We just keep hearing the question of what’s a good alternative to the Peloton bike? these days, and thankfully it seems there are several companies now willing to answer that call. We’ve seen some that go for a more direct apples-to-apples approach, whereas others (including today’s topic, the MYX Fitness Bike) tweak things in a few different places in order to deliver a similar experience. If you’ve already researched the MYX Fitness bike, you know that there are some key differences between the two, but the real question is which bike fits what type of rider, and this is what we’re setting out to clarify today. As much in specification as in experience, these two bikes definitely have their differences.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s worth a mention that Peloton has added a new higher spec bike to their catalog known as the Bike+. The new model adds features like a new larger 23.8-inch screen, the ability to swivel its screen, auto-follow resistance (where the bike adjusts automatically to follow instructors), and connectivity with the Apple Watch. Because all of these features come at an additional cost, we’re focusing our attention on the standard Peloton Bike in this comparison. What makes matters more challenging is that the standard Peloton Bike now has a lower price of $1,445, making it much more competitive than it was before, particularly against the $1,399 MYX Bike.
Two big differences to consider here are the type of resistance and the style of workout programming. The MYX Bike brings an old-school approach using mechanical friction whereas the Peloton has the newer and more popular magnetic resistance. Programming-wise, the MYX crew brings a unique approach incorporating heart rate monitoring into the workouts, while Peloton’s popular group classes have become near cult-like.
|Footprint||4′ long by 2′ wide||3’4″ long by 1’7″ wide|
|Weight||135 lbs.||134 lbs.|
|Frame||Welded Steel||Welded Steel|
|Resistance||Magnetic flywheel resistance system||Mechanical friction resistance system|
|Console Features||21.5 Full HD Touchscreen
|21.5 Full HD Touchscreen
Included Polar Heart Rate Monitor
|Check Price||Check Price|
Now that you have the basics, here is a closer look at what these differences (and similarities) mean for your actual riding/training experience.
To put it simply, the footprint is how much space your bike will take up in a room, and for the most part this shape and style of indoor cycling bike is pretty consistent from brand to brand. The MYX reads as being smaller, however depending on how you position the seat and bars of the bike, it will likely be a bit touch longer than the spec would suggest.
Overall bike weight plays a pretty big role when it comes to riding stability, and surprisingly both the MYX and Peloton are within about a pound of each other. This is in part due to the heavy flywheel used on the MYX Bike—an item that’s especially necessary on account of the brand using friction resistance rather than magnetic.
The frame on both of these bikes is made of high-strength steel, so as far as that goes, you shouldn’t have any issues. Both should hold up just fine and allow you to get a great workout in for years to come. Both bikes come with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor with a 5-year warranty on the frame.
In terms of size though, consider that the Peloton bike offers a height range of 4’11 to 6’4 with a maximum user weight of 297 pounds. The MYX Bike offers a height range of 4’11” up to 6’8″ and weight maximum to 350 pounds. For riders on the upper end of the size spectrum, this could be a deciding point in favor of the MYX Bike. Also in terms of bike design, the Peloton model comes with toe clips for the pedals, otherwise riders might consider cleats or special biking shoes. We’ve read reviews which indicate that street shoes are doable here, but the company would clearly prefer folks buy their own brand of shoes. Meanwhile, the MYX Bike pedals work with any regular shoes or SPD clips.
Meanwhile, the Peloton model’s handlebars are not adjustable, while the MYX Bike offers a much great array of positions in terms of height and depth, moving up and down, forward, or backwards.
Finally a category where we have a distinct difference to discuss! The two bikes use very different resistance systems to make your riding experience easier or more challenging (depending on settings). In the case of the MYX Bike, a felt pad creates physical drag on the heavy flywheel to add resistance to your ride. Controlled in the same fashion, the Peloton uses magnets that it moves closer to or further from the flywheel to add more resistance. Over the long run, the felt pad becomes a wearable item over time (we’re talking years), but from a functional standpoint the effect is quite similar. Both systems use a control knob that allows for precise adjustment of resistance while riding.
One thing you will notice as a difference between these two is noise. While it’s definitely not significant, there will be a small amount more noise from the MYX Bike on account of the physical contact of parts used to create drag. Because the magnets and flywheel of the Peloton are not contacting one another, the ride will be pretty close to silent.
Back to being inherently similar, both of these bikes use a belt drive system connecting the pedals to the flywheel, creating a smooth ride all while limiting noise (compared to the chain drive found on actual bicycles).
Now here’s where things get interesting. By using the change in resistance types as their primary means of cutting costs, the MYX Bike is still able to offer a high-definition console and streaming training in a similar format to Peloton, albeit with a few key differences. The subscription for training will set you back $29/month ($10 cheaper than Peloton), and rather than going for the competitive style of training where you fight to get on the leader board, and are pushed to train harder by keeping up with cadence and resistance stats on the bike, MYX fitness takes a much more individualized approach. You’re training against yourself rather than the pack, and their guidance revolves around heart rate zones, so as long as you’re exerting yourself and keeping your BPM up, MYX trainers won’t be pushing you to up the pace. This is a great method for those that are newer to indoor cycling and are less motivated by the competition factor. On the other hand, the MYX Bike allows users to pause their workouts, while the Peloton Bike/Bike+ has no pause button, meaning riders can only exit and re-enter a class. This is a handy little feature for home fitness machines.
With the Peloton bike, competition is a big selling feature, as well as the overall quality of instruction. The brand was the first to market with this type of bike, and their following is almost cult-like. Being that they’ve been in business longer, there are more classes available to be streamed at any given time, and members are able to take part in live spin classes that are broadcast from Peloton studios in New York. As with MYX, there’s a monthly subscription cost for the service, this time of $39/month.
Pricing and Value
This makes for an interesting topic, as you really need to consider the fact that the MYX Bike is just a bit less than the price of the Peloton, and it’s definitely still more than half the bike. If you’re a seasoned spin class master, our recommendation will still be to take the step up—smooth as the MYX Bike is, thanks to its heavy flywheel, the Peloton will deliver a better ride when you’re pushing yourself to the limit. Novice to intermediate riders, and those looking to add something new to their routine, on the other hand, can save a few bucks and still get a really solid workout in off of the MYX Bike and also save on monthly expenses over your lifetime of ownership.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when looking at which exercise bike is right for you, but hopefully this handy guide helps clear the air in regards to what value you get at either end of the exercise bike pricing spectrum.