Bowflex has been one of the most popular, if not THE most popular, home gyms over the past decade. Because of that, used Bowflex for sale is easy to find in places such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
But before you go plopping down your hard-earned cash on what seems to be a great deal you found online, there are a few things you should be looking for to ensure you are buying a used Bowflex you’ll love and not a lemon.
Why Do People Sell Their Used Bowflex Machines?
There are four main reasons why people might sell their used Bowflex machines. Let’s take a look at them here.
Lack of Consistency: Many buy Bowflex machines with the intention of building a home gym and achieving fitness goals. However, they soon realize that significant effort and consistency are required, leading to underuse or abandonment of the equipment. Eventually, these machines are sold when the initial motivation wanes.
Preference Mismatch: While Bowflex is a renowned home gym machine, it doesn’t suit everyone’s taste. Some users may find they prefer traditional free weights over the machine’s resistance rods, leading them to sell their Bowflex.
Progression Beyond the Machine: Regular users sometimes outgrow their Bowflex, seeking advanced options like free weights. This progression leads to selling the machine in favor of equipment that better suits their evolved fitness needs.
Wear and Upgrade: Long-term users often sell their heavily used Bowflex machines when they are ready for an upgrade. These sales are typically a way to make room for newer, more advanced equipment.
Regardless of the reason for the sale, it’s important to carefully evaluate a used Bowflex machine before purchasing.
What To Look At On A Used Bowflex Machine
Power Rod Resistance
The Bowflex power rods create resistance for upper body and leg workouts. The resistance rods are straight with no bend when you buy a new machine. But these power rods lose some resistance and elasticity over time and usage.
This means that some resistance bands you need to complete a workout might be gone during your workouts. It also means that the resistance during your movements will start later than normal since there is already a natural bend in the rods.
Looking at the photo above, you will notice a slight bend in the power rods. That amount of bend is what you want to consider when buying a Bowflex used. That’s enough to get you a solid workout with good resistance bands and probably at a pretty good price too.
If the bend is more than that, you should probably keep looking for different equipment.
The Pulleys and Cables
Proper usage of a Bowflex means that the health of the cables and pulleys is in good shape. What is a “good” shape?
So for the pulleys, you don’t want to hear any squeaking when they move. The best way to test this is to do a couple of reps on each action pulley and see if there are any weird noises coming from the equipment. Make sure to test ALL of the action pulleys.
You also want to check the pulleys for rust. Many Bowflex machines are kept in basements where moisture can accrue, so take a quick look at the pulleys to check their condition. If you see rust on the outside, there could be rust on the ball bearings inside the pulleys.
When you are doing your few test reps, listen for squeaking; also, pay notice if the cables feel like they have any snags when you pull. This could be as simple of an issue that the cables are crossed up and need adjusting or that the pulleys are starting to wear out, which is a big problem.
For the cables, check to ensure they have the rubber coating on them and are in good shape. That coating helps ensure that the cables easily glide over the pulleys and will not work well if the coating peels off.
Seat Roller Wheels/Trolley Wheels
It might have a rolling seat, depending on the model you are considering. For example, my Ultimate 2 has a seat that rolls back and forth for different workouts.
The issue you need to check for here is that the rollers (usually 4) under the seat wear out over time and will slowly crack and break down until the seat can no longer move back and forth.
The picture above shows relatively new rollers; that’s how they should look. Any signs of cracking mean they will have to be replaced, which isn’t a huge deal here since the parts are decently inexpensive. However, Bowflex doesn’t sell trolley wheels for old Bowflex models anymore, but you can usually find them on eBay. Click HERE to see what’s available.
Get All the Attachments
Each Bowflex has a series of attachments that come with the unit, but sometimes, when these are being resold, the attachments get lost or forgotten.
If you are considering a specifically used Bowflex model, research online to find out what attachments came with it originally. If the equipment you are looking at doesn’t have all of them, that’s not a deal breaker, especially if it’s an attachment you don’t plan on using, but you should still consider the pricing.
Make sure the unit has a lat bar and a couple of hands with it, but don’t worry about their condition, as I always recommend upgrading from the basic Bowflex handles/bars anyways. You can see my article on the best Bowflec attachments HERE.
Final Thoughts On Buying a Bowflex Used
Buying a used old Bowflex machine can be an excellent way to save money and access a high-quality home gym. But it’s crucial to consider a few things before making a purchase.
First, knowing why the machine is being sold is essential, as this can give you a good idea of its overall condition.
Next, you must check the power rod resistance, the pulleys and cables, and the seat roller wheels/trolley wheels, ensuring they are all in good condition. Remember, if you find machine equipment that you love, but the rods are too bent, you can always purchase replacement rods.
Finally, it’s important to research and compare prices before purchasing to be confident that you are getting the best deal possible. With these tips in mind, you’ll surely find a great used Bowflex machine that you’ll love and use for years.
Buying A Used Bowflex FAQ
Do Bowflex Rods Wear Out?
Yes, Bowflex power rods can lose resistance and elasticity over time due to use. This can reduce the effectiveness of your workouts as the rods may not offer the same level of resistance as when new.
How Much is a Used Bowflex Worth?
The value of a used Bowflex varies based on its condition, age, and model. Inspect the power rods, pulleys, cables, and overall machine condition to determine a fair price. Marketplaces like eBay or Facebook can provide price references.
How to Tell if Bowflex Rods are Bad?
Examine the power rods for significant bending or lack of resistance. Rods that have lost elasticity or show more bend than usual may not provide effective resistance, indicating they’re in bad condition.
How Long Do Bowflex Rods Last?
The lifespan of Bowflex rods depends on usage and maintenance. Regular use can lead to wear over time, but with proper care, they can last several years. Replacement rods are available if needed.