The 6 Best Peloton Alternatives Of 2022, From A Certified Personal Trainer
It's no secret that Peloton has been a leader in at-home fitness culture. Its iconic bike, user-friendly app, and star instructors have made the brand into something of an empire.
But at $2,495 for the Bike+ Basic model and mandatory $44 per month subscription fee to access classes, shopping for a Peloton bike can lead to a serious case of sticker shock—or even buyer's remorse if it ends up collecting more dust than you anticipated.
As an ACE-certified personal trainer with a specialization in orthopedic exercise, I often advise my clients to choose a form of cardiorespiratory activity they predominantly enjoy. That way, they're more likely to adhere to their workout routine.
Thankfully, the market is flooded with incredible Peloton alternatives that help you kick your workouts up a notch, fit into a tight space in your living room, and still make you feel like you're partying with your pals in a ritzy boutique fitness studio. Here, I've rounded up the best Peloton alternatives of 2022 to shop right now.
How we picked:
We selected bikes that feature a similar number and quality of specifications that draw users to a Peloton. We assessed whether it has an interactive component, touchscreens, Bluetooth capabilities, included fitness equipment, dual pedals, and more.
We included bikes that have straightforward and user-friendly assembly guidelines or an option to have it assembled for you so that you can save your strength for the workout itself.
We chose bikes that promote the user's comfort levels, be it a padded seat or ergonomic adjustable handlebars. While comfort adds to the user's overall adherence to and enjoyment of an exercise, it can also reduce the likelihood of pain, injury, or overcompensations that can lead to movement inefficiencies.
A hefty price tag tends to be the biggest deterrent for those considering a Peloton, so part of our process for finding an alternative was looking for more affordable options. If it's not cheaper, there's likely a standout feature that makes this bike worth an investment over a Peloton.
mbg's picks for the best Peloton alternatives of 2022:
Best budget: Echelon GT+ Connect Bike
- Use your own shoes or cycling cleats
- Four flywheel colors to choose from
- No screen
While the Echelon GT+ Connect Bike is widely considered Peloton's preeminent competitor, its price is hard to beat given its comparable specs. While the bike doesn't come with a screen, it features 32 levels of resistance, an oversized padded seat for support during endurance rides, and a dumbbell rack to safely store your weights during full-body workouts. With the integrated Echelon Fit app, you'll also be able to track speed, distance, calorie burn, and your ranking on the leaderboard, giving you a clearer picture of your performance so you can improve with each ride. Not to mention, the brand adds 40 new classes each day to the app's existing pool of over 3,000 classes.
Best compact: ProForm Pro C22
- Narrower than most options
- Easy assembly
- Transport wheels
- Silent magnetic resistance belt
- No fan
- Some report issues with resistance
The ever-popular ProForm Pro C22 proves that great things come in small packages—or rather, powerful Peloton alternatives come in space-friendly dimensions. At just under 22 inches wide, the ProForm can fit into compact areas whether you live in an apartment or dorm, and it rolls away easily using the front wheels. On its 22-inch touch screen, get immersed in interactive global or studio workouts on the iFit app using the included 3-pound dumbbells. Once those 24 resistance levels leave you dripping with sweat, those nonslip handlebars will help you stay grounded and secure.
Best for classes: NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle
- Feels like you're on vacation
- Rotating touch screen
- Silent magnetic resistance
- Technical support can be unhelpful and hard to reach
- Minimal resistance levels
- Uncomfortable seat
It's not hard to see why the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle takes first place—it features a rotating 22-inch smart HD touchscreen that broadcasts immersive live and on-demand iFit classes around the world for you and up to five members, and you'll be able to get into the zone as your trainer adjusts the incline, decline, and resistance à la Peloton for a hands-free experience. It comes with two 3-pound dumbbells, two water bottle holders, and a fan that automatically adjusts according to your intensity level.
Best splurge-worthy: Bowflex VeloCore Bike
- Engages core
- Free one-year JRNY membership
- Ample resistance levels
- A bit pricey
- Small screen
- No adjustable handlebars
The same way the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, so, too, is the core the powerhouse of the human body. The Bowflex VeloCore Bike makes for the best splurge-worthy Peloton alternative because it challenges the core and upper body by allowing you to shift your torso from side to side in Lean Mode. By engaging your abdominals and obliques in this functional way (read: no monotonous crunches on the floor!)—you're bound to gain full-body strength with each workout. It has a water bottle holder, dual-link pedals, and comes with a 16-inch console that'll display everything from your workout metrics to Netflix.
Best for beginners: Schwinn IC4 Bike
- Compatible with most fitness apps
- Straightforward assembly
- Bike tends to squeak
- Pedals may detach
If this is your first foray into the fabulous world of cycling-based fitness, you might not need all the bells and whistles associated with the Peloton. Instead, the Schwinn IC4 still gives you a burn of a workout with its 100 resistance options, its compartments to safely stow your included dumbbells, and its built-in media rack to display a workout from a popular fitness app of your choice, like JRNY, Peloton, iFit, or Zwift.
Best for all levels: MYX Fitness The MYX II
- Includes heart rate monitor
- Comes assembled
- Huge library of workouts
- Membership not included
- Uses mechanical friction resistance
With its included Polar OH1 heart rate monitor to help track your progress, and its optional stabilizing mat that serves as cushion during floor training, the MYX II serves as a mini gym membership you can fit into a single room in your home. Its 21.5-inch swivel touch screen allows you to keep an eye on your workout when you're transitioning from the spin bike to the floor. Best of all? It comes fully assembled.
Which bike is most similar to Peloton?
We often conflate the Peloton and Echelon because their marketing seems to share similarities. However, there are other bikes out there that give you an even closer experience to the Peloton. Take our best overall pick, the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, which features similar dimensions and creates a similar immersive cycling experience.
Can you use a non-Peloton bike with the Peloton app?
The beauty about Peloton is that you can absolutely use their popular app with any bike you have at home. While the Peloton app is indeed designed for use on the Peloton, the instructors will prime you before each class on how to best take advantage of the app using your own brand of spin bike.
Is a built-in or BYO screen better?
Both built-in and bring-your-own screens have their benefits. A built-in screen won't slip off during your workout and will generally be more sturdy. Under the brand’s warranty, you’ll also be able to contact the company in question should there be a malfunction. A BYO screen affords you the ability to transform something you already have—like a tablet or phone—into a useful device. Additionally, with a BYO screen, you always have the option to ride "analog," which can help you reach that coveted flow state where it's just you, the beat, and lots of sweat.
What type of resistance is best?
The best type of resistance is one that will challenge you yet allow you to maintain proper form. You should be breathy—not breathless!—and feel a considerable burn in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes with each push of the pedal. Opt for light resistance during sprints and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) segments that challenge your cardiorespiratory strength. Opt for heavier resistance during segments aimed to mimic biking up a hill, which recruits virtually every muscle group.
Echelon vs. Peloton.
If you compare the two most basic models of both the Echelon and Peloton, you'll notice they share almost as many similarities as they do differences. They both allow you to sync your fitness performance to your favorite health monitors like FitBit and Garmin, allow up to five users on one membership, and offer 30 days of testing the machine risk-free.
The Echelon is, however, a better deal at $899.99 vs. $1,445 for the Peloton. Currently, a yearly membership of the Echelon Fit app also comes with a free iPad, and a two-year membership comes with a free rowing machine valued at $1,000. The Peloton also requires you to wear Delta-compatible cleats, whereas you can wear your own shoes on an Echelon. The Peloton includes a tiltable 21.5-inch screen whereas the Echelon requires you to BYO.
What is Peloton’s biggest competitor?
With a business model as appealing as Peloton’s, it’s not hard to see why the bike has racked up several imitators. Chief among them is NordicTrack, which boasts models like the S22i Studio Cycle that promote an IRL cycling experience thanks to trainer-operated resistance and immersive cycling experience set to the backdrop of some of the world’s most stunning locales. Their subscriptions cost the same, they boast similar dimensions, they both support a similar weight, and they both feature touch screens with clear audio that you’ll certainly be able to hear over all that huffing and puffing.
Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or looking to add the sport to your repertoire, there are tons of Peloton alternatives on the market that can help you reach your fitness goals while staying within budget. What's more is that many of these incredible Peloton alternative options come with so much more than many of us bargain for, like additional gym equipment, the support of motivating world-class trainers, built-in cooling fans, and thousands of engaging classes suitable for all levels. Who knows? This might just be your sign to take one of our top picks for a spin.
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Marissa Miller is a certified personal trainer from the American Council on Exercise and holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell. She has over 10 years of experience editing and reporting on all things health, nutrition, beauty, fitness, style and home for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and many more.
Her first novel PRETTY WEIRD: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Other Oddly Empowering Lessons was published by Skyhorse Publishing and distributed by Simon & Schuster in May 2021.