Peloton is known for its indoor cycling capabilities, as well as considering the cost. While the brand does make excellent bikes, it is not the only source for a great cycling workout. There are plenty of great Peloton alternatives out there that are inexpensive and may even include additional features.
Do you have to pay $1,445 for a Peloton Bike or $1,995 for a Bike Plus, along with $44 per month for Peloton workouts? Below, I've reviewed a number of stationary bicycle models that are similar to those listed in the "free" category, and I'll continue to update this article as I may continue to try other companies. (In the meantime, see my story on a.)
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What you should know before you get your heart rate up and your legs pumping is to pick the best indoor exercise bike for you. I have reviewed several of my favorites at the time of this posting and subject to change. Also, note that many fitness equipment retailers offer financing. Share your opinions and comments if you already use one of these models.
Peloton vs. 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 transfer you into their ecosystems, requiring a membership to fully utilize the hardware. Not the Bowflex C6 -- it can pair via Bluetooth with a variety of exercise apps, including Peloton. Add to that one of the lowest prices of any "connected" bike, and you've got a serious contender.
The included assembly manual provides very little information; it's mostly a few diagrams. I received a printed version of the more complete manual that I've purchased online. This includes the use of the control panel, which is only mentioned in the print version. Even then, there is no instruction on Bluetooth pairing.
The C6 spin bike is a little less skinnier, although it's also less expensive while riding, although it's quite comfortable while you're riding. Despite the fact that the pedals have toe cages, it makes virtually no noise. I encountered one mechanical issue: My handlebar post was totally tightened, although it didn't bother me while riding.
The tablet mount, which measures 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 all included.
The C6 is compatible with a wide spectrum of third-party applications, 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 nowhere near as good as one known. However, it's fantastic to see these and other applications as you aim for during indoor workouts.
The C6 is a strong choice for those who want to go on budget thanks to its flexibility and relatively modest pricing.
The VeloCore indoor cycling bike isn't in the category of "affordable Peloton bikes," and if you opt for the model with the 22-inch screen, you're up to $2,199. There's one significant difference between the VeloCore and your core.
The VeloCore, which features a wide range of bike chassis that allows you to lean side by side, making the biking experience much more pleasant when you're riding hard or riding hard. If you hold the lean (as instructed in some classes, or whenever you want to increase your ride), you notice it in your arms and abs.
I bought the VeloCore and found that the leaning capability really does add something. However, the bike itself feels quite solid and very high, with pedals that support both regular and clip-in shoes, magnetic resistance and virtually silent operation. One complaint, 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.
JRNY's UI is fantastic, offering a selection of trainer-led and virtual-coach classes (though only recorded ones, nothing live), scenic virtual rides, streaming radio stations, and more, according to Bowflex. 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 also use the bike without it, but you do not have to pay for the most of the above expenses. Peloton's subscription (with bike) costs $39 a month.
If you don't feel comfortable about live classes and leaderboards, the VeloCore is certainly an ideal Peloton alternative. In the long run, you will actually save money.
Echelon offers a very similar class structure, both live and on-demand, but it's also available via less costly hardware. The EX3, for example, currently costs $800, or you can get it with a one-year subscription for $1,200.
thanks to its massive 22-inch screen, Echelon's newer EX5s ($1,600) is quite close to matching the actual Peloton hardware. Other models in the lineup, including the EX3, require you to bring your own screen, in the form of an iPad or similar tablet. This 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 software, but instead, you may need real-time statistics. For the moment, the bikes can only pair with the Echelon app. The Peloton app provides a very satisfying experience, but also offers roughly the same subscription rates.
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NordicTrack's bike uses a mechanical shaft to simulate the inclines and declines of actual bike riding, allowing you to feel more like a hill. What's more, bike instructor and virtual-ride leaders can remotely adjust your bike's incline and resistance levels, thus you're not constantly futzing with controls.
The S15i is quite cool, and it's one reason why the bike is so popular in this roundup. Despite the flywheel's sounding somewhat, the rest of the equipment gets loud every time there's a change to your workout. Similarly, the built-in fan is much less distracting even at the lowest speed.
iFit has a large 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 sort the content, which isn't categorized properly. Fortunately, iFit now offers live sessions.
The first year is free. After that, it would cost you $39 per month or $33 if paid annually. If you don't have to use it, you don't have to use it, but there's nowhere on the bike to rest a tablet if you prefer, say, watch Hulu.
The bike itself is comfortable to ride, comfortable to adjust and quite attractive, except for the chunky arm-mounted screen. On the plus side, the screen can rotate for any off-bike activities you may want to take (although it can't tilt down, so it's difficult to see during floor exercises).
Alongside hardware and iFit concerns, I really enjoyed 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's 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 an original, in-house fitness program. However, the pricing of 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.
I'd skip the $1,599 Myx II Plus, which includes only things like mats and weights that, frankly, aren't worth the money for an indoor cycling bike. You may also purchase the same gear piecemeal for the same or lesser.
The bike itself is as robust as it is, 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 huge advantage over Peloton, as it allows you to see the screen in different directions for off-bike classes. NordicTrack's S15i is a lightweight bike, but it also has a smaller screen.
While the bike can track your heart rate (courtesy of an included Polar armband monitor or syncing with your Apple Watch), it does not collect or display cycling data such as speed, distance, or resistance. Instead, instructors should carefully consider whether or not these metrics are relevant to the experience.
You'll also have to decide whether live classes are something you want; Myx offers only on-demand sessions through its standard Openfit subscription, and it charges additional for live workouts through the BeachBody's BODi service. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but I liked the fact that I was not always a random person in a large group. In contrast, the metrics-free approach to cycling is similar to constantly chasing and resistance numbers.
Myx's touchscreen is excellent: clean, responsive, and straightforward to navigate. It is currently home to hundreds of classes (not just biking, but also weight training, meditation, yoga, and so on), with more added weekly. Virtual trail rides are now available as well, along with Myx Media content such as news and coach diaries.
Peloton and some other bikes are worried about competition: stats, leaderboards, and more. The Myx bike, if you want to get rid of the competition, is a must see.
ProForm's offer is real, and it's fantastic: pay $39 a month for an iFit subscription, and the bike is yours for free. That's basically the cost of living in the market, which is roughly $1,400. That's what you'd pay up front for a lot of bikes, but you'd still be paying a monthly fee on top.
I've never tried Studio Bike Limited myself, but it resembles the NordicTrack S15i. There's no surprise there: Icon Health and Fitness, a parent company, does both NordicTrack and ProForm, as well as iFit.
The bike features a silent flywheel, height-adjustable seat and handlebar, digital resistance settings, 3-pound hand weights, and a 10-inch touchscreen that can turn 180 degrees in each direction - ideal for riding off-bike classes.
iFit here is similar to that seen in iFit above. It offers a wide range of classes, not just biking, but high-intensity interval training, strength training, yoga, and more. Two things I particularly like about virtual rides (in which you follow your instructor on beautiful real-world trails) and the "live" resistance control, meaning your bike is changed during your class or ride.
Note that ProForm also has a (0-down, $39 a month for 36 months).
With reservations, it's recommended.
Peloton's cycle is, without question, the Bentley of home exercise bikes, a sturdy and luxurious machine that feels every inch like a premium product. Besides, it has a price tag to match the Peloton experience: $1,445, delivery and setup included, $44 a month for on-demand and live classes. The new Peloton Bike Plus is $1,995.
Although I wasn't interested in having to purchase (and use) special clip-in cycle shoes, I didn't enjoy the Peloton experience. The high-energy cycling courses are fun and engaging, with a wide variety of instructors, music genres, and difficulty levels, something for everyone.
The Stryde bike features a dazzling 21.5-inch screen, but a substantially discounted price of $1,595, plus a fully optional $30 monthly subscription. Instead, the model does not include you in an custom environment. Instead, it allows you to have an enormous tablet at your fingertips, not only with Stryde's own app, but also with a browser, Netflix, and other platforms.
This blessing is a curse. There are also certain Netflix apps (including HBO Max and Zwift, to name two), that will not run, period. While Netflix is preinstalled, other streaming apps (such as Hulu and Disney Plus) must be sideloaded. That's not a novice-friendly program.
Another surprise: The screen does not rotate, so you can't use it for off-bike classes. Stryde's membership plan currently excludes cycling classes only. I found the built-in speakers very tinny, and barely loud enough for me to hear my Netflix show. Fortunately, class volume was much louder, and it's easy to plug in wired headphones or pair any Bluetooth set.
One thing you can't get rid of is the meaty cable that curls from the tablet rather than running through the frame of the bike. It has Velcro straps, but there's no space to properly secure the cord. Moreover, about 20 minutes into my second workout, I noticed a squeaking sensation from the other side of the bike -- something you want to hear from a brand new one.
Stryde provides an assortment of studios around the country, depending on studio, instructor, class length, music genre, and so on, although this includes no classes designed to introduce you to the bike itself. However, I found no classes designed to suit you a particular level of skill.
I don't think Stryde's tablet is a good fit for all riders, either. If you're a studio-cycling novice or a novice who's not comfortable tinkering with Android settings, I'd recommend it.
When purchasing an indoor exercise bike, what should I look for?
Before you select which indoor exercise to buy, you'll want to consider several factors: cost, size, display screen, and whether or not you'll need a monthly subscription. If your primary goal is to simulate the riding experience outdoors, you'll want a bike like, which gives you a more straightforward road experience and can mimic the incline and fall of hills. However, if your main objective is to get the most bang for your money, you'll want to consider something like the.
Which bike is most compatible with Peloton?
With its 21.5-inch screen and extensive fitness training, the $1,399 is the closest thing to a Peloton that you can get. But, if you want to reduce costs even greater, the $800 is an excellent alternative with Peloton-like classes and a premium design, but be mindful that you'll need to bring your own screen.
Is the display of a built-in or BYO screen better?
The Peloton exercise bike's sexiest is its high-end HD touchscreen. That's why the bike is so expensive, as many indoor spin bike competitors prefer a smaller screen. Instead, it has a tablet that allows you to perform other activities like read books, stream Netflix, or even take virtual outdoor scenic rides. I'm not saying one is definitively superior, but that the built-in and BYO screens are also beneficial.
Is it necessary to have a subscription?
Some bikes will cost you $39 per month if you buy a NordicTrack cycle (though Peloton does not require a minimum one-year subscription), depending on how long your ride is going, and even the cost of more than one. If you choose to purchase a bicycle separately, you may pay for something else, depending on whether or not you want to. If you opt for a membership or fitness app, then you may pay for something similar: speed and distance,
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.