Peloton Alternative: A budget-friendly alternative for bike & equipment

Peloton bike

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Purchasing a Peloton bike can get super expensive, there’s no denying that, but the experience they offer is top of the line and overall wonderful. So why not look into a more economical Peloton alternative, so you can get as close to the “real experience” but at a fraction of the price.

In this post, I am sharing the research I did, and my recommendations for bikes and equipment to re-create the Peloton experience (or as close as possible) at a fraction of the price tag.

 

Today we will cover

  • The background
  • The Peloton Experience
  • The Peloton app
  • Peloton bike alternatives
  • Extra accessories for biking
  • Accessories for other exercises

 

 

The Background

There is no secret that when it comes to indoor biking, Peloton has one of the best programs on the market. But if you are a beginner, or just don’t want to commit to a big payment, the hefty price tag of their bike can be a little staggering.

There has to be a cheaper way to get an experience close to having the Peloton bike at a lower price, I kept asking myself.

There just has to, right?

So I started researching alternatives before my husband gifted me the one I selected and because I love sharing my finds with you. I am documenting everything I found along with the best recommendations for a cheaper indoor bike to do the Peloton bike program.

Peloton set up at home gym
[ Peloton set up by @addicted2diy via IG – You can even purchase her wall organizer in her shop here how cool is that huh?]

 

 

Now, I know that if we (because we are in this together) get addicted to this program, as many shouts from the rooftops, chances are that we *might* upgrade to the “real” bike.

After all, I know that brand loyalty is one of the things they promote the most.

BUT even though the bikes are super esthetically pleasing, does having the brand on the side (along with the specific functionalities) justify the extra thousands that you would be paying getting the Peloton bike, if you find similar functionalities in a cheaper bike?

For some, it surely does.

For me.

Not yet.

So first, let’s dig deep into what the Peloton Experience is all about, this way we can make our best attempt to replicate the burning, burning love for the experience at a reasonable price… Are you with me?

Ok, Let’s jump into it!

 

Peloton bike
[ Peloton bike set up by @jordann_turnerr via Instagram ]

 
 


 

 

The Peloton Experience

The experience of the bike program comes tied to the Peloton app, and it turns out that anyone can download the app. So while it seems like it’s a closed group. You can still join, without having to purchase the bike.

From what I’ve seen so far, the strongest point they promote the sense of community, the live classes and the fact that you can work out with your friends (virtually) as the core of their program. 

 

the cycling experience
[ Image by Everton Vila on Unsplash ]

 

I absolutely understand this sense of community, and why it’s so important. After all, we are a lot more motivated to work out if we have an accountability partner, so whether that is our friends or an instructor that you know is “live” you will feel more inclined to give the best version of yourself.

I think the social factor is the most important point of the program and thanks to the app, it’s something we are able to experience with any other static cycling bike.

BUT there are some requirements that the static bike needs to meet in order to keep up with the class and the directions from the instructor.

 

  • CADENCE: You need to know your RPM or Cadence. Most alternative Peloton bikes will not have a way to track this. But an easy way to fix this is by adding a Cadence sensor to one fo the legs of your pedals. One of the most popular cadence sensors is this one. It has an app that you can connect so you can keep track of your RPMs.
  • RESISTANCE KNOB: Another thing to note is that your resistance knob might not match perfectly with the resistance your instructor is directing you to set. But during my research, I found that most riders after a few tries, start to guess better by looking at how fast or slow the revolutions (the pedaling speed) of your instructor is, along with their Cadence.
  • SCREENS: Some alternative bikes might also not have a screen or a way for you to attach your iPad or phone, this can be easily fixed by purchasing a smart device holder like this one. And if you want to go extra fancy, getting a smart TV to set in from of your bike is another great way to watch your class just like if you were there.

 

So, if the alternative bike you select doesn’t have a way to track RMPs, make sure you purchase a Cadence Sensor.

 


 
 

The Peloton app

The app is divided into workouts and offers more than just cycling. You can also practice Yoga, Cardio, Running exercises, and additional forms of physical stimulation.

You can download the app from their website, no matter if you have an Apple device or Android. If you have a smart TV you can also access it from there.

The app is a subscription-based program at $12.99 a month, but because of the current situation of having to stay home, they have 90 days of full access and a ton of FREE videos available.

 

Peloton app program
[ Peloton set up by @fitchocoholic via Instagram ]

 

 

 


 
 

Peloton alternatives – The bikes

Now that we know what we are looking for in a bike let’s start comparing the top contenders! The one I selected is the “Best Bang for your Buck” and it’s going to arrive in a couple of days, so after I complete a few rides I will update this post with my personal experience. 

So let’s check some alternatives!

Sunny health & fitness bike
[ Example of Sunny health & fitness bike setup by @psyd_g via IG ]

 

 

 

The top 4 Peloton alternative bikes

My personal pick

 
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
(Price range: $290 – $380)

 

CHECK PRICE HERE

Weight capacity: 330lbs
Flywheel weight: 36lbs
System: Belt driven
Device holder: Yes, you can hold your iPad or smartphone
Tracking: The LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and odometer while you are cycling
Petals: Caged-style
Adjustable: 4 ways adjustable seat, 2-ways adjustable multi-grips handlebar
Water bottle holder: Yes

 


 

BEST REVIEWS FOR THE PRICE
(Price range: $320 – $450)

 

CHECK PRICE HERE

Weight capacity: 265lbs
Flywheel weight: 40lbs
System: Chain drive
Device holder: No, you will need an additional device holder.
Tracking: The LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned
Petals: Caged-style
Adjustable: 4 ways adjustable seat, adjustable multi-grips handlebar
Water bottle holder: No

 


 

BEST ALL-AROUND CHARACTERISTICS
(Price range: $520 – $599)

 

CHECK PRICE HERE

Weight capacity: 300lbs
Flywheel weight: 44lbs
System: Belt driven
Device holder: Yes, you can hold your iPad or smartphone
Tracking: No monitoring, so you will need to get a separate tracking
Petals: Steel toe-cage pedals designed w/ adjustable straps
Adjustable: 4 ways adjustable seat, 2-ways adjustable multi-grips handlebar
Water bottle holder: Yes

 


 

ECONOMICAL ALTERNATIVE
(Price range: $240 – $290)

 

CHECK PRICE HERE

Weight capacity: 330lbs
Flywheel weight: 14lbs
System: Belt driven
Device holder: No device holder included, you will need an additional holder for your phone or iPad
Tracking: The LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and odometer while you are cycling
Petals: Caged-style
Adjustable: 8-level adjustable seat and 6-level handlebar fit different heights
Water bottle holder: No

 

 


 
 

Extras you might need with your Peloton alternative

 

  • Cadence Sensor – As I mentioned before, most alternatives to the Peloton bike do not have a Cadence sensor, so you will need one. 
  • Bike Mat – Since you do not want to destroy your floors while biking, getting a mat is the best way to prevent things from getting messy.
  • Electronic device mount – If the bike you selected doesn’t have a device holder, you can just get this one and hook your iPad or phone so you can follow along on the Peloton app.
  • Smart TV – If you rather go a little bigger (since you are saving so much money getting a cheaper bike) and splurge on the screen size, for just a couple hundred dollars you can get a full 44 inches of screen to see even the sweat dripping on your instructor lol.

 

 

Extra accessories for biking

 

  • Biking shorts – Not essential, but there’s nothing more uncomfortable than having your pants stuck on the pedals, these help with that issue while making you feel super comfortable.
  • Comfortable Leggings – While they are also not a must, I live in these, they are so comfortable!
  • Biking shoes – Not necessary, but they are a comfortable way to step your cycling game up.
  • Cooling towel – Store them in the refrigerator and get the perfect cooling after a long workout.
  • Gym towel – Not as fancy as the cooling towel, but they get the job done.
  • Headband – For us with long hair, a headband and a hair tie can be super helpful.
  • Water Bottle – I am obsessed with this water bottle, I have a couple of colors and I love how low maintenance they are, they keep my water cool and they are environmentally friendly.
  • Small Fan – Now we are getting fancy, but while we are at it why not add a small fan for those days that we put extra work and our face feels like it’s on fire.

 


 
 

Accessories for other Peloton app exercises

 

 
 


 
 

Final thoughts

While it is possible to re-create a similar experience, the peloton bike checks all the desired characteristics of what the guys at Peloton intended their bike exercises to feel like, so it might be that if you have a different bike with less of the technical aspects needed, your workout will not be the same.

But, if you are like me, and are not willing to spend THOUSANDS to check if you will be into their program, or just don’t want to pay that much for a workout piece of equipment, I hope this gives you ideas of different Peloton alternatives for you.

Also, it is worth to mention that we are all different, and some of the aspects that are important to me, when I selected my bike, might not be as important for you, and that is COMPLETELY OK! We all like different things when we work out.

As I mentioned before, I will update this post with my experience once my bike arrives and I’ve completed a few rides. So I can give more pointers into what has worked, or possibly not worked with my set-up =]

Remember to pin this for later!

 

Peloton alternative

Peloton alternative

 
 
Have a wonderful day!

Joy

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Joy Kelley

Joy Kelley

I am a Lettering artist & creative blogger at HowJoyful.com - I love decorating, lemon pie & tea. I am always creating something, whether that involves lettering, sewing, crafting, or power tools. I am the mom of three little tornados that are always up for an adventure and along with my amazing husband we created this place to share our family detours. Check out my Instagram account here.

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