Is The Peloton Bike Magnetic Resistance? What Is Better Between Magnetic or Friction?

One of the most important features of spin bikes is resistance, as it is the opposing force you encounter when you cycle. However, are there major differences that make one resistance better than the other? Let’s look at the noise level, maintenance, and cost of magnetic resistance bikes over friction resistance bikes.

Peloton bikes are magnetic resistance. The resistance on Peloton bikes can be adjusted manually or automatically on Bike+. Magnetic resistance bikes are a better choice when you do not have a budget and prefer less maintenance and virtually no noise when pedaling.

Knowing the kind of resistance that your bike has is beneficial as it influences the experience that you will have on the bike. Both types of bike resistance are excellent as they have various resistance levels that suit most cyclists’ needs. However, as with most things, one has more perks than the other.

Are Peloton Bikes Magnetic Resistance?

Yes, Peloton bikes have 0-100 levels of difficulty of manually controlled magnetic resistance. The Peloton Bike+ has a significant benefit over the original bike in that the magnetic resistance is immediately changed automatically to reflect the instructor’s prompts.

When Auto Follow is turned on with Bike+, there is no need to use the resistance knob. Any changes the instructor gives will automatically be adjusted as if you physically turned the resistance knob. This is especially great when you want to focus on the workout and what the instructor is doing.

Is Magnetic Resistance Better Than Friction Resistance?

Resistance gives cyclists a real cyclist feeling, almost as if they were outdoors. However, which resistance is better between magnetic and friction resistance?

What Is The Difference Between The Noise Level Of The Bikes?

Magnetic resistance is mostly found on spin bikes that are new and expensive models of bikes. Two magnets are placed similar to where physical brake pads would be found with magnetic resistance bikes.

Using the resistance knob to either increase or decrease the resistance will move the magnets physically closer or further apart from each other, respectively. However, these two magnets never touch the flywheel. The closer the magnets are to each other, the harder it becomes to pedal, while the opposite is true.

Because no parts end up coming into physical contact with each other, spin bikes with magnetic resistance tend to be much quieter than bikes with friction resistance. Magnetic resistance bikes can be totally silent. The only noise you could hear on magnetic resistance bikes is from the belt drive, as it is almost impossible to hear any noise from the flywheel.

Friction resistance bikes use wool or cotton pads like brake pads, similar to outdoor bikes. When the resistance knob is used to increase resistance, these wool or cotton pads physically move and apply pressure onto the sides of the flywheel.

The bike creates a fair amount of noise as the flywheel and the pads physically touch. The chain driver is another noise you may hear in the background when using a friction resistance bike. This can be irritating when you’re looking for a peaceful, quiet ride as the bike produces a swishing sound when you pedal. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a quiet bike, going with a magnetic resistance bike would be the best choice. If you don’t mind the swishing noise, a friction-resistant bike would not be a bad investment either.

What Maintenance Do Magnetic And Friction Spin Bikes Need?

Magnetic resistance bikes require virtually no maintenance and even less maintenance over time because there is no wear and tear with the flywheel or the actual magnets. The only maintenance needed would be to clean the magnets and the outside of the flywheel to ensure that you get proper resistance.

As mentioned before, friction resistance bikes have pads that contact the flywheel. Because the pads squeeze the sides of the flywheel, the bike’s resistance will end up wearing out over time as the pad gets worn down. Hence, friction resistance bikes need regular maintenance.

It is especially important to maintain friction resistance bikes properly so the noise they produce does not get too loud. Much like outdoor bikes, the pads of friction resistance bikes need to be taken off and realigned because they move around due to use.

The great thing about friction resistance bikes is that the two pads can be removed and replaced. If you aren’t interested in regular maintenance though, a bike with magnetic resistance is the way to go.

Which Resistance Offers The Maximum Resistance?

Friction resistance bikes have incredible resistance because there is actual contact against the flywheel. Therefore, the maximum resistance on friction resistance bikes is incredibly difficult to peddle against and will most likely give you a tough workout and get those legs burning.

Although magnetic resistance bikes offer a good leg workout, they do not offer the same tough maximum resistance that friction resistance bikes do. However, keep in mind that many spin bikes offer different forms of resistance, so it may vary somewhat.

The friction resistance bike is recommended if you’re looking to push yourself and get the maximum resistance workout.

Magnetic Resistance And Friction Resistance Bike Costs.

Although magnetic resistance bikes are quieter and do not require as much maintenance, they tend to be more expensive than friction resistance bikes. This makes sense as they have features that make them more appealing than friction resistance bikes.

Another reason friction resistance bikes are cheaper is that they are more affordable to manufacture. It costs bike manufacturers more to install pads compared to magnets. Several factors could influence the cost of the bikes. For example, add on features like Bluetooth connectivity will influence the end price of a certain spin bike.

If you happen to be on a budget but still want to get a good workout in and don’t mind performing regular maintenance, friction resistance bikes would suit you better.


Both magnetic and friction resistance bikes offer a great workout. However, you need to consider affordability, maintenance, and noise levels when deciding which bike to get. A magnetic resistance bike should become your new friend if you want zero maintenance with the upkeep and can make your budget stretch.