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Peloton vs NordicTrack: which fitness bike is better?

When it comes to a home fitness bike, there are two major players: Peloton and NordicTrack. Both companies are well known in the home gym market and have great equipment paired with strong virtual workout routines. Which fitness bike is the best – the NordicTrack S22i or the Peloton Bike +? We break it down so that you can choose the exercise bike that best suits your needs.

Equipment

Man on a Peloton Bike Plus.
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Peloton is a newcomer to the home gym market, launching its first bike in 2013. It may be the newcomer, but the company is acting like a veteran. Peloton’s Bike + and NordicTrack 22i feature rotating HD touchscreens, built-in speakers, and magnetic resistance instead of mechanical flywheels. Both bikes have a similar build quality and are heavy with a solid build. You feel like you can ride these bikes as hard as you can without breaking them.

This category is a cinch as the NordicTrack S22i and Peloton Bike + are ready to lick and keep spinning.

Resistance training

A significant difference between the two bikes is the way they control resistance. The Peloton uses a manual button to gradually change resistance, while the NordicTrack uses a +/- numeric keypad. NordicTrack’s keyboard is a bit easier to adjust resistance in set increments, but you have finer control with the Peloton button. Both bikes feature an automatic resistance that changes automatically in sync with the workout.

Peloton gets the green light in this category for its manual controls. Sometimes NordicTrack’s resistance settings are just low enough that one setting is too hard and the next is too low. With Peloton this is never a problem as you can dial in the right amount of resistance.

Incline and decline

NordicTrack S22i decay adjustment.

The S22i also has a power tilt and decline feature that makes you feel like you’re going up or down a hill. The bike physically moves up and down, forcing you to change your body position as you ride. This provides a more natural feel than simply increasing the resistance to simulate a climb. The NordicTrack S22i automatically adjusts up to a 20 degree tilt and down to a 10 degree drop. Peloton, in comparison, only uses resistance to simulate hill climbs. Resistance increases your effort, but it doesn’t require you to adjust your stance, a key factor in maximizing the efficiency with which you ascend or descend hilly terrain.

The NordicTrack S22i is the big winner when it comes to simulating hill climbs and descents.

Pedals

The NordicTrack S22i comes with standard bike pedals with age clips that will fit any shoe. The Peloton Bike +, however, comes equipped with Delta Clips, so you must have compatible bike shoes to ride it.

Here we give the NordicTrack S22i the edge, because not everyone wants to buy a special pair of cycling shoes for a home bike training.

Workouts

NordicTrack S22i outdoor training on display.

iFit and NordicTrack focus on bringing the outdoors into your indoor activity. iFit films workouts from a cyclist’s perspective in a variety of locations. You can follow a trainer as they roam the city or climb the mountain trails of Moab. Peloton offers a limited number of outdoor riding sessions, and they’re not as immersive as the iFit options. Peloton, however, offers a more robust studio experience with plenty of coaches and live online lessons. You can easily follow a trainer you like and enjoy new content on a regular basis.

There is no clear winner in the training category because it is all about personal preference. Do you prefer first person rides on different terrains? Then choose the NordicTrack S22i powered by iFit. iFit has spent a lot of time and effort recording videos in exotic locations. You’ll love it if you want to virtually experience varied landscapes while working out. If you want gym workouts that allow you to exercise remotely with other people, then go for Peloton, which offers top-notch live online classes.

Apple Watch integration

Track workouts with Apple Watch.
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When it comes to the Apple Watch, Peloton has a clear advantage. The Bike + supports Apple’s Gymkit API, which allows you to pair your Apple Watch with the Bike + and share information between the two devices. You can use the heart rate sensor of the watch instead of a chest strap when you exercise. Just start the workout and Apple Watch will connect automatically. Gymkit also allows you to view workout statistics such as speed and calories on your watch and then save that data in the Watch Activity app. The NordicTrack S22i does not offer any integration with Apple Watch or other portable fitness devices.

Weight Limit

The weight limit of each bike is key to knowing which one to buy, especially for those with a taller and taller frame. The NordicTrack S22i has a slight advantage over the Peloton Bike +. Platoon reaches a maximum of 297 pounds, while the S22i supports up to 350 pounds. This higher weight limit increases the number of people who can use the bicycle. Do you have a brother who plays football and is built like a tank? You can let it jump on your NordicTrack S22i bike without worrying about it breaking.

Subscription

Woman doing a NordicTrack S22i subscription workout.

The NordicTrack S22i and Peloton Bike + both require a monthly subscription which is in addition to the overall cost of the bike. Overall, NordicTrack has a better deal. The fitness company ships the S22i with a one-year free trial to iFit, saving $ 180. Peloton does not offer a similar discount when you purchase exercise equipment. The company immediately begins charging customers the monthly fee of $ 39.

After the iFit trial expires, NordicTrack owners can choose between a cheaper individual plan ($ 15 per month) or a monthly family plan of $ 39. iFit also offers an annual option that costs $ 180 for an individual or $ 396 for a family. Peloton offers a one-time monthly subscription that allows you to add multiple profiles to your account. There is no cheaper individual option for those who may not need multiple profiles. iFit and NordicTrack work on multiple devices, so a single account can be used on a bicycle, treadmill, and elliptical trainer.

Cost and warranty

NordicTrack’s S22i is slightly cheaper, with a final cost of $ 1,999 or $ 52 per month on a payment plan. Peloton’s Bike + is more expensive at $ 2,495 or $ 59 per month. The S22i also includes two 3-pound dumbbells for use with certain off-bike exercises. Peloton offers similar full body workouts, but you must provide your own dumbbells.

If you’re concerned about longevity, you should take a close look at the NordicTrack S22i. The NordicTrack S22i comes with a 10-year frame warranty, two-year parts warranty, and one-year labor warranty. The Peloton Bike +, on the other hand, only comes with a 12-month limited warranty.

Verdict

The NordicTrack S22i and Peloton Bike + are both great fitness bikes. They are leading the way in terms of features, build quality, and the breadth of their fitness library. The NordicTrack S22i targets the casual rider with standard pedals and outdoor rides that appeal to a wider audience. The Peloton Bike + is intended for die-hard enthusiasts who already have cycling shoes and who like competitive indoor training. You can’t go wrong with either bike. Whichever one you choose, you will enjoy plenty of indoor training miles.

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