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Peloton Bike vs Treadmill

18th Jun 2023

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When it comes to starting or upgrading your home gym, the choice between a Peloton bike and a treadmill is a crucial decision. Both offer excellent opportunities for cardiovascular exercise, but they have their differences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the pros and cons of each option, helping you make an informed decision on whether to invest in a Peloton bike or a treadmill.


Understanding the Physiological Differences

Before delving into the specifics of each fitness equipment, it is important to understand the physiological differences between cycling and running. Both forms of exercise provide effective cardio workouts, but they come with their own limitations. It's also important to consider your training history, current fitness level, and personal preferences.

Peloton Bike: Beginner-Friendly and Low-Impact

The Peloton bike is an excellent choice, especially for beginners, as it offers low-impact training that can be done daily, even by untrained individuals. Cycling on a Peloton bike is easier on the joints, resulting in a lower risk of injury and a more comfortable experience overall. This makes it an ideal option for seniors or those with knee and lower back issues.

One of the standout features of the Peloton bike is its assessment tool that helps track and measure power output. This power measurement is a valid indicator of intensity and allows for personalized feedback from each ride. With Peloton's power zone classes, you can tailor your workouts to your individual fitness level, gradually improving your overall performance.

Peloton Treadmill: Performance-Oriented and High-Intensity

If your fitness goals are centered around improving speed, exercise economy, or VO2max, the Peloton treadmill is the way to go. Running on a treadmill allows for higher calorie burn compared to cycling, making it an effective option for weight loss. Additionally, running at higher intensities can lead to greater glucose oxidation, which is important for energy balance and overall health.

Endurance athletes can benefit greatly from the Peloton treadmill, as it allows for longer runs with less impact on the joints. It also elicits higher blood lactate concentration, leading to greater anaerobic threshold and training adaptations. However, it's important to note that running at high intensities requires skill and previous experience, so beginners may need to gradually build up their running intensity.

Peloton Bike vs Treadmill for Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common goal for many individuals, and both the Peloton bike and treadmill can contribute to achieving this goal. However, there are some differences to consider.

Peloton Bike: Longer Durations, Lower Impact

While cycling on a Peloton bike may not burn as many calories as running, it offers the advantage of longer exercise durations. Due to its low-impact nature, you can ride for extended periods without placing excessive stress on your body. This means you can burn a significant amount of calories by spending more time on the bike.

Consistency is key when it comes to weight loss, and the Peloton bike allows for daily training with minimum impact on the joints and tendons. By incorporating regular 30-minute rides into your routine, you can create a calorie deficit and promote weight loss. Additionally, cycling improves energy, mood, and increases satiety, making it easier to adhere to a calorie-restricted diet.

Peloton Treadmill: Higher Calorie Burn per Minute

Running on a Peloton treadmill is a high-intensity workout that can lead to a higher calorie burn per minute compared to cycling. The increased maximum oxygen uptake and maximum heart rate while running contribute to greater calorie burning. However, it's important to consider your fitness level and intensity, as maintaining a high speed of over 9 mph can be challenging for many individuals.

It's worth noting that many Peloton classes incorporate a mix of different intensities, making it difficult to determine the exact number of calories burned without a heart rate monitor. However, running at faster speeds can significantly increase the calorie burn. If your goal is to maximize calorie expenditure during your workouts, the Peloton treadmill can be a great option.

Glucose Oxidation: Running vs Cycling

Glucose oxidation, which refers to the body's ability to effectively use glucose for energy, is an important factor to consider when comparing running and cycling.

Running: Higher Carbohydrate Oxidation Rates

Running, especially at relatively low intensities, leads to higher carbohydrate oxidation rates compared to cycling. This means that running can help balance glucose levels in the blood and extract energy more efficiently. If improving glucose oxidation is a priority for you, running on a Peloton treadmill may be the better choice.

Cycling: No Influence on Running Performance

On the other hand, cycling-specific training does not have a significant impact on running performance or glucose oxidation. While cycling is an excellent form of exercise, it primarily improves cycling economy and performance. If your focus is on improving running performance and glucose oxidation, running on a Peloton treadmill will provide greater benefits.

Performance-Oriented Considerations

Performance is a key consideration for many individuals, as it involves becoming stronger, faster, and more efficient in your chosen sport or activity. Let's explore how the Peloton bike and treadmill compare in terms of performance.

Peloton Bike: Better for Endurance and Exercise Economy

The Peloton bike is an excellent choice for endurance training. It allows for longer rides with less impact on the joints, making it ideal for building cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, cycling with a fast cadence and high resistance can improve exercise economy, which refers to the amount of oxygen used to maintain intensity. Improved exercise economy translates to more efficient workouts and better overall performance.

Peloton Treadmill: Improved Running and Cycling Economy

Running on a Peloton treadmill not only enhances running economy but also improves cycling economy. This dual benefit makes the treadmill a great option for individuals who participate in both running and cycling activities. However, it's important to note that running at high intensities and maintaining long workouts requires practice and experience. Beginners should gradually build up their running intensity to avoid overexertion.

Peloton Treadmill: Productivity Boost

If productivity is a priority for you, running at higher intensities on a Peloton treadmill can have additional benefits. Studies have shown that running at intensities between 65% to 95% of VO2max improves cerebral blood flow, supplying more oxygen to the brain. This can enhance productivity, focus, and cognitive function. However, it's important to note that these benefits are typically observed at near-maximal intensities and may be limited to individuals with a higher level of fitness.

Health Considerations

When choosing fitness equipment, it's important to consider the impact on your overall health. Let's explore how the Peloton bike and treadmill compare in terms of safety, bone health, and recovery.

Peloton Bike: Safer Option

The Peloton bike is generally considered safer than running on a treadmill. Running has a higher injury rate, especially for beginner runners. Studies have shown that novice runners are at a significantly greater risk of injury compared to competitive or recreational runners. If safety is a concern for you, the Peloton bike offers a lower risk of injury, making it a suitable option for individuals with joint issues or those who prefer a lower-impact workout.

Peloton Treadmill: Better for Bone Health

When it comes to bone health, the Peloton treadmill has an advantage over the bike. Cycling is classified as a non-weight-bearing exercise, which means it doesn't provide the same bone-loading impact as running. Studies have shown that cyclists have lower bone mineral density compared to runners, even when age, weight, activity level, and nutrient intake are similar. If maintaining or improving bone health is a priority, running on a Peloton treadmill can be beneficial.

Recovery: Similar for Both Options

In terms of recovery, both the Peloton bike and treadmill have similar effects. Training with higher intensities produces exercise-induced changes and inflammatory responses that are comparable between running and cycling. While post-exercise soreness may be slightly greater in men compared to women, the overall recovery capacity after high-intensity interval exercise is similar for both options. It's important to listen to your body and allow for adequate recovery regardless of whether you choose the bike or treadmill.

Pros and Cons of Peloton Bike and Treadmill

To summarize the key points discussed so far, here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of the Peloton bike and treadmill:

Peloton Bike Peloton Treadmill
Good for beginners and seniors Time-efficient
Low-impact, suitable for people with knee and lower back issues High-calorie burn per minute
Can be used by overweight individuals who cannot weight-bear High muscle and brain perfusion
Full spectrum of classes with thousands of options Higher EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
Lower injury rate Hard on the joints, tendons, and ligaments
  Requires skill and previous experience for high-intensity runs

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to the physiological and performance-related factors, there are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding between a Peloton bike and treadmill.

Price: Consider Your Budget

Price is an important consideration when investing in fitness equipment. The Peloton bike and treadmill come with different price tags. The Peloton bike+ retails for $2,495, while the treadmill+ is priced at $4,295. The price difference between the two options is significant, so it's essential to consider your budget and choose the option that best fits your financial capabilities.

Household Considerations: Who Will Use It?

If you live with family members or roommates, it's important to consider everyone's fitness goals and preferences. Discussing and understanding each individual's needs can help you make a more informed decision. For example, if multiple family members are interested in running, a Peloton treadmill may be the better choice. On the other hand, if there are varying preferences and fitness goals, the Peloton bike can cater to a wider range of workout preferences.

Existing Equipment: Complementary or Redundant?

Evaluate the exercise equipment you already have at home. If you already own a spin bike or other cycling equipment, adding a Peloton treadmill to your collection can provide a well-rounded workout experience. By combining both options, you can take advantage of the benefits of cycling and running without redundancy. On the other hand, if you have limited space or want to focus on one form of exercise, choosing either the Peloton bike or treadmill as your primary equipment may be more suitable.

Personal Preference: What Do You Enjoy?

Perhaps the most crucial factor in choosing between a Peloton bike and treadmill is personal preference. Consider the type of exercise you enjoy the most. If you love the feeling of the wind in your hair and the sensation of running, a Peloton treadmill may be the obvious choice. Conversely, if you prefer the low-impact nature of cycling and enjoy the variety of classes offered by Peloton, the bike may be the better option. Ultimately, selecting the equipment that aligns with your interests and preferences will increase your likelihood of sticking with your fitness routine in the long term.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for You

In conclusion, choosing between a Peloton bike and treadmill involves considering various factors such as fitness goals, preferences, budget, and household dynamics. The Peloton bike is an excellent option for beginners, individuals with joint concerns, and those who prefer low-impact workouts. It offers a wide range of classes and allows for daily training with minimum impact on the body.

On the other hand, the Peloton treadmill is ideal for individuals focused on performance, weight loss, or improving running economy. It provides a high-intensity workout with a higher calorie burn per minute. However, running on a treadmill can be more strenuous on the joints and requires skill and experience to maintain long workouts at high intensities.

Ultimately, the choice between a Peloton bike and treadmill depends on your individual needs, preferences, and goals. Consider the information presented in this guide, perform a thorough self-assessment, and make an informed decision that aligns with your unique circumstances. Whichever option you choose, both the Peloton bike and treadmill offer exceptional opportunities for achieving your fitness goals and leading a healthier, more active lifestyle.


Is the Peloton bike or treadmill better for endurance?

The peloton bikes for endurance have generally more grip than tread since they allow for long journeys and less impact of joints. It also generates higher blood lactating concentrations thus leading to higher aerobic tolerance and adaptation to training activities.

Please note cycling for long periods is difficult. Sometimes they need skills and months of experience. One of the key factors in endurance is fitness economy which helps you to become fitter in shorter period. Exercise efficiency is how much oxygen one uses to maintain intensity. The greater the oxygen needed, the greater the cost.

Difference between a peloton bike and a Treadmill?

Peloton bikes feature a built-in LCD monitor showing your daily exercise in real time. There're live or on-demand classes available. The Peloton treadmill features an integrated screen, which provides realtime information on all of our exercises in a single place. The Peloton bicycle offers better comfort versus traditional bicycles, whereas the Peloton treadmill offers better support than typical treadmills.

Do you burn more calories on peloton bikes or treadmills?

The treadmill burns more calories than the bike because of its heightened respiration rates. In comparison, minutes a week surpass cycling in terms of energy consumption.

This is an example of the video that GlobalTriathlon Nation shows the calories burned on a treadmill using an indirect calorimetry technique at Bath University. Remember, the calories should be sufficient for your fitness levels and intensity. Above you can observe calories burned during a 150 kg exercise.