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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Myx Fitness Review - the BEST Peloton Alternative

It's 2020 and we are living through the pandemic.  Gyms were shut down for the beginning half of 2020 and while they are open now, they come with the risk of spreading the infection and the requirement of mask-wearing.  I don't know about you, but taking the risk of an indoor workout on shared equipment was a no-go for me, nevermind trying to do cardio in a mask.  Add in some HUGE benefits of an at-home system (no driving required), a monthly fee that goes towards the investment of a piece of equipment instead of gym access, and 24-hour access in your own home (especially convenient with kids and pets), it's a no brainer. 

Why Not Road Bike?

I started the summer by introducing my non-biking body (runner for life) to outdoor rides on Adam's road bike.  It was a great way to get some fresh air and cardio but my workouts were limited to the routes I chose.  The biggest issue was the safety factor of biking on busy roads with the ever-increasing number of distracted drivers.  You hear a lot of stories of bike/car incidents and it felt like a risk every time I took to the roads.  The other issue for me was the pets.  Going out for a run meant the dogs could come and we all benefited from a workout.  Road biking meant they had to stay home which was a big problem for my separation anxiety ridden hound. 

Why Not Go Use A Bike Trainer?

I looked into the option of bike trainers, converting your road bike into an indoor stationary bike essentially. While it is definitely an option, I wanted something that included classes and some kind of heart rate monitoring.  I was also shocked to see how expensive these bike trainers were, ranging from recommended budget options of $250 to over $1,000 for fancier models.  I also only had Adam's road bike which wasn't a great fit for me.  Investing into a road bike I was unlikely to consistently use and a bike trainer (and solely relying on youtube videos for classes) didn't seem worth it to me.  

Why Did I Buy One?

The move, the budget, the pandemic and babies to keep it simple.  I moved from Guilford to Old Saybrook and the convenience of the CrossFit gym I enjoyed less than a half-mile down the road was gone.  Budget wise, while I really enjoyed CrossFit, the $150 monthly price tag was no longer feasible.   I was avoiding the gyms for the reasons of the pandemic (spreading/catching the virus) and the financial strain.  I spent the summer months running and road biking until I got to a point where it was no longer safe or comfortable which really means the final push for me to purchase one of these bike systems was this pregnancy.  Until now, I could consistently rely on cardio in the form of running but as the belly grew and the risk to the babe increased, running became less consistent and road biking was no longer a great option.  I also started to consider how life would change with a baby in the house.  Being able to sneak downstairs for a great workout while watching a wee one sleep with a monitor suddenly made so much sense.  And so, the investment into an exercise bike was worth it.  

So I made the decision to buy one and understood this purchase was going to add a monthly payment I wasn't looking forward to.  My next step was to do research on different brands, compare prices/reviews/benefits/drawbacks, and make a decision. 

*this was with one coupon code.  I found a different coupon code for the Myx bike for $200 off their normal $1299 price tag offering the even lower price of $1,099 (including free shipping and setup) 

Initial Bike Research - Integrated/Screens vs Standard Stationery

My initial search led me to the pricier bikes with screens and classes (Myx bike, Peloton, Echelon and NordicTrack) and your screenless or foldup stationary bikes (this article sums up the differences pretty nicely).  I immediately knew that a bike with a screen and integrated classes were important to me as I thrive off the class atmosphere and motivating to workout at home can be challenging enough.  While the price points of the low-end stationary bikes were tempting, I decided to focus on bikes with screens and classes. Looking at the integrated systems with screens and classes, it came down to Myx (I had never heard of), Peloton (the giant in the industry) and NordicTrack (I brand I knew from tv ads but had never tried).  MYX was the cheapest option while NordicTrack was in the middle and Peloton was the luxe option (Echolon got the boot for being close in price to the Myx without the screen).  NordicTrack was next to get the boot for being at a higher price point than the Myx with a smaller screen.  So Myx or Peloton?  I chose the Myx mostly for the savings in relation to my cycling abilities and personal needs -- we go through all the details down below. 

Myx vs Peloton

For the sake of simplicity, let's compare the Myx Fitness Bike to the First Generation/Original Peloton (I will make references to their new Bike+ here and there).  The new model adds features like a new larger 23.8-inch screen, the ability to swivel its screen (comparable to MYX), and what is most appealing, the auto-follow resistance (where the bike adjusts automatically to follow instructors).  You can find a full comparison of Pelotons Bike to Bike+ here, but for now, we are going to focus on the Myx Bike vs the Peloton Bike, mentioning some upgrades and differences in the Bike+. The biggest motivator for me was pricing and you have a lot of options (summarized in a fancy table at the end).  For a quick comparison of Peloton pricing head here and for a quick comparison of Myx Pricing head here 

About the Myx bike

  • Includes a 21.5-inch swiveling touch screen 
  • The bikes come in black or white 
  • Footprint: 3'4" length by 1'7" width (4'x6' area recommended for your bike) 
  • Stream-on-demand classes ranging from 10 to 45 minutes - you have a variety from spin, cross-training (spin combined with strength, stretching, etc), mat workouts (yoga, barre), and weight workouts.  
  • Starting in October, MYX started offering "scenic rides", an unguided ride that takes you through different places around the world. 
  • Starts at $1299 (basic package, just the bike/screen and heart rate monitor)
  • Myx Plus offers the package of the bike/screen and heart rate monitor along with a stabilizing mat for the bike, a workout mat, a 6-piece weight set with a kettlebell, a foam roller, and a resistance band.  
  • Includes a 12-month limited warranty
I already had the mats, weights and band so I opted for the basic package. 

Pros (Myx vs Peloton Bike)

  • The price is the biggest pro, at just $1299, it is nearly half the price of the popular Peloton
  • The older model of the Peloton does not have a swivel screen.  It seems small but being able to hop off the bike and turn the screen for a mat/weight workout has been an awesome feature
  • You can use any shoe.  Peloton requires you to use their shoe only (at an added cost of $150 a pair).  With the MYX bike, you can use a normal shoe with a cage for stability, or your normal SPD clip in bike shoe. If your Aunt Sally wants to try your bike, she can bring over her tennis shoes.  If you have a Peloton, she is out of luck if she isn't your shoe size.  If your husband wants to use the bike as well, you are looking at an investment into two pairs of peloton shoes. 
  • The monthly membership is also cheaper (at only $29 a month, its $10 cheaper than the Peloton... that's $120 a year on top of the Pelotons already expensive pricetag). 
  • Look - I love the look of this bike, especially in white.  It is sleek, modern, and actually pretty. 
  • Independent volume adjustment between the workout soundtrack and the instructors (you can turn up the music, down the instructor, or use your own music)
  • This fitness program works all by heart rate monitoring and this heart rate monitor is included with the price 
  • Delivery - I got this bike FAST (few weeks).  I have been hearing from Peloton users that this bike is quite backed up in orders with the pandemic.  The Peloton website states that their normal bike is typically delivered within 4 to 6 weeks but the bike+ may take more than 10 weeks. 

Cons (Myx vs Peloton)

  • Lacking in customer service - when I had a problem with my login I realized there was NO phone number to call, the quickest way to get a hold of someone is to email... which is not fast or functional at all - definitely a big con for me!
  • No live classes or leaderboard
  • Not as many classes a Peloton who has been in the game a lot longer 
  • Membership is still an added cost (but still cheaper than Peloton)
  • Lacks integration with Fitbit and Strava
  • Doesn't show cadence on screen - I wish I could see the resistance and cadence on screen like the Peloton does
  • Different resistance - MYX Bike uses a felt pad creates that physically drags on the heavy flywheel to add resistance to your ride. Peloton uses magnets that it moves closer to or further from the flywheel to add more resistance. They offer a pretty similar feel (some advantages of the feel go to the Peloton) in long run, the felt pad becomes a wearable item over time (years).  Lastly, this system on the MYX bike is known to be louder. 

Total Cost (Myx Basic Package) 

Bike Cost is $1299.  I used a discount code I found unlike taking $200 off bringing the bike down to $1,099.  Shipping and assembly ($250) were also included in the deal and Connecticut State Tax of $69.79 brought the bike to $1,168.79 (saving of $450).  I chose the monthly payment through affirm (you need to get a quick preapproval).  It is a no-interest option for a 3-year term, making a monthly payment of $32.47 
Bike:  $32.47 a month for 36 months 
Class: $29 a month 
TOTAL: $61.47 a month 

Total Cost (Peloton Bike Basic Package)

Bike: $49 a month for 39 months 
Class: $39 a month 
TOTAL:  $88 a month (not including tax) 
plus the investment of shoes (would have been $300 for Adam and I)
The term is for 39 months so 3 additional months of payments  

Total Cost (Peloton Bike+ Basic Package)

Bike: $64 a month for 39 months 
Class: $39 a month 
TOTAL:  $103 a month (not including tax) 
plus the investment of shoes (would have been $300 for Adam and I) 
The term is for 39 months so 3 additional months of payments 
**Peloton is offering a trade-in of the older model for a $700 credit. 

Both options are a wonderful substitute for the gym, saving you time and money (never mind the benefit of your health in the time of the Pandemic.  Both offer great workouts and the same warranty but at different price points and with different features.  

Money Is Not An Option/Competitive/Spin Class Junkies
Buy the Peloton

The Peloton with its upgraded features will be worth it for you.  If you are someone who is just looking to get a great workout in for an affordable price, then MYX is perfect for you. 

Budget Conscious/Good workout/Beginner or Intermediate Riders Buy the MYX bike

If I am being honest, spin class was never my favorite.  If I am taking a class at the gym, it's going to be a weight class/body pump, and CrossFit.  Pregnancy and the virus humbled me a bit and I was ready to switch to biking.  I know myself and I know this was a worthwhile investment for my health and something I would actually use.  The MYX bike is a perfect blend of everything I need in a workout bike with a pricepoint that didn't make me nauseous.  I use it almost daily and the fact that I get to integrate bike workouts with weight workouts that I love, makes it even better.  

One Month In

I wanted to wait a month before I wrote this post for the simple reason that I didn't want to pressure you into buying a bike I ended up hating or never using.  One month in I can say I use this bike and classes 4-5 times a week.  It isn't always comfortable but it's hard to say if that's the baby, my lack of spin knowledge, or the bike.  I love the look of the bike, I love the workouts (even though they are so hard they are humbling) and I love the way it tracks my workouts.  The variations and ease is probably the biggest win of them all.  I can decide to do a 10-minute ride or a 45-minute ride.  I can do a combo of bike and weights or head downstairs for a bit of yoga on the screen.  When your workout equipment is located down a flight of stairs and you can pick a class as short as 10 minutes, there is really no excuse.  Heart rate monitoring is very motivating for me and being a beginner/novice, the only person I am looking to beat is myself.  I don't miss any live classes or leaderboards and my only regret is not having the metrics of tracking the resistance, cadence, and self-adjusting of resistance to match a class.  Overall, I have zero regrets about this purchase and if I could do it all again, I would still pick the Myx bike for its drastic cost savings.  

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