Fitness Tips

The Best Exercise Bikes With Virtual Courses & Training – Updated For 2021

Best Value

The Best Value exercise bike with virtual training is the Wahoo Kickr which is also the best bike for Zwift

The Wahoo Kickr

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick for best exercise bike with virtual courses is the Nordictrack S22i

Nordictrack S22i

Most Affordable

The Most Affordable exercise bike with virtual training is the MYX Bike

MYX Bike

The year is 2021, and the entire fitness industry is abuzz. About what, you might be wondering?

Interactive training and virtual cycling courses!

Ever since the Peloton lifted the veil on its impressive interactive exercise platform, the entire market realized the insane level of demand this sort of approach carried. And now, just a short year later, every major manufacturer is gunning to get their take on the virtual training experience out into the hands of riders. Peloton has some serious competitors now.

However, let's be honest - not all bikes that have some form of connectivity features would be a good fit or provide the right kind of experience, especially when it comes to indoor cycling, and also not every bike is going to be a good alternative to -the more expensive- Peloton.

And with so little information available on a birds-eye overview of the options you've got in today's market, I decided to spend the last two weeks of my life on the line with all of the most reputable manufacturers to learn every little detail I could get my hands on regarding their most popular interactive training bikes, and app options. I recently compared and reviewed and compared a bunch of bikes against each other like, The Bowflex C6 vs. the Keiser M3i, Schwinn IC2 vs. IC3, and the Schwinn 170 vs. Nautilus U616, to name a few; so I know a couple of things about exercise bikes and know that it's pretty hard when trying to decide between different bikes.

Finally, today, it's time for me to lay out my research and give you some solid insights on the top virtual training and course platforms of 2020, as well as the top bikes for the job.

So buckle up, get in-gear, and get ready for a crash course where we'll cover the ins and outs behind the top apps and bikes that are worth your time and money. Below, I'll be giving you an introduction to each app and model, discussing their pros and cons, as well as answering some of the most frequently asked questions that riders have about the world of virtual courses and training.

Let's dive right in!


Our Top Picks

Nordictrack S22i - Best Bang For Your Buck

Our pick for the Best Bang For Your Buck is the Nordictrack S22i

Specs:

  • Highly Rated & Reviewed
  • Best Bang For Buck Option
  • High Quality Build
  • 22 adjustable resistance levels powered by a quiet and solid magnetic flywheel.
  • 22" HD touch-screen display that adds a whole lot of immersion to the interactive training you'll be doing on this bike.

The Wahoo Kickr Best Trainer For Zwift Virtual Riding

The Wahoo Kickr is our pick for the Best Trainer For Zwift Virtual Riding

Specs:

  • Best Trainer for Zwift
  • Rated Highly by Customers and Reviews
  • Amazing Build Quality
  • Virtually no setup is required to get riding.
  • Super quiet ride with a built-in power smoothing option for total comfort.
  • Unbeatable portability, making the Kickr a fantastic fit for small spaces.

A Sneak Peak Into My Top Picks

Before we dive into talking about the various virtual training programs and courses, as well as the top bikes on the market that hook up with these platforms - let's take a quick look at some of the bikes you'll be seeing on my extensive top-list below.


Nordictrack S22i

A Sneak Peak Into Nordictrack S22i

While there are a fair few options when it comes to bikes that work well for virtual training and virtual courses - the S22i is pretty much the winner in this category.

The reason behind me highlighting and ultimately buying this bike for myself lies in the fact that it simply does both incredibly well, without an insanely exorbitant price behind the whole experience.


The Wahoo Kickr

A Sneak Peak Into The Wahoo Kickr

If you're not quite ready for a full-fledged exercise bike, but you'd like to experience the awesomeness of virtual training apps like Zwift - the Wahoo Kickr allows you to use your own bike as the perfect trainer.

With this trainer, you'll be zooming through virtual worlds and enjoying an incredibly realistic true-to-life virtual training experience on a piece of equipment that's already fine-tuned for you.


Virtual Courses & Live Training

Now that we've had a quick glance-over of some of the bikes I'll cover below, let's get up close and personal with some of the most popular options you've got when it comes to virtual courses and live training.

From the best apps to the most in-depth platforms out there, I'm going to give you the low-down on the best options at hand available in 2020.


Peloton

Peloton provides Virtual Courses & Live Training

Peloton's fitness platform is one of the most extensive virtual training and interactive exercise apps out there in today's day and age. It offers thousands of incredibly produced live and pre-programmed classes alongside an entire treasure trove of programs, challenges, and modules for you to peruse.


Zwift

Zwift is one of the Virtual Courses & Live Training apps

Unlike many fitness training platforms out there today - Zwift takes a far more narrow approach, integrating the worlds of gaming and interval training to create the perfect virtual training experience for serious cyclists. Which is a fantastic experience for me as I like to ride outside using my GTX 3 and for my friends who to to use outdoor elliptical bikes.

You can ride through an enormous amount of virtual tracks and worlds, compete against other riders, and chase your personal cycling goals like there's no tomorrow, following their data-driven training approach.


The Expresso Platform

The Expresso Platform Is one of the Virtual Courses & Live Training

In a similar fashion to Zwift, Expresso managed to cleverly create a platform that will take you through over 30 different virtual worlds in a group or solo setting across 4 different levels of difficulty.

You can opt for goal-driven training, relaxing rides with other Expresso owners, or compete against your previous bests.


Echelon Fit

Echelon Fit is one of the Virtual Courses & Live Training apps

As a popular alternative to Peloton's suite of apps - Echelon Fit adopts a similar approach, with more focus being paid to creating a diverse range of content for both on and off the bike fitness disciplines.

There are over 500 different programs and classes for you to enjoy, and while it may not stack up with Peloton in terms of quantity, the quality of Echelon's programs is absolutely great.


iFit

iFit is one of the Virtual Courses & Live Training apps

Unlike the Echelon Fit and Peloton platforms that were primarily built around both brands' exercise bikes, the iFit platform serves a far more diverse audience by leaning more on the digital coaching side of the equation.

The app offers compatibility with a whole host of exercise equipment from bikes to treadmills and ellipticals, allowing you to keep track of key fitness data in order to measure and track your progress and goals in an intelligent and effective way.


Best Exercise Bikes With Virtual Courses And Live Training

When it comes to a truly immersive and interactive virtual training experience, not every bike with a BlueTooth module is going to make the cut.

In fact, even among the myriad of purpose-built bikes geared towards interactive training enthusiasts, there was a fair bit of digging to do in order to pick out the 8 best bikes that are actually worth your time and money.

I've done all the research for you, so keep reading to learn more about the best available options and get the ins and outs of what each bike brings to the table, in order to get a better feel for which one might just be the best fit for your own needs and wants.

Best Bang For Your Buck (And The One I Own) - Nordictrack S22i

The Key Features

  • Highly Rated & Reviewed
  • Best Bang For Buck Option
  • High Quality Build
  • 22 adjustable resistance levels powered by a quiet and solid magnetic flywheel.
  • 22" HD touch-screen display that adds a whole lot of immersion to the interactive training you'll be doing on this bike.
  • The frame features a tilt adjustment system that allows you to change the incline between -10 and 20 percent for an added challenge to your exercise.
  • Plenty of adjustability features like a universal seat stem, customizable caged pedals. and adjustable multi-grip handlebars.
  • Lots of high-end creature comforts like an amply-sized media tray, built-in workout fan, wireless telemetry, two bottle holders, and even a built-in iPod compatible sound deck.
  • Maximum user-weight of 350-lbs thanks to a solid all-steel build.

Nordictrack S22i Review

If you're looking for an indoor cycling experience that boasts total luxury in every single way, from the hardware to the build quality and even the tech behind it all - then the Nordictrack S22i Studio Cycle is a bike that should definitely be on your radar.

This model ships with an amazing 20" touch-screen HD display, which together with the stellar iFit platform makes the S22i an absolute legend when it comes to interactive training options. So people looking for an exercise bike with a screen won't be disappointed. 

Overtop of this and the bike's awesome feature kit - one of the things that really made the deal for me was the fact that this bike can actually tilt for an increased challenge thanks to its clever and unique angular frame design. This simulates uphill and downhill cycling, adding that much more realism to the ride feel and giving you a fair bit of diversity in the workouts you'll be doing.

But what about the build quality? Here's a fun fact - the S22i was built with the commercial environment in mind, so it's basically bullet-proof. With an all-steel design and some minimalist yet fully functional creature comforts - this bike is absolutely rock-solid, able to withstand just about any degree of exercise you throw at it.

What I Don't Like

This bike is quite pricey, clocking in on-par with the Peloton, making it somewhat out of the financial comfort zone for most folks.

The assembly is rather complicated compared to most other bikes on this list - though, you are able to purchase an at-home installation for an additional $250.

The S22i requires you to pick up at least 12-months of iFit Coach membership, while cheaper models make the subscription optional.

Warranty Options

Nordictrack provides a lifetime coverage policy on the frame while various parts get 3 years of coverage and the labor on the bike is backed by a 1-year warranty.

In addition to this, prospective buyers are able to purchase an extended warranty policy on parts and labor, before their coverage runs out.

Assembly Time

On their marketing materials, Nordictrack mentions that the S22i should take roughly half an hour to set up. However, just as with the Peloton, in reality - you should probably carve out an hour or so to get the job done.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

Unfortunately, the Nordictrack S22i comes locked into the iFit platform and the integrations it features (it hooks up with Zwift and a few other apps that we haven't covered). But while the lack of live virtual classes may be a bit of a drawback for some, their extensive library of pre-recorded programs and modules features just about anything you could think of from yoga to incline cycling and more.

Proform Studio Bike Pro - A Cheaper S22i Alternative

The Key Features

  • Whisper-quiet variable magnetic resistance system with a solid weighted flywheel for a balanced and comfortable ride.
  • 10" HD display that swivels and tilts for total viewing comfort.
  • Adjustable seating, grips, and caged pedals.
  • Comes with a 1-year subscription to iFit Coach Plus and LiveCast streamed cyclin classes allowing you to explore the world of interactive training out of the box.
  • A decent helping of creature comforts like a seat and pedal with universal stems, a single water bottle holder, and even some nifty transport wheels.

Proform Studio Bike Pro Review

Next up on the list, we've got a high-performance bike that packs a gracious helping of high-end features, the latest tech, and total affordability into one well-presented package - all of which makes the Proform Studio Bike Pro an exercise bike that you should definitely get familiar with.

From the stylish aesthetics to the near-impeccable build quality and the awesome innovative tech that comes built into this bike, the Studio Bike Pro has garnered quite a following since its initial release.

And when you consider the fact that it comes with a year's worth of iFit Coach Plus, at a sub-$1,000 price point, this bike is one of the best options to get the most out of what the world of virtual training has got to offer, without breaking your budget.

What I Don't Like

  • The iFit Coach Plus membership is something you'll have to pay for yourself after the first year that comes with the bike.
  • ProForm isn't exactly known for top-notch customer service and their warranty policy can be a bit confusing at times.
  • Doesn't feature any sort of media tray or built-in fan, which many comparable (and cheaper) models do.

Warranty Options

Just like with the S22i, the Studio Bike Pro comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on parts, and a single year on the bike's labor.

Assembly Time

This bike comes partially assembled out of the box, so finishing the job should only take you around 30-35 minutes.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

Unfortunately, this is another bike that's "platform-locked" into the iFit Coach system. While it does have some basic connectivity settings aside from the iFit integrations, you won't be able to run any third-party or unsupported apps.

Cheapest Virtual Training Bike - MYX Bike

The Key Features

  • 100 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance built around a 41-lb flywheel for added realism, perfect balance, and a whisper-quiet ride.
  • Plenty of ergonomic adjustments you can make for a perfect fit.
  • 21.5" swiveling touch-screen HD display.
  • Plenty of creature comforts like SPD caged pedals, wireless telemetry, independent dual-track volume control, and more.
  • Content-rich interactive training platform offering virtual classes, live sessions, and pre-programmed modules on and off the bike.
  • Cheaper subscription than other options, without sacrificing the volume or quality of the programs available.
  • A solid 350-lb maximum weight capacity.

MYX Bike Review

Lovingly nicknamed the "Un-Peloton", the MYX bike is a new player in the interactive cycling market that stands to give just about every hyped-up bike a good run for its money, on a total budget, mix this bike with a pair of cheap dumbbells and you have a nice mix of exercise equipment that can work a lot of muscle areas in your body. This one is also a fantastic exercise bike for beginners.

First off, the build quality is basically impeccable, with an all-steel frame, a solid magnetic resistance system, and a crystal-clear 21.5" HD display. However, the real selling point of this bike lies in the awesome interactive training experience that's perfectly on-par with Peloton.

From a swiveling touch-screen console to universal SPD pedals and even a heavier better-balanced flywheel, there are a plethora of differences that put the MYX toe to toe with the Peloton, at a surprisingly low price.

What I Don't Like

  • The MYX bike comes with a far shorter warranty coverage in comparison to other popular brands in the category.
  • The interactivity between cyclists and instructors in virtual classes is a little more limiting than what Peloton offers, though still far ahead (or at least on-par) with the other live virtual class options we've covered.

Warranty Options

Just like the Peloton, there's only a single year of coverage for the MYX bike - which is kind of silly in contrast with the otherwise stellar feature offering of this bike.

Assembly Time

The real-life assembly time for the MYX bike is around 40 minutes according to online reviews and feedback from current owners. This is in-line with the assembly time they advertise.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

Much like other high-end bikes in the virtual training category, the MYX bike comes locked into the MYX Fitness library. And while the 500+ workouts the library boasts may seem a tad behind the thousands offered by Peloton et al - the modules that are there are more than enough to suit the needs of just about anyone, from total fitness beginners to professional athletes.

Best Trainer For Zwift Virtual Riding - The Wahoo Kickr

The Key Features

  • True-to-life road feel thanks to the fact that the Kickr uses your existing bike as a base to add virtual training capabilities.
  • Virtually no setup is required to get riding.
  • Super quiet ride with a built-in power smoothing option for total comfort.
  • Unbeatable portability, making the Kickr a fantastic fit for small spaces.

The Wahoo Kickr Review

While other options focus on a broader interactive training approach, as one of the best virtual training apps to come out in recent years - Zwift has definitely carved out its own niche in the space.

Now, when it comes to awesome bikes that work great with Zwift, the Wahoo Kickr is definitely the one you should opt for!

First of all, it's important to note that this isn't an actual bike in its traditional form - it's actually a computer-driven training module that allows you to take your bike and transform it into the perfect interactive cycling machine.

And here's the real kicker - there's no need for any sort of calibration or crazy overhead tech in order to get started with it either.

What I Don't Like

  • Not an actual full-fledged exercise bike in itself, so you'll have to buy your own road bike to mount to the Kickr.
  • Costs a pretty penny, even when compared to some high-end exercise bikes.
  • No console or display to further control your workouts, it all works around your physical road bike.
  • Short warranty term in contrast with other options, even among comparable trainers.

Warranty Options

The Wahoo Kickr comes with a single year of limited warranty covering the labor and certain parts of the trainer.

Assembly Time

There's next to no assembly required, so at most, the setup should take you around 20 minutes for the actual trainer. Though, you may want to carve out a bit of time in order to fully hook up your bike.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

According to Wahoo's website - there's a fair number of apps that the Kickr is compatible with.

Some of these apps include Zwift, Wahoo Fitness, Trainer Road, and Kinomap, though there are reportedly more integrations that I wasn't personally able to verify.

The Expresso Go - Great Realistic Virtual Training Option

The Key Features

  • Advanced dual-belt resistance system with fluid motion and a quiet ride.
  • Brightly lit 19" LCD console that powers the wealth of interactive features this bike offers.
  • Steering and gear-shift controls located on the handlebars, engaging your core and upper body which offers a lot more realism than most other exercise bikes.
  • Comfortable 4-way adjustable low-profile ergonomic seating that supports a variety of seating positions and caters to a diverse group of riders.
  • Plenty of creature comforts like universal SPD pedals, two bottle holders, and more.
  • Plenty of pre-programmed virtual training programs and a plethora of live classes that you can follow along with.

Expresso Go Review

Advertised as a revolutionary interactive experience, the Expresso Go certainly makes a solid case for itself as a relatively affordable and effective exercise bike focused on virtual training.

The cool thing about this bike lies in the fact that it's built to offer a super realistic riding experience, in an indoors virtual training setting.

With the Go, you're the one in control. From user-controlled steering to shifting gears, braking, and more - this bike offers an incredibly realistic ride across a wealth of virtual courses and chases that will have you flying past your fitness goals in no time.

What I Don't Like

  • The whole virtual experience feels a little dated, as does the tech that ships with this bike, which doesn't really match the price compared to other bikes in this category and price range.
  • The warranty is absolutely abysmal to the point that you could even call it non-existent.

Warranty Options

The Expresso Go comes with only a meager 90 days of warranty coverage - that's it!

Assembly Time

The Go comes mostly assembled out of the box, so all you'll have to do is follow a handful of steps in order to get it ready for riding, which should take around 15 minutes of your time.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

This bike comes with its own virtual training app pre-installed. This app allows you to compete against other riders (or your own best times) across 30 virtual levels, with 4 difficulty settings for you to choose from.

However, the Go doesn't offer any sort of connectivity outside of this app, and given the somewhat dated tech they've used, there's basically no integrations to speak of either.

The Peloton - Best Integrated Virtual Training Experience

The Key Features

  • 100 levels of programmatic resistance built around one of the smoothest magnetic setups on the market today.
  • Whisper-quiet ride thanks to a hefty well-balanced flywheel.
  • A large 21.5" touch-screen HD display with stereo speakers and a webcam built-in for a truly immersive virtual experience.
  • Welded carbon-steel frame for total durability, making this one of the most sturdy and reliable bikes on the market without sacrificing portability.
  • Great fit for small spaces thanks to its small floor space footprint of 48" by 24" and the clever roller wheels that ship with the bike.
  • Adjustable seating and grips to perfectly accommodate a diverse range of riders.
  • Absolutely gorgeous minimalistic aesthetics.
  • Fantastic customer support with thousands of customer reviews backing this bike's outstanding feature offering.

Peloton Review

If you're someone who's in the market for the absolute best of the best when it comes to the quality of the interactive cycling experience you'll be having - then the Peloton is most likely the right bike for you. 

This bike offers native connectivity with one of the best interactive training platforms in the entire world, offering thousands of workout programs, a myriad of live instructor-guided classes streamed around the clock, and an absolutely amazing rich indoor cycling experience. And all you've got to do to get started is put the bike together, log in and pedal away.

Hardware-wise, the Peloton features a really impressive build too. With an all-steel design that utilizes carbon steel for life-long durability, while keeping the bike entirely lightweight and portable.

However, the one potential drawback that you'd find with the peloton would be the fact that its price tag is even more jaw-dropping than its feature kit.

What I Don't Like

  • It's quite expensive compared to most other options and you'll have to opt into a monthly membership to actually make proper use of the bike.
  • The ergonomic pedals it ships with are designed to provide a good fit only for Peloton's own branded shoes, which you'll have to buy separately.
  • No built-in fan or tray to hold small items like your phone or keys while you work out.

Warranty Coverage

Off the bat, you'll get 12 months of coverage. However, prospective owners do have the option to opt into a paid extended coverage option that bumps your warranty up to a total of 39 months.

Assembly Time

This bike is advertised as a half-hour assembly project. Though, in reality, following the 22-page instruction booklet it ships with, you'll probably need to carve out around an hour to get the entire job done, despite the fact that it comes partially put together.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

Unfortunately, at the moment, the only apps you'll be able to access with the Peloton is their own Peloton app along with the small number of integrations they support.

However, while this may seem like a drawback on paper - the Peloton platform offers such an incredible wealth of content that it's almost like having all of the other apps in one, for only $39 per month. We recently compared the Peloton to the Bowflex C6 and also compared the Peloton to the Schwinn IC3 & IC4, if you want to see how it compares to these specific bikes and more generally to bikes in the same league, I highly recommend these articles

The Echelon EX5s - A Cheaper Peloton Alternative

The Key Features

  • 28-lb flywheel that powers a 32-level belt-driven resistance system that offers a challenging yet comfortable ride for most cyclists.
  • 21.5" HD touch-screen swiveling console that powers a whole treasure trove of virtual courses and training options.
  • A durable yet entirely compact frame that makes this bike a lifetime piece of equipment without sacrificing usability in small spaces.
  • A good number of creature comforts like adjustable competition seats and 4-way adjustable handlebars, as well as a mounted weight rack among the standard lineup.

Echelon EX5s Review

At the top of the Echelon Smart Connect Series lineup - the EX5s brings a very solid build, a stellar feature kit, and an absolutely amazing interactive training experience to the market, at a very decent price.

From a swiveling 22" HD console powering immersive and challenging workouts to some very high-end performance features powering this bike's backbone and a near-endless treasure trove of workout programs designed to keep you moving on and off the bike - there's plenty to enjoy and rave about with the EX5s.

What I Don't Like

  • The belt-driven resistance just isn't as smooth as a modern magnetic resistance setup.
  • The HD console features no other apps aside from Echelon Fit, even when it comes to basic comforts like Spotify or Netflix.
  • This bike runs around $200 cheaper than the Peloton, which is still a lot more expensive than most bikes, and I'm not convinced that the feature kit really warrants this sort of price tag.

Warranty Options

The EX5s comes with a single year of warranty on parts and labor, which isn't exactly outstanding compared to other popular brands and comparable models.

Assembly Time

According to Echelon, the assembly time falls right dab-smack between 20 and 30 minutes. However, from my experience with this bike, as well as online reviews, the real setup time is closer to the 40-45 minute mark.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

The EX5s comes with the Echelon Fit platform built-in. However, there isn't much over top of this, not even basic utility apps or any sort of entertainment.

That being said, the Echelon Fit platform is one of the richest and best-developed out there, so as long as you're willing to pay the monthly subscription - you'll have access to a wealth of interactive training modules, instructor-guided live classes, and other off-bike fitness programs they offer.

Best Zwift - Compatible Recumbent Bike - Sole R92

The Key Features

  • Heavy-duty 26-lb flywheel-driven setup offering 20 levels of resistance that provide a smooth, challenging, and balanced ride.
  • Super adjustable seat and self-leveling pedals.
  • Lots of creature comforts like a media tray with a built-in media deck that supports iPods and even features a set of decent onboard speakers.
  • 9" user-friendly LCD display that shows essential fitness data and features 10 separate pre-programmed workouts.

Sole R92 Review

While the bikes we've covered so far have been upright models, with the exception of the Expresso Go which offers a recumbent model - it's time to nominate the best virtual-training-compatible recumbent bike available on the market in today's day and age.

This bike provides a comfortable and relaxed take on indoor cycling with a low-impact design that reduces joint stress without taking away from the effectiveness of your exercise.

And here's the best bit - the Sole R92 is actually compatible with Zwift, making for a fantastic virtual training experience, minus the stress and discomfort of an upright bike.

What I Don't Like

  • No modern HD console that goes beyond basic fitness indicators.
  • Doesn't come with any accessories like dumbbells or even a heart-rate monitor.
  • Very narrow selection of workouts (only 10 options that come pre-programmed).

Warranty Options

This bike comes with a lifetime guarantee on the frame, as well as 3 years of warranty coverage for electronics and parts as well as a single year of coverage for labor behind their at-home installation service.

Assembly Time

Unlike most other bikes that we've covered so far, the assembly for this bike is significantly more complicated. Despite the fact that Sole has an entire playlist of helpful step-by-step videos to guide you through the process, the entire job takes up 1-1.5 hours of your time from start to finish.

Compatible Apps & Virtual Platforms

The R92 uses BlueTooth technology for its connectivity platform. This makes it perfectly compatible with the Sole Fitness App suite, as well as a handful of third-party apps like Zwift.


A Briefer On The Top Exercise Bike Brands

Having had a chance to learn more about each bike, you might find yourself wondering about the brands behind them.

That's why I thought that it might be a good idea to give you a quick introduction to some of the top exercise brands on the market, giving you a bit of insight into their track record and reputation.


Nordictrack

Nordictrack is one of the top, well-known exercise bike brands

Ever since they first opened their doors, the folks at Nordictrack have been putting out some of the best fitness equipment on the market. From treadmills(home use treadmills and professional treadmills) to bikes, rowers(like the RW500 and RW900), ellipticals, and even strength-building equipment - their lineup is regarded as one of the most extensive in the industry.

But while they may not be focused on one particular thing like some specialty brands, Nordictrack has absolutely blown expectations out of the water each and every time they release a new piece of equipment.

And what really makes them absolute legends in the world of fitness is the fact that unlike many manufacturers, Nordictrack follows an incredibly customer-centric policy with fair warranty terms, great customer support, and even free shipping on select models.


Proform

Proform is one of the top exercise bike brands

While Proform isn't exactly an age-old player in the exercise bike market, the brand is owned by Icon Health & Fitness, which is also known as Weslo.

Founded in 1977, this parent company just so happens to be one of the most reputable fitness equipment manufacturers in the market. They largely specialize in treadmills and ellipticals, providing off-label models for some of the best-known brands in the industry.

And it's fair to say that their bikes don't fall short of their awesome reputation in any way. In short, their equipment has always exceeded most options in the same category and has garnered quite a devoted owner following in the process. Full-body workout machines, cardio machines, any other type of equipment, they have it.


Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo Fitness is one of the top exercise bike brands

While Wahoo Fitness is a relatively new company to enter the world of interactive fitness equipment, having only been around since 2009 - that's something they really honed in on and polished to an impressive extent.

Unlike some of the other fitness equipment manufacturer's we've covered so far, Wahoo Fitness markets itself as a fitness tech company. This is due to the fact that their stellar technological platform is ever-present throughout their entire portfolio.

However, they're not lacking in the hardware department either, offering some of the best feature kits and hardware configuration with the range of gear they retail.

And here's a cool fact - Wahoo Fitness are also the folks behind SufferFest and Speedplay, as well as the popular ELEMNT cycling computer which equips cyclists with a powerful and precise GPS and fitness console while they're cycling outdoors.

All in all, they're a great brand with an even more stellar reputation!


Common Questions Most Beginners Have About Virtual Training

Let's face it - no one likes to jump into a whole new thing and get totally blindsided by something they just didn't know ahead of time. And that's why most of us spend so much time in order to research every little detail we care about prior to making any sort of a concrete decision.

So to help you get answers to some of the burning questions that you may have about the virtual training sub-world of indoor cycling, let's go over some of the most frequently asked questions that I've been sent by other readers in recent times.


What Is The Difference Between Virtual Training & Virtual Courses?

First and foremost, to really get a definitive answer to this question - let's take a look at the difference between training and courses as a whole.

In general, courses imply that there's some sort of learning going on in order to develop a foundation for certain skills.

On the other hand, training involves taking that foundation that you've built with courses and extending upon it in order to refine your skills, taking them to the next level, up to the point of mastery.

And when it comes to the world of indoor cycling and plugging the whole "virtual" bit into the equation - these definitions still stick.

Virtual courses will help you build a strong foundation as a cyclist, whether you're planning to take your passion outdoors down the line or exercise from the comfort of your home. On the other hand, virtual training will help you refine individual skills, or develop your foundation as a whole in order to become a more apt cyclist.

In this context, typically courses would come in the form of guided lessons or classes of some sorts, whereas training would be slightly less interactive as it comes in the form of pre-programmed challenges, intervals, and laps.


Which Virtual Course Platform Is The Best?

When it comes to picking out the best platform for virtual courses, I started by picking out a few areas, which I'd rate each platform on.

Here are some of the criteria I had in mind:

  • The amount of course material offered.
  • The depth of course material covered.
  • How interactive was it?
  • Overall production quality.
  • Instructor engagement.
  • Time-schedule flexibility.
  • The overall user experience factor.

So, by my books, the perfect virtual course platform would offer a wealth of engaging and in-depth interactive courses, guided by engaging instructors. And obviously enough, the platform should be user-friendly, intuitive, inviting, diverse, and accommodate for diverse schedules of availability to be the best fit for a broad range of cyclists.

Among all of the apps and platforms that we looked at earlier, I've got to call Peloton the winner here!

This is due to the fact that their platform checked off pretty much every single criterion that I set out for it. From the incredibly intuitive and user-friendly interface to the wealth of courses and programs available, and the fact that classes are live-streamed from their NYC studio around the clock by absolutely fantastic instructors.


What's The Best Bike For A Beginner?

If you're just getting started with indoor cycling and virtual training, the best bike you could pick up as a beginner would probably be the MYX.

It packs many of the same features you'd see in "top of the line models" like the Peloton, at a much more affordable price point.


Do These Virtual Training Programs Offer Both Live & Pre-Recorded Options?

Whether or not both live and pre-recorded programs are offered depends largely on the app or platform at hand.

For example, Peloton, Echelon Fit, and a few others offer both pre-recorded training modules, as well as around-the-clock live instructor-guided spin classes that you can take part in.

This makes it easier for you to take classes on your own schedule, or follow programs along at your own pace.


Will There Be Other People In The Live Virtual Training Classes?

When it comes to adding a social aspect to virtual training, it also simply depends on the app or platform at hand. Certain platforms like Peloton put a heavy accent on the fact that you're not just in a live class, but you're exercising along with other participants by promoting competition through leaderboards and class scores.

On the other hand, other apps that deal more with pre-recorded materials allow you to follow along individually without adding any sort of social component or interaction to the entire workout experience.

Related Readings:

Kira

A fitness enthusiast who likes to research and write about fitness, exercises, and strength training topics. I've always been curious about how the human body works and how to reach the highest physical potential possible and having a great looking body in the process.