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Jealous of those Peloton peeps but can’t quite justify the eye-popping price tag?
The Stryde bike, Peloton’s slightly less put-together cousin, is a little more affordable and comes with plenty of bells and whistles to satisfy eager riders. But is it the right bike for you??
We’ve got all the deets on the bike and the company’s on-demand class lineup — plus some tips for figuring out if you should settle on Stryde.
Here’s a breakdown of the bike’s pros and cons.
- Affordable interactivity. The Stryde is cheaper than other smart bikes like the Peloton bike but doesn’t sacrifice features.
- Compact design. It’s just the right size and perfect for apartment dwellers.
- Third-party app access. Many fancy smart bikes rudely lock you out of third-party apps like Netflix and YouTube. Stryde lets you download multiple non-branded apps, which sets it apart from the competition. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT! (MOAR NETFLIX!)
- LOTS of cycling-specific content. Riders can access a ton of workouts from different studios around the country. AND since you can browse YouTube and the like, you can easily stream thousands of other workouts without locking into the Stryde membership.
- Lacking a bit of finesse. Don’t expect highly polished videos a la Peloton. The workouts on the Stryde platform have a bit of a homemade feel. But TBH, who cares? This is a deal-breaker only if you’re a stickler for production value — otherwise, the lower price tag is worth it.
- No off-bike workouts. You can opt to browse and search YouTube for Yoga With Adriene vids, but Stryde doesn’t yet offer any yoga, Pilates, or strength workout videos that take place off the bike.
Cost and specs
The Stryde bike costs $1,745, slightly cheaper than some high end competitor options. Financing is also available (if you qualify), so you don’t have to fork over all the cash at once
Most of the smart bikes on the market look pretty much the same: sleek and black, with a big honkin’ screen (the Stryde’s is 21.5 inches) that delivers premium content designed to get your butt in the saddle. The Stryde bike’s footprint is 4 feet by 2 feet, and it weighs a total of 135 pounds (lbs.).
Like other smart bike options, the Stryde bike features on-demand studio cycling workouts. There’s a leaderboard to keep track of whose ass you need to kick, and the system automatically logs your sweat sessions.
The bike has two speakers and a headphone jack, and it’s Bluetooth-enabled, so you can connect your fave wireless headphones. The unit has SPD pedals with toe cages to keep your little piggies snug as a bug. This means you can wear cycling shoes, but it’s not a must.
The magnetic resistance has 100 micro levels, so you can adjust the difficulty in tiny increments as you progress.
Classes and entertainment options
The best part about the Stryde? The ability to download third-party apps. This is not an option on some other high end bikes. (Ride while rewatching The Circle? **Circle, message**: Yes, please!🔥 )
Another huuuuuge advantage of the Stryde bike is that the membership is entirely optional. Since you can easily browse the web, you can skip the membership and access third-party classes without a prob.
If you do opt for the membership, you’ll get access to a vast library of more than 500 on-demand classes, with new ones added on the reg. The content is pretty varied because Stryde doesn’t produce videos from one single studio. Instead, they provide access to multiple studios across the country, which means you get a wider range of class options and instructor styles.
What reviewers say
Reviews for the bike are generally positive. According to reviewers, here are some of the positives and negatives of the Stryde bike.
- The bike is sturdy and well built.
- They love having the ability to browse Netflix and other apps.
- They like the class variety.
- They appreciate the value of the Stryde bike.
Reviewers complain that:
- Shipping was full of hiccups. (Reviews are mixed on this point, though. Some people had stellar experiences with delivery.)
- Customer service needs work (again, mixed reviews on this).
- It’s a shame the handlebars aren’t adjustable (only the seat can be adjusted, but that’s pretty standard with this type of bike).
And, of course, as with basically every other stationary bike, a common complaint is that the seat is uncomfortable. (No kidding! Trust us — your butt will get used to it.)
We tried it! Here’s our real-life review
I typically do 30-minute HIIT workouts at a gym with a trainer and feed off the energy of in-person workouts. I’ve dabbled with cycling classes in the past but wasn’t sure how I’d take to at-home biking. The Stryde bike honestly blew me away and turned out to be a great extension of my regular cardio and weight work.
One of the key differences between Stryde and its competitors is that Stryde offers classes from a handful of studios around the country rather than one branded studio. All are fantastic, although I found myself gravitating to High Ride in Denver, Colorado, again and again. The instructors literally make you forget you’re at home pedaling solo. The time flies, the music is great, and the energy is there in spades!
Most of the instructors are female, and each brings their own unique vibe. A few of my personal faves: Rae Ehly, Allissa Benson (her “Missy Elliott vs. Ciara” ride is a must!), and Yesenia David’s Latin Ride.
There’s a lot of variety based on level, time (10 to 60 minutes), music style, and whether you want to do weights. The app is incredibly easy to use, and classes display a leaderboard, resistance, and cadence. Everything about Stryde is simple, flexible, and — perhaps most of all — fun.
P.S. When I say the Stryde bike was easier to put together than a piece of Ikea furniture, I’m not kidding. It arrived in two boxes — one with the monitor and one with the bike itself. It took me less than 30 minutes. My son’s Malm bed took waaaaay longer (and didn’t have the cardio perks).
—Rita Mauceri, Editor-in-Chief
Here are the deets on Stryde’s company policies.
Shipping is free but not the quickest. The bike will arrive in 1 to 2 weeks. Some reviewers complain that the wait was even longer, though.
The bike comes with a 12-month limited warranty for parts, touch screen, and labor. The frame comes with a 5-year warranty.
Because the Stryde is pretty new, it’s tough to find customer reports on the warranty service, so you’re rolling the dice on whether they’ll honor it if you need replacements or repairs.
Trial period and return policy
You can try out the bike for 30 days and return it if you hate it or your butt can’t take the pressure (seriously, the more you ride, the more that booty will become numb to it!).
If you change your mind for whatever reason and the bike still hasn’t shipped, you can cancel your order too.
Because smart bikes are heavy-duty equipment, a $200 restocking fee is required for a return. You’ll also have to pack it back up in the original box with all the bits and bobs that came with it.
Basically, returning fitness equipment is a massive pain in the ass.
How do you know if a Stryde bike is for you? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Do I need a branded, cult-like studio fitness experience?
If the answer is yes, go with a Peloton or an iFit-enabled smart bike.
If the answer is no, a Stryde bike offers a variety of classes without the branded flavor of higher-end companies.
Am I easily bored while working out?
If you find the idea of working out mind-numbing, a unit with a screen and on-demand classes is perfect for you. If even that triggers a yawn, watching Netflix or accessing other third-party apps on the Stryde should keep you plenty entertained.
Do I even like cycling?
If you’re totally new to the indoor cycling game, you might want to test out an entry-level stationary bike before you invest in any smart bike — the Stryde included.
What’s my budget like?
The most important consideration is, of course, how much money you’re willing to spend on a smart bike. The lower-cost Stryde is a solid pick if the Peloton or NordicTrack is out of reach financially. Still, it’s not the cheapest option out there. If you’re on a really tight budget, consider using a regular stationary bike with a tablet you already own.
Not sold on Stryde? Here’s a side-by-side comparison with some of its top competitors.
|Bike||Unique features||Price||Membership costs|
|Stryde||ability to download and browse third-party apps||$1,745||$29.99/mo (but you can use the bike without a subscription)|
|Nordic-Track S22i||trainer-controlled incline/decline and resistance; studio and outdoor rides||$1,999||iFit membership $180/year for solo plan or $396/year for family plan; monthly option also available for $39/mo|
|Peloton||live on-demand workouts with leaderboard, studio classes with high production value||$1,895||$39/mo|
|Peloton+||same as the OG with a slightly larger, rotating screen for off-bike workouts||$2,495||$39/mo|
|SoulCycle At-Home||ability to do SoulCycle studio workouts in the comfort of your home||$2,500||$40/mo|
|The MYX||affordable smart bike; includes the bike and weights, mats, kettlebell, resistance bands, and foam roller||$1,299–$1,499||$29/mo|
|Echelon||one of the cheapest smart bikes out there||$840||$39.99/mo|
|ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22||affordable NordicTrack alternative that’s still iFit-compatible||$1,499||iFit membership $180/year for solo plan or $396/year for family plan; monthly option also available for $39/mo|
So, what’s the verdict? The Stryde bike is an affordable, feature-filled smart bike with lots of promise. And if you have your heart set on distracting yourself with epic thrillers and hilarious shows while you ride, the Stryde will def deliver.
Pop your toes into those cages, fire up an episode of “Good Girls,” and get ready to ride.