Should you splurge on a Peloton or go with an alternative and stream the Peloton app? I see this question pop up in the fitness community all the time, and it’s a pretty valid question. I mean, so many of us are aware of the “Peloton experience” and would like to participate in it, while we simultaneously cringe at the investment required.
Luckily, this article is here to introduce you to two high-quality, comparable spin bikes that will cost you less but still allow you to stream the Peloton app and be a part of the community - or not! You can use any programming you want. The most important thing is getting a bike that’s worth it for you.
Today, I am going to compare the Stryde bike vs. the Schwinn IC4, two popular Peloton alternatives that bring very different experiences and features. One bike will give you all the bells and whistles but with added flexibility for slightly less than the cost of the Peloton, and the other bike will save you some major dough but will lack a few features. So let’s dive into this matchup between the Stryde Bike and the Schwinn IC4 bike and help you choose the right one for you.
Comparing Two Spin Bikes With Peloton App: Stryde vs. Schwinn IC4
Both of these indoor cycling machines made our top 10 list of the best spin bikes to use with peloton app. But, for this article, we're going to put them head-to-head. The best way to get a feel for these two spin bikes is to lay down the most important facts right out the gate. Later, we’ll dive into the specifics of each spin bike to get to know them even better.
Monthly Membership Fee:
$29 for Stryde App, $12.99 Peloton App
No specific membership, $12.99 Peloton App
Yes, 21.5” HD touchscreen
Streams Trainer-Led Workouts?:
Yes, from Stryde App or Peloton App
Yes, BYOS (bring your own screen) from Peloton App or Zwift App
Works With Entertainment Apps?:
Yes, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, and more
Yes, BYOS (bring your own screen)
Additional Equipment Included:
3 lb dumbbells (2)
5-years frame, 12 months touchscreen, 12 months labor, and 12 months parts
10- years frame, mechanical parts, and electronics, and 12 months labor
Is Stryde Worth It?
I know what you’re thinking, is the Stryde really that much cheaper than the Peloton? Is it worth it or should I just spend the extra couple hundred bucks to get the Peloton? Here’s the deal, the Stryde bike has all the high-end features of Peloton, but with much more flexibility and a slightly lower price making the Stryde bike 100% worth it.
Unlike with other Peloton alternatives that require you to provide your own screen, Stryde has a 21.5” touchscreen (the same as Peloton’s) attached to the bike. The difference is that, instead of locking users into bike-specific programming, Stryde allows users to download and use 3rd party apps on their screen. This means that riders can subscribe to the Peloton app and use the Stryde bike.
Of course, you could spend the extra money to just get the Peloton bike, but Stryde has a few other tricks up their sleeve that make it more appealing. For example, you can also download and watch entertainment apps like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more. Plus, you have the option to choose not to have a membership at all. If you hate the thought of committing to a monthly membership just to gain access to your equipment, then you’re going to love that Stryde allows you to spin without any programming at all.
But let’s not dismiss the fact that Stryde has its own app, too. You can subscribe to the Stryde app and get access to hundreds of cycling workouts from renowned studios around the country. Stryde partners with the best of the best studios to bring live, heart-pumping workouts to your living room each week. With over 30 classes added per week across all levels and durations, you can rest assured that you’ll be anything but bored with the Stryde Bike!
Aside from the programming (or decision not to use programming), you can count on the Stryde being a structurally sound bike, constructed from high-quality materials and made very similarly to the Peloton bike. This bike is sleek and attractive and features all the luxuries you want from a spin bike for your home.
To get a complete comparison, read my Stryde vs. Peloton bike review, where I leave no stone unturned!
How Much Does Stryde Cost
We’ve danced around the Stryde Bike cost a bit, but let’s really break it down here. The bike is offered at $1745, but the brand often runs promotions that give you some money off. They also offer payment plans for those qualified, allowing you to pay as little as $52 per month for your Stryde Bike.
Every purchase includes free delivery within 1-2 weeks (exponentially faster than Peloton’s delivery!), a free 30-day return window, and a 12-month warranty. If you choose to subscribe to Stryde membership, you’ll pay $29.99 per month and you have the option to cancel at any time.
Please note that no special cycling shoes are required for this bike, so you won’t need to calculate this extra expense.
Is Schwinn IC4 Worth It?
If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly way to get the Peloton experience without all the excess expense, then the Schwinn IC4 is definitely worth it. This budget-friendly spin bike is designed to work with the Peloton and Zwift apps, allowing you to stream your favorite workouts for a fraction of the cost. Of course, you’ll need to be ok with forgoing the attached screen if you decide to go with the wallet-friendly IC4.
Schwinn is a well-known cycling brand, so you can bank on the bike itself to be high-quality and built to last. It has many of the same features as the Peloton and Stryde bikes, including 100 levels of magnetic resistance, full adjustability, stat tracking, and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, the Schwinn IC4 features dual link pedals, just like Stryde, that allow the option to use cycling shoes or regular shoes - no need to purchase special shoes if you don’t want to.
One thing that Schwinn offers that Stryde and Peloton don’t is the inclusion of 3 lbs dumbbells. While this is certainly nice, you can snag a pair of lightweight dumbbells for less than $10 at any retailer. Aside from that, for less than $1,000, you’re getting a solid bike with some impressive features and the flexibility to choose which cycling app you like best. The only thing that you’re compromising on with the IC4 is the included screen, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for some. In place of the screen, there is a tablet holder that securely holds your streaming device in place while you ride.
To read more on the IC4 take a look at how it stacks up to MYX in my Schwinn IC4 vs. MYX comparison article.
How Much Does the Schwinn IC4 Cost?
The Schwinn IC4 retails at $999, but they often run special promos for $100 off, which brings the bike down to $899 and shipping is always free. Unlike most other home spin bikes, you don’t need to subscribe to a cycling app to use the bike and all its functionality. That said, most folks who buy the IC4 do so with the intent to use the Peloton digital app, which costs just $12.99 per month. Overall, you’re looking at a very minimal investment to get a high-quality spin bike for your home.
What’s The Best Bike to Use With Peloton App: Stryde vs. Schwinn IC4
We’ve made it to the end. I hope that you’ve learned a lot more about both the Schwinn IC4 and the Stryde Bike and have a good idea of which option is going to be the right choice for you. To be honest, both bikes are very similar and allow the kind of flexibility that many of us desire when it comes to home spin bikes. I know I’m not the only one who wants to veg out to some Netflix while I spin on occasion...
The decision really comes down to one simple question; do you want to have a bike with a screen attached to it or are you ok with using your own screen? If you’ve never worked out with a piece of smart fitness equipment that has an attached screen, you may not be familiar with the immersive experience that it gives you, but it’s really the best way to go if you want the ultimate home spinning experience.
That said, I understand that sometimes your budget simply doesn’t allow for the extra expense, and in that case, the IC4 is the perfect budget-friendly option. If you’re looking for my personal recommendation, I say spring for the Stryde (if your budget allows it). You’ll get the best experience and enjoy all the bells and whistles but for less money than the Peloton and with more freedom and flexibility. Happy Spinning!