Bowflex C6 vs Peloton

Bowflex C6 vs Peloton: Which is Best for Your Needs?

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Bowflex C6 vs Peloton—tough decision! We get it. On one hand, you get immersed in the Peloton world, complete with all the perks of being an All-Access member. On the other, you get another high-quality bike with several app options to choose from and a lot of money left over, but you’ll sacrifice parts of the Peloton experience.

Your decision comes down to which pieces of the indoor spin class puzzle are most important to you. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each bike and then tell you which one we think is worth it.

Main Differences Between the Bowflex C6 vs Peloton

The main differences between the Bowflex C5 vs Peloton are:

  • The Bowflex C6 gives you access to a variety of apps and allows you to stream your favorite shows on your screen instead of following along with a class if you’d like, whereas Peloton only lets you use their screen for their classes.
  • The Bowflex C6 requires you to use your own device and connect it to the bike with Bluetooth, whereas the Peloton comes with a screen.
  • The Bowflex C6 works with an individual account on the digital app for $12.99, whereas the Peloton requires the All-Access membership that gives you multiple accounts and access to additional stats and leaderboard for $39.99/month.
  • The Bowflex C6 allows you to ride with sneakers or spin shoes, whereas the Peloton requires spin shoes.
  • The Bowflex C6 has a 10-year warranty on the frame, a 3-year warranty on parts, and one year on labor, whereas the Peloton only gives you a 12-month limited warranty unless you want to pay extra for more.
  • The Bowflex C6 isn’t immediately conducive to certain types of rides, like PowerZone rides, in the Peloton app, whereas Peloton requires no additional apps or gear to gather all the necessary information for tracking progress.
  • The Bowflex C6 military discount applies to the bike, whereas Peloton discounts only apply to accessories.
  • The Bowflex C6 comes with weights, whereas the Peloton does not unless you buy an upgraded package.

Features of Bowflex C6

Bowflex C6

There’s a reason the Bowflex C6 (Full Review Here) gets serious consideration from a lot of people who are looking into buying a Peloton. It’s a quality bike that seems made to work with the Peloton app. Connect to your device (not included) via Bluetooth and slip into your spin shoes with SPD cleats (or just use your regular sneakers), and you’ll be ready to ride. Here’s an overview of what you get:

  • 3-lb dumbbells in a convenient spot for spin/arms workouts
  • Backlit LCD console
  • Works with apps besides Peloton so you’re not locked in, like Zwift and Explore the World (plus you can watch your favorite shows or YouTube on your tablet while you ride)
  • Two water bottle holders
  • Media rack
  • 100 levels of magnetic resistance
  • USB charging station
  • Sleek black finish with red accents
  • Protection plan available
  • Heart rate monitor to wear on your arm 

Pros

  • Much less expensive than Peloton, both in bike price and app fee (because you’re getting All-Access and a family account with the Peloton bike)
  • You will only have to pay $12.99/month to use the Peloton app with it
  • Complete freedom when it comes to apps or entertainment you want on your screen while you ride since it’s your own device
  • Free shipping
  • Payment plan option
  • Military discount available
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor
  • You may be able to get it delivered more quickly than a Peloton

Cons

As good as this bike may sound, it’s not perfect.

  • You’ll need to connect to the armband heart rate monitor that comes with it since it won’t connect to an Apple Watch like the Peloton Bike+.
  • You’ll need your own device (though, luckily, you can charge it as you ride).
  • No leaderboard experience
  • Resistance numbers the trainers call out in Peloton workouts won’t line up with Bowflex C6 numbers. You can find charts online that will help you get close, though.
  • Doesn’t give you the detailed stats you’d get from the Peloton (output, zones, progress over time, etc)
  • Doesn’t let you add songs you like to your Apple Music or Spotify playlists

Features of Peloton

Peloton bike

There are two Peloton bikes, the classic and the Bike+, which have a rotating screen and auto-adjusts resistance. Either one will immerse you in your bike workout, though the rotating screen makes the other types of workouts on the app easier to follow along with.

  • 22” (Bike) or 24” (Bike+) touchscreen
  • Rear speakers (Bike) or two speakers in front and two in the back (Bike+)
  • Auto-follow resistance shifting during class (Bike+)
  • Integration with Apple GymKit (Bike+)
  • Requires 4’ by 2’ of space
  • Bike+ screen rotates 180 degrees in either direction
  • You get multiple accounts with the All-Access subscription
  • 12-month limited warranty
  • Delivery and assembly included
  • Bike and Bike+ have the resistance knob to change resistance
  • Adjustable screen for different heights

Pros

  • Automatically adjusts resistance while you ride (Bike+ only)
  • Lets you add songs from the workout to a playlist for later (Apple Music or Spotify)
  • Works with Apple Watch (Bike+)
  • Gives detailed stats for the current workout and overtime
  • Leaderboard, which is great if you love competing with others
  • Large rotating screen (only Bike+ rotates) makes non-cycling classes easier to follow along with

Cons

  • Either option is pricy, though the original Bike price has dropped closer to the Bowflex C6’s price
  • Requires the more expensive All-Access subscription
  • You may have to wait longer for delivery
  • The warranty isn’t very long (you do have the option to extend it for an additional fee)
  • You can’t wear sneakers with these since there’s no toe cage option; you’ll need spin shoes, which you can purchase through Peloton or find a different pair that works with Look Delta cleats.
  • Dumbbells have to be purchased separately or as part of an upgraded package that includes shoes, mat, etc.

 Comparison Chart

Let’s take a look at the Bowflex C6 and Peloton side-by-side:

  Bowflex C6 Peloton
Price $999.00 Starts at $1895.00 for Bike and $2495.00 for Bike+
Payment plan? Yes, you can pay $56.00/month with no interest if you pay it off in 18 months. Yes, through Affirm, with payments as low as $49.00/month
Where to buy Bowflex.com OnePeloton.com
Dimensions 48.7”L x 21.2”W x 51.8”H 59”L x 59”H x 22”W
Weight 106 lbs without dumbbells 135 lbs (Bike), 140 lbs (Bike+)
Max user weight 330 lbs 297 lbs
Pedals Dual-sided SPD/toe cages Delta-compatible
Stats it tracks Time, calories, speed, distance, level, and pulse Cadence, speed, distance, heart rate, output (power exerted at the moment), total output (power exerted over the whole ride), and resistance
Warranty 10-year warranty on frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor

 

 

12-month limited warranty (extended warranty available)
Type of resistance Magnetic Magnetic
Resistance levels 100 100
Flywheel weight 40 lbs Not listed
Notable features Lots of black with red accents connects to several apps via Bluetooth, two water bottle holders, 3-lb weights Easily accessible dumbbells (one, two, or three pounds); adjustable seats, handlebars, and screen; Bike+ screen designed for less glare and smudging; charging port; microphone; camera for connecting with friends (Bike+ has privacy cover), Bluetooth connectivity, headphone jack
Discounts Military Free Essentials package for military, medical, or first responders with purchase of a bike, or anyone can use referral codes for $100.00 off the bike with accessories

Alternatives to Consider

If the Bowflex C6 and Peloton aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are some other options to consider:

Schwinn IC4

Schwinn IC4

Get this if you like the idea of the Bowflex C6 but it’s too expensive.

Pros

  • Same as the Bowflex C6, for $100.00 less. You may even be able to save more if the stores have a sale or do price-matching.
  • Easy to get, relatively speaking, since it’s sold on Amazon and at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy in addition to SchwinnFitness.com.
  • You have more control over what’s on your screen as you work out (and which cycling app you use).

Cons

  • No immersion into the Peloton experience with leaderboard and detailed stats on your performance
  • Requires extra device and the steps involved in pairing the device and bike

Read our full Schwinn IC4 vs Bowflex C6 comparison.

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike | Schwinn

Connect with the Peloton and Zwift apps, allowing you to stream thousands of classes directly into your home and compete against others in a virtual world that motivates you at every mile.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
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Keiser M3i

Keiser M3i

The Keiser M3i comes up frequently in indoor spin bike comparisons. It’s well-known for its quality and has a different style—the flywheel is in the back.

Pros

  • Won’t be limited to Peloton’s classes.
  • Costs less than a Peloton
  • Can make payments through Affirm.
  • Can use SPD cleats or regular sneakers.
  • Doesn’t weigh much, but it’s still durable and stable.
  • Includes chest strap for monitoring heart rate
  • Five-year warranty on the frame and three on parts
  • Has a media rack for your device
  • Highly adjustable

Cons

  • Doesn’t connect to as many apps as the Bowflex
  • Doesn’t pair with the Apple Watch as the Peloton Bike+ does.
  • Dumbbell holder costs extra.
  • Resistance levels don’t match up with Peloton’s.

Best Bike
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle | Amazon
$1,995.00

M3i - Indoor Cycle Keizer introduces Intelligent Cycling and the most technologically advanced Indoor Cycle Group ever, the Keizer M3i with Bluetooth Wireless Display. The new Keizer Bluetooth Wireless Computer is certain to become popular with both groups of riders and exercise instructors.

Buy at Amazon.com Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
06/12/2021 08:11 pm GMT

Proform Studio Bike Pro 22

Proform Studio Bike Pro 22

The Proform Studio Bike Pro 22 looks similar to the Peloton because of its 22” screen, but you’ll be doing iFit workouts, not Peloton.

Pros

  • Less expensive than Peloton at $1499.00
  • Nice, big 22” touchscreen.
  • iFit has a variety of workouts just like Peloton, so you won’t only get spin classes with your subscription.
  • Comes with a year of iFit for free
  • Can be used with regular sneakers
  • Display swivels 180 degrees

Cons

  • The screen can’t be used for anything but iFit workouts
  • iFit Family membership is almost $400.00/year
  • Expensive

Proform Studio Bike Pro 22 | ProForm

Full access to the iFit mobile app for an ever-growing library of trainer-led content like strength-training, yoga classes, and more.

Check price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

NordicTrack S22i

 NordicTrack S22i

Here’s another bike that works with iFit.

Pros

  • Less expensive than the Peloton Bike+
  • An immersive experience with outdoor rides from around the world as well as studio rides
  • Automatically controls your resistance and incline
  • -10 percent to 20 percent incline
  • 24 resistance levels
  • Includes 3-lb dumbbells
  • 10-year warranty on frame, 2-year on parts, 1-year on labor

Cons

  • Can’t be used with other apps
  • Costs more than the Bowflex C6 and original Peloton
  • iFit is expensive
  • Music seems to be an afterthought in the iFit studio rides

NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle | Amazon
$1,999.99

Bring an unmatched, interactive personal training experience home with the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle. An incredible workout experience, their world-class iFit Trainers lead you in 1-on-1, on-demand workouts where they digitally adjust your 10% decline to 20% incline and 24 digital resistance levels to match their exact workout.

Buy at Amazon.com Learn More
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06/12/2021 07:21 pm GMT

FAQ

Here are some of the common questions people ask about the Bowflex C6 vs. Peloton, in case you’re still not sure which one to go with:

Question: Is the Bowflex C6 worth it?

Answer: Yes, it’s one of the best alternatives to Peloton and doesn’t require a subscription to an app. Plus it costs less even though it’s still a quality, sturdy bike with an excellent warranty.

Question: Is the Bowflex C6 quiet?

Answer: Yes, the magnetic resistance makes it quiet.

Question: Is Bowflex C6 belt or chain?

Answer: Belt.

Question: What is the best alternative to Peloton?

Answer: Bowflex C6.

Question: Can you stream Netflix on Peloton?

Answer: Sadly, no.

Question: Does the Bowflex C6 come with a mat?

Answer: No. You’ll have to buy the mat separately, which takes the price to $1098.00.

Question: Is Peloton worth the money?

Answer: If you’re planning to stick with Peloton workouts, yes. If you like the option to try new apps or want to stream shows on the screen as you ride, no.

Question: Who is Peloton’s biggest competitor?

Answer: SoulCycle, NordicTrack

Question: Can you stream TV on Peloton?

Answer: You can’t stream TV on your Peloton.

Question: Can I use my Peloton bike without a subscription?

Answer: You’ll have access to three pre-recorded rides and a “just ride” option.

Question: How do you get $100.00 off Peloton?

Answer: If you get a referral code from a friend, you can get $100.00 off a bike with accessories.

Question: Does the Peloton ever go on sale?

Answer: Not the bikes. There are discounts and coupon codes that affect the price of accessories, not the bike itself.

Question: Is the Bowflex C6 the same as the Schwinn IC4?

Answer: Yes, these are the same bike with different branding, so the differences come down to price and aesthetics.

Question: Which is better, Bowflex or Peloton?

Answer: If you don’t get the whole package with the family plan, ability to add music you like to your playlist for later, stats, and leaderboard for your competitive side, will you feel disappointed or unmotivated? Or would you prefer the freedom to use your own device with any app and save money on the bike and app? Neither one is better than the other across the board.

Question: What shoes work with Bowflex C6?

Answer: You can wear your regular sneakers in the toe cages in a pinch, but to clip in, you’ll need shoes that are compatible with SPD pedals.

Bowflex C6 vs Peloton: Which Should You Buy?

If budget’s not a concern and you’ll primarily do Peloton workouts, we recommend going the Peloton route for the immersive experience and convenience.

There’s enough variety in workout styles and trainers’ personalities to keep you engaged and you’ll probably feel like you’re missing out if you go a different route.

Plus, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of just starting your workout instead of carrying your device over and connecting apps, as well as the motivation that comes with seeing your name on the leaderboard (and competing).

The Bowflex C6, on the other hand, is perfect if you want to try out different cycling apps and don’t mind the extra steps involved in getting the bike connected to the app (and sometimes pulling up multiple apps).

Financially, the Bowflex C6 makes the most sense, especially if you already have a device to use with it. However, there won’t be the built-in motivation of the extra stats and leaderboard. The extra steps required to get the bike set up before each ride could be just enough to lower motivation for some people, too.

How To Build A Home Gym On A Budget

 

(Even if you have small or limited space!)

 

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