The way we see it, there’s only one good thing that has resulted from Peloton tooting its horn all over social media with targeted advertorials.
It has enticed a lot of people to get their lazy assess off their couches and get exercising.
We have to hand it over to their marketing team for that.
Them cute ads do make you want to shell out two grand for that indoor exercise bike, don’t they?
But if you put your impulses aside and take a closer look at Peloton from a more pragmatic lens, then you’d be quick to realize that it’s just another overpriced stationary bike in fancy packaging.
Is it smart and advanced and one of the best that you can buy? Yes.
But so are a lot of Peloton alternatives that don’t cost half as much.
Is it interactive? Yes, but again there are several substitutes that are just as interactive.
Clearly there are cheaper Peloton Substitutes that give you more bang for your buck and here I have personally listed the best ones.
Oh wait, I think I jumped the gun a bit?
Just in case you are new to the Peloton Bike Fad, then let me (us - girlfriend and I) back up a little and give you an overview of the reason for our rant here.
What is Peloton?
Peloton Interactive Inc. is an American company that manufactures home gym equipment - mainly exercise bikes (mainly the Peloton Bike & Bike Plus) and professional treadmills - and then up sells a whole bunch of live and recorded videos that you can stream through their equipment.
They also have a fitness app to boot.
Wait, that sounds a little harsh.
Peloton has been around for seven years after all and have quickly risen to become market leaders in the whole ‘workout-at-home’ space.
Their rise to fame can largely be credited to their flagship product, the Peloton Indoor Spin bike.
Ever since Peloton sold their first bike, the company has steadily grown by over 200% each year.
Sales did dip momentarily in 2019.
But the recent situation has rejuvenated the brand with sales jumping up by 66% as gyms shut down, and people were looking for ways to stave off them calories while staying at home.
Lastly, there’s no denying that Peloton boasts of a cult following on social media.
Their loyal customer base includes people from all spheres of life, right from college students to busy moms to housewives looking to lose a few inches off their waist.
We recently read about this Copywriter who drove for 7-hours to attend one of their in-studio classes. Jeez!
Like we said right at the onset, they certainly have managed to motivate a lot of people to get fitter.
Coming back to the Peloton Exercise bike, it has been all over social media off late.
Even if you are remotely connected to the fitness space or are interested in staying fit or like watching workout videos on Instagram, then chances are that one of their ads have popped up on your feed.
For the uninitiated, the Peloton bike is an indoor stationary bike with a large touchscreen console attached to it.
The console is fairly limited in what it can do, considering that it cannot be used to browse the internet or watch your favorite shows.
It only lets you stream live or on-demand cycling classes on the Peloton App.
That’s where some of the criticism surrounding the bike stems from.
But do note - the whole point of buying a Peloton bike is essentially so you can enroll in the live training and interactive classes that they provide - there's something about exercise bikes with virtual courses that just sets them a class above the rest.
So searching the internet is not a super feature that I or anybody really needs on an exercise bike.
Cost of a Peloton Bike & Monthly Live Class Membership Cost
The Peloton Bike is a stationary indoor exercise bike with premium aesthetics and a beefy construction to boot.
It is made ground up from a carbon and steel frame and boasts of a weighted flywheel that allows you to select the resistance that you need for a great workout. It needs to be installed at home (can be in an apartment gym, a basement gym, in the garage, or any other workout room) and it weighs a meaty 150 lbs. when assembled.
On the front of the bike, you have a 22-inch full HD monitor that runs a custom Android Peloton OS. It has a web camera integrated into it and twin speakers on the side that are extremely loud for a pair of stock speakers.
Sadly, that just about sums up the good things that we have to say about it.
And although, yes this bike will give you the oh-so-desired things you need for functional-interactive-live-in-home training (mouthful) you have to keep in mind one thing...
It costs a whopping $2245.
That’s difficult to fathom for what’s really just a hyped-up spin bike at best.
The handlebar doesn’t move forward and backwards. You can only move it up and down for adjustments.
Moreover, the entire bike is designed as an upsell machine starting from the custom cleats you need in order to spin.
These are called LOOK Delta cleats and they feature three pairs of grooves that will latch-on to the pedal.
Peloton’s branded ones will set you back by $125, but you can get an aftermarket pair for $100.
Oh, we almost forgot the mat that’s conveniently ‘not’ included in the package. That’s an additional $59 to the cost, without which you’ll be left with a badly scuffed floor.
Last but not the least, we have the coup-de-grace, the recurring $39 monthly fee for the Live and on-demand spinning classes.
There are up to 5000 on-demand, recorded classes and up to 14 live classes streamed each day from Peloton’s monolith studio in NYC.
And hey, that part, the whole $39 dollar fee thing, is actually a really good deal and provides a ton of value.. But guess what, you can enroll in this same thing without having to buy a Peloton bike.
The Peloton alternative bikes I have down below are all equipped and able to enroll in either Peloton's interactive training classes or IFit's interactive classes.
I personally like IFit even better. But this is besides the point, Peloton does offer an insane value.
Peloton’s licensed Spin Instructors are the ones that run these classes. When you sign up for Peloton, you can opt for live interactive training with the instructors or you also always have the option to run one of the recorded classes for your daily calorie burn.
The videos vary in terms of intensity, music, tempo and of course, the instructor.
Ways to Buy the Peloton Bike
If you flinched at that $2245 price tag, you aren’t the only one to do so.
Not everybody has that kind of cash to spare, especially for an indoor exercise bike.
We sure didn't which is the whole reason I have put together this ultimate guide because we were forced to do an insane amount of research to try and find the best alternative to the Peloton bike.
But when Peloton went public last year, it had 511,000 subscribers and a 95% retention rate.
So what gives? How the heck are so many people able to afford to pay this much?
Well it's because the brand has made it possible to own Peloton bike for as little as $58 a month. It has tied up with consumer finance brand ‘Affirm’ that lets you pay for the bike over 39 months at 0% APR.
If you add the $39 for the monthly live classes, then it adds up to less than $100 a month.
If you are already spending more than that taking spinning lessons, then does the Peloton sound like a more viable choice given the current circumstances?
Add to that the cost of driving down in bottle neck traffic and suddenly, you are thinking that the Peloton isn’t that bad a choice at all.
Still - we did not have the money to rake out for a Peloton bike.
Cost of Monthly Live Class Enrollment
The big draw of Peloton is the ‘live streaming’ as well as recorded classes that you can watch on-demand, on the touchscreen console.
There is an alternative of course.
You can subscribe to the Peloton App and stream the videos on your portable device, which you can use with any stationary indoor bike.
However, the app does not show you the cycling metrics, which curtails the whole smart cycle experience.
So in order to get the full experience you have to have an interactive training bike like the ones in my list below.
On the other hand, even if you just get a regular indoor bike (like the Bowflex C6 or Keiser M3i, for instance) and you enroll for the classes and decide to spend the additional $39 a month, you get access to over 5000 videos, and you can take a pick from one of the 20 spinning trainers who have become quasi-celebrities in the cycling community.
Still a good deal with a regular exercise bike - but far from ideal.
You can also get enrolled into the 550,000 strong Peloton member community where you can check leaderboards, make friends, cycle with your buddies and compare stats.
In fact, the leaderboard is one of the biggest motivators, even in live Peloton classes, where hundreds of participants can compete at the same time. Imagine the adrenaline rush as you compete with a hundred others to get to the finishing point in record time.
All said and done, for what it does offer, Peloton’s net cost is steep and it’s certainly not viable for everybody.
The Effort and Research that Went Into Finding the Best Alternatives to Peloton
When Peloton arrived on the home-fitness scene in 2014, they were the only serious brand out there.
But more recently, interactive workout brands are dime a dozen.
Moreover, a lot of fitness buffs have realized that you don’t necessarily need to spend close to $3k upfront to get started with indoor biking.
There are much cheaper and equally good, if not better, Peloton alternatives out there.
I have previously compared the Peloton bike to other similar cardio machines in the market. And as you can see in our Expresso Bike Vs Peloton, Echelon EX3 Vs Peloton, Peloton vs Nordictrack vs Bowflex, and Schwinn IC3 & IC4 Vs Peloton comparisons, Peloton isn't the be-all-end-all option.
That’s what got us digging deeper into it, it took us about two weeks of research to come up with this list.
Guess what? We found not one, but 8 exercise bikes that offer a Peloton-like experience.
Some of these are so feature-rich that you’d be hard pressed to find a better pick for the price.
Also, if you are hung up over the Peloton live videos, then remember that you can always sign up for the Peloton app and stream the videos to your iPad.
You can work out with any indoor space saving exercise bike that fits in your home gym and is smack bang within your budget. Take your pick from our best Peloton alternatives listed below.
Best Peloton Alternative Bikes
Editors Choice - Best Peloton Alternative Bike
- Best Bang For Buck Overall Peloton Substitute Bike
- 1-year iFit membership included
- $1000 lesser than the Peloton bike
- Even better than the Peloton bike
- Comes with Ifit interactive training - just like Peloton's but better
- Comes with two dumbbells
- Commercial Steel frame
- 350 lbs. capacity
- 22-inch touchscreen console
- 20% Incline
- 24-digital resistance levels
NordicTrack S22i with Ifit Review
The Nordic Track S22i is our favorite Peloton Substitute that costs a fraction less than Peloton’s famed indoor spin bike.
It offers a lot more in terms of workout options since it comes bundled with iFit, which gives you on-demand, full-body workouts as opposed to just spinning lessons in a studio.
I have kicked the tires on the Peloton, Nordicktrack and Echelon before, and I loved the S22i more.
The S22i has a compact form factor, comes with thickly-padded, adjustable handlebars and seat, an incline and decline setting for increasing resistance and two dumbbells that you can use while you pedal, as sort of a hybrid workout.
On the front of the bike, you have a 22-inch touchscreen console that rotates 360-degrees for convenience, and are paired with two speakers on the rear.
If none of those features sound like differentiators, then here’s the big winner.
Comes with iFit, Better than Peloton Live Training Class
The S22i comes bundled with iFit, which is one of the most popular on-demand workout apps.
This is the training that I was talking about. I prefer this over Peloton's interactive training.
It gives you access to thousands of trainer-led in-studio classes (like Peloton) or trainer-led destination workouts.
It’s the latter that excites us more than anything else. Imagine being trained by an Olympian gold medalist as you cycle down an idyllic mountain trail in Norway. Or in Switzerland.
Agreed that the most you can see is the rear of their helmets. But it certainly beats a bunch of sweaty people spinning in a studio, doesn’t it?
Also, iFit is constantly adding to their catalog of workouts filmed in some of the most amazing destinations in the world.
Oh yeah, and more live classes are also on the cards as iFit is revamping in a big way this year.
The destination classes take it up a notch folks. It’s also compatible with Google Maps that allow you to work out almost anywhere in the world.
Cost of this Bike - Cheaper than Peloton Bike
The Nordic Track S22i costs advertised on Nordictrack.com is $1999, which is almost $1000 less than the cost for a Peloton Bike for the first year. (Adding the annual cost for the monthly classes, the sneakers and the mat).
That’s savings right there for you.
Also, there’s no up-sell here. You don’t have to buy a pair of fancy cleats or a fancy mat even in order just to get started.
In fact, it comes bundled with a mat that you can use for the full body workouts.
However, considering that $2k still isn’t exactly cheap, NordicTrack does provide you an easy financing option at 0% APR for 12, 26 and 39 months.
You also have an option to buy the bike through the NordicTrack Financing program where no interest will be charged if you make the payment within 18-months.
Cost of iFit Live Training
The icing on the cake though, is that the Nordic Track S22i comes with a one-year iFit membership.
That’s worth $468. Once your annual membership is exhausted, iFit comes at a reasonable $15/month for individuals, which is less than 50% the cost for Peloton’s live classes.
#2 - Bowflex C6
Most Cost Effective Alternative Connects With Peloton Training Classes & Zwift
- Connects with Peloton Interactive Training
- Connects with Zwift Interactive Gaming
- Most Fun Bike to Ride
- Best Exercise Bike for Beginners
- Sturdy steel construction
- Backlit console for metrics
- Twin pedals with toe cages
- Magnetic resistance with up to 100 micro adjustments to the resistance levels
- Connects with Peloton, Zwift and Explore the World™
- Comes with a pair of 3 lbs. dumbells
- Priced at less than 50% of the cost of Peloton
Bowflex C6 Review
At just $950 upfront, the Bowflex C6 clubs affordability with a laundry list of features that are enough to give Peloton some serious competition.
I also took the time to share my honest head-to-head comparison of the Peloton and Bowflex C6 with you guys.
It has a beefy frame, adjustable magnetic resistance up to 100 levels, adjustable handlebars (moves forward and backwards too) and seat, two water bottle holders and a large tablet holder in place of the giant 22-inch touchscreen console.
Isn’t the console the big draw of Peloton?
Well, we tend to differ.
If you can swap the console for your iPad or portable device and save yourself $1000, then why not?
Besides, the Peloton console locks you into the Peloton ecosystem. With the Bowflex C6, you have the option to run just about any fitness app of your choosing.
This exercise bike is compatible with Zwift - Explore the world - and Peloton itself, giving you way more flexibility in terms of workouts as well as the amount of cash you spend each month.
Connects with Peloton & Zwift
The Bowflex C6 is the most cost-effective Peloton substitute that we’ve come across.
It is an amazing indoor spinning bike even without any of the fancy apps and a large touchscreen slapped onto it.
But, if the motivation of a live class is something that you cannot do without, then here’s a solution.
You can subscribe for the Peloton app which costs just $12.99/mo for a single user membership that can be used from anywhere around the world. There are running classes, cycling and other outdoor activities that take away the monotony of an indoor studio. Just download the app on your tablet and use it with the Bowflex C6.
C6 is also compatible with Zwift, the massive multiplayer, online training app that’s become a rage in the cycling community. With over half a million subscribers already, it is an enormous community that takes online fitness up a few notches.
Cost of This Bike - Cheaper Than Peloton Bike
The Bowflex C6 is priced at just $950. That’s less than 50% of the price of the Peloton Bike. To add to this, there are no upsells here. No fancy cleats, no mat for the floor and certainly no recurrent monthly costs for live classes.
You also have the option to buy it at $53 a month, excluding shipping and taxes.
No interests are charged provided you pay the whole promotional amount of $949 within 18-months.
Zwift - the Interactive Workout Gaming App
Zwift is a virtual cycling and training app that allows users to train, compete and ride in an interactive, online world.
It was launched as an alternative to mundane indoor cycling and soon caught on to become this incredibly popular training program that boasts of half a million subscribers.
It syncs with a bevy of indoor cycles including the C6 and when you pedal on the trainer, you find your online avatar navigating through different worlds. Zwift also works with many treadmills, so you can run in this virtual world not just cycle.
There are seven worlds to conquer be more precise. You can do solo rides, group rides, competitive ones, time tracked ones and gain credentials in the world of Zwift, as your personal fitness improves by miles. (No pun intended)
Zwift is priced at just $14.99 per month and clearly is a better, more popular alternative to Peloton’s spinning classes.
Way more fun too - I might add.
An Even Cheaper Peloton Alternative
- 1-year iFit membership included
- Significantly Cheaper than the Peloton bike
- Still better than the Peloton bike
- Comes with Ifit interactive training - just like Peloton's but better
- Commercial-grade indoor bike
- Stainless steel construction
- 350 lbs. max capacity
- Inertia enhanced flywheel
- Silent Magnetic Resistance
- Available at just $67 a month at 0% APR
- Comes with an annual iFit membership that’s worth $468
NordicTrack Commercial S15i Review
This is a commercial-grade indoor exercise bike that is designed for both home use and commercial use.
It borrows most of the features of its more feature rich sibling.
It is made from commercial-grade stainless steel and has a 350 lbs. capacity that more than suffices for users of all ages. There’s an inertia-enhanced flywheel and Silent Magnetic Resistance, which amplifies the intensity, but keeps things reasonably quiet in the house.
One-touch incline and decline allow you to up the ante, if need be.
In a simulated outdoor ride, you can activate this when you ascend a hill. In a live training session, this will allow your coaches to make your ride a more challenging one.
The only major differentiating factor that separates the S15i from the S22i is the size of the console.
This comes with a 14” one as opposed to the 22” mammoth on the S22I. If you aren’t hung up on the size of the display, then the NordicTrack S15i is an equally good option at a much lower price.
Comes With iFit, Better than Peloton live training class
What’s better than watching a bunch of people sitting on their asses in a studio? (Picture Peloton.)
It’s heading to the outdoors and riding in some of the most picturesque locations in the world.
Make gravity-defying turns on narrow mountain passes with a view of the Norwegian Fjords. Or descend into the most insane snow-clad riding path in the Alps.
Welcome to iFit, the fitness app that changes the way you exercise. iFit has it all, the best trainers, the best locales and very soon, live studio lessons as well.
Just like most of NordicTrack’s premium offerings, the S15i comes with a 1-year iFit membership.
Cost of the NordicTrack S15i - Cheaper Than the Peloton Bike
Sold on Nordictrack.com for around $1599.00 (without the value of the iFit annual membership thrown in), the NordicTrack S15i is a terrific budget Peloton Alternative.
It is around $650 cheaper if you compare the price of the bike alone. Add the price of the additional accessories that you are coaxed to buy with Peloton and you could buy two of these.
If you are looking for a cheaper payment option, then you can opt for the 36-month financing at $67/month at 0% APR.
This increases to $134/month if you opt for a 12-month plan.
Cost of iFit Live Training - Comes with 1 Year Free
If it wasn’t a great deal already, the NordicTrack S15i comes with an annual iFit membership. That’s worth $468.
Once you exhaust your premium membership, you can opt for a monthly plan at just $15/month.
- Magnetic resistance mechanism
- Up to 100 resistance levels
- JRNY All-Access Membership
- Compatible with cycling apps, including Peloton and Zwift
- Adjustable seat
- 4-way adjustable handlebars
- Heart rate armband
- Dual-sided pedals
Bowflex Velocore 22 IC Bike Review
This Bowflex VeloCore 22 IC Bike is a powerfully built exercise bike that can help you fulfill your fitness goals. I can tell you for free that the Bowflex VeloCore 22 IC is among the best bikes on the market.
The exercise bike costs a lot, and that may discourage those on a budget. However, the features it packs and the perks it offers make its price tag a fair bargain.
This VeloCore model isn't just designed to be pleasing to the eyes but extremely functional. I love how its frame coils under the drive system to keep the equipment firmly rooted on the floor.
The two riding modes (stationary and leaning) offer a versatile riding experience. When I want to get the feel of riding a real bike or challenge myself, I just switch to leaning mode. If you’re new to this, it will take some time to get used to it, but it’s totally worth it.
One minor blunder with this bike is that its resistance levels are adjusted with a manual resistance knob. Considering the price, that’s not cool. Anyways, it’s apparent that it’s a constant with high-end bikes.
Though there is no variety of looks, the only option (black) is one that appeals to any buyer.
Comes with 1 year of JRNY All-Access membership
This is a huge plus for Bowflex VeloCore bikes. When you purchase this bike, you’re automatically entitled to 1 year of JRNY All-Access membership.
When it expires, you’ll be paying a giveaway amount compared to the subscription fees of its peers, iFit and Peloton.
It’s optional to continue with the app, but I recommend it because it adds more value to your workout routines. For instance, it works with Explore the World. This enables you to enjoy a simulated riding experience across various locations worldwide.
It's compatible with iOS and Android devices, and you have access to thousands of workout routines to explore.
Cost of this bike – cheaper than peloton bike
The Bowflex VeloCore 22 IC goes for $2199 on Amazon, but the good news is you don’t have to purchase it outright.
Amazon Visa is offering an interest-free 1-year payment plan. So you just have to pay $183.25 monthly for that period.
This makes it way easier to acquire despite the fact that it’s quite expensive.
Cost of JRNY live fitness classes
For $20 a month or $150 yearly, you enjoy an all-access JRNY membership for the respective period your subscription covers.
This includes free access to third-party streaming applications, including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc.
On the other hand, a mobile-only membership will cost you $12 monthly or $100 yearly. This doesn’t come with access to streaming apps.
In both subscription plans, you get a virtual coach/trainer that encourages or motivates you through your workout sessions.
Cheapest Alternative to Peloton's Exercise Bike
- 330 lbs. user weight capacity
- 40-lbs. drive with 100 lbs. capacity
- Dual link pedals with toe cages
- Adjustable multi-grip handlebars
- Integrated device holder
- Compatible with Peloton, Zwift and Rouvy
- Priced at just $799
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
The Schwinn IC4 indoor cycling bike is a budget-friendly Peloton substitute that boasts of some premium features.
For starters, it has a 40-pound drive system with up to 100-incremental, micro-adjustments that let you set the perfect resistance for your workouts.
The thickly-padded, multi-grip, adjustable handlebars (both horizontal and vertical adjustments), clubbed with the dual-link pedals provide an ergonomic ride.The pedals come with toe cages that are compatible with SPD clips as well as standard toe cages.
Also thrown in, are two 3 lbs. dumbbells with easy-reach cradles that let you perform weight-cardio hybrids at any point of time.
There’s an LCD display which lets you keep track of your cycling metrics. It’s not fancy. But it does the job just as well.
Talking about metrics, you can track a variety of metrics in real time depending on the workout app that you use with it.
Unlike Peloton, you are not locked into using any single one. You can choose from Peloton, Zwift or Rouvy.
The lack of a display console might seem limiting. But just like any other ‘bring-your-own-tech’ exercise bike, this is what keeps that price tag super low.
Connects with Peloton & Zwift
If you are looking for interactive training, which we suppose you are, you’d be glad to know that the Schwinn IC4 connects with both, Peloton as well as Zwift.
Peloton is priced at just $12.99/month. Barring a few features such as incline and decline, which are commonplace in most of their recorded videos and live classes, you can enjoy all the interactive features on the IC4. The adjustable tablet holder lets you swivel the screen if you want to hop off the cycle for some on-the-ground HIIT.
Then there’s Zwift, which takes interactivity to a whole new level. There are seven virtual worlds where you ride, as well as a whole bunch of gaming features, which lets you challenge buddies, ride with them, form profiles and compete.
Cost of the Schwinn IC4 - Cheaper than Peloton Bike
The Schwinn IC4 is available for outright purchase at a very affordable much cheaper price than the Peloton bike.
That’s cheaper than all other exercise bikes in this list, despite having identical mechanical features and a much better warranty that the Peloton Bike.
You also have easy financing available from Schwinn at 0% APR provided that you pay for the bike within 18-months.
#6 – Echelon EX5S
- Stainless steel frame (Weighs 124 lbs. when assembled)
- 13 kg flywheel
- 32 magnetic resistance levels
- Indexing resistance knobs
- Competition-grade seat with 6” adjustment lever
- Competition-grade aero handlebar
- 21.5” touchscreen that swivels 180-degrees
- Compatible with Zwift and Peloton
Echelon EX5S Review
The EX5S is Echelon’s top-of-the-line offering from their ‘Smart Connect Series’ of indoor smart bikes.
It is priced a feather lower than the Peloton bike. But it has all the features of Peloton and a few more to boot.
The first thing that you’d notice is the 21.5″ HD touchscreen on this beast. If you want an exercise bike with a screen, this bike not only comes with a large screen with integrated cameras.
Else, you can get the EX5, which is the same bike without the screen, for at least $400 lesser.
Powering the EX5S is a 28.66 lbs. flywheel that comes with 32-levels of magnetic resistance. A premium seat with a 6” lever adjustment system, a lushly-padded Aero handlebar, versatile pedals that are SPD compatible and an upgraded motor give you commercial-grade performance.
Coming to the most sought after feature, interactivity.
Thankfully, there are options galore.
If you wish to go with Echelon’s ecosystem, there’s an Echelon Fit subscription which rivals Peloton in terms of both pricing as well as content.
After the free trial, a premium subscription will set you back by $39 a month. Your options are, one of 14-live classes performed every day in-studio, or thousands of recorded ones.
But you also have cheaper options at hand.
Connects with Peloton & Zwift
The Echelon EX5S connects with Peloton and Zwift, two of the most popular fitness apps for indoor bikes and home workouts.
Peloton is available at just $12.99/month and gives you access to all of their premium content including their live classes.
Zwift Coach is available at just $14.99/month after the 7-day free trial.
Cost of the Echelon EX5S - Cheaper than the Peloton Bike
Despite being the top-of-the-line model from Echelon and rivalling the Peloton bike in terms of features and specs, the EX5S is available at $1639 for outright purchase.
Usually, the list price is $1999 on Echelonfit.com. But you’ll find it at a promotional price on Echelon’s website most of the time.
If you are looking for financing, you can choose to buy this at $65 for 36-months with $0 down payment at purchase from Affirm. That’s at 10.14% APR.
You can also buy it at $136.66/month in a 12-month plan at 0% APR.
Most Compact Alternative Exercise Bike
- Compact, petite form factor
- Computer controlled resistance system
- Silent Chain Drive system
- 16-resistance levels
- 14-inbuilt workout programs
- 32-lbs. flywheel
- Compatible with Peloton and Ifit
- Priced at just $799
Diamondback 510ic Indoor Cycle Review
The Diamondback 510ic is a top-rated indoor bike that gives you an intense workout without breaking the bank.
It is a pretty compact machine. Quite a contrast from the bulky Peloton substitutes in this list. It weighs a petite 104 lbs., which means you can move it around home if need be.
But with 16 computer-controlled magnetic resistance levels to choose from, in addition to 12 onboard workout programs, it will let you get your sweat on in no time.
There’s a 32 lbs. flywheel and a chain-drive system which keeps the operation butter smooth. It features all the other standards, like an adjustable multi-grip handlebar, comfy saddle and a large tablet holder in front.
As expected at this price point, this is a ‘bring your own tech’ exercise bike where the console is a basic one. You can get all the important details mind you. Only, there’s no infotainment on offer.
That said, you are not limited by any one workout environment. Toss your tablet in the tablet holder and you can sync it with just about any fitness app to get your A game on.
Connect with Peloton, or iFit
You can connect the Diamondback 510ic with both Peloton as well as iFit or Rouvy, or any other fitness app that you fancy.
Since you will be using your own portable device for the interactivity, there’s no limit really.
Even if you do not wish to sign up for a premium fitness service, there are 12 onboard workout programs, including specific programs for different fitness goals.
Cost of this Bike – Cheaper than Peloton Bike
The Diamondback 510ic is priced at just $799, which is amongst the lowest you can get for a decent indoor bike.
Don’t let the price tag fool you into believing that this is a cheaply built bike. Everything about it screams premium. The construction, the resistance levels, the handlebar, the saddle, the inbuilt programs. At this price, this is a steal really.
You also have various financing options available through Affirm.
You can buy this at just $66.67/month on a 12-month, 0% APR plan.
The price is $133.33/month on a 6-month plan and $266.66/month on a 3-month plan.
- Sturdy stainless steel frame
- 44 lbs. chrome solid flywheel
- Multi-grip, 4-way adjustable handlebar
- 4-way adjustable saddle
- Magnetic resistance
- 300 lbs. max user weight capacity
Last but not the least, we have the Sunny Health SF-bike, the cheapest Peloton substitute in this list.
One look at this bike and you’ll know that the price is not always an accurate indicator of the worth of a fitness equipment. The Sunny SF exercise bike has a laundry list of features that rival much higher-priced units.
It is constructed like a tank from a stainless steel frame and boasts of 300 lbs. max user capacity. The belt-drive system with the 44 lbs. chromed solid flywheel ensures butter smooth operation. Also, it does not create a din unlike other budget-priced bikes.
Keeping you comfortable through your rides are caged foot pedals, a multi grip handle, 4-way adjustable saddle and a 4-way adjustable handlebar. The ergonomics are amongst the best that we’ve seen and you’ll have zero niggles even after hour-long workout sessions.
Talking about workouts, it features a magnetic resistance system with the option to make micro incremental adjustments. The only thing lacking is an inbuilt workout program. But that’s not really a reason to complain for a ‘bring your own tech’ bike, is it?
Connects with Peloton, or iFit
The Sunny Health SF-bike features a device holder on the front of the bike that can hold your iPad or your mobile.
Since it does not come with any inbuilt tech, your options are virtually endless.
In case you are wondering, you can use this with Peloton which comes at $12.99/month, or iFit, which comes at $15/month.
These two are the popular options but not the only ones.
Here are some other indoor cycling apps that you can check.
- Zwift - $15/month
- Rouvy - $10/month
- Fulgaz - $12.99/month
- TrainerRoad - $19.95/month
- Sufferfest - $12.99/month
- XERT - $9.99/month
Cost of this Bike - Cheaper than Peloton Bike
The Sunny Health SF-B1805 is priced extremely affordably. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any active promotions or financing options on their website.
But you might find 0% APR purchase options on other online retail outlets.
Top Spin Bike Brands
When it comes to Spin Bikes, the market has seen a sudden influx of Chinese-made products that are white-labeled before being sold in the United States.
Not that we have anything against Chinese products, but we’d be doubly careful while selecting exercise equipment.
Safety, stability and longevity should be your top priorities and there are only a handful of brands that we trust.
NordicTrack is owned by ICON Health & Fitness and they have been in the market for over 25-years. They manufacture and distribute a wide range of fitness equipment including but not limited to elliptical machines, fold flat treadmills, exercise bikes, trainers and rowing machines.
Apart from impeccable quality, NordicTrack products also come bundled with a 1-year Ifit coach membership, which makes them great value.
In addition to this, they also offer easy financing options and free shipping on their products.
Last but not the least, their warranties and after-sales support are the best in the business. Irrespective of your budget, the available space and the features that you seek from a smart bike, you will find an option in NordicTrack’s range.
Bowflex is a brand owned by Nautilus Inc, one of the largest fitness equipment manufacturers in the world. If you aren’t familiar with Nautilus, some of the other brands that they own include Universal®, Schwinn® and Octane.
Bowflex was formed in 1986 as a solution to a problem that was becoming increasingly common across the United States.
There was a serious lack of quality when it came to home workout equipment.
The Bowflex brand started off with home-gyms that rivaled commercial-grade units in terms of quality. The gyms became so popular that the brand expanded with treadmills, max trainers, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and dumbbells.
Today, the Bowflex brand thrives on innovative designs and cost effective price tags. The C6 is a prime example of everything that sums up Bowflex. It is not overly priced, it has some of the best features that one seeks and the quality is top notch.
It can be argued that nobody knows their bicycles better than Schwinn. These guys are the pioneers behind the old Schwinn Bicycles that were a rage in the early 1900s. It was in the 1960s that they decided to foray into the indoor exercise bike space.
Today, they are amongst the top brands in the interactive fitness space offering smartly designed ellipticals, recumbent bikes and treadmills.
There are of course other notable brands as well like Echelon and Sunny health. But they cannot compete with these top three brands.
What You Will Need for Your Spin Bike to Get Started
If y’all hate cross selling as much as we do, then you’d be more interested in knowing about indoor bikes that you can hop on and get going, without needing special pair of overpriced cleats for them. Right?
However, there are a bunch of accessories that can make life easier for you, especially if you plan on cycling every day.
These are not mandatory purchases mind you.
You can work out just fine without them. But these will definitely be helpful if you are in it for the long run.
Exercise Bike Mat
Exercise bike mats might seem like an extravagance, especially since you are paying a size-able amount upfront for the bike.
But if you have hardwood floor or carpet, one of these things can keep your floor scuff free. It will also protect the bike frame from moving around while you are pedaling at full steam.
Oh, did we mention that exercise bikes tend to squeak a lot on hardwood? This will keep it quiet.
You can check out the bike mat that I use on amazon by clicking here
Tablet Bike Mount - For the Non-Interactive Bikes
If you are more interested in one of the ‘bring your own tech’ bikes from our list, like the Sunny Health SF-B1805 or the Diamondback 510ic, then you will need a tablet bike mount that fits most portable devices and exercise bike handlebars.
A good quality bike mount will keep your tablets secure and stable, and at the right viewing angle.
Cycling Shoes - (Optional)
Like we said, you don’t necessarily need fancy, branded proprietary sneakers but using you spin bike with just a normal pair of sneakers or even treadmill running shoes is not ideal.
A decent pair of cycling shoes will keep you comfortable and more importantly, they can be attached to the pedals (in some models).
Thankfully, you have thousands of spinning shoes and cycling shoes to choose from.
You can check out a bunch of different options on amazon by clicking here
these here are the ones that I use
Cycling Shorts - (Optional)
The advantage of cycling indoors is that you can probably hop on to that bike in your boxers. But believe us when we tell you this, all eyes will be on you during live class.
Jokes apart, a pair of cycling shorts will prevent friction rashes, and in some cases, prevent glute fatigue.
Active wear is designed to absorb sweat and keep your skin comfortable as you spend long hours on that bike. If the saddle on your indoor bike is nothing to write home about, then invest in a pair of padded cycling shorts.
You can thank us later.
FAQ about Peloton & Alternative Bikes & Programs
Despite all the details that we’ve covered here, some of our readers might find it a tad difficult to wrap their heads around the fact that there are better Peloton alternatives out there.
This FAQ aims to clear those doubts.
Q. Is the Peloton bike the best bike or are these alternatives just as good?
A. All 8 bikes that we’ve listed here can give Peloton a merry run for its own money. The top three bikes of our list in particular, rival peloton in terms of features but are priced much lower. They are in essence, the same bike minus that large screen and a whole bunch of targeted upsell.
Why would you like to spend at least $2000 more (per year) when you can get an equally good bike for less? Is it the interactive coaching? Then most of the bikes listed here come with equally good alternatives, like Ifit.
Q. Is iFit the best Peloton training alternative?
A. It absolutely is. IFit’s popularity has steadily been on the rise. The app offers thousands of recorded fitness classes in studio and in diverse real-life locations. Compatibility with Google Maps means that you can take your ride to just about anywhere outdoors.
Also, it’s cheaper than Peloton and you have the option of a 30-day trial. We’d argue that it’s much better than Peloton.
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. 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