If you are in search for an at home smart exercise bike, then you have more than likely come across Peloton. It is by far the leading company in the market for connected stationary exercise bike with a screen. It is fast becoming very popular with the home cycling fitness community, and for a good reason.
The online community is the most robust, Peloton instructors are amazing and have a great ability to motivate people. The Peloton system comes with an online leaderboard that helps push users further, giving them an extra competitive edge. On top of these smart features, it also comes with an amazing build and feel that will support you through each ride.
Peloton bikes do not come cheap
If you have been doing your research, you also know that with all these great features, there is an incredible wait period between the time you order your bike and the time it is delivered to your home. It is also incredibly pricey coming in at $1,895 for the basic entry bike that does not include shoes, weights, or the monthly subscription.
The price goes all the way up to $2,945 for the Bike + that includes two pairs of shoes, weights, reversible workout mat, bike mat, resistance bands, yoga block, yoga strap, and two water bottles. Again, none of their pricing options include their monthly subscription of $39.99 to fully get the interactive Peloton experience.
While the prices are a bit on the higher end, Peloton does offer 39-month payment plans at 0% APR, making the highest payment come out to roughly $76 a month. Once you include the $39.99 subscription you are looking at $116 a month for the next 39 months.
If you want a smart exercise bike sooner than Peloton can deliver, or a Peloton just isn’t in within your budget, there are several options on the market that will get you just as great a workout at a fraction of the cost! Below are my picks for the best Peloton alternatives. We start with a build your own, using what you already have.
1. Build Your Own
The build your own option is by far the most cost effective and quickest way to achieve a Peloton alternative while still getting the results you want! I believe in this option so much that it is what I chose to do for myself. While entering this option might be slightly more expensive for you than it was for me, being that I already had a few of the items necessary to build the bike, the price point is still significantly cheaper than the other alternatives. You will need the following equipment:
- Either a road bike or mountain bike and a stationary trainer, OR a stationary exercise bike. If you don’t have either of these options, you can find great stationary bike options on amazon. The one that I recommend is the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike Pro/Pro II. The bike costs $329 for the belt variant, and $269 for the chain variant. I recommend the belt variant as you can adjust the resistant or power effort more efficiently and it is easier to maintain. It is also a Prime item, so you do not have to pay shipping if you are already a member. You can find the bike here:
- An iPad or Android tablet. Many people already have this at home, and the best part about the Sunny stationary bike is that it comes equipped with a rounded set of handlebars perfect for holding your tablet while you exercise. All you need is a tablet mounting kit for bikes.
- A cadence sensor. You can get a cheap cadence sensor from Wahoo on Amazon. Wahoo is a great cycling company that rivals Garmin. This cadence sensor will then sync to your tablet to help you keep up with whichever class you conduct. The cadence sensor is $40.
- Smart training app. Now that you have the bike, tablet, and cadence sensor, all that you need is a training app. If you wanted the Peloton for their instructors and online classes, just because you don’t have a Peloton bike does not mean that you can’t participate in the classes! You can still download the app and subscribe to the classes; you will even get a discounted price at $12.99 a month. The main feature that you will miss out on is the interactive classes, as without the bike, you will only give you partial functionality. You will not be able to attend live classes where the instructor changes your resistance for you, but you will have access to their entire library of classes and can still change your resistance on your own.
- Track your fitness. You may already have a fitness band, fitness tracker or a smartwatch like the Apple Watch 6. Use these to track your session for better insight to your health and fitness. Remember to set it to track the different working you choose to take up. For Apple Watch, pick Indoor Cycle for your spin session. It is designed to track your workout on the stationary bike.
Fitness Membership Alternative
Another potential option is the Apple Fitness Plus. This is for people who already have either an Apple Watch or other iOS product such as the Apple TV, iPhone or iPad. They can use the TV or devices to access the service and follow the training there. This option covers several workouts like cycling, HIIT, treadmill running, and yoga to name a few. One of the other awesome things about this option is the price point coming in at $10 a month or $80 for the year.
We will look at other fitness apps that you can include in your tablet later as we go into further detail with the other bikes on this list. The flexibility to choose which fitness app that you prefer, plus the cost of the build is why building your own smart bike gets my vote!
2. Bowflex VeloCore
The Bowflex Velocore is my favorite pick if price isn’t your main concern for a at home cycling bike. This bike is perfect for those who want a great immersive experience, but just do not want to wait for the long shipping times of the Peloton. The Bowflex VeloCore comes in at two price points at $1,699 for the basic model and $2,199 for the top model. The basic model comes equipped with a 16-inch screen while the top model has a 22-inch screen. It also offers a monthly subscription to their classes that costs $19.99 a month.
- Faster ship times than Peloton.
- Cheaper subscription.
- Large 22-inch or 16-inch screen options
- Has a lean mode that allows you to lean in and out of turns on the stationary bike while also engaging your core during workouts.
- You can use the screen without a subscription, and their subscription allows you to stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Prime Video on the screen.
- You can run other subscriptions on the screen, like Peloton or Zwift.
- While it is cheaper than the Peloton it is still expensive.
- They do not offer live classes like Peloton.
- The bike is relatively new, and they are still building the library of classes on their subscription.
- While the lean feature is revolutionary, there are only a few training video that uses it.
- The screen does not rotate 360-degrees.
3. Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX-5S
The Echelon is a great choice coming in at a price point well below the rest at $1,239. While it still provides smart classes with a $39 a month subscription, it does not have a dedicated screen. Instead, it provides a dedicated tablet mount like the Sunny fitness bike. The library of classes and live training it offers is arguably the best compared to Peloton.
- Big 22-inch HD screen
- Significantly cheaper than the Peloton.
- The tablet mount rotates 180-degrees.
- Pedals offer both clip in option and toe-cage sides.
- No onboard display but there is a tablet mount kit included.
- You need the subscription to utilize all its smart features.
4. MYX or the MYX Plus from MYX Fitness
MYX is another great option at a much lower price point! The MYX comes in at $1,299 or $1,499 for the MYX Pro. Both options come with a 21.5” screen and their monthly subscription will run you $29 a month. These are essentially the same bike with the Plus as a package deal that includes extra accessories such as a set of dumbbells and a kettlebell (choose between light, medium or heavy), EVA foam roller and resistance band. Included as standard with the package are stabilising mat, Polar OH1 heart rate monitor and a choice fo black or white bike.
- Big interactive touchscreen 21.5-inch
- The price is significantly lower than Peloton.
- Comes equipped with swiveling touchscreen.
- The workouts are straight forward and easy to follow.
- The build does not feel as premium as some of the other options on this list.
- The workouts may not feel as inspiring as some of the other subscriptions on this list.
- Does not offer live workouts.
5. NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
The Nordic Track S22i is another good alternative that comes in at a cheaper price point than the Peloton. The basic model is $1,599 with a 14” screen and the top model is $1,999 with a 22” screen. The monthly subscription is the same price as Peloton at $39 a month. The build of the bike is not as good as the Peloton or the Velocore though. NordicTrack has made their name in the treadmill industry and that is still where most of their focus lies. Therefore, the NordicTrack is last on my list.
- Large 22-inch interactive coaching touchscreen
- 360-degree rotating screen.
- Trainer led resistance feature.
- Incline and decline adjustments (20% and 10% respectively)
- Live resistance control
- The bike is very heavy. It is the heaviest on this list.
- You cannot use the screen without the subscription.
- The price point is not low enough to justify not getting a Peloton or Velocore.
While the Peloton bike has made a huge name for itself in the at home fitness industry, there are several viable options that will still get your heart pumping at a fraction of the cost. The choice really comes down to what is important to you and what are the fitness goals that you are trying to achieve.
Edited by Samuel J. Tan