Exploring the 2024 Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells: A Comprehensive Review

In 2024, fitness enthusiasts looking for new dumbbells are likely to encounter the Bowflex SelectTech 1090s. Known for their prominence in the fitness industry, Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbells are highly regarded in the home gym sector. The SelectTech 1090 model, named for its 10 to 90 pounds weight range, is a favorite among those at intermediate and advanced fitness levels. Unlike other adjustable dumbbells that use a pin system, the 1090s feature an easy-to-use dial system for selecting weights. Additionally, these dumbbells are space-efficient, substituting the need for 17 sets of traditional dumbbells, thus reducing the space required in home gyms compared to a full rack of fixed-weight dumbbells.

Pros and Cons of the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells


  1. Wide Weight Range: The Bowflex 1090 offers a broad weight range from 10 to 90 pounds per dumbbell, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
  2. Space Efficiency: Replacing up to 17 pairs of traditional dumbbells, these adjustable dumbbells save significant space, ideal for home gyms.
  3. Easy Weight Adjustment: The unique dial system allows for quick and easy weight changes, facilitating seamless transitions between exercises.
  4. Durability: The overall construction of the 1090 dumbbells is robust, ensuring a long-lasting product.
  5. Versatility: Suitable for a wide variety of exercises, they cater to a full spectrum of strength training routines.


  1. Price: The Bowflex 1090 dumbbells are relatively expensive, which might be a barrier for some users.
  2. Bulky Size: Despite their space-saving design, individual dumbbells are bulky, which can be cumbersome for some exercises or users.
  3. Handle Design: The grip of the 1090s is not knurled and lacks the rubber/neoprene coating found in other models, which can affect comfort and grip, especially at higher weights.
  4. Non-Expandable Weight Range: Unlike some adjustable dumbbells, the 1090s do not offer expansion packs for increased weight.
  5. Plastic Components: Some parts of the dumbbell, particularly the locking mechanism, are made of plastic, which may be less durable than metal counterparts.

BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)

Understanding the Functionality of Bowflex 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells are designed for convenience and versatility, resting in a specially designed plastic tray when not in use. To select your desired weight, simply rotate the dials at each end of the dumbbell to align with the chosen weight. This action engages an automatic lock that attaches only the necessary weight plates to the handle. Upon lifting the dumbbell from its tray, it holds only the selected weight.

The weight range of the 1090s starts at 10 pounds and increases in increments of five pounds, maxing out at 90 pounds. This range makes them suitable for various exercises, from high-repetition, low-weight workouts like Pilates to more intense routines. They’re ideal for a variety of exercises, including curls, shoulder presses, rows, squats, and tricep kickbacks, accommodating both light and heavy workout sessions.

In addition to their physical versatility, these dumbbells come with a complimentary one-year subscription to the JRNY app. This application, compatible with iOS and Android devices, offers a range of on-demand strength training classes led by professional instructors. It provides a variety of workouts, focusing on specific muscle groups or encompassing full-body routines. The app creatively incorporates the Bowflex dumbbells as substitutes for traditional gym equipment like kettlebells and barbells, enhancing the user’s exercise experience.

Overview of Bowflex 1090 Dumbbell Specifications

Weight Capacity and Total Weight

The Bowflex 1090 dumbbells boast an impressive weight range, offering 10 to 90 pounds per dumbbell. Including their base, each dumbbell weighs 92.3 pounds. This maximum weight of 90 pounds is notably higher than many competitors, with most adjustable dumbbells in the market peaking around 50 to 55 pounds.

Dimensions and Size Comparison

Measuring 17.5 inches in length, 10 inches in width, and 10 inches in height, the 1090s are comparatively larger than many other models. This size is attributed to their higher weight capacity. For context, the Bowflex SelectTech 552s are smaller, measuring 14.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 9 inches, but they max out at a lower weight of 52.5 pounds. Those needing weights of 50 pounds or less might prefer a more compact option.

Increment Adjustments

The 1090 model adjusts in five-pound increments, aligning with the industry standard where most adjustable dumbbells vary by either five or 2.5 pounds. The smaller 2.5-pound increments are commonly used at lower weights, ideal for beginners or for exercises requiring high repetitions with low weights. The five-pound increments cater to users aiming for quicker progression at higher weights.

Materials and Construction

Constructed from steel coated in plastic, the Bowflex 1090s balance durability with reduced noise during usage. However, the plastic discs connecting the plates to the handle are less durable than metal, a notable point considering the product’s price point. Typically, one might expect metal discs and a fully metal handle for such an investment.

Warranty Terms

Bowflex provides a three-year warranty for parts on the SelectTech 1090 dumbbells, with an option to extend to five years for an additional $49. This warranty duration is comparable to industry standards, where most brands offer at least two years of coverage, with extended options available. However, it would be more beneficial if this warranty also included labor and shipping costs.

BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)

Customer Feedback on Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

Customers have shared their experiences with the Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells across various platforms, including the Bowflex website (rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars) and Amazon (rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars), accumulating thousands of reviews. A significant number of these reviews praise the product, highlighting the ease and speed of adjusting weights thanks to the innovative dial system. This feature offers a range of weights in a single dumbbell, adding to its convenience. A notable review by a verified Amazon customer, CMS, dated July 27, 2022, emphasizes this point: “I can change from any weight setting to any other weight setting in easily less than 10 seconds per dumbbell…Super easy and quick!”

The price point of the 1090 dumbbells is a recurring topic among reviewers. Opinions are divided, with some advocating for better quality materials considering the cost, while others find the investment justified. An example of this sentiment was shared by a reviewer on the Bowflex website in July 2022, who reasoned that the expense was worthwhile for personal improvement and the convenience of not having to buy and assemble multiple weight plates. This reviewer also addressed a common critique regarding the size of the dumbbells, acknowledging their bulkiness but not considering it a significant drawback, concluding with enthusiasm about their purchase: “They are a little on the bulky side for dumbbells but nothing unmanageable. I really do enjoy them!! A purchase you won’t regret!!”

Comparing Alternatives to Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells: A Lighter Option

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells serve as a more accessible alternative to the 1090s, particularly for those new to weightlifting. These dumbbells, sharing a similar design with the 1090s, offer a weight range from five to 52.5 pounds. They feature both 2.5-pound and five-pound increments, making them ideal for beginners or those who prefer a lighter workout. However, they don’t offer an expansion pack beyond 52.5 pounds, so those aiming to lift heavier than 52 pounds should consider the 1090s. In terms of size, the 552s are somewhat smaller than the 1090s but are still bulkier compared to other brands in the market.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

PowerBlock Elite Series Dumbbells: Versatile and Upgradeable

PowerBlock Dumbbells, particularly the Elite series, present another notable alternative. Available in Sport, Pro, and Elite versions, the Elite series starts with a weight range of five to 50 pounds. These dumbbells offer the unique feature of expansion packs, allowing users to increase the weight up to 70 or 90 pounds. This option is beneficial for those who wish to progress to heavier weights over time. The Elite series uses 2.5-pound increments, catering well to beginners and those seeking gradual weight progression. A key distinction from the Bowflex 1090s is the PowerBlock’s selector pin system for weight adjustment and their compact, rectangular shape. While this design saves space, the caged handle within the weights might feel unconventional for some users.

PowerBlock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells

Frequently Asked Questions About Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

Maximum Weight Capacity of Bowflex Dumbbells

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells have a maximum weight limit of 90 pounds each. For those requiring less weight, the SelectTech 552 model caps at 52.5 pounds per dumbbell.

Identifying the Top Adjustable Dumbbells

When choosing the best adjustable dumbbells, key features to consider are a minimum weight range of 40 pounds, user-friendly weight adjustment mechanisms, and overall comfort during use. Some top picks in this category include the PowerBlock Sport, Nuobell, NordicTrack Select-a-Weight, and Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells.

Handling and Care for Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

It’s crucial not to drop the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells, as this could damage the weight plates and their connecting components. If you suspect any damage, especially to the connecting pieces, it’s important to contact Bowflex customer service for repair guidance to avoid the risk of weight plates dislodging during use.

Upgradability of Bowflex Dumbbells

Bowflex dumbbells are not upgradeable. The weight capacity is fixed, with the SelectTech 552s maxing out at 52.5 pounds and the SelectTech 1090s reaching up to 90 pounds.

Value Assessment of Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

The Bowflex 1090 dumbbells are well-suited for those who are willing to invest in higher-weight, user-friendly adjustable dumbbells. However, it’s worth noting that the plastic components may be prone to wear and tear over time, particularly with daily use. For those who intend to use their dumbbells extensively, it might be worth considering models made entirely of metal for increased durability.

BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)

Feedback on Handle Design of Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

A notable point of critique among users of the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells concerns the design and texture of the handle. In a review posted on the Bowflex website in July 2022, a customer named Josh praised aspects such as the overall weight, balance, and the dial-change system, rating them highly with 5 stars. However, he highlighted a need for improvement in the grip. Josh pointed out that unlike traditional dumbbells, the 1090’s handle lacks a knurled texture and does not feature the neoprene/rubber grip found on the Bowflex 552 model. To address this, several users have recommended wearing lifting gloves, especially when using the 1090 dumbbells at heavier weights, for a more comfortable and secure grip.

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