Product Review: Bowflex Dumbbell 1090

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  • Product: Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)

    Bowflex Dumbbells 1090

  • Place to Buy: amazon.com
  • Specifications: Adjustable dumbbell ranging from 10-90 pounds.  9.4in wide at it’s widest point and 17.4in long ; 99.2 pounds with cradle included
  • My Rating: 6/10

General Overview

The Bowflex Dumbbell 1090 is an adjustable dumbbell. You switch the weights by using the dials on both sides of the dumbbell. It’s intuitive and easy to use. Cost-wise though, it is considerably more than the 552. The Bowflex Dumbbell 1090 is that step-up from the 552. You’re getting what you pay for: more weight. The 552s cost the same in a set than the 1090 as one.

These dumbbells work well for the design. They’ve updated them since their earlier models. Earlier, they had issues with weights falling off the handles because of the plastic tabs they would use to hold the weights in place on the handles. It seems like they fixed that because mine are metal.

Even though there are some concerns about the general overview of the 1090s, these are good for those who are gentle with their gym equipment.

As far as customer service goes, I haven’t heard great things about it. If these things break, then they’ll find ways around shipping you out a new one. I read some reviews that said that Bowflex encouraged them to purchase new weights or a new handle. But then turn around and say they don’t sell pieces of the dumbbell. So, that may be a consideration.

There’s an app for the dumbbell. I didn’t see anything about people using it so I don’t know how it works. If you have your own way of tracking your workouts, just stick with that instead.

Shipping wasn’t an issue. They come in large boxes you’ll have to move with a dolly. Overall, not a bad trade off for adjustable dumbbells.


Switching weights is seem less. You’ll have to turn both dials on either side of the dumbbell. Make sure they match! One thing I’ve read is that if you have a hard time seeing red or faded colors then the numbers may be hard to read. So, have some glasses nearby and a light if that is you.

Reracking the weights can be a pain sometimes. You have to put the weight over top the cradle and make sure it’s seated in there properly. This can be especially difficult if you’ve just completed a set and you’re tired. Having said that, would you rather have an adjustable weight that’s a little difficult to put away or a whole wall of dumbbells taking over your garage? You’ll have to decide that.

The handles may be too big for those with smaller hands. These 1090s are unforgiving with the circumference of the handle itself. That goes along with how long the dumbbell is. I suppose when they were designing this they had to make these long and big to accommodate up to 90 pounds.

During Workouts

The large design can be either good or bad for your workouts. It’s a long handle, which means that it’ll get in the way if you’re using two dumbbells at the same time when doing curls, presses, or bench press. Form might go out the window. One solution could be to turn your wrists so that if you’re looking at the dumbbells in your hands you’re looking at your thumbs rather than you’re whole fist. Then do curls that way. Some do not like that style of curls, so if that’s you then these might be a little bulky.

As the weights get heavier the handles get more rough. Putting electrical tape on there can ease the pain a little. The handle design isn’t very smooth, so expect some pain if you’re using these past 50 pounds or so.

This should go without saying but do not drop these. You can risk breaking a very expensive set of dumbbells. Instead, set them down gently, even if it’s off the cradle. They’ll stand upright if you set them down properly.



  • Easy way to adjust weights
  • Ranges from 10-90 pounds to accommodate many exercises
  • Space Saving


  • Uncomfortable Grip
  • Bulky design may hinder some exercises
  • Earlier models had plastic tabs that could break
  • Delicate design can be uneasy for users


Overall, these dumbbells aren’t bad. The issues listed are what most are experiencing with the Bowflex 1090s, so that’s why I gave it a 6/10. There may be better ones out there, but I don’t think the industry has overcome some of these issues yet. If you’re looking for a compact set of dumbbells you can workout with for  a few days a week, then this is a good set. The space saver is a huge win for these dumbbells. Just be gentle with these and your workouts will go very well!

On the flip-side, if you’re looking for less weight, then look at the 552s. The 552s are a better deal since you get two for $299 instead of just one 1090.

Since I talked a little about the 552s, check them out here if you want to compare.

Comment below with your comments, concerns, or questions. I hope you enjoyed this review! Thanks Garage Gym Goers!




  1. Man I really enjoyed reading your honest review. To be frank I forgot about the bowflex 1090. I personally don’t use weights but it’s pretty convenient to have as opposed to a set of weights like you mentioned.

    • Absolutely! It’s convenient to have for sure. Especially if you have a small space in your garage. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Interesting read. I have seen these around and have always wanted to know what they were like to do a work out with. The idea of combined weight in a small footprint is very nice. It could replace the set we have downstairs easily and give some room to boot. Thank you for posting this article, it was very helpful and give me a lot to ponder on for my next purchase.

    • Archon,
      Space-saving is really nice when it comes to weight training! The weights can get cumbersome, but these adjustable dumbbells do the trick nicely. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks for your comment!

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