November 16

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Bowflex Velocore vs Peloton vs NordicTrack S22i bikes: What to consider

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 16, 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.

The indoor cycling market has exploded over the last couple of years. So if you’re looking to invest in a connected home spin bike, then you already know that you have a lot of options. This can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Connected bikes are changing the way we workout from home. Gone are the days when a home workout meant boredom and isolation. Today, the workouts are live and full of thrills and community. It’s an exciting time to be getting into home fitness, there’s no question about that!

In this article, I’m comparing three of the top choices on the market today; Peloton, NordicTrack S22i, and the Bowflex Velocore giving you all the information you need on each model and lining them up head-to-head so that you can make the most informed decision possible.

Why Buy a Smart Exercise Bike?

Indoor cycling has been a mainstay in the fitness industry for years. It has long been touted as a great way to perform cardio without a lot of stress and impact. I can recall having an indoor bike at my house growing up! But indoor bikes aren’t what they used to be - they’re so much better.

Today, the experience of a connected home biking workout is totally immersive. There has been a major shift in workouts in general, with more and more people adopting the mentality of training like an athlete, and this is evidenced by the spike in popularity of spin bikes.

While spin classes used to be based on cycling to the beat of the music and on your own terms, it’s now evolved into an experience that tracks your data and performance and then uses those metrics to propel you further. There’s heart rate zone training and pedaling techniques that are encouraged to help condition your body and push yourself to new limits.

A big piece of the puzzle is the instructor who provides the experience, coaching, and motivation you need to push yourself and expand your fitness level. Let’s face it, how much do you really push yourself when you’re left to your own devices? When you don’t have anyone keeping you accountable...I know I personally perform much better when I am being coached through a workout and when I know I’m competing with others, which is exactly the experience you’ll get with a connected bike and its corresponding app.

That brings me to my last point regarding why you might be considering a smart bike for your home; community. The nature of these bikes and their apps is that they help you connect with others who are on a similar path as you. They allow you to compete on a leaderboard and connect with each other outside of the app, too. In a time when our freedom to gather is limited, there’s extreme value in connecting over something as powerful as your health, fitness, and wellbeing.

Comparison Chart: NordicTrack Vs. Bowflex Velocore Vs. Peloton

For the sake of this comparison, I’m going to be comparing the NordicTrack S22i, the original Peloton Bike (which was just recently reduced price), and the Bowflex Velocore.

vs.

NordicTrack

VeloCore

Peloton

Starting Price:

$1999 + $199 threshold delivery

$1699 + Free shipping

$1895 + Free shipping

Live classes?

Yes - iFit Interactive Personal Training App

Yes - JRNY

Yes - Peloton App

App Price:

1-year family membership included with purchase, then $39 per month

$19.99 per month

$39 per month

Screen:

22” rotating smart screen

16” adjustable HD touchscreen (22” option available for $2199)

21.5” adjustable HD touchscreen (rotating touchscreen available on Bike+ $2495)

Resistance type:

Magnetic - 24 digital resistance levels

Magnetic - 100 resistance levels

Magnetic - 100 resistance levels

User weight capacity:

350 lbs.

325 lbs.

297lbs.

Stationary?

Yes

No, the bike leans with you as you ride

Yes

Ability to stream other apps?

No, but there is a tablet holder so you can stream from another device

Yes, you can watch Netflix, Hulu, etc. + stream other workout apps like Peloton and Zwift

No

Warranty:

10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

2-year mechanical, 2-years electronic, 1-year labor warranty

1-year labor, 1-year parts, 5-year frame warranty

Website:

Bowflex Velocore Overview

The Bowflex Velocore is one of the most innovative new machines on the market thanks to its lean technology which allows you to move and “lean” with the bike as you power through your workouts. This creates a more immersive experience and one that allows you to work your entire body. However, you can also use the bike in stationary mode and ride normally, if you choose.

If you read my honest thoughts on Bowflex Velocore, you'll remember that the bike is incredibly impressive in both design and build. Bowflex is a powerful name in the fitness space and they did not disappoint with this release. In addition to the bike, their JRNY app programming is world-class and allows users to take classes in beautiful world destinations as well as live classes competing with others.

But perhaps one of the most appealing features, aside from the lean technology, is the fact that they allow you to use any app you want from their built-in screen. So, you can access your favorite TV shows and even other fitness apps like Peloton and Zwift, all from your included screen. This unlocked screen feature is not seen on too many other bikes, and it’s an incredibly appealing feature for those who like to mix up their programming and workouts.

Here are some additional features and benefits of the Velocore:

  • Bluetooth HR armband included
  • 3 lbs. Dumbbells included
  • 100 resistance levels
  • Itegrated tracking 
  • Dual link pedals with toe cages
  • Expert trainers
  • Thousands of live and on-deamnd workouts

Things to consider:

  • The screen is fixed
  • The lean feature may be too incense and/or unnecessary for beginner to intermediate cyclists

Peloton Overview

The Peloton Bike has a cult following, there’s no question about that. And if you’ve ever taken any kind of Peloton class, maybe you’ve already experienced why that is. They are considered the king of home spin bikes, but they are very quickly coming into contact with a lot of competition.

The most compelling reason to purchase a Peloton is their programming, they have thousands of live and on-demand classes to choose from and each day is filled with a live schedule. If that wasn’t exciting enough, their instructors are worldclass and very easy to connect with. They help build and foster a community of likeminded people - which is a beautifully refreshing sentiment in these turbulent times.

Aside from their programming, the bike is very well made, great looking, and has some features that make using it both easy and fun. Here are a few of the most compelling features of the Peloton Bike:

  • Integrated tracking
  • Library with a full selection of classes across all modalities
  • Family membership plans
  • Super quiet
  • Compact design
  • Live leaderboard

Things to consider:

  • Screen is fixed (unless you upgrade to the + model)
  • Cannot stream other apps from the screen
  • Special cycling shoes are required  unless you purchase additional parts

NordicTrack Overview

Lastly, the NordicTrack S22i has been making major waves in the home fitness bike world thanks to its many features that rival, even trump those found of the original Peloton Bike. As we mentioned in a different and detailed nordictrack S22i comparison article, it is one of the best choices.

For example, the S22i comes standard with a swivel screen that allows you to easily transition from the bike to the floor and still maintain optimal screen visibility. Also, the S22i has automatic trainer control which means that you don’t have to touch a thing - your bike will automatically adjust to what the trainer is calling for so that you can focus more on your workout.

Additional benefits of the NordicTrack S22i include:

  • Full library with all kinds of workouts
  • 20% incline technology, 10% decline
  • LIVE resistance and incline control
  • Indoor/outdoor workouts
  • Live leaderboad
  • Ability to text your trainers in real time
  • Complete stat tracking

Things to consider:

  • The speakers are placed at the back of the screen as opposed to the front
  • Cannot stream other apps from the screen

The Bottom Line: Which Smart Bike is Best For You?

All three of these bikes provide incredible value and will allow you to get a great workout in from the comfort of your own home. That said, some features will be more appealing to you or more conducive to your space and goals than others.

When comparing these three bikes, there really isn’t a huge difference in price, so that’s probably not your most important factor. If you are looking for more of a budget bike while still maintaining quality and great programming, then checkout my thorough evaluation of the MYX Fitness Bike.

Otherwise, I highly recommend that you take into consideration things like a rotating screen. If you plan to utilize the other workouts that are included in the perspective apps, then a rotating screen is truly an amazing feature that will make your floor exercises that much more enjoyable. This screen is available on the NordicTrack S22i. Peloton does offer this feature, but only on their new Bike+ which is $2495.

If you’re a serious cyclist who wants to recreate your outdoor cycling experience indoors, then there’s no question that the Velocore by Bowflex will rock your world. It’s an immersive experience that allows you to get your whole body in on the action. This may not be as appealing to a novice or occasional cyclist who simply wants to enjoy period cardio sessions.

The last thing I would encourage you to consider is whether you’d like to be able to stream other apps from your bike. Personally, I occasionally like to watch a TV show instead of participating in a class, so the option to stream other apps like Netflix is very appealing to me and the Velocore allows you to do that. That said, you can always use a tablet or other device to stream anything you want, it’s just a matter of convenience and ease at that point.

Which bike sounds best to you? Is there one you’re leaner towards over the others? It’s a difficult decision, that’s for sure, but I hope that the information I gathered for you here helps make the decision making process a little easier!

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