The 6 Best Peloton Alternatives For Indoor Cycling

This is the 21st century, where we don’t always have the pleasure of enjoying outdoor sporting activities all the time, and our “free” time doesn’t always fall in the daytime. That said, outdoor cycling has had to migrate to an indoor event and with the technologies of the time, you can enjoy virtual rides and undergo cycling exercises from the comfort of your own home using state-of-the-art cycling equipment.

Having said that, it’s imperative to ask, what options do I have to consider as far as these indoor exercise bikes are concerned? If you took a stab (or keyboard tap) at google, you’d find Peloton bike riding high on the list of quality spin bikes and for good reason.

On top of their sleek rugged designs, these luxurious workhorses pack a 21-inch HD touchscreen, useful for browsing Peloton classes, reviewing cycling stats or even watching virtual instructors while you exercise. The bad news, it doesn’t come cheap. The Peloton Bike+, for example, retails for $2,495 (plus the $39/month for virtual classes and workouts), and that’s pricey.

Peloton is a great bike but it is only compatible with the Peloton application which comes with a heavy subscription. Also, its huge monitor doesn’t allow the rider to stream online or connect to another indoor cycling app other than the Peloton application. That said, it’s time to explore some less-expensive yet comparable alternatives to the Peloton Bike.

  1. If you prioritize quality and durability over a touchscreen monitor, the Keiser M3i Indoor Cycling Bike is the best Peloton alternative.
  2. The NordicTrack Commercial s22i/s15i Studio Cycle is the top Peloton alternative if you prefer an incline and decline system rather than a flat system.
  3. If you prefer a pivoting/leaning system over a straight fixed system, the Bowflex VeloCore 22/16 indoor bike is the best Peloton alternative for you.
  4. For those who prefer automatic resistance rather than manual resistance, the Echelon EX5 indoor cycling bike is the best Peloton alternative.
  5. Lastly, if you are on a budget and prefer multi-app compatibility, the Schwinn IC4 indoor cycling bike is the best Peloton alternative for you.

The Best Overall Peloton Bike Alternative: Echelon EX5

I know everyone has their opinion on the best alternative Peloton bike but for me, it’s Echelon EX5 that I strongly believe is the best Peloton Bike alternative. At $999 although it’s $500 less expensive than Peloton Bike, it has several superior features I didn’t get with the Peloton Bike Original.

One of the impressive features I got with the Echelon EX5 but didn’t get with the Peloton Bike was the smart resistance technology. Unlike Peloton bike which is only manually adjustable, Echelon EX5 has both options for manual adjustment and automatic/electronic adjustment. So, when I hop on the bike and ride on Zwift, it automatically changes resistance to match the terrain in the game. In order to get this experience on Peloton Bike I had to spend an additional $200 for the SS2k to modify its resistance.

Another reason I came to the conclusion that Echelon EX5 is a great alternative to Peloton Bike is its FTMS Bluetooth. Unlike Peloton bike which only connects to Peloton app and doesn’t have FTMS, Echelon EX5 allows me to connect to pretty much any indoor cycling application that I like. That includes Zwift, Peloton, Echelon, Strava, Kinomap, and iFit. I just need the QZ application to use as a bridge to connect my Echelon EX5 with the application of my choice.

There are at least two other awesome features that make the Echelon EX5 the best Peloton alternative. One is its rear flywheel which is out of the sweat zone, unlike Peloton’s front flywheel. The other feature is its horizontally adjustable handlebars that allow better bike fit than the Peloton bike because it doesn’t have horizontally adjustable handlebars.

I know Echelon EX5 doesn’t have a touchscreen monitor like the Peloton bike but it has a tablet holder that fits tablets up to 15.6″ wide so you can choose to use your device with better screen quality. I personally connected the bike to my phone, removed the tablet holder, and then mounted a Samsung monitor on the bike. I included step by step guide on how to do that in the Echelon EX5 review.

In conclusion, I can say the Echelon EX5 indoor bike offers several advantages over the Peloton bike, including its lower price point, rear flywheel design, automatic magnetic resistance system, handlebar adjustability, tablet holder, and FTMS Bluetooth connectivity. These features make the Echelon EX5 a compelling alternative if you are looking for an affordable and versatile indoor cycling experience.

Best Peloton Alternative Bikes Comparison Chart

NameResistancePriceInclineScreenApplications
Keiser M3iManual-magnetic$1500-$1999No2″x”4 BacklitCompatible with Zwift, Peloton, and more.
Nordictrack s22i/s15iElectronic magnetic$1999Yes15/22″ HDCompatible only iFit app.
Bowflex Velocore 22/16Manual magnetic$1499-$1999No16/22″ HDRequires Bowflex subscription to connect with Zwift and Peloton apps.
Echelon EX5Manual & Electronic magnetic$999NoNot includedCompatible with Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, and more
Schwinn IC4Manual magnetic$999No2″x4″ BacklitCompatible with Zwift, Peloton, and more.

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycling Bike

Keiser M3i Review

The Keiser M3i indoor cycling bike is relatively a new high-tech addition to the market compared to M3 and M3+. It packs a slick elegant design, maximized for extensive customization and entertainment, coupled with great functionality. No doubt, a great deal of effort has been invested to ensure the cyclist has a seamless experience on this Keiser indoor cycling bike.

The Keiser M3i indoor cycle packs a backlit LED screen with Bluetooth FTMS but doesn’t come with a large touch display, a slip-off from the Peloton 22-inch LCD touchscreen. As such, there are no subscription fees or restrictive resource pool as the Peloton as you are free to explore whatever apps or online resources you so choose.

It also has a smartphone holder for your smart device with an adjustable tablet display add-on. It equally packs two charging ports, useful for keeping your phone juiced up while you exercise. It has a unique high-gear ratio belt system with 8-lb flywheel which is easier on the knees than Peloton’s 30-lb flywheel. Also, has four-way adjustable racing handlebars (which is better than Peloton’s basic two-way adjustable handlebars).

Coming in at 85lbs, the Keiser M3i supports user weights of up to 350 lbs; that’s 45lbs more than the Peloton. Keiser M3i has an FTMS Bluetooth transmitter which is better than the Peloton Bluetooth which can only receive heart rate but doesn’t transmit data. So, unlike Peloton Bike which can only connect with the Peloton Application, Keiser M3i is can connect to any application including Zwift, Peloton, Free Keiser app, Strava, Kinomap, etc and transmit watt, cadence, and speed.

As I said earlier, M3i also utilises an 8-pound flywheel magnetic resistance system, that gives a smooth, luxurious experience, driven with a poly-v belt drive. This makes it significantly quiet and smooth and also easy to pedal with minimum impact so also older adults can do indoor cycling.

These specifications are tagged at $2000, slightly around the same price of a Peloton. But then why, does it pack such a high price? Well, Keiser M3i doesn’t just come as quality hardware made in the United States but is accompanied by free Keiser M Series software, incorporating different riding styles that simulate different biking experiences, as well as entertainment to keep the riders entertained during the workout, the ultimate indoor bike.

10Expert Score
Keiser M3i Indoor Bike

Keiser M3i indoor cycling bike is an elegant masterpiece built from an extra lightweight frame with an elegant fully adjustable handlebar to fit a wide range of riding styles, as well as a simple adjustment system. Simply put, it is a fully commercial quality spin bike, built for class, to invoke a luxurious experience while you work out. That said if you’re not afraid to put your money where your mouth is, and get one of the best as far as indoor cycling is concerned, then you should consider Keiser M3i bike. A couple of superior features of this Peloton alternative bike are; high-ration belt, fully customizable racing-handlebars (Peloton handlebar don’t adjust 4-way and there is no racing-grips), AND this bike functions perfectly without any paid subscription.

Value For Money
10
Bike Fitting
10
Warranty and Support
10

I find the Keiser M3i indoor bike to be a great alternative option to the Peloton Bike for several reasons including;

  1. Firstly, the Keiser M3i stationary bike provides a more natural road-bike feel. This is due to its unique rear flywheel design and magnetic resistance system, which offer a smoother and more comfortable ride than the Peloton Bike.
  2. Moreover, the Keiser M3i indoor cycling bike has a nearly silent operation, thanks to its high quality bearings and magnetic resistance system. This allows me to enjoy my workouts without disturbing anyone else in the same room or household.
  3. Additionally, the Keiser M3i bike boasts a more compact and lighter design, making it easier to move and store when not in use and take less floor space.
  4. Furthermore, the FTMS Bluetooth-enabled console of the Keiser M3i spin bike allows me to connect to various fitness apps and devices, such as heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, and training apps.
  5. I also appreciate that the Keiser M3i exercise bike is entirely made in the United States and has a more durable construction. Its high-quality components and materials ensure a long-lasting and reliable performance.
  6. The Keiser M3i indoor cycle has a good free application, with a lower cost of ownership and maintenance compared to the Peloton Bike, which requires a monthly subscription fee to access its classes and features.
  7. Lastly, the Keiser M3i indoor cycle has a more flexible and customizable setup. I can easily adjust the handlebars and seat both horizontally and vertically while on Peloton on I can only adjust its handlebars vertically.
Positive
  • Supports Bluetooth protocol
  • Smooth belt drive and silent magnetic resistance
  • Multi-grip fully constumizable handlebars
  • Excellent quality and universal application compatibility
Negatives
  • No built-in Large Touch HD display.
  • Its resistance is not automatically adjustable.
  • No option to save workouts and create profiles on the bike console.

NordicTrack Commercial s22i/s15i Studio Cycle

NordicTrack S22i review

When it comes to adjustability, the NordicTrack s22i studio cycle is where it’s at. This bike carries with it the boutique studio fitness feel and will help you relive your gym moments while simulating uphill and downhill in your living room.

For this year featured one of the best spin bikes with screen, the NordicTrack S22i comes close to the Peloton but stands out with its incline/decline setting, cheaper Individual Membership ($180 per year), fully rotational screen, and one year of free iFit Family Membership ($400).

It packs a 22-inch rotating HD smart Touchscreen display mounted to the bike with 20% live incline and 10% decline technology and 24 digital live electromagnetic resistance control, which, in my opinion, outclasses the 22-inch LCD touchscreen on the Peloton bike. And that’s not all; each bike comes with live cycling classes and cross-training options, incorporated in the iFit membership package.

Using the HD touchscreen, you can conveniently stream live workouts and interact with trainers, even in real-time (true!). It is worthy of note that the NordicTrack S22i also has user ride experiences and instruction packs as the Peloton, but with the NordicTrack S22i, these ride experiences alter the incline, decline, and resistance settings on the bike to match the experience as opposed to the Peloton where only the user has control over these settings.

Now, when it comes to membership access, the NordicTrack s22i studio cycle outshines the Peloton as it offers a 1-year free membership status, and that means free access to training and coaching services for a whole year, after which a $39 monthly fee is charged for access. It is, however, not a mandatory requirement. It also comes with a pair of dumbbells for an upper-body build. That’s not a freebie you’d get with the Peloton.

The NordicTrack s22i studio cycle supports a maximum user weight of 350lbs, that’s about 45lbs more than Peloton. It utilises Silent Magnetic Resistance for smooth quiet workout. About the price, as of the time of writing this article, the official product website presents the NordicTrack s22i Studio Cycle at $1,999.00, or $57.00 per month for 39 months, still somewhat cheaper than the Peloton bike.

The NordicTrack s22i presents warranty options as follows: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labour warranty upon payment, as opposed to the 5-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labour warranties offered by Peloton. The NordicTrack s22i sets the standards high with quality and is, no doubt, a full-proof alternative to the Peloton spin bike.

9Expert Score
NordicTrack S22i Indoor Bike

The NordicTrack S22i packs a robust slim fit workhorse that packs inertia enhanced flywheel resistance mechanism, an ultrawide 22-inch HD rotatable touchscreen display with 1-year free iFit subscription. For the ones who’d enjoy being pushed to their limits by preset experiences or instructors, then the NordicTrack indoor cycling bikes are indeed great working options to consider.

Value For Money
9.5
Bike Fitting
9.5
Warranty and Support
8.5

A few reasons why I think the Nordictrack S22i could be considered a better alternative to the Peloton Bike:

  1. Firstly, the S22i is generally less expensive than the Peloton Bike, making it a more budget-friendly option. This was particularly important to me as I didn’t want to spend as much money but still wanted a similar indoor cycling experience.
  2. I also found that the S22i offered more than 12,000 on-demand workouts on iFit, which is more than what Peloton offers. This variety of workouts was great for me as I enjoy having more options for my indoor cycling experience.
  3. Nordictrack’s iFit platform allows you to access outdoor scenery routes all over the world, providing a more engaging and interactive experience. The Peloton Bike only offers live and on-demand classes.
  4. The Nordictrack S22i features an 20 degrees incline and 10 degrees decline system that allows you to adjust the bike’s angle for a more varied and challenging workout. Peloton Bike does not have this feature.
  5. The S22i also has resistance controls on the handlebars and a smart automatic resistance feature that adjusts the bike’s resistance based on the terrain and workout program you select. Peloton Bike only has manual resistance control that can’t automatically change.
  6. The Nordictrack S22i has a sturdier build and higher weight capacity than the Peloton Bike, making it a better choice for heavier or taller riders. It’s also 70-lb heavier than Peloton and therefore more stable.
  7. The S22i comes with adjustable cooling fans that can help you stay a little fresher and comfortable during your workout, whereas the Peloton Bike does not have this feature.
  8. The iFit Individual membership that you can get with the S22i is less expensive at $180 than the Peloton membership of $399, which can be a significant factor for those looking to save money in the long run.
  9. The S22i also comes with included dumbbells and holders, which can be a nice addition for those looking to incorporate upper body strength training into their workout.
Positive
  • 22-inch 360-degree rotational HD touchscreen
  • 24 digital live resistance controls, HDMI and USB ports
  • It has power incline/decline settings
  • Automstiace resistance that adjust with the instructor
  • Affordable single profile iFit membership available ($149 per year)
Negatives
  • Hard uncomfortable seat and slow customer support from Nordictrack.
  • Screen and the bike only work with the iFit application unless hacked.
  • Pedals are not spd or spd-sl or Look delta, they are simple cage pedals
  • Handlebars don’t adjust horizontally for better comfort.

Bowflex VeloCore 22/16 Indoor Bike

Bowflex Velocore 16 Indoor Cycling Bike Review

Starting things off number four in the list, we’ll explore the new Bowflex VeloCore 16. This bike is built to entreat the users to a comfortable workout and simulate a real-life biking experience from the comfort of your home.

This bike comes with a 16/22-inch on-board HD touchscreen display that can connect to WiFi, useful for virtual personalized coaching, personalized feedback and workout plan viewing upon subscription to the Bowflex JRNY service. That’s a step up from the 21-inch Peloton display that restricts content to Peloton application. This display can also be used to stream media from virtual coaching sites, as well as popular media organs like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. It also keeps an updated display of your workout metrics data like calories burnt, to keep you up to speed as you work out.

An interesting feature of the Bowflex VeloCore is the leaning mode (which is noticeably absent with Peloton options). What this does is it allows you on the bike to lean over to a direction as you exercise. This makes it easier to simulate a real-world biking experience when negotiating curves and bends. The bike can also be kept in a stationary straightforward mode all through the workout with semi-comfortable padded handlebars with support for up to 6 hand positions.

With a user weight limit of 325 lbs, the Bowflex VeloCore Bike packs a punch as far as quality is concerned. It comes with a pair of 3-pound dumbbells for an enhanced workout experience. It is designed to be small and compact, with minimal space occupation, ideal for any home gym setting.

It also offers a two-year mechanical and electrical warranty with a one-year labor warranty, which seems like a downgrade to the 5-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranties offered by the Peloton. It is also worthy of note that the VeloCore comes with a wireless armband heart rate monitor, as well as over 100 levels of resistance setting and Bluetooth speakers, making it an all-encompassing and worthwhile alternative to the Peloton exercise bike.

8.5Expert Score
Bowflex VeloCore 16/22 Spin Bike

The Bowflex VeloCore is a hi-tech upgrade even to the Peloton and its accessories make it a powerful competitor. With a larger 21-inch display with WiFi connectivity options for streaming media, a quiet magnetic flywheel system, incorporated leaning modes for natural biking experience, and Bluetooth connectivity, the Bowflex VeloCore truly is worth investing in and would make a suitable alternative (and upgrade too) to the Peloton indoor cycle.

Value for Money
9
Warranty and Support
9
Bike Fitting
8.5

A couple of reasons why I think the Bowflex VeloCore 22 could be considered a better alternative to the Peloton Bike:

  1. I’ve had the chance to try out the Bowflex VeloCore 22 bike, and I have to say that its unique frame is quite impressive. Unlike the Peloton bike, the frame can tilt and sway from side to side, providing a dynamic and engaging indoor cycling workout experience that kept me on my toes.
  2. One thing that really stood out to me was the price point. The Bowflex VeloCore 22 bike is often priced lower than the Peloton bike, making it a more affordable option for anyone who wants a high-quality indoor cycling experience without breaking the bank.
  3. Another advantage of the Bowflex VeloCore 22 is its compatibility with popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. With my own device/tablet and a JRNY subscription on the bike, I was able to transmit my workout data to my personal device via Bluetooth, which gave me access to a wider range of workouts on popular fitness apps such as Zwift and Peloton Digital.
  4. The Bowflex VeloCore 22 also comes with built-in workouts that focus on strength training, yoga, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This provides more versatility for your workout routine compared to the Peloton bike, which primarily offers cycling workouts.
  5. Unlike the Peloton application which costs $399 per year for Full Access Membership, the JRNY membership is only $149 per year, which helped me save money down the road. Plus, the Bowflex VeloCore 22 screen is separated from the handlebars, so it doesn’t create any obstacles or limit handgrips.
  6. I also appreciated the Bowflex VeloCore 22’s built-in tablet holder and set of dumbbells and holder that comes included, which gave me more options to customize my workout intensity and save some money on accessories. In comparison, the Peloton bike doesn’t have a tablet holder and doesn’t include weights so you should buy them separately.
Positive
  • Incorporated leaning and stationary modes.
  • HD Touchscreen with WiFi connect facilities where you can stream (not limited to one app like Peloton).
  • The bike’s screen is on a separate stance which gives a good viewing angle, doesn’t block handgrips, and makes handlebar adjustment easier.
  • Includes a tablet holder, two 3-lb dumbbells, and a dumbbell holder.
  • Dual-sided spd pedals for 2-bolt cycling shoes and flat side with cage for regular shoes.
Negatives
  • The extra cost for streaming training services (Not necessarily required in order to use the bike or its monitor)
  • Can’t install Zwift on the bike’s console
  • To transmit your stats from the bike to your personal device/tablet, you need the JRNY subscription
  • Handlebars don’t adjust horizontally
  • No elbow support on the handlebars

Echelon EX5 Indoor Cycling bike

Echelon-EX5 flywheel resistance

Sticking to cheap small options, I give you the Echelon EX5 spinning bike. Though greatly overshadowed by the Echelon EX5s indoor cycling bike, the EX5 stands out as a suitable Peloton alternative, and for good reason.

The Echelon EX5 spinning bike packs wireless Bluetooth sensors that transmit your RPM, speed, distance, heart rate, resistance level, intervals, watt, and calories to your phone, tablet, TV, and computer. There is no built-in console on the bike but that’s what makes it a better alternative to Peloton Bike.

You don’t need paid app memberships to access the application of your choice. You can simply put your tablet on the bike’s tablet mount and use Bluetooth on your device to connect to the bike and receive your stats.

Because of its FTMS Bluetooth system, it doesn’t restrict access to the dedicated Echelonfit app as the Peloton bike does. You can enjoy tons of your preferred apps like Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, Strava, Echelon, iFit, and more using your own tablet with the bike. You can connect the bike to the QZ application and use this app as a bridge to connect with pretty much any other indoor cycling app on the market.

Coming in at 105 lbs with support for a maximum user weight of 300 lbs, the Echelon EX5 spin bike packs a magnetic resistance system with over 32 different resistance levels, adjustable manually and electronically for auto-resistance.

Unlike the Peloton Bike, Echelon EX5’s resistance is motorized and can adjust automatically when approaching hills or inclined surfaces or curves or doing Peloton Power Zone classes. The race-style seats and handlebars give a natural feel to the EX5, and the cage-clip pedals keep feet in place as you exercise.

The Echelon EX5 sells at around $999, significantly cheaper than the Peloton Bike, and its wide range of app connectivity can cost as little as $12 a month for Zwift is still less costly than the Peloton counterpart. With this cost, the Echelon EX5 has a warranty that covers a 1-year part warranty but no labor warranties which is less compared to the 5-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranties offered by Peloton.

8.5Expert Score
Echelon EX5 Indoor Cycling Bike

The Echelon EX5 is strangely functional, despite its lower price it has a much better resistance system than the Peloton bike. Its magnetic resistance is both adjustable manually and electronically which gives you the option to allow the bike change resistance automatically or do it manually via its knob. Another thing that makes the Echelon EX5 the best alternative to Peloton Bike is its wide range of application compatibility. You can use it to connect to Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, Strava, and many other indoor bike apps. Plus, its handlebars are horizontally adjustable and it comes with a nice media shelf that fits tablets up to 15.6″ wide. All these make it a viable alternative to the Peloton, especially for low-budget customers as it sits below the $1000 benchmark.

Value For Money
9.5
Bike Fitting
9.5
Warranty and Support
9

Here is why I think the Echelon EX5 could be considered a better alternative to the Peloton Bike:

  1. I think the Echelon EX5 indoor bike is a great option for those looking for a premium cycling experience without the premium price tag. The bike is usually priced under $1000, making it a more affordable option compared to the Peloton bike’s $1499 price tag.
  2. One of my favorite features of the Echelon EX5 is its adjustable and tiltable tablet holder. This allows me to use my own device for streaming or cycling apps without having to buy an additional accessory.
  3. The Echelon EX5 also offers both manual and electronically adjustable magnetic resistance. I find the electronic option particularly convenient, as I can set the bike to automatically adjust the resistance during the class. This allows me to focus on the ride and provides a more comfortable and enjoyable workout compared to the Peloton bike’s manual magnetic resistance.
  4. Another great feature of the Echelon EX5 is its fully adjustable seat and handlebars. I can customize my riding position for optimal comfort and performance, which is especially important for longer rides. Unfortunately, the Peloton bike doesn’t allow horizontal handlebar adjustment.
  5. The Echelon EX5 also has FTMS Bluetooth and can integrate with popular fitness apps such as Strava, Apple Health, Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, and QZ. This is great for tracking my progress and competing with others. In contrast, Peloton has limited integration options and only works with the Peloton app.
  6. Lastly, I appreciate that the Echelon EX5 has its flywheel in the back. This provides a smooth and realistic riding experience and keeps the bearings away from the sweat zone. The Peloton bike’s flywheel is in front and right under the sweat zone, which can require more cleaning and possibly maintenance.
Positive
  • Bluetooth FTMS can transmit data to most cycling applications.
  • Manual and automatic magnetic resistance.
  • Great quality and cheap compared to the Peloton
  • SPD pedals and multi-grip handlebars
  • Good handlebar design with extra hand grips and is horizontally adjustable.
  • Flywheel in the back away from sweat and water spills while hydrating on the bike.
Negatives
  • No console or display is included on the bike
  • No resistance controls/shifters on the handlebars
  • Speakers, cooling fans, or dumbbells not included

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

Schwinn IC4 Review

When it comes to cost-effective functional alternatives to the Peloton bikes, it’s hard to beat the Schwinn IC4 indoor cycling bike, thanks to its quality built and multi-app compatibility.

The Schwinn IC4 lacks an integrated touch display, and for that reason, it can come off at affordable prices. However, it does feature a small LCD monitor that represents time, resistance, speed, distance, calories, and RPMs. It is Bluetooth compatible, allowing wireless connection to a Bluetooth heart-rate armband. This helps to keep track of the heartbeat, and other workout metrics during the session.

The Bluetooth support also allows for connection to other fitness apps, including Peloton. The simple design and non-complex functionality make it affordable, offering a similar user experience to the Peloton bike.

The IC4 bike utilizes a quiet belt drive, with over 100 micro-adjustable magnetic resistance levels. It’s not automatically adjustable but if you install a SmartSpin2K, you can enable the auto-resistance on the bike so it changes resistance for you on Zwift or Peloton Power Zone classes. It also comes with a pair of 3 lb dumbbells for upper-body workouts, freebies you wouldn’t see with the Peloton.

Coming in at just $799, the Schwinn IC4 stands affordable for Peloton lovers on a budget. It features a smooth-running 40-pound drive with a maximum user weight up to 330 lbs. Coming from a reputable spin bike brand, the IC4 also comes with 10-year frame warranty, 3-year mechanical and electrical warranty, and 1-year labor warranty, thus hinging it to a higher platform from the 5-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranties offered by Peloton.

8Expert Score
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Bike

The Schwinn IC4 stands out in its affordability, as it rides below the $1,00 benchmark. With no wide HD display, the Schwinn IC4 compensates with a small monitor with Bluetooth compatibility and over 100 resistance levels. For Peloton lovers on a budget, this indoor cycling bike by Schwinn stands out as a cheap and functional alternative.

Value For Money
10
Bike Fitting
9.5
Warranty and Support
9

Some potential reasons why I think the Schwinn IC4 indoor cycling bike could be a better alternative to the Peloton.

  1. First of all, the Schwinn IC4 is more affordable than the Peloton Bike. At an original price of $999 and a discounted price of $799, it’s a much more attractive option for those on a budget compared to the Peloton Bike’s $1499 price tag.
  2. Another advantage of the Schwinn IC4 is that it doesn’t require a monthly subscription to access its classes and content or use its screen at its full capacity. With Peloton, there isn’t much of use for its screen without a paid membership.
  3. I also like that the Schwinn IC4 is compatible with a range of third-party indoor cycling applications, including Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, QZ, and Strava. In contrast, the Peloton Bike is designed to work exclusively with Peloton’s own app.
  4. The Schwinn IC4 also allows for greater customization of the ride. For example, you can adjust the handlebars horizontally, which you can’t do on the Peloton Bike. This is something I personally find valuable because it allows me to customize the bike to fit my body better.
  5. Another advantage of the Schwinn IC4 is that it’s generally smaller and lighter than the Peloton Bike because of its smaller 4″x2″ screen. This makes it easier to move and store in smaller spaces.
  6. Lastly, I appreciate that the Schwinn IC4 comes with Spd+cage pedals, a tablet holder, and a set of 3-lb dumbbells in the box. In comparison, these items need to be purchased separately if you want them for the Peloton Bike.
Positive
  • Affordable (well below $1,000) and no subscription is required to use the bike at its full functionality.
  • Data monitor with Bluetooth Connectivity, compatible with most cycling apps including the Peloton and Zwift.
  • Device placeholder, SPD pedals, speed, RPM reading and resistance level readings.
Negatives
  • No Hi-tech touchscreen display.
  • Limited Workout Variety and no option to create profiles on the console.
  • No cooling fan or built-in speakers.
  • Its resistance is only manually adjustable, not automatically.

Peloton Alternative Buying Guide

best Peloton alternatives

Exercise bikes have been around for a while, taking a wildly outdoor exercise to an indoor activity. ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, certain key factors come to play when it comes to choosing the right exercise bike.

Available accessories

When choosing biking equipment, it is safe to consider, “what extra accessories have been added to the bike?”. Why is this important? Well, these little add-ons can go a long way to create a comfortable and enjoyable workout. For example, a wide HD display like that on the Bowflex VeloCore can bring some life and entertainment to your workout, as you can follow up training tips, coaching advice or even watch a movie while you exercise. Bluetooth connectivity with wireless heart rate sensors can also help you manage and follow-up your workout with heart rate and cardiovascular updates in Realtime.

User weight limit of the bike

An important spec of the bike is the max user weight allowance. Smaller values here indicate the bike would have little tolerance for heavier individuals, and it would be wasteful buying a bike that can’t support your weight.

Actual weight of the bike

Why is this important? Well, the heavier the bike, the more stable it’ll be. But be careful, as some heavy bikes may not be suitable for some types of floors. So, find a happy medium and you’d be all good. P.S. Ensure there are rollers present on the bike, else you’d have a hard time moving it into the house and getting it into position.

Noise production

This factor is dependent on the resistance of the bike. Whilst it may not always be an issue, it is greatly convenient and significantly less annoying to have a bike that produces next to zero noise as you exercise. Think of watching an exercise tutorial video and having to deal with loud pedal noises as you work out.

Build mechanics

If you’re a parent or are housing children, then this feature becomes somewhat primordial. You should consider how the equipment is built and how dangerous edges are covered. Imagine having a child stick a finger into an exposed spinning flywheel while pedalling (I hate those uncovered sharp flywheel edges).

Price

This a no-brainer actually, but what you get is greatly determined by the amount of money you have to spend. So, you must carefully consider how much you are ready to spend on biking equipment. Going cheap may easily be the first choice and isn’t always wrong, but this cheap equipment doesn’t always use sustainable resistance mechanisms and can be loud and uncomfortable too. Whilst it is true that there might be financial constraints and budget cuts seem like a logical way forward, be sure not to let your budget sink too low as you might end up getting something you’d not enjoy. So be careful and very considerate in this step of the venture. In most cases (though sadly, not all), investing a little more would yield more resistance and long-lasting equipment that will serve you for a significant length of time.

Size of Equipment

Once you’ve established and settled on the dedicated budget, then it is time to consider the constraint of space: how much space do you have available to fit the equipment you seek to purchase? There is significantly bulky equipment out there as well as relatively small equipment, each with pros and cons. So, map out where the equipment will sit in the house, take measurements if necessary and head out with those measurements to buy equipment that’ll fit into that space.

Your workout goals

Next, it is important to carefully consider and map out your goals – what you hope to achieve from this equipment. Sometimes, people invest in really high quality and high priced equipment with the unrealistic goal of investing many hours a day to exercise, only to realise they can barely go a few hours a month. As such, they fail to fully utilise their investment and it comes off as somewhat wasteful.

Personal Preference

Somewhere in between the price and space requirement is found your wants and desires in a piece of rowing equipment. Perhaps there is a certain aesthetic feel, look or functionality you desire in your rowing equipment, which should come into play to ensure you purchase equipment you’d enjoy using. Such will motivate you to “hit the gym” quite regularly as you’d develop joy in using the purchased equipment.

Peloton Alternative FAQs

Is Peloton the best indoor bike?

Yes, it’s the best indoor bike if you like the Peloton application and are okay to pay the $39 monthly paid subscription fee that comes with the Peloton application. And if you are okay knowing the Peloton bike won’t synch to Zwift or any other cycling application except for Peloton. Otherwise, Peloton is not the best indoor bike, Wahoo Kickr is the best indoor bike for pro cyclists.

What is the closest thing to a Peloton?

The closest spin bike to Pelton would be Echelon EX7S and NordicTrack S22i. They have both been upgraded with better monitors and a few other cool features.

Is there a cheaper alternative to the Peloton bike?

Currently, the cheapest decent option is the Echelon EX15. The price tag is around $1000 cheaper than the Peloton, at the time of writing this comparison. The EX15 indoor bike comes also with Bluetooth FTMS and the ability to connect to Peloton, Zwift, Echelon, and many other applications.


10Expert Score
6 Better Peloton Bike Alternatives

Having explored and presented several indoor bikes, for the ultimate home biking experience, we recommend the Keiser M3i bike. Its outstanding features – New Keiser Computer, universal application connectives, as well as the “made in the US” quality and engineering will give a natural and luxurious feel to your home exercise, without the full weight of the Peloton price crashing down on you. It truly is a remarkable product and will serve you well. But if big touchscreen monitor is something you might like for indoor cycling, get the NordicTrack S22i. It is a complete bike with several superior features to the Peloton spin bike including uphill and downhill adjustment.

Affordability
10
Application compatibility
10
Value For Money
10
Positive
  • These indoor bikes are less expensive than Peloton Bike
  • Some of these indoor bikes are compatible with many applications rather than just one application
  • A few of these indoor cycling bikes function perfectly without paid subscription
Negatives
  • Peloton Live on Demand Classes are Pretty unique
  • Peloton Application is reliable
  • Peloton offers good support

Sayed
Sayed

Hi there, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, the founder and one of the authors at yourexercisebike.com (YEB). I am a former indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer with nearly 20 years of experience. With a passion for indoor cycling, I have spent years designing cycling parts, repairing, and importing exercise bikes. All the articles, tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on YourExerciseBike.com (YEB) reflect my personal opinion and expertise in the field. I'm excited to share my knowledge with fellow exercise bike enthusiasts and help people find reliable indoor cycling information and the best exercise bike for their needs. If you have any questions or suggestion, you can contact me at sayed@yourexercisebike.com.

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