The peloton movement has absolutely exploded over the last few years. From a workout luxury to almost a commonality, these bikes can be seen in homes, apartments, gyms, really anywhere that a person is looking for an interactive, guided workout. Peloton seemed to completely own the space, as various competitors popped up, but none came close to matching the momentum of Peloton. Then came Flywheel. Flywheel is one of the most popular cycling studio chains in the country. Given that one of the best brands in cycling just entered the space to offer a competitive, at-home bike – the question is: how does peloton compare to Fly Anywhere? Check out Daily Spot’s completely unbiased, unsponsored opinion of these two bikes below:
Peloton vs Flywheel Fly Anywhere Bikes
Peloton bikes look sleek and modern. There’s a touch screen in front of every bike. There’s a rack in the back of the bike that holds two dumbbell weights (usually 1-3lb weights), and water bottle holders up front. You can adjust every aspect of the bike – handlebar height, seat position, seat height, resistance. You are required to use specific shoes on the peloton bike. Peloton fits you with shoes when you buy it, and you can use the peloton shoes on other peloton bikes. Peloton has a ‘footprint’ (size) of 53" H x 23" W x 59" L Flywheel bikes look similar to what you’d find in a flywheel class. One difference you may notice right away when you compare this bike to Peloton is the wheel placement. Peloton has it’s wheel up at the front of the bike (and nothing in the rear), and Flywheel has the pedal system up at the front of the bike with a wheel underneath the seat. We believe this gives Flywheel a bit more of a full look (take that as you will). Flywheel bikes do NOT have to come with a screen, which can help lower your price if you’d prefer just to stream your content to a TV. Flywheel allows you to use any shoes that are Look Delta compatible, meaning that Shimanos (a preferred brand of out-door cyclists) work here. Flywheel has a footprint (with the tablet to keep it same as peloton) of 58"H x 21"W x 57"L One key difference in the bike design and experience is that that Flywheel uses weight bars and Peloton uses dumbbells. If you’ve taken a flywheel class, you know that the weight bars are standard practice. This is a good reason to test both peloton and flywheel before buying; you’ll see which style of weight workouts you like more. Weights do appear in a majority of the classes, so it’s not to be overlooked.
Flywheel vs Peloton Technology
The main draw to owning a smart bike is the classes. This is the interactive way of taking either live or pre-recorded classes in your own home. Both Peloton and Flywheel have standalone apps the offer their library of workouts, and both embed these technologies into their bike tablets. That means that if you purchase either the flywheel bike with the tablet option or the peloton bike, you are receiving an out-of-the-box way to stream these workouts. The major selling point of the ‘smart’ bikes is how smart they are. While you’re riding, Peloton shows you: cadence (rpm), output (watts), resistance (percent of total bike resistance), distance, speed, calories and total output of the workout. You’ll also see a leaderboard based on total power for the class. This means that as you’re taking a class, you’ll see how you stack up against other riders in real-time. Of course, you’ll also see time left and the instructor giving cues, but for this section of ‘technology’ we’re comparing the metrics that are gathered and stored on the bikes. Flywheel will show total power (a metric they emphasize in class, comprised of speed and resistance), torq (similar to resistance), rpm, current, heart rate, and time. As you can see, both peloton and Flywheel offer similar metrics to view, track, store, and access in the future. They also both have an interactive element, where you can see how you’re currently doing compared to other riders taking the class. We could go on about the technology and user experience, but for now, know that the technology offerings are similar and the interactivity is similar as well.
Total Cost of Peloton and Flywheel Fly Anywhere
If you’re considering buying either of these two machines, there’s more of an investment than the bike cost. The cheapest option for a Peloton bike is $2,245. This includes the bike, a 1 year warranty, and the delivery / set-up (which is required). However, the basics package won’t do you any good if you don’t already own the shoes or weights, so really your most realistic option is the ‘Essentials Package’ at $2,394. This comes with shoes and weights and (inexpensive) headphones. The more expensive options give you things you may find convenient, but for the sake of comparing, we’ll consider the basic investment in Peloton $2,394. HERE IS THE KICKER! All Peloton and Flywheel bikes require a subscription of $39/month. This means on top of the $2,394, you also commit to paying $39/month as long as you want to use the bike. The Fly Anywhere bike comes out to $2,287.00, which includes the first month’s payment for a subscription. That means it is $2,248 for the bike without the subscription vs peloton’s $2,394. You aren’t required to buy Flywheel’s shoes, so shoes are not included in this cost. The price of weights is included in the $2,248. An interesting caveat to the Flywheel subscription is that you get it free if you are a Superfly member. This means if you’re already paying $360/mo to go to unlimited classes, you will get a free subscription to the bike. It’s a perk that probably doesn’t impact a lot of people, but if you want this bike to serve as an at-home alternative to a few days in class, perhaps this option makes sense.
Final Thoughts and Where to Try the Bikes
This may have already come through in the article, but the bottom line is this: Peloton pioneered a completely new at-home cycling industry. Flywheel is one of the elite brands of the studio cycling movement. Peloton has been at it longer, but Flywheel has the resources and experience to release a competitive product. While Peloton has had more time to work through bugs in their software, there’s no doubt that Flywheel is investing as much as they can to be as good or better than Peloton. So, which do you choose? The good news is you can try these bikes. Studio Three in Chicago uses peloton bikes. If you’re not based in Chicago, you can visit one of the Peloton showrooms across the US. Fly Anywhere bikes are not currently used in Flywheel classes, but there are showrooms across the US as well. You can ask your local flywheel if they have bikes on display that you could try. Both of these bikes offer a vast library of recorded classes, as well as live classes every day. People will talk about how peloton offers classes outside of cycling or Flywheel has other types of benefits, but it’s key to not get too bogged down in these added benefits. After all, you’re investing a lot in this *bike* to take *cycling* classes. If you’re interested in doing yoga or running, there are apps that do it much cheaper for under $10/mo. Which one is better? It’s up to you. This comes down to personal preference. These bikes are so popular now it’s not hard to find one to try if you do a bit of looking. Even neighborhood gyms have them! Our final recommendation is to be honest with yourself that this purchase is right for you, and to make sure you’ve explored ALL alternatives (even different apps or workouts) before moving forward and committing. Whether it’s Peloton, Fly Anywhere, or something different altogether, whatever gets you to exercise and move has our support!