Confession: I am one of those people who got hooked on the Peloton during quarantine.
When the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon New York City back in March, I retreated to my childhood home in a suburb of Pennsylvania. And for many months, the only human "interaction" I had was with my parents… and the Peloton instructors whom I got to "know" pretty well (Hi, Cody! Hi, Jess Sims!) because I was lucky enough that my parents own a Peloton bike. And boy did they get me through some tough times.
When things started to "calm down" slightly, I made my way back to the Big Apple — sans the bike, unfortunately. As a young professional in one of the most expensive cities in the country, it wasn't exactly in the budget. Money aside, there's also a two-month-long waiting list to get your bike delivered and assembled because Peloton is so in demand.
So, I put my loyalty to Peloton aside and began the search for alternatives that could fill the void of my ultimate quarantine savior. And luckily, I found that there are plenty of other options out there with many of the same features.
Shop now: Peloton Digital Subscription, $13/month;
Shop now: Apple Fitness+ Membership, $10/month or $80/year; apple.com
And as for the spin studio-like experience that makes Peloton so addictive? Well, here's a life hack: You can buy a Peloton digital subscription for just $13/month and stream their classes from any smart device, including Roku — no Peloton bike required. (Plus, right now, they're offering two months free without any commitment.) Or, there's Apple Fitness+, Apple's new fitness streaming platform, which will give you access to a wide range of classes, including cycling classes, for $10/month. (They're also offering one month free or three months free with the purchase of an Apple Watch.) In other words, you can still get that premium class experience, with a top instructor and super motivating music, even on a less-fancy stationary bike.
So, without further ado, here are five alternatives to the Peloton bike to consider if you don't feel like shelling out the $2000+ for a bike or don't want to wait months to get your sweat on.
The Best Cheap and Compact Option: Xterra Fitness Folding Bike
Let's say you're really on a budget, this simple, bare-bones Xterra stationary bike is cheap and compact but will still get the job done. It can even fold up and be stored in the corner, making it an apartment-friendly option. Plus, the bike will ship within the week. Place it in front of your Roku to stream your favorite classes.
Shop now: Xterra Fitness Folding Bike, $116 (originally $123); amazon.com
The Best Option With Magnetic Resistance: Chaoke Indoor Cycling Bike
This Chaoke bike has nearly 1,200 five-star ratings on Amazon with reviewers saying it "works perfectly for Peloton classes" (it has a mount for your iPad or iPhone, so you can stream your classes up close and personal at a fraction of the cost of a Peloton) and is incredibly stable, even when you're going at full-speed. Plus, this bike can be delivered and installed within the week.
Shop now: Chaoke Indoor Cycling Bike, $360 (originally $440); amazon.com
The Best Bang for Your Buck Option: Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
This stationary bike literally says in its description that it's "designed to work with the Peloton app," and comes with a Bluetooth heart rate armband, a USB charging station, and 3-pound dumbbells (perfect for those arm-toning classes). Schwinn even has their own Explore the World app that will virtually take you around the world for races and scenic trails. The bike can be yours in a month's time for a fraction of the price.
Shopw now: Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike, $899; schwinn.com
The Cheapest Class-Streaming Option: Nordic Track
This is the bike for you if your main concern is quick delivery. The price tag is similar to the Peloton, but it can be yours in less than two weeks. The bike comes also with a touchscreen and the ability to stream live or on-demand classes (much like Peloton) powered by iFit. And get this, the first year of membership is included, so you get a year's worth of classes for free. Plus, the bike is on sale now for under $2,000.
Shop now: Nordic Track Commercial Studio Cycle Bike, $1,900 (originally $2,199); amazon.com
The Best Class Streaming Option: Soul Cycle Variis Bike
If you're looking for a cheaper option, this is not the bike for you. But this Variis bike created by Equinox has all of your favorite SoulCycle instructors at the touch of your screen. Just like Peloton, you can stream hundreds of classes from the comfort and safety of your home for just $40/month. And it can be delivered and assembled within the month.
Shop now: SoulCycle Variis Bike, $2,500; variis.com
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