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Myx Exercise Bike Review

Reviewed.com logo Reviewed.com 2/23/2021 Sara Hendricks
a man holding a skateboard on a brick building: Myx Exercise Bike Review © Reviewed/ Jackson Ruckar Myx Exercise Bike Review — Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

For those thinking of getting an at-home stationary exercise bike, the first (and possibly only) stop is usually with the ubiquitous brand Peloton. But Peloton—though great—is not the only connected stationary bike out there, nor is it the only one worth investing in. We tested a bunch of other exercise bikes, including Echelon and Schwinn. But we named another bike brand, Myx, that uses heart rate as its main metric, as our best value pick. If you’re interested in taking a more involved approach to your heart rate when you work out—and spending appreciably less for just as motivating a workout tool—Myx could be right for you.

What is Myx?

The Myx is a connected exercise bike with a 21.5-inch touchscreen monitor that streams subscription-based videos. The main thing that sets it apart from other connected bikes is that it comes with a Polar arm strap heart rate monitor that beams your heart rate to the screen and encourages you to hit three different exertion zones throughout each workout. (Most heart rate-training systems use five, but Myx keeps it simpler.) The bike itself is made by Star Trac, a reputable commercial brand, and can support riders up to 350 pounds. It also comes in two colors, “natural white” and “deep charcoal"—a nice touch if you're fussy about your gym decor.

Also of note: In early February, Myx announced that it was merging with Beachbody, a prominent fitness brand that uses multi-level marketing (MLM) tactics for some of its companies. (MLMs make money by employing non-salaried salespeople who sell products directly to individuals and are paid small commissions on sales and for recruiting additional employees.) That said, Beachbody’s fitness programming is generally solid in terms of value to the user. And the company also acquired Openfit, a pretty good workout platform that does not follow the MLM model. We’ll keep an eye on it to see if the merger changes anything significant about Myx.

What does Myx cost?

The basic Myx package, which includes the bike and heart rate monitor, costs $1,299—I got a loaner from the brand and used it for a few weeks. You can also get the Myx Plus package, which includes the bike and heart rate monitor, plus an exercise mat, a stabilizing mat for the bike, a foam roller, a resistance band, a kettlebell, and three sets of dumbbells, for $1,499. Access to Myx’s app is $29 a month and provides cycling classes, off-bike exercise classes, scenic rides (which uses drone footage to take you through picturesque rides through different countries on the screen) and news service Newsy. Zero-interest financing is available for $37 a month or $42 a month for 36 months, depending on which package you choose. Myx's warranty provides five years of protection on the frame and one year of protection on the components, labor, and accessories; no extended warranty is available. Shipping and assembly are included with purchase.

All in all, it’s less expensive than Peloton—which is $2,295 for the new Bike+ or $1,895 for the original model plus $39 a month for the membership—though more expensive than a non-connected bike like the $899 Schwinn IC4 'hacked' with a tablet or TV and the app of your choice (such as Peloton's app for $12.99 a month).

What is it like to use Myx?

a close up of a car: You can use regular sneakers or SPD cleats when you ride the Myx. © Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar You can use regular sneakers or SPD cleats when you ride the Myx.

The Myx looks like any spinning bike you might see in a gym studio, with the addition of a screen. Its saddle and handlebar may be adjusted for riders from 4 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 8 inches (and if you’re not sure how to do that, you can watch an instructional video on sizing your bike). Its pedals have two sides that can be used with two kinds of shoes—one has a cage, which works with regular sneakers, and the other side has clips that are compatible with SPD cleats. In general, it’s better to wear cleats with spin bikes if you can, as it reduces slippage and foot strain, but it’s nice to have the option to ride without when necessary.

The first time you sit on a Myx bike, it prompts you to take a 20-minute assessment class that is used to figure out your heart rate exertion ranges for its three zones (Zone 1, Zone 2, and Zone 3—simple enough to remember), all of which you might be told to hit or sustain during a class. It also gives you something called a “Myx Score,” a numerical value meant to represent your baseline cardiovascular fitness level. Myx recommends retaking the assessment every so often to see how your score changes over time. I didn’t ride the bike for a long enough time to see if or how my score evolved, but it seems like an informative (if not exactly transferable) way to have a comparable representation of your fitness over time.

Once you get going with the cycling classes, the instructors don’t tell you to aim for a certain number for your speed, resistance, or RPM (revolutions per minute of the flywheel) and those numbers don’t show up on the screen. Instead, they tell you to increase or decrease the resistance based on how you feel and use it to hit the heart rate zone they want you to be in. The screen also shows the calories burned during the class, and when it’s over, how many minutes were spent in each zone. The experience reminded me of OrangeTheory, an exercise class that has participants wear heart rate monitors and are encouraged to stay in certain elevated zones throughout the class.

What we like about the Myx bike

The Myx's frame feels sturdy and secure. © Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar The Myx's frame feels sturdy and secure.

The Myx bike is of fantastic quality. It felt sturdy and (mostly) comfortable during my rides. Its handlebars are a little narrower, harder, and tougher to grip than some other bikes, but not untenably so, and the seat felt about as comfy as any you can expect on a spin bike. The wheel spins silently, too, even though it has mechanical resistance rather than the higher-end electromagnetic resistance of some other bikes. Its touchscreen is supported by a unique, bendy stem that allows it to pivot or twist in any direction you want for its off-bike classes, which include barre, strength training, Pilates, HIIT, yoga, and meditation.

I also loved the instructors, who were enthusiastic and encouraging without feeling overbearing, and almost every class I took, from the hill-based cycling classes to lower-impact barre classes. It took me some time to get used to Myx’s metrics, but once I became accustomed to the system, it worked for me—I’m not always into "miles" traveled on a stationary bike or matching RPMs with an instructor. Getting to see how my heart rate changed over the course of a 30-minute cycling class, what I did during the class to make it spike or fall, and how it made me feel after I was done felt like a more tangible metric for me.

The off-bike classes use the heart rate-zone method, too, which I liked. Most cycling and HIIT workouts put me in Zone 2 and 3, while the Pilates, strength training, and yoga classes kept me at a solid 1 and 2. It was cool to see how something lower impact could affect my heart rate and liked that the instructors emphasized that it’s not necessary to be at the tippy-top of Zone 3 to get a good workout.

What we don’t like about the Myx bike

a person lying on the floor: You get a lot of info on the Myx screen—but you won't see a leaderboard. © Myx You get a lot of info on the Myx screen—but you won't see a leaderboard.

If you’re looking for a true Peloton dupe, Myx doesn’t have everything you want. It doesn’t offer live classes on a schedule or a leaderboard showing you how you stack up against others’ stats in any given class, which are two of Peloton’s main draws. The lack of key metrics including RPM, cadence, distance traveled, and watts could be a turnoff for those who like seeing a more complete picture of their efforts. And, on a less important note, Myx classes do not match up to Peloton's club-like aesthetic. The Myx instructors sit in a bright, generic room that looks a little like a shared workspace (at best) or the fitting room at a low-end department stores (at worst), as opposed to the darkened stadium rooms with dramatic spotlights that can make a cycling experience more exciting.

Myx’s music setup is weird, too. You can select classes based on music genre, such as “90s rap” or “Pop 2K,” but it’s curated from a streaming service using an algorithm—not the instructor, a music coordinator, or any actual human—so the songs change each class. On one hand, this is a nice feature, because it means you get a fresh playlist if you want to retake the class. However, it also means you can’t preview the songs before class (which apps like Peloton and Apple Fitness+ let you do), and it provides a slight but noticeable disconnect between you and the teacher. Instructors will sometimes make oblique references to the music, like, “Ah, yes, loving this ‘Top 40 Hits’ playlist,” but because you and they both know you aren’t listening to the same thing, it feels a little stilted. This didn’t make a huge impact on the workouts for me, but if you like knowing your instructor personally picked out the songs for the workout themselves—or, at the very least, is vibing to them at the same time as you—it could be a dealbreaker.

All told, I liked that Myx didn’t aim to become an exact Peloton ripoff. But if you _are _ after the Peloton experience at a lower price, we found a couple more comparable options. One is a bike like the Schwinn IC4, which has Bluetooth and allows you to connect the workout app of your choice to a tablet; another is the brand Echelon, which sells connected bikes with classes that hew closer to the Peloton format.

Is the Myx bike worth it?

As noted, Myx costs $1,299 for the package with the bike and heart rate monitor and $1,499 for the package that includes the additional gear. However, both often go on sale for a couple hundred dollars less than that, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for promos. Overall, whether or not this is worth it depends on your needs, but I think Myx’s integrated heart rate tracking makes its approachable at-home workouts unique. A serious cyclist or someone who wants a true Peloton-type workout may not love it, but anyone who wants fun fitness programming and a greater understanding of what gets their heart going certainly will.

Get the Myx bike starting at $1,299

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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