The Expresso Bike is the most expensive fitness bike in the world. It took the benchmark set by competitors and blew it out of the park.
But, a pragmatic user could argue that the price tag doesn’t justify the features on offer, particularly when one compares it with the competition.
The most obvious contender is the Peloton Bike, which for years was the undisputed leader in interactive fitness bikes. The big draw of Peloton remains the in-studio guided classes and a swanky new console, which are undeniably fun.
But is that enough to retain the top spot in burgeoning market for interactive bikes?
For one, Peloton does appear a little dated in the current scheme of things.
That’s why we decided to do a one-on-one comparison. Expresso Bike vs. Peloton, which one wins the battle and why? You will get all the answers today. So stay tuned.
What Is the Expresso Bike?
The Expresso Go Upright Fitness Bike is an interactive training bike that features a 26.5” HD, touchscreen console, a cloud-based training program and more customization options than any other bike.
Expresso also manufactures a recumbent bike by the way. But we are going to focus on the Upright, which is the more popular model.
The Expresso Bike is a game changer in interactive training. It introduces a lot of best-in-class features. One of them is the gaming module which is an innovative and highly addictive way to get started with HIIT training.
The second is the automated resistance system, which adjusts the 30-resistance levels automatically depending on the grade of the trail. This allows you to train solo without the need for a trainer remotely connecting to the bike and adjusting resistance. Even if you are not in an on-demand class, and you want to stay focused on the intensity, the bike does the rest. Hands-off training!
We have an in-depth review of the Expresso bike you can check it here.
What Is the Peloton Bike?
The Peloton Bike is the ‘Lamborghini’ of the fitness bike world, or the “Netflix for fitness,” as it is often called. The brand is credited with bringing interactive, trainer-guided fitness classes into our homes.
Over the years, the bikes have evolved, bringing in new features, and with it, the community of peloton users have burgeoned.
Today, the Peloton Bike is more about the community vibe than the actual fancy features that led the initial surge in sales.
The newest avatar is called Peloton Bike Plus and differs from the original Peloton in it features a 23” HD smart touch screen, a digital resistance knob which Peloton calls ‘Auto Follow’, a front facing camera and a few other cosmetic upgrades.
The big draw though, still is Peloton’s instructor led classes which are a hybrid of spinning meets HIIT. The trainers are some of the best in the industry and that’s partly the reason for the community’s success.
The Best Features of the Expresso Bike
What are the features that make the Expresso Bike so popular despite the price tag? Well, there are a lot of things that make the bike a superior choice as compared to Peloton.
The 26.5” Touchscreen Console
Interactive fitness is all about being up and close to the action. Regardless of whether you are following an instructor in an on-demand class, or rushing down a scenic trail in the Norwegian Fjords, a large HD screen is a key part of the immersive experience, most bikes coming out now have a screen even the affordable options. Expresso boasts of a 26.5” HD screen which is 3” bigger than the Peloton Bike Plus. While that may not sound like a huge difference at first, it really does make the workouts ‘pop’.
Moving Handlebars & Auto Resistance
Expresso Bike has always claimed that it offers a ‘realistic’ ride that can be compared to riding in the real world. Part of that stems from the moving handlebars. Essentially, moving the handlebars to the left or right helps you change directions on the trail. To add to this, there’s the automated magnetic resistance system which kicks-in depending on the grade of the trail. So, if you are climbing up a mountain slope, the resistance increases and reduces when you descend. You can of course, manually override this too.
Expresso does not shoehorn you into subscribing or buying proprietary parts. Everything from the saddle to the pedals can be swapped with aftermarket options. Not that the stock saddle is too bad to begin with. It comes with the‘Velo Plush Gel Saddle’. Also, there are 9-horizontal-adjustable positions, and 20-height positions, that works for riders who are 5’ to 6’4. So it’s aimed at family use.
The Best Features of The Peloton Bike Plus
The Bike Plus almost manages to match the Expresso Bike in terms of bells and whistles. But there are a few caveats. Some of these might be deal breakers to the premium end user who seeks the best in-class tech.
360-degree rotatable 23.5” HD Screen
We mentioned the 360-degree rotation up-front because Peloton has been consciously making an effort to offer more wholesome workout options that are not limited to the bike. They have Yoga classes for instance. The rotating screen with the anti-glare coating allows you to hop off the bike without compromising on visibility. In terms of size, the Expresso is a clear winner though.
There was a common gripe with the original Peloton Bike that the data that it collected was often way off the mark. The Bike Plus practically erases that concern. It is electronically calibrated and definitely more stable than the previous iteration.
Auto Follow allows one of Peloton’s instructors to remotely connect to the bike and alter the resistance. While this feature is currently offered only in Peloton’s Live Classes, it is aimed at athletes who want to focus on the workouts without messing around with buttons. That said, this requires access to Live Classes. If you are training solo, you cannot use this feature which limits its functionality.
Expresso Bike’s Fitness Program – eLive Plus
They say that an interactive, stationary bike is only as good as the fitness program it comes bundled with.
- Expresso Bike features eLive Plus, a feature-rich program with tons of options. There are 300+ miles of biking trails ranging from mountains to deserts and even outer space.
- You can participate 43-different tours ranging from 1 to 20 miles in distance.
- As of now, eLive plus offers 10-on-demand classes. But the catalog is steadily expanding and newer classes are added each week
- There’s a gaming module which lets you hop into a virtual video game world, or worlds for that matter. There are 3 worlds, each one with 3 maps to choose from. The worlds are called Treasure World, Dragon world & Explorer world. In total, that’s 9-maps that you have to conquer.
- eLive Plus allows you to participate in custom group rides with your friends, buddies or other Expresso bike users. Up to 32 users can participate in a single group ride.
- One of the best features is the Ghost Ride. This allows you to compete against your previous best, rather than competing against a buddy, or a random stranger. If your previous best was say 12 Miles in 30 minutes, you can compete with your own ghost and try to better the performance.
- eLive Plus also offers leaderboards and challenges. There are 243 time and discipline combinations to be precise.
- While studio classes are not its USP, Expresso Bike does offer a fair bit of in-studio content. The classes are conducted in Studio SWEAT, by Cat Kom, an ACE (American Council of Exercise) certified fitness instructor.
Overall, eLive Plus offers enough variety and interactive content to keep even the most discerning user engrossed. Mundanity or boredom will not be one of the reasons for you to pass over the Expresso Bike.
Peloton’s fitness program is hands down, the most popular one in the industry. It boasts of some of the best instructors and has an in-studio focus, more than outdoor trail simulation. So when it comes to getting a bike with virtual courses the peloton bike with peloton digital is ahead of the pack.
- You get more live class options which is obvious because Peloton’s core business model has always focused on instructor-guided workouts.
- 10-Types of Workouts on offer beyond spinning. Peloton has been constantly upgrading their workout options and trying to shake off the ‘stationary bike’ image. They want to be called a full-fledged fitness station instead. So, apart from spin classes, there’s Yoga, indoor running, walking, HITT cardio, outdoor running, strength training & boot camp classes. Let’s face it. We all get bored after a while no matter how scenic the trail is. Peloton lets you hop off that bike and still meet your calorie-burn goal.
- We really like the guided outdoor walks, which are audio only. You can plug in your ear pods and the instructor guides you on the tempo for the workout.
- Peloton lets you select your class of choice by duration and even the kind of music. So, if you do not have 45-minutes to spare, but still want to clock your time, pick a shorter and more intense class.
- When you subscribe to the Peloton fitness app, you can stream your classes anywhere. This means that you are not bound to the bike anymore.
How Much Does E Live Plus Cost?
eLive Plus is priced approximately at $400/year, provided you subscribe for 3-years at a time.
That averages to $34/month, which if compared with standard rates in the industry is expensive.
Besides there’s always the possibility that you might not like the program. Your choices are to opt for the monthly pricing model which is more than $34/month.
How Much Does Peloton Digital Cost?
Peloton digital costs $12.99/mo. That’s about 75% cheaper than eLive Plus. The key difference is that you don’t have as many outdoor trails to choose from. You will be spending more time in studio classes guided by instructors.
But don’t forget that there are 10-types of workout classes to choose from. So, there’s definitely no dearth of variety with Peloton digital either.
The Key Differences in the two bikes
All said and done, what are the important differences in these two bikes in terms of tech and features? Here’s what.
Both bikes feature laser cut carbon steel frames. These are lightweight but very durable. There are no complaints of wobble or the frame groaning under the weight of the user. Both bikes are also height adjustable and allow you to swap the pedal as well as the saddle.
The Bike Plus features a 23.5” HD screen that can be rotated 360-degrees, whereas Expresso Bike features a 26.5” screen that’s not rotatable.
Both bikes feature automated resistance adjustment. But it has to be remotely controlled by a trainer in the Peloton bike, whereas it is fully automated in Expresso Bike. Also, Expresso Bike offers 30-levels of resistance, which is more than what you get with Peloton.
Outdoor Ride Simulation
Peloton’s Bike Plus does not claim to simulate an outdoor bike ride. So it’s a standard, stationary bike workout. But with Expresso Bike, you get moving handlebars and automated resistance adjustment, which is more real-life-like.
The Peloton Bike Plus is currently priced at $2495 and the original Peloton bike is priced at $1895. When I first knew that; I was like, this is an expensive bike there must be more affordable alternatives, right? the Peloton is pretty expensive right?, wait till you hear this. The Expresso Bike is priced at $7000 on an average. You might be able to pick it up for almost 60% of that cost from some online retailers. But if you buy from the official website, that’s the price. That’s almost 3x as expensive as the Bike Plus.
Peloton Bike Plus comes with a 5-year warranty on frame. In addition to this, you get 12-months for the HD console, the bike parts and components and labor. That’s on par with the other competitors. Expresso Bike though offers a poor warranty in comparison. Its two years on bike parts and the HD console. But only a year for labor. You also get 90-days of warranty for general wear and tear after installation. They don’t mention anything about warranty on the frame. But what’s worse is that the warranty is connected to your eLive Plus subscription. If at any point of time during the warranty period, you discontinue your eLive Plus subscription, the warranty remains voided.
Expresso Bike Vs. Peloton – Our Final Thoughts
The Peloton Bike Plus is crammed to the brim with bells and whistles. But it lacks the interactivity options that you get with the Expresso Bike.
If you train solo and prefer scenic trails as opposed to in-studio classes, the Expresso might be a good choice for you. But can you swallow that steep price tag? If you are just a beginner looking for a bike and you had to choose between the two, the Peloton might be the better option for you.
If you are willing to overlook the automated resistance and the outdoor trails, you get an equally good choice in the Peloton Bike Plus, for almost 75% cheaper.
- Peloton vs. Bowflex C6 – Which Exercise Bike Is Better?
- Echelon EX3 vs. Peloton – Which Interactive Training Bike Is Better?
- Aaptiv vs. Peloton: Which Fitness App is Best?
- Zwift Stationary Spin Bikes – Best Exercise Bikes w/ Full Compatibility & Capability
- Elliptigo 8c Review & Comparison – Best Outdoor Elliptical Bike for the Money?