You'd think picking a stationary bike was easy. Just two pedals, a handlebar, and a flywheel, right? That was before smart-fitness bikes started appearing in showrooms and on websites with sexed-up product feature lists boasting all sorts of modern fitness wizardry. Technology makes our lives easier, but it also makes products more expensive to buy and those purchases more difficult to justify.
We want to make things easier for you. We've taken the Peloton+, the Energym RE:GEN, and the Nordic Track Commercial S22i Studio Cycle and picked out their features, and their pros and cons so you can see side-by-side which one is best for you, because whilst all three are great bikes, they won't all be suitable for everyone.
Here's our super quick breakdown for you. If you want the heavy reading, keep scrolling.
Price: £2,295.00 + £39pm
Date released: September 2020
Peloton+ is the bike for affluent and competitive individuals who want to replicate the spin class experience in their own homes. It doesn't come cheap. Peloton has done exceptionally well during the global pandemic as more people switch to an at-home exercise practice.
- 23.8" HD touchscreen that rotates 180 degrees to both the left and right.
- Front-facing high fidelity speakers and rear-facing woofers.
- Built-in 4 digital array microphone
- With the Peloton app, there are live instructor-led classes and access to an extensive on-demand library.
- HD display shows current speed, distance, cadence, calories burned, leader board, and more.
- The auto-follow digital resistance system means the bike can change resistance on cues from the instructors, rather than the rider doing it manually.
- Adjustable saddle for riders between 4"11 and 6"5 and up to 305 pounds.
- 8 MP webcam for video chats during the class (privacy shutter included).
- Compatible with both wired and Bluetooth headphones
- Welded steel frame
|The automated digital resistance makes it easier to focus on the instructor rather than having to adjust manually.|
|Riders are connected to an online community. The leader board allows competition against other. The webcam enables people to chat during the class.|
|The bike would be a statement piece in most homes as it's beautifully designed.|
|The 30-day home trial means you can return it with minimal fuss if you don't like it.|
|There's finance available at $49 USD/month for 39 months for those unable to pay upfront.|
|Peloton's engaging instructors go full-pelt to recreate the live class experience. There's a bank of different personalities and styles so you're free to follow and choose the one's you gel with. It's ideal for those who might miss the live class experience of an in-studio routine. There's an expansive library of on-demand classes available 24/7 too.|
|The bike doesn't make much noise so will be useful for anyone who exercises at odd times of the day and night.|
|The Peloton App includes yoga classes, meditation and strength training so you can do more than just ride.|
|You can find your functional power threshold by taking a power ride. The results are then displayed alongside the metrics of all future rides so riders can see how well they're really doing.|
|The Peloton+ costs more than $2000/£2000|
|And that price doesn't include the on-going cost of the £39/$39 monthly Peloton All-Access app. Without the app, there's limited functionality and riders will lose access to almost all of the bike's stand-out features.|
|Apple GymKit is only compatible with the cycling classes and not with yoga or bootcamp.|
|Users are buying into Peloton's technology more than the bike's physical construction. If the company goes bust or if it stopped supporting updates of older models, riders are stuck footing the bill for an upgrade or replacement. This happened in 2019, when Peloton pulled its first generation tablet leaving many riders with unsupported screens that could no longer be updated.|
|The handlebars cannot be adjusted forward or back. This could be a problem for shorter people trying to achieve a comfortable riding position. If there's a Peloton boutique nearby, it's worth sitting on a display bike before committing to buy.|
|Riders can't use the tablet for Netflix or other streaming services.|
|Customers can't ride in regular trainers or sneakers and have to buy Delta-compatible cleats.|
|The screen only allows riders to follow Peloton classes so there's no choice to switch to another fitness subscription provider.|
Price: From £1,499.00
Date released: Launching in May 2021
The Energym RE:GEN is the most affordable bike on this list. It's also got a stand-out USP: it can capture the energy created during a workout and then convert it into electricity that the rider can charge electronic devices with. But this isn't just a science project that's been tacked onto a stationary bike. It has several key benefits and features designed to make exercise easier, time-efficient, and rewarding.
- The RE:GEN is more affordable than both the Peloton+ and the Nordictrack S22i Studio Cycle
- Its clip-on portable battery unit captures and stores the energy generated by the rider during each workout. This clean electricity will then charge a range of electronic devices including phones and laptops.
- The personal power meter shows a rider's functional power threshold (FTP) using a five-colour zoning system displayed on the Ohm battery.
- The Ohm can charge 4 devices simultaneously
- The RE:GEN is Zwift compatible
- Riders can earn sweatcoins for their workouts
- The bike is engineered from a steel and aluminium frame
- The RE:GEN has a tri-axis soft-padded adjustable saddle with a micro-adjustable handlebar
- It has a moveable tablet screen holder
- And digitally controlled resistance using digital torque factoring technology.
- Pair the RE:GEN to the Energym app for personalised workouts designed to make exercise more efficient. Using previous performances, fitness goals, required calorie burn, and time available, the AI builds training plans and workouts based on the individual rider.
- On-demand instructor-led classes are also available on the app along with head-to-head battles, games, and pro-racing.
|It's more affordable than both the Peloton+ and the Nordictrack making it more accessible to those reluctant to spend £2000+ on a fitness bike.|
|You can charge your electronic devices on the energy you create during your workout. One average workout can charge your phone 14 times. You earn the energy you've generated and then you can hold it in your hands and use it however you'd like.|
|Calculating your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is easy on the RE:GEN and that means building better training zones and plans. The RE:GEN displays your FTP on the Ohm battery, so you can see quickly and clearly how well you're working out and adjust your efforts accordingly.|
|Resistance is controlled digitally, so there's no distraction during a workout or any need to turn awkward knobs.|
|You bring your own screen to this bike. Placing it onto the 360 degree screen holder, you have the freedom to watch whatever you want when you're working out. Exercise to your favourite TV shows on Netflix. Catch the live stream of your favourite YouTuber. Follow along with a workout on any digital app.|
|The RE:GEN is compatible with Zwift. Road cyclists can train during the winter without having to bring their bikes indoors. Zwift lets you ride and race in virtual environments; it's a great change of pace for anyone uninspired by studio sessions.|
|The RE:GEN is an indoor bike that's accessible to everyone. It's great for beginners. If you've spend most of your life on the couch, this is a great introduction to the joys and health benefits of indoor cycling.|
|Riders can earn sweatcoins for the workouts they complete. This is great for riders who struggle with motivation and who may benefit from the use of incentives.|
|Using the app allows the AI to build personalised workouts based on a riders past performances, time available, goals and required calorie burn for a more efficient and tailored approach to your fitness.|
|The RE:GEN's ability to capture energy makes it easy for anyone to reduce their personal carbon footprint.|
|The RE:GEN is launching on IndieGoGo in spring 2021. Whilst reserving the bike before the launch gives customers an exclusive discount and the chance to be first-in on this impressive piece of kit, customers will need to wait until November for delivery. Not ideal for anyone needing a bike today.|
|There's no screen. This makes the bike more affordable and environmentally friendly but riders need to bring their own tablets and phones to follow classes.|
|There are no live instructor-led classes available at the moment. These are coming but only after the product has been launched although, on-demand classes will be available.|
Price: From £1,999.00
Date released: November 2020
Unlike Peloton and Energym, NordicTrack has a range of at-home cardio equipment to choose from including several indoor bikes. The S22i is its most recent release. Nordictrack is one of Peloton's competitors and whilst it isn't a cheaper alternative, it does have added features that will appeal more to cyclists than the Peloton+ will.
- 22" Smart HD tilting touchscreen with a 360° rotation
- Non-slip adjustable handlebars
- Adjustable saddle and seat post
- Silent magnetic resistance (SMR)
- 24-levels of digital resistance
- Digitally amplified speakers
- 20-degree tilting system to recreate ascent and descent.
- Global training feature where riders can be instructed in virtual environments and terrains generated by Google maps.
- One year family access to iFit included.
- Includes 2 3-pound dumbbells.
- Real-time performance data tracking.
- Live training with instructors or access a library of workouts.
- Trainers can digitally adjust the resistance on the bike remotely.
- Includes two water bottle holders and a handlebar tray.
- Auto breeze fan under the screen
- It has an auxiliary music port so riders can play their own music through the speakers.
|Finance is available for those needing to spread the cost. £50.19 per month for 40 months.|
|Its -10 to +20 degree incline feature helps create a more realistic training environment. Riders can follow pre-set routes or make their own and experience changes in the terrain as if they were riding there. The added 22-levels of digital resistance also offers greater scope for keen cyclists looking to take their training indoors. This will also be attractive to anyone easily bored with classes or uninspired by the inside of studios.|
|The bike runs very quietly (until the incline motor turns on...)|
|The dumbells are a nice touch and a good incentive for riders to also get in an upper-body workout.|
|The small fan keeps riders cool during hot weather or during tough routes or classes.|
|Nordictrack throws in a 1-year iFit family subscription worth up to $39 per month with the bike.|
|iFit also offers individual memberships rather than just family ones. This makes it more affordable for people living alone.|
|There's no need for specialist cycling shoes with this bike. More experienced cyclists can still change the pedals for a more professional approach.|
|It connects to bluetooth headphones and heartrate monitors|
|It's self-assembly unless you opt for white glove delivery costing $249 (currently suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic).|
|Nordictrack are notorious within online communities for poor customer service. There are countless reports of customers waiting weeks and even months for repairs or replacement parts.|
|Unlike Peloton, Nordictrack doesn't use official music licenses, so there's no riding along to favourite tracks.|
|Syncing with Android can mean a slight lag|
|The bike doesn't pair with Apple GymKit.|
|As with Peloton, riders need a subscription to enjoy the bike's best features. Although the first year is free, it's up to $39 per month after that.|
|The incline motor is very loud|
Each of these bikes have their pros and cons, however if you want the best all rounder, the Energym RE:GEN comes out on top, both on cost and when it comes to features and functionality.