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The 7 Best Peloton Alternatives For Crushing Those New Year’s Resolutions

UPDATE: Dec. 16, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EST This story has been updated to reflect Mashable’s latest hands-on testing of the top Peloton alternatives and updated pricing information.

You probably know that the pricey, cult-favorite Peloton bikes skyrocketed in demand during the pandemic. Everyone was hyped to achieve their dream bodies without having to hit the gym alongside sweaty, overachieving strangers. It’s been over three years now — three years filled with a lot of ups and downs for Peloton — but the trend of sweating it out at home is here to stay. And around New Year’s, demand for smart gym machines like exercise bikes and fitness mirrors reaches its peak (so many fitness-related resolutions to fulfill! So little time!).

To bank on this demand, spin bike brands like Nordic Track and Bowflex usually have major December and January sales. That means the shopping world is chock-full of stationary bike brands whose names don’t start with “Pelo-” and end with “-ton.” Given the ubiquitousness of these so-called Peloton dupes (only some of which are worthy alternatives) and their affordability factor, Peloton just isn’t the go-to option it used to be.

Fortunately, Mashable shopping reporters are here to help you find the best Peloton alternatives for your home workout. So, if you’re, like, so over Peloton’s chokehold on American spin culture, then keep reading to learn more about our favorite non-Peloton home exercise bikes.

What’s up with Peloton’s pricing and can you get cheaper alternatives?While Peloton had some significant price drops in 2022, permanent prices on its flagship products are back up, likely due to company instability. The OG bike originally sat at $2,195, dropped down to $1,895, then to $1,495, and finally down to $1,195, but now is at a stable $1,445. This original Peloton is now available at Amazon (where it price-matches the retailer), with free Prime delivery. Occasionally, you can find it on sale for less.

To add insult to injury, you do need an additional Peloton membership to actually use your bike and access its full range of content/features. The Peloton All-Access Membership now costs $44/month (an increase that’s been in effect since June 1, 2022. That means you’re going to be consistently dishing out dollars towards an already sunk cost: Your Peloton. For almost $45 a month, it’s not an ideal scenario, no matter how good the Peloton app is.

Peloton’s bikes were more “worth it” when the prices were lower in 2022, but now that they’re higher (ew), it’s time to consider options that will leave you just as (if not more!) satisfied.

When shopping for an indoor bike, first decide what type of cycling experience you want. Are you looking for a studio-style bike with an attached screen? Do you want to be able to stream interactive workouts directly to your bike? Or are you looking for something cheaper and plan to use your own device for workout classes? The driving (get it?) question here is which app or site you want to get your workouts from, or if you just want a bike to pedal indoors while watching TV. Bikes without connected monitors or membership-based fitness programs tend to be $500 to $1,000 cheaper than those with flashy screens.

Pro tip: Get a cheap spin bike and then sign up for the Peloton monthly app to enjoy the best of both worlds.

What is the best Peloton dupe currently on the market?While there are plenty of affordable alternatives to Peloton, what if you want a more high-end experience? To get a Peloton-like experience with even more added high-tech features, we recommend the NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle, which was hands-on tested by Mashable reporter Stacia Datskovska.

This bike is truly versatile: It comes with a free 30-day iFit subscription, lets you stream movies and TV to the screen, and has added incline/decline on top of resistance for an extra workout challenge. You’ll also notice a 360-degree rotating screen that opens up a whole world of floor and mat workouts for those days when you need a break from riding. This feature is only available with the Peloton Bike+, so NordicTrack is 100% on top of the trends.

Of course, not everyone will be looking for a more high-end experience, and if you’re searching for the best Peloton alternatives, we’re guessing price is a factor. If that’s the case, we have good news: There are some fantastic spin bikes under $1,000. Check out our full list of the best Peloton alternatives on the market below.

Our Pick

Read our full review of the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike.

The NordicTrack S22i is the Peloton Bike+’s biggest competition thanks to a 22-inch, rotating screen and sturdy frame. For athletes who want the best Peloton alternative without sacrificing any of the high-end features, this Mashable-tested spin bike is our top choice.

Even though you’ll find fewer resistance levels here than on the Bike+ (24 vs. Peloton’s 100), the NordicTrack S22i has two features that Peloton hasn’t ventured into yet: Bike incline/decline and live resistance adjustment. With 20% incline and 10% decline, this bike simulates a more realistic cycling experience, and your bike will automatically adjust to the resistance and incline levels instructors call out during classes. No more fumbling with the settings while you’re crushing those steep hills.

Mashable Shopping Fellow Stacia Datskovska was mostly happy with the S22i Studio Bike, especially when it came to the bike’s class quantity, updated toe clip pedals, and unique Google Earth feature that allows riders to map their own routes anywhere in the world. That’s not to say the S22i doesn’t have its issues, though. Datskovska mentioned in her review that slow startup times and long buffering periods put a damper on the user experience. And while the amount of classes that are available is impressive, the quality of them isn’t always consistent (with some of them lacking in visual quality and showcasing clickbaity titles that don’t always come to fruition over the course of your ride). Also, PSA: She recommends getting a seat cushion.

All in all, it’s still the best alternative to the Peloton Bike out there that we’ve tried. If detailed performance metrics, instructor-led sessions, and overall swankiness are important to you, the S22i is the obvious heir to the Peloton throne.

The Echelon Smart Connect EX5-S bike is a solid studio-style bike with a large, 180-degree rotating touch screen, similar to the Peloton Bike+ and the NordicTrack S22i. You’ll have to pay $39.99 per month for an Echelon app membership with this bike, so the ongoing cost is something to consider.

The Echelon App has a wide variety of live and on-demand rides ranging from beginner level to advanced, and from lengths of five to 45 minutes.  You’ll also be able to access Echelon’s Fitpass programs, which feature yoga classes, strength workouts, and more, but don’t expect to use anything else on this screen. There’s no functionality to use other apps, so Netflix and ride is a no-go, and you’ll need to use your own TV, tablet, or phone if you want to work out with different fitness programs. 

A stationary bike doesn’t need a screen or fancy tech specs to get the job done, and this sub-$300 Sunny bike is a good example of quality simplicity. This bike would be great for riders who want to watch a few episodes of Netflix while pedaling, or who want to stream their own workouts from their TV or phone. This is the lowest-tech bike on this list, so we recommend it for casual riders who don’t need all the bells and whistles of a smart connected bike.

While you won’t be able to view your stats with this spin bike, it doesn’t need to be plugged in, so it can be placed anywhere in your home (or even outside if you have outdoor space). The 40-pound flywheel will give you a stable ride, and it’s regularly on sale at Amazon for under $280, so it’s a good choice for your wallet. The only real downside is the friction resistance — you won’t get really heavy rides with this bike.

The Bowflex VeloCore is a complete system, ready to rival the Peloton in every right. It has a 16-inch screen that is perfect for streaming Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and other streaming services, and even better for accessing its library of on-demand workouts. A one-year JRNY subscription is included so you can access all of this content, and user profiles are easy to set up if there’s more than one person in your household using it.

Beyond that, this bike has 100 resistance levels, comes with a set of dumbbells, and ventures somewhere Peloton hasn’t gone before: You can activate leaning mode to simulate riding a real-life bike. This is called out in their on-demand workouts, and is a great core workout on top of the cardio that biking gives you. If you try it out and don’t love the leaning mode, you can choose to skip sections that use it or do workouts where it’s not included.

The only thing you might miss from Peloton is the leaderboard, however, this bike allows you to compete against yourself, automatically adjusting workouts based on your fitness level and the goals you set.

Peloton app fanatics who don’t want the Peloton bike price are probably looking for a sturdy, magnetic drive bike that can be used for classes with the iconic Peloton instructors leading the way. 

The Schwinn IC4 only has a small LCD monitor for basic stat tracking, but features a media rack to place your own device on, giving you free-range of online workout choices. If you already pay for the Peloton app, you can sync it from your device to this bike’s console — a huge perk for tracking cadence during classes.

This bike is also the only one on this list to boast dual SPD and cage pedals, so you can choose between clip-in cycling shoes or wearing regular athletic shoes during your ride.

Read our full review of the SoulCycle bike.

If getting pumped up by a hype trainer and popular music during every ride is a non-negotiable, the SoulCycle At-Home Bike is the one to grab. It gives you a wholesome studio-style experience that’s more focused on riding to the music than trying to race everyone else in the class.

The SoulCycle bike’s most motivating feature is called Beat Match, which measures how in sync you are with the music playing during each ride. Instead of focusing on speed, calories, or distance, Beat Match takes you away from the fitness jargon, ideal for folks who just want to have fun during their rides. 

Home exercise bikes that cost $2,500 just aren’t in everyone’s price range. If you don’t need the high-tech, interactive smart features and a giant attached screen, the Echelon GT Connect is a solid option. (Who can say no to that price?) It features SPD shoe clips and a toe cage on the pedals, boasts an impressive 32 levels of resistance, has a smart device holder with 180-degree flip rotation (that’s one way of saying it lacks a touchscreen display!), and offers detailed, real-time performance tracking.

You don’t have to get locked into a mandatory monthly membership with this Echelon purchase — but note that, if you do choose to take advantage of the Premier subscription, it will cost you about $40/month after a 30-day free trial. As a Premier member, you can elevate your rides with on-demand classes, health data syncing with Apple/Fitbit/beyond, and access to a global community of cycling aficionados (with the potential for in-person events).

Over multiple weeks of research, we compiled a list of the top at-home stationary bikes at nearly every price point. We only considered bikes that were rated four stars or higher via user reviews, but tended to stick to bikes that were rated 4.5 stars or higher. We sorted through hundreds of user reviews on each product to rule out any reoccurring, serious issues. We did extensive research on buzzy, popular stationary bike brands as well as lesser-known, hidden gem models.

For this guide, we also tested the Bowflex bike and the NordicTrack S22i over the course of about a month. Because Mashable has tested the Peloton bike and the brand’s popular fitness app, we were able to compare these “dupes” to their Peloton counterparts.

Some factors we took into consideration while compiling this list of the best Peloton alternatives and doing hands-on testing for the exercise bikes:

Built-in screens and membership-based fitness classes — When looking for a Peloton alternative, many shoppers are likely looking for a bike with a built-in connected monitor and trainer-led fitness classes. We included the top bikes on the market with screens and membership-based class subscriptions, as well as options without these two features for folks who want to play workouts on their TVs, or use the Peloton app on a non-Peloton bike.

Comparison to the Peloton Bike — After hands-on testing the Peloton Bike, we determined that the most important factors when purchasing a cycling bike are delivery and installation, live and on-demand fitness classes, durability and stability of the bike, and adjustability of the bike. We compared each bike on this list with the original Peloton in mind. We included bikes that checked all of the boxes, as well as some that were missing one or two of our factors but were lower in price.

Price point — The Peloton Bike and Bike+ aren’t cheap, so we included the best stationary bikes from around $300 all the way up to $2,500, because shoppers deserve a bike they love (even if they’re on a budget).

Jae Thomas is a Colorado-based Deputy Shopping Editor for Mashable. They specialize in pet tech, smart fitness gear, finding the perfect gift, and sourcing the top deals on shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Jae has worked at Mashable since 2020, where they’ve written countless deals roundups and product reviews. Before Jae came to Mashable, they received a B.A. in Journalism and English Literature from New York University and wrote food and lifestyle content for publications like Bon Appétit, Epicurious, The Daily Beast, Apartment Therapy, and Marie Claire.

When they’re not testing products or writing about online shopping, you’ll find Jae whipping up an elaborate meal, hiking, camping, or training their dogs, Miso and Dashi. Reach out to them on X at @jaetaurina or by email at [email protected].

Stacia Datskovska is an NYU journalism major (graduating this December). Her work has appeared in USA Today, Boston Globe, Teen Vogue, HuffPost, Bustle, and more. When she’s not writing something or other, Stacia can be spotted crying over poetry, making a home-cooked meal, or walking on an NYC pier. For her more half-baked thoughts: @staciadats on Twitter.