Indoor cycling is all the rage these days, with Peloton leading the very pricey charge to get a bike into every home. Although gyms and spin studios are starting to open back up, there's much to be said for the convenience of working out on your own schedule, without having to go someplace.
But do you really have to pay $1,895 for a Peloton Bike or $2,495 for its step-up Bike Plus, along with $39 a month for classes? Thankfully, no. Here are three great bikes that cost a lot less.
WHAT Myx Fitness Myx
THE COST $1,299, with a monthly membership fee of $29
AVAILABLE FROM myxfitness.com
Myx Fitness offers the closest thing to a straight-up Peloton clone: a bike with a 21.5-inch screen and original, in-house fitness programming. The bike itself is as solid as they come, with reversible pedals (toe cages on one side, shoe clips on the other), handlebar height and depth adjusters and a monitor that can tilt and pivot. Although the bike can track your heart rate (courtesy of an included Polar armband monitor), it doesn't collect or display cycling data such as speed, distance or resistance.
Myx's touch screen user interface is excellent: clean, responsive and easy to navigate. It's currently home to hundreds of classes (not just biking, but also weight training, meditation, yoga and so on), with more added weekly. Virtual trail rides are now available as well, along with Myx Media content such as news and coach diaries.
WHAT Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3
THE COST $1,040 or $1,400 with a one-year subscription
AVAILABLE FROM echelonfit.com
If you want something close to the Peloton indoor bike experience without the price, look to Echelon. The company offers a very similar class structure, both live and on-demand, but it's available via less expensive hardware.
However, you can't use an Echelon bike with any third-party cycling apps — not if you want real-time stats. For the moment, the bikes can pair only with the Echelon app. As noted, that app delivers a very Peloton-like experience, but also has roughly the same subscription rates.
WHAT ProForm Studio Bike Pro
THE COST $39 per month
AVAILABLE FROM proform.com
It sounds almost too good to be true, but ProForm's deal is real — and awesome: Pay $39 a month for an iFit subscription and the bike is yours for free. You have to keep that subscription for three years, but that brings your total out-of-pocket cost to right around $1,400. That's what you'd pay up front for a lot of bikes, and then you'd still be paying a monthly fee on top.
The bike features a silent flywheel, height-adjustable seat and handlebars, digital resistance settings, 3-pound hand weights and a 10-inch touch screen that can turn 180 degrees in either direction.
The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior editor Rick Broida and copy editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.