Stryde Bike Review: Cycle to Success

It’s like having an indoor cycling studio in the comfort of your own home

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Stryde Bike

Stryde Indoor Exercise Bike

Verywell / Rozalynn S. Frazier

Pros
  • Easy to assemble

  • Access to over 500 workouts

  • Works well with companion app

  • Compatible with SPD clips or tow cages

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Screeching noise from wheel

  • Inability to adjust handlebars forward and backward

Bottom Line

Equipped with engaging and challenging workouts, the Stryde Bike is a solid at-home cycling option at a mid-range price point. Real-time and recorded stats push you to move harder in the moment, and metrics allow you to track your progress down the line. Plus, you aren’t locked in to the $29.99/month fee that comes with the Stryde app. You can also access the internet and download other compatible apps, such as Netflix.

4

Stryde Bike

Stryde Indoor Exercise Bike

Verywell / Rozalynn S. Frazier

At-home cycling bikes are having a moment. Period. And we're here for it! More and more, riders are turning away from their boutique studio workouts and channeling that energy by spinning their gears in their living rooms (or bedrooms, or garages) instead. 

So when Stryde—a Boston-based startup company—launched their studio-quality connected fitness bike in the spring of 2020, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Not to mention that indoor cycling offers a laundry list of good-for-you benefits. 

According to a 2019 review of more than 300 studies, pedaling it out does not just improve your aerobic capacity, but your blood pressure, lipid profile, and body composition, too. Cycling is also a low-impact exercise that pumps up the power and strength in all lower-body muscles—from your glutes to your calves.

With the $29.99/month subscription, Stryde grants you access to a content library of more than 500 classes taught by instructors from various studios across the U.S. (think Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle) that will help you move closer to your overall health goals. Even better, the subscription is not mandatory, and the tablet comes unlocked. In other words, the internet, TV streaming services, and outsider fitness apps can be downloaded and used. You can even check your email. 

Plus, it’s super convenient. Whether you want to roll out of bed and onto the bike or take a class at 11:59 p.m., your rides can be completed on your schedule. The sleek design of the Stryde bike is also a great addition to a home gym.

Setup: Yes, you’ll need a friend to help you put it together

The bike arrived in two shipments. The monitor came via FedEx Corp. The frame, seat, cages, weight holders, and additional pieces came in a separate box about a week later via delivery service. The delivery person was kind enough to wheel the box into the room where I’d be using it. While you’ll need a 4 x 2 feet space for your bike, the user’s manual also suggests keeping a minimum of two feet of open space on all sides of the bike for safety reasons.

I enlisted my brother’s help to put the Stryde bike together. For the most part, it was an easy task to accomplish. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the moment we unboxed all of the pieces to the time it was connected to the internet. However, we did stop a few times to do other things, so it may have taken less time if we were focused on the task. The most notable assembly challenges were connecting the dumbbell holder onto the seat bracket and attaching the cages to the pedals.

The 135-pound Stryde bike—which can accommodate those up to 350 pounds and between 5-feet-1-inches tall to 6-feet-4-inches tall—has two wheels on the front floor mount. So, moving it around isn't too daunting in comparison to some other at-home fitness equipment that I've moved in the past.

Stryde Bike Review

Verywell / Rozalynn S. Frazier

Design: A luxe look that won’t disrupt your room’s decor

I’m no stranger to indoor cycling, so I’ve been on my fair share of bikes. To be honest, most of them are pretty similar in design—sleek, black, and relatively compact. This one in particular, which bills itself as “a bike with studio-level specs,” has an ergonomic design, uses a magnetic resistance system, and has a welded powder-coated steel frame with a considerable amount of heft to it. The ride feels strong, supportive, and steady, and the seat is super comfy so I had absolutely no saddle soreness.

The Stryde Bike boasts a 21.5-inch HD tablet screen powered by Android that comes preinstalled with the Stryde app. The app prompts you to set up a profile and allows you to choose from six avatars. None of the caricatures were representative of people of color, and as a Black woman, it would have been nice to have the option to choose an image that I could relate to.  

Unlike other smart bikes, the tablet on this one is unlocked, making it possible to download third-party apps. Whether you're choosing a cycling class or watching your favorite streaming show, the dual speakers will make your experience feel immersive. If you don’t want the whole house (or apartment building) to hear your workout, you can also plug a pair of headphones into the bike’s jack or connect wireless ones via Bluetooth. For my super water slippers, there are two water bottle holders right under the handlebars.

Another favorable feature is that you can wear either sport cycling shoes or regular sneakers thanks to the option to use SPD clips or adjustable toe cages. I didn't have cycling shoes on hand, so I used the cage and sneaker combo which felt comfortable and secure.

Stryde Bike Review

Verywell / Rozalynn S. Frazier

Workouts: Something for everyone

If you use the Stryde app, there is no shortage of cycling workouts with this indoor bike. In fact, there are more than 500 to choose from with two new exercises added every day.

You can find your perfect class by using filters such as instructor, length of class, musical genre, and whether you want to use weights with your ride. The featured instructors also come from a range of cycling studios across the United States—giving you a variety of teachers and teaching styles. I took multiple classes—rave rides, summer hits rides, queens of hip hop rides, and even low-impact rides—and I enjoyed each class I took. The music was good and the teachers were engaging.

This bike was one of the best Peloton alternatives for classes. During each class, Stryde keeps track of stats, including miles, cadence, and output as well as how well you measure up to others that have taken the class before you. All of this information is available right on the screen, and post-class, you're provided with a workout summary. The Stryde app tracks your recent achievements and milestones, and offers a running tab of the data for all of your rides. You can also have up to four profiles to share with friends or family members.

Compared to other smart bikes, the Stryde app videos aren't as polished as others on the market. Some videos also showed empty bikes in the studio which was a bit distracting. I still got a good workout, but I didn't connect with some of the instructors since each of them provided a different experience.

For those who like to crank up the resistance, this exercise bike goes up to level 100. However, my bike had a squeaky wheel that could have been a result of damage during shipping. While headphones helped tune out the sound, I still liked to stay under level 25 in order to avoid the squeakiness (which was like nails on a chalkboard). This meant that I couldn't go as hard as I wanted to, so, at times, I felt like I was missing out on the full potential of my workouts.

For those who opt not to pay for the streaming service, the Stryde app has a “free ride” tab that you can access without a subscription. With it, you can see your metrics in a small window even when using an outside app. 

Stryde Bike Review

Verywell / Rozalynn S. Frazier

Price: Not as expensive as you might think

First of all, there are financing options, so you won't have to plop down a chunk of cash the second you make your purchase. Stryde also has regular sales, so you may be able to catch a good deal. That said, $1,745 is still an investment, but if you're an avid cyclist or plan on using the bike regularly (and not just as a place to stash your clothes), the cost may be worth it.

I like to think of it this way. If you take a boutique fitness class at $36/class (a typical NYC price), then the price of the bike is about 15 classes or 16 weeks of three weekly rides. And since you don't have to use the $29.99/month Stryde app, you don't have to shell out anything extra per month.

Competition: You have some options

There is no doubt that the Stryde bike is a worthy at-home cycling option with a ton of fun classes that suit all levels and needs. Not only does it come in at a lower price point than many of its competitors on the market—including Peloton, Soul Cycle, and some NordicTrack options—but it comes with toe cages so you don’t have to feel pressured to buy a pair of cycling shoes.

The ability to use the screen for other apps, including streaming services, is another game-changer. Plus its delivery window—one to two weeks—is much quicker than several other companies. The place where competitors will edge ahead is with the instructors. There are some good ones on the Stryde app, but they aren't as polished as the other ones I've used.

Final Verdict

Get it for more than the Netflix-friendly tablet.

Whether you're a newbie or a cycling pro, Stryde is not only a budget-friendly bike with more than 500 classes (and counting) that gets the job done. It's a truly durable, aesthetically pleasing bike that'll seamlessly blend in with your home decor. And if you find that you aren’t as into the Stryde bike as you thought you’d be, you have a 30-day return window, though you'll be shelling out a $200 restocking fee.

Specs

  • Product Name Bike
  • Product Brand Stryde
  • Price $1,745.00
  • Weight 135 lbs.
  • Subscription $29.99/month (no commitment)
  • Warranty 12 months
  • What's Included Just the bike
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