Cheap Peloton Setup: My Personal Peloton Alternative

For those who don’t know, I’m a huge Peloton fan. Before I got hooked, I had been to exactly one spin class in my life. It was miserable, and I vowed never to try spinning again.  

Everything changed when I stayed at a hotel in New York for a week. It was raining a lot that week, so my ambitious plans for running in Central Park before work got thrown out the window. Fortunately, the hotel had a Peloton bike.

I fell in love.

When I used the hotel bike, the membership I got lasted about three months. During this time, I used the app for free at home and on spin bikes at my gym. At that point, I had my favorite instructors and signed up for the digital membership. This is really affordable at just $14/month. 

I continued to use the spin bike at the gym and did the Peloton HIIT classes and strength sessions at home. We already owned a treadmill, so I also incorporated some of the running classes and bootcamps into my workouts.

Then, I decided for my birthday I wanted a spin bike. I wasn’t ready or willing to commit thousands of dollars to a bike I wasn’t sure I would use. At this point, I was still only doing the spin classes a day or two a week using a Schwinn bike at the gym.

So, I decided to look for a cheap Peloton setup.

My Cheap Peloton Setup

When I first looked into spin bikes, I learned that many people opt for this Sunny spin bike which costs only $370 at Amazon and then use a Wahoo RPM sensor ($30) to track their cadence.

This seemed like a decent option to me, but I decided to look around a bit more for a used bike.  Within a few days, I was able to find a used M3i Keiser Spin Bike used on Craigslist for $500. I bought it from a distributor who typically works with gym clients. It was an old bike that he took back from a gym.

As luck would have it, I purchased the bike on March 14, 2020. This was just three days before our state went into full COVID lockdown.

I can tell you that it was one of the best purchases I ever made.

The Keiser spin bike is excellent. Many people buy them new, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one. I actually think they are a superior ride to the Peloton. 

They are more adjustable (the front handlebars slide forward), more stable, and the ride is overall smoother. So, if you want a Peloton alternative that is just a fantastic spin bike without having to pay the regular $40/month Peloton fee plus buy the bike, you can buy a Keiser for about $1,995 on Amazon. 

My Cheap Peloton Set Up

Here is a picture of my Peloton alternative setup:

cheap peloton setup

My Transition to a Real Peloton

As luck would have it, not quite a year after getting my Keiser, a friend offered to sell me her real Peloton since she wasn’t using it anymore. I jumped at the chance since I was biking every day and wanted the interaction on the leaderboard.  

So while I now have a real Peloton, I would recommend that anyone looking to dip their toe in opt for a cheaper bike from Amazon or Craigslist. If you are looking for a truly fantastic spin bike, buy the Keiser.  If you are looking for a cheap Peloton alternative, buy the Sunny

You can do all of the classes on your iPad for a freakishly amazing deal. Just make sure your bike has a power meter on it that shows you cadence and total power.  

Once you start using your new bike and want to convert the Peloton resistance to the specific bike you’ve purchased, you can just Google “Peloton resistance conversion + [name of your bike],” and you will get good results. On Etsy, you can even buy a converter to attach to your bike.  

The Bottom Line

If you’re interested in doing Peloton classes for a fraction of the price of a full bike and membership, you can create a cheap Peloton setup. For just a few hundred dollars to buy a bike plus $15/month for the digital membership fee, there is not a better deal in fitness programs. 

You can even consider the spend an investment in your future.