I don’t love being on an indoor bike, so when I’m forced to do my riding indoors, the experience needs to successfully distract me from where I am and let me focus on the workout. In recent years, a lot of higher quality indoor bikes have started adding a full body workout with video sessions including weights and resistance bands and a focus on mindfulness.
The original Myx indoor bike was one of the first companies to offer a platform to improve your whole body at home, and now that it is owned by The Beachbody Company the new Myx II hopes to offer more options for every kind of workout. And it’s doing so for $1,000 less than the competing Peloton, which is a good enough reason alone to give it a serious look in this review. The Myx II Plus costs $1,599, which converts to roughly £1,180 or AU$2,160.
- Unparalleled customization to different body types
- Massive collection of class options across multiple services
- Distraction-free UI
- Apple Watch integrations work poorly
- Multiple workout services means multiple paid subscriptions
- No streaming services is a bummer
Something for everyone
Out of the box, the Myx II Plus looks a lot like any other indoor bike. The white and grey body is mechanical in its design, something that looks like it would fit in just fine in a traditional gym but stands out a little in a home compared to many of its matte black or grey competitors. Myx offers a Deep Charcoal option if you’d prefer something a little more traditional. This color pop is topped with a 21.5-inch display on a swivel as well as a hinge, which means you can tilt it up when sitting on the bike if you’re a little taller like me or you can swing the screen out and point it down when doing a seated kettlebell class. In my month of using this bike, I never once felt like I couldn’t position the screen exactly where I wanted it, which is honestly refreshing compared to many other indoor bikes.
Lots of indoor bikes claim to be one-size-fits-all, but I feel like this bike delivers on its promise. Quick-release adjustments for the seat, the riding position, the handlebar height and depth, and the ability to hot-swap the seat to something more comfortable suits the hinged display well. And while you can bring cycling shoes to this ride if you prefer them, they aren’t required to work out.
Myx II Plus is less than 3.5 feet long and well under 2 feet across, even when extended out to support my larger frame. That’s a considerably smaller footprint than most other indoor bikes of this size. The trade off for this smaller footprint, it seems, is a decrease in fit and finish. This bike was professionally installed in my home, so I can comfortably say it’s not my fault that the bar holding the display leans distractingly far to the right and shakes more than most when I’m riding on it. Likewise, once I cross 110RPM while pedaling the wheel begins to grind against its sides and can be louder than I’d like it to be. I frequently find myself increasing resistance not to keep up with the class I’m taking but to keep the volume down, which is less than ideal.
On the topic of volume, the speakers on the Myx II Plus are on the back of the display. This means the music, the instructor, everything is pointed away from you. If you’re like me and trying to work out in the morning before anyone else is awake, that means the speakers are louder than they need to be in order for you to clearly hear everything. And if your bike is competing with any other sounds in the room, the speakers have to work harder for no reason. This bike does make it fairly easy to connect Bluetooth headphones if you prefer to go that route, but front-firing speakers would have made a lot of sense in this design.
Solid classes built on complicated software
Like its predecessor, the Myx II Plus offers a series of class-style workouts broken out into a ton of different types. You can sort by duration, which part of the body you want to work on, who your trainer is, and more.
The Openfit software does a great job letting you choose to focus on your upper body, strictly cardio, even brain exercises if you’re having a rest day but still want to get a few minutes in on the system. Each class, whether 15 minutes long or 60, is a complete thought. There’s a gentle warm up, the actual work, and a nice cool down to ensure you’re not hurting yourself. The instructors are great about reminding you to hydrate, encouraging you to choose weights and resistance levels based on your personal comfort, and making sure you feel like you’ve gotten a workout by the end.
If you don’t want a structured ride, and would prefer to just pedal until you’re done, Openfit has casual scenic rides from locations all over the world. These rides are a decent distraction, but feel incomplete compared to the rest of the experience. The ride through Hawaii, for example, regularly deviates from the road or path to go across rocks and there are some places where the person holding the camera is clearly walking. I asked why Netflix or Hulu isn’t an option, as it is on some other bikes, and Myx said the cost of getting the tablet properly Android-certified would dramatically increase the price of the bike. For reference, the Bowflex Velocore is only $100 more than this bike and offers a ton of streaming apps.
The Myx Openfit software costs $29 a month to access, which is $10 a month less than a full Peloton membership. In my experience, Openfit offers a lot more full-body workouts than Peloton, but the variety of cycling classes on the Peloton services and how many new classes are regularly added is significantly greater than what I’ve seen from Openfit in the last month. Separate from this, The Beachbody Company added its BODi class system to the Myx II Plus while I was reviewing it. BODi is a live class system: You interact with a class instructor who can see and hear you through the included camera on the system. It’s a nice addition, and adds something necessary to compete with Peloton, but currently these classes cost an extra $20 a month in addition to the $99 Beachbody on Demand service. Asking anyone to pay $50 a month for a Peloton competitor with less to offer is a challenge.
Another software update received during this review is Apple Watch support. This is accomplished through an awkward pairing dance between your watch and the bike. You have to choose a class, open Bluetooth pairing on the bike, open the Openfit app on the watch, and wait until the screen says it has connected. Once paired, only once in ten workouts did the watch stay paired through the entire workout. I found myself giving up and relying on the excellent Polar heartrate monitor included with the bike, both because it is super comfortable and it works great every time. It’s likely Myx will sort out this Apple Watch weirdness at some point, but for the immediate future it’s more frustration than benefit.
A decent experience with room to grow
There’s a lot to like about the Myx II Plus. I’ve never felt like a workout didn’t challenge me, and I love that I can easily share this bike with others. If I have a friend visit and they want to work out, it takes seconds to make the bike comfortable for them and let them work out as they see fit. The variety of workouts is great, and if you don’t care about upper-body workouts or you already have your own stuff to do, you can knock $200 off the price and get the Myx II instead.
My only real concerns with this bike lie in the lack of polish. From the awkward lean to my monitor post to my constant struggle with keeping my Apple Watch paired, there are parts of this bike which feel a little underbaked. A lot of this can be fixed with improvements to the software, which I will be monitoring over time. But for now, if Myx wants to charge $50 a month for its combined services, the entire experience needs to be rock solid. That having been said, you can just use OpenFit and know you’ve got a great workout platform.
If the goal of the Myx II Plus is to offer a total indoor gym for considerably less than the comparable Peloton, mission accomplished. But if the goal is to make a batter overall experience for less, it’s going to take a little more work to get there.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.