Bike Trainer vs Peloton – Which is the better option for fitness?

If you had the opportunity to train on one, which between the bike trainer and Peloton alternative will you pick?

The first time you sign up for gym classes, you are pumped up and you are willing and eager to try as many equipment possible.

My first days at my current training space were very all over the place but my love for cycling had me alternating between the bike trainer and the Peloton.

That is how I got to learn about this two equipment and I’m going to share with you all that I know about them.

What are the differences between Bike Trainer and Peloton?

 
Bike Trainer
Peloton
Resistance
wind, liquid or electromagnetic
Magnetic
Posture
Upright over handlebars
Upright
Console
None
Yes
Availability

Bike Trainer vs Peloton – How they compare 

Resistance 

Bike trainers have an inferior manual resistance while Peloton uses automated magnetic currents.

The bike trainer uses your pedaling efforts to power on through with limited functionality.Peloton uses magnetic currents generated by a flywheel and belt drive system as the source of resistance. 

This enables it to generate its electricity meaning it requires no external source of power for it to run. However, when plugged into external sources, it performs marvelously. 

Based on the virtual ride or training session you choose to join; resistance is adjusted automatically with no lag at all. What’s more, it mimics accurately the information displayed on the screen.

In using Peloton option, you will find that electromagnetic sources of resistance are expensive. On the flip side they provide a real riding experience and they do not require regular maintenance.

You could pick from two modes of training. One allows you to have control of the bike and make resistance adjustments yourself.

The other option allows you to join a session where all the power is given to the app and it automatically adjusts your bike’s performance in following with the training at hand.

To manually adjust the resistance on your Peloton, you use the knob provided on the bike’s frame and turn it to your preference.

Ease of Use 

When using a bike trainer such as the Neo2T, you will need to constantly undergo some steps in setting up which is a drawback considering that Peloton is ready to go after the first installation.

You may be intrigued to find out that with improving technology, this bike trainer does not make as much noise as it used to. Now it vibrates silently and never goes anywhere above fifty decibels.

Users will be happy to find out that this setup is foldable and thus you do not have to dedicate a space for it to stand on.

Beware that it weighs a good 20 kilos and offers no handles so be careful when handling one of these trainers.

Peloton is ready to train after you buy the bike. All you need to do is make sure that it is powered on then hop on it to make adjustments to the handlebars, saddle, pedals, and other movable parts to fit your proportions.

It’s up to you whether to buy into the membership or choose to use third-party software for workouts.

Training Software

With bike trainers, you would need to get a third-party application to add some spice to your indoor cycling but Peloton’s tech-savvy bike gives you direct access to classes and trainers directly.

Having paired your trainer up with a third-party app, your phone should be able to connect via Bluetooth seamlessly. 

Based on the virtual ride or training session you choose to join; resistance is adjusted automatically with no lag at all. What’s more, it mimics accurately the information displayed on the screen.

You are sure to enjoy a smooth ride on the bike trainer from the moment it powers on. 

For you to keep track of your progress and the classes at Peloton, you need to have bought the bike and paid for the monthly membership fee that gives you access to the Peloton training app. 

If this is not the case, you are left with the pre-programmed options which you can access at any time.

Performance metrics such as heart rate, cadence, resistance, and wattage will be displayed on the screen while you workout but will not be available when you go offline.

You will be able to see all that is happening by use of the 22-inch touchscreen that the bike comes with. Here is where you can listen and follow instructions that will be given to you by your chosen instructor.

Bike Trainer vs Peloton – A Comparison Overview 

Bike Trainer Review 

Tacx NEO 2 Smart Indoor Trainer
  • The pinnacle of indoor bike training, the Tacx NEO Smart, is made even better. On top of immersive features like Road feel, Dynamic Inertia and Descent simulation, this new direct drive also features Pedal stroke analysis. It is without question the most silent, realistic and accurate bike trainer available.
  • WHAT'S NEW?
  • Left & right power measurement -- Pedal stroke analysis
  • Improved electronics -- Smoother, more responsive control -- Even more silent
  • Increased axle compatibility – 12mm thru-axle adaptor included

This setup only requires your pedaling motion to get powered up in case there is no electricity. However, it works better when connected.

While they don’t feature a console in the setup, there are a variety of trainers that are smart enough to allow for a connection to your Tv, tablet, or third-party app loaded with preprogrammed workouts for varied terrains.

They are mostly used by ardent or competitive cyclists who like to pedal all year round regardless of the weather especially because they can ride on their favorite regular bike and in the same posture.

The trainer has a wide footprint that serves to make the setup as sturdy and stable as never before even if you push yourself to the maximum.

Pros

  • Maintains actual bike riding posture
  • Takes up less space
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mimics outdoor riding if using third-party software

Cons

  • Needs a separate bike to work
  • Must be setup every time
  • Different users need different bikes

View Price on Amazon

Peloton Review 

 Peloton

Built with strong material and adjustable parts to accommodate users of varied proportions in weight and height. It is safe enough to be used by kids.

The Peloton features a sweat-proof 22-inch touchscreen console that is interactive and also displays your training metrics such as your speed, cadence, and distance cycled.

The software presents riders with a leaderboard with scores and is customizable to list details of interest to individuals. This board automatically updates itself and allows you to invite and follow friends and family who might be taking the same classes.

By purchasing the Peloton membership, you get full access to both cycling and non-cycling classes like yoga, Pilates, and many more.

Pros 

  • Interactive and intuitive user interface
  • 22-inch Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Customizable saddle

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Limited to use with SPD shoes

Verdict: So, which is better – Bike Trainer or Exercise Bike?

Ultimately, the Peloton stands out to me as being the better option compared to the bike trainer. This is because of the one-time setup, the fact that it’s a one-in-all alternative, and the multiple options available in workouts.

FAQ

Is it advisable to use Peloton if you suffer from back pain?

The Peloton is ideal for anyone suffering from chronic aches and pains because there are varied postures possible with different adjustment settings. However, if it is really bad, it’s best to heal or try a recumbent bike instead.

Will the bike trainer or Peloton serve me better when training for a marathon?

The bike trainer would serve you best because it will train your body on the same riding posture you will be riding on and you will have the advantage to use your preferred bike while cycling indoors.