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Choosing an Indoor Bike


So you’ve decided to purchase a bike and work out from home. Where to start? Indoor bikes are incredibly popular right now and with good reason. They are a great piece of exercise equipment to have in your home, they take up very little room, and they offer more than just cycling classes. Several apps out there can be used with the bike offering a wide variety of workouts on and off the bike. Since I have a Peloton, I’ll briefly discuss that brand and what I consider some of the more popular alternatives.


I’m sure you’ve heard about it if you’re in the market for an indoor bike and even if you’re not! I’ll admit, as I said, I own one and am probably a bit biased. I bought it during the height of the pandemic and have no regrets. The price tag is a bit hefty and keep in mind that there is a subscription fee of $39/month. The Peloton Bike+ starts at $2,495. There is also the Peloton Bike which starts at $1,495 but it does not have all of the features of the Plus. That being said, the number of classes on the app and the variety offered is amazing, and the instructors are top notch. You can “ride”’ with your friends by high-fiving each other on the leaderboard and viewing each other’s output. It makes for some competitive fun. It comes with a 23.8” screen that swivels so you can do your off-bike workouts on a mat and the sound is amazing. It’s a compact bike and all you need to do is hop on and ride.   

The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

One of the top features of this bike is that it has a built-in cadence sensor and heart monitor (which the Peloton does not). It rates well and with a price tag of $999, seems to be a great deal for your money. It provides a mount for your tablet or iPad, and you have the option of using your favorite cycling app including the Peloton digital app for only 12.99/month (versus $39/month). The bike comes with a one-year membership to the JRNY® - a fitness app offered through Bowflex and provides a wide variety of workouts. You are required to assemble the bike yourself, but assembly is straightforward and there are online videos to help.

Nordic Track's S22i Studio Cycle

This is another well-rated indoor bike with a price tag of $1,499. It comes with a 22” rotating touchscreen, live iFIT® workouts, and Bluetooth compatibility. This bike allows you to incline or decline to mirror your workout environment. The live trainers can also control your incline, decline and resistance so that you can focus on your workout. It's comparable to the Peloton in that you also have a live workout leaderboard and a wide selection of on and off-bike workouts. The screen is not compatible with external apps but it does offer many of the features of the Peloton.

The Bowflex C6 Bike

This bike is available on the Bowflex site for $999 and packs a bargain for the price. Riders can connect with third-party cycling apps including Peloton, Zwift, and the JRNY® apps. The bike comes with a one-year subscription to JRNY®, which allows you to explore virtual destinations as well as real-time workouts. You will need to have you own device for the workouts such as an iPad or tablet. The Bowflex also provides you with dumbbells and dual-sided pedals (SPD clips or toe cages) and a blue-tooth enabled heart rate armband monitor. FYI, Peloton recommends buying their shoes at $125 and does not come with toe cages, weights or a heart monitor.

In Conclusion:

While I only discussed a few alternatives, there are plenty of options out there. I think your budget will play a part in determining your purchase. I have no regrets about purchasing the Peloton, and I follow some of the instructors on Instagram and feel like you get to “know” them. But don’t feel like it’s Peloton or nothing. You can still get a great experience by purchasing one of the other options and using your tablet or iPad to subscribe to the Peloton app.

Have you tried a different bike and feel it’s a great choice? Tell us what it is and a bit more about why you like it in the comments.


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