November 4

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Cycle Life: The Five Best Peloton Exercise Bike Alternatives

Written and reviewed by: Tami Smith - ACE Certified Fitness Trainer. Pre and Postnatal Fitness Specialist. Women's health advocate.

Published by: Fit Healthy Momma

Date: November 4, 2020


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are our own.

We're in an era when getting healthy from home is becoming both an attractive and a necessary option for many. People who really want to make sure they can get their workout time in are building up home gyms.

As they build their fitness spaces, they're looking for gym equipment brands that helps with cardio, balance, flexibility and strength training. Is there one piece of equipment that covers all of these fitness desires efficiently?

If the goal is to pack as much versatility into a small space as possible, stationary cycling is the top pick.

Of course, no cardio machine covers all the bases quite like the Peloton bike. Considered by many to be the gold standard in stationary bikes, the Peloton offers big features at what is admittedly a big price tag.

The Basics: What Is the Peloton Bike?

The Peloton bike has become so synonymous with indoor cycling that it's actually a little hard to believe that this bike has only been around for less than a decade.

The first Peloton bike was released in 2012. Accompanying the bike is a proprietary subscription service that gives Peloton owners access to exclusive workouts designed to work specially with the Peloton design. It is reported by the company that they expect to gain 100 million subscribers very soon, which is up 113% from a year earlier.

Peloton programming is viewed through a large screen that comes standard with the bike. However, content is only accessible if Peloton users sign up for paid subscriptions.

Why People Love Peloton Bikes

What is it that makes the Peloton bike such a phenomenon? First, it's hard to argue against the very sleek and sturdy design of the Peloton. Some people find the seats on these bikes to be very ergonomic. However, the popularity of the Peloton appears to be related to the "membership" aspect of owning this bike instead of the actual greatness of the bike.

People really like the convenience of being able to plug into a specialized roster of workouts that are designed to sync up with the bike. With this feature, people feel that they can really dig into cycling training to burn calories while utilizing proper form.

When people buy a Peloton bike, they often feel that they are purchasing a "lifestyle" that includes friendly instructors, dozens of weekly instruction classes and diverse spinning options for working different parts of the body.

Not everyone is completely mesmerized by the Peloton. While there's no arguing that this is a very fine bike that offers one of the best integrations between tech and a piece of workout equipment ever, it's not a perfect option.

The big detracting factor for many people shopping for workout bikes is price. Peloton bikes cost a pretty penny. In addition, membership fees and setup costs simply put this bike out of reach for many people.

Where does that leave you if you want a Peloton bike without paying for a Peloton bike? There are actually several great alternatives that will help you burn calories from home. While some think of anything other than a Peloton as a compromise, others actually prefer to hop to alternatives based on features, performance and price.

What to Consider When Shopping for Alternatives

When looking beyond Peloton, it's important to consider the importance of some factors that are simply "givens" when going with the Peloton brand. The big factor to consider first is the "motivation" factor. With Peloton, this comes by way of stream-able instructions and classes that leave you pumped up to get going.

For some people, simple presets in a bike are enough to build custom spin sessions that target their goals. Other people want that tech factor that allows them to use their bikes in sync with training resources.

The good news is that the actual mechanical aspects of modern spin bikes don't vary a ton by brand. Nearly every model that's going to make your list for consideration runs on a magnetic resistance system. With this design, you get an intuitive experience that adjusts with use.

That's why choosing between bikes usually comes down to bells and whistles. Cost is also a big factor to look at because deciding to live without just a few potentially inconsequential features can move your budget into an entirely new column.

You can also look at things like warranties to help with your final purchasing decision. Warranties become important any time you're talking about shipping a large product that costs in the range of $1,000 and up.

Our Top Alternative Peloton Exercise Bikes

Before we hop-on the cycle and get in to the details of each cycling machine, let's take a look at the table below so we can:

  • See the differences more clearly
  • Compare similarities
  • Stack up the specs

Compare

Starting price

Full Gym Included

On-demand classes

Swivel Screen

Peloton

$1,895

โŒ

โœ… with membership

โŒ

Myx

$1,199 (use our promo code to get a discount)

โœ… (Yes for the PLUS bike)

โœ… with membership

โœ…

Bowflex VeloCore

20$

โŒ

โœ… with membership

โŒ

NordicTrack S22i

$1,999

โŒ

โœ… with membership

โŒ

Echelon EX5s Max

$1,639

โŒ

โœ… with membership

โŒ

Schwinn IC4

$899

โŒ

โŒ

โŒ

#1: Myx Fitness Bike (Basic & Plus)

One ride on the Myx Fitness bike may be enough to erase the Peloton from your mind forever! First, we'll start with how this bike is like the Peloton. Both bikes are giving you HD screens and access to streaming workout programming. For $29 per month, your MYX membership gives you access to hundreds of new workouts from world-famous trainers every week.

Myx Fitness is, without question, the best peloton bike alternative right now!

There's one feature on the Myx Fitness bike that almost definitely leaves the Peloton in the dust. The Myx Fitness bike actually allows you to swivel your screen instead of being stuck with a stationary view. This feature comes in more than handy when you're hopping off the machine to integrate some non-bike training moves.

The screen on the Myx is actually an interactive 21.5-inch HD screen. Settle in with dual-sided petals that comfortably cage your feet. You'll also like this bike's Polar OH1 heart-rate monitor. Overall, this is a very ergonomic bike that gives you access to a full roster of workout options from home! Coming in at more than a full $1,000 less than a Pelton, the Myx Fitness bike offers an incredible value for a cost of just $1,199.

If you're interested in learning even more about the myx and their plus bike, you'll want to read the full review here. You'll learn about who's behind their brand, the specs, and if its the right choice for you. Lastly, you can also check out our versus article where we compare myxfitness head-to-head to the peloton.

For an eclusive $50 off promo code, use FITHEALTHY50 at checkout ๐Ÿ™‚

#2: Bowflex Velocore Bike

With touches like 100 resistance levels and a Bluetoothยฎ heart-rate armband, the Bowflex Velocore makes you feel ramped up and ready for the workout of your life every single day! This bike scores points for really recreating the genuine outdoor cycling experience in your home! The bike is designed with gentle tilting action that allows you to lean, sway and rock as you pedal. As a result, you're getting a workout that allows you to practically feel your muscles being defined as you move.

If leaning mode is a bit much for you, simply stay in stationary mode to get a fully stable cycling experience. The toe cages on your pedals are quite secure and comfortable on this bike. Similarly, the adjustable seat and handlebars help to create a truly ergonomic experience. With this bike's adjustable HD screen, you can tap into the built-in JRNYโ„ข experience via your membership or opt to stream with a Zwiftยฎ subscription. If you opt for the 16-inch console, you're looking at a price of $1,699 for this bike. However, the 22-inch console puts you pretty close to the Peloton price range with a tag totaling $2,199.

If you're interested in learning more about BowFlex's VeloCore, head on over to our full detailed review as you will gain even more insight with this swerve "feel the road" indoor cycle.

#3: Nordictrack S22i Studio Cycle

With help from a 22-inch rotating HD smart screen, this bike delivers a very immersive experience. The tilting factor is a real bonus if you want to take advantage of non-bike fitness lessons using your streaming membership. A roster of global workouts that bring you to breathtaking, zen-inducing locales all around the world virtually is a real treat for people looking to turn the daily workout into an exercise in mental health!

Nordictrack's iFit trainers with Automatic Trainer Control are excellent for creating custom rides based on incline, decline and resistance levels. Special features like progress reports, personalized workout stats and personalized recommendations are all great assets. The Nordictrack S22i Studio Cycle starts at $1,999. While that still leaves you well below the price of a Peloton, you're getting on the higher side for non-Peloton bikes.

#4: Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX5s Max

This is a versatile, comfortable bike that delivers an adequately immersive experience. The bike's rotating 22-inch HD screen makes it a competitive option against other bikes on our list. Again, that rotating screen comes in handy when you're using your access to fitness instruction for off-bike exercises.

The interactive angle of the EX5s Max screen allows you to enjoy on-demand classes, join live classes and compete with your friends and family. With a price starting at $1,639.98, the EX5s Max falls in the mid-range category for price. While the bike is a good deal, it does feel like something that might have a price point closer to $1,000. 

#5: Schwinn IC4

A lovely bike with a tempting price tag, the Schwinn IC4 is a great "budget" option that delivers stable performance. While this bike lacks a branded streaming workout subscription, it is designed to work with both the Peloton and Zwift apps. Touches like a Bluetoothยฎ LE heart-rate armband, backlit LCD display and charging station make you feel a little pampered even though this is a pretty basic bike.

The standout feature on this bike is really its very smooth magnetic resistance. Once you hop on, you're enjoying more than 100 micro-adjustable levels for achieving your preferred resistance rate. Lastly, the ultra-large dipped handlebars on this model create some unexpected extravagance. The best part? All of this comes to you at a price tag of just $899.

If you like this budget-friendly option, but still may be considering the myx to get more features, then check out our schwinn IC4 bike vs myxfitness comparison article.

Finding Your Perfect Match in an Indoor Cycling Bike

When it comes to indoor bikes, your expectations will ultimately determine your overall satisfaction level with any model. That's why it's important to be realistic about the features that matter to you as you shop for your in-house cycling powerhouse. Take a look at the features to zero in on as you browse Peloton alternatives. 

LCD Display

Love to get pumped up by music or follow along to videos while you're pumping your pedals? Don't try to save money by skipping an LCD display. You'll often find that trying to cut corners by watching your own screen instead of using a bike's built-in LCD screen simply creates a sloppy experience that can cause you to strain your neck. 

Handlebar Design

A good grip with an adjustable design is everything! This is especially true if you tend to go for intense inclines and speeds because you'll need all the gripping action you can get! Padding that feels good without necessarily being "plush" is also a plus.

Seat Configuration

Really pay attention to seat configuration! You have an advantage if you've done a fair bit of exercising on indoor bikes at gyms in the past. Taking someone else's opinion is tough with this detail because what's comfortable for one person may be unbearable for another. At the end of the day, focus on a seat that appears to offer a comfortable, ergonomic position while also being easy to mount. Don't forget that you can also purchase a separate gel seat cover to go with essentially every bike. 

FAQs

Can you buy a good alternative to a Peloton bike that's cheaper?

Yes, there are many great alternatives to the Peloton that cost much less while offering similar performance. One of the big ways that alternative bikes save you money is by allowing you to skip that pricey monthly subscription to access Peloton workouts. In addition, the actual costs of some bikes are between $200 and $1,000 less than Peloton!

What is the best alternative exercise bike option to the peloton?

This is a case where you really need to hop on to discover the best bike for you! Myx Fitness, Bowflex, Norditrack, Echelon and Schwinn all offer some pretty great contenders to check out!

How much should I expect to pay for an indoor cycling bike?

The starting point for a mainstream indoor cycling bike is around $899. If you're going for an upper-tier bike, expect to pay upwards of $2,500.

The Bottom Line: What's the Best Alternative to Peloton?

When you put it all together, the Myx Fitness bike gives the Peloton bike some strong competition. You're getting stability, comfort and a 21.5-inch adjustable HD swivel screen for a price tag of just $1,199. That means that you're actually getting what many people consider to be a better screen than what's on the Peloton for around $1,000 less. You're also paying just $29 per month for an MYX membership instead of $39 monthly for Peloton membership.

Editors Choice:

We've written a ton of reviews and compared some of the best indoor cycling machines (exercise bikes) over the years. We LOVE the peloton. However, MYX Fitness is changing the game for indoor smart bikes. It's a brand we can stand behind and feel 100% confident our readers will be getting the absolute best alternative smart bike to the peloton while also saving money with our exclusive discount code (see below).

Use our exclusive $50 off promo code FITHEALTHY50 at checkout ๐Ÿ’œ

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