The Battle of Peloton vs. Zwift: Are You Ready to Know Who Comes Out On Top?

Two main options for indoor running and cycling platforms online are Zwift and Peloton. We cannot deny that both platforms are great for training cyclists. Both platforms are so popular and competitive that it may be difficult to choose.

Surprisingly, the platforms are so different that it may be easier to make a decision based on your interests. Zwift, for example, is indoor but offers outdoor running and cycling. Peloton, on the other hand is strictly indoor for most of its workouts. There are many factors that will help you decide which of Zwift and Peloton is better.

A Summary Table of Peloton Vs. Zwift

EquipmentFitness bike, treadmillOutdoor bike, trainer, treadmill
MembershipDigital app membership, all-access membershipDigital app membership
New member discountavailableavailable
Cost of membership per monthDigital app: $12.99 All-access membership: $39$14.99
WorkoutsTread running and walking, strength, yoga, meditation, outdoor, cardio, cycling, bike Bootcamp, and tread BootcampRunning, cycling
Main workout environmentindooroutdoor
Live classesavailableNot available
Recorded classesavailableavailable
Instructor availabilityYes (avatar)Yes (real person)
Instructor audibleyesno
Able to view other usersyesyes
musicavailableNot available
Interaction with fellow usersavailableavailable
Competitive natureyesyes

Basic Structure of Peloton Classes

Peloton classes are available live or on-demand. Instructors can lead them. The instructors are usually present in the studio and the class setting is similar to a physical spinning studio.

Instructors will provide guidance when you need to increase resistance, cadence or take a break.

There are three levels of classes: intermediate, advanced, and beginner. The classes can be arranged in different time periods, ranging from five to seventy-five min.

There are currently more than 70 instructors who guide the different workouts. Because of their diverse personalities and impacts, you can choose which instructor to lead your class.

Basic Structure of Zwift Classes

Zwift is basically a game. It is a virtual avatar that represents you. The avatar moves according to what you do on the treadmill or bike. You can also control the avatar’s outlook and direction.

You can compete with avatars of other users in the class. You can choose to race in a class with more users. This will allow you to see how your range compares to your competitors.

You are not allowed to talk to anyone during class. The class is prerecorded and your moves depend on what you see. If you have a Zwift-compatible trainer, it can help you decide when you need to climb, drop, or increase resistance.

Peloton Vs. Zwift: What are the Differences

1. Equipment

The main difference between the platforms is in the equipment needed. This is primarily true for the cycling workouts.

scenic rides. Peloton bike owners have the option to register for an all-access membership which allows them to create multiple accounts on the same bicycle.

Peloton offers two types of Peloton bikes: the standard Peloton bicycle and the plus Pelotonbike. The standard Peloton bike will give you all the benefits of Peloton cycling, but at a lower price. If you have the budget for the bike and the time, you’ll be in Peloton heaven.

Pelton is also available on the Peloton bikes with touchscreens. You will need a tablet if you have an indoor bike for Peloton. You can also use your smartphone, TV, or computer to do the same.

Zwift actually uses an outdoor bike. Zwift can handle any type of bike, hybrid or mountain, so you don’t have to worry about whether your bike is road, hybrid, or mountain. All you need to stream the training is a trainer.

The Zwift trainer turns your outdoor bike into an indoor stationary bike. If you’re lucky enough to have a high-end trainer you can even get resistance and cadence monitoring that allows you feel the hills and valleys in the workout environment.

2. Workout Environment

Professional cyclists know that different environments can make it easier to ride, even if you’re an experienced cyclist. You get both training and adventure. This is Zwift.

There are four routes in Zwift you can choose from, each with different options. Watopia is the first option. It crosses through the South Pacific paradise. There are eight routes you can take to explore this option. There are also four routes on the Richmond 2015 UCI World Road Race Course. This option is virtual, with dreamy route options.

You can also ride through London, and the Prudential Ride London courses. You can choose to ride through the stunning countryside or visit the iconic London landmarks.

Technically speaking, Zwift is represented by an avatar. The avatar can change its outlook and move at your speed. You can turn the avatar around and make a uturn, or go back. The avatar will move according to your wishes. It’s more like a ride in the game!

Peloton, on the other hand is technically an indoor workout and the environment is indoor. There is also an outdoor option, but it is not audio. The scenic rides are limited to Peloton bike owners.

Peloton instructors are able to live in studios. Even the on-demand classes can be seen as a studio setting. Indoor training feels more like a gym or studio.

Zwift is the best choice if you’re looking for adventure and a breeze. Peloton, on the other hand, is a great choice if you prefer a studio atmosphere that reminds of physical cycling studios.

3. Apps

Peloton and Zwift both offer digital apps that allow you to stream classes. These apps work with smart TVs, smartphones and tablets, as well as iPads, iPhones, iPads, and iPads.

You can personalize your workout equipment using digital apps. You can choose the bike and accessories that best suit your needs and budget. They show the heart rate, cadence, distance, time, resistance, and heart rate during a workout. The metrics can also be saved in your account for future reference.

However, you can only have one account with the Zwift and Peloton digital apps. If another member of the household wants to use the workouts, they will need to purchase a second subscription.

Peloton is more than a digital app. Peloton equipment owners can access an all-access membership that allows them to create multiple accounts for their family and household.

If you have multiple accounts that work well for you, Peloton is the best option.

4. Live and On-demand Classes

Online workout platforms offer both live and on-demand classes. Live classes allow for interaction between the instructor and the class while on-demand classes can be recorded.

Peloton offers both live and recorded classes. The first is live classes. Here you can get a shout-out and a high-five from your instructor. The class is also live, so jokes and comments are always in real time. If it’s Christmas, for example, there will be more references. There are also on-demand classes. These classes can be either former live classes or made specifically for the on demand class option.

All Zwift classes can be accessed on-demand because they are recorded and prepared beforehand.

On-demand classes are flexible and can be arranged around your schedule. You can choose the classes that you wish to take at any time of day. Peloton and Zwift allow you to take a class whenever you want.

Peloton is for you if you like the warmth of a live class.

5. Community Interaction and Competition

Both platforms offer both the community feel and the competitive edge of competition. You will see a list on your right side of the people against whom you are riding once you log in to either platform. This is known as the Leaderboard on Peloton.

Peloton allows you to give a high-five or a hug to others on the Leaderboard. You can also video chat with friends and other users on the Leaderboard if you have a Peloton tread/bike.

Zwift allows you to chat with others on the Leaderboard, and reply to messages. A thumbs-up is a feature that allows you to get the high-five on Peloton.

It is interesting to note that social media platforms and pages are dedicated to either Zwift or Peloton. People can share their experiences, offer advice and make suggestions, as well as give feedback and make recommendations.

6. Instructor Interaction

Zwift will not have a talking instructor. Instead, you will be guided by an avatar of an instructor, who you will follow quietly. Sometimes, you may not even be able to see them, especially if you choose to take on personal routes.

Peloton’s instructors are actually more popular than this. They will help you every step of the way and are so knowledgeable that it is hard to miss a step. They will also exercise with you and sweat with you. Users have the opportunity to interact with them. Instructors will give a high-five to the class during a live class in order to make them feel better. The instructor will review the Leaderboard and give shout outs to members who are improving, those who have reached major milestones in their lives, and those on Peloton.

7. Cost

Let’s compare the Peloton digital app to the Zwift app. The Peloton digital app currently costs $12.99 while the Zwift digital application costs $14.99. Both platforms offer a free month for new users. The cost of the second month is almost the same so you can move on to your next consideration.

Peloton allows you to purchase a Peloton bike or pay $39.95 for an all-access membership. The app allows you to create up to 20 accounts.

Peloton standard
bike plus is $2400.

Zwift is a great way to learn if you want an optimal experience.

You will most likely end with the standard Peloton bike price if you choose the Zwift low-end option.

The cost difference between the platforms is negligible.

8. Music

Most people love to exercise with some good, relatable music playing in background. Peloton has this for you. You can have several tracks playing in a class depending on your mood. You can even choose the music that you like to play in a Peloton class!

Zwift isn’t great with music and loses to Peloton. You can however, customize your playlist to make the workout work for you.

So, Zwift or Peloton?

This is often the most difficult decision you make, especially if there are large investments involved. However, I recommend that you start with the app first before you invest in the equipment.

Zwift as well as Peloton offer a month-long free subscription to new users of their digital apps. You have 30 days to decide if this is something that you want to invest.

You can download both Zwift and Peloton simultaneously to see how they compare.

Each platform is different, however. It will all depend on what you are looking for. Zwift is a great option for athletes, triathletes, and cyclists looking for an environment that matches their outdoor training grounds.

Peloton, on the other hand, is better if you’re looking for a spin studio or a gym experience. It offers more training options than running and cycling, making it a more wholesome experience.


So, Peloton vs. Zwift? Your preference will determine which option you choose. Zwift is a great choice for those who love video games. It turns your passion into a fitness program. Peloton, on the other hand is great for flexible training options and a studio- or gym-like workout experience.

You May Also Like