Let’s be clear: the Peloton is an excellent exercise bike, but it’s just an exercise bike. And while we get that it’s a status symbol, the Peloton bike is simply not worth the $2,000+ price tag for most people (not to mention the extra $13 to $39 monthly subscription for the Peloton All-Access Membership for classes).
Here at ChatterSource, we’re not afraid of a little DIY and ingenuity; we’re also no stranger to finding the best deals online. That’s why we decided it’s time to put together a complete guide to building a DIY Peloton. For a fraction of the price, you can build a suitable indoor cycling bike that makes an excellent replacement for your home fitness needs.
And the best part? You don’t need an actual Peloton bike to use the Peloton app (you still need to pay for the monthly membership)! With one of these Peloton alternatives, you can take the same classes with the same instructors while saving thousands of dollars on indoor biking equipment.
The Best Peloton Alternatives
Stationary bikes and spin classes are nothing new. They’ve been around for decades and there are a dozen models to choose from. Besides its sharp looks and massive touch screen, a Peloton isn’t much different from other market options.
With the right spin bike (heck, you can even use the old one sitting around in your parent’s basement), you can prop up your cell phone, connect your Bluetooth headphones, and get your cardio done without leaving the comfort of your own home.
If you’re looking for a bike that has most of the functionality of a real Peloton, look for a bike with these features:
- Adjustable seat and handlebars
- Adjustable resistance levels
- Belt drive (you can opt for a standard chain drive if you want to save even more money)
To complete your build, you may have to purchase some accessories separately:
- Tablet holder (or alternative device holder).
- Cadence sensor
- Water bottle holder
One of the most popular DIY Peloton enthusiasts’ options is the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike with 40 LB Flywheel and Dual Felt Resistance – Pro / Pro II. It doesn’t come with a tablet holder or cadence sensor, but you can buy those for relatively cheap as we said. This indoor exercise bike comes with pedals with toe cages, so if you want to go clipless (and use cycling shoes), you’ll have to swap out the pedals.
This is a very popular option because reviewers say it is extremely sturdy and offers a very similar ride to the Peloton. The biggest downside is that it uses felt resistance instead of magnetic. On the other hand, not having pre-set resistance levels makes it difficult to work out day after day consistently.
We also like the Schwinn IC3 thanks to its oversized water bottle holder with an integrated media holder, which is perfect if you’re an Apple user with an iPad (other tablets like the Amazon Fire work as well). It also comes with dual SPD pedals so you can choose between standard toe cages or SPD clips.
The IC3 comes with a belt drive and a monitor that displaces time, distance, speed, calories and RPM.
The Echelon Connect is probably the closest thing you can get without forking over two grand (the base model starts at just under $900. The Echelon Connect offers thirty-two magnetic resistance levels, clipless pedals and a sleek design. Similar to the Peloton, it also has it’s own Echelon App for real-time classes.
The main difference? It doesn’t come with an LCD monitor, so you’ll have to connect your own tablet or smartphone.
The Bowflex C6 is another great Peloton alternative that comes in at about half the price. Bowflex is a trusted and reputable name in home gym equipment, but you’ll have to use your own iPad just like the other options on this list. That said, the Bowflex C6 does come with a built-in screen so you can monitor your time, calories burned, heart rate and more.
We love the look of the Bowflex C6, but for the price, we would probably choose the Echelon, Schwinn, or Sunny alternatives.
The NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle is another quality Peloton contender, but coming in at $2,000, it’s basically the same price. But, keep in mind that for $2,000, you also get a one-year iFit membership. The S22i is the only Peloton alternative on our list that has a built-in HD touchscreen which is great if you want a true Peloton replica. But if you ask us, using your own tablet is a little more functional because you can use it as an everyday device as well.
Already have a road bike? Take it inside with the Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand. This is actually our favorite option because a trainer stand allows you to use your regular bike for indoor training sessions. It’s also by far the cheapest option. If you already have a cadence monitor and smartphone attachment (like most serious cyclists do), then you’ll be ready to tackle spin classes in just a matter of minutes.
Best Peloton App Alternatives
Probably the best part of the Peloton experience is the Peloton App. The app features fun live classes, on-demand cycling classes, a leaderboard, classic cycling routes from around the world and more. But what if you don’t want to pay $39 for a glorified at-home gym membership?
You’re in luck because there are some more affordable options with many of the same features.
iFit is designed to work with NordicTrack bikes, but just like the Peloton app, you can use it with your own equipment. It features on-demand classes for cycling, rowing, running, and more. It starts at $15/month, which is around the same price as the Peloton digital membership and way cheaper than the all-access membership. Check out the free 30-day trial to get started.
Zwift offers thousands of cycling and running classes for $14.99/month. If you want to race and compete against other people on maps from around the world, Zwift is a great option.
Fitness equipment doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If all you want to do is flaunt your materialism, then sure, opt for the Peloton. But if you’re more interested in getting a killer workout while saving a little bit of money, check out one of these Peloton alternatives.
You can either buy a standard spin bike and take classes on your tablet, or you can buy a standalone offering like the ones from NordicTrack or Bowflex.
You might also be interested in: Cubii Under Desk Elliptical Review
The 6 Best Peleton Alternatives:
- Sunny Indoor Cycling Bike
- Schwinn IC3
- Echelon Smart Connect Bike
- Bowflex C6 Bike
- NordicTrack Commercial S22i
- Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand