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People are absolutely bonkers for Peloton. I don’t blame them – the company has stellar interactive programming and a trendy bike to match. However, I think there are great alternatives to the infamous bike, whether you’re looking for more durability, to spend less money, or get more features. I’ve tried out dozens of the best exercise bikes for your home gym in the quest to find the best Peloton alternatives.
Why You Should Trust Us
When it comes to cardio machines, exercise bikes are probably my favorite. There’s nothing like suffering through a hard bike workout, whether you’re on a Rogue Echo Bike or in a spin class. I’ve personally tested countless of these machines, and researched dozens more.
I’ve been on a Peloton. I think it’s the gold standard for bikes, at least in terms of the programming. However, it’s far from your only option. I have tested the bikes on this list rigorously, and went back to look at them again to see how they stack up against a Bike+. I can confidently say these are some great alternatives to Peloton.
Best Peloton Alternatives in 2021
- My Top Pick: NordicTrack S22i
- Best Peloton App Compatible Bike: Schwinn IC4
- Best Peloton Alternative With Leaning Mode: Bowflex VeloCore
- Best Budget Peloton Alternative: Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Series Magnetic Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
- Best Adjustable Peloton Alternative: Keiser M3i Indoor Bike
My Top Pick: NordicTrack S22i
My Top Pick
Join high energy studio classes, mountain bike rides in Moab, or ride a Tour de France stage all from the comfort of your home. Access on-demand classes with the world's best personal trainers for beginners or the hard-core cyclist. Interactive Personal Training comes to life as your personal trainer controls the incline, decline and resistance of your ride, a truly Interactive Experience.
Good for: People interested in interactive programming and adjustable incline options
My Favorite Things:
- Compatible with iFit interactive programming
- 22” swivel touchscreen
- -10% to 20% incline
- Both the seat and handlebars can be adjusted
- No attached transport handle makes this bike hard to move solo
- Uncomfortable seat
- Underwhelming customer service
When comparing the NordicTrack S22i to the Peloton Bike+, you’ll see that they both have some things in common: a rotating HD touchscreen, engaging interactive programming, comes with a pair of dumbbells, and a resistance knob that can automatically adjust to follow the class you’re taking (with the option to do manual adjustments as well).
However, there are also key differences. For starters, the S22i is almost $400 less than the Bike+. I particularly like the incline and decline features on the S22i (Peloton doesn’t have this as an option on either bike). Also, the S22i has cage pedals. The Peloton pedals require specific shoes you have to buy separately; with the S22i, you can throw on any old shoes you want.
Although I personally like Peloton’s interactive programming the best out of any I have tried, iFit (available on NordicTrack cardio machines) is a close second. You can take classes focused on cycling, walking, running, strength training, yoga, and more. There are a variety of instructors to choose from for each category.
You can get a one-year family membership for $396 or a monthly membership for $39. If you only want one profile, an individual yearly membership is $180. Compared to the cost of a gym membership, this doesn’t seem bad to me. Another plus is the recently added live class feature where you can follow along in real time, just like Peloton.
This bike isn’t exactly the lightest we’ve ever tried. At 203 pounds, you may need to recruit a friend or family member to help you move it. The lack of a transport handle doesn’t help the cause either. However, the footprint of 63” x 22” x 60” is pretty standard and should be fine in most garage or home gyms.
For more, check out my full NordicTrack S22i review.
Best Peloton App Compatible Bike: Schwinn IC4
Best Peloton App Compatible Bike
Designed to work with the Peloton® and Zwift® apps, allowing you to stream thousands of classes directly into your home and compete against others in a virtual world that motivates you at every mile. Access the Explore the Worldâ„¢ app and digitally immerse yourself in a world of virtual races, exotic locales, and stunning trails from around the globe. Smooth, magnetic resistance. Full color backlit LCD display. Media rack. Slim, comfortable Bluetooth® LE (BLE) heart rate armband. 3 lb. dumbbells with easy-reach cradles. USB charging station
Good for: People who want to use the Peloton fitness app without paying the Peloton Bike price
My Favorite Things:
- Compatible with Peloton and Zwift apps
- 100 manually adjustable resistance levels
- Under $1,000
- Sturdy but lightweight at 106 lb
- Doesn’t have a built-in screen; only LCD monitor
- Unclear assembly instructions
- No live chat option to contact customer service
Besides the Schwinn IC4 being under $1,000, the best feature this fitness bike boasts is its ability to share metrics with interactive programming apps like Peloton, Zwift, Sufferfest, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, Fulgaz, and Tacx. Depending on the app, the bike tracks things like power, speed, RPM, distance, and heart rate.
The reason this bike is so affordable relative to the Peloton is that it doesn’t have a built-in monitor; instead, you’ll have to supply your own smart device to stream the above-mentioned apps. The good news is that the IC4 has a device holder for your tablet or smartphone.
For the price, this spin bike is extremely sturdy, and I was pleased to note that there was little to no shaking, even when riding out of the saddle. This is especially impressive considering the IC4 only weighs 104 pounds, and 40 pounds of that is the hefty flywheel.
The IC4 has some great extras for the price – expect to see two water bottle holders, two 3-pound dumbbells and dumbbell holders, a USB charging port, and an included heart rate monitor armband. I’m a big fan of the dual pedals because you’re able to ride with regular cycling shoes or use the toe cages with sneakers.
With a weight capacity of 330 pounds, the IC4 is hitting above the industry standard. I am also impressed with the 100 levels of magnetic resistance you can switch between with this bike. This is just like what the Peloton has to offer.
In terms of things that aren’t my favorite, this bike was a real pain in the butt to assemble. You’re going to need some patience and probably a cup of tea to calm you down after you see how vague the instructions are. Customer service is also fairly difficult to reach, so you’re honestly better off trying to figure out whatever question you have yourself by googling it.
Check out the full Schwinn IC4 review.
Best Peloton Alternative With Leaning Mode: Bowflex VeloCore
Best Peloton Alternative With Leaning Mode
Meet the indoor bike that's thoughtfully engineered with leaning mode to create a wildly immersive riding experience. You'll rock, sway, and bend to life down winding roads. Tilting gently from side to side as you sprint like a banshee toward the finish line. It's a high-intensity escape that'll help to ignite your arms, core, and your thrill for epic outdoor adventure…all from your living room.
Good for: People looking for a cardio workout with added core engagement
My Favorite Things:
- Leaning mode is easy and fun to use
- Expansive monitor mimics Peloton’s
- Ability to watch Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ on the screen
- 325 lb weight capacity
- Very difficult to assemble solo
- Almost $2,400
- JRNY interactive programming music selection is underwhelming
The Bowflex VeloCore isn’t a cheap bike; at about the same cost of a Peloton Bike+, you may be asking yourself why you should choose the VeloCore over the Peloton. Let me answer that for you: the extremely fun leaning mode. The leaning mode is easy to activate – with the push of a button, you’re able to rock side to side like you’re on a carnival ride. It sure makes cardio seem more fun.
Not only does the leaning mode make your rides enjoyable, but it also increases stability and core engagement. Certain on-demand rides offered by the JRNY interactive platform include this feature in the instructions. You can also do a manual ride and lean to your heart’s content if you prefer.
For all you people out there asking me if you can watch Netflix while you’re cycling, I can finally say, “Yes!” The Bowflex VeloCore allows you to download and watch the Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix apps right to your gleaming monitor (with the purchase of the JRNY interactive programming). This is not something you can do with the Peloton Bike+.
The JRNY platform underwhelmed me with the music selection. I do like that you can completely turn off the music if you’d like to just zone out and follow along with the instructor. The cost per month is $19.99, so pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.
Although this bike is technically compatible with the Peloton app, I’m disappointed that you aren’t able to view it on the monitor. You’ll have to use your phone or other device, which is a pain considering there is a 22” screen right in front of you.
Take a look at my full Bowflex VeloCore review.
Best Budget Peloton Alternative: Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Series Magnetic Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
Best Budget Peloton Alternative
STATIONARY BIKE: The sturdy steel frame, heavy 49 lb weighted flywheel and 275 maximum user weight gives this bike a rock solid build that will keep it moving ride after ride. RESISTANCE: Resistance system gives you the experience of a realistic, real-road feeling. Push down emergency brake will bring the bike to an immediate stop. SILENT RIDE: Experience a smooth and quiet ride with the maintenance free belt drive system which allows you to workout without interrupting your workout or anyone around you. CUSTOMIZABILITY: 4-Way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebars adapt to any user type. Use the toe clip pedals with straps to keep your feet in place. BOTTLE HOLDER: Stay hydrated throughout your workout. This convenient bottle holder is built into the frame for easy access.FOOT PEDAL STYLE: caged
Good for: People looking for a budget-friendly spin bike
My Favorite Things:
- Under $300
- Adjustable seat and handlebars
- Easy to move around
- Simple assembly
- No attached screen for interactive programming
- 275 lb weight capacity
- No Bluetooth connectivity
One thing Peloton did a great job of was showing people that you can get fit in your own living room. Unfortunately, many of us simply don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on gym equipment. If you want a solid spin bike and a great workout, and none of the extras, the Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Series Bike is a great pick for under $300 on Amazon.
And don’t worry: You won’t be completely without workout options on this very basic bike. There are free workouts Sunny Health and Fitness provides on their website. You can follow along to 10- minute HIIT rides, 60-minute endurance spin classes, and a variety of others all for no cost. If you want the feel of interactive programming without a monthly subscription, this could be a great option for you. Of course, you always have the option of downloading the Peloton app and riding along; the Sunny bike won’t sync with the app, but you can make the resistance adjustments yourself (and save a LOT of money).
With a 49-pound flywheel, this bike rides very smooth and doesn’t have a lot of shake, even when out of the saddle. I found the assembly itself to be pretty simple and at only 113 pounds, this bike is easy enough to move around from room to room with the attached wheels. I also like that you’re able to adjust both the handlebars and the seat to accommodate a variety of heights.
The big drawback to this bike is the lack of an attached monitor. For the price, it isn’t surprising, but you need to be aware that you’ll need to use your own device to view any kind of interactive programming. Since the Synergy Bike doesn’t have any Bluetooth capabilities, you also won’t be able to sync your rides to any programming you choose.
Best Adjustable Peloton Alternative: Keiser M3i Indoor Bike
Best Adjustable Peloton Alternative
More than 20 years ago, Keiser set out to create a bike that would exceed the demands of indoor cycling. Designed around you, an indoor bike that fits riders of all body shapes and sizes; a bike that achieves a quiet but true road bike experience inside your home; and the only stationery bike built in the United States to ensure the tightest quality control. And we accomplished it all with THE SIMPLEST OF ENGINEERING DESIGNS. The use of any exercise equipment, including the Keiser M3i bike or any fixed gear bike, without proper instruction and supervision violates the terms of this agreement for purchase of such products. The inability to stop pedaling on a fixed gear bike before the flywheel stops may be dangerous to anyone riding, especially anyone that does not recognize or respect the potential danger. Therefore, users, agents, or anyone directing the use of said equipment shall determine the suitability of the product for its intended use, and said parties are specifically put on notice that they shall assume all risk and liability in connection herewith.
Good for: People who need adjustment options for their bike due to their height
My Favorite Things:
- Adjustable to accommodate people from 4’10”- 7’
- 350 lb user weight capacity
- Only $6.99 per month for interactive programming access
- Extremely smooth ride
- Around $2,100
- No built-in screen to view interactive programming on
- Primitive and small display
A lot of people think the Peloton is the cream of the crop for exercise bikes. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a solid piece of equipment. But if you just want a really well-built bike, the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike is worth a look.
If you’ve ever been to a cycling class in a studio, you may have already come across one of these bikes and not even known it. The M3i is generally thought of as the gold standard for durable spin bikes in commercial gym settings. These things are sturdy and don’t require much maintenance, but they come with an expensive price tag: almost $2,100.
What I like best about the Keiser M3i is its ability to be adjusted to accommodate a very wide range of heights. If you’re particularly short or extremely tall, you may have trouble finding a spin bike that will adjust accordingly, but it is likely you won’t have that problem with the M3i. Both the seat and handlebars are able to be adjusted to fit heights between 4’10”-7’.
The Keiser may be one of the smoothest indoor cycling bikes I’ve ever used. There is little to no shaking whether you’re out of the saddle or are using heavy resistance. This bike was designed with strict quality standards and it shows.
Although there isn’t an attached screen, the M3i does have a tablet holder for you to use your own smartphone or tablet. Keiser also has its own interactive programming called “The Ride” for only $6.99 per month. The Ride features a variety of on-demand classes for improving stamina and strength or just riding to the beat of the music.
We are working on getting our hands on these studio cycle bikes to put them through our testing to determine if they should make our list for the best Peloton alternatives. Here’s what we know about them:
Bowflex C6 Exercise Bike: This bike is just under $1,000, but it does not have a built-in screen to view programming. It instead has a media shelf where you can set your own device up to view whatever programming you prefer.
Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX-5s: Similar in price to the Peloton Bike, the Echelon EX-5 has a 22-inch screen to view Echelon Fitpass programming. The programming starts at $11.99 per month and has a variety of class types including yoga, weight training, and cycling.
MYX Fitness The MYX II Plus: For $1,599, this bike boasts a 21.5” screen and includes a set of small dumbbells, a kettlebell, and an exercise mat for a complete home workout. However, people have complained that the only way to reach MYX customer service is through email.
Peloton Tread Alternatives
Peloton, of course, makes more than just bikes. You may have heard of its treadmill, the Tread. Now, the Tread has recently made waves (and not the good kind) for its recall due to safety concerns. Here are a few alternatives if you’re feeling a little hesitant about purchasing the newly redone Tread from Peloton:
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill: NordicTrack rivals Peloton classes with its excellent iFit programming. However, this treadmill is special because it provides both incline and decline levels (-3% decline and 15% incline).
ProForm Pro 9000: With a large 22-inch touchscreen, the Pro 9000 makes viewing interactive programming from iFit a breeze. Also notable? The Space Saver Design, which allows you to fold the treadmill when it isn’t in use. This makes it an ideal choice for a small space.
Echelon Fitness Stride: This treadmill is specifically designed to meet international safety standards, so you can feel good about putting an Echelon Fitness Stride in your home. Plus, at $1,299, it’s cheaper than a Peloton Tread and still offers interactive programming options.
How We Tested:
In order to find the best Peloton alternatives, our team first had to try the actual Peloton Bike+ and respective programming. This helped us get a better idea of the type of bike we were looking for. We determined that we wanted to provide a variety of options in regards to budget and programming since everyone is looking for something different to fit their needs.
We then tested tons of different exercise bikes and scored each based on the following categories: footprint, portability, delivery & setup, durability, customizations, adjustability, ergonomics, technology, programming, conveniences, value, customer service, and warranty. These specifics helped the team determine what spin bikes would make this roundup and which didn’t make the cut.
How to Choose the Best Peloton Alternative for Your Home Gym
Deciding what you’re looking to spend on your bike will help you hone in on options you can afford. You should also consider the monthly or yearly cost of a subscription service for interactive programming. Make sure to calculate your cost for everything before purchasing or even opt to finance your bike.
With so many options for interactive programming, it’s up to you to decide what suits you best. iFit with NordicTrack has a variety of guided outdoor fitness classes while the Peloton app focuses on motivational studio workouts. Some bikes support a variety of different platforms while others stick to only one. Some programs, like Peloton and iFit, give you leaderboards so you can see how you rank against other people doing the same workouts or races you do
Resistance Levels and Type
If you’re more of a beginner, you might not need 100 levels of micro-resistance. However, if you’re a more experienced cyclist, you might need to make sure your spin bike can accommodate the level of resistance you need to get a great workout.
Also consider the type of resistance: The Peloton (and the NordicTrack S22i) have both digital resistance as well as manual resistance. Digital resistance means you push a button to make a change in the resistance level; manual resistance means you turn a knob. One isn’t necessarily better than the other; it just comes down to personal preference.
The majority of today’s spin bikes have some type of monitor. Some are equivalent to the Peloton’s large, 22-inch color screen (like the NordicTrack) while others are more basic like the Keiser. Determining how you prefer to view your interactive programming and data from your rides will help you decide which bike to purchase. Keep in mind that the more advanced the screen is, the more money you’ll have to shell out.
Benefits of Peloton Alternatives
Although the Peloton Bike is a crowd favorite, there are many reasons people might want to select an alternative for their home gym. Here are some of the benefits to picking something else:
- Cheaper price
- Better quality
- Different features
- Extended warranty
FAQ About Peloton Alternatives
Is there a cheaper alternative to the Peloton bike?
The cheapest Peloton alternative that I would recommend is the Sunny Health and Fitness Synergy Series Magnetic Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike. It is under $300 and one of the only issues I have with it is the lack of an attached monitor. However, you can always stream your own interactive programming on your phone or iPad and follow along with your bike.
Can you watch Netflix on Peloton?
You cannot watch Netflix on your Peloton. However, you can watch Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ on the Bowflex Velocore if you have a JRNY subscription.
Can I use my own bike with the Peloton app?
Yes, you can use your own stationary bike with the Peloton app. You do not have to have the Peloton bike to purchase the programming.
People are absolutely bonkers for Peloton. I don’t blame them – the company has stellar interactive programming and a trendy bike to match. However, I think there are great alternatives to the infamous bike, whether you’re looking for more durability, to spend less money, or get more features. I’ve tried out dozens of the best exercise bikes for your home gym in the quest to find the best Peloton alternatives. Why You Should Trust Us When it comes to cardio machines, » Read more about: 5 Best Peloton Alternatives (2021) » Read more
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