Heart Rate Monitor Reviews Bowflex Hybrid Heart Rate Monitor

Bowflex Makes Heart Rate Monitors Too!


PRODUCT: Bowflex Hybrid Heart Rate Monitor, With Strapless and Chest Strap Functioning Heart Rate Display Technology, Suitable For Men and Women

Mixed reviews on Amazon with 3.5 stars out of 5 overall rating from 20 customer reviews.

Hey Cool Fact: Did You Know The Polymer Rod Resistance Technology Common To Those Highly “Infomercialized” Bowflex Machines Grew Out Of An Ethiopian Engineering Student’s Design?

That cool little tidbit came off the Bowflex wikipedia page. The Ethiopian student’s name is Tessema Dosho Shifferaw and he was studying in San Francisco when he conceived what Bowflex would grow its original designs from.


What Do You Mean This Has Both Chest Strap and Strapless Heart Rate Monitoring?

It comes with a chest strap but also comes with what they call 1-touch technology. 1-touch describes the feature allowing you to touch any part of the watch face to get instant heart rate displayed. You must, however, wear the chest strap to get continuous monitoring.

Having both options is awesome. How often do you need heart rate? For me the answer is at finite points during my training. Some people are more runners or walkers and want the ability to maintain a zone training style – so they can wear the chest strap. The Bowflex Hybrid gives you that option.

It is surprising to me that more watches don’t come with both options. I actually own 2 heart rate monitors: one for the 1-touch feature and the other with the chest strap. I use the 1-touch one way more. I just don’t like wearing the chest strap and also do not really need to zone train.

What Are The People Complaining About In The Amazon Reviews?

The 1 and 2 stars reviews were, in my opinion, not very helpful. They echoed 3 common themes:

  1. The watch face display scratches very easily
  2. The Bowflex customer service is bad
  3. The continuos heart rate monitoring (when wearing chest strap) is not accurate and not reliable.

The watch face display scratches easily? It’s a fair enough comment. A few of the 5 and 4 star reviewers mentioned this as well. If you buy it, be extra careful not to scratch it.

Customer service is bad with almost every company bar Zappos and a few other outliers. No way am I going to not buy a heart rate monitor based on poor customer service. I know I can always return the bugger through Amazon instead of direct to manufacturer.

I have done 40 some odd heart rate monitor reviews. I have read hundreds probably thousands of customer reviews of the watches on Amazon. Let me tell you this: Ever single watch has at least 1 reviewer complaining of inaccurate heart rate monitoring. I couldn’t nail down a study but I am guessing that at least 80% of the people not being able to get the monitor to function properly simply did not read the users manual before operating. They possibly have the chest strap on wrong or have some setting incorrect. Maybe you would disagree, but regardless, every single monitor on Amazon has 1 reviewer not getting the heart rate to work. Please do not let that stop you from buying this cool watch!

And What Do They Love About The Bowflex Hybrid?

The 4 and 5 star reviews said some really nice things:

  • “This watch is a great zone trainer […] [no] PC output.” From gat0r.
  • “[…] Finger sensor works very well. Chest strap works fine.” From Steven C. Berridge “blues player.”
  • “this HRM has the best of both worlds being strapless and strap.” From Mathew Mallios.

The 55% of people that rated this watch with either 4 or 5 stars all got the watch to work perfect. They loved it and would buy the exact same monitor in an instant. As with most positive reviews they insist you pick up one for yourself.

Can Bowflex Compete With Polar or Timex Brand Heart Rate Monitors?

Polar are the heart rate monitoring pioneers and Timex is a massive watch company. Bowflex makes home gyms. This is all true but to be frank I don’t believe Bowflex are trying to compete – or to take over the heart rate monitoring niche. Bowflex has simply taken the time and engineering resource to create a thoughtful accessory to their fitness product line.

Heart monitoring is becoming mainstream and I think Bowflex is smart to bring out their own line of heart monitoring products.

What Are The Features I Get With This Watch?

The Watch

  • 1-touch heart rate monitoring
  • Chest strap continuous monitoring
  • Calories burned
  • Heart zone training with beep alarms to notify you of leaving the zone
  • Stop watch
  • Time of day
  • Alarm clock

In the box:

  • 1 Bowflex Hybrid male or female heart rate monitor
  • 1 Chest strap
  • 1 Users instruction manual


*Amazon Prices Vary Over Time. The price listed here may have gone up or down when you read this. Check Amazon page linked to for latest price. Cheers.


best heart rate monitor December 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thanks a ton!

Richard Delta December 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

Thanks for that.

I only look at the Polar and Garmin forums as the Sunnto and Timex one’s are crap.

I don’t read any other heart rate monitor blogs per say. Unless something good pops up on a google alert.

As for websites I pretty much just like things on Facebook and whatever shows up on newsfeed I see.

Other than that – good luck with your heart rate monitor website… It’s a good niche.

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