Updated: January 19, 2024
A high-quality stationary bike is an excellent addition to your home gym. That way, you can easily cross-train on days you aren’t using your treadmill. Also, as treadmill technology has improved, so have exercise bikes, which can leave you with a tough choice to make.
Take the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle and the Peloton Bike for example. These two bikes offer similar engaging features, from trainer-led content to sleek, premium builds. Along with the similar price point these machines share, it’s hard to determine which one is better for your workout needs.
To help you decide between these two stationary bikes, we have compared them to see how their various features, technical specifications, and build quality stack up against each other. That way, you can see exactly what you will receive from each bike before you buy.
- The S22i has 24 resistance levels and inclines from -10% to 20%.
- The NordicTrack S22i has a 22-inch touchscreen display and front-facing speakers.
- The screen pivots and tilts for optimal viewing.
- The iFIT programs are filmed outdoors.
- The bike can be used in manual mode if you do not have a subscription.
- The S22i has a 10-year frame warranty and a 2-year parts warranty.
- The S22i can support a user of up to 350 lbs.
- The pedals are hybrid toe cages and SPD clips.
- Peloton has live studio classes from great trainers.
- The Lanebreak game is really fun.
- There are 100 manual resistance levels.
- The Peloton Bike is more affordable than the S22i.
- There are entertainment apps.
- The handlebars are adjustable up/down and forward/backward.
- The Peloton Bike is lighter and easier to move around.
NordicTrack S22i Exercise Bike Specs
- Footprint: 61” x 22” x 58”
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
- Product Weight: 205 lbs (in box)
- Flywheel Weight: 32 lbs
- Resistance: 24 digital (silent magnetic) resistance levels
- Incline: -10% to 20%
- Saddle Cushioning: ergonomic padded saddle (firm)
- Handlebars: bullhorn handlebars with narrow semi-circle grip
- Pedals: hybrid (SPD and toe cage) pedals
- Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
Peloton Bike Specs
- Footprint: 59” x 23” x 53”
- Weight Capacity: 297 lbs
- Product Weight: 135 lbs
- Flywheel Weight: 30 lbs
- Resistance: 100 digital (magnetic) resistance levels
- Saddle Cushioning: sport series saddle with ergonomic channel
- Handlebars: bullhorn handlebars with center grip options
- Pedals: Delta Clip pedals
- Warranty: 5-year frame; 12-month limited warranty
Exercise Bike Comparison of The NordicTrack S22i vs Peloton Bike
Both of these bikes are of excellent quality, with premium frames and parts. You can enjoy a sturdy and secure ride as you use either the Peloton Bike or the S22i. Along with their high-quality construction, they both offer different ways to provide stability. With the Peloton Bike, the stabilizing base is broader, with adjustable feet to help you achieve a level position. While the S22i has a narrower base, it has a metal crossbar that runs the length of the base, making the bike more sturdy.
These exercise bikes are compact cardio machines and can fit easily into almost any home, from a basement home gym to a small apartment living room. Both bikes have front-mounted wheels, which makes them easy to move over most surfaces, aside from thick carpeting. However, since the Peloton Bike is lighter than the S22i, we have found the Bike is easier to move around.
The Peloton Bike is slightly more compact overall, but the S22i is slightly narrower. On the Peloton Bike, the max weight capacity for any user is 297 lbs. While this is a decent weight, the S22i provides greater capacity, and a user who weighs up to 350 lbs can safely use the S22i.
The seats on both stationary bikes are relatively similar in size, shape, and cushioning. If you are accustomed to the feel of a cyclist bike seat, then you should find the seats on these bikes familiar enough. The saddle heights and reach can be adjusted on both of these bikes. The post on the Peloton Bike has been updated following a recall. You can also swap out the seat for something more to your preference from the local bike shop as these components are removable features.
Both bikes have bullhorn pedals. They also each have curved center grips. The S22i has incline and resistance controls on the end of its handlebars. The other difference between these handles is their adjustability. The Peloton handlebars adjust horizontally and vertically, but the NordicTrack S22i only adjusts vertically.
The S22i uses hybrid pedals with a toe cage on one side and SPD clips on the other. This makes the S22i compatible with any athletic shoe or a standard cycling shoe right away. You can swap these pedals out for another pair if you prefer.
The Peloton comes standard with a clip-in pedal. It does not have a flip side with a wide platform to accommodate an athletic shoe. The pedal uses a three-bolt road cycling clip-in system. Specifically, the delta clip-in pedal. This pedal is compatible with the Delta cleats. If you own this type of cycling cleat, great! But if you’re currently using a two bolt clip-in system, or if you don’t own cycling shoes, you’re forced to make yet another purchase to use the Peloton bike. However, you can easily remove the pedal and replace it was any type of bike pedal you’re comfortable with using.
On the Peloton Bike, there is a manual magnetic resistance system, and you will use a knob to alter the resistance level. For the S22i, you can change resistance levels digitally, ranging from 0-24 levels to choose from. The resistance also adjusts automatically within iFIT classes. But on the Peloton Bike, the manual resistance adjustments grant greater control over the resistance and range from 0-100. These resistance levels can’t really be compared easily, as digital and manual resistance adjustments are difficult to quantify. So, while this round will go to Peloton, if you want an easier time when changing resistance levels, go with the S22i.
Features & Accessories
The NordicTrack S22i has a few more buttons than the Peloton Bike, so you don’t have to rely on the touchscreen if you don’t want to. The S22i has a heavier console, which makes lifting the handlebars up and down more challenging. The Peloton Bike is a bit simpler, but in some cases, to its detriment.
Engaging and high-quality touchscreen displays come with both of these stationary bikes. Both displays are responsive to the touch, even if your hands become sweaty when you work out. However, the S22i has a 22” touchscreen, and the Peloton Bike has a 21.5” screen. While this isn’t much of a difference, there are a few other differences that set the S22i above the Bike.
For one thing, the Peloton Bike display can only tilt up and down. This movement restriction can be an issue when doing off-bike workouts. In contrast, the NordicTrack S22i console can tilt up and down as well as pivot, so you can work out from anywhere in the room.
Both of these machines have speakers built into them. The Peloton speakers are rear-facing which is not as clear and crisp as the audio from the NordicTrack S22i’s front-facing speakers. Alternatively, you can pair Bluetooth headphones to either bike. The S22i also has closed captioning for the iFIT classes.
When it comes to your ability to monitor your heart rate on the S22i, any Bluetooth heart rate monitor should do. The Bike will only pair with ANT+ broadcasting devices, so if you own a Garmin or similar ANT+-enabled device, you can track your heart rate on the Peloton Bike.
The bikes are each equipped with cup holders and a weight rack. The S22i has a small, shallow tray for storing your phone and other items. I prefer the S22i, because it gives me a place to put my phone.
There is no fan on the Peloton Bike, whereas there is an excellent workout fan on the S22i which can be set to different speeds depending on your preference. Or, you can leave it on AutoBreeze, so the S22i fan will automatically adjust output to match your workout intensity.
Getting into a workout on either of these bikes is easy, because they have well-organized program libraries. Once you go to select a program on the Peloton Bike, you can sort via instructor, length of workout, what kind of workout it is, or just pull up a calendar of the live classes.
On the S22i, you can either select a program from the front page, which showcases new workouts and ones that match your previous interests or go to the iFit library. In the library, you can sort out whether you want to join a studio class or an outdoor adventure with a trainer. All of the iFit programs are neatly organized in series, and you can explore with a few taps of your finger to find your ideal workout.
The NordicTrack S22i is best for users who aren’t sure if they want to subscribe to a fitness platform, because you can still use the bike without one. You can use manual mode or test the featured iFIT class. Peloton allows you to adjust the resistance, but there isn’t even a manual mode to train in without a subscription. For this reason, I like the NordicTrack S22i more, because it has more options for a wider range of users.
Subscription & Content Options
Both of these bikes come equipped with their own subscription workout programs, with iFit on the S22i and the Peloton Bike coming with Peloton exercise programs. As iFit is a more established brand, they have a greater amount of on-demand workouts available and are continually building. There is also a wider diversity of workouts available through iFit, from their on-demand studio classes to their location-shot workouts which pair you with (or without) an iFit trainer.
NordicTrack S22i Content
NordicTrack uses the very popular iFIT training platform with the S22i. With one membership, you can create up to 5 user profiles and virtually explore routes all over the world. These on-demand classes are trainer-led and provide automatic incline and resistance adjustments so you can focus on the ride. There is even a Google Maps feature to create your own route if one of the thousands offered by iFIT isn’t enough.
Peloton Bike Content
Peloton’s training content is even more notorious than its exercise equipment. There are live and on-demand classes with charismatic trainers. These classes are performed in the studio to contrast with iFIT’s outdoor content. The classes have a social element, allowing you to engage with other riders taking the class alongside you. Peloton also has entertainment content such as Lanebreak and entertainment apps.
Bottom Line Review: NordicTrack S22i vs Peloton Bike
Once you compare the Peloton Bike and S22i head-to-head, it is pretty clear which of these bikes are our favorite. The NordicTrack S22i has all the power of an established fitness brand behind its construction and offers impressive smart features and engaging outdoor content. While we enjoy Peloton’s live and on-demand content, the bike lacks some of the S22i’s impressive features. If you want to learn about other bikes, read our list of the best exercise bikes.
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