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NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton (2021): Which Connected Exercise Bike Should You Get?

In the search for the best exercise bike, there’s a good reason why most people narrow their choices down to NordicTrack and Peloton. Though they’re on the expensive side, they have a ton of features that don’t only ensure they offer a solid workout but also motivate you to work up a sweat.

First off, there’s the NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle and NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, both of which have a similar set of features. Then there’s the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike Plus, which builds on its predecessor in a few but important ways.

NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton Comparison Chart

ModelNordicTrackPeloton
 Nordictrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle , blackNordicTrack Bike vs Peloton
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price at OnePeloton.com
DisplayCommercial S15i Studio Cycle: 14″ HD 360-degree rotating touchscreen

Commercial S22i Studio Cycle: 22″ HD 360-degree rotating touchscreen
Bike: 21.5″ 1080p height-adjustable touchscreen

Bike Plus: 23.8″ 1080p 360-degree rotating touchscreen
Audio2″ digitally amplified speakers, integrated microphoneBike: 2 channel rear-facing stereo speakers, integrated microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack

Bike Plus: 2.2 channel front-facing stereo speakers, 4 digital array microphones, 3.5mm headphone jack
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-FiBike: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, ANT+

Bike Plus: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, ANT+
SeatErgonomic padded saddle (compatible with standard road bike seat)Sport series saddle with ergonomic channel
PedalsPedals with straps (compatible with standard road bike pedals)Delta-compatible aluminum pedals
Resistance ControlDigital with Automatic Trainer ControlBike: Resistance knob

Bike Plus: Resistance knob with Auto Follow
Maximum Rider Weight350 lbs297 lbs
Subscription CostsYearly Family Plan: $396/yr

Monthly Family Plan: $39/mo

Yearly Individual Plan: $180/yr

1-year iFit Family Plan included with purchase
Digital membership: $12.99/mo

All-access membership: $39/mo
Dimensions (W x H x L)Commercial S15i Studio Cycle: 22” x 58″ x 60”

Commercial S22i Studio Cycle: 22” x 60” x 63”
Bike: 23″ x 53″ x 59″

Bike Plus: 22″ x 59″ x 59″
WeightCommercial S15i Studio Cycle: 203 lbs

Commercial S22i Studio Cycle: 203 lbs
Bike: 135 lbs

Bike Plus: 140 lbs
Warranty10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty12-month limited warranty, 5-year frame warranty

Models and Specifications

Physical specifications-wise, the NordicTrack S15i and S22i are comparable to the Peloton Bike and Bike Plus.

NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton Models and Specifications
NordicTrack’s Commercial R35 (left) recumbent bike and Commercial VU 29 (right) upright bike.

As mentioned earlier, NordicTrack has the S15i and S22i. Across the board, both are more or less the same. The most obvious difference is their display sizes, but the S22i does have slightly more resistance levels (22 levels vs 24 levels). Beyond the two, the company also has recumbent bikes for additional comfort and upright bikes, but they aren’t exactly in direct competition with Peloton.

Between the Peloton Bike and Bike Plus, the latter has some meaningful upgrades over the former, namely better audio, a 360-degree rotating display, Bluetooth 5.0 as opposed to Bluetooth 4.0, and the Auto Follow feature (more on that in a bit).

When it comes to their build, NordicTrack and Peloton machines are pretty similar. For instance, they all use magnetic resistance rather than metal flywheels. If nothing else, they’re quieter since they don’t create friction.

In the same vein, their dimensions and weight are nearly identical too. The S15i is 22 inches wide, 58 inches tall, and 60 inches long, while the S22i measures 22” x 60” x 63”. On the other hand, Peloton’s Bike is 23” x 53” x 59” and the Bike Plus is 22” x 59” x 59”.

Click here to see our Echelon vs Peloton comparison.

Usage and Features

NordicTrack is more beginner-friendly and flexible than Peloton.

NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton Usage and Features
A closer look at the NordicTrack S15i’s (left) pedal and S221i’s (right) touchscreen.

As noted, all of them have a magnetic resistance system, but while the NordicTrack S15i and S22i use digital controls to adjust resistance, the Peloton Bike and Bike Plus use a physical knob. One advantage Peloton has here is it’s more precise, but in contrast, NordicTrack’s digital system means trainers can remotely increase and decrease resistance levels during a training session. This isn’t possible with the Bike, so you’ll have to make adjustments on your own, but Peloton did add a feature for automatic resistance changes to the Bike Plus, which is the aforementioned Auto Follow.

These exercise bikes’ displays are the same in that they’re all HD touchscreens. However, the Bike’s screen can only be set in fixed heights, which doesn’t provide the best angles when doing other non-cycling workouts. That’s not an issue with the Bike Plus, though, since Peloton equipped it with a 360-degree rotating display, like the ones on the S15i and S22i.

They all have staples like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but for the record, only Peloton bikes have ANT+ support. But more on their physical aspects, the S15i and S22i have pedals with toe cages. The Pelotons don’t, meaning that you’ll need a special pair of shoes or attach toe cages on them on your own. Additionally, these NordicTrack bikes are also compatible with standard road bike pedals, and at the very least, they’re more versatile in that sense. 

NordicTrack bikes can also accommodate riders who weigh up to 350 lbs as opposed to Pelotons that can only handle up to 297 lbs.

Membership Costs

NordicTrack is potentially more affordable than Peloton.

NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton Membership Costs
You’ll need a subscription to access content on the NordicTrack (left) and Peloton (right).

A subscription is pretty much a must-have if you want to make the most out of your NordicTrack or Peloton. That’s because you’ll need one to use the touchscreen and access content and training sessions, which is why connected exercise bikes are sought after in the first place.

The S15i and S22i are bundled with a one-year iFit family plan worth $396. That means you can get the full experience for an entire year from the get-go, but take note that you can only add up to five users. There’s also a monthly alternative at $39 per month and an individual plan at $180 a year. Meanwhile, Peloton’s all-access membership costs $39 a month with unlimited user profiles.

Both also have mobile subscriptions. NordicTrack’s iFit will set you back $15 a month, while Peloton’s is a bit cheaper at $12.99 a month. Just to be clear, these are included in the other full-fledged plans.

All things considered, NordicTrack can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you only need the individual plan, not to mention that its machines are more affordable too. However, if you need profiles for more than five people, you’ll be better off with Peloton.

Training and Classes

NordicTrack and Peloton are on par with each other in terms of their training programs’ quality.

NordicTrack Bike vs Peloton Training and Classes
Here’s a look at training on the Peloton Bike Plus (left) and NordicTrack S22i (right).

Arguably, Peloton’s classes are more popular, but that doesn’t automatically mean that it has better instructors than NordicTrack. Both have excellent trainers who can take your fitness to the next level, guiding you through the whole thing and encouraging you to push yourself at the same time. There are also leaderboards on both platforms, which is just the thing for those with a competitive spirit.

But where NordicTrack stands out is in its Map Based Workout. Basically, you can create your own workout on Google Maps, and you’ll get to ride as if you’re really going through the route you drew—inclines, declines, and all. You can also turn on Street View Availability so you’ll somewhat feel like you’re cycling outdoors.

Besides cycling classes, NordicTrack and Peloton also have other exercises for a well-rounded workout. That includes walking and running, as well as recovery-focused counterparts such as meditation. On top of that, there are yoga classes and even strength training.

Verdict

NordicTrack and Peloton each has their own unique advantages.

The NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle and NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle can give you a better bang for your buck. After all, they come with a one-year iFit family plan, and there’s a cheaper plan available for individuals. But more importantly, they’re more flexible since you don’t need to own clip-in shoes or something along those lines, and they’re compatible with standard road bike pedals to boot. Their Map Based Workout feature is also hard to beat.

However, the Peloton Bike or Peloton Bike Plus are your best bet if you’re really sold on their training classes and other content. They also have more accurate resistance level controls and ANT+ connectivity.

FAQs

📌 Is NordicTrack better than Peloton?

Connected stationary bikes such as the NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle and NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle are more versatile and affordable than the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike Plus. However, both brands are similar when it comes to features, build quality, and content.

📌 Is a bike better than a treadmill?

While treadmills can burn more calories faster, exercise bikes are better in that you’ll be less prone to injuries since cycling is a no-impact workout.

📌 What’s the difference between Peloton Bike and Bike Plus?

The Peloton Bike only has a height-adjustable display, physical resistance knob, and Bluetooth 4.0. Improving on its predecessor, the Peloton Bike Plus has a 360-degree rotating screen, a physical resistance knob with Auto Follow for automatic resistance adjustments, and Bluetooth 5.0, among other things.

📌 Can Peloton instructors see you?

The camera on the Peloton Bike or Bike Plus are made for video chatting with friends while you’re cycling, and not for the instructors to see you.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.