Bowflex, Peloton and MYX offer high-quality exercise bikes that make working out at home anything but tedious. All three home spin bikes have huge interactive displays for an immersive experience, but there are some key differences. We’ve tested, reviewed and compared the models below to make your purchasing decision a little easier.
The Bowflex VeloCore spin bike has a unique feature that distinguishes this interactive spin bike from competitors. Unlike the Peloton and MYX, which are completely stationary, VeloCore leans into corners and gently rocks from side to side as you sprint to the finish.
If you’re craving an outdoor riding experience, swaying can bridge the gap and deliver a more realistic ride. Plus, the extra movement actively engages your core and upper body. You can easily switch to standard riding mode if a stationary bike is more your style.
VeloCore hasn’t been around as long as Peloton and MYX bikes, but it’s certainly a compelling alternative. Bowflex sent me a VeloCore spin bike for an in-depth review. I hopped on to see how it fares against its competitors.
Bowflex offers two VeloCore models. The smaller bike has a 16-inch display and costs $1,699. You’ll pay $2,199 for the larger 22-inch console. Both models have HD LCD consoles with touchscreen displays and are identical except for the different screen sizes.
Some assembly is required, although you can arrange to have your bike set up by professionals through Bowflex for $199.
VeloCore is designed for use with its own membership (JRNY). A premium JRNY membership costs $19.99 per month or $149 each year. A free two-month trial is included with each bike purchase. You’ll also have unlimited user profiles with your JRNY membership.
You can also use subscription services to Peloton, Zwift and other compatible apps if you prefer. These services won’t stream directly through the VeloCore, but you can set up your own device to follow along with your favorite third-party apps.
After testing out the interactive Bowflex Treadmill 22 with an integrated JRNY experience, I had a good idea of what to expect regarding the types of classes and interactive features. JRNY emphasizes individual performances rather than group rides and leaderboards. This is evident when you jump on for your first ride and discover that you’ll need to complete a fitness assessment to unlock available classes.
With Peloton, every available class is accessible as soon as you set up your account. You can test your personal fitness through specific drills such as the FTP (functional threshold power) test and improve those numbers through power zone training classes. Outside of power zone workouts, you’ll have to work against your existing PR, which is displayed on the side bar during class to let you know how your current effort stacks up.
If intensely energetic instructors aren’t quite your style, you’ll appreciate JRNY’s more laid-back approach. That’s not to say these classes aren’t motivational and challenging; there’s just a greater emphasis on friendly coaching and one-on-one training. Certain adaptive workouts feature a virtual coach to guide you through and keep you on track. MYX offers a similar setup. Where Peloton pulls ahead with its group-based classes, VeloCore and MYX stand out if you prefer a more intimate workout experience.
You’ll find over 75 available classes in the JRNY app. This is a much smaller number than some other programs out there. For example, Peloton has thousands of available live and on-demand classes. If you’re motivated by live classes, it’s worth noting that JRNY only has on-demand workouts. Remember that you can use a third-party app to access other live cycling classes.
Not up for an instructor-led workout? Your JRNY membership includes the Explore the World app with over 25 virtual destinations, so you can ride around the world from the comfort of your home. Bowflex definitely has the advantage over Peloton in this category. Not only can you select a variety of routes around the world, you can even customize each session by selecting your favorite music genre.
Another feature that’s unique to the VeloCore is its easily accessible Bowflex Radio and video subscription services such as Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix. You’ll need your own account to access these services.
To ensure you get the most out of your workouts and are making some serious fitness gains, the program uses AI algorithms, feedback from your initial assessment and data from previous workouts to give you customized workouts each day.
Ride & Comfort
You can lean into corners and rock back and forth as you dash for the finish line on the Bowflex VeloCore for a unique home cycling experience that no other bike on this list currently offers. Once you push the knob down to activate this feature, the bike immediately begins swaying side-to-side as you pedal. It feels quite natural, especially when standing. Aside from adding a fun new dimension to your spin workouts, it also activates your core and arms more than a stationary bike. You can easily lock and unlock this feature throughout your ride.
Whether you’re chasing down a PR during an interval workout or cruising through a virtual ride, you’ll have 100 resistance levels to accomplish your goals. It’s up to you to control the resistance accordingly throughout your ride. The MYX bikes also feature manual resistance knobs, as does the base Peloton Bike. If you really want a bike that adjusts the resistance for you, consider upgrading to the Peloton Bike+ with its Auto Follow feature.
VeloCore, Peloton and MYX all measure metrics, but in slightly different ways. VeloCore tracks your workout time, intervals, distance, total calories, calories burned each minute, cadence, resistance and goals. However, it doesn’t currently measure watts. You can monitor your heart rate using the included Bluetooth heart rate tracker or by pairing your own device. VeloCore works with several Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) heart rate monitors.
The best home spin bikes, including VeloCore, are fully adjustable. You can move the seat up and down as well as front and back. The handlebars slide up and down. This is also true for both Peloton bikes. If you’re looking for an even more customized fit, MYX handlebars can be moved forward and back as needed.
Having extensively tested the VeloCore and Peloton, the seat on the Bowflex bike feels quite firm. I definitely recommend investing in some high-quality padded bike shorts. Where Peloton offers a seat with a decent amount of padding, VeloCore’s takes a more minimalist approach that more closely resembles a racing saddle.
The smaller Bowflex VeloCore bike measures 52.6 inches high, 59.8 inches long and 24.1 inches wide. The larger bike stands slightly taller at 55.3 inches, although its length and width are the same. Bowflex recommends a minimum workout area of 108 x 72 inches to give yourself plenty of room to stand, tilt and move freely.
Pedals and Shoes
VeloCore has dual-link cage and SPD pedals that work with SPD clips or standard toe cages. The toe cages are detachable if you prefer to ride using your favorite SPD cycling shoes.
VeloCore bikes come standard with dual water bottle holders, Bluetooth speakers and a set of three-pound dumbbell weights for arm exercises.
Peloton has an edge over its competitors when it comes to classes and available workouts on and off the bike. You’ll find thousands of on-demand classes from elite-level instructors along with a steady stream of live classes added throughout the week. It’s easy to filter classes based on your preferred type, length, instructor and intensity level.
Depending on your mood and style you can choose numbers-based classes, themed rides, rhythm rides to the beat of the music, live DJ rides and training sessions with professional cyclists.
Upgrading to the Bike+ gets you a 360-degree rotating display along with a slightly larger screen. However, neither bike has an integrated media stand for your tablet or phone. Peloton offers Apple GymKit integration and Auto Follow with automatic adjustments according to the instructor’s suggested resistance. Only Bike+ is compatible with 2.4 and 5GHz networks.
The cost of delivery and assembly is included with both bikes.
Peloton’s premium All-Access membership costs $39 per month and gives you access to all available classes and performance metrics on your Bike or Tread. You can also create individual profiles for other members of your household.
The company’s Digital membership is cheaper at $12.99 per month. While you can follow along with classes from your smartphone, tablet or TV, you can’t access classes directly from your Bike or Tread. The Digital membership is only available to individual users.
Peloton’s large library of interactive workouts for all fitness levels is what really sets its popular home spin bikes apart from the rest. Options range from challenging intervals and hill climbs to relaxing recovery rides. Music and themed rides make indoor workouts much more tolerable.
Unlike MYX, which measures efforts based on heart rate, and VeloCore, which doesn’t currently display watts (although that feature may be available at a later date), Peloton offers power-based training with an emphasis on output in select classes. You can also hide the feature at any point if you’d rather not check your numbers.
The company has also expanded its offerings to include a wide variety of workouts off the bike as well. Avid runners can even purchase connected Tread and Tread+ treadmills. Looking for a full-body workout? Try out a boot camp session or try out some yoga, abs, or other floor-based classes. These classes are all included in the price of your membership.
Size and Adjustability
Both Peloton bikes are similar in size and have 4 x 2-foot footprints. Each bike requires a minimum ceiling height of eight feet and 24 inches on all sides.
However, there are some subtle differences. The Bike measures 59 inches long, 53 inches high and 23 inches wide. Bike+ is slightly taller at 59 inches high but is an inch narrower. Bike weighs 135 pounds and Bike+ weighs 140 pounds. While the Bike screen measures 21.5 inches diagonally, the Bike+ screen is 23.8 inches.
The seat, handlebars and screen are adjustable on both Peloton bikes. The seat moves in four ways, while the handlebars adjust up and down. Only the Bike+ has a swivel screen, so you can hop off and start working out on the mat that much quicker.
Pedals and Shoes
Each bike has Delta-compatible aluminum pedals and comes with Delta-Look pedals installed. You’ll need to ride clipped in using a compatible indoor cycling shoe. Not a fan of the stock pedals? You can swap them for another pair if you prefer.
You don’t really get any extras if you only purchase Peloton’s bikes. For example, the MYX and VeloCore spin bikes both come with Bluetooth heart rate monitors. However, you’ll find add-ons and accessories in the company’s various bundle options.
With the Bike, upgrading to the Essentials package gets you a pair of shoes, bike weights and headphones. You’ll also get a heart rate monitor and bike mat with the Works package. The premium Family package includes two pairs of shoes, headphones and heart rate monitors, along with two water bottles. You’ll also receive a pair of bike weights and a bike mat with this package.
Package options are slightly different (and more robust) with the pricier Bike+. The Essentials package includes a pair of shoes, bike weights and a reversible workout mat. Upgrading to the Works package gets you a bike mat and a set of resistance bands along with everything in the Essentials package. In addition to these perks, the top-tier Family package also includes two pairs of shoes, yoga blocks, a yoga strap and two water bottles.
In many ways, MYX bikes are the opposite of Peloton. If you prefer to focus on improving your health and moving at your own pace, rather than competing with others and dishing out high-fives on a leaderboard (which MYX doesn’t have), then the MYX could be more your style.
Unlike Bowflex and Peloton, which provide a larger screen bike for a higher price, both MYX bikes come with the same 21.5-inch interactive touchscreen tablet. Even better, the screen swivels for easier viewing off the bike. This way you swiftly transition from your bike into a core or full-body workout without having to set up a second screen. The screen on Peloton’s Bike+ rotates 360 degrees but you’ll pay a premium for that feature compared to either MYX bike.
The MYX membership is $29 per month. You can create up to five profiles for every membership, which is great for families.
MYX partners with Openfit to offer live and on-demand classes for every fitness level. As with Peloton, MYX has designed its bikes to use with its own membership. You could technically use another app if you want since the bike’s resistance is manual, but you wouldn’t be able to use the MYX touchscreen or its methodology. However, you can screen non-fitness apps, such as the news, and still get credit for your MYX II workout.
As with several of its competitors, you can use your MYX account for more than just cycling workouts.
Ride & Comfort
If you’re into heart rate-based training, MYX II is your go-to bike. The company recognizes the benefits of training using your heart rate zones and has incorporated this methodology into its training programs. To reach the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, you should aim for workouts between 60 and 75 percent of your maximum heart rate, according to Harvard Medical School.
Don’t worry if you’re new to heart rate training or aren’t quite sure about your zones. MYX II uses AI technology to suggest rides based on your MYX Zone Calibration Ride results. The calibration ride measures your cardiovascular fitness then creates customized heart rate training zones just for you.
MYX II is the only bike on this list with fully adjustable handlebars. In addition to moving up and down, the handlebars slide forward and back for a more precise and comfortable fit. You can also adjust the seat in four ways to find the most comfortable riding position. This home cycling bike fits riders between 4’11” and 6’8″ and support riders up to 350 pounds.
Each bike measures 54 inches long, 21 inches wide and 47 inches high. Footprint dimensions are 3’4″ long and 1’7″ wide. MYX suggests at least a 4 x 6-foot area to fully enjoy your bike.
Pedals and Shoes
MYX II uses dual-sided pedals that work with SPD clips for your indoor cycling shoes or cages for athletic shoes.
Both bikes include a 21.5-inch interactive touchscreen tablet and a Polar OH1 heart rate monitor. The MYX Plus comes with a six-piece weight set with kettlebells, a large exercise mat, EVA foam roller and a resistance band. You can choose between two colors for both MYX models.
Which Is Better: Bowflex or Peloton?
Only Bowflex currently offers a bike that moves, so you’re not riding in a fixed position for the entire workout. It’s easy to activate the lean feature on the Bowflex or turn it off if you’re looking for a more stable ride. Both Peloton bikes are stationary.
If you’re looking to save some money, the Bowflex VeloCore is less expensive. The smaller Bowflex with a 16-inch console costs $1,699, while the larger 22-inch console is $2,199. Peloton’s entry-level Bike costs $1,895 and its Bike+ is $2,495.
As far as membership classes are concerned, Peloton has the edge with its thousands of on-demand and live classes. New classes are added each day to mix up your cycling routine. Bowflex only has on-demanded classes on its JRNY app. However, you can ride along with your favorite third-party apps on the Bowflex without losing access to the bike’s features — something that can’t be done on a Peloton. The bike syncs your RPM data when using the Peloton app and your heart rate, RPM and power with Zwift.
Bowflex uses dual-sided link pedals for your SPD cycling shoes or athletic shoes. Peloton’s bikes are clip-in only and work with a three-hole Delta-Look shoe.
Is MYX as Good as Peloton?
MYX II is easier on the wallet and has several features that you won’t find on a Peloton bike. For starters, its classes revolve around heart rate-based training. A Polar OH1 heart rate monitor is included with both MYX bikes for more efficient training. You can use your heart rate monitor on a Peloton, but its classes aren’t exclusively designed for heart rate training. Both bikes offer live and on-demand classes, but MYX partners with a third party to bring you this feature.
Unlike Peloton, MYX doesn’t require you to upgrade to its premium bike to get a swivel screen. Both MYX II bikes have a 21.5-inch interactive touchscreen tablet that can be rotated to follow along when you’re off the bike.
MYX and Peloton provide on- and off-bike workouts on their respective platforms to mix up your workouts. However, only Peloton currently has another connected machine — its Tread and Tread+ — to complete your home gym setup.
MYX uses friction resistance, much like you find on a real bike. Both Peloton and Bowflex rely on a more durable magnetic resistance system for their bikes. All three manufacturers offer manually adjustable resistance, but Peloton outfitted its premium Bike+ with an Auto Follow function if you want your instructor to control the resistance.
Both manufacturers sell bikes with extra features, including cycling shoes, if you’re willing to spend a bit more. The MYX II Plus includes a six-piece weight set with kettlebells along with a large exercise mat, EVA foam roller and a resistance band.
Peloton’s premium Bike+ doesn’t come with accessories, but you can upgrade to an Essentials package for either bike to get shoes, bike weights and a reversible workout mat. Peloton has three additional packages for each of its bikes, while MYX doesn’t have extra packages available. However, you can choose between two colors for your MYX II bike. The company also gives you a choice between light, medium and heavy weight sets.
Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Peloton?
MYX II and Bowflex VeloCore are cheaper alternatives to Peloton. The entry-level MYX II is available for $1,599 and its premium bike is $1,799. The Bowflex VeloCore starts at $1,699 for the 16-inch console model and $2,199 for the 22-inch console. Peloton’s base Bike is $1,895 and its Bike+ has a starting price of $2,495.
Another one of our favorites is the NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle. The entry-level S15i Studio Cycle starts at $1,799 and is a well-built interactive spin bike for your home workouts. Upgrade to the S22i Studio Cycle for a larger 22-inch screen.
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