The connected bike segment just keeps booming, and today we are having a look at the latest contender to jump into the ring. In a similar vein to the MYX Fitness bike we covered recently, the Stryde Bike has entered the ring as an affordable Peloton alternative, however this model comes in as being only slightly more affordable than its competitors, and packed with a few perks that even Peloton and NordicTrack currently do not offer. For a comparison of the Stryde Bike and MYX Fitness see our full review here. Unlike MYX, you’re still getting magnetic resistance—a key feature in higher quality indoor cycles—and rather than broadcasting their own network of streaming training classes, Stryde has partnered with a range of elite boutique fitness studios across the US to deliver an assortment of high level classes to its users. What’s more, its HD touchscreen display runs an unlocked Android platform complete with a web browser, allowing users to browse the web and stream programming of their own choosing. This screen can also be used to connect to other streaming training services, which we’ll get into a bit later.
|Seat||Cushioned Bike Seat|
|Pedals||SPD Clips and Toe Cages|
|Programs||Stryde App or Others|
|Display||21.5" HD Touchscreen|
|Max. Weight||350 lbs|
|Dimensions||48" x 24" (height not specified)|
|Warranty||Frame: 5 Years|
Parts: 1 Year
Labor: 1 Year
In some respects, the Stryde Bike picks up on a few of the Peloton bike’s key shortcomings. Having its tablet not be locked into a ‘it’s Peloton or it’s a blank screen for you’ scenario opens users up to more freedom, for starters. Basically, though the android tablet doesn’t access the Google Play store (access is blocked to any screen over 18″), users are still able to download 3rd party apps that are accessible via web browser. That means Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and even Peloton apps are available to load onto the Stryde bike. Zwift—another popular cycling app we often mention—cannot be accessed, as it needs a Google Play connection to download. This is a huge change to the game, as both Peloton and NordicTrack (the biggest players in the streaming training space) have blocked this functionality on their screens.
In sticking with the current model made popular by Peloton, Stryde motivates its users both through engaging and motivating personal trainers from across the continental US, as well as through the competitive challenge that comes with the use of a Leaderboard for its community. On the instructor side of things, partnering with some of the country’s best indoor cycling studios was a very smart move—one of the key elements that gets people hooked on the studio models is the quality of instruction. Peloton, SoulCycle, Flywheel, CycleBar and others created their devout followings by hiring top-level instructors, and though Stryde turned to more boutique regional studios, by all accounts they’ve landed on the right formula.
Looking at the bike itself, there’s a lot of overlap in terms of design and manufacturing quality between the Stryde Bike and its more pricey competition. Its frame is commercial grade steel, its screen is 1080P high definition and touch-compatible, its resistance is magnetic, and its pedals offer both toe cages and conventional SPD clips. The bike has the usual amount of ergonomic adjustability, though we would have loved to see fore and aft adjustment on the handlebars. They aren’t alone in this, as it’s also an adjustment that Peloton and NordicTrack chose to omit. Lastly, the screen on the Stryde bike does not swivel, however (and once again unlike its competition), Stryde’s training options are all dedicated on-bike classes. It does feature Bluetooth connectivity with two speakers as well as headphone pairing. The bike is engineered to accommodate a wide range of user heights, from 5’1″ to 6’5″ at a relatively light machine weight of 124.6 lbs. Transport wheels make for easy movement about the home.
Going back to a key topic at hand, we can’t look at this bike and not talk about pricing. Starting with the bike itself, you’re looking at an entry price of $1,595 with a $150 discount. This includes free shipping in the continental US, but no assembly. From there, your monthly Stryde subscription is $29/month, which is $10/month cheaper than the likes of NordicTrack and Peloton, but on par with MYX. The NordicTrack S22i, by comparison is currently priced at $1,999 including a month’s worth of subscription service plus $199 for front door/threshold delivery. Peloton starts over $1495 with subscription stacked on top of that. Looking at the Stryde vs. NordicTrack equation, while the S22i has the technical advantage of power incline and decline, as well as some perks in the programming side of things (that we’ll touch on momentarily), the Stryde bike can clearly deliver a competitive indoor cycling experience for a lower price.
- Respectable level of overall construction
- Smooth and silent magnetic resistance
- Relatively simple machine assembly (when executed by two people)
- Access to web browser and 3rd party apps, rather than being locked into brand’s own programming
- 1080P high definition touchscreen
- High quality training courses from some of the country’s best cycling studios
- Can be a functional and useful trainer regardless of whether or not you stick with Stryde membership
- Choice of SPD clips or toe cages
- 30-day return policy
- 350lb weight capacity is at the upper end of the category, and further speaks to overall sturdiness of construction
- A pair of water bottle holders are placed at the handlebars, and supports for small dumbbells are located below the seat
- Though at first glance it seems the entire warranty for the bike is only 12 months, the owner’s manual states that the frame warranty is 5 years
- As with any startup company, there are concerns of whether or not the brand will last past this initial indoor cycling craze
- A 12-month warranty on the majority of components (other than the frame) is a bit slim in the exercise bike world, though on par with Peloton, MYX, and other startup brands
- No cooling fans (a feature we appreciate on the NordicTrack S22i)
- No heart rate monitoring/metrics, which is a bit of surprise given how relevant heart rate monitoring has become with cardio training
As we’ve alluded throughout this article so far, this is where the Stryde bike really shines. On one hand, your multi-point sources of training are coming to you from a variety of indoor cycling clubs, including High Ride Cycle in Denver, Vibe Ride in Atlanta, Ride House in Dallas, RideBike Studios in Miami, and City Cycle in Seattle. As it stands, there are over 200 classes available in the Stryde app, with bundles of new classes added daily. When riding, you’ll see your position on a real-time leaderboard to see how you stack up against your fellow riders.
In terms of variety, the programming is very much aligned with what you’d get out of an indoor cycling studio; there’s no additional yoga, stretching, etc to be had here, but that’s not the point of buying with Stryde. There are more standard class theme options that you’d expect—like “rhythm” and “house” rides—but there are also more niche classes, like an ’80s music ride, a rap ride, and a sculpt (with weights) ride. It’s worth noting here that dumbbells are not included with the bike, but that’s something you can very easily pick up via Amazon or elsewhere for a few bucks.
Even without a subscription, the Stryde Bike can still be used for training at home. Simply select the ‘Free Ride’ section, and you’ll get all the standard metrics on the screen. Feel like something different? Throw on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or log into a plethora of other cycling apps for a change of pace and/or scenery. Frankly this is our favorite feature of the Stryde Bike, as this kind of diversity has been sorely lacking in the category until now.
Other Fitness Apps
As we noted above, one of the great things about the Stryde Bike is its ability to link up to other fitness apps. In our testing, both the Peloton app and Zwift app worked extremely well with the Stryde bike. It’s a bit of a fussy workaround using a site called APK Mirror, but the Peloton app can be downloaded onto the bike itself. Zwift, on the other hand, requires the download of a separate screen sharing app to push Zwift onto the Stryde Bike’s screen.
The main shortcoming of using the Peloton app here is the lack of access to the leaderboard. Stryde’s own streaming training allows you to compete with others, whereas the Peloton’s leaderboard is strictly reserved for those who have purchased the Peloton Bike or Treadmill. That said, this switch will save you a fair bit of money in the long run. The digital-only subscription to Peloton costs $12.99 per month, which is less than half of Stryde’s monthly subscription cost. Meanwhile, the Stryde app offers up to four workout profiles with user history while Peloton and Zwift offer just one. The downside is Stryde offers no live classes.
When looking at Zwift, if you’re a fan of the gaming-style training model of riding and racing around virtual courses and competing with a huge pool of cyclists, you’re going to want to consider this option. The Zwift app will cost you $14.99 per month, but you’ll also have to spend an additional $70 on a set of speed and cadence sensors from Wahoo or other manufacturers. Unlike the Peloton app, this Zwift setup gives you full functionality on the Stryde Bike, including access to leaderboards, challenges, group rides, and other clever features that are built into their ecosystem. If you were to find yourself less than satisfied with the training diversity found in Stryde’s own programming, you could easily switch out to running both Peloton and Zwift simultaneously for a few bucks cheaper than Stryde’s monthly fee.
Long story short, there’s a lot you can do with the Stryde Bike that isn’t possible on a lot of the other exercise bikes with large touchscreens that are currently in the market, and that’s one of many features we love about it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Stryde Bike quiet?
The bike nearly noiseless as it uses Silent Magnetic Resistance.
How much does the Stryde Bike weigh?
The bike weighs 124.6 lbs.
How do you download and install apps on the Stryde Bike?
User reviews note that the process can be a little tricky as Google Play does not work with this screen, but most other third-part apps should download easily.
Does the Stryde Bike require maintenance?
Yes, in addition to routine wipe-downs of the equipment, be sure to tighten all nuts and bolts and check levelling in between hard ridees.
Does the tablet console always need an internet connection?
The tablet will require a connection if streaming is desired. Otherwise it’s like any other device and just displays the screen.
Does the Stryde Bike have speakers?
Yes, the bike features two Bluetooth speakers.
Warranty & Guarantee
The standard warranty for the Stryde Bike provides:
– Frame: 5 years
– Parts: 1 year
– Labor: 1 year
The more alternatives to Peloton et al that surface in the marketplace, the more we’re liking them. This thing ticks a lot of boxes, will save you money in the long run due to its cheaper monthly subscriptions, and gives you that break option to just zone out to something different if you’re in the mood for a ride without the lead of an instructor. It’s win-win. Really.