Below we put together a Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells review to take a look at these fully-adjustable dumbbells that take the place of 15 sets of standard dumbbells while making swapping weights a quick and simple process. These weights aren’t perfect, and they won’t be right for everyone, but after reading through our review you’ll hopefully know whether or not they are a good option for you.
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- Between 10 lbs. and 105 lbs. of total weight
- Adjusts in 2.5 lbs. increments
- Rapidly change weights
- 15 sets of weights in one
- Two-year warranty on plates and parts
- Tough construction
- Maximum weight may be too low
- The mechanism may lock up
- Weight adjustment can be too much at higher levels
Quick and Easy Adjustments
The main feature that stands out about these weights is just how simple they are to adjust. Most people that shop for adjustable dumbbells are looking for a product that allows them to lift a wide range of weights conveniently. The SelectTech 552 meets this need well. When used properly, these weights can be adjusted in less than 30 seconds when switching from one weight level to the next. Adjusting the weights is as simple as setting them down in their bases, turning the weight dial to the appropriate level at either side of the two dumbbells, and then lifting them back out again.
Going up or down in weight using these dumbbells is much faster than using traditional adjustable dumbbells with the removable weight collars. There is no need to slide off weight plates and to carefully add up the weight that you want on each dumbbell. Instead, you turn the dial up or down to the desired weight, and the system does all the math for you. It’s quick, it’s convenient and it’s an excellent way to move through a workout.
The only downside to this system is that you may not be able to adjust weight with as much precision as you can with more traditional dumbbells. Weight levels go up and down by 2.5 lbs. for the first 25 lbs., but after that point they jump around by 5 lbs. or more, making it more difficult to progress to higher weights with your workouts. At least with traditional adjustable dumbbell bars it’s possible to go up by as much or as little as you want provided that you have the standard plates available.
It Saves Space
One of the most favourable realizations we made while putting together this Bowflex SlectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells review is that the product saves a huge amount of space compared to traditional dumbbells. This system has two wide bases and two dumbbell handle setups and that’s it.
When they aren’t in use the handles sit in the bases and you only give up enough floor space to accommodate those bases and nothing more. When compared to traditional solid dumbbells, you need much more space to support all the different weight sizes that you can achieve with this set. The set takes the place of 15 different dumbbell sets. Imagine how much space you would need to store 15 different sets of individual dumbbells in your home gym. After doing that it’s easy to see just how much space you can save with these special weights.
Even when comparing this set to traditional loose weight plates and adjustable dumbbell handles, it’s hard not to love the space-saving properties of these. Loose weight plates require a rack that takes up space, and you still have to store the two handles somewhere. If you don’t rack the weights they will sit in piles around your gym and take up excessive room. This Bowflex set keeps the weights neatly packed together. It prevents losing weights and it takes up very little space for what you get overall.
A Decent Weight Selection
One of our main concerns when looking at this adjustable dumbbell set is that it wouldn’t offer enough different weight levels to be worth purchasing. This set does a good job of giving you options though. At the low end, it’s possible to set the weights to as little as 5 lbs. each for light lifting. At the high end, each can be set to 52.5 lbs. for heavier lifting. There are a total of 15 different adjustment levels, giving you plenty of different weight options to work with. The only issue we had with the total weight selection is that 105 lbs. isn’t going to be enough for many lifters. With other adjustable sets going up to 200 lbs. or even more, this is a limitation that must be considered carefully before making the purchase.
Lifters that won’t get much higher than 105 lbs. even after spending some time lifting will certainly enjoy this product and what it offers. Even stronger lifters could still get some value from the product though. Even a strong lifter could enjoy these dumbbells for more lightweight lifts such as dumbbell flys, overhead press, curls and others while using a different weight option for the heavier lifts. In situations like those, this product could still prove itself valuable, but users must consider the limitations of the product before making the purchase.
It Offers a Good Value
When buying any product it’s important to consider the value of that item. The same is true with dumbbells. It’s possible to spend less money getting a set of adjustable dumbbells, and it’s possible to spend much more as well.
This BowFlex product sits in the middle comfortably and offers a decent value to buyers that the set fits properly. There are standard dumbbell sets that include a stack of standard weight plates and corkscrew style dumbbell handles that can be had for less than the BowFlex adjustable set, and they often offer a wider range of weight limits as well. These sets work well for lifters that don’t mind taking the extra time to swap between one weight level and another, and for lifters that don’t mind sliding plates on and off all the time.
The Bowflex SelectTech dumbbell weight sets are more costly to purchase, and often offer a lower weight limit as well, but they’re comfortable and convenient to use. The handles and mechanisms feel high-quality and well-constructed, and swapping from one weight level to the next is quick and easy to do, speeding up a workout and making it more enjoyable as well. This particular set offers up to 105 lbs. to lift between the two units, which will be enough for many lifters.
Finally, there are the bigger adjustable sets that are much more expensive than the SelectTech 552 set is. These larger sets use quick and convenient mechanisms and they offer higher maximum weight capacities, sometimes as high as 200 lbs. or more between the two sides, but they’re listed at a much higher price point as well.
For lifters that value convenience, and that don’t need to lift much more than 105 lbs. worth of dumbbells at a time, it’s easy to see how this SelectTech package is a good value. It’s quick and convenient to use, it’s reasonably priced and it offers all the functionality that most lifters care about.
A Good Natural Feel
Some adjustable dumbbells, like the PowerBlock products, can feel odd to use. In order to make swapping from one weight level to the next, many sets of adjustable dumbbells rely on strange mechanisms that create a feel too far from standard dumbbells. That’s not an issue with the Bowflex SelectTech system. Sure these dumbbells can appear long and unwieldy at lower weight levels when few players are attached to the handles, but they remain well-balanced and comfortable to use at all weight levels. Not only that, but the handles used for this system are comfortable and feel like traditional dumbbell handles. If you tried a different set of dumbbells and found them too odd or uncomfortable to use, you’ll likely enjoy the Bowflex SelectTech 552 set, or at least that was our experience. Even when fully loaded with weight, these dumbbells feel natural, they feel tight and secure and they’re a good reliable way to lift weights.
Decent Construction and Durability
When first putting together our Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells review we were worried about the durability of this dumbbell set. It has a good solid feel to it and feels as if it will hold up well over time, but many parts of the system are made from plastic. Other systems rely more on metal construction than this set does, and there have been a few users that had issues with plastic mechanisms failing. The set comes with a two-year warranty though, and for the most part, it feels like a thick, solid and durable product that will hold up well over time. Many users have enjoyed many years of performance from these adjustable dumbbells without issue, and they feel pretty sturdy during use. The only real concern we have at the moment is that the plates feel slightly loose compared to other adjustable options. They remain firmly in place during use, but they do shift around slightly when changing lift positions.
No More Checking the Plates for Security
With low-tech adjustable dumbbells that use the screw clamps, it’s necessary to check to make sure the weight plates are nice and tight between lifts. That’s not an issue with these weights. They remain firmly in position in-between lifts and won’t loosen up. That means you can spend less time checking out the weights, and more time performing the desired lifts instead. It’s a nice perk of using one of these weight sets, and it’s just another benefit that will help speed you through your lifts as well.
Weights can Lock Up
One issue that a few users have with this adjustable dumbbell set is that the weight plates become jammed when trying to switch from one weight level to the next. Bowflex designed the weights to work smoothly so that users can swap between the different weight levels conveniently, but that’s not always what happens.
In some instances, the weights will lock up and swapping weight levels becomes impossible. This is due to a safety design implemented by Bowflex. If this ever happens to users there is a simple procedure to help unlock the weights and to help them work properly once again. Users with the issue are asked to turn the base over and to tap on the underside of the base with the weights inside. Doing this can help to unlock the weights and to get them to work properly once again. This issue doesn’t happen to many lifters, but the ones that do experience the problem should talk with customer support about how to resolve the problem and to get the weights functioning smoothly once again.
It wouldn’t be right to end our Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells review by recommending the product to everyone, because there are some users that aren’t going to like the dumbbells, or that won’t be able to use them effectively. These dumbbells have a lot to offer though.
In terms of adjustment speed, they are one of the quickest and easiest to use on the market today, even when tested out against other well-designed adjustable dumbbells. The weights are also affordable to purchase when compared to other options, making them a good entry-level option.
They aren’t the most durable or the most versatile weights though. They’re a bit limited with a maximum weight of just 105 lbs. for the pair of weights. They also make use of plastic more than other weight systems do, which could cause durability issues over time. lifters that don’t need much more weight than 105 lbs. available that are looking for weights that adjust fast will love this set. Users that don’t match that description won’t.
If you decide to buy the set for yourself, make sure that it fits your needs and your desires properly before you make the purchase.