Our Bowflex Series 5 treadmill review examines a good looking, well built, mid-price treadmill – how does it compare to some very strong competition?
The Series 5 is the middle model in the current Bowflex range, which also includes the Series 3 and Series 7.
Whilst it’s basically the same treadmill as the 3 and 7, with a different motor and array of features, for my money this is the better choice of the three for most home exercisers.
Serious runners, however, would be better looking at the Series 7.
The Series 5 is a popular treadmill if the reviews and sales rankings at sites like Amazon are anything to go by – it’s a regular in the Top 3 best-selling treadmills.
The Series 5 sells for $1,799 and at that price is keeping company with some of the best performing, sharpest priced treadmills in an already crowded market.
So how does it measure up?
Bowflex Series 5 Treadmill Review – Features
As with its cheaper stablemate, it’s a well conceived treadmill. It’s solidly built, very stable, attractive and at first glance you can see why your average buyer would put it near the top of their wish list.Strip away the extra features and the Series 5 is very similar to the entry level Series 3.
However, the Series 5 scores over the Series 3 in a couple of fundamental areas that for me make it a much better buy.
You get the same high build quality and sturdy frame, but with a 2.5 HP continuous duty motor.
This is a big advantage over the Series 3 because as well as walking on it, it’s now suitable for running – well jogging, really as serious runners will still need something with a bit more power.
The running surface is also much bigger measuring 60″ x 20″, which makes it sufficiently generous for all but the tallest users.
The belt however, is still only single ply and I’d expect double-ply at this price.
As with the Series 3, I’m impressed with the ‘Strike Zone’ deck, which provides a more than adequate cushioning system offering plenty of support and stability.
You get a firm take off and comfortable landing without any of the ‘sponginess’ you can get on over-cushioned decks.
All of this makes it very kind on the joints and reduces the likelihood of acquiring or aggravating any impact injuries.
The rollers over which the belt runs are worth mentioning as they measure an impressive 2.5″, and contribute to the smooth operation of the deck.
The Series 5 is capable of speeds up to 10 mph, not particularly impressive for a treadmill at this price, but there’s little sign of strain or excessive motor noise when nearing maximum speeds.
The deck inclines to 12%, which will give you the option of upping the intensity of your workout and compensates for the modest maximum speed.
The treadmill folds up very easily and quickly utilizing the ‘SoftDrop’ mechanism, and despite the slightly larger deck is compact when folded and should fit in most corners when not in use.
The electronic features are basically the same as the Series 3, except that there are 12 workout programs rather than six, including two custom programs.
There’s an easy to read LED console display and a grip heart rate monitor, but no wireless heart monitor or heart control function common on machines in this price range.
You also get ‘quick-speed’ keys to enable you to access your desired settings and a built in three-speed fan to help cool you down whilst training.
The warranties are impressive with 15 years on the frame, 10 years on the motor, two years on the parts and a year on the labour.
Whilst the treadmill retails at $1,799, our Bowflex Series 5 treadmill review found it heavily discounted online and it’s currently for sale at$1,299 with free shipping at Amazon.
Bowflex Series 5 Treadmill Review – The Bottom Line…
The impression garnered from our Bowflex Series 5 treadmill review is a positive one.
This is a better than average offering in a highly competitive section of the market and a serious option to consider.
There are a few aspects of the Series 5 that are a little disappointing, but the whole package works ok.
There is a caveat, though and that’s the price.
There are better buys at the full retail price – the Sole F80, for instance, which you can pick up for as low as $1,499.
As such, I wouldn’t recommend paying the full retail price for the Series 5. However, at the heavily discounted price it would be an option worth considering.
If you want a treadmill for moderate intensity workouts or to help with weight loss and are set on a Bowflex, then the Series 5 is probably the best bet in the range given the substantial discounts available online.