Stationary bikes are an excellent way to get exercise without exposing yourself to outdoor elements like snow and rain. It’s no secret that Peloton makes some of the best stationary bikes on the planet, but that quality comes with a premium price. The price forces budget conscious exercise fanatics look for the best Peloton alternatives.
The features to look for vary from one person to another. In general, the best Peloton alternatives must have the following features:
- Adjustable Resistance
- Quiet at High Cadence
- Integrated Display
- Water Bottle Cage
Stationary bikes get compared to treadmills, but they shouldn’t. The impact on your knees from running can be painful, which is why biking is a popular alternative to running. Both are great ways to exercise, but for my lifestyle a stationary bike is the best option.
Best Budget Peloton Alternative Bike
The best peloton alternative comes from a brand you probably haven’t heard of. Yosuda Indoor Stationary Bikes offer tons of features for a fraction of the cost.
Yosuda Stationary Bikes come with a tablet mount allowing tablet and iPad users to customize their display. I prefer listening to Spotify while I ride, or watching YouTube.
Yosuda Indoor Stationary Bikes come with free shipping and a 30 day return policy, giving you a risk-free test ride. Assembly is easy, and the user-friendly features will have you sweating in a good way shortly after taking the bike out of the box.
The Yosuda Pro uses a magnetic resistance system, which means your ride is virtually silent. The display located below the tablet mount records and shows your exercise data for regulating exercise intensity.
Finally, the Yosuda Pro has an adjustable height saddle that includes fore and aft adjustments. With a weight capacity of 350 lbs there are very few people that don’t fit on this indoor stationary bike.
I always recommend buying direct from the manufacturer when possible. You can purchase the Yosuda Pro Stationary Bike direct from Yosuda here: Yosuda Pro Indoor Stationary Bike.
How To Connect Stationary Bike to Zwift
Stationary bike are a great alternative to avoid damaging your outdoor bike by putting it on a smart trainer. The advantage to smart trainers is their seamless integration with apps like Rouvy and Zwift.
Stationary bike owners will be happy to know you too can connect to third party apps. You simply need a Bluetooth/Ant+ speed sensor, or a power meter. Many speed sensors wrap around your wheel hub, which isn’t an option on stationary bikes.
The Powertap PowerCal Heart rate monitor (Check Price on Amazon Here) is an easy workaround and costs less than speed/cadence sensors and traditional power meters. The PowerCal Heart Rate Monitor converts heart rate data to power. It sends the power data to Zwift (or other cycling apps) through a Bluetooth connection.
Your avatar on Zwift moves on screen with power data. Zwift converts speed/cadence data to power which is why bikes on non-smart trainers also work with Zwift. However, most stationary bikes use a solid flywheel that doesn’t have an exposed hub capable of mountain a speed sensor. That’s what makes power data from a heart rate monitor an awesome alternative for stationary bike owners.
There is a drawback to heart rate driven power data. When you start riding your heart rate is low. That means your power data will not reflect your effort during warm up. (In other words, your avatar will move slower than it should while you’re getting started.)
The best Peloton alternatives that don’t require accessories to work with third party cycling apps are indoor smart trainers. Learn more in this Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer review.