Tom's Guide Verdict
The MYX II exercise bike improves on the original with a built-in cadence sensor, more precise resistance control and tweaks to the 21.5-inch swiveling screen. MYX is still the Peloton alternative to beat.
Added cadence sensor
Improved resistance system
Diverse class options
Still more affordable than Peloton
Multiple class services can be confusing
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Starting price: $1,399
Membership fee: $39/month for MYX + OpenFit; $19.95/month for BODi
Display size: 21.5 inches
Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.9 x 1.8 feet
User weight max: 350 pounds
Flywheel resistance: 41 pounds
The MYX II exercise bike is the best Peloton alternative, period. For over $1,000 less than the Peloton Bike Plus, MYX’s machine provides the most comparable experience in the at-home exercise space — a sturdy build, swiveling screen, sparky coaches and the not-so-optional paid membership for hundreds of on-demand workout classes.
Compared to the first MYX fitness bike, the $1,399 MYX II introduces a built-in cadence sensor that reads pedalling speed. Now, cadence cues join suggested heart rate zones as a key index for keeping up during rides. The resistance wheel has also been adjusted for more precise weight adjustments, while the redesigned display chassis features additional ports and stronger speakers.
That’s not all that’s changed. MYX is now owned by Beachbody, a move which merged the proprietary MYX class platform with OpenFit. The bike supports BODi live cycling classes too, but at a separate membership fee and on a different interface. It’s kind of confusing, but once I settled into the consolidated MYX + OpenFit service, I found no shortage of options for working up a sweat.
After taking dozens of classes for this MYX II exercise bike review, I can say it’s the best exercise bike that beats Peloton on value. But is it right for you? Read on to find out.
MYX II exercise bike price and availability
The MYX II exercise bike costs $1,399 and is available now. But if you spend $1,599 for MYX II Plus, you also get a Polar OH1 heart monitor, large exercise mat, 6-piece dumbbell set, kettlebell, foam roller and resistance band. Of course, any of the best yoga mats, best adjustable dumbbells or best resistance bands work just fine for all the classes.
After the physical bike purchase, the MYX + Openfit membership costs $39/month. That’s the same cost as Peleton’s, NordicTrack’s and Echelon’s monthly membership, and recommended to make the most of the bike experience. Customers can also opt for a separate $19.95/month BODi membership for live classes, making use of the webcam built into the bike’s display. BODi requires an existing Beachbody On Demand ($99/year) account, though.
My advice is to stick to MYX + Openfit unless you’re craving the group class experience, in which case you’d benefit from BODi. The fees do start to add up, so make sure to take advantage of free trials (MYX + Openfit: 14 days; BODi; 30 days) to figure out which platform you prefer.
MYX II exercise bike review: Design
The MYX II exercise bike is assembled in your home atop an included floor mat by a professional delivery partner. My servicer positioned my white review model (it also comes in black), plugged it in and made sure it paired to my Wi-Fi. If I wanted to move the bike after they left, the two wheels on the front base bar and the four adjustable leveling feet would help.
Weighing 134 pounds, MYX II is a considerable machine. The system as a whole might be more compact than a complete home gym set up with multiple pieces of equipment, but it’s smart to reserve extra real estate for floor classes. And since the 21.5-inch touchscreen display swivels and tilts, it can face wherever I’m working out, even if it’s 180 degrees from where I’d sit on the bike. (The Peloton Bike Plus with a rotating screen, for comparison, starts at $2,495.)
The display also houses USB-C and USB-A ports, so you can charge your heart rate monitor or smartphone or other device when the MYX II is powered on.
MYX II’s other features include adjustments for seat height, seat depth, handlebar height, handlebar depth, as well as a resistance knob that doubles as an emergency stop. It doesn’t sway side-to-side like the $2,199 Bowflex VeloCore bike to mimic the sensation of riding an actual bike, but the friction resistance system provides up to 41 pounds to push against as you might cycling up a steep hill.
Attached to the crank arm is a new cadence sensor — a feature Peloton, Bowflex and certain NordicTrack exercise bikes had first, but is nonetheless welcome on the MYX II. The cadence sensor measures revolutions per minute based on how quickly you pedal your feet.
Speaking of the pedaling, the MYX II offers two ways to strap in: Regular sneakers can be secured in attached toe cages, while on the reverse side the best shoes for Peloton and other exercise bikes clip on for extra security.
MYX II exercise bike review: Performance
Every member of my family could find a perfect configuration for comfort on the MYX II exercise bike, reflecting a respectable range of seat and handlebar adjustments. Thanks to the bike’s size and heft, I never felt like I could tip the bike over while riding out the saddle like I might on some flimsier, budget Amazon machines.
Like the first MYX bike, MYX II uses a 41-pound flywheel with friction resistance, which differs from Peloton’s magnetic wheel. I tend to prefer magnetic because it’s quieter and offers more specific resistance changes, which the original MYX bike struggled with. On the previous bike, it felt like a tiny turn would make the wheel go from too light to too heavy. The MYX II’s resistance system is notably more refined, an improvement that made a huge difference in performance.
Launching a class through the MYX II opens a dashboard on the screen showing the time elapsed, calories burned, cadence (for a cycling class) and current heart rate, as well as a progression chart mapping heart rate zones. If you’re familiar with OrangeTheory or other heart-rate-based training, you’ll know that an accurate gauge of your pulse is important to pacing yourself in class. That’s a big pillar of MYX + Openfit classes, and I love it.
In most class types, the coaches offer verbal cues for what zone you should be in. The included Polar OH1 I wore on my forearm offered instant readings, though the Apple Watch is also a compatible heart rate monitor. Following my heart rate helped me know when it was time to put more effort in or scale it back. Most classes provided quick warm ups and cooldowns for managing heart rate zones, too.
MYX II exercise bike review: Class selection
MYX + Openfit classes remain more personal than competitive compared to some of the best workout apps. There’s no leaderboards like in the Peloton app — instead, the coaches lead one-to-one narratives. Most classes are just the one trainer, though some options from the Openfit side have a handful of demonstrators per class showing variations, which is a major pro for accommodating levels of exercise experiences. I can say the same for the difficulty ratings provided for each class. Peloton also uses a difficulty system to help people pick classes, but Apple Fitness Plus hasn’t adopted a comparable feature yet.
Within the bike class category, there are endurance rides, resistance-heavy climb rides, HIIT rides, rhythm rides, warm-up rides and recovery rides ranging from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, the floor classes span a wide range of workout types, from kickboxing and strength training and HIIT to pilates and yoga and mobility. There are even audio-based walking and running workouts designed for both the outdoors or on any of the best treadmills. The soundtracks are set through a Pandora-like station with options to skip songs, unless otherwise noted.
While all classes are available on-demand, there’s an option to launch multi-day or multi-week programs that target certain areas of your body or larger wellness goals. Scheduling classes is always an option, too.
Now as for BODi classes, which again exist in a separate interface accessible on the MYX II’s display, you’ll find daily live classes for cycling and other popular workout types. You can use BODi with any exercise bike, or no exercise bike if you prefer floor classes. BODi feels more like Peloton, with darker studios, tougher trainers and the sense that you’re working out with others. The music in these classes is more curated, as you’d see with Peloton.
MYX II exercise bike review: Verdict
Interest in owning the best home gym equipment shows no signs of letting up. So while it might seem like everyone and their mother-in-law owns a Peloton, there’s certainly a space for MYX in the market. Especially when you consider the competitive price of the MYX II machine, which now has a cadence sensor like the Peloton Bike.
Of course, the continued cost of membership is where your investment adds up, so the fact that you could pay up to $59 per month for all the class platforms (not including the $100 annual Beachbody On Demand fee) is a bit controversial. Hopefully it makes things easier when I say the MYX + Openfit service alone is the right choice for most people. If you’re buying this bike for BODi, just get the Peloton or use a $299 machine from Amazon with a tablet. But for the right value, the MYX II exercise bike has ample class variety to exercise fun, which isn’t something I say about working out often.
Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.