Hydrow Rower Vs Peloton Bike: Which Is Best For Home Gyms?

Well-crafted home gym equipment with true durability, backed by brand reputation and warranty, is always a great value—even when the price is relatively high. Then add cutting-edge integrated technology that brings well-produced, easy-to-access workouts with lovable and qualified instructors into your home.  

That is what you get with Hydrow and Peloton.

This guide will help you assess your personality, fitness goals, and budget so you can decide—Hydrow vs Peloton (or maybe both?) 

Peloton is the clear winner, but it is a very close race in all categories. Peloton is so personally engaging that, for many, it really is the only thing keeping them from a sedentary lifestyle. Compared to Hydrow, Peloton costs less and requires little to no assembly or maintenance.  

On the other hand, Hydrow does require some assembly work and has a little bigger floor footprint, but ultimately gives a more comprehensive workout; plus, its screen swivels for a smoother transition to stretching, strength training, Pilates, and/or yoga routines.

For more general information about these types of cardio machines, read through our complete guide on exercise bikes vs rowing machines.

Feature 

Hydrow 

Peloton 

Connected Workout

Cell

Winner 

Footprint in the Home 

Cell

Winner 

Workout Experience

Cell

Winner 

Getting in Shape

Cell

Winner 

Aesthetics & Build Quality

Winner 

Cell

Integrated Tech Features

Cell

Winner 

Performance Monitoring

Cell

Winner 

Ease of Assembly & Set-Up

Cell

Winner 

Purchase Price & Ongoing Costs

Cell

Winner 

Hydrow Vs Peloton - Which Is Best For Your Garage Gym?

Complete Workout

Rowing and cycling are two of the best low-impact (easy on bones and joints) cardio workouts. However, since rowing generally works more muscle groups than cycling, Hydrow is more of a guaranteed full-body workout.

Check out our article on exactly which muscles rowing works here!

It might be the solution for people who have no trouble getting themselves to walk, run, or elliptical train—but have trouble staying motivated to do targeted strength training and upper/core muscle workouts.

That said, Peloton guarantees a fantastic aerobic workout, and it does work the upper body to some extent, especially during rigorous sessions when you stand on the pedals or if you use bike hand weights.

Comfortable & Realistic Workout Experience

Both are well-built for a smooth, secure ride, and—in most users’ opinions—they have adequate padding and effective ergonomic shaping. Individual adjustment is really more of an issue for Peloton since you do not really adjust anything but the foot straps on a rowing machine.

Still, Peloton has all relevant adjustments to accommodate most people: seat and handlebar heights and seat-to-handle distance. Peloton also has a bottle holder and places to hang a towel. With Peloton bikes, you do have to attach the Look Delta cleats to the shoes and, to start and end a workout, you have to snap and unsnap the cleats to the pedals.

Most people have no trouble with this, and it is ultimately worth the trouble to know your feet won’t slide off during an intense workout. 

woman using a peloton bike

Footprint In The Home

Hydrow and Peloton are similar in weight and width, but Hydrow takes more space overall: Hydrow is noticeably longer, while Peloton is a few inches taller. However, Hydrow can fold upright so that its length becomes its height, and you can roll it on its front wheels, but in order to do this, you have to separately purchase the Hydrow Upright Storage Kit. 

In contrast, Peloton has no storage or portability modifications. In general, Peloton and Hydrow are close enough in footprint that if you could comfortably fit one in your home, you could probably fit the other. 

For Getting Fit & Losing Weight

Either machine is really a slam dunk in this category. The only way you will not get fitter after purchasing a Peloton bike or a Hydrow rowing machine is if you do not use them, which would be incredibly unlikely, even for the most exercise-shy people.

Both Hydrow and Peloton immediately suck you in with touchscreen features that are inviting and intuitive. Start any workout, and you will find friendly coaches that will put a smile on your face and get you pushing yourself before you even know it. Regardless of your fitness level, you can engage in competitions and challenges to help you know where you stand. 

  • Peloton does a better job of getting you connected with other cyclists, and it incorporates music preference more effectively since workouts are categorized by both music played and intensity. Peloton's immersive studio cycling classes are constantly fast and stimulating, perfect for the extroverted and easily bored.  
  • Hydrow arguably does a bit better for the travel lover since all of its live and streamed workouts, as well as unguided rows, are recorded on actual waterways around the worldAlso, Hydrow rowing is probably a better choice for slower-moving, introverted personalities. 

Aesthetics & Build Quality

In my opinion, Hydrow is slightly more attractive—it has a straight-edged, minimalist, almost futuristic build. 

Meanwhile, Peloton is a bit smoother and chunkier, though without being bulky; it looks like what it is: modern, top-of-the-line indoor bicycle. That said, both Peloton and Hydrow are dark in color, so neither one sticks out that much in most home color schemes. 

Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine

They appear to be equal in build quality, with nearly identical warranties and phenomenally attentive customer service; you are not likely to suffer quality issues, and if you do, the companies will resolve them.

Integrated Tech Features

Integrated tech is both Hydrow and Peloton’s hallmark trait; accordingly, they have very similar hardware, software, and wireless features: They both have high-definition, TV-size touchscreens with a big, beautiful, easy-to-read app display; for both, membership includes an app that allows you to get all content on your smart TV (Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, etc.) or device (iPad, tablet, Android, iPhone, etc.); both are Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, so you can use wireless earbuds or headphones in place of the built-in speakers. 

They both offer package deals where you can receive the Hydrow or Peloton along with wireless accessories: headphones (Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones for Hydrow and JBL x Peloton for Peloton) and heartrate monitors (Polar Verity Sense for Hydrow and Peloton Heartrate monitor). 

However, note that neither allows Netflix, Spotify, or other unrelated content on its system. There are a few nit-picky details where one is better than the other:

  • Hydrow offers a separately purchased Watch Link, which allows you to sync your Apple Watch to your Hydrow rower. In contrast, you would have to get the Peloton Bike+ (more expensive) to be able to do this with Peloton. 
  • Peloton’s built-in tablet/screen has, in addition to speakers, a camera and microphone to facilitate social media use and video chats among Peloton riders. If communication and connection are serious motivators for you, then Peloton is what you want. 

Performance Monitoring

Peloton and Hydrow are equally thorough and well-integrated in their reporting of second-by-second measurements (time, distance, speed, resistance, and watts) and fitness progress over time. Individual physical details—such as age, gender, and size, along with heart rate monitor data—allow both Hydrow and Peloton to give accurate estimates of calories burned. 

The main difference in stats arises naturally from the fact that one is a bike and one is a rower. Peloton keeps cadence, or pedaling rate, while Hydrow measures stroke rate.

As usual for the brand, Peloton is stronger when it comes to connection and communication. It uses your wattage, along with personal and performance data, to help place you in appropriate competitions with other users and to make workout recommendations.

Also Check Out - 10 Best Rowing Machine Apps For Monitoring Performance

Ease Of Assembly & Setup

Both come with instruction manuals. Also, the company websites, as well as just the Internet in general, are full of instructions and advice. (There are endless YouTube videos on purchase, selection, assembly, setup, and maintenance of Hydrows and Pelotons.) 

  • Users agree that Hydrow is relatively easy to assemble—it is just a question of getting the screen and the back base support on; the hardest thing is how heavy the frame is, to the point that you really struggle without a helper. For convenience, a screwdriver, along with bolts, screws, and washers, come already organized and labeled. 
  • The purchase of your Peloton from the company includes setup by a professional. However, some wrenches are included with the bike as well, just in case you end up having to make some adjustments down the road. 

Purchase Price & Ongoing Costs

Both Peloton and Hydrow are very well-built, so you should not have to do any jerry-rigging or daily tightness checks, as you do with some cheaper home gym pieces. The only ongoing cost for either one is the membership/subscription, which is pretty much the same price for Hydrow or Peloton

The Hydrow rower itself is generally more expensive than the Peloton bike, often by around $500 more. That said, because of various specials and discounts, the actual prices of Hydrows and Pelotons vary considerably over time and situation: Hydrow, unlike Peloton, is for sale on Amazon, which at times has substantial discounts; but Peloton does very well with new-user and customer-referral discounts. 

woman using a hydrow rowing machine

Overview Of The Popular Hydrow Rower 

Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine, Subscription...
  • LIVE OUTDOOR REALITY (LOR) ROWER: Meet...
  • REDEFINED ROWING EXPERIENCE: Hydrow uses...
  • AN IMMERSIVE WORKOUT: The Hydrow features a...
  • WORLD-CLASS ROWING INSTRUCTION: Hydrow...

One of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020, Hydrow has only existed for a few years but has garnered acclaim as Peloton’s counterpart in the rowing world.

Notably, it has electromagnetically controlled drag/resistance—part of its patented Live Outdoor Reality (LOR)™ mechanism—which makes you physically and mentally feel like you are on an actual outdoor rowing expedition. It has a large HD screen with speakers that you can tilt and turn.  

With a subscription, you get live workouts, as well as over 3,000 stream-able workouts—with Olympic and US National Team rowers. There are also plenty of competitive opportunities and the option to just go on a scenic row on a beautiful waterway of your choice.

One subscription gives you as many personal accounts as you need for users in your household, as well as app content that includes other types of workouts to complement the rowing routine. 

Related Article - How Many Calories Does Rowing Burn?


Pros & Cons Of The Hydrow Rowing Machine 

What We Like 

  • Effectively immersive experience 
  • Beautiful locations 
  • Warm, encouraging coaches 
  • Water.org donations 
  • Sleek, well-built rower 
  • Vertical storage option 
  • Sold On Amazon 

What We Don’t Like 

  • No choice in music for coached sessions 
  • Expensive 
  • Very new brand 

Overview Of The Peloton Bike 

Since its inception in 2014, Peloton has rapidly climbed to the top and is still expanding its market and making improvements in its connectivity featuresAt its helm is a seasoned CEO who is himself a boutique fitness enthusiast.  

Peloton’s build quality, customer service, and assembly-with-delivery make it an obvious purchase for any home gym. New York Times Wirecutter gives an objective (but very favorable) analysis of the Peloton Bike (and Bike+): It has a large Wireless/Bluetooth-enabled HD screen with speakers, camera, and microphone. 

Membership gives you a choice of cycling classes of all different lengths, intensities, and styles, app content with complimentary workouts, and an indefinite number of personal accounts with class recommendations, stats, and performance records 

Connection is key with Peloton: Coaches become like personal gurus, and fellow cyclers become friends—you can connect on social media, live chat, and compete with whomever you wish.

Read Also - Benefits Of Exercise Bikes For Home Cardio


Pros & Cons Of The Peloton Exercise Bike 

What We Like 

  • Boutique gym class experience 
  • Endless social connections 
  • Competition options 
  • Inspirational coaches with star appeal 
  • Scenic solo ride options 
  • One membership for all machines 

What We Don’t Like 

  • Relatively expensive 
  • No fold-up storage 
  • Limited adjustment for petite people 

Comparing Features of The Hydrow & Peloton 

Specification 

Hydrow Rower 

Peloton Bike 

Dimensions (L x W x H)

86 x 25 x 47 inches; Storage Dimensions 33 x 25 x 86 inches (D x W x H)

59 x 23 x 53 inches (4 x 2 ft. footprint)

Weight

145 lbs

135 lbs

Frame Material

Aluminum

Steel

User Weight Capacity

375 lbs

297 lbs

User Height Limit

36’’ inseam

4’11’’ – 6’4’’

Resistance Levels

Digital Adjustment (Smooth Gradient)

Knob Adjustment (Levels Not Specified)

Digital Display

22’’ HD Touchscreen

21.5’’ HD Touchscreen

Warranty

5 Years (Frame); 12 Months (Components And Labor)

5 Years (Frame); 12 Months (Components)

Price

$2,295 + $38/Month Subscription

$1,495 + $39/Month Subscription + $125 Shoes

Check It Out!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you use the Hydrow without the subscription?  

Yes, there is a Just Row Mode. However, the features that you get with the subscription are what really give Hydrow its value. If these features do not seem worth it to you, consider a less expensive but still very high-quality rower like the Concept 2. Incidentally, the same idea applies to Peloton bikes. 

Can Hydrow work without the Internet?  

Yes, the rowing machine works without Internet, but the subscription (which gives you workouts, stats, and competitions on the screen) requires Wi-Fi. In a pinch, you could possibly watch workouts using mobile data on your smart device. The same is true for Peloton bikes and treadmills. 

Does working out with a Peloton bike tone your stomach?  

Cycling does not target the abs, but rigorous cycling does involve maintaining a posture that engages the abs, shoulders, back, and chest. Most people find that cycling slims them down, due to the calories burned and the lower body muscle gains—and also because cycling does not bulk up the ab muscles. 

In contrast, rowing targets the abs more than cycling, so it will increase abdominal strength (though you might not appear slimmer exactly because of increased muscle mass).  

How many people use Peloton in the US?  

The US number is hard to pin down, but as of November 2021, Business Insider reported Peloton had over 6.2 million subscribers total. Quartz indicates that Peloton is still going strong overall—and adding Germany to its market (previously USA, UK, and Canada). 

As for Hydrow, it is so new that, in spite of its positive press, it still lacks Peloton’s popularity. People who are trying to decide between a rowing machine and a Peloton bike may not realize that Hydrow is everything they are seeking. Hydrow is what to get if you want a rowing machine and a virtual water sport experience, presented with motivational software like Peloton’s. 


Conclusion

If you are thinking Peloton vs Hydrow, you are already winning, because they are the best picks for a deluxe home gym. I personally favor Hydrow, because I love the calming and invigorating water experience, as well as the straightforward full-body workout. 

See Also - Complete Hydrow Review

For others, Peloton’s social inspiration and fast-paced stimulation is the best workout system of their lives. Ultimately, Hydrow and Peloton bring excellent coaching and immersive experience to two very different sports. If you can afford it, definitely consider getting both.