Have you been looking for an adjustable dumbbell lately? You’ve probably come across the Nuobell dumbbell out of Sweden. These designs are not necessarily revolutionary since we’ve seen this concept dating back to 2016. But they have managed to add a few significant improvements that have caught many people’s attention, especially those looking for a space-friendly adjustable dumbbell. Would you consider these options legitimate or are they merely another name to add to the adjustable dumbbells hat? As we move forward, we’ll answer all of those questions as well as many more.
Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbells
My experience as a user of a variety of adjustable dumbbells has taught me that there are probably no other equipment classes that offer as many trade-offs as adjustable dumbbells do right now. One thing I have noticed as a person who owns and uses numerous adjustable dumbbells personally is that there is probably no other class of equipment that has as many trade-offs at the moment as adjustable dumbbells. I have always preferred adjustable dumbbells, for example, paired with Power Blocks, because they allow the weight to be adjusted.
When you use something like an Ironmaster, you can adjust it fast. However, with a loadable handle, you lose some of the traditional looks and feel you would expect from something like an Ironmaster. While you get that classic look and feel with a loadable handle, you lose those quick adjustments. As usual, you get that traditional look and feel, but you sacrifice speed. To get something like a Bowflex style, selectorized adjustable dumbbell, you will have to sacrifice some range of motion due to the length, some comfort due to the end caps, and some comfort with the end caps.
The Nuobell dumbbells give you moderately fast adjustments, but they give up the maximum load and long-term durability. You get some things at the cost of others, so this is no exception. By the way, the Nuobell bells are modeled very similarly to the Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells from 2016. The Nuobell bells are much nicer, though. They have a knurled straight handle instead of a rubber-contoured handle.
There are actual iron plates on the Nuobell dumbbells as opposed to plastic plates and they are capable of lifting a much heavier weight. It is important to know that, since you can lift up to 80 pounds on these, as opposed to only 50 pounds on the core, we will walk through all of that and more in this article.
You should have a pretty clear idea by the end if these are the right options for you. In my opinion, some can benefit from the Nuobell dumbbell, and others can benefit from looking elsewhere. The first positive aspect of the Nuobell dumbbells is their ability to be adjusted so quickly, perhaps the fastest in the entire industry. This is one of the coolest things about them. To achieve this, the device uses a rotating handle that threads a steel rod through a series of plates that correspond to the weight you have selected.
Nuobell dumbbell variants
A Nuobell dumbbell can be purchased in two variants: is available in a 50-pound version, and it is available in an 80-pound version as well. Each of those weights can be adjusted in 5-pound increments, starting at 5-pound increments. In the case of the 80-pound dumbbell, which is what I have, you get 16 pairs of dumbbells in a very compact space, since it comes in two sizes. Whenever you want to change the weight of the dumbbells, you just need to rack them in the two cradles that come with your Nuobell dumbbell: it is very simple.
When the latches here are activated, they allow the handle to rotate freely when they are engaged. As a result, you can adjust the weight of the dumbbells. However, you don’t have to worry about them spinning when you’re using dumbbells. In addition, you don’t have to worry about them falling off or hurting you. Whenever you want to adjust the weight, there is a weighted call-out with a corresponding plus-minus that indicates which direction to go, and this isn’t just for fast athletes.
Even though steel is hollow, there is another nice feature of these bells that allows the steel rod to protract and retract at the same time. It is especially useful if you are comparing Nuobell dumbbells to Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells, which are not as durable as Nuobell dumbbells. Furthermore, Nuobell dumbbells also feature iron plates which give them that very traditional feeling and look.
Even though it’s nice to have that, there are some downsides. In this application, there are a lot of plastic components, as I’ll explain. A plastic connector is used to connect the two plates of these bells, and each plate is joined together by the connector.
To determine the number of plates associated with a certain weight, you have to pull up the handle. This will magically reveal how many plates are associated with that weight once you have chosen it. With that being said, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind as you move forward.
Keep these things in mind
There is an element of having to steer these dumbbells back into their cradles and back into their connection slots. It is because you have such tight tolerances between the connections themselves. It is therefore important to remember that you do run the risk of losing your aim if you line them up incorrectly or miss the connection altogether. This is because you run the risk of losing your aim, especially after a strenuous workout or if you are tired. This is not something that you want to have to deal with.
Having said that, I have found the Nuobell dumbbells to be pretty forgiving. So even if you don’t get them dead center, they do tend to fit pretty easily. I’ve had problems with 50 pounds or more. This is because it comes in at an angle when I rack it, which creates a gap between the connections when I rack it. I recommend pulling the dumbbells out and putting them back in or resetting them entirely before trying to adjust the weight.
Additionally, these cradles themselves pose another risk, since they’re very lightweight, particularly the vertical pieces. This is because they use a lot of plastic. This means the risk of hitting them is the highest, so consider coming in when you’re working on a hard set.
Vertical-post dumbbells can break
It’s possible that when you are trying to rack your dumbbells, you accidentally hit one of those vertical posts while trying to rack 80 pounds. In such a case, there is a good chance that these vertical posts will break. In addition to this, I would like to draw your attention to the end caps of the adjustable dumbbells. I believe this is an area where a lot of adjustable dumbbells have some problems. This is both with the way they function and also with the way they are comfortable.
A Super Comfortable Dumbbell
The Nuobell dumbbell has a male and a female connector, but their surface is otherwise flat. It’s so comfortable on the legs, unlike a Bowflex loadable dumbbell handle, or, to a lesser extent, Ironmasters. These have a smaller end cap. You have to be conscious of the male connector, which can be a bit uncomfortable. But otherwise, it’s super comfortable.
The connectors do a pretty good job of preventing dumbbells from rolling around, so maybe that’s an underrated advantage. The round-headed dumbbells tend to roll around a bit more than rubber hex dumbbells, but while the newer bells do tend to roll a little bit, they do come to a quick stop and sometimes even roll back to where they were when they started.
Under the female connector, there are about 2 and a quarter inches of flat area, so you can do this. In a garage or on a sloped floor, you can rest assured that your dumbbells won’t roll away. They’re gonna stay put in a nice confined space. Last but not least, these connectors are plastic, so they don’t look like they’re built to last long.
Nuobell Dumbbells: Durability concerns
Realistically, the Nuobell dumbbells haven’t been out long enough for anyone to definitively conclude one way or the other. Still, I do have reservations about their long-term durability, especially if you drop them, which I would never recommend that you do. I also do have some concerns about constantly racking and unracking putting stress on these connection points.
However, I’m not quite as concerned about that as I am about the drops. The other downside to these iron plates, which is another reason why I would never recommend you drop these bells, is that they have very harsh edges. These are not radiused at all, leaving a very hard edge. So my biggest concern is causing damage to your flooring from either falling too many times or dropping from too high or dropping at the wrong angle.
You might not be as at risk from a horse stall mat that is extremely dense. This means that if you have that mat, then you may not be as at risk. Nonetheless, it is something that should be considered. As you can see on the inner plate, two cutouts are quite uncomfortable.
They are both quite noticeable. It means that you can still do movements such as goblet squats, skull crushers, etc. However, it is quite uncomfortable, especially under heavy loads due to those sharp edges. One more reason you don’t want to drop these bells is that your warranty will be voided. These come with a two-year warranty on workmanship and materials, which honestly feels a little tinier than I would have expected.
Don’t drop your Nuobell dumbbells!
Consider something like power blocks, which have a 10-year warranty, and iron masters, which have a lifetime warranty. Then there are these Nuobell bells with plastic components and not much durability track record. At the end of the day, I think it’s just been made abundantly clear at this point: don’t drop those bells. And that’s a concern I think we all should take into consideration, but at the end of the day, it’s just a matter of money.
You’ll also hear and feel some lateral rattle with these dumbbells. If you’re doing a hammer curl, for example, you’re going to hear and feel this more than you would with a chest press. You’re going to hear and feel it more than you will with a chest press. The dumbbells run parallel to the ground, so I don’t see that as too much of a downside. At this point, it’s purely aesthetic.
Nuobell dumbbells are some of, if not the best-looking adjustable dumbbells on the market. I love the black version and I like the minimalistic look, especially in comparison to some of the other options. There are bright red, blood, and slash colors. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s out there, so you can check it out. In the meantime, I’ll stick with black. This set of bells is one of the most expensive at $745 for the 80-pound version. It comes with two dumbbells and two cradles.
My recommendation is to spend $250 more on the Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells if you’re looking at the 50-pound version. If you’re someone who needs more than 80 pounds, someone who wants a more durable track record. Maybe you want the ability to drop your weight, you don’t mind a bit more adjustment time, and you might want to spend less money. I’d focus my attention on power blocks and iron masters.
Now, I want to warn you. There are some Nuobell dumbbell clones that you can get much cheaper on places like Alibaba. That’s not what I’d recommend. I don’t know if it’s the same quality, I don’t know if you get the same warranty, and I’ve seen some of their ads. It seems a bit fishy to me, so I’d stick with legitimate authorized retailers. I got mine from a company called Urban Fit. They’re one of the few authorized retailers here in the U.S.