Apple Watch exercise bike. Accessories

The Best Bike Mounts for Apple Watch

Now that the weather is getting a bit nicer here in the UK I am starting to venture out from the Turbo in my Pain Cave and take my road bike on the actual road. That’s sort of a relief, I think I was going a little crazy.

So it’s time to look at some mounts for Apple Watch and here are the ones that I have tried (actually these are the only ones I have found. there is not a large choice currently. an often referenced one the CyClip appears to have never made it into production)

apple, watch, exercise, bike
  • The Velomounts Apple Watch Mount (Disclaimer: Velomounts provided a free trial for this mount for me to try out, which I’ll be returning)
  • The Satechi Apple Watch Mount
  • The DURAGADGET Black Bicycle Handlebar Mount Kit (though I have a Garmin equivalent which looks identical, but seems to have been discontinued by Garmin)
  • The bodged strap a battery to the top tube with velcro straps mount which I have invented in an attempt to have the watch charge while I’m riding. something I’ll need to do for the ride on IronMan Wales. Can someone tell me how to make a Kickstarter project?

But before we get on to looking at them, let’s get some background.

Why Mount Apple Watch on your Bike?

The more natural way to use Apple Watch is, of course, on your wrist. That way you get use of the built-in heart rate monitor, you can pick from one of your many straps (to match your lycra), and you simply raise your wrist for it to light up with your data.

But putting the watch on your bars has one big advantage in that you don’t have to take your hand off them and twist your wrist to see it, thus instantly making it safer and more useful in an event when you are head down and trying to maintain a pace, HR or power zone. Having said that you are still going to need to wake Apple Watch in some way (see below) until we get an Always On mode (which is only likely with the next version of Apple Watch, maybe in Sept).

While your Watch is mounted on your bike it can still capture all the normal data such as speed, gps route, and heart rate (using an external bluetooth heart rate monitor. see below).

Some Settings you’ll Want to Change

If you are going to mount your Watch on your bars you’ll want to make these changes to settings

Passcode Wrist Detection Turn OFF

If you use a passcode on your watch (which I’d recommend), then you’ll want to turn wrist detection off when mounting the watch on your bars. Otherwise, Apple Watch will keep locking itself and you’ll have to enter your passcode while cycling. which is really not possible.

Go to settings on the Apple Watch app on iPhone or Apple Watch itself, select Passcode and turn Wrist Detection off. You’ll get the following :

So basically you can’t use the heart rate monitor, which is sort of obvious, so you’ll need to get a Bluetooth Heart Rate Band instead. see below for some recommendations.

Note that when you turn Wrist Detection off the following also get disabled, so after the ride, you’ll want to turn these all back on if you use them:

  • Unlock with iPhone (You have to turn this back using iPhone in the Apple Watch app using Settings Passcode)
  • Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac (You have to do this on your Mac in System Preferences Security Privacy)

Wake Screen Settings

You’ll want to check your wake screen settings. Unfortunately, you can’t have the screen stay on permanently in watchOS4. primarily because of battery drain, so instead you’ll need to check out the following in the Settings General Wake Screen section.

The assumption is that you want to keep quick access to your Workout app screen (whichever app you are using)

  • Wake duration. It can be 15 seconds or 70 seconds. If 15 seconds work for you, you’ll get better battery life, and that is fine for me, but you can bump to 70 seconds if you prefer.
  • On Screen Wake Show Last App: set to While in Session to make sure Apple Watch doesn’t go back to the watch screen next time you wake it (note the Watch settings screen actually says on Screen Raisebut this is an error. it means Wake).
  • Auto-Launch Audio-Apps: You might want to turn this OFF if you are playing music using a different app so that Apple Watch doesn’t jump to the music playing screen when you wake it.

What is the Peloton?

As said, the Peloton has been the must-have fitness accessory and is considered one of the best exercise bikes around. Against the price of a monthly gym membership, the cost of introducing equipment into your home starts to make sense, even if it feels like a big spend all at once. Alongside the bike, there’s a treadmill, yoga classes, and even weight lifting you can try out.

The thing that sets the Peloton apart is its screen, which gives you access to live fitness classes and instructors. This not only guides you through the most effective workouts but also makes things a whole lot more fun.

What is the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch works as well as a fitness tracker as it does an extension of the iPhone, keeping track of things like heart rate, steps taken, and sleep. As one of the more premium examples, it has gained a reputation for being ahead of the rest with constant updates and innovative features.

As with anything Apple, compatibility with anything not from the brand can be an issue, but the Watch actually works brilliantly with Peloton products.

Why you’d want to connect your devices

We’re all guilty of filling our lives with Smart home devices that, due to incompatibility with each other, live out their usefulness pretty quickly. Apple Watch and Peloton are a match made in heaven, and those keen on keeping an eye on their health and fitness can benefit hugely from using them together.

Once connected, your Apple Watch will record your workout, adding energy spent to those all-important rings and monitoring your heart rate. Be aware, however, that you will need WatchOS 6 or later and iOS 13 or later on your corresponding iPhone, for everything to work.

How to connect the Apple Watch and Peloton

The first thing you need to do is download the Peloton app on both your phone and Apple Watch.

Open the app and head to the ‘Set Up’ page (found via ”, ‘Apple Watch’). Tap ‘Connect to Health App’ and this will open up your iOS device’s health center.

Once there, make sure you have enabled everything so that the Peloton app can have access. Head pack to Peloton and tap ‘done’.

Now you need to use your Apple Watch. Open the Peloton WatchOS app and allow notifications. When you start a class on your bike, treadmill or other equipment, a notification should pop up on your Watch. When this happens, just tap and you’re ready to go!

Here’s How to Sync Your Peloton and Apple Watch

Learn how to connect your Apple Watch with your Peloton equipment so you get the most accurate stats — and close that ring!

For anyone who finds motivation from looking to health metrics, using multiple devices to track data is probably commonplace for you at this point. While your smartwatch can track your movement, and the numbers on your cardio equipment can push you to go harder — you truly get the most accurate insights into your overall fitness and performance by syncing the two during your workout. That’s why connecting your Peloton to your Apple Watch it easy to see your stats on everything from calories burned to distance traveled. Plus, recording Peloton workouts on the Apple Watch will make sure you close those activity rings, and who doesn’t love the satisfaction of all three rings conquered? (

Workout with Apple Watch. What’s better than waterlock to lock your screen?

To find out how to make your Peloton and Apple Watch speak to each other, read on for a how-to guide to connect the two devices, according to both Peloton and Apple support.

Yes, You Can Connect All Peloton Equipment to Your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch will directly pair with the Peloton Bike, Bike, and Tread, as well as the App if you have a digital subscription, according to Peloton’s website. The feature also works for all Peloton workouts, including cycling, strength, HIIT, and Bootcamp classes.

apple, watch, exercise, bike

First, download the Peloton App both on your phone (or tablet) and your Apple Watch. On the phone App, tap. then Apple Watch, and then follow the instructions to give your phone’s Health App permission to access your Peloton data. Once that’s complete, head back to the Peloton App press Done. Make sure to enable location services, movement tracking, and motion and fitness options on your devices for the most accurate stats. (BTW, the Peloton App is compatible with WatchOS 6 and later and mobile devices with iOS 13 and later.)

Now that you’re synced up, your Apple Watch will give you a notification to begin monitoring your workout the second you start a class on any Peloton equipment or the App. Give it a tap, and you’ll instantly start recording your workout. How easy is that?

When you do that, make sure you turn off the low power mode on the iPhone and the watch. This will allow you to easily see all your metrics on the watch as you work out since power reserve mode disables activity tracking features.

Other Ways to Connect Peloton Equipment and Your Apple Watch

While the method outlined above is super easy, it’s not the only way you can connect your Peloton equipment with your Apple Watch. If you have the Bike, you can do so by opening the Apple Watch App on your phone and then opening the Workout app. Then, tap the Detect Gym Equipment option to enable pairing. When you’re ready to take a cycling class, choose a live or on-demand sweat sesh. (Note: this feature isn’t available for Bike Bootcamp classes.)

If you’re going for a live workout, pair with the Apple Watch only when the countdown clock reaches 1 minute — pair too early, and the watch will time out and disconnect. If you’re opting for an on-demand ride, choose the class and then hit Start on the Bike’s pop-up menu. Next, make sure the Apple Watch is unlocked and put the watch face in front of the camera at the top of the Peloton touchscreen. You’ll feel the watch vibrate and then see an on-screen prompt for connecting. Make sure you hit OK to pair up. Then, click Start on the workout.

You’ll see a green symbol on the top right corner of your Peloton touchscreen to show you’re connected — that’s how you can double-check the Peloton and Apple Watch paired successfully. The watch will automatically disconnect at the end of your ride, so you’ll have to reconnect it each time you start a new ride.

While you can’t view your completed stats post-workout on the watch itself — it serves more as a companion device so you can view your heart rate and other workout stats in real-time— you will see all your final numbers in the Peloton app on your phone. This includes heart rate, calories burned, average and best pace, total distance, and elevation (at least for workouts that test these measures such as biking and running).

Versatile and reliable: Schwinn IC4, Bowflex C6

Same bike, different brand

The Bowflex C6 is identical to the Schwinn IC4. We recommend comparing their before purchasing.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 999.

Best for: Those who want a bike that displays a range of real-time metrics—regardless of whether it’s connected to an indoor-cycling app—all in a low-key package.

The Schwinn IC4 has an LCD console that displays a full suite of metrics, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, which allows the bike to connect to eight different cycling apps and a heart-rate monitor. (The bike does not have a built-in touchscreen.) We like its adaptability, functionality, and smooth ride.

The Schwinn IC4 is the same bike as the Bowflex C6, which we previously recommended as a Peloton alternative within our full review of the Peloton Bike. (Nautilus owns both Schwinn and Bowflex.) We confirmed with a spokesperson at Schwinn that the two bikes are identical, right down to their generous warranties (10 years for the frame, three years for the parts, one year for any repairs requiring a technician), optional extended protection plan (five-year parts and labor for 109), and optional in-home assembly (129). Although the two bikes are generally priced similarly, we recommend that you compare their before buying. Even though from this point our discussion focuses on the IC4, we’ve tested both bikes, and we recommend both.

You adjust the handlebars and seat via handles that tighten each screw and can be ratcheted out of harm’s way. The IC4’s handlebars adjust fore and aft as well as up and down, which can help you refine the fit and comfort (in comparison, the Peloton Bike’s handlebars adjust only up and down). A small, inward-facing, paddle-like extension at the tip of each handlebar provides a surprisingly satisfying surface to hold during out-of-the-saddle (standing) riding. The Schwinn IC4’s seat didn’t leave much of an impression in our tests—a good sign. During our testing, we rode the IC4 with cycling shoes compatible with its SPD clips; the bike has toe-cage pedals on the flip side for use with non-cycling shoes.

We found this model’s robust console useful during rides: Cadence (expressed as revolutions per minute) tracks on a graph at the top of the display, followed by time, calories burned, speed, distance, level (resistance, from 1 to 100), and heart rate. The IC4’s included heart-rate armband strap connected easily for us, as did our GPS running watch, which broadcast its readings on the bike’s display. A knob smoothly adjusts the heaviness of the resistance, though one tester thought that it caught a bit on occasion. Pressing down on the resistance knob brings the flywheel to a halt. Like many connected exercise bikes, this bike must be plugged into an outlet.

apple, watch, exercise, bike

The Schwinn IC4 has a sturdy device holder; it’s holding our own tablet here. The bike can connect to eight different cycling apps and a heart-rate monitor. Photo: Nikki Duong

You can ride with cycling shoes that are compatible with SPD clips, but the bike also has toe-cage pedals on the flip side for non-cycling shoes. Photo: Nikki Duong

The handlebars have inward-facing, paddle-like extensions that provide a satisfying surface to hold, particularly during standing riding. Photo: Nikki Duong

The Schwinn IC4 has a sturdy device holder; it’s holding our own tablet here. The bike can connect to eight different cycling apps and a heart-rate monitor. Photo: Nikki Duong

A equipment and content to match: Peloton Bike

A top-notch indoor cycle

Fans of cycling at a boutique studio will likely enjoy Peloton’s community emphasis and engaging instructors.

DON’T BUY A PELOTON! Top 5 Accessories to turn any spin bike into a smart bike!

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 450,445.

On May 11, 2023, Peloton and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a voluntary recall of around 2.2 million original Peloton Bikes (model PL-01). The CPSC recommends that “consumers should immediately stop using the recalled exercise bikes and contact Peloton for a free repair.” If you own a recalled Bike, here’s what to know.

Best for: Those eager to get a full-immersion, potentially interactive studio-cycling experience at home with high-caliber content.

The Peloton Bike—which is often credited with kicking off the connected-fitness craze—is the only one of our picks that requires a subscription (44 a month) to achieve the bike’s fullest functionality. Without it, you don’t have much workout content to work with. The Peloton Bike adjusts to fit riders who measure between 4-foot-11 and 6-foot-4 and who weigh up to 297 pounds. (Riders on the smaller side sometimes find perfecting the fit to be a challenge.) The ride is smooth; the electromagnetic resistance is responsive and satisfyingly sensitive. The saddle is comfortable, as far as indoor cycles go, and it adjusts both in height and depth. The handlebars are grippy even when sweaty, and they feel secure, with none of the wobbling produced by handlebars on lesser bikes. (For more, read our full review of the Peloton Bike.)

The pedal clips, which are Look Delta–compatible, hold the Peloton cycling shoes or other appropriate bike shoes securely. (You need to buy shoes separately.) Over the years, we’ve experienced easy clip-ins and clip-outs, and we’ve also had to work hard to release our shoes from the pedals. During our most recent testing of the Peloton Bike, we ran into an issue with the shoes not clipping into the pedals. A technician was able to quickly fix the problem with a set of new pedals (the company’s troubleshooting advice didn’t work in our case).

Like the Schwinn IC4/Bowflex C6, the Peloton Bike must be plugged into an outlet. The sweat-proof 21.5-inch touchscreen tablet streams Peloton’s branded classes—which are a majority of the draw here. Our other picks do not have integrated screens. (The Peloton Bike, the Bike’s upgraded sibling, has a larger, 23.8-inch touchscreen that swivels 180 degrees. If you know that upgraded features will delight you, the Bike won’t disappoint. But its overall functionality and feel are very similar to that of the original Bike.) The screen is crisp and responsive, after an initial few seconds of buffering. During a ride, it displays all sorts of stats: ride time (elapsed and remaining), current speed, distance covered, cadence (in revolutions per minute), resistance intensity (the percentage of tension of the magnet controlling the flywheel), and calories burned (informed by your body size, effort level, and heart rate, if you’re wearing a heart-rate monitor). You’ll also see “output” or the wattage of energy you’re expending in the moment, on average, and in total—the last of which determines your place on the group-ride leaderboard.

That last element is what unleashes riders’ competitiveness, and it’s a big reason Peloton is so popular. Indoor-cycling class preferences run the gamut. While choosing a live class, you can see how many other people are “counted in” and even invite friends that you follow (you can do the same for on-demand and encore classes, too). At the start of the session, the leaderboard populates as riders log in, listing their chosen screen names, gender, age bracket by the decade, and location. In a prerecorded on-demand class, you instead see the names of everyone who has ever taken it. As you pedal, you can watch your rank change. (You can listen through the tablet’s built-in speakers or through headphones.)

The Peloton Bike has a 21.5-inch touchscreen tablet that streams the company’s branded classes. Photo: Nikki Duong

The pedal clips on the Peloton Bike are Look Delta–compatible. You need to buy Peloton’s shoes (or other appropriate shoes) separately or change the pedals to fit shoes you already own. Photo: Nikki Duong

The Peloton Bike has a 21.5-inch touchscreen tablet that streams the company’s branded classes. Photo: Nikki Duong

Best Smart exercise bike for scenic rides: NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

450,500 999 at Amazon or 450,999, plus 39/month iFit subscription at Nordictrack

We were not prepared to love this bike as much as we did. One of its biggest differentiators is that it auto adjusts resistance and incline as you ride in a way that naturally echoes the terrain you’re covering. Although Peloton offers an auto resistance option, the NordicTrack is the only bike to feature both auto resistance and auto incline. This means you don’t have to do a thing (except keep up) as you exercise. You know exactly how hard your trainer wants you to work at any given moment, and they’ll also call out RPMs or a cadence number so you know how fast you need to pedal.

The ride itself is smooth, and since the bike adjusts when the coach wants you to work harder (or you go up a hill) it really maximizes every second of your workout (no moments lost fiddling with knobs).

apple, watch, exercise, bike

NordicTrack leverages the excellent iFit studios and trainers and, as a result, the other real superlative here is its coached scenic rides. Peloton and SoulCycle have versions of scenic rides too, but the NordicTrack is the clear leader in this category. Although Peloton is beginning to invest in trainer-led scenic rides, the vast majority of them are just you pedaling by yourself against a picturesque backdrop. Conversely, NordicTrack’s rides are the real deal. You’re out there following your trainer, a world-class cyclist/trainer (also on a bike), leading you through a gorgeous (and likely hilly) part of the world, from cobblestoned southern France to Moab, Utah, and every beautiful bike route in between. There’s nothing quite like learning about Tour de France etiquette while spinning on that exact stretch of road, or like whizzing by a little Argentinian pension as you bike through jaw-droppingly gorgeous Patagonia. New travel series get added weekly and include 10 to 20 different workouts depending on the destination.

Because you’re pedaling through real life, the class lengths are also slightly irregular in a “real” way — many are 22 minutes or 38 minutes instead of the round 30-, 45-minute durations of the competitors.

The NordicTrack also comes with 2-pound hand weights and a built-in fan trained on your face, which certainly came in handy.

The drawbacks are that the UX and search functionality are not quite as clear as the other two winners, and as a result it was more challenging than it needed to be to seek out the right length, level and instructor that we wanted. Unlike the SoulCycle and the Peloton, the NordicTrack doesn’t come with clip-in pedals, so you’ll have to purchase those if they’re your thing.

How we tested

We evaluated the five Smart bikes over a period of more than six months. We solicited input from both male and female riders with varying levels of fitness and previous spin experience. We rode each bike for at least three 30-minute sessions and took at least one additional off-bike class like barre or yoga, if offered. In most cases we rode much, much more than this — at least three times a week for six months. We rated everything from how long it took to put the bike together (if applicable) to the variety and quality of the classes, to how easy it was to navigate the app software. We evaluated how sturdy the frame was for in and out of the saddle rides, how well you could track your exertion level and how compelling (or annoying) the instructors were. In total, we became experts on these five machines and in the process (in addition to a healthy diet) lost a ton of weight.

Here are the categories we evaluated each bike against:

  • Quality of programming/instructors: We know that the classes and the instructors make the experience and weighted this heavily.
  • Number of classes/levels/lengths: The more variety the better so all types of exercisers could get their fix.
  • Variety of spin classes (music, studio, free ride, travel): Does this bike work if I love country, ‘90s hip-hop and also southern Spain?
  • Variety of classes beyond spin (barre, strength, yoga, meditation): We looked at what else we could do with the app off the bike, and how aptly this bike could be your 360 exercise solution.
  • Ability to track workouts/progress: We evaluated how well the app captured how far you’d come and how you performed each ride.
  • Ability to sync with other devices: Connectivity to heart rate monitors was a great added benefit for many bikes.
  • Accountability and community features: How does the experience encourage you to take your next ride? How well can you connect with other riders? Earn badges?
  • Levels of resistance: We looked at the range of resistance options.
  • Ability to modulate the bike to match instructor direction: How easily could riders get the workout the coach was designing for us?
  • Ease of switching between resistance levels: How much effort was involved to modulate difficulty levels?
  • Change between levels: When we did modulate resistance, was there a noticeable change?
  • Smoothness of ride: We took into account how smooth the ride was, on both “flat roads” and in more challenging parts of the workout.
  • Stability of bike/ride: We evaluated how sturdy the bike felt both in and out of the saddle with both calm and vigorous riding.
  • Adjustability of the seat, pedals and handlebars: We evaluated the ease and range of adjustability of all the movable parts.
  • Can people of different heights/weights get a proper fit?: We looked at the range of heights and weights that the bike could accommodate.
  • Ease of assembly: For those that were self-assembled, we evaluated how long it took to remove the bike from the packaging, review the instructions and assemble.
  • Material/durability: We evaluated how stable and durable all elements of the bike were from the seat to the tablet to the handlebars and pedals.
  • Size: We evaluated how much space the bike takes up overall.
  • Weight: We assessed how easy it was to move the bike around.
  • Warranty: We checked the length of warranty on each machine.

Other bikes we tested

450,599, plus 39/month membership at MYXfitness

This bike was certainly a bargain, with the least expensive base price in the group and a TON of included extras: a six-piece weight set, kettlebell, foam roller, resistance Band and yoga mat. It’s an insta-gym. It also comes with a Polar heart rate tracker to keep track of how hard you’re working. We also liked that you can get the MYX in black/deep blue or in white, which is kind of cool and a differentiator, especially since so many of these bikes now take up residence in our living rooms. The negatives were unfortunately around the classes and the instructors themselves. None were as spectacular as the winners’ classes, which is such an important part of the Smart bike experience, and although you could pick from a few music options for each class, this wasn’t a real advantage because as a result the instructor was never synced to the beat or inspired by what was playing. It was…off.

450,500 450,155, plus 35/month membership at Echelon Fit

Although we loved how the instructor roster here included a few normal-bodied and (gasp!) older instructors, the classes were also not at the same level as our winners. One of the most compelling elements of this bike, however, is that you can use it to ride to other apps; in fact, considering its lower cost, many riders buy this bike and the Peloton monthly subscription and hack their way to cheaper Peloton workouts. The setup for the Echelon is also no joke — the bike comes in a box and it took us almost four hours to put it together from unboxing to plug-in. Two times during the process we needed to call in reinforcements to help, and our initial bike actually had a defect that meant we couldn’t change the resistance. The replacement bike resistance worked normally. Overall the lower price tag here meant a generally less optimal experience, with a bike that wobbled a bit out of the saddle and couldn’t compete with the classes of the winners, even though Mario Lopez has joined its fitness ranks.

Note: The above reflect the retailers’ listed price at the time of publication.

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