Live Science Verdict
This cheap adjustable dumbbell packs a neat weight-changing mechanism that makes it easy to add a few pounds to your workout, but it’s got some frustrating design flaws.
Challenge to lift out of tray
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If you want to lift weights at home, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are a decent solution. The dumbbells offer five different weights in one simple package (either 11lb to 55lb, or 5lb to 25lb) so you can steadily progress in your lifting routine.
The handle is the main attraction on the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells with its anti-slip grip and weight adjustment mechanics. Once the dumbbells are in their tray, shifting weights is as simple as a flick (or twist) of the wrist.
Compared to some of the other best adjustable dumbbells on the market, the Flybirds are fairly inexpensive – but they lose points when it comes to quality. The design of the handle is sleek, but physically lifting the dumbbell out of the tray is difficult. And the round shape of the weight plates means that the dumbbells roll away in between sets.
Here’s how we got on with them, after several weeks of testing.
Price and release date
The Flybird Adjustable dumbbells are available now and retail for $119.99 for a single 25lb dumbbell or $189.99 for a 55lb option. You can buy a pair and save some money, too: a set of 25lb bells will cost you $209.99 while a 55lb set retails for around $379.99.
For context, this is relatively cheap – our favorite dumbbells, the JaxJox DumbbellConnect, typically cost $499 for a pair.
Set up and ease of use
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are manual and no set-up is required. They arrived in their tray, with the plates already lined up correctly. Their compact design means it's easy to slot them into your home gym.
The weight changing mechanism is relatively simple; you select your weight by turning the handle of the dumbbell when they’re locked into place on their tray.
Not all adjustable dumbbells have such a simple system. For example, the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight dumbbells has a slightly fiddly plastic dial that you have to turn to change weights.
But one benefit of NordicTrack’s approach is that there is also an inner dial for smaller weight increments. This means you can add on 2.5lb, which is great if you're following a progressive overload plan. With Flybird, you’ll have to make the much bigger leap of 11lb between weight settings, which is much more challenging.
Overall the design of these dumbbells is sleek and streamlined. The handle is long at 14.6 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches. We liked the length here as it gave a balanced feel to the weights when lifting. The handles and plates combined don’t feel bulky and the rubber material is high quality enough that we didn’t get any blisters.
Another bonus is that the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells don’t have a lingering smell and they aren’t susceptible to rust, thanks to their cast-iron makeup.
Features and functionality
Beyond a sleek design and the simple weight changing mechanism, these dumbbells don’t offer much in the way of bells and whistles. The weight-changing mechanic is activated by the handle; with the dumbbells in the tray, and either end of the bar nestled on the weight plates, you simply twist the handle in the direction of your desired weight on the dial.
One thing we found during testing – after shifting weights and lifting the dumbbell up – was that the dumbbell itself can get stuck. This occurred regularly enough to be a nuisance during weight training and it's one of the reasons the dumbbells lost marks in this review.
As mentioned above, sometimes the weight plate gets stuck, which can interrupt your workout session. Be prepared to have to stop and pause for a minute as you wrestle with the dumbbells in their tray. Another small flaw is that the plates on the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are round – this means that they’ll roll away in between sets. You can, however, detach the weight plates and do things like overhead plate extensions with them.
Once we managed to get the dumbbell out of its tray, we actually found it to be sturdy and secure, with minimal rattling and jiggling noises.
Value for money
If you want adjustable dumbbells and you can’t spare a lot of cash, these are a decent option. Particularly because you can buy them individually – and many strength-training and weight-lifting workouts only ask for one dumbbell.
If you are willing to spend the money to get a higher-end alternative, then we’d say skip these. Upper-tier dumbbells come with greater perks. For example, NordicTrack’s dumbbells offer a free 30 day trial of the iFit membership, while the JaxJox ConnectDumbbells allow you to speedily adjust weights with the touch of a button.
The round shape of the weight plates, combined with the difficulties we had removing the dumbbell from its tray, marred our experience of using the Flybirds. As such, we don’t think the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are at the top end of the market – but they are cheap and fairly reliable.
Once the dumbbells were in our hands, they felt sturdy and secure. If you’re really trying to save the pennies, then these could be a good option – but if you have the cash, we’d recommend going for a high end design.
Out of all the dumbbells we’ve tested, the JaxJox DumbbellConnect models (above) were our favorites. They’re easy to use, feel secure and make changing weights effortless.
If you’re after something in a lower price bracket, you could try the Core Home Fitness adjustable dumbbells. They retail at $299 for a set of two 50lb models – be aware though that we had similar problems with this design, often finding ourselves struggling to release the dumbbell from its holder.
Brielle is a freelance journalist based in New York City. She covers health, fitness, wellness, and pop culture. Unable to start her day without a quick Pilates flow and a hot cup of water with lemon, she's very passionate about having a healthy body and mind. With her writing she hopes to provide readers with the tools and information they need to lead healthy lifestyles.
She enjoys long walks on the treadmill as much as she enjoys long hikes along the trails in Upstate New York. One of her favorite topics of discussion is food, particularly cooking. She works hard at creating nutritious and delicious recipes with a firm belief in meal planning over meal prepping.