Thanks to fitness companies like SoulCycle Flywheel and Peloton, spin classes have become all the hype over the past couple of years, and for good reason: cycling is a great way to burn calories, build strength and improve cardiovascular health, all without putting a lot of stress on your joints. While studio spin sessions can be fun and motivating, it can also be difficult to fit a spin class into your busy schedule. And that was before gyms and spin studios closed down due to COVID-19. But what if you could enjoy the benefits of a group spin class, all from your own home?
That’s where the Peloton comes in. Unlike traditional stationary bikes, the Peloton bike features a touchscreen for streaming live and on-demand spin classes via a monthly subscription. Peloton users enjoy an effective and challenging home workout and stay accountable and motivated through interactive training. And with Peloton’s extensive library of online classes and its ability to track your workout stats, you’re more likely to keep up with your workouts.
However, the price of the Peloton is a huge disadvantage for the average user: the bike alone will cost you over $2,200, and this doesn’t even include the $39 monthly membership fee. Fortunately, the best Peloton alternatives give you all the same great benefits of the Peloton, for a fraction of the cost.
When choosing the best Peloton alternatives, we looked at a ton of affordable exercise bikes, from dirt-cheap bikes from no-name brands on Amazon to spin bikes from trusted athletic brands like NordicTrack and Bowflex. Read on for our top picks.
How We Chose the Best Peloton Alternatives
There are a ton of great indoor fitness bikes, and the top brands have many different models to choose from. Ultimately, rather than picking specific home spin bikes, we decided to rank the best brands. Some of our top choices come pretty close to recreating the Peloton experience. Of course, the very best home exercise bikes cost almost as much as the Peloton.
When ranking our favorite fitness bike brands, we considered criteria like:
- Customer Reviews
- Display Screens
- Brand Reliability
- Resistance Levels
- Special Features
Below, you’ll find our selections for the best alternatives to the Peloton. In addition, we’ll share some of our favorite fitness apps, which let you recreate the spin class experience at home — for a lot less money.
1. NordicTrack Cycling Bikes
NordicTrack is perhaps the closest to an actual Peloton as you can get — and they offer their signature spinning machine in two screen sizes — a 15″ and 22″. Their bikes, the Commercial S15i Studio Cycle and Commercial S22i Studio Cycle are truly an alternative, as the touchscreens stream their own iFit classes and don’t leave a lot of room for you to mount your own device and stream Peloton’s classes — but if that doesn’t both you keep reading.
Their bikes come with LIVE resistance + incline controls, 22 different levels of digital resistance and a display that rotates and tilts so you can stream their other classes off the bike using the same machine. The bike comes with a pair of 3 lb dumbbells for upper body incorporation as well as two 2″ amplified speakers for great sound quality. The only notable differences between the two bikes below is the size of the touchscreen and the number of resistance levels — the 22Si has 24 instead of 22.
NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle
Commercial S22i Studio Cycle
2. Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bikes
You remember Schwinn — they made our bikes when we were kids. Now, they’ve got their own cycling bikes, which just so happen to be some of the best Peloton alternatives for use at home. There are two models that are worth highlighting in their collection — the IC3 and IC4 bikes, each of which would be a solid addition to your home workout setup.
Both are high-quality cycling machines equipped with 40 lb flywheels with over 100 levels of resistance to choose between. They’re also both equipped with grip-able handlebars for stability and dual-link pedal and toe cages so you can clip or slip in however you wish. The handlebars on each bike also have multiple grip positions so you can shift and adjust throughout your workout, and both the seat and handlebars can be adjusted horizontally and vertically for comfort.
The main difference between the two is that the IC3 has a standard LCD console for tracking metrics while the IC4 has a full LCD screen for your metrics and a media rack that’s perfect for mounting an iPhone, iPad or other device. The IC4 bike is designed to work with Peloton, Zwift and other apps easily, or you can dial into the Explore the World app and ride around the world in virtual races.
Both bikes are solid alternatives to Peloton spin bikes, but if you want something as close to the real thing as possible I’d go with the IC4. It’s a world-class home exercise bike under $1,000.
Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
3. Bowflex Spin Bikes
Bowflex is another solid option when it comes to Peloton alternatives. They’re a major player in the home fitness space in general, and their bikes have gotten great reviews for the smooth, quiet, challenging and satisfying rides they provide. They’ve got one basic model — the C6 that comes with a smooth belt with 100 levels of resistance, an adjustable seat, dual-link pedals, 3lb dumbbells and a tablet holder for easy streaming. The metrics tracking is solid, and the bike is compatible with the most popular fitness apps including Peloton, Swift and Explore the World.
They also made two more advanced, Peloton-adjacent bikes, known as VeloCore, that have large HD touchscreens you can use to stream in adaptive workouts, entertainment, the same compatible fitness apps and more. The touchscreen is available in a 16″ and 22″ size, and both are in an adjustable console. The touchscreen bikes also come with the Bowflex workout experience called JRNY, which comes with coaching, streamed classes and other features all accessible via the touchscreen. The VeloCore bikes also come with a leaning feature where you can lean, rock, sway and more like you would on a real bike on a real road — and the class will react. This extends the workout beyond your lower body and incorporates your core, arms and back as well.
Again, this situation is similar to Schwinn — the basic bike works in that you can stream Peloton classes to your phone and use the C6 bike to complete them. If you want a more integrated experience that’s closer to what an actual Peloton feels like — the VeloCore bikes in either the 16″ or 22″ sizes are the way to go. However, the Bowflex bikes are also more expensive than Schwinn models, and if you have the budget, it’s hard to beat the Peloton itself.
Bowflex C6 Bike
Bowflex VeloCore Bike — 16″
Bowflex VeloCore Bike — 22″
4. PYHIGH Indoor Cycling Bikes
BEST BUDGET SPIN BIKE
This cycling bike from PYHIGH is quite similar to a Peloton bike in terms of the bidirectional flywheel and anti-loosing grade belt, and it’s one of the best Peloton alternatives we’v found. PYHIGH spin bikes have proven to be extremely popular among SPY readers in 2020, and it’s a great option if you’re looking for the best Peloton alternatives under $500.
It has reinforced pedals that move easily as well as a phone/iPad holder for streaming your favorite virtual class or TV show. The anti-loosing belt provides for a smoother and quieter ride than other bikes and has a knob in the center for adding or removing resistance. The non-slip handlebars will give you a good grip while you climb out of the saddle and the seat is wide and comfortable so when you’re peddling in the saddle you won’t experience discomfort. The seat has 4-way adjustability and the handlebars have 2-way adjustability. All knobs for adjustment will hold in place once you’ve made your selection and the whole bike has transport wheels that make moving it simple.
The PYHIGH S2 Spin Bike offers 35 pounds of resistance and a simple LCD screen for monitoring your time, speed, distance and calories burned. The more expensive PYHIGH S7 Spin Bike offers 48 pounds of resistance and offers heart-rate monitoring in addition to time, speed and distance. Both are great choices if you’re looking for affordable Peloton alternatives.
5. Echelon Exercise Bikes
Echelon is another popular Peloton alternative that boasts four different cycling bikes to choose from, all with varying degrees of similarity to the OG at-home luxury fitness bike. They range in price from just over $600 to just under $1,700 and there are plenty of reasons to choose each bike, so we’ll walk you through the differences so you can make an informed decision about which one is for you.
We’ll start with the most affordable Peloton alternative, the Connect EX-1 LE bike. This one is similar to the basic Schwinn and Bowflex bikes above as it’s got everything you need to stream in classes from your phone and follow along. It’s got a console adjustable up to 180-degrees, SPD-compatible pedals with toe cages, a comfortable seat, dumbbell holders for the back of the bike and ergonomic handlebars for a smooth ride.
The next level up, the Connect EX-3 bike has an adjustable seat up to 6″, a resistance knob with 32 levels to choose from and a redone motor for precision with magnetic resistance.
The next bike is the Connect EX-5 that comes with competition-grade handlebars, the same competition-style seat with 6″ of adjustable levels, a smart device mount that flips 180-degrees and the indexing resistance knob for a precise choice between 32 available levels. All of their bikes have 32 levels of available resistance, far fewer levels than other Peloton alternatives and the Peloton bike itself. I’m not sure how this would affect the ride, but if one has access to a key that explains which levels of resistance coordinate to one another I reckon you’d be able to make it work, albeit with a bit more work involved.
Lastly, the Connect EX-5s has a 22″ HD touchscreen that also has the capability to flip 180° if needed. This bike also comes with 17 seat adjustment settings vertically and horizontal movement so you can reach your preferred seat position. All of their bikes come with “FitPass” — their version of Peloton that has trainer-led cycling, yoga, stretching, pilates, kickboxing and other workout sessions. This bike also comes with dumbbell holders located behind the seat.
Echelon EX1 Exercise Bike
Echelon EX-3 Exercise Bike
Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Bike
6. Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike
The Cyclace Stationary Bike also features a device mount, making it easy to customize your workouts and follow along to your favorite exercise videos. The included LCD tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned so that you can adjust your workouts according to your stats and track your progress over time. The bike is fully adjustable, meaning you can adjust the seat, handlebars, and resistance to meet your personal needs. It also has an ergonomically designed seat and handlebars for superior comfort and features a flywheel- and belt-driven system for a quiet workout.
Editor’s Note: The Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike is currently out of stock. We will update this post when inventory becomes available.
7. JOROTO Belt Drive Cycling Bike
This is one of the sturdiest spin bikes around — so if you’re intimidated by cycling and stability is what you’re looking for, it’s a great choice. It has an AV frame with a 35lb flywheel and a 50mm thickened frame tube that reinforces the strength of the machine. It has a 280 pound weight max making it perfect for all riders of all skill levels. There are four adjustment knobs built into the bike for keeping it stable in the front and back, and the belt drive with magnetic resistance operates largely silently. This makes riding quietly possible (except for singing along to classes, of course). The whole bike, including the extra wide seat and handlebars, is adjustable, and it comes with an emergency brake and handlebar-adjust tube bump for safety purposes. This bike is also very easy to move around in your space, as it’s got two transportation wheels built into the front.
8. pooboo Indoor Cycling Stationary Bike
This stationary bike features a multi-grip, two-way adjustable handlebar and four-way adjustable seat that make this bike easily customizable for optimal comfort. With adjustable resistance, non-slip cage pedals, and a belt-driven design, you’ll enjoy a smooth and efficient workout on this Peloton alternative cycling bike. Plus, the included emergency-stop knob allows you to stop quickly if needed, meaning you can safely and comfortably push your workouts to the next level. The attached LCD monitor tracks pulse, speed, time, distance and calories, and there is an additional mount to hold your iPad or smartphone if need be. Of course, the name is likely to elicit giggles from any teenagers in the house, but this indoor exercise bike is still a more than worthy alternative to Peloton.
In addition to the belt-drive stationary bike pictured below, pooboo also has a recumbent exercise bike with magnetic resistance. The recumbent bike offers eight levels of magnetic resistance and may offer better support for those with back problems or mobility issues.
9. MaxKare Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike
This cycling bike from MaxKare has a magnetic tension control system that provides resistance to your ride to help build endurance and strength. The ergonomic design ensures smoother and quieter rides so there’s no concern about disturbing others. Both the seat and handlebar are adjustable and the large padded seat will make your ride more comfortable. The durable triangle frame can support up to 264 lbs and the LCD monitor on the bike displays your speed, distance, time and calories burned. There’s also a tablet/ phone holder to stream app and virtual classes from. It also has transportation wheels that make it ultra-easy to move.
10. Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike
This cycling bike from Sunny Health and Fitness is designed to mimic road biking closely indoors and give you a great workout. It has a 40-pound flywheel and an advanced digital monitor that goes in-depth with metrics so you know your speed, distance, calories, RPM, pulse and more throughout your cycling session. The dual felt pad resistance gives you the sensation of being outside on the road and the micro-tension controller puts the level of resistance in your hands so you can easily adjust throughout your workout. The bike has a device and water bottle holder, and at less than $400 it’s an affordable alternative to the Peloton bike.
CycleCast Indoor Cycling App
Need some classes to get you started? Consider the CycleCast app. With access to over 900 cycle workouts on demand, you have a variety of 20- to 60-minute classes to choose from that are led by experienced professional instructors. In addition to energetic and motivating classes, the app lets you sync your workouts, calories burned, and heart rate with Apple Health or Google Fit, making it easy to track your progress.
You don’t need to own a Peloton bike or treadmill in order to enjoy the multitude of classes Peloton offers. Their app is available at $15/month and includes access to all of their cycling, running, strength, yoga, meditation and stretch classes. They have live classes you can tune into as well as access to all of their classes organized into libraries by instructor, time, type of class, etc. You can stream the classes via the app on any device including Roku and Apple TV. If you’re not ready to take the plunge with the full Peloton bike and/or tread experience, this is a great alternative.