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Fitness showdown: Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle vs. Peloton Bike

The new year is coming soon — Start your new fitness routine right with the best exercise bike for you

Buying an exercise bike for your home gym is a great way to make sure you get low-impact, at-home cardio workouts. Exercising at home is more convenient and more private than heading to the gym, and it can help busy people stick to their fitness routine. 

The Peloton Bike is arguably the king of the home indoor cycling bike market, but the unit is expensive and has a pricey ongoing subscription fee that you must pay to use the bike. Plus, the tablet is only compatible with Peloton workouts; users cannot stream other media or try other workout platforms.

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC Indoor Cycling Bike revolutionizes the exercise bike market by giving users the ability to connect to different cycling apps or stream their own media. But does the bike deliver on its promise? Is it a high-quality cycle?

Keep reading to see our review of the new Horizon 7.0 IC exercise bike and how it compares to Peloton to see which one is a better fit for you.

What Is the Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle?

The Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle is a new bike offered by Horizon Fitness, which is owned by Johnson Health Tech.

Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycling Bike Side view.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The exercise bike is designed for maximum versatility, as its Bluetooth connectivity allows the indoor cycling bike to connect to several different cycling apps, giving users their choice of how they’d like to work out.

Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle vs. Peloton Bike: Which is the better exercise bike?

Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor cycling bike.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Horizon 7.0 IC exercise bike and the Peloton Bike are similar in build and function. Both bikes have 100 levels of electronic magnetic resistance and four-way adjustable handlebars and seats (up and down, and fore and aft). However, when comparing the actual Peloton Bike and Horizon 7.0 IC, there are a few notable differences.

The pedals

The Peloton Bike uses clipless pedals with the Delta Cleat system. This means that you must use bike shoes with Delta cleats in order to ride the bike; you cannot use sneakers without buying different pedals and swapping them out. Peloton makes their own branded cycling shoes, or you can buy any bike shoes that have Delta cleats.

A nice benefit of the Horizon 7.0 IC is that it has dual-compatible pedals, which means that one side of the pedal is flat and has a toe cage so that you can wear regular sneakers. Beginners who are more comfortable just cycling in their sneakers can use the integrated toe cages. The other side of the pedals use the clip-in system for SPD pedals. Any cycling shoes with SPD-compatible cleats can be used to clip into these pedals.

The flywheel

The flywheel on the Horizon 7.0 IC is 28.6 pounds, or 13 kilograms. The Peloton Bike has a somewhat heavier flywheel, weighing in around 35 pounds, or 18 kilograms. A heavier flywheel provides a smoother, more stable ride that can better replicate outdoor riding. However, heavier flywheels take more power to move, and anything over 20 to 25 pounds is usually sufficient to provide a stable, comfortable ride for most users. Therefore, whether the Peloton Bike or Horizon 7.0 IC indoor cycling bike flywheel is better depends, to some extent, on your fitness level and body size. Larger and/or stronger riders might prefer the heavier Peloton Bike flywheel, whereas beginners and/or users with a lighter bodyweight may actually prefer the slightly lighter flywheel on the 7.0 IC.

Intended usage

One of the primary differences between the Peloton Bike and the Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle is the way that the exercise bike is intended to be used. This is ultimately what should help you determine which exercise bike is right for you.

The Peloton Bike is designed to be used exclusively with the Peloton streaming classes. You must subscribe to the Peloton All-Access Membership, which is $44 per month and provides unlimited access to live and on-demand streaming workouts on and off the bike. You cannot use the bike without the membership and cannot stream alternative content (such as other workout apps or Netflix, Hulu, etc.) on the integrated tablet

In contrast, the Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle is an open-platform exercise bike that lets you stream workouts from a number of different fitness apps or use one of the built-in workouts on the integrated console. You do need to use your own tablet; there is no included or integrated tablet. You can subscribe to and stream Peloton Digital workouts ($12.99/month membership) or Zwift virtual cycling.

The verdict: Horizon 7.0 IC Indoor Cycle vs. Peloton Bike

Peloton Bike rear view.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Overall, which of these two exercise bikes you should buy really depends on your budget, training style, and workout preferences. The Horizon 7.0 IC is a great budget-friendly option if you want to save money and have a bike that functions nearly identically to the Peloton Bike, but with the flexibility to use non-Peloton fitness apps or stream your own media on your tablet.

It’s nice that the number of magnetic resistance levels on the two exercise bikes match up exactly, meaning you don’t have to convert or guess how to adjust the bike if you’re following Peloton workouts. You can adjust the resistance level directly in accordance with what the Peloton instructor suggests.

Because the frame and flywheel are significantly lighter, the Horizon 7.0 IC is less stable for heavy users at high intensities but is potentially more ideal for smaller riders and beginners who want a more portable bike that doesn’t require as much power to pedal.

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC exercise bike does a decent job replicating the feel and function of the premium Peloton at a fraction of the price. However, you won’t get all the bells and whistles of the Peloton Bike, and you will need to supply your own tablet and purchase a subscription to whatever platform you’d like to use.

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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