Unless you’ve been completely off the grid for the past year, you probably know that the pricey cult-favorite Peloton bikes are more in-demand than ever. As gyms and boutique fitness studios shuttered in 2020 and folks turned to working out from home, home cardio equipment, especially cycling bikes, became indispensable. They were a way to work off stress, stay active while staying indoors, and offered an online community through app- and zoom-based classes.
But as more people canceled their gym memberships and ordered Peloton bikes instead, the delivery times soared — some people have waited over 14 weeks for their bikes to be delivered. As of this writing, Peloton’s delivery time for the base model bike is estimated at one to three weeks, while the Bike+ sits at a shocking eight to 10-week delivery time. If you bought a Bike+ now, you could be waiting over two months before taking your first ride.
I bought a Peloton bike early in quarantine before the wait times were out of hand, and though it was a big investment, having a bike in my apartment while gyms are closed has been lifesaving. But, considering the price and the sometimes months-long wait time to get a bike (not to mention the reports of bad customer service), it’s clear that Peloton isn’t in every shopper’s best interest.
I’m here to say that there are some amazing studio-quality bikes on Amazon that will give you the same thrill and sweat as a Peloton bike — and some of them are even compatible with the Peloton app, too. As a dedicated Peloton rider, I set out to see exactly how the competition compares, and which cycling bikes on Amazon are actually worth your money.
What indoor bikes will be on sale this Black Friday?
If you have your heart set on a Peloton this Black Friday, you’re *somewhat* in luck. The cult-favorite cycling brand released a new permanent discounted price on the original bike — down to $1,495 from $1,895. They’e also offering two months free of the Peloton app — so even folks who opt for an alternative bike can experience the heart-pumping, sweat-inducing classes of Peloton’s favorite instructors.
In terms of other indoor cycling bikes, we’re seeing some solid discounts already. The best sales on Peloton alternatives will likely be from NordicTrack, Echelon, Bowflex, and myxfitness — and some of these are already live. For the full rundown on this year’s best indoor cycling bike deals, head over to our best fitness deals roundup — we’re combing through the best sales and updating the list regularly for your Black Friday fitness shopping needs.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Peloton?
There are way more stationary bikes on the market than just Peloton, meaning there’s pretty much one for every budget. First, you have to 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 that can use your own device for workout streaming? The driving question here is deciding what app or site you want to get your workouts from, or if you just want a bike to pedal indoors while watching TV.
Who is Peloton’s biggest competitor?
Peloton’s biggest competitors are myxfitness, the Equinox/SoulCycle at-home bike, NordicTrack and Echelon. Of the bikes available to purchase on Amazon, NordicTrack and Echelon’s upgrade bikes (the NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle and the Echelon Smart Connect EX-5-S) will get you closest to the Peloton experience. These two bikes have large touchscreens and streamed fitness classes, but some specifics like memberships, upfront cost, and tech specs set them apart from each other.
Is the Echelon bike as good as Peloton?
The Echelon bike is a solid choice as a Peloton alternative. It’s about $300 cheaper than the Peloton Bike, about $900 cheaper than the Peloton Bike+, and it features the same type of rotating screen that rolled out with the launch of the Bike+. It also has a comparable monthly membership fee to Peloton: you’ll have to pay $39.99 per month to access Echelon’s library of live and on-demand workouts. The membership will get you a pretty good selection of workout options though, with classes ranging from HIIT bike rides to floor and mat focused strength, yoga, and boxing classes.
What should I look for in a spin bike?
Some of the most important things to look for in a stationary bike are the type of resistance, flywheel weight, adjustability, and pedal type. Decide between magnetic resistance or friction resistance according to your budget and desired upkeep on your bike.
You’ll also want make sure the bike you purchase is suited to your height and weight for the most comfortable ride. Remember that the heavier the user, the heavier flywheel weight you’ll want for maximum stability.
And just a note about how some reviewers of these bikes complain about the seat not being comfortable: That’s a pretty common complaint about Peloton bike seats as well. They are, after all, bike seats.
What type of resistance is best?
The two main resistance types for indoor cycling bikes are friction and magnetic resistance. Bikes with friction resistance use felt pads that compress the flywheel of your bike when the resistance is adjusted. Magnetic drive cycles, on the other hand, use strong magnets on the flywheel to create the sensation of heavier or lighter resistance.
You might be asking: are magnetic resistance bikes better? This question depends on your budget, desired maintenance on your bike, and noise. Friction bikes tend to be significantly cheaper, but since the felt pads need to be replaced when they wear out, they’ll bring a recurring cost. A cycle with a magnetic drive will likely be much quieter, and basically won’t need any maintenance over its life span, but the upfront cost might be a lot more.
What is the best alternative to Peloton?
To get a Peloton-like experience with even more added high-tech features, we recommend the NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle. This bike is truly the most versatile: it comes with a free one-year iFit subscription, lets you stream movies and TV to the screen, and has added incline and 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 was only just released at Peloton with the launch of the Bike+, so NordicTrack is 100% on top of the trends.
If you’re not already sold on a NordicTrack bike, check out our full list of the best Peloton alternatives that Amazon has to offer:
Read more: mashable.com