Friday, 19 April 2024

Exercise Bikes

8 Best Peloton Alternatives: Top Exercise Bikes for 2024

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Top Exercise Bikes

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. Although they are currently one of the best exercise bikes, 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 spin bike live up to the hype?

Take a look at our take on the best Peloton alternative.

Is the Peloton Exercise Bike Worth It?

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 a stationary bike and see if the Peloton brand is worth the price, or if alternative bikes are the way to go.

Type of Flywheel Resistance

This is the mechanism that applies resistance to the front wheel which creates tension. Every indoor exercise bike will have a variety of resistance levels that can be used for training so that everyone can get a great workout regardless of fitness levels.

There are 3 types of flywheel resistance for stationary bikes:

  1. Strap-based resistance
  2. Mechanical/friction resistance
  3. 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. All of the best Peloton bikes and Peloton alternatives will use silent magnetic resistance. This system applies different levels of magnetic resistance to create tension on the front wheel.

If you are looking for a high-quality stationary bike then this is a feature that you cannot miss.

Pedals

Exercise Bikes Pedals

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.

Programming

Participating in interactive live classes and programmed workouts in your living space is not only convenient, but it’s also a luxury. Peloton has a variety of live weekly riding classes and provides a library filled with on-demand classes of different lengths, themes, and music.

You can choose to join a monthly subscription which will give you access to many premium features. Peloton has many bike classes that are more spin classes oriented and competitive. They even have a leaderboard to see where you stand with other Peloton users.

If you require some added motivation, Peloton delivers interactive support from qualified Peloton instructors as a part of their subscription service. You can also do workouts on the Peloton app when you’re away from your bike.

They offer both live classes and on-demand classes in yoga, stretching, meditation, strength training, HIIT, boot camp classes, and more. However, you would need to use another mobile device or TV to stream the live and on-demand workout classes as the built-in screen is not removable.

Subscription

Subscription Exercise bike

In order to have access to loads of on-demand and live classes, you need a monthly subscription 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 downside, when you buy a Peloton exercise bike, the Peloton all-access membership is required and it’s $39 USD/month, on top of the Peloton cost.

Technology

The Peloton bike’s built-in screen is impressive. It has a 21.5” LCD screen with a USB micro port, 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.

The training stats will conveniently be displayed on the attached screen The system also allows you to virtually work out with your friends. With that said, the touch screens do not rotate or swivel, so you can’t use them separately from your indoor bike.

Peloton Price

The original price for the Peloton spin bike was $2245 USD but they have since developed a newer model. So now, the original Peloton bike price has been reduced to $1895 USD. This still seems quite pricey, especially considering the monthly subscription fee and shoes are extra.

What to Look for in the Best Peloton Alternatives

The good news is that there are plenty of Peloton competitors out there making waves online. This spoils consumers because there are more choices than ever before. We’ve gone and done all the hard work by scouting the market to find the best Peloton alternatives that you can consider today. They all have the basic features already mentioned but vary in their membership perks and technology.

NordicTrack S22i

NordicTrack S22i

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 NordicTrack S 22i price already includes a 1-year membership to iFit for the whole family. Trainers can digitally adjust your resistance levels and incline settings for each class. The pedals have toe cages with straps and it has magnetic flywheel resistance.

As a bonus, you get a free pair of 3 lb dumbbells with your new indoor cycling bike. You’d save money and get better value by choosing the NordicTrack Commercial S series stationary 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

Myx Fitness Myx

Myx Fitness Myx
Image credit: myxfitness.com

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

Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3

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

Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Pro SF-B1851

Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Pro SF-B1851

The SF-B1851 Synergy Pro Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike is also one of the more affordable options on the market. Affordability does not mean it might not be your best option, it very much could be.

The price is kept low by not including features that are not essential to training, for example, there is no built-in screen, because everyone has a phone or a tablet and this can be used with the Sunny Health app or Peloton app.

Here we have another top Peloton competitor. Sunny Health Synergy Pro comes with a heavy-duty steel frame, emergency stop brake, and dual-sided pedals – clip-in SPD pedals on one side and toe cages on the other. It also features a phone and tablet holder where you can have your own device.

The spin bike also has a built-in performance monitor which will track all the necessary stats including cadence, heart rate, and speeds. In our view, the Sunny Health Synergy Pro is the ultimate cheaper alternative to the top-end spin bikes.

  • Programming: on-demand classes
  • Subscription: Free
  • Screen: No built-in screen

BowFlex VeloCore Indoor Bike

BowFlex VeloCore Indoor Bike

The BowFlex VeloCore Bike is probably the best overall choice for a Peloton alternative. The BowFlex brand is one of the most trusted in the home gym equipment industry. Their VeloCore spin bike has a magnetic resistance system that is as quiet as can be.

On top of that, it has 100 different magnetic resistance levels. Along with the VeloCore, there is also the Bowflex C 7 bike which is their slightly toned-down version. This might be the better option if you do not have a big budget and much space but still want to achieve your fitness goals.

The BowFlex Velocore has a feature where you can cycle in stationary mode, or you can switch into leaning mode which makes it feel like you are actually going around corners. This combines well with the built-in JRNY training experience.

On top of that, this best Peloton alternative bike comes with a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband and a pair of 1.5 kg dumbbells. The dumbbells conveniently sit in holders in the front of the bicycle to be easily picked up for added strength training.

  • Programming: on-demand classes
  • Subscription: $20 a month or $150 a year
  • Screen: 16-inch or 22-inch HD touchscreen

SoulCycle At-Home Bike

SoulCycle At-Home Bike
Image Credit: equinoxplus.com

The SoulCycle At-Home Bike is a stationary spin bike that has been engineered to give users the best ever ride experience from the comfort of their homes. The SoulCycle studio bike has been adapted to become one of the best peloton bike alternatives to use at home.

This indoor exercise bike comes with everything you could need in your training. It has been designed for tap-backs, push-ups, sprints, climbs, and anything else that you can think of. The technology is top-class as you will find the 21.5″ LCD screen comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and speakers.

There are also double water bottle holders and almost everything is adjustable to give you a great customized ride. SoulCycle also offers one of the best fitness apps out there, on par with the original Peloton app. Along with a 1-year warranty, there is also free shipping, a 30-day free trial, and affordable financing options.

  • Programming: live studio streaming and on-demand workout classes
  • Subscription: $39.99 per month
  • Screen: 21.5-inch HD touchscreen

Schwinn IC 800 Indoor Cycling Bike

Schwinn IC 800 Indoor Cycling Bike

The Schwinn IC 800 Indoor Cycling Bike is the best indoor exercise bike that Schwinn Fitness has in their range. Along with the premium 800IC, they also have the 700IC and the IC2i which are also great Peloton alternatives.

The Schwinn 800IC features 100 resistance levels with smooth and silent magnetic resistance. It has dual-sided pedals with toe cages and SPD clips. Further, there is also a device holder, USB charging, and Bluetooth heart-rate tracking.

  • Programming: live classes and on-demand classes
  • Subscription: Compatible with multiple subscription apps – Peleton, Zwift, or JRNY
  • Screen: no built-in screen (only device holder)

Keiser M3i Indoor Bike

Keiser M3i Indoor Bike

The Keiser M3i Indoor Bike is our last suggestion of the best Peloton competitors. Keiser has been a leader in the home gym market for a long time and the Keiser M series is one of the best smart bikes on the market. That being said, it is also one of the most expensive options.

  • Programming: live classes and on-demand training classes
  • Subscription: $6.99 per month for interactive programming access
  • Screen: no built-in screen (only device holder)

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. Hopefully, one of the options among these 8 best alternatives will work for you.

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