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Peloton Bike vs Peloton Bike Plus: choose the right smart bike for you

Peloton Bike vs Peloton Bike Plus
(Image credit: Peloton)

Peloton is one of the biggest names in home workout equipment, with fans including US president Joe Biden, but if you're thinking in investing in one of its spin bikes, it might be tough to decide which to choose.

Peloton currently has two indoor cycles: the Peloton Bike (first released in 2014) and the Peloton Bike Plus (released in 2020). As the names suggest, the latter is a more advanced machine, but also carries a higher price tag.

The cost of both machines is roughly in line with premium spin bikes from the likes of NordicTrack and Life Fitness. However, bear in mind that the initial price (which can be paid up-front or in monthly instalments) doesn't include the Peloton All-Access Membership necessary to access the company's  workout classes, which are the main appeal of its products.

Here, we'll run down the price of each bike, and sum up their key features so you can choose the right one for you.

Both bikes are available in the US, Canada, UK and Germany right now, with more countries coming soon (you can register for updates to find out when they'll be available in other regions).

Bear in mind that high demand means that there might be a wait of several weeks before your bike is delivered.

Peloton Bike

The Peloton Bike has a 21.5in HD touchscreen (Image credit: Peloton)

Price

  • Peloton Bike starts at $1,895 / £1,750
  • Peloton Bike Plus starts at $2,495 / £2,295
  • Price doesn't include Peloton All Access subscription

The Peloton Bike is the less expensive of the two models. The regular asking price for the bike alone is $1,895 / £1,750.

There are also several accessory packs available. The Bike Essentials pack includes the Peloton Bike, plus a set of weights, a pair of bike shoes and headphones, and retails at $2,045 / £1,895. The Bike Works pack also throws in a bike mat to protect your floor, plus a chest strap heart rate monitor for $2,149 / £1,995.

If you're planning to share your Peloton Bike with another person, the Bike Family pack includes all that, plus an extra pair of shoes, an additional set of headphones, another heart rate monitor, and two water bottles for $2,345 / £2,195.

The Peloton Bike Plus is a little more expensive than the standard Peloton at Bike, at $2,495 / £2,295 for the machine alone.

The selection of accessory packs is slightly different, too. The Bike Plus Essentials pack comes with the cycle itself, plus a set of weights, a pair of shoes, and a reversible workout mat for $2,695 / £2,459. The Bike Plus Works pack gives you all of the above, plus a bike mat and a set of resistance bands for $2,795 / £2,595. Finally, the Bike Plus Family pack includes an extra pair of shoes, plus a set of yoga blocks and a yoga strap for $2,945 / £2,745.

Again, all prices include delivery, but you'll also need to sign up for a Peloton All-Access Membership for $39 / £39 per month.

Peloton Bike Plus

The Peloton Bike Plus is compatible with Apple Gymkit (Image credit: Peloton)

Design and features

  • Both bikes are ergonomically designed and adjustable
  • Peloton Bike Plus has larger, more flexible screen
  • Peloton Bike Plus has auto-follow resistance

Both bikes have a footprint of 4ft x 2ft, and Peloton advises having 2ft of space on all four sides for safe riding. The seat and handlebars of the two bikes are all adjustable for comfort (with the seat being configurable both vertically and horizontally).

The Peloton Bike has a 21.5in HD touchscreen that's fixed in place, whereas the Bike Plus has a larger 23.8in HD touchscreen, which can be rotated 360 degrees so you can easily see it when you're doing workouts off the bike. It also has an anti-smudge, anti-reflective coating, making it easier to see from different angles.

The original Peloton Bike has a 2 x 10 watt sound system, while the Peloton Bike Plus has 2.2 channel front-facing stereo speakers, and 2.2 rear-facing woofers. You can also use either bike with headphones to avoid disturbing your family and neighbors.

There's a 5MP front-facing camera on the Peloton Bike, and an 8MP camera on the Peloton Bike Plus, intended for video chats with friends and workout buddies.

Resistance for both bikes can be controlled using a knob below the handlebars, as on a typical studio spin bike. However, the resistance for the Peloton Bike Plus can also change automatically to follow the workout you're currently doing, leaving you free to concentrate on your cycling.

Peloton Bike Plus

Whichever Peloton bike you opt for, make sure to factor the monthly subscription fee into your calculations (Image credit: Peloton)

Connectivity

Both bikes can be connected to a smartwatch, fitness tracker or chest-strap heart rate monitor via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (the Peloton Bike supports Bluetooth 4.0, and the Peloton Bike Plus supports Bluetooth 5.0).

The Peloton Bike Plus also supports Apple Gymkit, so you can connect your Apple Watch directly to the cycle for more accurate tracking and stats.

Conclusion

Both bikes are solidly built, and let you take part in instructor-led workouts at home, but the Bike Plus offers the more immersive experience of the two, helping you get more out of the monthly subscription.

The option of automatic resistance control on the Peloton Bike Plus is a real advantage, making the instructor-led workouts much more dynamic as the difficulty is ramped up and down automatically. The improved sound system and larger screen will also make the experience more realistic, better simulating the effect of working out in the gym.

That's not the only consideration, though. If you intend to use Peloton's strength and flexibility workouts, the fold-out screen of the Bike Plus might make it a more appealing prospect, but you could just as easily use your smart TV for the same purpose.

There's a difference of several hundred dollars/pounds between the two bikes, so budget will certainly be a factor when you're making your choice, too. Whichever you opt for, make sure you factor the extra subscription fee into the price. $39 / £39 per month isn't a sum to be sniffed at.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line!