Peloton bikes are fantastic. They are well made and well directed, with a slew of programmes, live sessions, and community engagement, making sure that there is always something new for you to try out. There is always something to keep you engaged and power you towards meeting your goals.
That being said, there are a growing number of viable Peloton alternatives, and today we shall be exploring them.
In this era of home training, there is nothing too new about what Peloton offer in a broader sense. You can get any number of online training classes, either from YouTubers or from more formal outfits like Les Mills on demand. However, few are paired so well with a single piece of equipment as Peloton offer; few pieces of equipment are as well- designed and made as the Peloton.
But are they the be all and end all? No – there are plenty of other places you can go to get your at-home training fix. Though they are arguably perfected, Peloton have far from cornered the market.
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Reasons To Look For A Peloton Alternative
If you want to spin but don’t want to pay Peloton prices, there are options. If you like the idea of the Peloton, but aren’t that into cycling, again, there are options.
I’ll lay out below some of the best at-home Peloton alternatives going. Do bear in mind, however, that there are alternatives aside from simply different at-home cardio machines – after all, there’s nothing wrong with setting out into the hills on a mountain bike, or joining your local leisure centre, or going to a spin class with in-person teaching and other people around you to spur you on!
However, if you do like the at-home cardio set up, with properly led, taught classes, and you want to make the most of the modern technology that makes this all possible, there are ways to go that aren’t in the Peloton price range, or that offer something a little different to their formula. Any one of them will work well – getting involved with any will see your fitness improve and your goals met if you’re prepared to put the work in.
The Best Peloton Alternatives
Let’s take a look at 8 great Peloton alternatives.
- 1 Reasons To Look For A Peloton Alternative
- 2 The Best Peloton Alternatives
NordicTrack’s Commercial S22i is one of the wider fitness industry’s strongest responses to the Peloton. It offers much the same thing as the Peloton, with an incredibly well- designed and built spin cycle coming in at a fairly steep price (expensive, but worth it), provided in tandem with great online class options.
In this case, the media comes courtesy of an iFit-enabled, 22-inch Smart HD touchscreen. This gives you the studio feeling you want – complete with buzz, fellow athletes to support you via the wider community, and professional, highly rated instruction.
The whole lot comes in at around two grand, or about eighty pounds per month spread over two years. As above, expensive, but worth it. It’s NordicTrack’s premium Commercial Studio Cycle. You can go cheaper, of course, with something like the S15i, which has very similarly built bikes (if not identical, as far as I can make out), but this comes a much smaller 14-inch screen.
The S15i is a nice option, but if you’re going to spend the money, I would go for the bigger screen – it has far more utility to it and will give a far better training experience overall.
The SS2i has some decent hardware to it, too, all designed to give you the safest, smoothest, most comfortable ride possible, whilst allowing for maximum energy output on your part. These include non-slip, multi-position handlebars; 22 levels of digital resistance; power incline (and decline) with settings from -10% to +20%; pedals with cages; and wireless telemetry and iPod-compatible speaker systems.
The SS2i also comes with a set of 3lb dumbbells. Though these aren’t particularly heavy, and won’t lead to any great strength gains, they are a wonderful addition and will bring your full body into training in a way that Peloton sadly lacks.
The main difference that most users will notice is in the iFit over Peloton compatibility, however. There is a bit of a trade-off, here. Peloton’s classes are better, realistically. They have a wide range of daily live classes from which you can pick and choose, giving you great options and no repeats. However, iFit offer a larger variety of personal trainers, fitness advice outside of simply cardio and spin, and global workouts that make use of genuinely beautiful locations.
I would personally go for iFit, but this really is the user’s choice, and there are no wrong answers.
JTX Cyclo 5
For those not wanting to stump up a Peloton level investment when it comes to price, the JTX Cyclo 5 is an excellent option. You don’t get the large screen and interactive workouts as standard (but these can be added and still come in much cheaper than a Peloton) but you do get an excellent quality studio cycle that is capable of delivering challenging workouts – and there are plenty of built in programs to work from too – not only that, but you can design your own workouts aswell.
The bike itself has a 17kg flywheel with 16 levels of resistance. There are 19 built in programs or you can connect via bluetooth to your chosen fitness app. Kinomap is a great cycling app to use with lots of saved workouts as well as giving you access to live sessions that provide a Peloton-like experience. Kinomap is around a third of the cost of the Peloton monthly subscription with an annual subscription saving you even more at just €89.99 per year. Kinomap works brilliantly with the Cyclo 5 as it works seamlessly with the bike to adjust the resistance level as you ride and to adjust to the course you are using.
JTX Fitness are one of our preferred suppliers here at Fitness Brain thanks to their quality products and excellent customer service. This UK company really does produce high quality products and the Cyclo 5 is no exception. This model has a 3 year repair warranty and lifetime frame warranty which is well above the standard offering.
The main reasons we placed this at position 2 on our list of Peloton alternatives is that it affords exceptional comfort with 4 levels of adjustment rather than the standard 3 with most bikes. The seat is very comfortable and it is easy to get the perfect alignment for your body which provides improved posture. The level of challenge provided by the 17kg flywheel is wide ranging and the ride quality is smooth.
If you want SPD pedals these are available as an additional upgrade and the fact you add your own screen (if wanting to connect to an app) means you aren’t paying for anything you don’t need. The biggest drawback of Peloton is the screen is taking up a lot of the cost – whereas if you already own a tablet or laptop (or even a phone) then you don’t need to shell out for this expense.
All in all, the Cyclo 5 is a top option and although it doesn’t deliver the all-in-one experience that you get with the likes of the NordicTrack and ProForm options listed here, it offers huge cost savings and pretty much the same potential experience.
Echelon Sport Smart Connect or Connect EX-5s
This is a nod more to Echelon as a whole rather than just the Echelon Sport Smart Connect but this model in particular is an incredibly cost effective and cheaper alternative to Peloton that still stacks up well in terms of the hardware and software it houses.
The Connect Sport is actually the entry level model of the Echelon range but it performs incredibly well if you are happy to make a few concessions. The major concession is the omission of a screen, however you can use your own tablet device with the built in tablet mount and access the live and on-demand fitness classes just as you would with a built in screen. This is going to be largely dependent on whether you have a tablet already – if you do then why pay out for an additional screen when you don’t need to.
The other concessions with this model are that you don’t get a vented performance seat and the pedals are are not SPD compatible. However, if you can look past these issues and they aren’t important for you then you can get a very high quality spin bike that has access to class leading software at a fraction of the cost.
If you want something that is more attuned to Peloton and has everything built in out of the box then the Echelon EX-5s Smart Connect is the model to go for. It has an integrated 21.5″ touch screen monitor that has a 180 degree flip rotation and access to all the classes, it’s one the largest in the range with a maximum seat height of 143cm and it has a heavy duty 13kg flywheel. You also get the vented performance seat and SPD pedal compatibility. It still comes in at a much more affordable price than Peloton and is one the leaders in its class.
These two are our clear top picks with the Connect Sport being the budget option and the EX-5s being the top end option. There are also other models which you can compare – all of which will offer exception ride performance and access to the range of online classes.
ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22
If you want the Peloton experience, but without Peloton prices, the Studio Pro 22 from ProForm could be the answer. It generally comes in at around ¾ the price of something like the S22i, whilst still delivering a bucket-load of utility.
It’s named for its 22-inch touchscreen, which is quite something by itself. It comes mounted on a 180° swivel, making it a perfect training tool both on and off the bike – simply spin it round to face your exercise mat and you have an in-house personal trainer across a vast array of disciplines – yoga, strength training, calisthenics, aerobics… it’s all there.
You get iFit membership included with your purchase – though you will need to renew this later on. This means that that swivelling screen is giving you hundreds of different classes from top-notch fitness trainers. These include both live and on-demand classes, making up a lot of ground approaching Peloton’s USP.
The machine itself is also incredibly well-built. It includes patented Silent Magnetic Resistance for frictionless transitions among resistance settings, keeping everything completely smooth and silent. The seating is comfortable, padded well and fully adjustable both vertically and horizontally. The stem is universal, so you can use any bike seat if you would prefer.
There are two pedal options, one with adjustable toe straps and the other with shoe clips, and the frame is sturdy yet pretty lightweight. Transport wheels on the base make for easy moving, which is always a plus in a home-based piece of fitness equipment.
All of this can make the Studio Pro 22 a little daunting – it will take you quite a while to learn to fully navigate its full potential. The console specifically can be a little tricky – it’s nowhere near as straightforward as you would expect of comparable machines. It’s also pricey, as are many similar machines, with iFit subscription setting you back thirty-odd quid per month after the first year.
However, if you’re dedicated and eager to use it for intense workouts, often and for a long time, the Studio Pro 22 will be able to keep up with you. In fact, it will push you to your limits and beyond. Classes for everything from strength based workouts, to cardiovascular routines, to weight loss and management mean that most goals will be easily met using it, allowing you to get a full studio experience – and a wealth of specialist, professional knowledge – from the comfort of your own home.
JLL IC400 Pro
There are a couple of different versions of the IC400 going, with the IC400 Pro being JLL’s top level. It is a highly functional, durable piece of hardware, perfect for anybody wanting to give themselves a proper, high quality workout at home.
It’s an attractive piece of kit, all black and red plastic moulding over good-quality steel (it weighs 53kg, so should keep anybody fairly stable as they train, no matter how hard they push themselves). The best thing about it, however, is how effortlessly it seems to completely punch above its (metaphorical) weight – with a heavy duty, two way, 22kg inertia drive wheel, you get the quality of ride you would usually expect from a far pricier bike. It is hard going yet smooth, which is exactly what an indoor bike should provide.
It’s also very quiet and easy to maintain, in large part thanks to its rubber belt driven system. Most use chains, which take a bit of extra care and can sound very clunky. Electronically controlled magnetic resistance gives a soft gradation between levels whilst adding to the overall smoothness of the ride – a quick select dial on the main console makes it all easy to control.
The main thing which makes the IC400 fall down compared to other Peloton alternatives, is the central console. It is fairly small and a bit standard. It gives you all the stats you would usually want from a cardio machine’s console, including things like heart rate, speed, calories burned, distance travelled, and so on. It also has decent connectivity, giving you options to use third party apps like iConsole, which at a pinch will give you the studio feeling of something like the Studio Pro 22. It doesn’t fully compete, however.
The IC400 is nevertheless truly a joy to use. The handles are ergonomically designed, and the gel covered seat is fully adjustable, meaning that you never have to sacrifice comfort. The curved central support also offers a great resting option for your forearms if this is how you like to cycle – it worked out well for me. Paired with the overall fantastic build quality, the quality of the flywheel and belt, and the sense of stability, it is incredibly comfortable to use for hours on end.
A very good, less expensive option, at around a quarter the price of something like the S22i.
JTX Cyclo Studio
The JTX Cyclo Studio is designed for durability, stability, and performance – acing these three is what a studio quality bike is all about.
The Cyclo is incredibly well made in pursuit of these aims – everything that has gone into it has been designed with long-term functionality in mind.
For example, the JTX Cyclo Studio has a large, Max Traction™ flywheel, designed to give a smooth, balanced ride. It is 25kg, perimeter weighted, and balanced for maximum utility. As I mentioned above, a good quality flywheel like this is essential to building a decent spin bike – in this case, it delivers a smooth, 360-degree pedal stroke, alongside greater efficiency during indoor training and great transferable benefit for road cycling.
The frame itself is impressive. It gives you a heavy-duty crank with a sealed bearing system. This pairs with the large, 2” x 5” dimensions to give stability and grounding during even the hardest training – and trust me, I tried my damnedest to put it through its paces!
The JTX Cyclo Studio is finished with stainless steel throughout, meaning that it will last a lifetime no matter how much you sweat over it (again, I put this to the test – I had to reach for the electrolytes when I was done!).
There are a few trademarked gadgets involved with the JTX Cyclo Studio, above and beyond the Max Traction™ flywheel. They also have what they have called a Quadri-Set™ Adjustment System built into the design, which essentially allows you to perfect posture and alignment. Handlebars and seat adjust vertically and horizontally using quick release handles, intuitively allowing you to refine your stance for a perfect set up, with no hassle involved.
The handlebars and dual bottle holder have a multi-position, ergonomic design, once more allowing you to perfect alignment and posture. Aside from the inherent safety concerns this mitigates, allowing for perfect alignment is key in cycling – it will enable you to bring your full power to bear when needed by putting you in the most mechanically advantageous position possible.
There is nothing too revolutionary about any of this. Most bikes have similar set ups, and in fact I would pass over any that didn’t. However, it’s a good example of its kind, which is what the Cyclo is all about.
The software itself is none too impressive. However, with a decent, workable tablet holder, you can access any number of apps and classes. Try out iFit, Bitgym, Aaptiv or something like that for a bit of flavour to your workouts. This should give you the full Peloton experience without having to break the bank, and without having to be trapped into using one provider over another – I personally love this kind of flexibility.
I don’t want to linger overly long on the NordicTrack S15i. Nearly everything that I praised in the S22i applies to it – it is with an incredibly well- designed and built spin cycle coming in at a bit more of a reasonable price to its big brother, also provided in tandem with great online class options.
You get the same mechanical functionality, including non-slip, multi-position handlebars; 22 levels of digital resistance; power incline (and decline) with settings from -10% to +20%; pedals with cages; and wireless telemetry and iPod-compatible speaker systems. It’s fantastically built and wonderful to use.
The main thing you’re swapping is screen size for a bit of a discount. The screen is 14 inches wide, as opposed to 22. If you’re looking for full immersion, this might not be for you – a larger screen will transport you away to your ideal fitness class more ably. However, if you don’t mind the smaller screen (and many wouldn’t), and want to get a fantastic machine at a really reasonable price, you really should consider the S15i.
It will give you everything you could ask of the 22, including all the media compatibility, just in a slightly more low-key package.
ProForm Smart Power 10.0
With their Smart Power 10.0, ProForm blend the kind of high-level performance and technology you would expect of them with one of their weightiest flywheels – which, as we’ve already seen, is generally only a good thing. Though it isn’t in the same league as some of the other models on this list, their patented SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance gives you a smooth, frictionless, and silent ride, all easily adjustable from their central console.
All taken together, you get 22 levels of frictionless magnetic resistance that will really try your muscles, no matter how experienced an athlete you are.
It’s also quite a compact machine, with a small footprint of 21.9” width x 56.5” depth and standing at 52” high. Large transport wheels make it easy to cart about, meaning that you will be able to live with the Smart Power 10.0 pretty easily without it taking up a ton of room.
Despite its relatively diminutive size, the Smart Power 10.0 is no slouch – it is made from commercial grade steel, finely tuned and incredibly well put together. In fact, it can take a top user weight of 250 pounds (around 115-ish kilograms). You will feel this sturdiness as you train – it’s able to take your all without even flinching.
It’s quiet, too, which is key in any home-based gym kit. The SMR tech means that there is very little friction, which means a minimum of squeaking from the bike as you pedal. The SMR also changes automatically to mimic the difficulty of any terrain asked of it, which is genuinely brilliant in the Smart Power 10.0’s price bracket – hats off to them, here.
Finally, there is the software, which is what makes it such a good competitor for the Peloton market. The 10-inch full-colour touchscreen console is far from the biggest on this list, but it’s well-made and intuitive to use. It’s also fully iFit enabled, giving you access to thousands of different workouts and world cycling trails.
The Take Away
Peloton dominate the market for a reason – they are high-spec and they push boundaries. They are innovative and able to consistently deliver customer satisfaction.
However, they only dominate – they don’t own the market. There are other options out there, many of which will give you a fantastic workout for an often much reduced price tag. The models in the above list will all give you everything you want from them – highly varied workouts to be performed on well-crafted, comfortable, challenging machines.
And you could save yourself a fortune or tap into a completely different fitness world in the process.
Should I Buy A Peloton?
Peloton have attracted a bit of controversy in their time (anyone else remember that ad?). They are a bit bougie (very bougie, in fact), at a hell of a price, offering a lifestyle that most working people will find completely unattainable.
They give the cynics a lot to work with.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. The product itself, minus the fanfare, controversies, and price tag, is brilliant. To accurately view the Peloton, you really do need to weigh up the pros and cons, taking a wider view.
- Incredible workmanship on the bike itself
- World-leading software
- Professional, usable content
- Support and community from the wider network of Peloton users
- Convenience of at-home training
- Aimed at all fitness levels, with a range of class intensities and goals
- An amazing workout which, after all, is the main thing that counts
- Paling in comparison to in-person training and community, as all online classes do
- A massive upfront cost, with ongoing high monthly subscription costs
- A well-made, useless frame if you don’t maintain your expensive subscription
- The pitfalls of relying on only spin training – e.g., no upper body development
- A massive long-term commitment if you want to get your money’s worth
I would hesitate to talk anybody out of buying a Peloton. They are genuinely remarkable.
However, do weigh the cons against the pros. If you have the spare money to splash about, and want to dedicate yourself to spinning, and know you can commit to monthly payments, and want to train at home, they are for you. If not, you may want to consider alternative approaches to your fitness training.