How can I figure out if bowflex 1090 dumbells are safe?
August 2, 2019 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a set of bowflex 1090 dumbells. They sound great, but a disturbing number of online reviews mention scary issues of plates falling off the dumbells. I'm trying to figure out how worried I should be about this...

Data I can find:

- The company did a recall of these in 2012.

- There seem to be a not-tiny number of reviews on amazon, well after the 2012 recall, from people who have had plates fall off (here, here. Here is what you get if you search for "dangerous" in the reviews...)

- Some people seem to report that pretty recently (in the past year or so) bowflex has fixed the design (here, here). I talked to a rep at Bowflex - they say there has been no change to the design since the 2012 recall.

Apart from this possible risk, I want these dumbells. I have their lighter 522 dumbells, and like them a lot. I have not found a comparable product that offers heavier weights, is easy to get shipped to me in Canada, etc..

Part of me thinks "How likely is it that a reputed company would sell a dangerous product like this *after a recall*." The product has had hundreds of positive reviews. How bad could it be?

OTOH, I really don't want a heavy metal plate falling on me...

Any thoughts? Advice on how I can get more info?
posted by ManInSuit to Shopping (4 answers total)
Is there a physical location near you where you could take a look at that locking mechanism? I would worry, if the change has been made recently, that not all stock of the old version has sold out.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:04 AM on August 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Can you get barbell collars to add to the current system? It might depend on the circumference of the barbells but a little googling brought up a variety of "weightlifting collars".
posted by The Devil's Grandmother at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2019

Anecdata: I have the 1090 dumbbells, which I bought in 2013 or 2014. I just looked at the plates up close and it is really hard to believe that these tabs could break off. I think they are probably safe.

I bought them directly from Bowflex, not from Amazon or some other affiliate, so you might watch out there.
posted by King Bee at 8:01 AM on August 3, 2019

Response by poster: I read a bunch more reviews: It seemed that customer reviews of powerblock dumbells were even more positive than reviews of the bowflex dumbells (and lots of people remarking on how durable they are). So I bought those. They are great. It is slightly less convenient to change the weight on them than the bowflex (like, maybe 30 seconds instead of 10 seconds), but I can live with that...
posted by ManInSuit at 7:19 PM on September 2, 2019

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