peloton vs hydrow

Hydrow vs. Peloton: Biking or Rowing for the Win? is a reader supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission.

More people than ever before are getting their workout at home as COVID-19 rages across the globe. We see a lot of new brands emerging in the market and attempting to find their audience. However, some brands were making big waves long before the coronavirus became a household name.

Two of those brands are Hydrow and Peloton.

Both of these brands sell excellent home gym equipment that focuses on durability, efficiency, and integrated technology. If you’re interested in cardio workout equipment, then the Hydrow connected rower or the Peloton exercise bike could be right for you. They both are well-made pieces of equipment and they both bring a lot to the table.

Choosing between these two products can be a difficult process. That’s why we’ve decided to help by organizing a purchasing guide that you can use to guide your decision. We’ll look at each piece of equipment, the type of workouts they offer, the features they include, and the price tags attached to them. At the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed purchase that’s good for your wallet and good for your health.

Is Rowing (Hydrow) or Cycling (Peloton) the Better Workout?

The first major difference between these two pieces of equipment is the type of workout that they offer. Both are considered cardiovascular exercises, but they impact different muscle groups and deliver slightly different results overall. One machine emulates the experience of rowing a boat and the other emulates riding a bicycle.

You may already familiar with cycling and its benefits. Most of us have experience riding bicycles and there’s a cycling class offered at almost every public gym across the country.

Cycling is well-known for benefits like:

Peloton exercise bike
Image via
  • Improving the heart and lungs
  • Burning excess fat
  • Strengthening leg muscles

It does all of this while remaining a “low impact” exercise that doesn’t put extra strain on the bones and joints in the body.

Rowing benefits…

the hydrow rower

Those are all great health benefits, but rowing offers these same advantages and a little more. It boosts heart health, strengthens the lungs, burns fat, and strengthens the same muscles in the legs. It also:

  • Builds upper-body muscles
  • Increases endurance
  • Improves immune system function

These are benefits that a powerful cycling session might exhibit to some degree. They are significantly more noticeable and impactful when rowing. Most notably is the increase in affected muscle groups. Cycling relies primarily on lower-body muscles with only a slight emphasis on the shoulders and nearby muscles.

A rowing machine delivers a powerful workout to muscle groups above and below. And it is also a low-impact workout that won’t cause harm to joints when performed properly.

Feature Overview: Is Peloton or Hydrow More High-Tech?

Overall, it’s clear that rowing is a superior exercise for people who want to burn fat and increase cardiovascular health.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Hydrow connected rower is the better piece of equipment. It can only earn that title based on its quality and its features.

The Hydrow and Peloton machines both have features worthy of high-end exercise equipment, but the Hydrow connected rower manages to take the lead thanks to a few key innovations.

The keyword to consider here is “connected”. This term perfectly explains why the Hydrow connected rower is an overall more advanced and beneficial machine.

In this case, “connected” refers to multiple features. First, the live and on-demand workout courses that are available to customers. Working out at home is always going to yield better results when an actual instructor can lead your session.

Second, it refers to the way that the rowing machine connects you to the experience. Hydrow uses a multi-sensory approach combining a perfectly place 22” HD screen and high-end speakers to recreate an actual rowing experience inside of your home. Every stroke with the rows will audibly cut through the waves as you follow your instructor and strengthen your body.

Hydrow’s Connected Experience 

Finally, “connected” refers to the way that Hydrow (see review) connects you with other students, trainers, and even athletes across the world. The Hydrow social experience allows you to workout with friends and family without either of you needing to leave your home. It’s the perfect way to stay fit with loved ones while staying safe from the pandemic. Some of the social features include:

  • Live leaderboards
  • Joint classes and workouts
  • Shareable achievements

See all of Hydrow’s features at their website.

Peloton’s Connected Experience 

In comparison, the Peloton cycle does offer live and on-demand workout sessions. These are undoubtedly some of the best available if you’re particularly interested in cycling.

However, they lack the true feeling of being “connected” that Hydrow can deliver so expertly. And in these times being connected to one another is more important than ever.

A few of the other noteworthy features of the Peloton bike include:

  • 21.5” HD touchscreen
  • Long-term data tracking for personal progress
  • Variable magnetic resistance

Price Comparison: Is Hydrow or Peloton Cheaper?

One final point to consider is the price difference between these two machines. Neither of them can be considered cheap but there is definitely some variance in terms of affordability.

First, let’s look at the prices related to the Peloton bike.

  • Peloton Bike Price Range: $1,895 – $2,945
  • Live & On-Demand Subscription Services: $39/month

As you can see, the Peloton bike comes with a very heft price tag and a continuous monthly subscription is required to access the live and on-demand workout classes. Many customers feel like the price tag is a bit high even considering the excellent craftsmanship of the bike and the quality of the available workouts.

What about the Hydrow Connected Rower?

  • Hydrow Rower Price Range: $2,000 – $2,200
  • Live & On-Demand Subscription Services: $38/month

The Hydrow is a bit more affordable option for the bike itself and for its monthly subscription service. The price difference may not be significant but it’s enough to warrant consideration.

Check Hydrow’s current pricing options.

Summary: Is a Rower or Exercise Bike the Better Choice for You?

Let’s start by saying both of these machines are wonderful and can improve your health. But the key differences between the two point to the Hydrow Connected Rower as being the better purchase.

What are those key differences?

  • Rowing is an overall more efficient exercise and it provides more benefits.
  • The Hydrow comes with better social features and is a more stylish machine.
  • The Hydrow is a more affordable machine, though the price difference is small.

With these differences in mind, we recommend the Hydrow Connected Rower to cardio enthusiasts who want to stay connected with others, and get one of the best full-body workouts around.

The Peloton is better suited for those who are purely fans of cycling are who need the very specific benefits associated with cycling, but in keep in mind they also offer other workout options with their app subscription. They do offer a very comprehensive approach to fitness, though, and their new plus line of equipment is a great way to take your Peloton experience even further. With rotating screens, you can hop off your fitness equipment and take part in other workouts that go way beyond just biking or running – learn more at

While both the Peloton and Hydrow are amazing connected fitness machines, if we had to pick one? We’d go with the Hydrow, but that’s because we’re huge fans of rowing! I find it the most fun way to workout, but ultimately you’ll have to decide which workout style is best for you.

Think rowing sounds fun? Learn more about Hydrow below: