Peloton vs Zwift: Which is the Better App for Home Workouts?

Staying fit in 2020 has proven to be more challenging than anyone anticipated, since attending gym sessions or cycling outdoors comes at a significant health risk. So if you want to keep cycling at home comparing Peloton VS Zwift may help you discover an app that will enable you to take your cycling skills to a new level.

Both of these training apps are compatible with a variety of stationary bikes and smart devices which can make choosing one over the other difficult. Moreover, Zwift and Peloton are packed with features that are designed to improve your indoor cycling experience.

Our Peleton VS Zwift comparison is going to take you through all of the most important features these apps offer and help you decide which one is the right choice for you.

Main Differences Between Peloton vs Zwift

The main differences between Peloton vs Zwift are:

  • Zwift doesn’t offer courses held by instructors, whereas Peloton’s training courses are led by fitness experts
  • Zwift offers a broad range of virtual cycling routes, whereas Peloton’s interface doesn’t look like a video game
  • Zwift doesn’t come with a stationary bike, whereas you can pair the Peloton bike and app for a unique cycling experience
  • Zwift only features cycling and running modes, whereas Peloton lets you choose between cardio, stretching, yoga, and other exercises
  • Zwift’s structured workouts are usually shorter, whereas Pelton lets you take training courses that last between 4 and 18 months
  • Zwift enables you to participate in races, whereas Pelton doesn’t offer this option
  • Zwift costs $14.99 per month, whereas you have to pay a $12.99 monthly subscription if you want to use Peloton
  • Zwift is primarily designed for indoor cyclists, whereas Peloton can be used by all fitness enthusiasts

Peloton | Amazon

Transform your fitness routine with thousands of live & on-demand instructor-led workouts in strength, cycling, running, HIIT & more.

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The full comparison of Peloton’s and Zwift’s features 

Peloton vs Zwift

Staying motivated during exhausting workouts is not always easy, as the repetitiveness of exercises or sheer exhaustion can prevent you from pushing yourself forward. Zwift and Peloton apps approach this problem differently, but both apps provide their users with the motivation they need to achieve their goals.

In addition, these apps improve the quality of your indoor cycling experience, whether you are using a Peloton or any other stationary bike. Let’s take a closer look at how Zwift’s and Peloton’s features compare to each other.

Interface design

Zwift turns indoor biking into a real-time gaming experience, as the app offers more than 130 routes in ten different worlds. The realistic simulations of biking tracks enable you to enjoy the scenery while you are riding your stationary bike, which makes the workout more immersive.

You can also participate in group rides and races that are scheduled throughout the day. Each ride or race is adjusted to different fitness levels so that you can take part in those that best match your current exercise needs.

Although equally intuitive, the Peloton app replicates the real-life gym workout experience, hence you won’t be able to choose different biking routes or compete against other app users.

However, you will get all the assistance you need from Peloton’s instructors during workouts and you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a variety of challenges.

Zwift’s interface design is certainly more interactive and entertaining than Peloton’s interface as you can enjoy different scenery every time you choose a new route.

Available class types 

Peloton is probably one of the best stationary bikes ever created, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune on a Peloton bike in order to use the Peloton app. You can read our Peloton VS NordicTrack review if you are looking for an alternative stationary bike you can use with the Peloton app.

What’s more, you can use this app for much more than indoor cycling as the app offers the following class types:

  • Walking
  • HIIT
  • Outdoor running
  • Cardio
  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Treadmill running
  • Meditation
  • Cycling
  • Strength

The diversity of classes the Peloton app offers enables you to attend several classes simultaneously and pair strenuous cycling sessions with relaxing yoga or meditation classes.

Zwift has just cycling and running modes, so you can either run or ride on virtual roads if you choose this workout app. Although the app allows you to choose the intensity of exercises, it doesn’t offer support for different types of fitness exercises.

Peloton app is much more versatile than Zwift as it allows you to combine several types of fitness classes for a wholesome home workout.

Variety of cycling tracks 

There are no biking tracks in the Peloton app, and you won’t be able to look at a virtual environment while paddling on your stationary bike. This can make cycling sessions somewhat dull, but the assistance from the trainers and interaction with other app users can make each workout a bit more interesting.

Zwift lets you ride a bike in ten different worlds and there are overall 130 cycling tracks. Each track is designed by biking professionals and coaches to meet the demands of recreational users and experienced cyclists.

Moreover, you can compare your performance to others by joining a group ride organized by celebrities and indoor specialist teams. You start at Level 1 and your level increases as you cover more mileage and gather route badges.

Besides group rides and races, the app lets you participate in group training sessions that cover everything from cadence ladders to microbursts. The cycling options Peloton app offers are not as versatile as those provided by Zwift.

Compatibility with Smart devices

woman exercising

Both of these apps can be used on Macs, PCs, iOS and Android devices, Apple TVs, or Apple Watches. You won’t have to worry about compatibility issues with any of these devices as long as they have the operating system Zwift and Peloton need to function normally.

Keep in mind that some versions of both apps contain bugs that may prevent you from performing some of the exercises. Installing the latest version of Zwift and Peloton will help you avoid lagging, bugs, or crashes.

In case you decide to use Zwift from a smartphone you should keep in mind that the app may drain the battery quickly while maintaining the connection with the sensor can also prove to be difficult. You must install the Zwift Companion app if you want to communicate with people who are riding next to you in Zwift.

The Android version of the Peloton app lacks some of the features that are available on the iOS version, and you may not be able to sign up for challenges or view all the statistics for your rides.

Additional equipment 

sunny health and fitness bike

Besides the software requirements, your stationary bike setup must meet a number of hardware requirements before you can start using Peloton or Zwift apps.

Peloton app can be used with almost any stationary bike, so if you don’t want to get a Peloton bike for whatever reason, you can opt for more affordable options like Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike or Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Cycling Bike.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt | Amazon
$415.42

Push yourself to become stronger, faster, and better with the SF-B1805 Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike. Experience a high intensity cardio workout with the cycling bicycle that supports multi-hand grips and high-interval training.

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11/30/2021 12:05 am GMT

Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Cycling Bike | Amazon
$326.75

Whether you are looking for the studio exercise bike cycling class experience at home, or you are an avid outdoor cyclist who wants to stay in riding shape during bad weather, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002/C Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike is just what you are looking for.

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11/30/2021 12:05 am GMT

wahoo cycling cadence

Optionally, you can also get a Wahoo RPM Cycling Cadence Sensor that will provide the speed and cadence feedback.

Wahoo RPM Cycling Cadence Sensor | Amazon
$31.99

Track and capture real-time cycling cadence on your bike computer or smartphone with compatible training apps.

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11/30/2021 12:05 am GMT

Although Zwift can be used with virtually any stationary bike you will need a smart turbo trainer like Tacx Flux or Saris Cycle Ops in order to start cycling with this app.

Tacx Flux Smart Trainer | Amazon
$749.99

Connects with all smart devices and a variety of training apps, including Zwift. Combines direct drive technology with an electro-brake for an accessible and interactive ride.

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11/30/2021 12:04 am GMT

Saris Cycle Ops Indoor Bike Trainer | Amazon
$199.97

Stick to your fitness plan year-round with the help of the Saris Mag+ trainer; With this turbo trainer, it's easy to turn your bike into your go-to calorie burner.

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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2021 12:04 am GMT

In addition, you are going to need a cadence and speed sensor that supports Bluetooth and ANT+ connections or an external power meter like PowerTap G3 if you are on a budget.

PowerTap G3 | Amazon

Leonardo da Vinci said it best when he coined the phrase "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Nowhere in the power meter market is that more true than when talking about the PowerTap G3 hub. The PowerTap hub does 2 things really well, it measures torque and angular velocity and it does so better than any other power meter.

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These components will enable the app to increase or decrease the resistance based on the terrain you are riding through while you are in the ERG mode. Hence, the Peloton app is less technically demanding than Zwift as you don’t have to invest in additional equipment in order to use it.

Quality of training experience 

Peloton and Zwift are designed by some of the world’s most influential cyclists to meet the demands of novice and advanced users.

All training courses these two apps offer provide a unique experience both in the virtual and real world. Peloton app is perhaps more versatile as it features a wider range of class types which makes it better suited for the newcomers to the home cycling world.

Zwift on the other hand is a great choice for professional cyclists who want to keep practicing from their homes and fitness enthusiasts that like exploring different virtual worlds.

Peloton vs Zwift – Pricing

zwift

You can download either of these apps for free from the Google Play Store or the App Store, and start the free trial. Owners of Peloton bikes can install and download the app for free, but if you want to use this app with any other stationary bike you will have to purchase the monthly subscription, which is $12.99 per month once the 30-day free trial period expires.

Zwift can be used for free for the first 50km or the period of two weeks, and afterward, you can continue using the app by getting the monthly subscription for $14.99.

Zwift is slightly more expensive than Peloton, but the pricing of these apps isn’t a factor that can have a significant impact on your decision to use one app or the other.

Which context do Peloton and Zwift fit the best?

Peloton and Zwift are designed for home-based cycling workouts, but that doesn’t mean these apps fit all contexts perfectly. Peloton is better suited for fitness enthusiasts in need of professional assistance during workouts, as the app allows its users to practice alongside seasoned trainers.

Although you can use Zwift for recreational purposes, the app can also help professional cyclists stay in shape by riding long and challenging virtual routes. Besides cycling, you can use Zwift for running workouts, but the app doesn’t offer assistance for HIIT exercises or yoga sessions like Peloton.

That is why Peloton better fits the needs of fitness enthusiasts, while Zwift is a more specialized training app aimed at aspiring or professional athletes.

Peloton VS Zwift – Pros and Cons

Peloton Pros

  • Offers a broad range of training courses
  • Grants users access to a variety of class types
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Compatible with most stationary bikes
  • Affordable monthly subscription
  • Long free trial period
  • Training courses are available at all times
  • Low hardware requirements

Peloton Cons

  • The Android version of the app needs improvements
  • Basic social interaction with other Peloton users
  • Can be underwhelming for professional cyclists
  • Retaking the same class is needlessly complicated

Zwift Pros

  • Features more than a thousand structured workouts and training plans
  • Let’s users cycle or run through virtual environments
  • Offers more than 130 cycling tracks in ten different worlds
  • Users can participate in group workouts and races
  • Interacting with other users is easy
  • Immersive cycling experience
  • Enables users to monitor their progress by leveling up
  • Compatible with almost all smart devices

Zwift Cons

  • Can’t be used without additional equipment
  • Prone to glitches and crashes
  • Two-week trial period
  • OS compatibility issues

The Best Aalternatives to Peloton and Zwift

Zwift and Peloton are far from being your only options if you are searching for a cycling app or an app that can offer assistance for different fitness workouts. The availability of training materials or the versatility of class types are some of the aspects you should consider while exploring Peloton and Zwift alternatives.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cycling and fitness apps you can use as an alternative to Peloton and Zwift.

TrainerRoad

trainer road

If you are searching for an app that lets you plan your training and keep track of all the most important analytics, TrainerRoad may be one of your best options. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices and you can use it to workout at home or outdoors.

In addition to cycling exercises, TrainerRoad can help you prepare for a triathlon or cross-country marathon by creating a well-structured and detailed plan.

All plans are available in three modes that meet the needs of experienced and novice athletes. The app’s analytics tools enable you to keep track of all the data you produce during indoor or outdoor workouts.

TrainerRoad can be used with most stationary bikes or trainers, but you must opt for a monthly or annual subscription in order to start using this app.

Sufferfest 

In addition to improving your cycling skills, Sufferfest can help you increase mental toughness, build up your strength, or learn how to use yoga to improve your bike riding posture. This cycling app is available on iOS, but the Android version of the app is yet to be released.

There are 28 noVid workouts to choose from, while the app’s impressive video library contains guides that prepare you for professional cycling challenges. Sufferfest offers more than a hundred training plans that are customized for cyclocross, xc mtb, triathlon, or road purposes.

Moreover, you can add yoga or mental toughness exercises to any of the plans with a single tap and improve your strength and stamina. This app can be connected to any Bluetooth speed sensor, while you can also connect it to a smart or conventional trainer via Bluetooth 4.0.

FulGaz

fulgaz

As a tool that is designed to help you improve your outdoor cycling skills, FulGaz keeps you motivated by making every training session unique.

This app features a huge library of 4K videos of some of the best cycling routes in the world so that you can enjoy great scenery while practicing. There two training programs to choose from, as you can participate in a 12-week FTP program or a 12-week climbing program.

In addition, FulGaz lets you customize our workouts by either using its workout library or adding the workouts you designed. The app can be paired with the TrainingPeaks plan in order to sync the workouts you’re already using. FulGaz is compatible with iOS and Android devices as well as Apple TVs, while all media files it offers can be streamed or downloaded.

Verdict: Does Peloton offer a more comprehensive workout experience than Zwift?

The cycling workout experiences Peloton and Zwift offer are different, as Peloton’s workouts replicate gym conditions, while Zwift lets you explore different virtual routes.

Unlike Peloton, Zwift features only running and cycling modes, so you cannot use the app to practice meditation or yoga. Peloton grants you access to different types of classes that enable you to build up your strength or perform HIIT exercises.

Even though both of these apps can help you achieve stunning results they are not designed for the same purpose. Peloton is best suited for fitness enthusiasts that want to add cycling to their workout routine, while Zwift is a better choice for novice or professional cyclists that enjoy riding through the virtual world.

Choosing Peloton is a good idea if you need assistance from experienced trainers that can provide you with advice in real-time. Zwift on the other hand can be an interesting choice if you want to meet the people who cycle next to you.

Read our Echelon VS Peloton review to find out which of these stationary bikes is a better choice for you.

Peloton | Amazon

Transform your fitness routine with thousands of live & on-demand instructor-led workouts in strength, cycling, running, HIIT & more.

Get this App at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Do I have to use the Peloton App with a Peloton bike?

No, the Peloton app can be used for cycling or fitness exercises regardless of the stationary bike model you have.

What happens if I miss a scheduled training session on Peloton?

Although attending live training sessions can be beneficial, you can have access to the video recording of all training sessions at any moment.

How long are the cycling tracks Zwift offers?

The length of cycling tracks you can find on Zwift varies from just a few miles to several hundred miles.

How does leveling up on Zwift work?

After you create your avatar its experience level will increase along with the mileage you cover. Collecting route badges will also help you level up your avatar.

Conclusion

Working out from home seems to be a new normal, and apps like Zwift or Peloton offer everything you need to stay fit. Moreover, Peloton grants you access to different training categories so that you can combine several types of complementary exercises.

Zwift is a great app for all cycling enthusiasts as it makes indoor cycling much more interesting by allowing you to explore virtual routes.

We hope that our Peloton VS Zwift comparison article has helped you decide which of these two apps is the right choice for you. Leave a comment and let us know or click here to discover the best shoes for spinning.

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