Keiser M3i vs. Peloton Bike: Which One is the Best for Me?

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By Robbie Ferri, Cyclist, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor.

Both at the top of the spinning bike market sits the Keiser M3i and the Peloton bike. They look nothing alike and are entirely different training machines when it comes to the experience they give you. So which one should you be looking to buy?

In a hurry? Check the Main Differencies

  • Design: The bikes are completely different in so many ways that the main thing when you first see them next to each other is the design. The Keiser M3i is a very cool-looking bike and doesn’t have that traditional look to it at all. It has a rear-facing flywheel and a very unique V-Shaped design to it. While on the other side, you have the Peloton, which has a completely traditional spinning bike look to it. The flywheel is in the front, and you have a beautiful matt black finish to it, unlike the silver Keiser.
  • Screen: When it comes to screens, the Keiser has a small monitor on the front and gives you all the data you will need for a workout. It’s very simplistic and suits someone who might like a bike that is a bit less intense and more minimal. The Peloton is an interactive activity center and has a giant 21.5” screen on the front for on-demand classes and lots of other workout types. The Peloton is for someone who wants the entertainment aspect and wants to be part of that community.
  • Connectivity: The Kaiser’s Bluetooth system can link up to all the training programs you want, such as Zwift, the Peloton Application, and many other training programs. You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to programs for this bike. The Peloton is locked to the Peloton Application, and it doesn’t easily let you use any others. There’s also a pretty high subscription cost for the use of it.
  • Quality: The Keiser is a machine of incredible quality and is made in the US. The Peloton is imported and produced in factories. The way these bikes are built are very differently, and they share very few similarities when it comes to quality and parts.
Keiser M3iPeloton
Monitor with power functionxx
4 Way adjustable Handlebarsx
Bluetooth Connectivityxx
Rear-Facing Flywheelx
Multiple Applicationsx
Large Out Front Screen
x
M3i vs Peloton Comparison Table

Keiser M3i Review

The Keiser M3i, I think, is one of the most underrated spinning bikes on the market and tick the box for so many indoor riders, but what makes it so good?

Specifications

  • Unique V Shape Design
  • 8lbs Rear Facing Flywheel 
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 4ft 10” to 6ft 5” Height Range
  • 350lbs Weight Limit
  • Belt Drive 
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Gear change lever

I’m a massive fan of the Keiser, and so are many gyms that use these bikes, so you know they are tough. Keiser, as a brand, builds all their bikes in-house in the US, and the quality is incredible. Let’s start by talking about the design. It’s gorgeous to look at and has such a simple edge to it that we don’t see on many spinning bikes. I would be proud to have it in my home gym. 

The V shaper design doesn’t take up to much space, and it’s fully adjustable on the seat and the handlebars. It works for a wide range of users and has an incredible 350lb weight limit. The monitor will give you all the data you need and even has a direct power meter. The Bluetooth lets you connect to a variety of different applications, and they also have their own app. 

Internally the bike is a work of art. It’s super smooth to use, and you can tell it has just been put together excellently. The belt drive keeps it super smooth, and the frictionless magnetic resistance just adds to that. The Flywheel is tiny, and usually, that would be red flags for me, but it’s intelligently designed to spin fast and still keep the bike quiet and feeling super stable. I love that this bike has a lever to change resistance, unlike a dial. When it comes to moving the bike around, it’s light and rolls great on the front wheels.

Things I liked:

  • Amazing Build Quality
  • Direct Power Meter
  • Belt Drive Magnetic Resistance
  • Unique Design 
  • Weight limit and adjustability

Things To Consider:

  • No Big Screen
  • Limited Application

Peloton Review 

There’s no denying the Peloton is probably the most iconic spinning bike to hit the market. Does it still have the number one spot in the market?

Specifications

  • Traditional Spin Bike Design
  • 32lbs Front Facing Flywheel
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 4ft 11” to 6ft 5” Height Range
  • 305lbs Weight Limit
  • Belt Drive 
  • Magnetic Resistance

The Peloton completely revolutionized the indoor cycling market and made many brands step up their game. Starting with the design, it’s very traditional, and they have kept that front-facing flywheel which I don’t mind. It has good adjustability, but unfortunately, you only have two-way adjustable on the handlebars. 

The screen is incredible, and the HD quality is just outstanding. As a lot of you have probably heard, the Peloton app has fantastic instructors, and the amount and variety of classes are huge. You get Yoga, Meditation, and even strength training. The screen is locked to the Peloton application, and if you plan a holiday on Zwift, you will struggle with this.

The Peloton is a good quality bike, and it feels nice to ride. It has a belt drive system and feels lovely to ride. The magnetic resistance system keeps the bike super quiet, and it feels solid in the sprints. The resistance dial is smooth and, when changing gear, feels seamless. The Peloton does come with weights, and the accessories they offer are incredible.

Things I liked:

  • Traditional Spin Bike Look
  • Huge HD Screen
  • Belt Drive Magnetic Resistance
  • Interactive Content
  • Lots more than cycling

Things To Consider:

  • Subscription Cost
  • Limited without Application

How do the bikes compare to each other?

In this next section, I want to break these bikes down and put them against each other in different areas. These bikes are both excellent, but it’s good to see how each bike challenges the other.

Build Quality

Hands down, the Keiser is just built to a much higher standard than the Peloton. You can tell they are building it in-house because the attention to detail is incredible. The Peloton is still made well, but I feel the Keiser is just on a better level. Looking at reviews and going through lots of feedback, I can see that the Peloton has more warranties issues than the Keiser. 

Design

When it comes to the design, I completely feel it is to personal preference. The Keiser has a fascinating design, and I appreciate it might not be what you’re looking for. The Peloton has that great traditional spin bike design that just works. 

The most significant difference between the two is the flywheel position. The Keiser flywheel is in the rear and out the way, which is excellent and although still protected by the cover, does leave it open to be touched by a pet or child. 

The Peloton Flywheel is at the front and in view. It means it is easy to see and can be kept in sight but also means your sweat falls onto it and can get into the bearings and, in time, get the better of them. The Keisers flywheel being on the rear means it doesn’t face this issue.

Screen and Connectivity

There’s no competition here, and the Peloton screen is by far superior compared to the small data screen of the Keiser but don’t write the Keiser off just yet. The Peloton screen and technology offers incredible classes, not just spinning but yoga, strength class, and even meditation. The instructors are excellent, and it provides you to be part of an incredible community, but this does cost $39 a month, and the bike is locked to this.

Then you have the Keiser. How can it compete with the Peloton here, it can’t, but it can do something the Peloton can with its connectivity. The bike can connect to any application with a Bluetooth connection. So it opens you to using Zwift and pretty much any other application on the market. So you can use your tablet to join any online community.

Resistance

Both these bikes have incredible resistance systems. They both have belt drives and run magnetic resistance, and that’s great. At this price, I would expect that. The only significant difference between the two is the resistance levels and how you control the resistance. The Keiser has 24 resistance levels, and the Peloton has 100. This doesn’t mean that you will get more strenuous resistance from the Peloton, but it does mean you have more options to choose from. 

Then we have how you control the resistance. The Keiser isn’t like a traditional spin bike, and it doesn’t have a dial that you turn to add and remove resistance. It has a lever that you shift up and down. It makes it super easy and quick to change resistance fast before a climb, and I highly rate this system. The Peloton is a traditional dial, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It can take a second or two longer to pull it into that climbing gear than the Keiser.

Both bikes will have the ability to work with first-time spinners finding their feet, and they will be able to challenge cycling pros at the same time. The beauty of a magnetic spinning bike is the variety of resistance it can offer the user. 

Price 

You can use the bike without a subscription using Keiser’s own application or a third-party app with the Keiser. With Peloton, not only do you have the price of the bike, but also you have the subscription cost, but you get a tremendous amount of value by having that application.

The Peloton is currently at a fantastic price and does come in slightly cheaper than the Keiser. In the long run, over the years, the Peloton probably will be a higher cost with that monthly subscription, but it does offer more as far as classes and entertainment goes.

Which bike is for you?

If you are a traditional spinner and grew your fitness in spinning classes, then the Keiser is the bike for you. It is an excellent simple bike with fantastic build quality. It can be used in a traditional spinning manner or linked to applications. It offers you to be a little bit more unique with your training and much more variety. The Keiser also provides a massive amount of reliability, and if you are regularly spinning, expect this bike to feel still brand new in 5 years.

If you are looking for an entertainment system and want quite an intense experience with instructors shouting you on and you want to immerse yourself in a variety of different fitness classes. The Peloton is known for its community, and if you’re looking to immerse yourself with many others and follow the Peloton style of training, then maybe this is the bike for you.

Related: Keiser M3i Detailed Review from an Instructor

Conclusion

The Keiser is a traditional bike of exceptional quality which offers connection to any application, and the Peloton is an entertainment system that brings you into their community. They are both very different bikes and suit different riders. 

Robbie Ferri

A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.

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