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There are a lot of different adjustable dumbbells out there and it can be overwhelming to choose one. The best one depends on your needs and preferences. Today we are going to cover the most popular adjustable dumbbells: Bowflex dumbbells. To be more specific, Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells. These are overall the best adjustable dumbbells out there which is why they have become the most popular in the first place. But let’s cover the details what makes them so good they have become the best selling adjustable dumbbells on Amazon.com.

Locking mechanism – Fast weight changes allows for quick adjustments

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 DumbbellsBowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells have a locking mechanism at the both ends of the dumbbell. Weights can be changed by rotating the lock. Since there are locks at both ends of the dumbbell, you will have to adjust them separately which also allows you to have different weights on both sides allowing for greater weight setting variables. The locks themselves are quiet allowing for a silent workout without the noise of clanging weight plates.

Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells have to be carefully placed back into their stand to make sure the weight plates come at the right angle ensuring the weight plates will lock correctly when changing weight settings. If the weight plates come off at a wrong angle when they dumbbells are placed in their stand, the weights may not lock correctly.

Saves Space

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells are very space efficient. Even spinlock dumbbells pale in comparison since with spinlock dumbbells you will have bars and weight plates separately laying around but not with Bowflex dumbbells! With Bowflex dumbbells the weights are always neatly standing on their stand taking very little space.

Durability Issues

Bowflex dumbbells have several plastic parts. Many users have reported the locking mechanism becomes lazy over time and you might not always get all the weight plates needed for your chosen weight. The dumbbells can not be dropped on floor or they will break.

Heavy Weights & Stand

Bowflex Dumbbell StandBowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells have 17 different weight settings ranging between 4 kgs (10 lbs) and 41 kgs (90 lbs). The weight settings come in 2-3 kg increments. Since the dumbbells weight up to 41 kg each they are going to be enough for most folks out there. 82 kg for dumbbells is quite good.

If you are a professional bodybuilder or a serious hardcore lifter, then the weight won’t suffice for you but for most other folks it’s plenty of weight. Since 82 kg is a lot of weight to carry as dumbbells they can be cumbersome to move around and place on their right place after an exhaustive workout, especially since they can not be dropped and have to be placed carefully and at the right angle to their respective place. The separately sold stand for Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells can help you with this making using Bowflex dumbbells a lot more convenient. While the stand does increase your costs significantly, your back will thank you for purchasing it since you won’t have to bend over to pick up the weights and place them back to floor.

Bowflex SelectTech Complaints

Many people have found Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells to be rough on hands since they have rectangular like metal handles. This can be overcome by wearing lifting gloves if you find it to be an issue. Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells also appear long and they can come in the way in some exercises. However, in the majority of exercises there is no difference at all and in the few exercises where they come in the way this can be addressed by slightly changing position.

On a more serious note, many negative reviews of Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells complain the dumbbells are composed of cheap plastic parts made in China which break easily. While the manuals do make a point that you should not drop them since they will break, some users have reported locking mechanism to become faulty over time or even from small bumps – something you might be concerned about, especially for the high price you are paying.While

While Amazon.com does have it’s fair share of negative reviews too, bodybuilding.com forums really give a beating to Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells due to having a lot of cheap plastic parts which wear over time or break easily if dropped. The general consensus on bodybuilding.com forums is to favour PowerBlock and Ironmaster (heavy & durable but slow to change weights) dumbbells.

Customer reviews on Amazon point out the plates can become lose over time up until a point they start falling off from the dumbbell handle – which can be very dangerous while working out. You can read critical reviews on Amazon here.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Lighter Version for Fitness Enthusiasts

Bowflex SelectTech 552 DumbbellsBowflex SelectTech 552 is a lighter version of Bowflex dumbbells. If you feel like 90 kgs is too much for you and you won’t be needing it, then this version is for you. Their weight range is from 2 kgs (5 lbs) to 24 kgs (52.5 lbs). They have slightly less weight variables at 15 settings instead of 2. But on the other hand this is a lighter version and the weight settings still come at smaller 1-2 kg increments allowing for finer weight adjustments than their bigger counterpart. Overall a good trade-off if you are looking for finer weight adjustments and don’t need that extra weight up to 90 kgs.

Are Bowflex SelectTech (1090 & 552) Dumbbells for Everyone?

Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells are overall the best dumbbells out there which is why they have become so popular in the first place. They provide a pretty good trade-off between fast weight changes and maximum weights – both are quite good. Therefore these are going to be suitable for the majority of people. Changing weights takes only a few seconds and the maximum weight is 90 kg for heavier (1090) version and 48 (552) for both hands combined. Remember to always read reviews before making a purchasing decision and check the critical reviews on Amazon too.


While Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells (both 1090 and 552 versions) do have significant drawbacks: they can’t be dropped on floor, the locking mechanism wears as time passes, they require lifting gloves (although the 552 has more user-friendly handles) they also have a lot going on them, after all, they are the best selling adjustable dumbbells on Amazon.Their design is elegant and unlike many other forms of adjustable dumbbells they still have that traditional dumbbell feel and look on them. They are also the best combination

Their design is elegant and unlike many other forms of adjustable dumbbells they still have that traditional dumbbell feel and look on them. They are also the best combination between fast weight changes and maximum weights. And let’s not forget how much they save space which is an important factor if you are tight on space.

But before you make your purchasing decision, I advice you to be warned of the critique these dumbbells have received. Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells are pricey and you might not want to end up with a broken set of dumbbells after investing a significant sum of money in them (or send them back to the seller to be repaired for that matter).

However, due to Bowflex’s durability issues I can’t confidently recommend them to anyone. After all, I do not want anyone to injure themselves due to faulty or dangerous equipment. Instead I would recommend to check out higher quality PowerBlock or Ironmaster dumbbells.

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