Love indoor cycling but struggling to decide which bike is the right fit for you? Read on to see which bike is the best when it comes to high-end indoor cycling.
With more and more manufacturers getting into the high-end indoor cycling market it can be difficult to pick the right bike for you. Many of the bikes have similar features, making it a difficult decision however, two bikes that consistently come out on top when looking for a high-quality indoor spinning bike are the Peloton indoor cycling bike and the NordicTrack S22i bike.
Both are fantastic, both deserve their place at the top of the pile and both would be suitable options when trying to pick a bike for use at home, but which one is right for you?
If you’re unsure, don’t worry, because in this article we are going to take a look at the Peloton indoor cycling bike and the NordicTrack S22i bike to see which one you should pick when buying an exercise bike to use at home.
Since 2012 Peloton has been a market leader in at-home boutique fitness, helping to bring exercise classes into the home. Through their exclusive Peloton workout app, users can join interactive workout sessions from all over the world and improve their fitness without ever going to the gym. Their bikes have been recognized as some of the best on the market, but let’s take a look at the features to see why it’s so popular.
- Magnetic flywheel – The Peloton bike is equipped with a manually controlled magnetic flywheel that allows for an impressively quiet and silky smooth ride. You can ride this bike next to a sleeping baby without the bike making a sound.
- HD screen with touch technology - The Peloton bike comes with a 21.5” (sweatproof) HD touchscreen built into the bike, giving you the perfect view of your instructor and the rest of the class. There’s also the added feature of a 5megapixel camera that is built into the bike, enabling the interactive trainer, or the rest of the class, to see you as you ride. You can even talk to them with video chat capabilities.
- Fully adjustable – The Peloton bike is all about comfort and with fully adjustable (vertical and horizontal) handlebars and saddle you can find the optimal position for your rides and always have the right set-up, as the bike is adjusted to you, not the other way round. For extra added comfort the saddle is molded, giving you extra support.
- Fully connected – The Peloton is fully enabled with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth allowing you to connect other devices such heart rate monitors or a smartwatch, giving you accurate performance tracking capabilities and an easier way of monitoring your stats. All of your vital stats are also presented on the screen as you ride.
- High fidelity speakers – The high fidelity built-in speakers provide crisp and clear sound as you follow along with a workout class of your choice, further adding to the feeling of being in a real spinning studio.
- Compact and easily moveable – Requiring 4’ x 2’ of floor space the Peloton has a compact design that doesn’t take up too much space. It can be used anywhere around the house. It also comes equipped with caster wheels, allowing the bike to be moved around with ease.
- Peloton workout app – Using the Peloton workout app users can replicate the feeling of being in a spinning studio/cycling class. The classes are live, with real instructors, and with the embedded video camera you can also see (and speak) to others in the session. This gives you the ability to workout whenever you want, wherever you want, and with whomever you want, all from the comfort of your own home. The only way you can beat this experience would be to attend a live class. There are 8 different cycling class formats to choose from and not content with producing high-quality on bike workouts, Peloton also offer a range of off-bike classes such as Yoga
The Peloton bike is a high-end indoor cycling bike that is perfect for anyone looking to replicate the feeling of being in an exercise class. With live instructors and the ability to see and speak to other members, you’ll start to feel like a little family, no matter where in the world you’re riding from.
The Peloton experience very much replicates a true spin class environment, making it ideal for regular class goers that want to continue group exercise, but on their own terms.
NordicTrack is another premier indoor cycling bike with S22i as it’s flagship model. Not content with designing one of the best bikes on the market for standard spinning workouts, NordicTrack also include a range of tech in their bikes to add a new dimension to any exercise session. Let’s look at what makes the NordicTrack S22i is so popular.
- 22” interactive touch screen – The S22i comes with a 22” monitor that can be used to watch online iFit spinning classes (or other workouts) in high definition. Making it simple to watch and follow along with your favorite workouts and to see the instructor in HD clear quality right on your screen.
- LIVE interactions – With a -10 and +20% incline/decline range, the S22i takes your workouts to a whole new level. Not only can the gradient of your ride be controlled but it can be automatically adjusted by the workout program, OR the live trainer when following an iFit workout class. Yes, that’s right; the trainer can adjust your bike for you as you follow along with the class, ensuring you’re always being challenged when you ride. You can also use this feature when syncing to Google Maps, with the bike adjusting as you approach hills or slopes.
- 24 levels of resistance – The NordicTrack features 24 levels of digital resistance providing even the most advanced rider with sufficient challenge for their workouts. The resistance can also be adjusted digitally by the instructors when taking part in a class once again ensuring you’re being challenged in every session.
- Studio sound system – You can connect your MP3 player to the S22i’s sound system for a truly immersive riding experience giving you clear sound, of your choosing, directly from the bike.
- Fully adjustable saddle – The S22i’s saddle can be fully adjusted, vertically or horizontally, for optimal positioning and comfort, catering to riders of all heights and giving you the chance to find the right comfort level for you.
- Monitor your performance – The S22i comes with heart rate monitoring capabilities, allowing you to monitor your heart rate by using contact sensors or a wireless chest strap which can be synched to the bike. This enables you to successfully monitor your training zones and to ensure you’re working at the right level of difficulty.
- Challenge the upper body – The NordicTrack also comes with 3lb hand weights that can be used in class and a storage unit on the back of the bike to keep them out of the way when not in use. With a range of classes available on the app, NordicTrack are also giving you options to ensure your upper body still gets a workout.
- Built to last – With a steel frame and a 350lb user weight limit the NordicTrack S22i model is built to last and can easily suit the majority of users. The frame also comes with a lifetime guarantee giving you peace of mind about the bike’s ability to hold up over time.
- iFit interactive workouts - Using the iFit app, users can replicate a real-life training session without ever leaving their home. iFit offers an interactive personal training experience with pre-recorded classes covering a range of areas, including strength, cardio, or full-body conditioning. There’s more than enough on offer to satisfy everyone’s training goals and as the classes aren’t live, you don’t have to worry about sticking to a set day or time. You can exercise whenever you want, wherever you want and with the Live Interactions feature, where trainers can adjust your difficulty as you exercise, you will always be challenged when taking part in an iFit training session.
The NordicTrack is one of the best bikes on the market and offers a wide range of workout options for users that want to exercise at home. With the ability to complete instructor lead spin classes or complete a virtual ride of your own the NordicTrack offers a more diverse cycling experience giving you a greater choice of where and how you exercise. If you’re more of a free spirit that likes to ride at different times in different venues, then the NordicTrack could be the better bike for you.
Our Take on - What's the Best Exercise Bike?
There’s not much to choose between these bikes. Both are high-end with some of the best features on the market and both offer an amazing indoor cycling experience.
The decision, therefore, comes down to your own preferences and what you enjoy. If you like the motivation and energy of a live group exercise class then the Peloton is a fantastic choice.
You feel like you’re in the studio and the ability to see and communicate with others will only add to that sense of camaraderie and that feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’ that you can only get in a group setting.
The NordicTrack however has a higher range of tech to give you a more varied type of workout.
You can push yourself with the incline and decline features whether in class or when using the Maps setting for a virtual ride in the real world and with digitally adjusted resistance your trainer will ensure you are always being challenged when you put them in control.
As the classes are not live you won’t get the true group exercise experience but you can still enjoy the vibe of a high energy spinning workout whenever your schedule allows it.
If we were to pick, it would be the NordicTrack S22i that would come out on top.
It’s a hard call to make and either bike would be a great choice but the innovative tech that allows the instructor to control your bike, plus the incline/decline feature, that can be used in Google Maps, pushed it over the edge for us and earned itself a place as the bike you need to have if you’re serious about indoor cycling at home.