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  • Writer's pictureSteph

I've joined the indoor biker gang! A Peloton, NordicTrack, Echelon, Bowflex, Schwinn, how to choose?

I gotta say...I was a hard no against getting a bike for indoor cycling. And this post? No expert cyclist here, just my process over the last few months and what I ended up with. I'm a total turbo newbie to all of this. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

The thing is, I love riding my bike outdoors because it's something the girls and I can do together to get some fresh air and exercise. I've always wanted to like indoor cycling, I truly have. I've tried spin/cycling classes dozens of times at different gyms and each and every time I ended up waddling away, never knowing if I peed my pants or not because my legs were like rocks and my whole lower region was always numb and tingling. Yes, everything down under would fall asleep! TMI, maybe, but it happened every single time.

Then my sit bones would be sore to the touch for days, and I never wanted to sit on one of those bikes again. That is, until I would see post after post of people smiling, flexing, sweating, and lovvving their Pelotons. It was all the rage the past year- and still is, especially since covid and more and more people working out at home instead of going to the gym.

I kept thinking to myself, how am I doing this wrong, what am I missing?

Is the Peloton truly the unicorn glitter magical bike that solves all world problems?

Well I have a problem.

I have this thing called a budget, and a Peloton was not part of that equation, aside from the fact that I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the cost in the first place. Maybe the $2,500 is worth it, I'm just not there mentally yet. Value is what it's worth to an individual, right? I mean, I've had vehicles that have cost less than that! On the other hand, I don't mind investing in good, quality products. If you go cheap, you end up having to buy multiples that cost you more in the long run so I always buy what I feel is the best fit, for the price and quality. So I kept thinking about it, then would try another class at the gym, and would have the same sore caboose as the last time and my thoughts would go back to zero interest. It's just not for me I thought. But I kept asking around, kept doing my homework, kept saving money"just in case" I were to want one again.

I can't stand the "what if" in life. I believe that if you can't stop thinking about something, there's probably some meaning behind that you should probably lean into. That's when I started looking into options, there had to be a Peloton that's not a Peloton and HOLY OVERWHELM. Who knew there were so.many.options. for indoor cycling bikes out there? There are endless comparison sites out there if you really want to dive in.

I'll list those at the end.

For me? I just started to ask around.

My personal wants/needs:

- Less than $1000

- I'm able to use the Peloton app (I'm totally music driven!)

- I've heard of the brand

- It's enjoyable and won't become a clothes rack

- I can feel my butt

Pretty reasonable requests I would say?

I believe in the power of people, and received so many raving reviews about the Schwinn ic4. It's what a few of my besties have, what I'm finding a few of the local gyms are using (must be durable for long term use if so), and it fits my requests above. When I first looked at it, the price was $799, when I bought it it was $899, and it looks like now it's $ I'm not sure if it will be going up or down from here with the cold weather hitting and holidays upon us, but just keep that in mind to snag it if it does go back down. I also bought these cycling shoes - make sure to choose the ones with SPD clips if you end up getting the came bike I did (the listing will say compatible bikes) and I also bought this mat to protect my floor since I was going to be putting it in my bedroom on the carpet (works great!).

Now, I have to say with a disclaimer on this, that the ic4 does not directly sync with the Peloton app. BUT, I have an apple watch, and that does sync with the app which served the purpose I was personally looking for. I gotta say you guys, I'm OBSESSED. I've had it just over 2 weeks now, and have ridden 1-2 times per day, only missing 1 day because I was out of town. It's been getting me out of bed at 5 am, when prior to this bike I was trying to find a way to get out of bed in the morning to workout for the past 20 years (unsuccessfully, obv). I've never had an issue with any lower extremities falling asleep 💤🙈, and I sweat more than I have in any workout, I swear. It's such a good sweat.

On that note, as I've used my bike for a few weeks I don't feel like I can completely blame the gym and the bikes they had. I think so much of it has to do with the fit of the bike and where you are sitting on the seat/saddle. As a newbie, when I would go to the group fitness classes I kind of just got onto the bike and rode, unsure of how it was supposed to fit and feel. I didn't want to stop to adjust, or didn't really know what I should be looking for regarding fit in the first place. When I got my own bike, I took the time to move the height and the seat back and forth until it felt right, stopping many times in the first workout to adjust. There was no one I felt pressure from feeling like I had to go go go and just get started to keep up with the class. Also something that made a huge difference, was in the first class I took on the Peloton app, the instructor said make sure to sit back on the widest part of the seat. As soon as I did that, my whole comfort shifted. After this revelation I feel like maybe I was just sitting too far forward the whole time on the other bikes?

So maybe any bike would do...? I'll have to try another class at the gym when they open up again and report back. Hang tight. 10-4.

Anyway, now for my oldest (11) is to the point where she has the same size shoes as me. So she clipped in with my shoes, we lowered the seat 2 notches, brought up the Billie Eilish ride and she was on her way. 30 minutes later, full of sweat and a smile on her face, she was hooked too. It's been perfect for her now that she's virtual learning and literally sitting on an ipad all day long, to be able to get moving to break up the day and get some exercise in.

My littlest (almost 2) on the other hand, has total FOMO right now and is maaaad that she can't ride too. She's used to being strapped in her WeeRide for every bike ride we went on the past year, and isn't quite understanding why she can't do the same with this one 😢 .