id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Indoor cycling is all the rage. That's in part because it's easier on your knees, in part because an indoor cycling bike takes up less space than a treadmill, and in part because you can experience virtual rides and cycling classes via an interactive screen. But here's the thing: As you probably learned from that now-infamous Peloton commercial, a Peloton bike starts at $2,200, and a class subscription will run you another $39 per month.
Show of hands: Who'd like to see a Peloton alternative for less money? Meeee! Spinning is a great workout and thankfully, there are plenty of indoor cycling options. Below I've rounded up some of the latest and greatest so you can see just how much you stand to save. I have firsthand experience with most of these bikes, and will be updating this post in the coming weeks as I'm able to try others. (In the meantime, if you want the cheapest possible option, see my story on DIY Peloton bike, or how to build your own smart bike on the cheap.) For now, let's talk about two key features that impact an indoor cycle's price: the screen and the subscription.
Read more:†The best treadmills of 2020 Now playing: Watch this: High-tech fitness equipment for your home 1:13 The screen: Built-in or BYO? The sexiest aspect of the Peloton bike is, without question, its integrated 21-inch HD touchscreen. It just feels really luxurious to interact with such a spacious display, whether for browsing Peloton classes, viewing your cycling stats or just watching your onscreen instructor. Of course, that's also a big reason the bike is so expensive; most competitors come with a smaller screen or none at all.
Read more:†Peloton, Daily Burn and more: Best workout subscription apps†† Tyler Lizenby/CNET For example, the Bowflex C6 costs just $900, but doesn't come with any kind of display. Instead, it has a mount for your tablet, which connects to third-party apps via Bluetooth. The smaller screen may not draw you in as much, but a tablet allows you to do things other than watch class videos, like read books, stream Netflix or even go on virtual outdoor rides.
I'm not saying one is definitively better than another -- there are pros and cons to built-in and BYO screens. Read more:†The best vitamin subscription services for a healthy 2020 The subscription: Mandatory or optional? If the goal of purchasing a piece of home-fitness equipment is to avoid pricey gym or class memberships, some of these bikes may leave you scratching your head. As noted, Peloton charges $39 per month; Myx Fitness runs a little cheaper at $29, while Echelon's plans range from $20 to $40.
If you buy a NordicTrack cycle, you get your first year of the companion iFit service at no extra charge. After that, it costs $39 a month, or about $33 if you prepay annually. Bowflex is the outlier here, with no required membership: It's designed to work with various third-party services, including Peloton Digital ($13 a month) and Zwift ($15 a month). You can use any of these bikes independently, of course -- you don't have to take a class (though Peloton does require a minimum one-year subscription as part of your purchase).
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