In the past decade, Peloton has increasingly become synonymous with indoor spin bikes. The company has successfully launched innovative, trendy, and just downright fun to ride.
The company has revolutionized the treadmills and exercise bikes market, essentially bringing them to the 21st century.
With a Peloton bike, you no longer need to drag yourself out of the house to the gym for your spin class. In just a few taps, you will be connected with a live fitness instructor from New York City, who will soon have you sweating your behind off.
Such features are the reason why some of the high-profile owners like Hugh Jackman, John Legere, and David Beckham just can’t say enough good things about Peloton bikes.
Numbers don’t lie, right?
Well, by the end of fiscal year 2019, Peloton says it has sold over half a million connected fitness products, and has just as many subscribers.
People who swear by their products claim that it consistently delivers a unique experience, not just because it’s an eye-catching bike that uses its own sneakers that clip on the pedals, rather, because it provides a flexible schedule of 10- to 20-minute video sessions.
You also have access to over 20 personable instructors that will stare at you from the 20” android tablet that comes affixed to the handlebars, who will even call out your name during the livestream.
There are also social features that let you virtually ride the bike with pals, a healthy music catalogue, along with achievement badges and leaderboards.
Still, there are a few caveats with Peloton. First, it’s hard to get away from the fact that they come with a hefty price tag of over $2,200, with $39 a month subscription.
Also, the handlebars on these bikes only move up and down (not forward and backwards), meaning you’ll be unable to adjust it to your liking. The fixed screen on these bikes also can be used for other purposes like watching YouTube videos, surfing the web, or connect to apps.
Thankfully, it’s possible to get a Peloton-like bike experience for significantly less, and at times with less limitations, which is great for those of us that don’t want to spend a fortune on exercise equipment.
In this post, we’ll look at the 5 best alternatives to Peloton available on the market today.
Top 5 Peloton Bike Alternatives
If you really want a smart exercise bike to help you sweat it out conveniently at your home and you just can’t stomach the price tag of a new Peloton, there are a few companies that offer similar features and a comparable all-in-one experience without costing you an arm and leg.
The following top 5 Peloton bike alternatives will provide you with the best spin experience for a fraction of the price.
1. Echelon Smart Connect Bike
Echelon is a direct competitor to Peloton, and the company’s Connect line of bikes start at around $840.
Why the big price discrepancy you ask?
Well, most models come with a BYO screen; where they pair with your phone via Bluetooth for the cycle-class sessions. Aside from that, it’s hard to spot any major differences.
The EX1 is the no-frills, entry-level, and cheapest model that offers a rather standard exercise bike package. The EX3 and the EX5 offer more features, including dumbbell holders, resistance knobs, and comfier seats.
The EX5 offers the most similar experience to Peloton, with an in-built screen and features almost identical to the Peloton offering. Furthermore, the classes offered are straight off the Peloton playbook.
The EX3 is priced just over $1,000, and it looks and feels like a premium product. It boasts a competition seat, lever-style adjustment, and a new motor for precise magnetic resistance. Other features include a 33 lb flywheel, a powder-coated, durable frame, 32 resistance levels, and the Echelon Fit App, which features virtual workouts accompanied by a personal trainer.
With the app, any user can easily find a customized training program and ride to fit their personal needs.
For a limited time, you can get a free iPad Air with your purchase by using the “AIR” code at checkout. However, keep in mind that you do have to buy the app and a subscription to Echelon’s workouts to use the bike as you’d do with Peloton.
Still, you will be getting 30 days for free, and even with the monthly premiums, you will be saving a fair amount of money.
2. NordicTrack Studio Cycle
The NordicTrack S22i offer much of the key features that most people long for in a Peloton. While the NordicTrack S22i is the most expensive alternative on this list, it’s the most comparable to Peloton, and is still considerably cheaper.
The bike has stylish and sleek looks, and comes with a 22-inch HD display with an interactive touchscreen.
The screen essentially broadcasts the iFit Coach, which lets you access high-energy studio sessions with professional trainers who can control the incline, decline, and resistance of your machine in real time – something Peloton is yet to offer.
Moreover, every purchase comes with a one-year membership to the classes.
The NordicTrack app currently has a 1 million users membership base. With the app, users can create challenges, participate in live classes, track progress over time, and even add friends.
You can also add up to 4 profiles, meaning four different people can use it.
3. Flywheel Home Exercise Bike
In a lot of ways, the Flywheel Home Bike is a very close competitor to Peloton in terms of the overall training experience.
Flywheel provides daily live courses for riders to tune into (about 4 to 6 times a day), along with access to thousands of on-demand, pre-recorded classes. The classes are recorded in one of their studios in Manhattan.
The bike itself is very sturdy and well-built for the price, and Flywheel has already converted a significant audience in the indoor cycling scene, who were looking to bring the Fly classes into their homes.
Unlike most other Peloton alternatives, Flywheel is going head-to-head with the Peloton in terms of quality and pricing of the product and service.
A key difference with the Peloton is that with the Flywheel, the built-in screen is optional. The bike costs $1,699 without the screen, while the delivery and assembly costs $249. Add the screen and it becomes evenly priced with Peloton, at about $2,248.
The good thing is that you can still use your smart TV or a tablet for the streaming and save yourself a few hundred bucks.
Once you bring the bike home, both companies will charge you a monthly subscription fee of $39.
4. Bowflex C6
The Bowflex C6 is the latest addition to the pack, following its predecessor, the Horizon. It gives you a well-built indoor cycle that can connect to the fitness app of your choice, including the Peloton app, albeit with limited functionality.
Nonetheless, the C6 offers a connected biking experience at less than half of the price of a Peloton, which makes it a great affordable solution for anyone looking for an indoor compatible with a tablet or smartphone for online classes.
It’s also worth noting that Bowflex are working on building a handful of services/apps that will work together with the bike, including their own version of “Around the World”, as you’d see with the higher spec’d NordicTrack.
The Bowflex bike’s “Explore the World” feature lets you virtually ride through some exotic locations all around the world, with great, high definition videos of these location displayed on the screen.
Keep in mind that the bike itself isn’t app dependent, meaning users can cancel their subscriptions to the apps and still use a goal-based program for their workouts.
The C6 features an electromagnetic resistance system, an intuitive resistance knob with 100 micro-adjustable resistance levers, and comes with an integrated device holder for your phone or tablet.
The C6 bike is also compact, which allows it to fit in almost any room of your house.
5. Pooboo Commercial Stationary Bike
Featuring a 44-pound flywheel, with a commercial grade, heavy-duty frame, the Pooboo Commercial Stationary should offer excellent stability, support, and a smooth ride, even with the most intense of workouts and frequent of users.
The good thing about it’s commercial standard is that it’s of much better quality compared to the models designed for home use, and is perfect for the gym.
Its double triangle stable design offers more strength and durability, and the double barking and spraying makes it resistance to corrosion.
This bike also comes with a top brake system integrated with an infinitely variable speed system that lets you adjust your desired resistance more accurately. Both the handlebar and cushion have 4-way adjustable fit, which ideally lets users of all heights and arm lengths to find their optimal posture, so that they can work out comfortably and safely.
The handle bar includes two bottle holders and a tablet holder, which makes it easy and convenient for you to watch your favorite videos while exercising.
The bike comes with a big LCD screen that lets you keep track of your exercise progress by indicating the distance covered, time, and calories burned.
To help you move the bike easily from place to place, the bike features wheels at the front, which lets you easily store your bike away after use. All you have to do is tilt and roll it out away, with no need for muscle strain or heavy lifting.
Competitor Summary: Why Echelon is Our Top Alternative
For the base model, the Echelon EX1, prices start at $840.
No matter the model you choose, you can buy one- or two-years’ worth of class subscription with the package. The Echelon app serves both on-demand and live classes for a price of $40 a month.
While there’s no screen attached to the front of the EX1 and EX3, there’s a handy little spot on the handlebars where you can slide in a phone or tablet.
The EX3, which we found to offer the best deal for the money, is nearly half the price of the Peloton offering, and it still gives you interactive workouts with professional and certified trainers through your own mobile device and the proprietary Echelon app.
The EX3 starts at $1,400 for the bike and one year of classes ($1,040 with one month of classes), or $1,600 for the bike and two years of classes. Overall, the longer the package you buy, the lower the monthly rate.
Peloton has no such deals or discounts. With the basic package costing you $2,245 and the classes running at $39 a month, a 2-year cost will amount to $3,181; which is twice the price of the EX3.
Keep in mind that you also have to purchase shoes compatible with Peloton’s pedals, while you could use SPD shoes on the Echelon. Echelon offerings also feature toe cages for those who prefer riding with running or other shoes.
All in all, while all the bikes on this list are great alternatives to Peloton, Echelon offerings are our top choice, mainly because of their variety in price points, their live and pre-recorded workout session options, along with their excellent customer service.