With no more gyms, at least for the foreseeable future, I needed to figure out a way to get my endorphin rush and cardio training. Temporarily in Utah, I could, of course, just go for a good run. But in about 30 days the weather is going to turn; that will no longer be an option. Perhaps it is my urban gym background, maybe it is my need for performance tracking, but I also really like having a piece of indoor gear that can monitor how far, how fast, how well I am doing.
My good friend Rina is having a love affair with her Mirror. She’ll take short 15-minute breaks from her work and grab a Mirror workout. The device is what it sounds like: a big mirror that sits against a wall. It is filled with electronics that allow a person to watch themselves in the mirror while at the same time they see an instructor telling them what to do. Nice, but I didn’t want to be transporting a big heavy mirror thing around the country, nor did I only want to be watching a gym instructor implore me to jump about.
There is, of course, a treadmill, but again they become difficult to transport, make a lot of noise, and my knees don’t love the impact. What about Peloton? I have used them and initially it seemed fun, but the problem is the screen will only play Peloton. There are some black-hat instructions available on YouTube about how to hack the Android operating system that it uses, but do I really want to be going to all that trouble if I want to watch a movie while I ride?
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Bike
The other problem with Peloton is that it is a nice bike attached to a large digital device. The bike may last a long time, but digital devices have a way of quickly becoming obsolete. The Schwinn bike, on the other hand, has no electronic screen, you use your own phone or tablet. The bike is built like a tank, nicer than any other spin bike including SoulCycle studio bikes that I have used. It is also $1300 less expensive than a Peloton.
Having a bike in the living room is great. We don’t have to worry about sunblock, rain, snow, or where I am going; I just get on and ride. I have used the Peloton App for some classes, although I find the music hit or miss, same with the instructors. If I am doing a HIIT, high-intensity interval training workout, the app is helpful. But if I am doing a long heart rate zone 2 ride I’ll watch a movie or listen to a podcast. (Have you checked out the SuperAge Podcast yet?)
The Freedom of an At-Home Cycling Workout
One thing to note is that the effort level on the Schwinn is not the same as for the Peloton. I don’t really pay that much attention to effort levels, rather I use a heart rate monitor to stay in whatever zone I want to be in. But for those who do, just know that 50 on a Peloton is much easier than 50 on a Schwinn.
What I love about a good SoulCycle class is it is essentially a dance class on a bike. (Unfortunately, for the moment, the Varis app that does SoulCycle is only available to Equinox members.) When I am doing a HIIT class on Peloton, I’ll pick 30 minutes selecting pop music. I’ll put on my best over-ear headphones, and it is David’s Private Living Room Dance Party for the next half hour. I’ll totally lose my mind, sweaty, noisy, full-on, no-holds-barred crazy on the bike. This is why I love the Schwinn and its 130lbs of steel. It has no problem with the wild animal that is bouncing away and panting listening to Beyoncé.
What are you using? Apps, gear, teacher…let us know in the comments. Variety, right? Thanks!
The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Bike was $899 direct from Schwinn including delivery. At the time I ordered mine, it took 6 weeks to get the bike, arriving early from a promised 8 weeks. The assembly took about an hour, and all the tools were included.