Peloton has blown up in popularity since COVID-19, but it’s far from the only connected exercise bike on the market. New entrant MYX Fitness says it’s catering to a different type of user: those who aren’t necessarily motivated by competition, and simply exercise to live a better life. As such, you won’t find leaderboards or live classes on the MYX platform. Instead, MYX offers a heart rate-based cross-training approach that’s all about you, not you versus others. Its sturdy, commercial-grade bike features a 21.5-inch swiveling touch screen on which you can stream on-demand cycling classes ranging from 10 to 45 minutes with excellent instructors and good music. To supplement your cycling sessions, it offers a wide range of other types of workouts, including Barre, core, dance cardio, foam rolling, HIIT, kettlebells, kickboxing, mobility, meditation, Pilates, postnatal and prenatal, sculpt, stretching, strength, and yoga. Starting at $1,299, MYX is an excellent way to stay active at home, sharing our Editors’ Choice with the Peloton Bike.
Design, Pricing, and Accessories
MYX Fitness sells a customized version of a Star Trac bike with a 21.5-inch touch screen tablet mounted above the handlebars. The tablet swivels a full 360 degrees, and tilts up and down, so you can easily move it around for the perfect viewing angle when you’re doing workouts on and off the bike.
The bike is compact, quiet, and sturdy. Its base measures 40 by 19 inches (LW), and the entire assembly measures 54 by 21 by 47 inches (LWH). The bike weighs 150 pounds with the touch screen, or 134 pounds without. It’s recommended for riders 4 feet, 11 inches to 6 feet, 8 inches, and up to 350 pounds (Peloton supports up to 300 pounds). Unlike the Peloton Bike, which requires Look Delta-compatible clip-in shoes, you can use the MYX bike with regular athletic shoes or SPD cleats.
MYX Fitness offers two pricing options. If you already have your own weights, you can get the basic package, which includes the bike in white or black and a Polar OH1 heart rate monitor for $1,299. At the moment, white glove delivery and assembly are included in the cost of the bike, though the company tells me it may charge an additional $250 for the services in the future.
If you don’t already own weights, you’ll probably want to go with the $1,499 MYX Plus package, which also includes a six-piece weight set (in your choice of light, medium, or heavy), a kettlebell, a 24-by-48-inch stabilizing mat for the bike to sit on, a 48-by-72-inch oversized exercise mat for workouts off the bike, a foam roller, and a resistance band. The light kit includes 3-,6-, and 9-pound dumbbells and a 15-pound kettlebell; the medium kit includes 6-, 9-, and 12-pound dumbbells and a 20-pound kettlebell; and the heavy kit includes 9-,12-, and 15-pound dumbbells and a 25-pound kettlebell. All of the weights have a gray rubber coating on them, so they look nice and are easier on your floors than traditional metal weights.
Both options are a good chunk of change, but MYX offers a lot of value for the money, especially compared with Peloton, which charges $2,245 for just its bike, a one-year warranty, and delivery/setup. To make the cost more manageable, MYX Fitness offers financing options starting at $37 a month for the base package or $42 a month for the Plus package.
Aside from the machine, you’ll need to pay for a MYX class membership, which costs $29 per month, $10 less than Peloton. The membership gives you unlimited access to the MYX workout library and the ability to create up to five user accounts. The company already offers hundreds of streaming workouts, with more being added each week.
Assembly and Setup
With the white glove service, MYX’s logistics partner will fully assemble the bike before arriving at your house, then place it wherever you like and plug it in, so all you need to do is connect it to your Wi-Fi. When I received my review unit, the company was only offering threshold deliveries due to COVID-19, but they have since started offering in-house delivery and assembly once again.
Even without in-house service, the setup process was very simple. The bike arrived mostly assembled, and all I had to do was move it into place on my floor (this took two people), unbox the touch screen and attach it to the mount with four screws, connect the power cord into the socket on the front of the bike, and plug it into the wall.
MYX recommends placing the bike in a room with at least a seven-foot ceiling, and clearing around four by six feet of floor space so you have enough space to do workouts off the bike. You’ll need to place it in an area with strong Wi-Fi, next to a power outlet. For optimal streaming, it requires download speeds of at least 10 to 15Mbps.
Once it’s in place and plugged in, you press the button on the right side on the screen to turn it on, then select your Wi-Fi network, use the on-screen keyboard to type in your password, and create an account. It asks you to fill in your gender, height, birth date, weight, rate your fitness and stress levels, specify how many times a week you want to work out on the bike, and how long you want to work out each session. You can then snap a photo for your profile, and sign up for a class membership.
From there, you have the option to watch a few short tutorial videos explaining the heart rate zone training method (more on this in the next section) and how to use the equipment. Especially if you’re new to indoor cycling, be sure to watch the videos showing how to adjust your seat and handlebars so you set the bike up properly and don’t wind up injuring yourself.
Classes and Features
The MYX interface is well organized and easy to navigate. At the top of the screen, there are tabs for Bike, Floor, Mindful, and Cross-Training, where you can browse and filter workouts by coach, duration, level, type, and music.
MYX Fitness President Heberto Calves tells me that the most popular workout duration on the platform is 20 minutes, followed by 30 minutes, then 15 minutes. The company is thinking about adding hour-long workouts, but right now the longest ones are 45 minutes, and those are the least popular. As an avid yoga practitioner, I would love for MYX to offer one-hour yoga sessions.
One of the reasons the shorter workouts are popular is that people are combining them, Calves says. You can, for instance, do a 10-minute warm-up ride, then a 20-minute strength class, and get a solid workout for the day.
Next to the workout tabs is one labeled MYX Media, featuring 24/7 streaming news from national network Newsy. Here, you can also access original content, including a series called Mat Chats featuring interviews with experts about health and wellness topics. Another original series called Coach Diaries features interviews with the platform’s trainers so you can get to know them better. In MYX Media, you can also access scenic virtual rides in places like Chile, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Italy, New Zealand, and the Pacific Northwest. When streaming content from the MYX Media tab during a workout, you’ll still see your real-time heart rate data on the screen.
Finally, there’s a bell icon, which brings up a list of your scheduled workouts. You can browse workouts on the bike’s tablet, or in the MYXfitness mobile app (available for Android and iOS), set a date and time you plan to do them, and they will appear in the scheduled section. You can also add scheduled workouts to your phone’s calendar so you don’t forget.
In the MYXfitness mobile app, you can also stream floor classes when you’re away from the bike and view a history of your workout sessions. The iOS app integrates with Apple Health, so your MYX workouts can help you close your Apple Watch rings. It doesn’t integrate with Fitbit or Strava, two platforms Peloton supports.
On the MYX bike’s home screen, it shows how many workouts you’ve done, your max calorie burn, a graph of your stats (time and calories burned) for each day that week, and a list of your recent workouts. You can tap your photo in the top left corner of the screen to access a full history of all your workouts, organized by date.
At the top of the bike’s home screen there’s a featured workout, followed by sections for Most Popular, New Workouts, Favorites, and Tutorials.
Working Out With MYX
Heart rate zone training is a key part of the MYX experience, so you’ll want to wear the included Polar OH1 armband during workouts. Fortunately, this heart rate monitor is comfortable to wear and accurate. You just strap it on your arm, turn it on by pressing the button on the side, select the workout you want to do on the bike’s touch screen, then press the HR Monitor button on the screen to pair them.
There’s also a Headphones button that lets you pair the bike with Bluetooth headphones. In testing, I had no problem getting the heart rate monitor and my AirPods connected.
During workouts, you see a color-coded metrics box on the left side of the screen indicating the heart rate zone you’re in. Blue means you’re in zone 1 (comfortable, sustainable), green is zone 2 (solid effort, challenging), and orange means zone 3 (breathless, unsustainable). Inside the metrics box, it also shows your current heart rate, maximum and minimum heart rate, a graph of your heart rate throughout the workout, and your calories burned. Atop the metrics box, it shows how long you’ve been working out and the remaining time. You can pause the workout at any time. There are separate controls for the instructor and music volume.
MYX doesn’t show your cadence (revolutions per minute), resistance level, or output (a combination of your cadence and resistance, measured in watts) on the screen—three stats you see when working out on the Peloton and Echelon indoor cycling bikes. During Peloton and Echelon bike workouts, the instructors tell you to aim for a specific cadence and resistance level. Both rank their leaderboards based on your output. On MYX, there are no leaderboards; the focus is your heart rate.
Throughout the workout, the instructors tell you which heart rate zone you should be in, and you can manually adjust the resistance knob and your pace accordingly. Turning the knob to the right to increase the resistance and/or speeding up your pace elevates your heart rate. Turning it to the left to decrease the resistance and/or slowing down your pace lowers your heart rate. It takes about six turns to the right to start to feel resistance.
The ranges for your heart rate zones are customized based on an initial 20-minute Score Assessment Ride. This workout starts with a short breathing exercise designed to lower your heart rate, then you alternate between increasing and lowering your intensity so the system can record your max and recovery heart rate.
After the Score Assessment Ride, your heart rate zones are personalized to you. For me, zone 1 is 50 to 124 beats per minute, zone 2 is 125 to 150bpm, and zone 3 is 151 to 178bpm. You also get a MYX Score, a baseline metric for you to gauge your cardiovascular fitness over time.
MYX recommends doing the Score Assessment Ride first thing in the morning after a good night’s rest, and repeating it every six weeks for accurate heart rate zones as your cardiovascular health improves.
After a workout, MYX asks you to rate it (too easy, too hard, just right), rate the instructor (1 to 5 stars), and you can save it to your favorites if you want. It also shows a workout summary, including how long you spent in each zone, the number of calories you burned, and your average and max heart rate.
My Experience With MYX
Prior to getting the MYX, I only tried indoor cycling twice, and the first time was a disaster. I arrived at class just as it was about to start (so basically late), and must have given off total newbie vibes as I struggled to adjust the bike. The instructor asked if it was my first time, then got off their bike to help me with mine as a packed room of experienced-looking cyclists watched and waited. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I forgot a water bottle, so I ended up having to get off my bike three times to walk out of the room to the water fountain. Needless to say, I wasn’t eager to try it again. Fast forward about 10 years, and a friend recently gave me a free pass to Spenga, so I hesitantly took a class and ended up having a lot of fun.
And that’s all the experience I had indoor cycling before the MYX arrived at my house. As a total beginner, the MYX has made indoor cycling accessible and fun. Over the past two weeks, I have taken 14 classes, starting with the Score Assessment Ride, which in itself is a good workout.
Never in my life have I paid such close attention to my heart rate as I do when working out with MYX. It’s really interesting to see how you can control your heart rate by increasing the resistance on the bike and/or speeding up your pace. Watching your heart rate go up and down as you try to stay in the appropriate zone alleviates boredom and makes the workouts go by quickly. It also helps that the instructors are engaging and the music is good.
Judge me if you want, but I really like country music, so one of my favorite rides so far is the 20-minute Country Interval Ride. A nice thing about MYX is that if you really like a certain workout, you can add it to your favorites and do it again and again, and the playlist will always be different. At the bottom of the screen, it says the name of the song that’s playing, but I often find myself Shazaming songs during workouts so I don’t forget them.
When I first started out on the MYX bike, I was mostly doing the 20-minute rides, but now I’m up to 30 minutes. I’ve tried the endurance, HIIT, interval, MYX signature, and warm-up rides, and they have all been good.
At first, the seat was a little uncomfortable and I was sore after riding. During one of the classes, the instructor said that’s normal, and you’ll get used to it in a couple of weeks. By now, I am mostly used to it.
In addition to the cycling workouts, I’ve taken cross-training, kettlebell, stretching, total body sculpt, and yoga classes on the MYX. I especially enjoy the 45-minute Tone, Ride, Restore classes, which start with strength training using the weights, then move to the bike, and end with stretching and foam rolling. It’s nice that MYX has such a wide variety of class styles, because if you don’t feel like cycling, there are plenty of other options. I also really like that MYX offers foam rolling, stretching, and yoga classes, so you can still stay active on your recovery days.
Comparisons and Conclusions
In the growing smart home gym equipment market, MYX stands out for its competitive pricing, commercial-grade equipment, personalized heart rate zone training, and vast and varied library of on-demand classes. The $1,299 MYX bike is attractive and sturdy, with a 21.5-inch touch screen you can swivel and tilt for the perfect angle when taking classes on the floor.
It doesn’t offer live classes or leaderboards, but for almost $750 less than the Peloton Bike alone, you can get a MYX bike plus three sets of dumbbells, a kettlebell, a heart rate monitor, a foam roller, and an oversized workout mat.
As you work out on the MYX bike, you’ll pay close attention to your heart rate as you adjust the resistance and your pace to stay in a certain zone. The platform makes indoor cycling accessible and fun, with excellent instructors and good music. For when you don’t feel like cycling, MYX offers plenty of other types of workouts to keep you active and help you recover, including dance cardio, strength, stretching, and yoga classes.
If you’re the type of person who is motivated by competition and the energy of group fitness classes, you’ll probably be happier with the $2,245 Peloton Bike or a more affordable Echelon alternative. If you’re not particularly competitive, however, MYX Fitness is an excellent option, and equally worthy of our Editors’ Choice.