This is probably, if not STILL, my most frequently asked question.
Since the dawn of Peloton, people have been on the hunt for budget friendly options. And if I am being entirely honest, there are some bikes out there are WAY better in terms of material and value than an actual Peloton bike. Being in the biz almost 7 years now, I feel like I know a thing or two about purchasing a bike, and making sure riders get the best bang for their buck!
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro II Indoor Cycling Bike with Device Mount and Advanced Display - $339
Ah, the Sunny Bike. IYKYK.
Pros:This bike has a surprising lifespan, considering the price tag. It is honestly a GREAT starter bike. I always recommend this bike to those that are dipping their toes into rhythm cycling, and don't necessarily want to make the full commitment of purchasing a studio quality or commercial bike. It has a 40lb flywheel which will make your rides feel pretty solid. Most bikes at this price are REALLY LIGHT, and if rhythm cycling is your thing, you might find yourself popping literal wheelies on a featherweight bike.
Cons: IF AND WHEN you find yourself riding on this bike more than 3-4x a week, you may begin to notice a rapid decline. It'll start squeaking, getting loose, and wobbling all around. The good news is that by this point, you'll know if you're ready to commit to an upgrade! Lastly, if you're vertically challenged (5"1 and under), the lowest setting on this bike will still be a little too tall for comfort.
YOSUDA PRO Magnetic Exercise Bike - $339
I actually have a full video review of this bike on my YouTube channel! Watch it here!
Pros: This new release definitely gave other bikes in this price range a run for their money! The magnetic resistance makes adjusting tension during a ride SUPER easy, and I really liked how smooth it felt the first time I rode it. It also came equipped with a digital cadence tracker AND a iPad/tablet mount holder, which actually surprised me at this price range.
Cons: Because my focus is rhythm cycling, the handlebar structure was not it for me. I found them to be really awkwardly positioned, uncomfortable, and in the way. While this bike ALSO has a 40lb flywheel, it seemed a little too light for my liking. I am 5'11, 145 lbs and while I was riding, I felt like the bike was moving around a little TOO much for "a bike with a 40lb flywheel".
Schwinn Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike Series - IC3 & IC4 - $649 & $699
The only difference between the two is the type of resistance. The IC3 has "regular" or brake pad resistance, and the IC4 has magnetic resistance.
Pros: Both are REALLY solid bikes, and dare I say comparable to the Peloton bike as far as structure and feel. These bikes are also the closest that you'll get to that "commercial bike feeling", under $1,000. I have always thought these bikes to be the best investment. Customer service is pretty quick about replacing any spare parts, and they'll last you a really long time!
Cons: While what I am about to say is pretty common for ALL BIKES, no matter the cost, the pedals on these IC models are somewhat prone to breaking off the arm crank. Hence why I mentioned that Schwinn is pretty good about sending you another one if it does end up happening, haha.
Overall, I still feel like this would be an amazing investment, or addition to your home gym equipment!