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Peloton vs. NordicTrack Commercial S22i: Luxury Bikes with Impressive Apps

Peloton Bike vs. NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

The Peloton and NordicTrack Commercial S22i are two stationary bikes designed for experienced riders and those looking to take their indoor rides to the next level. Both bikes have different apps that offer unique elements to keep indoor workouts exciting and challenging. In this review, I will break down the best features of both and compare head to head. While both bikes will provide you with a great ride, one may be best suited for your personal goals and interests.

 

It’s worth noting that the competition gets a bit muddy now that Peloton has added the new and upgraded Bike+ to their lineup, all while dropping the sticker price of the original Peloton Bike. The original Bike that we compare here now has a sticker price of $1,895, which is a hair cheaper than the NordicTrack S22i. That said, the more expensive Peloton Bike+ ($2,495) comes with more features to match the S22i, including automatic resistance adjustment during training sessions, and a swivelling screen. It also adds connectivity with the Apple Watch, and a handful of other features. For the sake of price comparison, the details in this review will primarily remain focused on the original Peloton Bike.

 

Ed. Update — Since writing this, a new contender has thrown their hat in the ring, delivering a closer-to-Peloton or S22i experience for a much lower price point. The MYX Fitness Bike has rapidly become our new favorite affordable alternative—read the full MYX Fitness Bike review here.

 

Interested in the S22i?

See NordicTrack S22i Price Now

or

the Peloton Bike?

See the Peloton Price Here!

NordicTrack Commercial S22i Black and Orange NordicTrack S22i workout bike with HD display screen

This bike is very modern in its stylish colors of black and orange, road bike-style design and large HD screen display. This bike rides smooth as butter with a magnetic flywheel that is barely a whisper in terms of sound. It also has the coolest feature of physically moving up or down when the bike is inclining or declining. This is one of my personal favorite bikes on the market due to the overall design, positioning of handler bars and saddle and flywheel. The assembly on this bike does take time as it comes in many parts so I would advise getting a sidekick to help out, especially if you are not the handy type. Some of the top features of this bike include:

  • Built in Apps: Google Maps and iFit Coach (requires wifi)
  • 20” HD touch screen
  • 22 resistance levels and physically moving incline/decline
  • Universal pedal design; comes equipped with caged pedals but can easily be switched for clip-in compatible pedals
  • 3lb dumbbells for arm workouts
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Magnetic braking
  • Can hold up to 350lbs

 

Peloton

Black and Red Peloton workout bike with HD display screen

The Peloton’s biggest sales pitch is its 24/7/365 live and pre-programmed classes led by real instructors, all filmed in one of the brand’s fitness studios in Manhattan and then broadcast to the bike’s large 21.5″ built-in HD display. The Peloton comes in a bit cheaper than the S22i at $1,895, however that does not include the $39/month subscription fee. Even though the NordicTrack is $1,999, getting the first year of iFit training included means the Peloton becomes more expensive by the end of your first year of ownership. That said, Peloton aims to set the bar high with elite level instructors and a wide range of training styles, and most users do report enjoying the Peloton experience better than that of iFit training. Some of the top features of this bike include:

  • Peloton app built into screen display with monthly membership ($39/month)
  • 21.5” HD touch screen
  • Thousands of different rides and workout options
  • Clip-in pedals, with the option to purchase Peloton cycling shoes
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Elite instructors teaching live from a studio in NYC

 

 

 

 

So which one is best for you?

Peloton Pros

·         Large screen display with clear images

·         Elite trainers with great music

·         Extremely smooth flywheel

·         Cycling shoe clip-in option

NordicTrack Pros

·         Screen swivels for off-the-bike workouts on iFit Coach

·         1-year iFit membership included in the purchase price

·         Bike moves up and down with incline/decline

·         Extremely smooth flywheel

·         Large fan on console

·         Ability to follow real-world mapped rides (with automatic incline changes)

Peloton Cons

·         More costly after first year owned

·         Additional monthly fees

·         No fan in display or tray for items

·         Dumbbells not included

·         Screen does not swivel

NordicTrack Cons

·         Price point is higher

·         No tray for personal items

·         Complex assembly

 

My Experience

  • Both bikes have a magnetic flywheel creating a super smooth ride that is barely audible when riding so you don’t have to worry about disturbing those around you at home.
  • The screens are essentially the same size but the NordicTrack screen swivels for off-the-bike workouts which is ideal for visibility
  • Both bikes have an ergonomically pleasing setup similar to that of a road bike with aerodynamic handlebar positioning and flywheel in the front. The Peloton is slightly less bulky as it does not include weights in the front or the added structure to make the bike move up and down when inclining and declining.
  • The NordicTrack is significantly more affordable than the Peloton—so, if cost is of concern then you are definitely going to want to lean towards the NordicTrack. However, if you have the budget for the Peloton, the workouts might just sway you in their direction.
  • The NordicTrack includes dumbbells and cage clips so you can ride right away.
  • The Peloton on the other hand comes with clip compatible pedals that (unfortunately) require purchasing Peloton branded cycling shoes.
  • The Peloton also does not include dumbbells, though it does have a rack to hold weights if you have them at home.
  • When adjusting the resistance on the Peloton, the numbers increase showing you exactly how much resistance you are adding as the instructor leads.
  • The NordicTrack resistance is adjusted on the handlebars, which I found not to be as similar to an in-studio or outdoor experience.
  • Both bikes need adequate space for setup and maneuvering but the NordicTrack is slightly longer and heavier so does require more space with its incline/decline moving function.
  • When comparing the apps, I found the Peloton app to be better than the iFit Coach in terms of the spin classes, as I felt the instructors seemed more authentic and inspiring (which speaks to the cult following the brand has developed). I also enjoyed preferred the music on the Peloton.
  • The iFit Coach on the other hand outranks the Peloton for its unique training options options and integrated outdoor rides around the world.

In Conclusion…

Both of these bikes are elite indoor options for users, and both have a great design and look. When deciding which of these bikes is best for you I would recommend narrowing down to the app qualities, desire for a bike that moves, and price. I would start with the app quality, as this is what you will be following on a day-to-day basis. Loving the workouts and feeling inspired to ride is what is going to give you the best bang for your buck. If you are obsessed with the idea of live training from the best coaches 24/7, the Peloton might be a good fit. If you want to take the occasional class, but also like outdoor rides and want to see various parts of the world, the NordicTrack is a better option for you. The functions of the bike are important to consider too and possible unique features. The NordicTrack physically moves with incline and decline, so if you are looking to simulate hills or valleys, again the S22i has an upper hand. If you are not concerned with the bike moving and prefer a smooth, strong ride, the Peloton will do the trick. The NordicTrack essentially comes ready to ride, whereas the Peloton requires an additional $39/month ($468/year) fee, which is a bit of a frustration when a huge selling point of a home bike is to ditch your monthly gym/class fees. Lastly, the price point is something to consider for your own budget and what you are looking to achieve from your new purchase. Both bikes offer great features, so it may come down to the best price point. In terms of overall features and quality the race was nearly too close to call, but the NordicTrack offers a better price point, unique functions and ability to do hundreds of different rides all over the world, so I can’t help but give it the upper hand, personally.

I’ll throw in one last bit of ‘food for thought here as well… If you have your heart set on the Peloton experience, but appreciate some of the higher spec features of the S22i (other than incline and decline), then the latest Peloton Bike+ would be worth the additional spend.

 

See NordicTrack S22i Price Now

or

the Peloton Bike?

See the Peloton Price Here!

7 Comments

  • Martha Pickett September 10, 2020 at 10:53 am from Dallas
    Can I watch Netflix, amazon prime, Hulu on earthed oeloton or Nordictrack? Who can set either up? What is turnaround time to get either? Can I use look pedals on each? Do I need a mat underneath?
    • FitRated September 17, 2020 at 11:34 am
      Hi Martha, the Peloton and NordicTrack do not allow users to use other apps on their screens. You can only access the Peloton app on the Peloton or iFit on the NordicTrack. Each company has their own set up and assembly service available at an additional cost. You can check their website for details. Turn around time varies based on demand - right now it could be a minimum of 2 weeks and up to a month. The NordicTrack has caged pedals and is also compatible with road bike pedals. The Peloton uses Delta-compatible clip-in pedals. A mat is always recommended to help protect your floor and absorb the shock and noise of any exercise machine.
  • Senior.Wendy April 18, 2020 at 9:45 pm from 7475 E Brook Pines Se
    The only way to achieve happiness is to cherish what you have and forget what you don't have
  • Rocco November 26, 2019 at 9:59 am from WI - Wisconsin
    If you change the pedals on a Peloton you void the warranty.
  • gibbser September 22, 2019 at 11:06 am
    Your information regarding the Peloton pedals is wrong. The bike comes with Look pedals. These are compatible with Look cleats which can be purchased anywhere and attached to ANY bike shoes. They are NOT exclusive to Peloton shoes. Also, the Look pedals can be taken off and replaced with any other clip-in pedals, or platforms.
    • FitRated October 3, 2019 at 11:30 am
      Thank you for the info, Gibbser! We will look into updating our article.
    • Liz June 13, 2020 at 6:29 am from OH
      Thank you! I was coming here to say the same thing. Drives me crazy when people complain about peloton "special shoes." Theyr'e bike cleats the same ones I already used for spin class

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