Peloton is known for its indoor cycling performance as an option, given the price. Although it does make excellent bikes, it is not the only way to give up a great cycling workout. There are a lot of great Peloton alternatives out there that are inexpensive and sometimes even have additional features.
No, do you have to pay $1,445 for a Peloton Bike or $1,995 for a Bike Plus, along with $44 a month for Peloton workout programs? Below, I've compiled a number of stationary bike models that aren't at all-time low costs. In the meantime, I'll continue to update this post as I can improve it.
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The best indoor exercise bike options may be found here, but I have done a search to find the best one for you. Note that these prices are accurate at the time of this posting and subject to change. Share what you like or dislike!
Peloton vs. the best Peloton alternatives
|Bowflex C6||Bowflex VeloCore||Echelon Connect EX3||NordicTrack S15i||Myx Fitness Myx||Peloton Bike Plus||ProForm Studio Bike Limited|
|Subscription requirement||N/A||Optional||Optional||Optional||Required||Required||Required for 3 years|
|Screen size (inches)||BYO||16-in. and 22-in.||BYO||14-in.||21.5-in.||21.5-in.||10-in.|
Nearly all bikes here have one thing in common: they effectively tie you into their ecosystems, requiring a membership to fully utilize the hardware. Not so the Bowflex C6 -- it can pair via Bluetooth with a range of different exercise apps, including Peloton. Add to that one of the lowest prices of any "connected" bike, and you've got a serious competitor.
The included assembly manual is pretty straightforward; it's mostly a few diagrams. I able to assemble the bike in about 45 minutes, with only a few head-scratching moments along the way. However, Bowflex should really include a printed version of the more complete manual that's available online. That guide also covers using the control panel, which is barely mentioned in the print version. Even then, there is no additional instruction on Bluetooth pairing.
The C6 spin bike is a little less sculptural, but rather less expensive than bikes costing more, but it is also quite practical while you ride, although the pedals have toe cages, although they can also be used with clip-in cycling shoes. I did encounter one mechanical issue: My handlebar post was bleak once more, although thankfully it didn't bother me while riding.
The tablet mount, which puts the screen at a very shallow angle and cannot be adjusted, comes to life as soon as you start pedaling, and displays six key metrics: time, calories, speed, distance, resistance level, and pulse. A pair of 3-pound weights and two roomy water bottle holders are also included.
The C6 is compatible with a wide variety of third-party apps, including Peloton and Bowflex's Explore the World. The latter takes you on virtual rides around the world, matching the video playback to your pedaling speed, but it's not exactly as good as one. However, these and other apps make sure you get the best results during your indoor workout sessions.
That flexibility, coupled with the relatively low price of the machine, makes the C6 a solid choice for a budget-conscious biker.
The VeloCore indoor cycling bike isn't quite suited for a "family Peloton bike upgrade" but if you choose the model with the 22-inch screen, you're up to $2,199. There's one great reason to consider the VeloCore, which is right there in the name: your core.
The VeloCore, a NordicTrack S15i, has the ability to tilt forward and back to simulate biking up and down hills, which allows you to go side by side, making the biking experience much more enjoyable when you're riding hard. And if you hold that lean (as instructed in certain classes, or whenever you want to increase your ride), you feel it in your arms and abs.
I tried the VeloCore and found that the leaning capability really adds something. However, the bike itself feels quite robust, with pedals that support both regular and clip-in shoes, magnetic resistance, and virtually silent operation. One issue, however, is that there are five control buttons (volume, power, etc.) placed behind the screen, so you'll need to remember which does what and access them by feeling alone. Dumb design.
Bowflex's JRNY application and service is fantastic, although only recorded ones, but also scenic virtual rides, streaming radio stations, and more. JRNY even supports syncing ride data with other cycling apps, like Peloton and Zwift, on your phone or tablet.
The service costs $20 a month or $149 a month. You may pay the bike without it, but you have to lose the majority of the above features. Peloton's subscription (with bike) costs $39 a month.
The VeloCore is certainly an attractive Peloton option if you prefer live classes and leaderboards. In the long run, you will also save money by factoring in the less expensive subscription.
Echelon offers a very similar class structure, both live and on-demand, but it's also available via less expensive hardware. For example, the EX3, which currently costs $800, or it can be purchased with a one-year subscription for $1,200.
Echelon's newer EX5s ($1,600) matches the actual Peloton hardware, thanks to its massive 22-inch screen. Other models in the lineup, including the EX3, require you to bring your own screen, in the form of an iPad or similar tablet. That also opens the door to activities like reading books or streaming Netflix. Options on the Peloton are also unavailable.
You can't use an Echelon bike with any third-party cycling apps, but instead, you'll want real-time statistics. For the moment, the bikes can match only with the Echelon app. As noted, the app offers a very Peloton-like experience, but also offers roughly the same subscription rates.
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NordicTrack's bike uses a mechanical shaft to simulate actual bike riding inconsistently small spaces, allowing cyclists to experience more sensational riding than a hill. What's more, bike instructors and virtual-ride leaders can remotely adjust their bikes' incline and resistance levels, allowing you to not constantly be wary with controls.
The S15i is quite cool, yet it's one of the most well-known competitors in this roundup. Despite the flywheel being very limited, the rest of the equipment gets loud every time you adjust your workout. Likewise, the built-in fan is far from distracting even at the lowest speed.
One of my biggest concerns is the iFit software, which provides access to a wide range of classes, virtual rides, and off-bike workouts, all through a 15-inch touchscreen. However, scrolling is slow and jerky, and there's no way to sort or even search the content, which isn't classified in any meaningful way. Thankfully, iFit now offers live sessions.
The first year of the cycle is free. It would cost you $39 a month or $33 if prepaid annually. But you don't have to pay it, and there is nowhere on the bike to sit a tablet if you prefer. Hulu is also good for people who like to see it.
The bike itself is comfortable to ride, straightforward to adjust and quite attractive, except for the chunky-looking arm-mounted screen. On the plus side, the screen can rotate for any off-bike classes you might want to take (though it can't tilt down, therefore it's difficult to see during floor exercises).
Apart from hardware and iFit issues, I liked riding on virtual global roads and trails and permitting instructors to control the bike's incline and resistance. If this kind of exercise experience appeals to you, there is no better option than the S15i.
The closest thing to a straight-up Peloton clone is a bike with a 21.5-inch screen and original, in-house fitness programming. However, the pricing for the Myx II stationary bike is quite different, with a monthly membership fee starting at $29. So while it's not the least expensive option in the roundup, it's also of great value.
The $1,599 Myx II Plus, which excludes just necessities like mats and weights that, frankly, aren't worth the money for an indoor cycling bike, would be canceled. You might also get the same gear piecemeal for the same or lesser.
The bike itself is as sturdy as it has come, with reversible pedals (toe cages on one side, shoe clips on the other), handlebar height and depth adjusters, and a monitor that can tilt and pivot. This last represents a significant advantage over Peloton, as it allows you to point the screen in different directions for off-bike classes. NordicTrack's S15i is also a little bit more expensive, although it has a smaller screen.
While the bike may track your heart rate (courtesy of an included Polar armband monitor or syncing with your Apple Watch), it does not collect or display cycling information such as speed, distance, or resistance. Instead, instructors aren't throwing out numbers ("Speed up to 22!") during classes; instead, the guidance is more like, "OK, let's increase resistance a little." You'll have to decide whether or not these metrics are essential to the experience.
You'll have to decide whether live classes are something you want, but Myx does not offer on-demand sessions through its standard Openfit subscription, which allows for additional live workouts if you use the metrics. Similarly, I liked the fact that I was constantly following and checking speed and resistance numbers.
Myx's touchscreen is excellent: it's flexible, intuitive, and easy to navigate. It's currently home to hundreds of sessions (not just biking, but also weight training, meditation, yoga, and so on) with additional weekly visits. Along with Myx Media content, such as news and coach diaries, virtual trail rides are now available.
Peloton and several others say they're about competition: stats, leaderboards, and much more. If you don't want to compete but want a great cycling experience combined with an extra-large screen, the Myx bike is a steal.
ProForm's offer is real, but it's also fantastic: pay $39 per month for an iFit subscription and the bike is yours for free. That means your total out-of-pocket fee is roughly $1,400. That's what you'd pay up front for a lot of bikes, and then you'd still be paying a monthly fee on top.
I haven't tried Studio Bike Limited myself, but it does match the NordicTrack S15i. There's no surprise there: Icon Health and Fitness, a parent company, is both of the NordicTrack and ProForm, as well as iFit.
The bike has a silent flywheel, height-adjustable seat and handlebars, digital resistance settings, 3-pound hand weights, and a 10-inch touchscreen that can turn 180 degrees in one direction, allowing you to take off-bike classes.
iFit here is a similar concept to iFit above. It includes non-biking classes, but high-intensity interval training, strength training, yoga, and more. Two things I particularly like: the "live" resistance control, meaning the instructor change your bike during your class or ride.
Note that ProForm also has a ($0 down, $39 per month for 36 months).
With reservations, this is a must-see strategy.
Peloton's cycle is, without doubt, the Bentley of home exercise bikes. It's a sturdy and simple machine that feels every inch like a premium product. Of course, it has a price tag to match the Peloton experience: $1,445, delivery and setup, plus $44 a month for on-demand and live classes. The Peloton Bike Plus is priced at $1,995.
Although I didn't like to purchase (and use) special clip-in cycle shoes, I was satisfied with the Peloton degree. The high-energy cycling classes are fun and engaging, with a wide variety of instructors, music genres, and difficulty levels, ensuring that everyone gets the job done.
To look at the Stryde bike, you will get a Peloton alternative with a slightly impressive 21.5-inch screen, but a $30 monthly subscription. Unlike almost anything other bike, this one does not lock you into a custom environment. Instead, it is like having an enormous tablet at your fingertips, not just Stryde's own app, but also a browser, Netflix, and more.
This blessing is a curse. This Android version does not support Google Play Services, meaning there are certain apps -- HBO Max and Zwift, to name two -- that will not run, period. While Netflix comes preinstalled, other streaming apps (such as Hulu and Disney Plus) must be sideloaded. That's not a novice-friendly option.
Another frustration: The screen does not rotate, therefore you can't use it for off-bike classes. Stryde's membership plan currently allows cycling classes only. I found the built-in speakers very tinny and barely loud enough for me to watch my Netflix show. Fortunately, class volume was much louder, and it's simple to plug in wired headphones or connect any Bluetooth set.
One thing you can't keep away is the meaty cable that falls off the tablet rather than running through the frame of the bike. It also has Velcro straps, but there is no place to protect the cord correctly. What's more, 20 minutes into my second workout, I noticed a squeaking noise coming from one side of the bike not something you desire to hear from a brand new one.
Stryde provides a wide spectrum of options and instructors in the app, which allows you to filter by studio, instructor, class length, musical genre, and so on. Although I was aware that no classes were intended to introduce you to the bike itself, and the "beginner ride" class I tried was incredible.
I'm not sure whether or not the Stryde bike is functional for all riders. If you're a studio-cycling novice or a novice who isn't comfortable trying to touch Android settings, then consider another.
When buying an indoor exercise bike, what should I look for?
Before you decide which indoor exercise to buy, you'll want to consider several things, including cost, size, display screen, and if or not you'll need a monthly subscription. If your main goal is to simulate the experience of riding outdoors, for example, you'll want a bike like, which has a realistic road feel and can help you avoid the temptation of falling asleep. However, if your main goal is to get the most bang for your money, you'll want to consider something like the.
Which bike is most similar to Peloton?
With its 21.5-inch screen and a wide selection of fitness classes, the $1,399 is the closest thing to a Peloton that you can get. However, if you want to cut costs even further, the $800 is an excellent alternative with Peloton-like classes and a premium design, but keep an eye on that you'll need to have your own screen.
Is a built-in or BYO screen better?
The sexiest aspect of the Peloton exercise bike is its large HD touchscreen. And, of course, it's a reason why the bike is so expensive; many indoor spin bike competitors come with a smaller screen or none at all. Instead, the tablet allows you to do something other than watch indoor cycling classes, like read books, stream Netflix, and even ride virtual outdoor scenic rides. I'm not saying one is definitively superior -- there are advantages and disadvantages to built-in and BYO screens.
Is there a need for an subscription?
Some bikes will be discounted in part due to their benefits, such as a $39 discount, and Myx Fitness is a bit cheaper at $29 per month; Echelon offers a free trial before proceeding with a class (though Peloton does not require a minimum one-year subscription) program. However, some bikes will no longer collect or display information about your rides, such as speed and distance, but others may also benefit from discounts.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider if you have any questions about a medical condition or health objectives.