The 7 best Peloton alternatives for crushing those New Year’s resolutions

The 7 best Peloton alternatives for crushing those New Year's resolutions

UPDATE: Dec. 16, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EST This story has been updated to reflect Mashable’s latest hands-on testing of the top Peloton alternatives and updated pricing information.

You probably know that the pricey, cult-favorite Peloton bikes skyrocketed in demand during the pandemic. Everyone was hyped to achieve their dream bodies without having to hit the gym alongside sweaty, overachieving strangers. It’s been over three years now — three years filled with a lot of ups and downs for Peloton — but the trend of sweating it out at home is here to stay. And around New Year’s, demand for smart gym machines like exercise bikes and fitness mirrors reaches its peak (so many fitness-related resolutions to fulfill! So little time!).

To bank on this demand, spin bike brands like Nordic Track and Bowflex usually have major December and January sales. That means the shopping world is chock-full of stationary bike brands whose names don’t start with “Pelo-” and end with “-ton.” Given the ubiquitousness of these so-called Peloton dupes (only some of which are worthy alternatives) and their affordability factor, Peloton just isn’t the go-to option it used to be.

Fortunately, Mashable shopping reporters are here to help you find the best Peloton alternatives for your home workout. So, if you’re, like, so over Peloton’s chokehold on American spin culture, then keep reading to learn more about our favorite non-Peloton home exercise bikes.

What’s up with Peloton’s pricing and can you get cheaper alternatives?

While Peloton had some significant price drops in 2022, permanent prices on its flagship products are back up, likely due to company instability. The OG bike originally sat at $2,195, dropped down to $1,895, then to $1,495, and finally down to $1,195, but now is at a stable $1,445. This original Peloton is now available at Amazon (where it price-matches the retailer), with free Prime delivery. Occasionally, you can find it on sale for less.

To add insult to injury, you do need an additional Peloton membership to actually use your bike and access its full range of content/features. The Peloton All-Access Membership now costs $44/month (an increase that’s been in effect since June 1, 2022. That means you’re going to be consistently dishing out dollars towards an already sunk cost: Your Peloton. For almost $45 a month, it’s not an ideal scenario, no matter how good the Peloton app is.

Peloton’s bikes were more “worth it” when the prices were lower in 2022, but now that they’re higher (ew), it’s time to consider options that will leave you just as (if not more!) satisfied.

When shopping for an indoor bike, first decide what type of cycling experience you want. Are you looking for a studio-style bike with an attached screen? Do you want to be able to stream interactive workouts directly to your bike? Or are you looking for something cheaper and plan to use your own device for workout classes? The driving (get it?) question here is which app or site you want to get your workouts from, or if you just want a bike to pedal indoors while watching TV. Bikes without connected monitors or membership-based fitness programs tend to be $500 to $1,000 cheaper than those with flashy screens.

Pro tip: Get a cheap spin bike and then sign up for the Peloton monthly app to enjoy the best of both worlds.

What is the best Peloton dupe currently on the market?

While there are plenty of affordable alternatives to Peloton, what if you want a more high-end experience? To get a Peloton-like experience with even more added high-tech features, we recommend the NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle, which was hands-on tested by Mashable reporter Stacia Datskovska.

This bike is truly versatile: It comes with a free 30-day iFit subscription, lets you stream movies and TV to the screen, and has added incline/decline on top of resistance for an extra workout challenge. You’ll also notice a 360-degree rotating screen that opens up a whole world of floor and mat workouts for those days when you need a break from riding. This feature is only available with the Peloton Bike+, so NordicTrack is 100% on top of the trends.

Of course, not everyone will be looking for a more high-end experience, and if you’re searching for the best Peloton alternatives, we’re guessing price is a factor. If that’s the case, we have good news: There are some fantastic spin bikes under $1,000. Check out our full list of the best Peloton alternatives on the market below.

How we tested

Over multiple weeks of research, we compiled a list of the top at-home stationary bikes at nearly every price point. We only considered bikes that were rated four stars or higher via user reviews, but tended to stick to bikes that were rated 4.5 stars or higher. We sorted through hundreds of user reviews on each product to rule out any reoccurring, serious issues. We did extensive research on buzzy, popular stationary bike brands as well as lesser-known, hidden gem models.

For this guide, we also tested the Bowflex bike and the NordicTrack S22i over the course of about a month. Because Mashable has tested the Peloton bike and the brand’s popular fitness app, we were able to compare these “dupes” to their Peloton counterparts.

Some factors we took into consideration while compiling this list of the best Peloton alternatives and doing hands-on testing for the exercise bikes:

Built-in screens and membership-based fitness classes — When looking for a Peloton alternative, many shoppers are likely looking for a bike with a built-in connected monitor and trainer-led fitness classes. We included the top bikes on the market with screens and membership-based class subscriptions, as well as options without these two features for folks who want to play workouts on their TVs, or use the Peloton app on a non-Peloton bike.

Comparison to the Peloton Bike — After hands-on testing the Peloton Bike, we determined that the most important factors when purchasing a cycling bike are delivery and installation, live and on-demand fitness classes, durability and stability of the bike, and adjustability of the bike. We compared each bike on this list with the original Peloton in mind. We included bikes that checked all of the boxes, as well as some that were missing one or two of our factors but were lower in price.

Price point — The Peloton Bike and Bike+ aren’t cheap, so we included the best stationary bikes from around $300 all the way up to $2,500, because shoppers deserve a bike they love (even if they’re on a budget).

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