Bowflex C6 compatibility

I have been using Zwift for about a year now which is when I got my Bowflex C6. When I got the Bowflex I hadn’t heard about Zwift, but it was one of the training apps listed to use so I tried it out, along with several others, and Zwift was the one I liked the most so I went with it. In the beginning I did solo rides and workout plans, but I have started doing races and enjoy the competition. I have come to notice that the Zwift app does not fully recognize the power settings of the Bowflex and as such I typically pick one power setting for the entire race. I usually set it at 50 on a 0-100 range. This in turn at times causes my watt reading to be in the 400-700 range depending on how hard I have to pedal to keep up with my group. I was in a C group, until recently, but moved to a B group because I kept getting flagged in some races. I do not consider myself to be that strong a rider yet, but I was tired of getting flagged. I have also been getting harassed in some races by other riders for sand bagging, which I am not. I have tried to find information about this and reached out to Zwifts customer service and the only answer is for me to buy additional equipment for an additional $400. I am not interested in spending more money for a virtual race and can accept not being able to participate in some races, but I can not understand having to be harassed by other riders and having them flag me for cheating in a virtual race. I would at least expect Zwift to research these issues more or be more up front with Bowflex customers who consider signing up for their service. Also, I thought the biking community was friendly and understanding. There are some people who get really upset about what they believe is cheating in a virtual race.

Hi @Ricard_G

Do you have a link to your zwiftpower profile.

Looking at some of your data it look like you are a A rider (assuming I picked the correct rider, please correct me)

Looking at this it look like you fall in the Excellent range, very few people are in that range. If you don’t see your self as a strong rider then that should indicate that the trainer is reading high.

from

The Bowflex C6 is not known for being very accurate, in fact I Could not find a listing in the specification mentioning accuracy.

Zwift does not have the trainer on the supported list.

I know this is a mouth full, let me know if you have questions.

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@Gerrie_Delport_ODZ you are far too kind :slight_smile:

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You know me @S_ticky_KRT. Just trying to help.

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It wasn’t a mouth full, and I appreciate the feedback. I have become very aware that Zwift and Bowflex seem to go together like oil and water, it would just have been nice to know that ahead of time. I am aware of what my power output readings are, but I can tell you that when I am in a group riding and I compare my output to other riders the numbers don’t match up at all which why I am forced to ride in a higher group and my ego makes me try to keep up. While I am not completely out of shape and have always been fairly physically fit, I do have some limitation at age 53 with a pending hip replacement and lower back issues. The last race I did I was barely able to keep up with the front group and near the end they started pulling away from me like a bullet. I thought I was going to have a heart attack trying to keep up. I have checked all the settings on my C6 and everything is in order. My wife uses the Peloton app and has no issues. Like I said I am more interested in the exercise part of it, but it would be nice to ride in the appropriate group and not be forced to ride in a group above my ability level or at the least ride without getting harassed.

It’s not your fault, it is the inaccurate power readings from your spin bike. The Bowflex is the same bike as the Schwinn IC4, check out this thread: Schwinn IC4

You really shouldn’t be using this for racing at all due to the inaccuracies. You are being accused of “cheating” because the bike is giving you super powers. It is fine for group rides, workouts and free rides, but I would stay out of racing. As you can imagine, some people take the virtual racing pretty seriously and want to only compete against others that have fair, accurate power readings.

I think this blame falls on Schwinn/Bowflex as they are the only ones stating the bikes work with Zwift… which on a very basic level they do… but are very inaccurate (they conveniently leave that part out).

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I agree about the lack of communication from Bowflex and Zwift about the compatibility. Unfortunately I enjoy the competition of racing because it helps motivate me so I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. However, it would be nice if Zwift would monitor the harassment part about cheating. I have made every possible adjustment I can and still stay within my physical ability. It is nice to get some helpful feedback though.

The best you can do is race in the A cat. At least you will be in the correct group for the power numbers reported by the bike. Other racers don’t see the type of bike you ride they only see your rating in Zwift power, so if you race in the A group your won’t be harassed.

I have a Bowflex as well and luckily have not run into any of the issues you have, it seems to be pretty accurate and my performance in the virtual world is what I would expect for my age and fitness level. The one difference is that my bike is only about two months old so there may have been changes to it compared to yours. I do seem to remember reading about a way to recalibrate it if the numbers it’s producing are out of line. It might be worthwhile looking into that if you haven’t already.