If you’ve never considered a Peloton, but are unsure if an indoor-cycling class at the gym or a studio is a safe or appealing option as the pandemic continues, you may be weighing all your at-home options. People who love the Peloton love the Peloton. But it’s no longer the only connected indoor-cycling bike in town. We also tested six Peloton alternatives that promise a similar overall experience, plus an alternative way to use the Peloton app (or any indoor-cycling app).
After assessing those bikes, taking dozens of classes, observing even more, and absorbing myriad motivational mantras, we believe that if you have your heart set on a Peloton bike and all that comes with it, you’ll be happiest with a Peloton. It is excellent equipment overall, and for the devotee of indoor cycling, it is possibly a good value or even a bargain. (Still, you have to make and enforce your own good habits, and the bike becomes a shadow of its former self if you stop paying the nearly $40 monthly membership fee.)
There are other options that may better fit your budget, style, and goals. But you need to know yourself, what you want out of your bike and your workouts, and—perhaps most important—what you’re willing to go without.
A pricey, top-notch indoor cycle
Boutique-cycling fanatics will find their people and their workout vibe with Peloton. Everyone else will feel the burn mainly in their budget.
Thanks to well-produced live-streaming and on-demand classes starring self-made celebrity instructors, the Peloton bike has a devoted following. Is it worth the investment? Maybe, if you’re already handing over lots of money to spin studios week in and week out and want something more convenient at home. Many people, however, will be spun out by the Peloton bike’s significant up-front cost and ongoing expense. Once you purchase the bike itself, you need to keep paying a $39 monthly subscription fee, or you’re left with just three classes and a free-ride mode that displays only real-time data on the screen, with no leaderboard-inspired competition or any record of your efforts. Peloton is an evolving company (it went public late last year), and it will continue to attract competitors. The company seems healthy, yet it’s worth noting that the bike stays useful only as long as Peloton continues supporting the content at the high level it does today.