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Peloton vs Wattbike Atom: Which exercise bike is the best?

We put the leading brands head to head to see which one is worth your money

Eva Waite-Taylor
Monday 10 August 2020 18:15 BST
For both bikes, we reviewed ease of use, comfort and additional extras, including classes.
For both bikes, we reviewed ease of use, comfort and additional extras, including classes. (The Independent)

When lockdown was announced in March, fitness fanatics were forced to adjust their workout regimes to account for gym closures.

The demand and subsequent sales of at-home fitness equipment skyrocketed by 170 per cent by the end of our first month in lockdown, and the wealth of online classes rapidly increased.

Barry’s Bootcamp, for example, offered free Instagram Live sessions throughout the day, and later launched “Barry’s At-Home”, a virtual “live red room” providing daily strength, HIIT, and conditioning classes via Zoom. These at-home classes proved such a success that they will continue despite studios being open again; demonstrating the continued demand for at-home fitness.

If you too are reconsidering your expensive gym membership in favour of at-home equipment and virtual classes, investing in an exercise bike is a great place to start.

When looking to get the most out of your spin sessions there are a few important things to consider. Firstly, set up is essential, check that your seat is the right height and is far enough forward and that your handlebars are set to a comfortable level; if you're new to spinning it's recommended that you go for a slightly higher height.

Secondly, think about the amount of resistance you are adding; a faster speed doesn't always equal a better workout, particularly if you are bouncing up and down in the saddle. To combat this, you want to make sure there's enough resistance on the wheel.

Paying attention to your form is also important, so make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, your spine is neutral and your core is engaged. Once you've got this sorted, it's time to enjoy the ride.

Serious exercise bikes don't come cheap, but if you're looking to make the investment, turn to Peloton or Wattbike since these are the leading manufacturers of high-end indoor bikes.

Peloton has been dubbed the best way to work out from home, and has acquired a cult following thanks to its upbeat and motivational classes as part of its subscription memebership. Wattbike, on the other hand, is best known for authentically mimicking the sensation of riding outside and is loved by keen cycling athletes.

In a bid to find out which one comes out best, we put both brands to the test – reviewing ease of use, comfort and additional extras, including classes.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Peloton vs Wattbike

Arguably the bikes are aimed at slightly different audiences – one is more concerned with motivational spin-style classes and entertaining encouragement, while the other is better suited to keen cyclists looking for something that will mimic the feel of being on a road bike.

If you're a serious cyclist looking to improve your performance and track improvements, it's got to be the Wattbike Atom; its ability to mimic road racing and the analytics on offer are faultless.

But, if you're a spin class newbie or even a fanatic, there's really nothing better than the Peloton. What it doesn’t provide in the sort of data and feedback a lot of competitive cyclists will want; it makes up for in entertaining, hardcore and enjoyable workouts. Nearly every possible music taste is catered for, and the classes on offer really do provide something for everyone. While the initial price point is steep, if you think of it as a gym membership, we think it is totally worth every penny.

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