- 1 Peloton Bike Alternatives
- 2 Required Equipment for a Poor Mans Peloton Bike
- 3 How to Construct the Poor Mans Peloton
- 4 Conclusion
I have been a lifelong fitness student and enthusiast ever since winning the gold at conference in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM back in my “glory days.” I am also a writer and the marketing wizard here at My Top Fitness.
The Peloton Bike is an incredibly interactive way to workout, but cost and other factors may lead you to pursue options. If you ever wondered about alternatives to the Peloton Bike, but still want the interactive functionality Peloton provides, this guide is for you. From Peloton Bike alternatives to constructing your very own Poor Mans Peloton Bike, you will be up and spinning in no time.
If you already have a Peloton Bike, but have run into issues, check out the guide for Common Peloton Bike Problems and How To Fix Them.
Peloton Bike Alternatives
If you can’t stomach the Peloton price tag, there are several companies offering stationary bikes with similar technology. These bicycles provide a comparable all-in-one experience that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Each of the following is a top Peloton bike alternative that will give you the best at home spin experience for a fraction of the price.
Echelon Smart Connect Bike
Echelon offers you four different stationary bike models that connect with their online program through your home technology. The lack of a built-in screen comprises the majority of your savings with most of these bikes. The EX1 is the cheapest and basic no-frills model, providing a relatively standard spin bike. The EX3 and EX5 offer newer and more tricked-out features, including resistance knobs, dumbbell holders, and a comfier seat. The EX5S provides the most similar experience to the Peloton. This model includes a built-in screen and offers nearly identical features to the popular spin bike.
NordicTrack Studio Cycle
The NordicTrack S22i bike offers many of the same key features that you long for with the Peloton. The bike looks sleek and stylish, with a crisp HD display touchscreen. The bicycle screen broadcasts the iFit Coach that allows you to access classes. This model includes twin dumbbells, two water bottle holders, and dual cage or clip-in pedals. The flywheel moves smoothly and quietly to let you workout without bothering your spouse or waking your kids.
- 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included; on-demand workouts on your equipment, choose Global Workouts & Studio Classes; Add up to 5 users; Elite trainers adjust your equipment ($39 value)
- 22 inches Interactive HD Touchscreen Display streams & on-demand iFIT workouts directly to your equipment, provides easy stats tracking; Adjustable display allows for 360-degree screen rotation
- Automatic Trainer Control; -10 to 20 percent LIVE Incline Matching technology; 24 digital resistance levels for complete workout control; iFIT Trainers auto-adjust your resistance and incline
ProForm Studio Bike Pro
If you are really looking to bike on a budget, ProForm offers the most wallet-friendly option among the Peloton alternatives. The bike connects with iFit and offers one-on-one sessions with personal trainers on outdoor courses. When you are following a program, the bicycle will automatically increase and decrease your resistance. This feature is not only pretty cool, it also means there is no guesswork on your end. The ProForm bike is also sturdy, smooth, quiet and easy to move on a set of front-mounted wheels.
- Features. 10" Smart HD Touchscreen Display. 24 On-Board Workouts.
- Bluetooth Smart (BLE) Heart Rate Receiver. Pair of 3 Lb. Dumbbells. Upright Frame.
- Commercial-Gauge Welded Steel Construction. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel. 26 Resistance Levels.
Required Equipment for a Poor Mans Peloton Bike
If the options listed above will still break your budget, all hope is not lost. If you cannot purchase a complete system, you can create your own Peloton bike alternative by piecemeal. There are several key components that are included with a Peloton that can be purchased in isolation. It does require a bit more effort to construct this setup. However, you can potentially save thousands of dollars by not having to pay for the Peloton bike accessories. That’s a lot of money to dress your new toned figure with.
First and foremost, you will need to purchase a spin bike. It is important that the bike has a flywheel, resistance knob, and pedals with cages and/or shoe clip-in capability. Aside from these necessities, there are other features that you can look for depending on your budget. Some bikes have belts, which operate more quietly than chains. Others have heavy flywheels, which burn more calories in order to push. The Sunny brand of bikes offers reliable and reasonable models that allow nearly any budget to make it work.
After the stationary bike itself, a digital Peloton subscription is arguably the most important component. There is a membership that non-Peloton users can pay a monthly fee toward. This subscription gives you all of the same workouts as Peloton bike users. You also have an opportunity to see the other users participating in your ride. The digital plan even gives you the chance to receive a shout-out during live classes.
You can sign up for the digital plan online or through the app.
A floor mat is a key feature in creating the best experience with your bike. With a spin bike, you will be pedaling hard and fast, and even standing to power through a climb. The mat will provide stability and protect your bike and floor. You will also be sweating a lot and the mat makes it easier to clean up after your workout. The mat that you purchase should be a bit larger than your bike’s footprint to ensure it sits evenly. SuperMats offers a well-reviewed and sturdy option that won’t tack too much on to the price.
- PROTECTIVE FLOOR MAT: Super-tough, durable mat helps protect your floors and carpets from the damaging effects of heavy exercise equipment and debris from mechanical parts
- CUSHIONS EXERCISE EQUIPMENT FROM EXCESSIVE WEAR: Prolongs the life of your equipment by helping prevent floor and carpet dust from entering belts and mechanical parts
- FITS INDOOR CYCLE AND STEPPER UNITS: The Supermats Stepmant / Bikemat is perfect for indoor cycles, steppers, exercise bikes, step-aerobics, or just general exercise stretching - mat measures 24" x 46"
A main component of a Peloton workout is maintaining a certain number of RPMs, or cadence, during the ride. While Peloton bikes come pre-equipped with the monitor to measure the cadence, typical spin bikes do not. A monitor can be purchased and attached to the crank of your spin bike pedal. It will use Bluetooth technology to send the information to an app on your phone. This data lets you monitor and adjust the cadence during your workout. The Wahoo cadence monitor is a favorite among users for the quality of both the sensor and the app.
- CADENCE MEASUREMENT - Track and capture real-time cycling cadence with compatible training apps.
- DUAL BAND TECHNOLOGY - Integrated with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart capabilities, Wahoo’s RPM Speed & Cadence sensors connect to smartphones, tablets, and bike computers by Wahoo, Garmin, and others.
- WIRELESS CONNECTION – Lightweight and easy to install – no magnets. Cadence sensor attaches to your bike’s crank arm or shoe; Mounts included.
Another feature that is included with the Peloton is the heart rate monitor. Although you can technically participate without one, it is an important tool for staying safe during your workout. You have a maximum heart rate that can be dangerous for you to reach or push beyond. The heart rate monitor will transmit the beats per minute to an app. This will allow you to keep track and ensure you stay within safe limits. If you purchase the Wahoo cadence sensor, the highly rated Wahoo TICKR is a good option. Both monitors will work and display within the same app for ease and simplicity.
- Personalized Heart Rate Training – workout efficiently - track and capture real-time heart rate, training zones and calories burned on your smartphone or tablet with compatible training apps.
- Integrated with Bluetooth and ANT+, TICKR connects to smartphones, tablets, GPS watches and bike computers by Wahoo, Polar, Garmin, Apple and more.
- Works with 50+ Smartphone Apps including Wahoo Fitness, Zwift, Runtastic, Runkeeper, UA Record, Endomondo, Peloton, Map My Run, Komoot and Nike Run Club
As you get into the Peloton workouts, you will notice that some incorporate arm strength. The Peloton comes equipped with a pair of 3 pound dumbbells in a holder behind the seat. You can purchase a set of Amazon Basic handheld weights to participate in any of the strength rides. The only current aftermarket dumbbell holder is patent pending. In the meantime, you may want to put them on a stand alongside the bike in the meantime.
- Dumbbell hand weights for exercise and resistance training; ideal for fitness classes, home gym, or workout area
- Includes 2 purple dumbbells, each weighing 3 pounds (6 pounds total)
- Neoprene coating for a secure, nonslip grip
Mount for Phone or Tablet
Since your bike will not be equipped with the display available on the Peloton, you will need a mount for your phone or tablet. This will hold your device in place to display the Peloton app. It can also show any app you are using to monitor your cadence and heart rate. It is important to find one that is designed to secure around the front handlebars.
You may also want one that swivels so that you can see from any angle as you go through your ride. This TaoTronics mount will fit a wide variety of devices securely for your workout. One snag you will run into with the Peloton alternatives is that you are running multiple apps at once.
You cannot simultaneously display your Peloton workout and the app monitoring your cadence and sensor. Therefore it may make sense to order two holders in order to be able to run both programs.
How to Construct the Poor Mans Peloton
So you have all of the knock-off Peloton bike accessories ordered and waiting in your house. Now, you might be wondering just what to do with them. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up each component and getting them working together. Your hard work will pay off to give you the Peloton experience on a budget.
Step One: Set up Your Bike
Unless you splurge on set-up, you’ll need to put your bike together and adjust it according to your specifications. The setup instructions and level of difficulty varies by bike, so it is important to follow the included directions. After everything is assembled, make sure the floor mat is under the bike. Then, you will want to set the saddle and handlebars to the appropriate height for your measurements.
by standing alongside the saddle. It should rest at hip level, so use the knobs to adjust the height until it is parallel. You will then want to hop on and assess the feel in the seat, which adjusts forward or backward. Your knees should be slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke. At the top of the stroke, the knee should be bent and over the toe.
The handlebars should sit evenly or just below the height of the seat. It may take some tweaking to find your best fit. However, a proper setup is important in order to avoid injury.
Step Two: Configure the Peloton App
Once your bike is setup, you’ll want to get the app up and running to access the Peloton workouts. After it is downloaded onto your device from the app store, you will need to subscribe and then sign in. Once you log in, you will be able to access thousands of workouts, some live and others pre-recorded.
You can use the filters to specify the length of workout, the difficulty, and even the type of music. You simply click on the ride you want and it automatically load. For a live class, the app will tell you how long until it will begin. The app will monitor your progress and tell you which other users are simultaneously completing the same workout.
Step Three: Hook Up the Other Monitors and Apps
Before you start your workout, though, you’ll want to install and hook up your cadence and heart monitors. You will want to activate and wake the monitors, usually by shaking them. Then, pair them with the app prior to installation on the bike or use on your body. Download the corresponding app for the monitors and make sure your Bluetooth is on.
Then, follow the instructions within the app and in the box to pair the monitors with your device. The cadence monitor will adhere to the inside of the non-drive side pedal using a strong adhesive or zip ties. For the heart monitor, follow the same process of waking and pairing the sensor with your app.
You will want to be sure to wet the sensors on the strap prior to clipping it around. Be sure to center the sensor below your sternum for the best syncing results with the app.
Step 4: Install the Device Mount Holding Your Phone or Tablet
The last step before you are ready to ride is installing the device mount for your phone or tablet. While each model differs, the mounts designed for bike handles typically involve a rounded clasp secured within a tube. Follow the included instructions, which usually involves twisting the clasp to loosen the ends from the bracket. Once the clasp is freed, you push it over the handlebar.
Now its time to twist the mount back onto it from the other side of the handlebar to secure it in place. You will also want to follow the directions to secure the phone properly. This will ensure that the device is not damaged and your workout is not derailed.
Whether you choose a Peloton Bike alternative or construct your own Poor Mans Peloton Bike, you health is sure to benefit. Try mixing up your workouts with Functional Fitness exercises or learn to start running to maximize your potential. As with all things, variety is the key to a long and lasting fitness level.