There is no doubt that Peloton indoor bikes have been an incredibly popular home workout solution. The high-end bikes are practically a status symbol, but there are quite a few Peloton alternatives that are well worth buying. Depending on what most attracts you to a Peloton, there is another bike worth checking out. From the large screens in front of the handlebars to the subscription-based on-demand classes, other companies are proving Peloton has more competition than you might have realized.
One of the biggest factors to consider when shopping for an indoor bike for your home gym is the type of resistance the bike uses. That factor greatly impacts the price of the bike as well. Many of the best bikes rely on a magnetic resistance to the flywheel which is the most popular yet most expensive type. It will ensure that your indoor bike is quiet, offers plenty of resistance options and typically requires fewer repairs, making it worth the investment. However, less expensive options that have a heavy flywheel for resistance are also good alternatives.
No matter what your indoor cycling priorities are for a bike, these options include something that will suit almost any style and level of at-home cyclist.
Echelon has emerged as one of the best alternatives to Peloton bikes, with more than one option to choose from. The best is the Echelon Smart Connect EX3 which utilizes magnetic resistance. The bike is outfitted with a narrow saddle so you can easily move in and out of the saddle as your workout requires. Another major advantage to this bike is the adaptability of the seat and handlebar adjustments so you can set the bike to fit you perfectly for comfortable workouts. The pedals come with toe cages so you do not have to have cycling shoes to clip in, though clipping in does allow you to perform better. The bike also comes with a tablet mount between the handlebars and a set of weights under the saddle. Just subscribe to the monthly plan to access performance tracking as well as live or recorded classes for streaming.
MYX bikes are lauded for the vast catalog of exercise classes that are made available with a membership, which is perfect for those who work out often and need something new to remain stimulated day after day. Like Peloton, the pre-recorded classes include both cycling and other types of exercise that members can watch on an unrestricted basis, and the MYX Plus bike comes with weights, mats, and the other exercise equipment you’ll need to do those full-body workouts. The membership also helps customers track their performance metrics and progress. The large touchscreen that rests above the handlebars easily rotates to face away from the bike when it’s time to hit the mats for another class.
The bike itself includes a streamlined build with three points of adjustment at the seat and handlebars for a comfortable fit. The pedals allow cyclists to clip in or use the toe cage, too. The one big departure from most indoor bikes is that this bike is old-school with a 41-pound flywheel and a mechanical friction braking resistance. This means the bike will have more of a road bike feel and uses brake pads to create the resistance you’re riding against. It’s a great system, but it might require part replacements or maintenance after extensive use.
For those who want to buy a bike from Peloton’s biggest competitor for a lower cost, the Echelon Connect EX5 is a good option. This bike is very similar to the Smart Connect EX3, however it does not include a screen. Instead, it includes a mount for your tablet which still rotates around so you can watch the screen for additional cross-training workouts. Along with the mount, the bike has built-in Bluetooth connectivity that easily syncs with the Echelon FitPass subscription service. There, you can utilize both live and on-demand classes as well as performance metrics and feedback. There’s even a leaderboard so you can work out with your friends if you can handle the competition. Though it isn’t quite as comprehensive of a system, you can upgrade to the Connect EX5-S for an incorporated screen. It’s a great option for those just trying out at-home cycling.
There’s a lot to love about the Bowflex VeloCore, but it likely isn’t because of the bike’s major selling point and the feature many people are so excited about. The VeloCore bike has a “lean mode” that allows the cyclist to tilt as they ride when the bike is unlocked. While the motion is marketed as a way to enhance and engage your core as you ride, that’s assuming the rider has bad form. While this is a great way to keep you engaged and to have more fun with an indoor ride, it’s important to remember this isn’t going to greatly boost your training efforts for actually riding on the road because it lacks external factors like wind and tire drag that you only get outside. Though some claim the movement will help you to engage your core, holding yourself with the proper posture on the bike should already be using your core.
Apart from the lean mode, the VeloCore bike comes with a 16″ or a 22″ screen option and a slightly cumbersome yet sturdy bike frame that is perfect for heavier riders weighing up to 325 pounds. Another great selling point for this bike its streaming service which is just $20 per month with a two-month free trial. Unlike some other bikes, the screen is compatible with other fitness apps so you can stream live classes from other sources if you don’t like the JRNY on-demand classes that are featured. The screen also connects to other streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ so you can watch television or movies while you ride instead.
Like most other bikes, this model comes with highly adjustable handlebars and seat as well as a set of weights that rest next to the screen.
If you already know and love SoulCycle, the original indoor cycling cult, and you’d like to access their premium features on a bike at home, it will cost you. However, the SoulCycle at-home workout solution is very much like being inside the beloved studio classes. These bikes come with 21.5-inch fixed screens and lightweight frames that are suitable for rides up to 350 pounds. It does take up less room and is easier to move around the room than the larger Bowflex VeloCore bike.
The class subscription, Equinox+, is $40 per month or free to those who are already members of SoulCycle studios. The bike screens are also compatible with other television streaming subscriptions like Netflix if you’d prefer to watch television while you ride from time to time.
In an effort to make indoor cycling more like cycling outdoors, Nordictrack has created the s22i Studio Cycle model of bike. This bike comes with a lot of impressive features that have indoor cyclists excited. Outfitted with a swiveling, high definition touchscreen, and digital resistance, the bike will adjust your incline and decline to simulate a real road ride with globally inspired, themed rides. That alone makes this a great bike for those who need to make working out at home more enticing than simply watching someone else on a bike teach the class.
One bonus to this bike is that it comes with a free year of NordicTrack iFit membership. That means you can access their live cycling classes for free the first year you have the bike. Other classes include yoga and strength training among others.
For those who want an easy way to exercise at home without the need for instructor-led classes or a touchscreen, this is the bike to choose. The Schwinn IC3 bike is a classic model with a 40-pound flywheel and SPD pedals so you can easily clip in and get to work. You can also opt for toe-cage pedals if you prefer which is great for those who have a bike or spare set of SPD pedals at home that can be quickly swapped out as needed with a pedal wrench.
The bike is outfitted with a narrow saddle and padded handlebars so you can easily move in and out of the saddle as you need to for your workout. Instead of a large screen, this bike has a smaller bike computer that displays your metrics as you exercise, including the time, distance, and speed during your ride. There’s also a media rack so you can tune into your favorite cycling app or video subscription if you do want some ride guidance.
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