for a couple of years, and Zwift itself is rumored to be working on their own smart bike. Personally I use an old road bike and a Tacx Neo 2 smart trainer.

The price points of Bowflex and the Schwinn are great. But I wonder how the bikes ride compared to the Peloton? It would be great if Julio or someone else could do a ride comparison! If they aren’t clunkers, $700 sounds like a good deal to me and not getting drawn into monthly fees is also great.

Consumer reports rated six exercise bikes: Members get rankings and details (spoiler alert: Peloton tops the list and four of them are “Recommended”).

What if you only watch TV when you ride your stationary bike? It takes your mind off exercise and you have incentive to pedal until you finish programs. You only care about quiet level of bike; seating, posture and comfort level; and pedal resistance control. 100% analog. My very old bike is still going strong.