Top 5 Peloton Tread Alternatives
Peloton’s first treadmill—the original Tread model—was released in January 2019. A 32” HD touchscreen, an extra-long running surface, and an unlimited library of world-renowned Peloton classes are just some of its many stellar features. Although impressive, justifying its whopping $4,295 price tag without even taking into consideration the $39 per month Peloton membership was difficult.
It seems Peloton has come to realize that this price point narrows the unit to a very small segment of the treadmill market, as they just announced some interesting news. The existing model will now be known as the Tread+, and a smaller, lighter, and most notably more affordable model called the Tread will arrive in early 2021. The smaller but still quite impressive new Tread will come in at $2,495, and will forego its slat belt for a conventional treadmill belt. Both units will still max out at a 12.5 mph top speed, but the newer model will have its incline limited to a 12.5% grade. Designed to suit smaller spaces, the unit itself is only 68 inches long, due to an overall shortening of its running track. While the beefier Tread+ has a running deck measuring 67 inches long, the newer tread will be down to 59 inches. Still not she shortest deck out there, but a bit on the trim side for those with long strides.
In either guise the Peloton Tread and Tread+ are fairly pricey machines, both of which sell themselves on the live and streaming training experience. Even if this steep sticker price falls within your budget, there are plenty of other treadmills on the market that provide more bang for your buck, without you having to sacrifice on quality or features. In fact, most of these models go above and beyond the Peloton Tread and Tread+. Here are our top 5 alternatives that are currently on the market, considering value, quality, durability and features.
Top 5 Peloton Tread Alternatives Table of Contents:
- NordicTrack Commercial X22i ($2,999)
- Horizon 7.8 AT ($1,799)
- ProForm Smart Pro 2000 (Free with 3-year iFit membership, totalling $1,403)
- NordicTrack Commercial 2950 ($2,999)
- Bowflex BXT216 ($1,899)
The Peloton Tread+: Key Features
Before diving into the comparisons, it’s worth discussing the Peloton Tread+’s key features. We’ve covered the key differences with the new Tread above, but here’s a look at what the top-tier model gets you.
Key specs of the Tread+ include a 2 HP AC motor that can reach speeds of up to 12.5 mph and an incline of 15%. It also features an unpowered “free mode” where the user drives the slat belt. The Tread is 72.5” long by 36.5” wide, with a 67” by 20” shock-absorbing slat belt. The belt has 59 aluminum slats (with rubber overmold) on a ball-bearing rail system. The Peloton Tread weighs in at 455 lb. including the screen. As for the feature highlights, the Peloton Tread includes: a 32” HD touchscreen with camera, which you can adjust vertically by 30 degrees; a 20 W built-in soundbar (Bluetooth ready); rolling, adjustable knobs to change your speed and incline with ease; and 2 water bottle holders on an integrated tray. When it comes to the warranty, the Peloton Tread includes 5 years of coverage on the frame, and 1 year of coverage on the HD touchscreen, Tread components, and labor. This is not an impressive warranty for the machine’s price point.
The Top 5 Peloton Tread Alternatives
1. NordicTrack Commercial X22i
Crowned our Best Incline Treadmill for 2020, the NordicTrack Commercial X22i is guaranteed to bring your workouts up a notch. It’s worth noting here that although we love NordicTrack Commercial X32i, the $1,000 dollars added for the extra 10 inches of HD screen doesn’t seem worth it. You basically get all the same features of the X32i in the X22i (the X32i just has a slightly more powerful motor and longer belt) but save $1,000. These slight differences aren’t worth adding an extra thousand bucks at the checkout for us.
Highlights include a quiet and powerful 4.0 CHP motor, an impressive 22” Smart HD touchscreen, and like the Peloton, Bluetooth audio capabilities so you can stream your favorite workout playlists through the speakers. Although the touchscreen on the Peloton is bigger, as mentioned above, we don’t think it’s worth the vast difference in price. The X22i offers a luxury screen that doesn’t break the bank. As for the motor power, there’s no competition. The X22i offers literally double the motor power of the Peloton Tread. It can handle basically any workout you throw at it. Another key difference between the X22i and the Peloton Tread? The X22i’s hugely impressive 40% incline (and -6% decline). The Peloton Tread only offers a 0-15% incline grade. The X22i allows for a sort of hybrid workout combining the actions of treadmill and stepper all at once. Such steep incline training allows you to burn calories and lose pounds faster, all the while being kind to your joints. There’s simply no competition in this category. This feature especially gives the X22i the edge over the Peloton when it comes to interactive training. The X22i gives you a free one-year membership to iFit (which usually costs $468), unlike the Peloton Tread+. iFit gives you access to an unlimited library of workouts, Google Maps trails, customized workouts and other personal training tips. Although Peloton’s interactive training is stellar, iFit wins us over because its videos are fully immersive. The speed and incline of your X22i can be controlled by the iFit instructor in the workout video, or Google Maps terrain you choose to explore, fully immersing you in the workout. Peloton demands that you change the incline and speed yourself.
There are a couple of other things to note when comparing these models. The X22i’s running surface is 22” x 60”, slightly shorter than the Peloton Tread+. But when it comes to stats tracking, the X22i wins as it includes a free iFit Bluetooth chest strap with the purchase. It also doubles the frame warranty, offering 10 years of coverage as opposed to the Tread+’s 5 years. Both seasoned runners, or those looking to ramp up the challenge of their gentle walking routines with a steep incline will love the NordicTrack Commercial X22i. The immersive training along with the huge incline and decline range allow you to stay motivated and challenged while keeping your joints protected, however intense your workout is.
See FitRated’s detailed review of the NordicTrack Commercial X22i.
2. Horizon 7.8 AT
The Horizon 7.8 AT was built for interactive training. Interestingly, the 7.8 AT treadmill works with any live or on-demand fitness app, including the Peloton app. This allows you to get the Peloton Tread/Tread+ experience at a slice of the cost. Unlike the Peloton Tread/Tread+, you’ll have to bring your own tech to this machine. Although at first this may seem like a disadvantage, it’s actually a good call in terms of value. Leaving a fancy console out of the equation means that the overall cost stays low, and you can use the tech that you already have in your home. Just dock your tablet or smartphone on the multi-position tablet holders, connect to your machine, and immerse yourself in the video workout just as you would on another machine. You can still keep tabs on your exercise data with the help of the 7.8 AT’s 9.3″ high-contrast color TFT screen. Much like the Peloton, the 7.8 AT’s advanced Bluetooth capability means you can quickly connect to multiple devices. Whether that’s your wireless chest strap to track your heart-rate, or your iPhone to stream your favorite workout playlists through the integrated Bluetooth speakers, the 7.8 AT keeps you connected.
What we love most about the 7.8 AT is that in terms of innovative design, it’s really close to both of the Peloton Tread models. Much like the Tread’s adjustable, rolling controls for incline and speed, the 7.8 AT also features QuickDial™ controls and one-touch Interval Keys. These help you keep up with the streaming fitness apps’ videos as they allow you to adjust your speed and incline with ease. As for the other specs, the 7.8 AT has double the motor power of the Peloton Tread+: 4.0 CHP as opposed to 2 HP. Horizon notes that the 7.8 AT’s powerful motor has 33% faster speed and incline changes, which is perfect for interval training. It works wonders with Horizon’s exclusive Sprint 8 fat-burning program, a 20-minute high-intensity interval training workout.
Like the X22i, the 7.8 AT’s deck is 22 x 60″, which is slightly shorter than the Tread+. But this benefit can be outweighed by the fact that the 7.8 AT folds up to save space. The Peloton Tread+ does not fold. The 7.8 AT has a one-step hydraulic folding system, so you can easily fold it after workouts: no heavy lifting required. It also has a lifetime frame and motor warranty, easily outweighing the Peloton’s one-year coverage on the Tread+ components and 5 years on the frame. At its $1,799 price—less than half the price of the Peloton Tread+—it’s hard not to love the Horizon 7.8 AT.
See FitRated’s detailed review of the Horizon 7.8 AT.
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly treadmill that supports interactive training, the ProForm SMART Pro 2000 is a fantastic option. In fact, it’s our best value treadmill for 2020. That’s mainly because you actually get the treadmill for free if you buy a 3-year iFit membership. Yes, you heard that right. You would pay $39 per month over 36 months for this (totalling $1,403), which is the exact same amount per month as you would be paying just for the Peloton app membership. If connected training is your top priority and something you plan to pay for over the next few years, the ProForm SMART Pro 2000 is a bit of a no-brainer. There’s no denying which machine is better value.
We’re not saying that you should always go for the cheaper machine. The features and components of a cheaper machine must be able to compete with luxury models’ features and components for it to be “good value”. The ProForm SMART Pro 2000 is good value because although you are paying much less, it doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It includes an impressive 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Pro motor, nearly double the power of the Peloton Tread+. Much like the Peloton Tread+, it can reach a speed of 12 mph (well, technically the Tread and Tread+ can reach 12.5 mph) and an incline of 15%. The ProForm SMART Pro 2000 also offers a 3% decline feature unlike the Pelotons. And did we mention that it folds? Make use of the ProForm SMART Pro 2000’s SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist to reclaim your floor space with ease after every workout. It also offers double the frame warranty coverage as the Peloton models. The Pro 2000 offers 10 years of frame coverage as opposed to the Peloton’s 5.
Like the other models described above, the SMART Pro 2000’s running track is 22” x 60”. This is an inch longer than the tread but shorter than the Tread+. It also has a much smaller touchscreen: 7” as opposed to Peloton’s 32” display. But when you take into consideration that you are technically getting the model free when you pay for iFit, the ProForm SMART Pro 2000 shines much brighter. Much like the X22i, the incline and speed can be controlled by the iFit trainer or Google Maps trail’s terrain. This is an immersive feature that the Peloton Tread and Tread+ do not offer. The iFit-focused ProForm SMART Pro 2000 is powerful enough for intermediate and advanced runners, and as you’ve got the iFit membership already covered with purchase, it will keep you motivated and challenged for years to come.
See FitRated’s detailed review of the ProForm SMART Pro 2000.
4. NordicTrack Commercial 2950
The Commercial 2950 is NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line Commercial Series treadmill for 2020. It’s been a bestselling treadmill in North America for a while now, and for good reason. Stellar highlights include a 22″ touchscreen, a high-end 4.25 CHP motor that can reach 12 mph, and power incline/decline at 15%/3% respectively. It has a 22” by 60” commercial tread belt. But it does offer more than double the motor power than the Peloton Tread+, as well as the addition of decline to mix up your workouts and target different muscle groups. We think this is a good trade off. It’s the perfect partner for intense workouts such as marathon training due to its quiet and powerful motor, and its special Runners Flex™ Cushioning. This cushioning feature lets you alternate between a cushioned deck or the feel of running on the road.
Much like the X22i, the Commercial 2950’s 22″ HD touchscreen lets you immerse yourself in scenic iFit workouts which can automatically adjust your incline/decline. Yes, the screen is smaller than the Peloton’s and it doesn’t have Bluetooth audio capabilities like them either: but iFit’s automatic adjustment feature does give the 2950 the immersive training edge. What’s more, you get a year’s free membership to iFit with this model. It also wins over the Peloton Tread+ because it folds with an EasyLift™ Assist SpaceSaver® Design, and ups the Tread+’s 5-year frame warranty to 10 years of coverage. The NordicTrack 2950 is a great machine for most trainees. Its $2,999 price tag is not cheap, but it is certainly justified. It’s a tried and tested model that has kept people hopping on their machines daily to tune in for an immersive, varied, and comfortable workout.
See FitRated’s detailed review of the NordicTrack Commercial 2950.
5. Bowflex BXT216
Spec for spec, the Bowflex BXT216 treadmill is a stellar model when compared to the Peloton Tread or Tread+. Interestingly, the Bowflex C6 Bike allows you to interactively train with the Peloton app. We expect that it’s only a matter of time until you can train with the Peloton app on the Bowflex BXT216 treadmill too, much like the Horizon 7.8 AT. That said, the Bowflex BXT216 treadmill still zooms in on interactive training. It has Bluetooth connectivity, syncs with the Bowflex JRNY™ app, and allows you to access a variety of connected apps from your phone, tablet, or smart TV via Bluetooth. These include Bowflex JRNY, Explore the World, Under Armour Record, MyFitnessPal, Google Fit, and Apple Health. You also get a free 2-month trial of the Bowflex JRNY app so you can explore the friendly virtual coaching, fitness assessment, individualized workouts and much more.
If you were unaware that the BXT216 is actually a folding home-use treadmill, you may be led to believe that it’s a light commercial model. That’s because of its stellar performance specs. These include a 4.0 CHP motor, Comfort Tech™ deck cushioning system, and a durable 3-ply belt. These are all high-end features, packed into a foldable home-use machine with a modest $1,899 price tag. So that’s double the motor power of the Peloton Tread +for a start. Much like the Tread+, the BXT216 has a 15% incline grade, and a top speed of 12 mph (note: the Tread and Tread+can go up to 12.5 mph). Like all the other models, the BXT216 has a 22″ x 60″ running path, which is shorter than the Tread.
Much like the Horizon 7.8 AT, the BXT216 is a “bring your own tech” machine. It only features a 9″ full color back-lit LCD display, so you’ll have to connect the machine to your tablet to train interactively. That said, we love that there’s a wireless heart-rate chest strap included so you can keep on top of your heart rate like the X22i, and sync your workout data to your favorite fitness app. It also beats the Peloton in terms of warranty coverage, including 15 years of coverage on the frame and drive motor, 5 years on the mechanical parts and electronics, and 2 years on the labor. Although not as high-tech as the Peloton, the Bowflex BXT216 treadmill wins in regards to the components and value. It delivers light-commercial quality at a home-use machine price point. It’s a great addition to any home gym.
See FitRated’s detailed review of the Bowflex BXT216.
Our top 5 alternatives give the Peloton Tread and Tread+ a run for its money in regards to value, quality, durability and features. The Peloton Tread+ certainly looks like a luxury model, but when you dig below the surface, you can get all the features and more for a much cheaper price elsewhere. In fact, when it comes to key features like motor power, incline/decline range, and warranty, all our alternatives either match or go above and beyond the Pelotons. Choosing an alternative from this list depending on your unique workout needs—whether that’s a model with steeper incline for a lower-impact workout, or one with higher motor power for more intense training sessions—will give you the same if not better interactive training experience of the Peloton models, at a fraction of the cost.