Most people can still understand that I bought an indoor bike for cardio training at home. But irritated looks come at the latest when I mention that my “Smart Bike” SB20 from Stages Cycling cost around 3000 euros – more than the Peloton Bike +, which is currently very popular thanks to massive advertising.
In fact, both bikes have some things in common: They build up the resistance of the pedals via a heavy flywheel, which is important for smooth running. In addition, belt drives and magnetic brakes ensure low maintenance and operation so quietly that music at room volume drowns them out. The connection to mobile devices is comparable: Peloton delivers its bike with a tablet, Stages delivers the SB20 with holders for smartphones and tablets – including USB power connections.
If you take a closer look, however, you can see differences. Peloton is based on the indoor bikes commonly known as “spinning bikes” with handles pointing upwards, on which you pedal to the beat of the music. As there, the resistance is regulated using a large, non-indexing rotary knob, which also serves as an (emergency) brake. Because the bike has no freewheel: when the flywheel turns, the pedals turn too.
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