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We’ve compared Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbells against lots of brands. We compared them to Ironmaster, NordicTrack, Core Fitness, and so many others. However, we haven’t compared Bowflex against itself, until now. Today we’re looking at Bowflex SelectTech 1090 vs 552.
Our Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs 1090 will compare these two based on weight, increments between adjustments, the adjustment mechanism, grip, storage tray, and all the other differences that we can find.
While Bowflex 552 has been one of the best adjustable dumbbells so far, Bowflex 1090 might usurp the throne.
Bowflex 552 vs 1090: Weight and Increments
If you’re like most people, then the first thing you look for with a dumbbell is how much it weighs. While getting a 20lb dumbbell is easy, it’s a little more complicated with adjustable dumbbells. You have to consider both the overall weight and the increments.
Overall weight is just that, how much the dumbbell weighs. You’ll ideally want this piece of home gym equipment to have a wide weight range so that you have small weights and heavy weights as you need them.
So, what is the weight range with both Bowflex SelectTech models?
- Bowflex SelectTech 552: 5-52.5lbs
- Bowflex SelectTech 1090: 10-90lbs
We love Bowflex 552 and most people will find that 52.5lbs is good for their needs, but it really can’t compete with Bowflex 1090. They start at nearly the same weight, 5 and 10 pounds, but 1090 has nearly double the weight.
This makes 1090 more useful overall, and let’s be honest, few people will ever need more than a 90lb dumbbell.
Next up is increments. This refers to how much the weight changes when you increase or decrease it. You ideally want small increments that are consistent.
How does Bowflex 1090 vs 552 compare here? Let’s find out.
- Bowflex 552 SelectTech: 2.5lb increments to 25lbs, 5lb increments 25-52.5
- Bowflex 1090 SelectTech: 5lb increments
This one is tough. We like the 2.5lb increments better because that makes it easier to build up your strength, but after 25lbs they are both essentially the same.
We think 552 is a tiny bit better with increments, but they are functionally identical from 25lbs onward, so there isn’t a huge difference here.
The big winner here is 1090 with its massive 90lb weight maximum. However, since many people will find that 52.5lbs is perfect for them, the 552 might be right for your needs.
Bowflex 1090 vs 552: Weight Adjustments
You should always consider how to change the weights with adjustable dumbbells. Cheap weights often have terrible and slow mechanisms that make them more trouble than they are worth.
We’ve seen plenty of different adjustment methods when comparing other weights. For example, Ironmaster improved on the traditional spinning side lock while Core Fitness had you rotate the handle to select your weight.
Let’s compare Bowflex 552 vs 1090 to see if there are any differences here.
Starting first with 552, you will find two weight dials on both ends of the dumbbell. You will find numbers etched into the dial and, no surprise, the number corresponds to the amount of weight you want.
Want a 20lb dumbbell for your bicep curls? Spin the dial to 20 and pull up with the handle. Only 20lbs will be released while the other weight plates remain in the storage tray.
How do you change weight with the Bowflex 1090?
It’s the exact same system. Spin the dials to the proper weight, pull up, and start working out.
Be sure that both dials match regardless of which model you choose. If you select 30 with one dial and 25 with another, then the dumbbell won’t properly release from the storage tray.
Since the differences are so minor here (like 1090 having red numbers on the dial and 552 having white numbers) we are going to call this section a tie.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs 1090: Grip Comfort
Next up is the grip and handle. You might not even think about the handle, but we urge you not to overlook it. Can you imagine the horror of lifting your new max just for the dumbbell to fall out of your hand?
While this can happen with any weight, the odds are lower if the handle is comfortable and provides you with good grip. You don’t want a dumbbell handle that is completely smooth as this makes it easy for the weight to slip around (especially if your hands are sweaty).
So, how do 552 and 1090 compare here?
Starting with 552, the handle is made from steel and the center has a firm, rubberized material with the Bowflex logo on it. You might think the logo is only for branding, but it’s designed to be concave and to improve your grip.
This is a good handle that is both comfortable and secure. While some people might prefer a softer handle material, we found this to be a good middle ground that satisfies both your needs.
The 1090 dumbbell is also steel, but it doesn’t have the firm rubberized material. It’s more of a standard dumbbell handle that has a crisscross pattern etched into the metal. This is designed to improve your grip. If you’ve lifted other dumbbells before (and we assume you have), then this will feel familiar. However, the sides of the handle are smooth, which we were surprised to see.
We’re even more surprised to say that we liked the 552 handle better. It felt more secure and comfortable. At the same time, years and years of heavy use might wear away the material (we say might because Bowflex is a good brand and it should last a long time).
In general, we liked 552’s handle more, but 1090 also had a secure handle with good grip. Both are fine and it comes down to your preference.
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 vs 552: Storage Tray
The majority of our adjustable dumbbell reviews have revealed that nearly every dumbbell on the market has a storage tray. These don’t just store the dumbbell when you’re not using it. The tray also stores the extra weight plates that aren’t in use.
In general, you want a storage tray that sits flat on an even surface, is secure, and keeps the weight plates in place when they aren’t in use.
Both the 1090 and 552 are similar here, but unlike with the weight adjustment, there are some minor differences here.
They both use a black plastic tray that feels solid, keeps the extra plates in place, and they both look great. The 552 we think looks better as it has a small arc on the bottom. The 1090 is flatter, but it also has a good look.
The only real difference we could find was the design. If you are only getting these based on look, then 552 is better. But if you’re buying this for function (and we assume you are), then they are practically the same here.
Difference Between Bowflex SelectTech 1090 and 552
What is the difference between Bowflex SelectTech 552 and 1090? You know, they are identical in a lot of ways as you may have noticed. Their storage tray is basically the same, the adjustment mechanism is identical, and even the weight increments are nearly the same.
There are only two real differences we found.
The more minor difference is the handle. While both are good, we preferred the 552 dumbbell handle. We felt the grip was a little more secure and a tiny bit more comfortable, but the 1090 was great as well.
The biggest difference is the weight. We’ve loved the 552 in most other adjustable weight reviews, but the 1090 is nearly double the weight and more useful overall. It’s 90lbs compared to the 52.5lbs of the 552.
While 50+ pounds will be more than enough for most people, those who want an even more useful dumbbell, or those who are stronger, will love the 1090.
So, which is the best adjustable dumbbell? They are nearly identical in every way but one: weight. The 1090 has nearly double the weight at 90lbs, making it one of the best dumbbells overall in terms of weight range. However, many people will find that the 552 is enough for them at 52.5lbs.
So, which do you choose? The 1090 is obviously superior, but the 552 might match your needs better.