Best Peloton exercise bike & treadmill alternatives in 2023 by Schwinn, Bowflex, NordicTrack and more

A fitness routine can be difficult to keep, particularly through the colder temperatures and dark days of winter. One way to make a fitness commitment to oneself a little easier is with some home fitness equipment. 

Peloton is one of the biggest names in fitness equipment, but that name recognition comes at a price. There are a lot of high quality brands in the business that make perfectly capable and functional exercise machines, and they come in at lower price points than you’ll often find with Peloton machines.

We’re putting reputable names like Schwinn, BowFlex, NordicTrack, and ProForm front and center, as they, too, make some of the best fitness equipment on the market. These names often get overshadowed by the likes of Peloton, and their lower price points can see them easily written off as lesser brands.

But we’ve tracked down the best exercise bikes and treadmills not branded with the Peloton name. So whether you’re looking to move your exercise routine out of the gym and into your home or just hoping to find a way to make it easier to establish a new routine, we’ve found the best Peloton alternatives for you.

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike

Product features:

  • 100 levels of resistance
  • Suits a range of body sizes
  • LCD smart display
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Best Buy customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

The Schwinn IC4 clocks in as the best overall exercise bike because it brings with it tremendous across the board value. It’s the perfect exercise bike option for users of all sizes and experience levels. Its 40-pound flywheel has 100 levels of magnetic resistance that are easily selected with an intuitive resistance knob. Serious riders can click in with the included dual link pedals and riders in search of something less intense can simply use the toe cages. The bike has an adjustable seat, dual water bottle holders, and an integrated media rack for holding your devices.

Riders of the Schwinn IC4 can also take advantage of its modern smart features. The LCD display provides data tracking feedback for things like heart rate, calories burned, pulse, distance, speed, and time. In some cases you can pair this data with smartphone apps. Some additional things to love about the Schwinn IC4, particularly when it comes to smarts, are Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones and other devices, all-in-one tacking to set goals and chase personal bests, and more than 200 virtual courses that can be access with a JRNY subscription.

Additionally, the Schwinn IC4 has a near 5-star user rating at Best Buy. People who’ve put this exercise bike through its paces love it, and it’s likely most new riders will too.

Bowflex VeloCore Bike 16-inch

Product features:

  • 16-inch smart console
  • Access to streaming services
  • 100 levels of resistance
  • Immersive virtual rides

Best Buy customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

The BowFlex VeloCore exercise bike comes with the option for either a 22-inch or a 16-inch digital console, with the 22-inch model costing $400 more. A 16-inch display feels premium enough to designate the smaller-screened BowFlex VeloCore the best premium exercise bike, and we’ll just consider the 22-inch console a nice $400 option.

This LCD screen will be the focal for anyone who decides to add this exercise bike to their fitness regiment. It comes with built-in access to everyone’s favorite streaming services, and this includes the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. This can be helpful for some two birds, one stone action, allowing users to get ahead on their weekend binge watching while simultaneously keeping up with their weekly fitness routine.

But the display can be put to much more intense use as well. The exercise bike itself has 100 resistance levels for both beginner and experienced rides. These can be made even more immersive, as the LCD display is able to present more than 200 virtual courses from around the world to be ridden. As you ride the world round, the BowFlex VeloCore keeps track of things like milestones, achievements, and personal bests. The bike is compatible with a number of third-party apps and conveniently connects to your favorite devices over Bluetooth.

Nautilus U618 Upright Exercise Bike

Product features:

  • Budget price points
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • LCD display with built-in workouts
  • Easy to move

Best Buy customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

We don’t all have the budget for the biggest, baddest, smartest exercise bike on the market, but there are plenty of options left to consider. The best of them is the Nautilus U618, a slightly minimalist exercise bike that comes in at a reasonable $700 and often sees some major discounts at Best Buy. It budget price points don’t keep the U618 from holding back much if you’re looking for a good workout, and if you feel it’s lacking anything in smart features you could easily take your savings and invest in one of the best fitness watches.

When it comes to getting your daily ride in, the Nautilus U618 allows users to do so with 25 levels of resistance for a range of workout intensities. It isn’t immersive in the ways you’ll find with large-screened smart bikes, but the U618 does have an LCD display that provides 29 workout programs and workout metrics. It can even store workout progress for up to four user profiles, which makes this a good option if there’s some family and friend use going on.

NordicTrack Commercial 1250 Treadmill

Product features:

  • Comfortable running deck
  • Sturdy build quality
  • 10-inch HD touchscreen
  • Virtual workouts
  • Dual Bluetooth speakers

Best Buy customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Getting to the gym on a regular routine can be a bit of a challenge, sometimes enough of one to keep a fitness routine from ever developing. One way to do this is to bring the gym to you, and with the NordicTrack Commercial 1250 you’ll be getting something pretty darn close to what you might run on with a gym membership.

The NordicTrack Commercial 1250 should be a particularly interesting treadmill option if the running part of your daily run is most important to you. It has the ability to decline to a -3% grade and incline to a 12% grade, and the 20-inch by 60-inch tread belt is made for commercial use. This belt provides a wide running deck, with the commercial tread making daily runs more comfortable.

But if a more imaginative running experience is what brings you in search of the best treadmill, the NordicTrack Commercial 1250 delivers for you as well. It has a 10-inch high definition touchscreen that can become the focal point of your run. The treadmill is capable of automatically adjusting incline and decline settings to follow the real-life terrain you’ll find on the screen. It even includes dual Bluetooth speakers that can connect to your smartphone so you can run everyday to all of your favorite music.

ProForm Sport 5.5 Treadmill

Product features:

  • Self-cooling Mach Z motor
  • Quick speed and incline controls
  • Built with comfort in mind
  • Foldable, space-saving design

Best Buy customer rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Treadmill design, for the most part, is pretty locked into place, with the general concept of a treadmill being somewhat bulky and a bit of a space hog. This can leave apartment dwelling runners and others who don’t have access to enough space for their own home gym a little restless when they can’t get outside for a run. The ProForm Sport 5.5 is a good treadmill for these people to consider. It has some good space-saving features, as while it’s regularly priced at $900, it frequently sees discounts at Best Buy that makes things a little easier on the wallet as well.  

This treadmill has some smart features that are accessible through its 5-inch display. They don’t consist of anything too fancy, though a multi-speed workout fan and dual speakers are some nice add-ons. Things are kept pretty simple with this treadmill, with its design focused mostly on comfort and size. The Sport 5.5’s design even features ProForm SpaceSaver, which allows you to fold the treadmill up after each run. When it’s in the folded position you can easily tuck the ProForm Sport 5.5 into a corner or utilize its caster wheels to roll it into a nearby closet.


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