The world may be getting closer to normal, but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon everything from our socially-distanced lifestyles. Zoom meetings, working from home, and our new baking skills probably aren’t going anywhere. Simply put, we have changed for good, and perhaps none of these changes have been more dramatic than the way we exercise. We’ve taken more runs and bought more free weights, but nothing has revolutionized our home workouts like the exercise bike. We know, Peloton is the industry standard, but it’s certainly not the only option if you want to pedal your way to fitness. If you’re looking for a stationary bike to be part of your permanent workout routine, these give Peloton a run for its money.
A Cheaper Alternative to Peloton with Similar Features
Myx unapologetically crashes the high-end stationary bike party with its more palatable price of around $1300. Let’s start with its tempting 21.5-in HD screen, the crown jewel of this bike’s feature-rich profile. First, it swivels. You can turn it around and tilt it down for when you do yoga and floor exercises (Myx offers plenty of guided ones, by the way), and you’ll never use the words “clunky” or “sluggish” to describe this impeccably responsive touchscreen.
Apart from the screen, Myx brands itself as something of a total fitness system—and charges a couple hundred dollars extra for a full set of weights, mats, and other equipment. Myx does offer plenty of training programs in other fitness areas for those who prefer a more varied workout. The focus on these options is, perhaps, a slight compensation for Myx’s somewhat lacking biking experience. Unlike even some of the most entry-level fitness bikes, Myx does not track speed, distance, or resistance, which basically puts the quality of your workout in the hands of your instructor. Some people are content to just pedal and follow directions, but for plenty of riders, this lack of feedback will take some getting used to. The actual bike, however, is top-of-the-line. Combined with the advanced fitness system and ample guided workouts, that makes for an impressive product for the price.
Best Ultra-Cheap Alternative to Peloton
Look closely, and it’s not difficult to see why this bike is arguably the most popular Peloton alternative on the market. The YOSUDA’s features aren’t going to turn many heads, but what it does, it does very well. This bike is the embodiment of a high-quality, no-frills riding experience at an accessible price.
First, it’s sturdy and smooth, with a weight capacity up to 270 lbs and plenty of resistance settings. Thanks to the 35 lb flywheel, the ride stays steady, carrying momentum that simulates the feel of an on-road cycling expedition. The bike also delivers on its one-size-fits-all promise with an adjustable seat and handlebars that provide a comfortable ride for nearly every body type. The tradeoff for this stability and flexibility is that the YOSUDA is a little on the heavy side, but wheels on the front support keep it surprisingly transportable.
That being said, it doesn’t provide the perfect biking experience. It’s so low-tech that the water bottle holder qualifies as an advanced feature. The screen is small, and displays only basic fitness information, like calories burned, speed, and distance. Below it, however, there is a built-in tablet holder; so streaming Youtube spin classes, or paying $13/month for the Peloton app could provide you with that premium workout experience at an accessible price.
A Parallel to Peloton
We know it’s hard to imagine going in a more expensive direction than the Peloton, but hear us out: there’s nothing on the stationary bike market like the Velocore. At $1699, you receive an attractive, cutting-edge piece of equipment with a 16-inch touchscreen (the 22-inch touchscreen option is around $2200). What sets it apart, however, is the “lean” feature. Essentially, the seat can sway from side to side, effectively simulating the experience of leaning around turns while riding on the road.
This feature enables the Velocore to provide the most authentic riding experience of any stationary bike. The JRNY app, the Bowflex-developed workout app, helps solidify the bike’s claim to an unparalleled fitness adventure. Through bluetooth technology, JRNY offers a Peloton-like collection of trainer-led workouts that transport you to the most exotic of locales. The interface is a little clunkier than its better-known competitor, and the touchscreen isn’t the most responsive on the market, but it’s still a deluxe riding experience. Throw in the fact that the lean feature allows you to turn pedaling into a full-body workout, and the Velocore emerges as a staunch competitor to the industry standard.
Maybe you’re frustrated with the wait for your Peloton, the price of a Peloton or just like to take the path lest traveled. We hope one of the above bikes works for you.