There’s no question that Peloton took the crown as the hottest piece of exercise equipment in 2021. Even as people are more open to returning to the gym and exercise studios, you can’t beat the convenience of an at-home spin bike. The downside? These bikes ain’t cheap. Even with recent price cuts, Peloton prices start at just under $1,500—and on top of that, you’re looking at a $40-per-month membership fee. If you’re asking if there’s a cheaper alternative to Peloton, the answer is yes, and we did the research for you.
The Best Peloton Alternatives
Is there a cheaper alternative to Peloton?
The short answer is yes, but you’ll want to do your research to make sure you aren’t spending more on hidden fees. Consider if you’ll need to add additional accessories to your bike, such as shoes, light weights, or cadence or resistance monitors that would push your total over Peloton’s package.
You’ll also want to inquire about any shipping or delivery fees that may be associated with getting your bike delivered to your house. Luckily, our picks below all come with low-cost accessories and shipping options so they shouldn’t total more than the original bike.
What should I look for when choosing a Peloton alternative?
When thinking about a Peloton alternative, you’ll want to consider what you do or don’t like about the original bike. If the idea of spending $40 a month on a subscription service a month is too much to swallow, consider a bike that has a smaller (or no) monthly fee to take classes.
You’ll also want to think about compatibility if you’re planning to use the Peloton app. You may need to purchase a cadence sensor so that you can follow the speed cues from the Peloton instructor, and some bikes’ resistance isn’t quite 1:1 with Pelotons. Luckily, you can find conversion charts available for most major bike alternatives that make it easy to adjust based on your bike.
Will I still be able to stream Peloton classes on my alternative bike?
One of the most notable features of a Peloton is the included 22-inch HD touchscreen monitor that holds access to the service’s full library of classes. As we mentioned above, the service will cost you $40 a month, but here’s a pro tip: You can access Peloton’s digital app for just $13 per month, giving you the same access to both live and previously-recorded classes on your smart device. You won’t be able to access Peloton’s famous leaderboard, which ranks riders in the class in real-time based on their output, but if the competitive aspect doesn’t interest you, the $27 per month in savings might be worth it.
Here’s the caveat: You will need an iPad, a smart TV, or another device to stream Peloton classes on the digital app (if you’re an Andriod user, don’t fret: The Peloton app is compatible with any Android device running on Android OS 6.0 or later) while you ride, and not every bike’s resistance and heart rate monitor will be able to sync with Peloton’s service. However, some alternatives are only compatible with their own class subscription service, so if you are hoping to ride with one of Peloton’s famous instructors or are loyal to your streaming device’s operating system, that’s something you’ll want to consider.
What’s included in my purchase?
Depending on which alternative bike you choose, you’ll want to do your research on what accessories are included in your purchase. Some bikes — like our top pick, the Schwinn IC4 — come with everything you need to start riding right out of the box. But for others, you may need to buy your own cadence sensor or heart rate monitor to make them work with the Peloton app. You also might want to snag a pair of light weights if your cycling workout will include an arms section.
Another thing to look out for: subscription deals. Some Peloton alternatives, like Echelon Connect Sport and the Nordic Track Commercial S15i, come with up to a full year’s trial of their class subscription services.
Do I need special shoes to ride?
The quick answer is no. All of our recommendations below have sneaker cages so you won’t need any additional footwear to get riding right out of the box. However, some spinners prefer to use clip-in shoes for more stability and speed while riding. If you want to upgrade, you’ll have to purchase your cleats separately and you’ll want to check to make sure they are compatible with your bike’s pedals. The most popular options are SPD and Delta clips — we note which our picks are compatible with below.
Read on for six Peloton alternatives—most at least half the price of the original—that don’t sacrifice quality.