Hydrow vs Peloton Review
Table of Contents
Hydrow is like the Peloton of the rowing world, founded in 2017 by Bruce Smith who used to be a coach for the national USA rowing team. Bringing powerhouse celebs like Kevin Hart on board early, the brand quickly gained ground with at-home exercisers looking for an intense, low-impact sweat sesh.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hydrow offers a membership platform stocked with over 3k workouts that inspire you on and off your rowing machine.
Since its launch in 2012, Peloton carved out a name for itself in the home fitness market. Its marketing makes getting a sweaty, heart-pounding workout at home look easier than ever, but even more so, it delivers premium equipment and a membership that keeps things interesting.
Peloton has millions of members powering through dynamic, professional workouts on its Bikes and Treads, delivered live and on-demand through a user-friendly and surprisingly addictive app. The ingenious idea of John Foley, the brand is based in NYC but has showrooms across the globe.
So here’s the biggest difference you’ll find in this Hydrow vs Peloton review: one makes rowing machines and the other doesn’t. If you’re on the fence about what kind of exercise machine to buy, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll get into the benefits that come with each option in the sections ahead, as well as tell you all about their quality, feedback, tech specs, and elements that make all the difference when shopping online, like shipping and promotions.
What to Consider
Investing in an at-home workout machine can be a big decision. Not only do you want something safe and durable, but you also want one that you’ll actually enjoy using. To make your decision easier, we’ve outlined some key criteria to keep in mind as you browse this Hydrow vs Peloton review.
Hydrow has two signature rowing machines. You can also find a range of equipment in its collection for strength and yoga, or buy it in a bundle. Peloton has the Bike, Bike+, and Tread, and there’s soon to be a Tread+. It also carries apparel and gear for all workouts you’ll find on its app.
Hydrow is targeted at those who like the idea of being out on the open water. Its classes are taught from the water and they give you the feel of actual rowing. Peloton is aimed at the SoulCycle crowd, busy professionals, and those who like dynamic workouts.
Hydrow offers personal coaching and has a blog with useful tips on its website. Peloton’s reach is a little wider, its machines are used in spin classes across the USA, and if you pop into a showroom, they’ll teach you how to use one. Your delivery person will also walk you through the basics. Both brands’ classes are available on mobile and tablet.
Both Hydrow and Peloton offer 12-month limited warranties on their machines. These cover defects in materials and workmanship, not regular wear and tear.
Ease of Installation
Hydrow is super easy to install—you can actually do it yourself in 30-90 minutes depending on the machine you buy. The brand still offers an assembly service for $250 should you prefer that. Your Peloton must be delivered and assembled by a professional. The company charges $350.
You can find Pelotons in gyms and hotels, and the brand has showrooms around the world. They’re only available from the company itself, through both its website and showrooms. Hydrow can be found at multiple retailers like Best Buy, but it doesn’t sell commercial machines.
Hydrow Rower vs Peloton Bike+ Review
This Hydrow vs Peloton review is about to get started. Our first task? Introducing you to each of our featured brands’ signature machines.
Hydrow makes Rower and Wave Rower models. They’re both quality machines with a sleek look made from a mix of stainless steel and aluminum. The Rower has a a 22” HD LED screen while the Wave Rower has an 16” HD LED screen. Some call this brand the rowing version of Peloton and it’s not hard to see why.
With an app that houses over4,000 classes taught by world-class instructors, the model seems quite familiar—but we’re not complaining considering rowing is a completely different activity than cycling and uses your full body but still manages to be low-impact.
The machines themselves are pretty impressive, and while they don’t fold, you can buy an upright storage system from Hydrow if space is precious in your home. With magnetic resistance, both machines are very quiet and won’t disturb roommates. They’re ideal for those with an inseam under 36” and hold up to 375 lbs.
Pairing with Bluetooth speakers, you can groove to workouts without missing a beat. Enjoy the smooth water-like ride of the Hydrow Rower for $2,495 or the Wave Rower for $1,895.
- Magnetic resistance
- 22” or 16” HD LED touchscreen
- Sturdy materials
- Hold up to 375 lbs
- Offers class platform (sold separately)
- Free standard shipping
- 1-year warranty
The Bike+ is Peloton’s second model of its stationary cycles, the main upgrade being a larger 23.8” LED touchscreen that rotates 350 degrees. Allowing you to flawlessly perform workouts on and off your bike, it takes up just 4’x2’ of space in your home and can be moved out of the way easily thanks to front wheels.
With 26-watt front-facing stereo speakers and two rear woofers, you’ll have clear sound no matter where you’re working out. Those up to 275 lbs can get a great workout on the Bike+, but it’s not recommended for anyone over 6’4” in height. With Bluetooth, any wireless or wired earphones are compatible with the machine.
The Bike+ comes with free delivery (including setup) for $2,495.
- Uses magnetic resistance
- 360-degree rotating screen
- Front and rear speakers
- Holds up to 275 lbs
- Offers class platform (sold separately)
- Free delivery & setup
- 12-month warranty
The main difference between these two is that one is a rowing machine and one is a bike. Another is that the Peloton Bike+ is built to take you off of your machine to any angle, whereas the Hydrow Rower’s screen tilts 15 degrees and pivots 25 degrees. The Wave Rower’s screen does not move.
If you think you’ll spend equal time doing other types of workouts, the Peloton may be a safer choice. If you’re more into the full-body workouts that rowers provide, then Hydrow’s model is excellently made.
Hydrow Works Package vs Peloton Tread Family Set Review
If you plan to get off your machine and adventure into alternative workouts, you’re most likely going to need equipment that can keep up. This part of our Hydrow vs Peloton review will look at the largest packages for each brand.
The Hydrow Works Package gives you the Rower and a full set of accessories. What kind of accessories, you ask? All the basics like the machine mat, a multi-use workout mat, two yoga blocks, and a multi-resistance band set.
You’ll also get special tech like the Polar Verity Sense Heart Rate Monitor and a pair of Jaybird Vista wireless headphones, along with a performance roller to help you recover faster after tough workouts.
For a savings of $300, you can get this package for $2,695. Membership is sold separately.
- Versatile set for yoga, strength, and recovery
- Comes with wireless headphones and a heart rate monitor for accuracy
- Saves you $300
- Free shipping
- 1-year warranty
We’re looking at the Peloton Tread Ultimate Package here, but just know that if you prefer the Bike or Bike+, you can get the same set of gear. Equipped with the Tread machine and a variety of accessories to help you power through dynamic workouts, you’ll get workout essentials like a Camelbak Water Bottle and a reversible workout mat.
Take your training to new heights with three sets of dumbbells (your choice of 5-30lbs), a heart rate band, two yoga blocks, and a yoga strap. Get this inclusive package for $3,850-$4,075 (price differs depending on weights).
Peloton Tread Ultimate Package
- Range of dumbbell weights to choose from
- Contains yoga essentials
- Comes with a heart rate monitor for accuracy
- 12-month warranty
Considering that the Tread and Hydrow Rower are similarly priced on their own (just a $300 difference), Peloton’s higher prices perhaps nod at higher quality items, but overall, the biggest difference between the two is what they contain.
Your choice may come down to what kind of workouts you do most often. If you don’t know, read the next section of this Hyrdow vs Peloton review to get some ideas.
Hydrow vs Peloton: Workouts and Classes
This part of our Hydrow vs Peloton review will look at the classes each brand offers. Hydrow is so much more than a rowing machine. Its app gives you access to more than 4,000 workouts that take you off your rower and outside your home.
You’ll browse through strength, cardio, and no-equipment workouts in its library that’s available on your phone or tablet. Its classes are taught by world-class athletes that keep you motivated and inspired, and you’ll come to know them throughout your workouts. You’ll also move with other exercisers when engaging in community threads.
When you buy your Hydrow machine, your membership to the Hydrow Workouts will automatically start at $44 per month.
- 4,000 live and on-demand classes
- World-class instructors
- Tons of variety
- For every class you take, $1 is donated to give water to someone in need
- App available without Hydrow machine
Though Peloton users come from all different walks of life, there’s one thing they all agree on: the brand has outstanding instructors. You often see the phrase “world-class” and wonder if it’s true. With this company, it appears that the quality, attitude, and professionalism of experts in their field really make a difference.
Peloton offers Classes for 12 fitness categories, spicing up basics in Walking and making this hot and heavy with Tread and Bike Bootcamps. You’ll get high-energy classes from Boxing, as well as low-impact favorites from Barre, Yoga, and Pilates.
- 12 different types of classes
- Tons of variety
- World-class instructors
- Available on phone, TV, tablet, and web
- Giant library of music to groove to
- Free 30-day trial
- 5K+ classes to choose from
- App available without Peloton machine
There’s no doubt that Peloton offers more classes and has greater variety, but we’ve heard that both are equal in terms of the quality you get from the instructors. With each, you get to know instructors’ personalities, and of course, you’ll find some you relate to more than others and be a regular member of their classes.
Workout apps with variety are great no matter which way you look at them. Giving you options when it comes to a class’s type, level, and instructor, you can get a workout that fits your needs.
Peloton is compatible with a greater range of platforms, and in general, is a more advanced service. It’s been around 5 more years, so that makes sense. Hydrow has and will continue to expand their class options.
Hydrow vs Peloton: Quality
The last thing you want is to spend a decent amount of cash on a piece of junk. This section of our Hydrow vs Peloton review exists to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The Hydrow machines themselves looks great. Since they’re not foldable (they’re one solid piece), looking good is an important part of what may make you choose this machine over another. It’s made from a steel and aluminum frame with an anthracite polymer body. Quality materials that hold up to 375 lbs and those with an inseam of up to 36” (6’3” to 6’6”).
So what about its features? The seat is 16.5” off the floor, so it’s easy to get on and off while its electromagnetic resistance means it’s incredibly quiet—great for small apartments or shared rooms. Since the resistance is controlled by the computer and because it adjusts up to 240 times per second (wow), you’ll get super smooth strokes that feel like you’re out on the water.
The seat is ergonomically designed and the handle is well-padded for comfort on long rows. While on the subject of rows, the 22” or 16” LED touchscreen will make the rowing experience feel as natural as possible. That’s something that sets this Hydrow apart from Peloton—the fact that its rowing classes are filmed out on the water.
Overall, the Hydrow is a quality piece of equipment built to last for years. It’s easily one of the higher quality rowers out there, and the addition of the flatscreen only helps it rank higher.
Peloton is built similarly, with a high-caliber machine and incredible LED touchscreen display. Where this brand differs is with its rotation which allows you to hop off your bike or tread and still get a great view of your favorite class. With an anti-reflective display and clear, bright colors, it’s easy to get into the groove.
As for the equipment itself, Peloton uses welded steel for its frame, magnetic resistance for a quiet ride, aluminum pedals, and forged steel crank arms. The Bike can hold up to 297 lbs of weight and accommodates users from 4’11” to 6’4”. The Tread can hold up to 300 lbs and features a carbon steel frame with a woven nylon base.
Users say Peloton’s equipment has a premium feeling and is very well made. Folks say the same about Hydrow, and to us, it looks to be the rowing equivalent of the Peloton. Although, since it’s about 5 years behind, there are some subtle differences in features and technology, but nothing that would seriously weigh in on our final decision.
Hydrow vs Peloton: Price & Value
Often, you get what you pay for when it comes to equipment. Sure, a $300 rowing machine or bike is an easy buy, but it’s not built to last and will most likely creak and move while you’re on it—not ideal. This section of our Hydrow vs Peloton review will look into the price of each and how that interacts with its value.
Hydrow has two rowing machines. It’s a new brand, so we think of it as equal to where Peloton was in 2017 in terms of models. Only, since it’s a newer company, they’ve included modern technical specs into its first model that brings it to a higher value than its competitor would have been at the 5-year mark. Hydrow pricing is as follows:
- Hydrow Rower $2,495
- Wave Rower $1,895
- All-Access Membership $44/month.
If you want all the gear plus the machine in the Hydrow Works package, you’re looking at $2,695 (normally $2,845). Your machine comes with a 12-month warranty. There’s minimal assembly required but you can purchase In-Home Assembly at checkout for $250. Otherwise, shipping is free.
As for Peloton, you’ve got a choice between the Bike, Bike+, and the Tread. We’ll list all of their basic costs (just the machines themselves) below:
- Bike $1,495 —> Ultimate $1,935–$2,035
- Bike+ $2,495 —> Ultimate $2,935–$3,035
- Tread $2,495 —> Ultimate $2,935–$3,115
Delivery and set-up are an additional $350. A Peloton staff member must set up your Bike or Tread for your machine to have a 12-month warranty. You don’t have to sign up for the Peloton Membership to use its machines, but that’s kind of the point of having a Peloton. Membership is $39/month.
Since both of these brands are known for their quality, have positive feedback, and have similarly-priced machines and memberships, regardless of the one you choose, you’re getting a level of feedback that’s pretty much on par with the other.
The main difference is that with Peloton, you’ll have access to more and a greater variety of classes—something that gives it an edge in terms of value.
Hydrow vs Peloton: What Do Customers Think?
- Rower: 4.7/5 stars from 9,544 reviews (Hydrow.com)
- Rower: 4.9/5 stars from 409 reviews (BestBuy.com)
- Rower: 9.5/10 stars (RowingMachineGuide.com)
In general, here’s what users thought about the machine, the app’s instructors, and the classes themselves:
- Machine is comfortable, sturdy, and of excellent design
- Instructors are fun, energetic, and personable
- Classes are motivating, and people love that they’re taught on the water
Users reported similar feedback for Peloton. You’ll see a short list of ratings we scooped up from around the web.
- Bike+ 4/5 stars from 232 reviews (OnePeloton.com)
- Bike+: 7.8/10 stars (cnet.com)
- Tread: 4.2/5 stars (TreadmillReviews.net)
People who own a Peloton say that it’s definitely worth it. Here’s what else they had to say about the Bike, Tread, and classes:
- Classes and instructors are fun, exciting, and motivating
- There is so much variety when it comes to classes and instructors
- The equipment is sturdy and doesn’t wobble (superior to other brands)
All in all, Hydrow’s ratings were surprisingly higher than Peloton’s. The company scored nearly perfect across review sites and people had great things to say about the brand and its instructors.
We would say that in our findings though, we discovered Peloton is the more popular brand. It’s been around longer and has both the Tread and the Bike and gives customers greater options so it’s not surprising that there’s more feedback available online.
In terms of what customers’ experience has been with both though, Hydrow may edge ahead in terms of the company, whereas Peloton takes the lead in feedback about classes. Both appear to be matched when it comes to machine quality.
Hydrow vs Peloton: Promotions & Discounts
There are a few good reasons people shop online. One of them is deals. Ahead, this section of our Hydrow vs Peloton review will show you every last discount and promotion each brand has to offer in case one ends up looking more appealing to you.
Hey, when you’re deciding between two high-quality machines, it comes down to details like these.
- All-in Bundle: Save $200 on your Hydrow + get a free mat
- Refer a Friend: Give 10%, get $150 for apparel
- Free shipping
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Free 30-day risk-free trial of Bike or Tread
- Free 30-day trial to the App
Ok, so Hydrow is the one with more deals and its machine costs less as well (by about $200–$600 when compared to Bike+ or Tread). With machines as big as these, free shipping is huge, but we get where Peloton is coming from with its required assembly service.
Peloton doesn’t hold promotional events very often, and judging from the one Hydrow currently has in place (the All-In Bundle), the competitor will. If saving a few extra bucks on your machine and down the road is important to you, then Hydrow will certainly be the more attractive option.
With that said, 30-days of free access to the Peloton App is like saving $39 up-front and it’s a great way to try out the complete service without having to fully commit. This differs from Hydrow which offers a 30-day trial on its machine only.
Hydrow vs Peloton: Shipping & Returns
So here’s the thing the featured brands in our Hydrow vs Peloton review: they both make large machines. Large machines often equate to more complicated shipping and return policies, so in this section, we’re going to get the root of each company to see what the processes are really like.
You’ll find a basic sum-up of each below. We’ll start with Hydrow.
- Ships to continental US & UK
- Free Standard Shipping: 2-3 weeks
- Optional delivery & assembly $250
- Available through retail partners for Canada, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska
If you need to return your Hydrow machine, you have 30 days to do it under the 30-day free trial. The machine comes with a one-year limited warranty that covers materials and workmanship defects. Claims for normal wear and tear will not be accepted.
Hydrow has received a couple of reviews that mention late deliveries and issues with the company that handles its deliveries. Let’s now check out Peloton.
- Ships to the USA, Canada, Germany, and the UK
- Shipping takes about 2-3 weeks
- Delivery & assembly $350
- Smooth delivery process
- Only available through Peloton.com or showrooms
Peloton machines come with a 30-day trial as well as a 12-month warranty. You can request a refund up to 30 days from the time your Bike or Tread arrives, but it must be in perfect condition to qualify. The brand’s warranty covers defects of workmanship and materials, not everyday wear and tear.
As for issues, we won’t skirt around the bush here. Peloton has a few reviews that mention long shipping times or delayed orders. Though we didn’t find mention of missing items, we did find that with new releases (such as when it released the Tread in 2020) people reported waiting for months to receive their machine.
From what we found, it looks like both of these brands have reported shipping issues, but they’re just a sliver of the feedback reported. Their shipping, return, and warranty policies are similar as well, both offering free trials and one year of coverage. The main difference is Peloton’s mandatory delivery and assembly fee.
Who Will You Shop With?
If your choice of which type of at-home fitness machine to buy is up in the air, then we hope you’ve found this Hydrow vs Peloton review helpful. If you’re preferential to a rowing machine over a bike or treadmill, then we think you know which brand to pick.
In terms of quality, both of these brands receive outstanding feedback for machine construction and the level of professionalism and motivation from their instructors. There’s no denying that Peloton offers a great variety in workouts and instructors, but both have engaging workouts that make users come back again and again.
As the older company, Peloton has been around longer to add to and tweak its service, but at the end of the day, it’s been argued that rowing provides a full-body, low-impact cardio workout that can’t be replicated by a cycling or running session. Similar in what they offer, we suggest asking yourself which you’ll get more of.
Do you prefer a wider library of classes or do you plan on using the machine for the bulk of your workouts and need something low-impact? Both brands have great reputations, so it all comes down to what you want to get out of your equipment.
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