Investing in a home fitness bike is a big decision. And we all know that Peloton is the mecca of home spin bikes. But before you invest $1900+ on a Peloton, you’re going to want to check out this article first because I have three amazing Peloton alternatives.
MYX Fitness, Nordictrack S22i, and the Bowflex C6 are three high-quality indoor cycling options that give you a big bang for your buck.
In this article, I’m going to give you an overview of each bike, going through their pros and cons, and then will compare the three options side by side so that you can get clear on which Peloton alternative is the right choice for you because, by the end of this article, I think you’ll be convinced that you don’t need to break the bank to get a great workout in at home.
The Epic Rise of Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling is quite literally all the rage right now, even more so now that COVID-19 has taken over our lives. With stay at home orders and gym closures, more and more people are working out from home than ever before. In fact, a recent study published in the NY Post reported that 52% of people were working out from home now. Additionally, there are more people than ever who are taking their health seriously and starting a workout routine.
Luckily, there’s never been a better time to get into fitness - there are so many amazing home fitness options these days and it just keeps getting better! Working out from home today no longer means droning away on your treadmill or bike, alone in your basement. Connected home fitness equipment is allowing us to experience live and on-demand workouts that make us feel like we’re among a community of like-minded people.
When it comes to indoor cycling, this is a niche that has exploded in the last three years. Indoor bikes are small, compact, quiet, easy on the knees, and fun, which makes them the ideal piece of fitness equipment for people of all ages and abilities.
But the kicker is that some of them (we’re looking at you, Peloton) are a little pricey. Not everyone has the means to spend nearly $2000 on a piece of exercise equipment for their home, not to mention the additional $39.99 you’ll pay on top of that for the monthly membership.
The great news is that you don’t need to spend that kind of money to get the same or similar experience and I’ll prove that next by reviewing three of the top Peloton alternatives and what to look for as you’re making this important buying decision.
Before we get into the specifics of each bike, let’s talk about two of the most important considerations when choosing a home spin bike: the screen and the subscription.
Built-In Screen or BYO?
Peloton’s claim to fame and their most notable feature is their 21” HD touchscreen. The peloton was one of the first D2C gym equipment brands to include an interactive screen on their bike that allows for a fully immersive, studio-like experience. That said, the attached screen is part of what makes the bike so expensive.
Most of the competitors either have a smaller screen or have no screen at all, which leaves you to use your phone, tablet, or other devices to stream your workouts, which isn’t a bad thing! I personally have a treadmill that doesn’t have a screen and I use my phone to stream workouts without a problem. Would the experience be better with an attached screen? Probably, but it’s also not essential, in my opinion.
The other thing to consider when deciding if you want to have an included screen or not is whether you would ever want to read a book or stream Netflix or another app in lieu of participating in a streaming workout. For example, I often use my cardio equipment as a way to wind down after a workout, at which time I like to watch a little Netflix.
Some bikes that have built-in screens allow you to download any apps you want - which is fantastic because you basically get the best of both worlds. However, some are designed to only stream their accompanying app, like the Peloton.
Monthly Subscription: Mandatory or Optional?
One of the main reasons to invest in a home fitness bike is to save some money on gym memberships, right? But what about when the price of the subscription rivals that of your gym membership? Is it still worth it?
The answer depends on you and your personal preferences. But for reference, Peloton and Nordictrack have some of the highest monthly subscription costs at $39.99, MYX comes in at $29, and Bowflex comes in at $19.99. So there’s not a huge disparity between the options, but it can add up and will definitely play a role in your decision as to which bike is best for you.
Of course, you can use your bike without a subscription (although Peloton requires at least a year) but if you decide to opt-out of the subscription, you lose access to classes, tracking, etc. which is one of the top reasons you want your bike.
Some bikes allow you to choose any subscription you want, so you don’t necessarily need to subscribe to the corresponding app. For example, the Bowflex C6 is designed to be used with any subscription of your choice, including Peloton!
Next, let’s talk about each of the three bikes in a little more detail.
A look at each spin bike: MYX vs NordicTrack S22i vs Bowflex C6
MYX II fitness bike
The MYX II has quickly become an incredibly popular connected home bike for fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. The MYX very closely resembles the Peloton (see my Peloton and MYX bike comparison), BUT it includes special features that you can’t get with the standard Peloton - all for much less!
Ever since I wrote a complete review of the myx fitness bike, I couldn't wait to stack it up vs their main competitors. Let's take a deeper dive into this bike!
The MYX II features a 21.5” HD touchscreen that streams workouts from its massive library that includes both cycling workouts and full-body mat workouts. Essentially, it’s an all-in-one system that allows you to get in a good workout every day while ensuring that you’re never bored. It’s a total-body training system which means you’re getting a ton of bang for your buck.
Included with the bike is a heart rate monitor that tracks your progress and output as well as provides customized workouts. Access to their library of on-demand workouts comes at a fee of $29 per month, which is less than many other streaming services. The best part is that they’re constantly adding new workout to their library, so you’ll always have fresh, new content to enjoy.
Perhaps the best and most appealing feature of the MYX Fitness bike is their swivel touchscreen - a feature that Peloton just added to their Plus option which costs $2495. The swivel screen is quite frankly genius, as it allows you to turn your screen for optimal viewing when you’re working out off the bike.
Lastly, if you want to get everything you need for your home gym in one shot, you can upgrade to the MYX Plus for just $200 more and get dumbbells, a kettlebell, mat, foam roller, and more, allowing you to have a complete home gym setup at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re looking for a high-end bike, then you’re going to want to take a look at the S22i from Nordictrack. This connected home bike allows you to bring the experience of a boutique fitness studio right into your living room!
This bike is equipped with a 22” HD touchscreen that swivels (similar to the MYX), live incline and decline control, iFit interactive personal training, and access to live and on-demand workouts. In addition to the live and on-demand library of cycling classes, they also offer cross-training options to give you a well-rounded fitness experience.
This bike has some serious features that will make a cyclist swoon, like their feature that simulates bike rides around the world, adjusting your incline automatically as you explore another place.
Last, but not least, we have the Bowflex C6. The name Bowflex is synonymous with exercise equipment, and this spin bike doesn’t disappoint. Recently, I compared Peloton to Bowflex C6, and showcased the best features of each exercise bike.
While this is a sturdy bike with a smooth ride, the most important thing to note, and the thing that separates it from the MYX and the S22i is the fact that it doesn’t include a touchscreen display - you must supply your own. Which isn’t difficult as we all have at least a smartphone or tablet lying around.
One of the most lucrative features of this bike, aside from the fact that it’s priced at less than $1000, is that you can stream any workouts you want. So let’s say you want to enjoy the Peloton experience without the Peloton price tag, you can! All you need to do is make sure you have a subscription and you can ride along with your C6.
This bike comes equipped with a heart rate monitor to track your output, water bottle holders, three-pound dumbbells, and a quiet magnetic flywheel system. Basically, it has everything you need to crush your cardio workout from home, but without the HD screen.
Comparing Myx vs Bowflex C6 vs Nordictrack S22i: The Showdown!
Now that you have some more information on each of the three bikes, let’s take a look at the chart I created below which will show you each option side by side for comparison purposes.
Free! + free setup
Free, but in-home assemble costs $129
Yes, dumbbells, kettlebell, mat and roller
Yes, 2 small dumbbells
Yes, 2 small dumbbells
Heart rate monitor:
Final Thoughts: Which Option is Right for You?
Choosing which home exercise bike for you is a big decision, and not one that should be taken lightly. The good news is that there are a ton of options, so finding one that suits your needs, preferences, and budget isn’t hard.
I hope that the information above gave you some insight into each of these three bikes and has allowed you to start narrowing them down. While each bike is great in its own right, I find that the MYX II Fitness bike gives you the most bang for your buck.
MYX II is an incredibly budget-friendly option that certainly doesn’t lack in the tech and features department. Let’s put it this way, you could get the bare bones Bowflex C9 that doesn’t include a touchscreen display for the same price as the MYX when you use my exclusive discount code. It’s honestly a no-brainer. And the MYX II is perfect for all fitness levels, which makes it accessible for beginners, advanced riders, and everyone in between.
If you’re an advanced cyclist who is looking for the top of the line product, the Nordictrack S22i is a great option.
If you choose the myx or NordicTrack, be sure to use the link below for the current lowest price: