Bowflex Series 7 treadmill : Good Ratings, Good Value

Bowflex Series 7 TreadmillThe Bowflex Series 7 treadmill (like all the Bowflex equipment) is a sturdy solid machine which will serve you well and give you a great workout.

Bowflex is a subsidiary of the Nautilus Fitness company, who have been producing quality exercise equipment since 1986.

Series 7 is the top of the range for Bowflex fitness – the range also includes the Bowflex Series 3 treadmill and Bowflex Series 5 treadmill.

Features of the Series 7 Bowflex treadmill

  • Exceptionally large walking/running surface area of 20″ * 60″ (ample for taller and faster runners) with Bowflex’s unique Strike Zone deck cushioning system for support, stability and comfort as you run with soft landing and firm lift off. This kind of shock absorption is essential to make running easy on your feet, ankles, knees and hips
  • Quality steel frame
  • Deluxe two-ply belt
  • Large commercial-style 2.5″ rollers help reduce wear and tear on the bearings (fewer revolutions to move the surface the same distance than with smaller rollers) and give a smoother quieter ride
  • 3.0HP continuous-duty motor with quiet operation – important if you want to watch TV or listen to music while you workout. If you have used other treadmills you will be impressed.
  • Quick access incline and speed keys help you quickly get to the settings you want
  • The Series 7 has 15 programs – a treadmill exercise program for everyone – including manual, cardio, fat burn, speed interval jogger, 5K run with 12 intervals, hill intervals, heart strength/recovery test, calorie goal, distance goal, cardio heart rate calculation, fat burn heart rate calculation, body mass index test and two user-defined programs so that you can customize your workout to suit your requirements. This means there is plenty of workout variety to prevent you getting bored
  • Heart Rate Monitoring through pulse grip and chest strap so that you can check your heart rate on the machine control panel as you exercise
  • The treadmill folds without too much effort to save space and for easier storage and it also has a soft-drop feature to make unfolding easy. It comes with wheels to help you move it – but remember it is heavy and it’s not something you want to be wheeling about every day if you can help it.
  • Speed settings from 0.5 mph up to 11mph and incline from 0% up to 12%
  • 2 bottle/cup holders
  • Built-in 3-speed cooling fan
  • Skylight backlit LCD computer display
  • Product Dimensions : 83″ * 35″ * 55″ (41″ * 35″ * 65″ when folded)
  • Machine weight : 298lbs – This is a good thing when you are looking for stability in a treadmill – not so good when you need to move it!
  • Maximum user weight : 300lbs
  • Power Requirements: 120VAC 15A non-GFI grounded outlet
  • Some easy self-assembly required (the simple tools required for this are supplied with the treadmill) – unlike many models most people don’t have a problem putting together their Bowflex Series 7 treadmill and the majority have the job done in less than an hour.
  • Warranty : Bowflex stand behind their products with a good warranty package although it is not the very best in the marketplace. Nevertheless there is a 15 year warranty on the frame, 10 years on the motor, 2 years parts and electronics and 1 year labor. If you think labor costs might be an issue (and I have read one review which reckons that machines are timed to go wrong after this one year is up) take out an extended warranty when you buy your machine. Also be sure to look after your Bowflex treadmill – the chief thing being to use a 6-7 foot matt below the treadmill, especially if you have carpet (to keep fibers/debris from entering the machine motor).

Any Problems with the Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill?

The Bowflex Series 7 treadmill has some great reviews at Amazon and an average 4.5 rating (which is fantastic for the fitness equipment market where many machines are far from the quality you might expect). However, as you might expect not everything is perfect with Bowflex treadmills (or with any other treadmills for that matter) and there are a few things you may want to note in case they affect your buying decision:-

  • A number of reviews mention that the hand-grip pulse readings do not always work well and that it can take some time to get a reading. As taking your pulse in this way would break your stride, you are better using the supplied heart rate monitor chest strap which DOES give a good reading.
  • The 3-speed fan in the Bowflex Series 7 treadmill will not give you a substantial cooling effect. Don’t buy any machine for the fan, just purchase a separate pedestal fan for a few dollars from Walmart and site it near your machine – the stability and quality of the machine is more important than a few dollars saved on a fan – and to be honest I have never seen an in-built fan on any piece of fitness equipment that works well.
  • This machine is HEAVY – that’s what you want to get the stability when you work out but it does mean that it’s not that easy to move about despite the folding mechanism and wheels. Also, try and get your treadmill delivered to the room where you want to assemble and use it. Delivery is usually to your threshold officially but you may be able to persuade the delivery service personnel to put it where you want it – even if you have to offer to pay a little more for the privilege, it will be well worth it.
  • Some reviews point out that the console could be a bit clearer. It’s true that it’s not that intuitive but if you’re anything like me and have trouble even programming the VCR check out the Bowflex manuals a few times and try out the programs you’ll soon get used to what you need to do.
  • Note that this Bowflex exercise machine requires a one-minute calibration procedure before some features will work – I’m not sure why this as and I haven’t come across this before but be sure and follow the manual on this point before worrying that something does not function.
  • The machine gets delivered with a bottle of lubricating fluid and no instructions on what to do with it. This is annoying but according to one Amazon buyer who contacted the company about this, here is what you do according to Nautilus Customer Care…”To lubricate the belt turn it off and unplug the machine from the wall outlet, also remove the power cord. Gently lift each side of the machine’s belt and apply a small amount of the silicone based lubricant directly onto each belt while they are warm (not hot). Plug the fitness machine back into the machine base and then into wall outlet. Stand to the side of your machine and not on the belts themselves. Turn on your machine, and start the belts at the slowest speed. Let the belts run for approximately 15 seconds. Turn off your fitness machine. And repeat all steps again. Then take care to wipe up any excess silicone lubricant from the deck surface area. We recommend that you only use Silicone Spray, available at most Hardware and Auto Parts stores. If you decide to purchase this lubricant at an Auto Parts store, Napa Auto parts has a brand called NAPA 8300 that will work very well”

In any large group of customer reviews you will find a few complaints (in fact those who are dissatisfied are more likely to write a home treadmill review than those enjoying their new treadmill).

Although the percentage is not significant in the case of the Bowflex treadmill Series 7 there were a few complaints about poor customer service on the part of the manufacturer (Nautilus) and a few about local delivery services (which you will get with the delivery of anything). However on balance I think that this is a great buy and one I’d be happy to have in my home – a view shared by Consumer reports who also gave this machine a “Best Buy” rating. If you would like to read the Bowflex treadmill reviews and ratings for yourself you’ll find around 100 here giving you a cross-section of real buyers comments on this machine.

Our Summary

The Bowflex Series 7 treadmill is great value at this price point giving you a sturdy, stable and quality machine with a good warranty package.

Where to Buy the Bowflex Series 7 treadmill

Amazon often has the Bowflex Series 7 treadmill on sale and with their standard free shipping offer can’t be beaten on price – although the price direct from the manufacturer may be the same you will usually pay an additional shipping charge rom there.