Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell (with Curl Bar) Review
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An adjustable barbell? Yep, you’re reading that right!
You’ve heard of an adjustable dumbbell, even an adjustable kettlebell, but Bowflex has decided to go ahead and make an adjustable barbell, which includes a curl bar, to help you save space and maximize workouts in even the smallest of garage gyms.
A Quick Look At the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell
Bowflex, and myself included, loved what they did with their SelectTech line of adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells that they figured, “why not make a barbell too?” so that’s how they ended up making the Bowflex SelectTech 2080. You might think, aren’t all barbells adjustable in terms of weight? You’re mostly right, but here’s why the 2080 barbell is so useful in a home gym.
Just like the SelectTech 552 and 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells, and the 840 Adjustable Kettlebell, the main appeal is saving space. You can load and unload a barbell with any number of plates, but those plates take up space, whereas the SelectTech 2080 barbell has very small plates that easily slide in and out of the barbell “collars.”
Bowflex names their adjustable lines with the weight ranges in mind. So the 2080 stands for 20lbs to 80lbs. The weight increases in increments of 10lbs, so you get a sizable amount of options for weights and workouts without taking up space.
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell
An easy dial system to help swap weights silently, and the ability to reduce gym size by 7 barbells makes the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell a great small-space gym equipment.
Is the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell Worth It?
It’s hard to say whether this barbell and curl bar are worth it for the average lifter. I haven’t seen many barbells like this, but that’s both good and bad.
For starters, it definitely helps add more versatility to your workouts when it comes to barbell exercises, as well as saving space compared to traditional plates and barbell storage. That being said, a normal barbell allows for much higher weight increments and fits into your gym as a necessary piece of equipment.
The price isn’t for the budget lifter either, but that’s not a surprise as Bowflex tends to go for quality at the detriment of low cost. I think this barbell, and the additional curl bar, add plenty of value to a home gym, and are wonderful for people with smaller apartment gyms or need the space. It’s great for lifters who aren’t intending to buy plenty of plates, or a fancy barbell, and just need a handful of equipment to get in some work.
A weight range of 20lbs to 80lbs isn’t a ton, but it helps for accessory work like overhead press, curls, skullcrushers, etc. so there’s plenty to like there. Additional the increments range in 10lb plates that the dial system swaps out, so it can save money in that regard too when you factor in the price tag.
- Home gym owners who need more space/use existing equipment
- Lifters who don’t need a barbell and weight plates
- Anyone that wants a decent, smaller barbell
Not Good For:
- Budget lifters
- Casual home gym owners
- Lifters that will make quick progress on barbell lifts
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell - Specifications
59” L (increases to 62” with extra 40lbs)
7 weight settings - 20lbs to 80lbs (20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80lbs)
Total Shipped Weight
knurled metal handle
molded plastic coated plates
Using The Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell
Replacing up to 7 different barbells and 7 curl bars is the main appeal of the SelectTech 2080, and it’s hard not to love that for a garage gym. A smaller barbell such as this helps add accessory work options to your routine, or allows a casual lifter to engage in lifts like squats, lunges, bench press, overhead press, without having to buy a power rack, barbell, and plates.
Still, the issue remains that this adjustable barbell only goes up to 80lbs, which is fine for smaller lifts, but not nearly enough for the intermediate or advanced lifters. If you’re planning on committing a strength training routine, then you’d be better off buying something like the Rogue Ohio power bar, or a full-set of weights.
The value is still there, like I said, for the casual lifters. The addition of the curl bar, with the EZ grip handle is especially useful if you just want to supplement your lifts and target the biceps/triceps.
Bowflex knocked it out of the park with their adjustable dumbbells and kettlebell, but the 2080, while a very competent product, doesn’t appeal to as many serious home gym owners as it should. Then again, the target audience isn’t CrossFitters and gymbros.
What I Like About The SelectTech 2080 Barbell
Just like the SelectTech 552, 1090, and 840, Bowflex decided to stick with their weight dial system to change weights. This is one of the best features in their line of adjustable weight products.
The weight dial is incredibly smooth and helps keep you focused on the workout, as opposed to fumbling around swapping out weight. If there’s anything that gets an A+++ about this bar, it’s this feature.
Silent Plate Swapping
Due to the fact that Bowflex uses coated plastic on their weights for the SelectTech 2080 barbell, the weight swapping is silent. As much as I love the sound of iron plates sliding on a barbell sleeve, and the sound they make when they smash together, sometimes silence is golden.
If you have a family, live in an apartment or shared residence, or just want some peace and quiet, the silent plate swapping is a blessing.
Metal Handle & Knurling
Don’t be fooled, the plastic coating on the weights and dial doesn’t mean Bowflex would skimp out on a good handle. The barbell and curl bar both feature good (not great) knurling on a traditional metal handle.
The grip is nice and the knurling adds much needed texture so you don’t slip and slide too much during curls or any other lift you might need it for. All in all, a good job that they made sure it was metal.
Bowflex does everything right when it comes to manufacturing quality built products. It feels durable, but not too bulky. As mentioned, I loved the metal handle and you will too, especially the knurling.
Even though I like the quiet weight swapping because of the plastic coating, I’m not overly enthused by the plastic. You shouldn’t be dropping this bar, but plastic is infinitely less durable than iron, so be cautious of that.
Of course, the biggest appeal is the fact that you’re reducing up to a total of 14 barbells/curl bars from your home gym, along with 14 different weight plates. The convenience of space saving technology is the biggest appeal to the Bowflex adjustable barbell.
Adjustable Barbell vs. Traditional Barbell
If you’re a home gym owner trying to decide between this adjustable barbell or a traditional barbell and weight plates, let’s take a look at why you might choose one over the other.
Adjustable barbells come in preset weight increments, which is kind of misleading as a traditional dumbbell is also “adjustable” just in a different way. This adjustable dumbbell has the benefit of being quick change, allowing you to swap out weights fast. This is a benefit for quick workouts like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) when you need lighter weight for certain movements. Similarly, it’s great for drop sets.
Where you’d choose a traditional dumbbell is if you don’t need to change weights out fast, because you need more. A traditional barbell can hold upwards of 1000-1500lbs, sometimes more. Obviously, this is more beneficial to powerlifters and bodybuilders over the Bowflex barbell, which at most, goes up to 120lbs when you buy the additional upgrade weights.
The adjustable barbell saves plenty of space. Like I said, if you have very little space to work with, then it’s a wonderful piece of workout equipment because you only need the two bars and the interchangeable weight plates, which are thin and small.
A traditional barbell and weights will start to add up to your gyms footprint, but you have way more weight to work with.
In terms of value, the edge certainly goes to the traditional barbell and weight plates. It might seem more expensive at first, but needing to purchase a whole new bar to get additional weights is not ideal when you can buy the weight sets initially.
Final Verdict - Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell Review
As expected, the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell performs admirably, given Bowflex’s reputation for quality, but it isn’t the piece of equipment for everyone.
What I Liked:
- Bowflex quality
- Knurled metal handles for extra grip
- Fast, quiet, and easy weight swapping system
- Saves plenty of storage space
- Bonus curl bar
What I Didn’t Like:
- Limited weight range
- Cost vs. value
- Designed for casual lifters
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell
Reducing the amount of space taken up by weights is a must for a home gym.
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell allows you to easily swap between weights without cluttering up your workout space.
Casual lifter looking to add more variety to your at-home workouts? The Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell could be the piece of equipment for you.
- Product Brand: Bowflex
- Product Currency: USD$
- Product Price: $599
- Product In-Stock: In Stock
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell Rating
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell