Low section view of a young woman in sportswear exercising on exercise bike at home
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Pricey Stationary Bikes and Treadmills — and Cheaper Alternatives

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Low section view of a young woman in sportswear exercising on exercise bike at home
SimonSkafar/istockphoto

Peloton Without the Price Tag

The workout word on everyone's lips these days is Peloton — and for good reason. As the pandemic continues and indoor gyms remain shut or at limited capacity, indoor cycling is more popular than ever. Peloton offers a huge array of at-home workouts, a connected community — but all for a hefty price tag. If you're interested in jumping on the at-home cycling bandwagon but are hesitant to part with thousands of dollars, there are plenty of Peloton alternatives for much less money.


Related: 15 Indoor Workouts That Don't Require Going to the Gym

Peloton Bike
Peloton

Peloton Bike

$1,895 and up from Peloton

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The basic Peloton package gets you a bike, but keep in mind that it doesn't include all the extra purchases required, which include a $39 monthly membership to classes, shoes, bike weights, headphones, a heart rate monitor, and even a bike mat. That all can add up to hundreds of dollars more. Even if you are ready to jump in and go for it, there's currently up to a 10-week wait to receive your machine after you've ordered. However, Peloton devotees rave about the classes and the community and insist the Peloton experience is like no other.


Related:Overpriced Workout Gear: 16 Items That Are a Waste of Money

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
Best Buy

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

$900 from Best Buy

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This model is designed to hold your own tablet and work with popular cycling apps such as Peloton and Zwift, as well as Explore the World, an app that offers global routes that auto-adjust in real-time to the rider's speed. The machine offers 100 micro-resistance levels and you can use standard toe cages or SPD clips with this bike. The machine comes with its own set of 3-pound dumbbells.


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Echelon Smart Connect EX-15 Fitness Bike
Amazon

Echelon Smart Connect EX-15 Fitness Bike

$500 from Amazon

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Like Peloton, Echelon (it even sounds similar) offers a community along with exercise. Users can take live and on-demand workout classes through the Echelon app, which include off-bike activities like yoga and strength training. The owners of EX-15s will have to use their own device to stream the classes, hence the lower price tag. The monthly subscription fee for the FitPass app starts at $12 for mat workout classes.


Related: This Cheap Workout Gear Can Help You Stay in Shape at Home


Echelon Smart Connect EX5-S
Amazon

Echelon Smart Connect EX5-S

$1,599 from Amazon

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If you're willing to spend more to get a model with a built-in touch screen, the Echelon also offers this option in the EX5-S. The rotating HD screen is built to immerse the rider in the workout, whether it's with a live instructor or a streamed class. Otherwise, specs are similar to other Echelon models and FitPass is still needed, which can cost up to $40 a month if you choose the United Monthly Plan which includes access to workouts for other machines such as the brand's treadmill and rower. This machine, like other Echelon models, features 32 resistance levels.


Related: 12 Ways to Workout at Home and Stay Motivated

Indoor Cycling Conversion Stand
Hammacher Schlemmer

Indoor Cycling Conversion Stand

$130 from Hammacher Schlemmer

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If you already have a road bike and prefer to ride outside whenever you can, it may be worth trying an indoor conversion stand for those times when you need to ride indoors. This stand simply clamps to the bike's rear wheel and provides magnetic resistance when shifting gears. Simply play whatever workout you want on your own device while riding.


Related: 24 Myths to Debunk for Your Next Workout

Bowflex C6 Bike
Bowflex

Bowflex C6 Bike

$999 from Bowflex

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You'll need to use your own device to stream workouts with this machine, but the C6 offers connectivity to all the popular apps such as Peloton, Zwift and more via Bluetooth. The machine features 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels and comes with a pair of dumbbells for arm workouts.


Related: Sick of Doing Crunches: 16 At-Home Exercises to Target Your Abs

The Myx
MYXfitness

The Myx

$1299 from Myx Fitness

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This machine features an interactive touch screen as part of the machine, and is easily adjustable for multiple users, and also works with its own app — in this case, Myx membership for $29 a month. Myx also gives the option of using pedals instead of just clipping into foot pedals like Echelon or Peloton. The Myx program has the added option of offering one-on-one, on-demand coaching from a number of the brand's instructors. There is one big difference between the Myx program and its competition, however — and senior and newbie exercisers might find it to be an improvement. While Peloton is known for focusing on resistance level and who is tops on the leaderboard, Myx coaches put more emphasis on heart rate and riding at a heart-pumping level that is safe for you. 


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NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
Best Buy

NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

$1,999 from Best Buy

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The NordicTrack price includes a one-year subscription to iFit, a NordicTrack compatible app that features trainer-led interactive workouts on par with other brands. The machine will digitally adjust to mimic on-demand workouts as well. The iFit program also offers workouts like Google street view rides and virtual international locations. The machine itself has 24 digital resistance levels, and pedals are compatible with standard road bike pedals. It has built-in, front-mounted transport wheels so it can be rolled to different rooms.


Related: 12 Outdoor Workouts Perfect for Social Distancing

Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike
Amazon

Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

$335 from Amazon

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This bike may not include the myriad of bells and whistles and included apps found with other higher-priced machines, but it gets high marks from reviewers who say it feels well-built and of solid quality at a good price for those who just want to ride. Cage pedals, transportation wheels, and adjustable resistance are all included.


Related: 12 Fitness Tips You Should Know Before Even Breaking a Sweat

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike
Amazon

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike

$330 from Amazon

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This lower-cost bike is available with a chain or belt, whatever the rider's preference.It features a pulse sensor to track your target heart rate. The brand does offer its own version of online workouts with free pre-recorded videosthat you can choose from online. One reviewer used this bike to create their own hacked version of a more expensive brand for a fraction of the price.


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Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer
Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer

$1,200 from Wahoo

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Serious road bikers may want to consider putting money toward a smart trainer instead of a whole new indoor bike. The Wahoo is designed to simulate a realistic road feel for those who prefer riding outside. It's Bluetooth enabled, so you can pair it with a number of different apps, including Wahoo's own, as well as Zwift, a popular app for road bikers. The trainer can be paired with the Kickr Climb, an indoor grade simulator, for an even more immersive experience.


Related: 25 Lies You Tell Yourself to Avoid Working Out


Peloton Tread +
Peloton

Peloton Tread +

$4,295 and up from Peloton

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Currently Peloton only offers the sky-high priced Tread +, which costs $4,865 for the biggest package that includes doubles of items like water bottles and wireless earbuds for multiple users. In May, the company will start selling the Peloton Tread at a slightly more reasonable starting price of $2,495, which will be an overall slightly smaller machine than the Tread +. The biggest difference will also be a traditional running belt instead of the more pricey shock-absorbent slat belt.


Related: No Gym Required: Strengthen Your Upper Body at Home for Less

NordicTrack 1750 Treadmill
Amazon
ProForm Carbon T7
ProForm

ProForm Carbon T7

$999 from ProForm

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ProForm brand products are also compatible with the iFit app, and this machine similarly includes a touchscreen and folds up like its NordicTrack competitor. The main differences include a smaller screen, fewer speeds (up to 10 mph compared to the NordicTrack's 12 mph) and overall slightly smaller dimensions.


Related: 17 Overpriced and Overhyped Fitness Programs

Horizon 7.0 AT Studio Series Treadmill
Horizon Fitness

Horizon 7.0 AT Studio Series Treadmill

$1,000 from Horizon Fitness

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This treadmill doesn't have a screen, but will stream from your own device via Bluetooth. It speeds up to 12 mph and offers a number of program settings such as hills, heart rate, and more. One reviewer attests that it has just the right amount of bells and whistles.


Related:Over 50? This Is the Most Important Change to Make to Your Workout Routine

Bowflex Treadmill 7
Best Buy

Bowflex Treadmill 7

$1,600 from Best Buy

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Whether you choose to stream shows from your own device or choose from a number of online workouts, this machine is a good option for someone who wants content while working out. You’ll need to subscribe to the JRNY membership first though, which costs $20 monthly, on par with other workout apps. The treadmill does not offer adjustable resistance levels, but does fold for space.


Related: The Best Workouts for Staying in Shape After 50

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill
Amazon

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill

$365 from Amazon

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This treadmill is pretty basic, with features like a digital tracking monitor and ledge for a device, but it does a good job for the price according to a number of reviewers. The machine does only go up to 7 mph, so it may not be ideal for those aiming for extreme speed or using it to keep up with very intense online workouts. But for a casual treadmill user who is looking to explore online workouts without a big monetary commitment, it may be just fine.


Related: 10 Ways to Shape Up for Summer Without the Gym

Zwift App
Zwift

Zwift App

$15 a month from Zwift

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This app is aimed at cyclists, runners, and triathletes looking for indoor training options, and it offers a global community of like-minded exercisers. Users will find training plans, group workouts, and virtual rides for serious bikers.


Related:14 Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home

Peloton App
Peloton

Peloton App

$13 a month from Peloton

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For those who are dabbling with the idea of a Peloton but aren't ready to commit, a cost-effective option is to give the Peloton app a shot on its own and download it to a TV or tablet. The first month of trying out the app is free, and you'll get access to all the Peloton studio workouts, from yoga to strength training. Download the app on your phone and take it out for guided runs as well. 


Related: 15 Free Ways to Protect Your Heart

iFit App
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iFit App

$15 a month from IFit

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You don't even need a bike to enjoy a number of the workouts available with iFit. The app claims to have thousands of on-demand workouts, with unusual offerings such as power walking and walking tours, among others. There are also streamable live workouts more akin to what Peloton offers.


Related: Which At-Home Exercise System Burns Calories Fastest?

Physiotherapist showing record on digital tablet in clinic
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Portrait of an active african american man running exercise workout outdoors
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Aaptiv

$15 a month

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Aaptiv differentiates itself from some of the other fitness apps in the market in that it offers audio as well as video workouts, which means you can listen to workouts while outside on a run or on your treadmill or indoor bike. All the usual offerings of yoga and strength-training classes are also included. There's also a community feel with Team Aaptiv where members can post selfies and share workout advice.


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