You’ve seen the Peloton ads all over social media and tv. As a result, Peloton sales have more than doubled in the last year. But, other Peloton competitors are trailing close behind.
Stationary bikes are becoming increasingly popular as they provide an outdoor experience from the comfort of your own home. So, does the Peloton exercise bike live up to the hype? Take a look at our take on the best Peloton alternative.
Is the Peloton exercise bike worth it?
The Peloton name is famous within the fitness community. But what makes it so special? Let’s examine some key features of stationary bikes and if the Peloton cost is fitting.
Type of flywheel resistance
This is the mechanism that applies resistance to the front wheel which creates tension. There are 3 types of flywheel resistance for stationary bikes: strap-based resistance, mechanical/friction resistance and magnetic resistance. The more durable types of resistance are mechanical and magnetic. Accordingly, they are found in higher-quality bikes. The Peloton exercise bike has magnetic resistance.
Some bikes have regular bike pedals, caged-pedals or clip-in pedals while others have a combination of two. If your bike has the clip-in mechanism, you’ll have to get some indoor cycling shoes. Unfortunately, the Peloton bike only has clip-in pedals.
Participating in interactive live classes and programmed workouts in your living space is not only convenient, it’s a luxury. Peloton has a variety of live weekly riding classes and provides a library filled with classes of different lengths, themes and music. But, Peloton has bike classes that are more spin-class oriented and competitive. They even have a leaderboard where you can see where you stand with other Peloton users.
If you require some added motivation, Peloton delivers interactive support from instructors. You can also workout with the Peloton app when you’re away from your bike. They offer live and on demand yoga, stretching, meditation, hiit and bootcamp classes and others. However, you would need to use another mobile device or tv for streaming as the screen is not removable.
In order to have access to the loads of classes and workouts, you need a digital membership to the Peloton app. Without the bike, there’s a first time 2-month free trial available and after that, it’s $12.99 USD per month. On the down side, when you buy a Peloton exercise bike, the all-access membership is required and it’s $39 USD/month, on top of the Peloton cost.
The Peloton bike display is impressive. It has a 21.5” HD touchscreen with a USB microport, a headphone jack, bluetooth connectivity, a rear-facing sound system, a 5MP camera and a built-in microphone. During a workout, it calculates some metrics like heart rate, resistance, power and cadence. And it allows you to virtually workout with your friends. With that said, the screen does not rotate or swivel, so you can’t use it off your bike.
The original price for the Peloton exercise bike was $2245 USD but they have since developed a newer model. So now, the original Peloton price has been reduced to $1895 USD. This still seems pricey considering that the membership fee and shoes are extra.
What to look for in a Peloton alternative
There are plenty of Peloton competitors out there making waves online. We’ve done the hard work and scoured the internet to find other exercise bikes that compare. They all have the basic features already mentioned, but vary in their membership perks and technology.
The NordicTrack S22i has a slightly bigger screen than the Peloton and it rotates so that you can take your workouts off the bike. The global workouts are fantastic. The bike cost already includes a 1-year membership to iFit for the whole family.
Trainers can digitally adjust your resistance and incline settings for each class. And you get a free pair of 3 lb dumbbells. The pedals are caged with straps and it has magnetic flywheel resistance. You’d save money and get better value by choosing this bike.
- Programming: live classes and workouts all over the world
- Subscription: includes 1-year iFit family membership, after it’s $41.87 USD/month for up to 4 people
- Screen: 22″ rotating HD touchscreen
- Price: $1999 USD + $199 threshold delivery
Myx Fitness Myx
The Myx Fitness Myx bike is another affordable Peloton alternative. You can use cycling shoes or athletic shoes when riding because the pedals are double-sided. The membership app does not have live workouts and the on-demand workouts are less competitive. Myx tries to focus more on individualized, personal goals while Peloton is more results-driven. The metric that Myx places importance on is the heart rate monitor.
The Myx bike also uses friction resistance which is not as long-lasting as Peloton’s and NordicTrack’s magnetic resistance. With friction resistance, the pads on the flywheel can wear out over time. But, for the price you pay for the Myx, you’re still getting an exceptional bike with a fitness app to fit most rider’s needs.
- Programming: no live workouts
- Subscription: $29 USD/month add-on
- Screen: 21.5″ rotating HD touchscreen
- Price: $1299 USD
Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3
The Echelon EX3 is the cheapest one on the list. The Echelon app membership is an added cost but the cost is reduced if you buy a longer membership. Peloton does not offer a reduced membership fee. Echelon provides all kinds of workouts like strength training and yoga which works well with the swivel screen.
You can use regular shoes or clip-in cycling shoes in the pedals, and it has magnetic resistance. You definitely get more bang for your buck with the Echelon bike, along with all the high-quality specs you expect from a stationary bike.
- Programming: live and on-demand global rides
- Subscription: $40 USD/month, $399.99 USD/year or $699.99 USD/2 years
- Screen: 22″ rotating HD touchscreen
- Price: $1039.98 USD
All in all, we recommend checking out a Peloton alternative. For $1895 USD and up, you’re really just paying for the Peloton name. The Peloton competitors all seem to have the same, if not better technology and are more economical options.