Fitness Tips

Nordictrack vs Peloton vs Bowflex; Models, Features, Specs… The Ultimate Showdown

At-home workouts have always been a trend, but thanks to the pandemic and the constant lockdowns we’ve had to go through in the past two years.

Without the gym available, Many people stopped workout for six months to a year.

The shift to working out indoors has led to a significant increase in demand for indoor exercise and cycling in particular.

Whoever thought exercising at apartment home gym would become the answer to both people’s boredom at home and to have a better chance at surviving a deadly viral infection?

And thanks to this, a space saver exercise bike began to become a staple in many home gym setups.

While combining rowing and cycling can make your home gym setup the best it can be.

Hyper bikes can be a great alternative to outdoor cycling – you still get the same healthy benefits without having to worry about the weather or road bumps since you’re cycling at the comfort of your home. 

And if you’re on the lookout for a smart exercise bike today, you’re in luck because I’ve done the research so you don’t have to!

I’ve narrowed down your choices down to three of the best brands with topnotch smart exercise bikes available in the market today.

However… if you’re still on the fence on whether you SHOULD be getting a smart exercise bike or not, let me convince you with three big reasons on you should invest in one:

3 Reasons Why You Should Own A Smart Exercise Bike

Smart exercise bikes are not just stationary machines that let you pedal in place. Here’s why:

Weight Loss

An exercise bike is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight

Today, indoor cycling is considered one of the best home exercises to reduce belly fat for females. While you likely won't feel the burn cycling at an average pace, you can incorporate intense interval training to increase your metabolism. (1)

Having an exercise bike at home provides you with a training setup that’s just waiting for you to put on your runners and hop on it to workout.

This helps you to develop discipline and have a regular exercise routine. (2)

Combining a regular exercise routine like cycling with a healthy foods leads to losing weight and keeping it off. (3)

Ease on the joints

For those recovering from knee replacement surgery, an exercise bike is an excellent piece of equipment to aid in rehabilitation

Impactful activities like running, jogging, and playing team sports can be tough on your joints.

If you’re someone who’s prone to knee injuries or have had knee surgery before, exercise bikes for knee replacement rehab would be a great piece of exercise equipment for you. (4)


With a smart exercise bike, you gain the convenience and flexibility of working out on your own schedule.

For one, having a smart exercise bike gives you the advantage of working out whenever you can! Rain or shine, you can use it at the comfort of your home, you can even stream shows while riding a smart exercise bike.

Smart exercise bikes with virtual courses can also give you outdoor biking feels by letting you adjust the resistance level and some even offer an incline/decline feature.

Two, smart exercise bikes have features that help you track your progress while having fun. Depending on the smart bike you get, you can choose from an abundance of pre-made workouts or hook it up to a third-party training app such as apptiv or peloton. (2)

Those are just one of the many advantages of having a smart exercise bike. As a matter of fact, BetterHealth Channel states that cycling is mainly an aerobic activity–which means that you will breathe more deeply, sweat more, and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level. (5)

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump right in and take a look at this year’s frontrunners: Nordictrack, Bowflex, and Peloton.


Nordictrack offers a range of high-quality exercise bikes, designed with the latest technology to deliver an effective and comfortable fitness experience.

Nordictrack is a company renowned to be a crafter of the best cardio equipment to lose weight and build toned body in the fitness industry. They’ve since expanded from making incredible treadmills to providing users with best commercial ellipticals, budget rowing machines, and exercise bikes. (6)

During my first round of researching about the best exercise bikes, Nordictrack’s indoor cycling bikes quickly caught my eye thanks to their big display screens that’s touch-enabled (goodbye, clunky buttons!) and being able to connect to the internet.

We’ll be covering their two best selling studio cycle bikes, the S221i and the s15i.

S22i vs. S15i

Keep in mind the features and benefits that the S221i and s15i from Nordictrack have to offer - both are popular options for an effective and comfortable workout experience

In terms of pricing, Nordictrack S15i is slightly cheaper than the S22i, with a $300 difference between them. The S15i will cost you around $1599, while the S22i is priced at $1899.

Both have a 30-day iFit trial subscription that elevates your interactive training; your iFit personal trainer will automatically adjust the resistance level and incline. 

The S15i and S22i also have internet connectivity and can access google maps, letting you cycle all over the world without having to leave home.

The real major differences you’ll find between the two are the number of resistance levels and the size of the screen. (7)

NordicTrack S15i

NordicTrack S22i

22 Resistance Levels

24 Resistance Levels

14-inch HD Touchscreen Screen Swivels 360°

22-inch HD Touchscreen Screen Swivels 360°

Another difference which may or may not be a dealbreaker (it really depends on your preference) is that the S15i doesn’t have a USB and HDMI port unlike the S22i. (8)

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind a smaller touchscreen, you might want to check out Nordictrack’s S15i. But if budget is not a question and you prefer to challenge yourself with stronger resistance training then S22i may be the way to go.


The Bowflex brand provides an impressive selection of high-quality equipment, ranging from home gyms to adjustable dumbbells and cardio machines

Since 1986, Bowflex has been a pioneer in providing innovative at-home workout equipment that caters to a wide audience – from professional athletes to the stay-at-home parents with the same goal: to be fit for life. (9)

We’ll be looking at two of their exercise bikes, the C6 and the Velocore.

Bowflex's C6 and Velocore models provide users with an immersive, interactive training experience

While both models offer users interactive training, there are significant differences between the two models in terms of their mode, display, connectivity, resistance, and heart rate monitoring feature.

A few of these that definitely stand out:

Bowflex C6

Bowflex Velocore

Stationary Mode only

Stationary and Leaning Mode

Backlit LCD Metric Console

High-Definition Touchscreen

Bluetooth Only

Has Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity

No JRNY App Connectivity

Has Access to JRNY App

Bluetooth-enabled HR Armband

Integrated Contact Grips Together With Bluetooth-enabled HR Armbands

The C6 only has a single mode, which is the traditional stationary bike mode while the Velocore has a new and innovative feature–the leaning mode.  

Velocore’s leaning mode is a huge game changer as it lets users tilt from side to side to give them an immersive experience. It may not be much of a tilt like in outdoor cycling but the leaning mode feature is effective in developing core strength.

Your progress stats show on the backlit LCD for the C6 and you’d have to connect to your tablet or phone through bluetooth to use a training app.

On the other hand, Velocore offers users a high-definition display touchscreen and can connect directly to Bowflex’s JRNY app or to your preferred training app through wifi.

You could say the C6 is a much more traditional and basic type of exercise bike compared to the innovative Velocore, and their prices reflect that, too.

The C6 would cost you only $999 whereas you’d have to pay around $1,699 to $2,199 for the Velocore. The Velocore gives you two options: a the 16-inch model and the 22-inch model. This means, comparing the Bowflex C6 with either the Keiser M3i or Schwinn IC4 is a better comparison than comparing it to the Velocore.

The Velocore would be a great choice for riders who want to get more core twists in their workout with lean mode and if they’re looking for a more convenient way to connect directly to online training apps. (10)


Peloton allows users to enjoy an effective workout experience that fits into their lifestyle

Peloton Interactive (Peloton for brevity) may be the youngest and newest company compared to its alternatives to enter the indoor cycling industry, but thanks to its die-hard “Peloton Community” and multi-functional Peloton App, it looks like everyone’s got a Peloton.

Peloton’s mission is to bring immersive and challenging workouts that’re more accessible, affordable and efficient into everyone’s lives, most especially to those who can’t get to workout classes because of their demanding jobs and busy families.

Not only does Peloton create amazing fitness requirements, but the brand is also known for its quality apparel. (11)

Peloton offers two exercise bikes: the original Peloton Bike and their newest addition, the Peloton Bike+.

The Peloton Bike+ provides users with an upgraded experience compared to the original Peloton Bike

Peloton recently reduced the price for its original bike to $1,445 from $2,245 Which is quite a steal. On the other hand, the Peloton Bike+ costs $2,495.

Frankly speaking, both peloton bike and bike plus look and feel similar, and offer a lot of high-quality features despite the wide price difference between the two.

Both bikes are stable, have pretty much the same parameters and accessories, and have Wifi connectivity.

However, the Bike+ has a lot of upgrades that justifies the huge price difference. A few of these are the clip-on pedal cages that help secure and keep your feet in place, a wider HD touchscreen with a front soundbar, and a flatter top bar for wider span. (12) 

Check out this quick comparison for both Peloton bikes so you’ll have a better idea:

Peloton Bike

Peloton Bike+

Screen tilts to accommodate different heights

Rotating screen with 360 degree of movement to seamlessly adjust from cycling to strength, yoga and more

21.5” HD touchscreen

23.8” HD, anti-reflective touchscreen

Resistance knob for manual control

Resistance knob with auto-resistance option

Apple GymKit™ integration

Dimensions: 59"L x 53"H x 23"W

Dimensions: 59"L x 59"H x 22"W

Weight: 135lb

Weight: 140lb

Power: 100V to 240V, 50Hz to 60Hz, 1.2 A Max

Power: 100V to 240V, 50Hz to 60Hz, 3.25 A Max

Resistance: Magnetic with mechanical adjustment

Resistance: Magnetic with digital adjustment

10-point Multitouch Touchscreen

10-point Multitouch Touchscreen

Reduced-reflective and anti-smudge coating

2.0GHz Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor

2.5GHz Qualcomm QCS605 processor



16GB internal flash storage

16GB internal flash storage

2 Channel back-facing stereo speaker system with 16 watts of total power

2.2-Channel front-facing stereo speakers with 26 watts of total power and 2.2 rear-facing woofers

USB microport

USB-C charging port for devices

5 megapixel front-facing camera

8 megapixel front-facing camera with privacy cover

While both models have a resistance knob for manual control, the Bike+ has an added auto-resistance option which automatically changes your resistance to match instructors’ cues.

The change in the Bike+’s top handlebars makes them more comfortable for users as it gives them the option to widen or narrow down their grips. The flat top handlebar also provides more space for the screen to rotate.

While both models have all-access to Peloton classes and workouts, the upgrades on the Bike+ make your indoor cycling experience more comfortable and appealing.

Although whichever Peloton bike you do choose, I guarantee that both enhance your engagement in cycling thanks to a ton of motivating instructors and varied workouts you can choose from no matter your level of fitness. (13)

If budget is an issue and you don’t mind missing out on the new upgrades, settling for the original Bike would be a good option.

Conclusion - Making the Perfect Choice!

I’m not afraid to admit that I personally had a difficult time choosing the right one for me since Peloton, Bowflex C6 and Nordictrack offer high-end and hard-to-beat features.

All three are proud to claim that they provide excellent value and that their equipment provides users with a more comfortable and engaging experience than the other brands.

However, the best exercise bike for you would highly depend on budget aside from personal preference.

If you’re not too concerned about budget then the key is to look for the one that will give you the kind of experience that’ll satisfy you to the core – are you looking to connect with a community while working out?

Do you want more of an outdoor cycling feel? Or are you just looking to make cycling a habit?

From a personal standpoint, price may not be an important factor to consider altogether since all three brands have a similar price range (except for Bowflex’s C6), so it all boils down to what features you would want to give more priority.

Whether it’s the rotating screen, the ability to stream other apps while working out, a lean feature to get more extra core work in, or even small upgrades like USB charging ports.

Have you had any riding experience with exercise bikes from these brands? Which do you think would fit you and your workout style?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page