I tried the Peloton-alternative Renpho AI Smart Bike and it's a great budget trainer with free classes

Wave goodbye to monthly membership fees and enjoy automatically adjusting resistance for optimal training results

Renpho AI Smart Bike review
(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)
T3 Verdict

What the Renpho AI Smart Bike lacks in style, it makes up for in sturdiness, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. It automatically adapts the resistance of workouts using biometric data to help you train at the correct level and effectively reach your goals. It also offers a wide variety of free classes to boost motivation and connects to third-party apps, including Strava and Peloton.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    No monthly membership fees

  • +

    A super-sturdy, compact design that’s comfy

  • +

    Free access to 70+ classes for a great workout

  • +

    Works with apps like Zwift, Peloton and Kinomap

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the sportiest or sleekest of bikes

  • -

    It’s heavy, so you might need help to build it

  • -

    You need to download the instructor workouts

Renpho AI Smart Bike review TL;DR: a super-sturdy, easy-to-use bike that provides free access to 70+ classes and five training courses via the AI Gym app.

There’s a lot to consider when buying an exercise bike, and that includes finding a machine that will help you to stay motivated and keep you coming back for more. Which is why so many of the best exercise bikes around, such as the Peloton Bike+ and the Echelon Smart Connect EX3, offer subscription services to on-demand and live classes you can access any time, day or night.

But with the cost of living crisis expected to rage on for a few years yet, that hefty monthly membership fee could be one of the first things to go when the purse strings start to tighten. Which got us thinking: what if there was an exercise bike that provided spinning and cycling workouts for no extra fee? 

Step forward the Renpho AI Smart Bike: a reliable exercise bike with a not-so-scary price tag that promises ‘a revolutionary workout experience’ and provides access to 70+ customisable on-demand classes and five different training modes via the free AI Gym app. Sounds good? Keep on reading for the full review.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Price and availability 

The Renpho AI Smart Bike is available to buy now a Renpho UK (opens in new tab) / Renpho US (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of £699 / $519.99. It is currently available to buy for £499.99 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab) but is not currently available at Amazon US. AU price and availability TBC.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Setup

First things first, this bike is heavy. That means it’s super stable, even when riding out of the saddle, but the box that arrived on my doorstep clearly states that a ‘team lift’ is required to move its 50lbs/150kg heft, and there’s no way I could have done it on my own.

Getting the bike out of the extensive packaging took almost as long as the build, but overall, it’s pretty easy to put together, taking around 40-minutes from unboxing to completion. The two manuals are first class for their clear instructions and diagrams, with stickers indicating the right way to put the pedals on (always a bonus!), and all the tools and screws you need to build it. 

If I had one complaint, it would be that the bike’s power cable isn’t especially long at just over 6ft, so you’re limited to where you can position the bike unless you use an extension lead. 

Renpho AI Smart Bike review

"The bike doesn’t scream, ‘look at me, I’m big, bold, and I cost a lot of money!’"

(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Design

I didn’t mind the Renpho AI Smart Bike’s design, but I understand why others might avoid it. This bike lacks the flashiness, branding and sporty aesthetic shared by many of the top exercise bikes, and it certainly doesn’t scream, ‘look at me, I’m big, bold, and I cost a lot of money!’. So, if you’re after a status symbol, this isn’t the bike for you.

However, if you like a bike that blends into the background, you’ll love the compact Renpho AI Smart Bike. Its neutral grey colourway is home-friendly, and it doesn’t feel like it’s dominating an entire room. This is helped by the space-saving design that measures 49 inches in height, 20 inches in width, and 40 inches in length, and the wheels on the front stabiliser make it easy to push to a different location or shove in a cupboard.

There are three points of adjustability on the bike, so it’s great for the small and tall (or those measuring 4’11” to 6’5”, according to the website), with a maximum user weight limit of 265lbs thanks to the carbon steel frame. Setting the handlebar, seat height and seat distance is a doddle, and the seat itself is wide and nicely padded for comfort, while the ergonomically positioned handlebars allow you to ride it as a spinning bike or an exercise bike, depending on your preference.

A built-in display isn’t included, but that’s normal for a bike at this price. Pairing the bike to my iPhone and iPad via Bluetooth was easy, while the simple pad holder did a good job of keeping my device in place during more strenuous rides.

While a water bottle cage wasn’t a feature when the bike launched in 2020, there’s one now, and it sits just below the pad holder for easy access to hydration. The addition of a USB charging port behind the handlebars is another nice touch for those times when your phone or tablet is running low on battery, and the chunky pedals are replaceable if you prefer something more technical.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review

"The Renpho AI Smart Bike works with other popular apps including Zwift, Kinomap, and Peloton."

(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Classes and app

Billed by Renpho as ‘the 1st AI Exercise Bike’, this smart bike utilises and syncs with your biometric data and real-time metrics, including your RPM, power, cadence, resistance and calories, to produce AI-generated workout algorithms that personalise your workouts by automatically adjusting your resistance level. This means you can effectively achieve your fitness goals, track your progress, and optimize your training, and because the AI Gym app is free, it does this for an unlimited number of users.

On opening the AI Gym app for the first time, you need to enter basic data like your height, weight, and gender before answering some questions about your current fitness level and intended training goal, such as weight loss, getting fitter, or training for an event. Additionally, there’s a Cycling Power Test you can do to measure your FTP - the maximum power average a rider can produce over the course of 1-hour’s continuous pedalling – to help you find the right training intensity zone and enable reliably personalised workouts and custom-made training courses that are updated on a weekly basis.

As companion apps go, it’s a tad unpolished, and you need to download the instructor classes and courses before you do them which can take a while. But hey, it’s free, and there’s a wide variety of workouts available covering everything from HIIT, strength, endurance, and power rides to hill climbs, fat burning sessions and ‘challenge rides’, that take you on scenic routes around the world. In conclusion, there’s plenty to keep beginner and intermediate riders motivated, entertained, and challenged.

If you’re a more advanced rider, however, you’ll be pleased to know that the Renpho AI Smart Bike works with other popular apps including Zwift, Kinomap, and Peloton, which isn’t something you usually get with a smart bike at this price. Additionally, it’s  compatible with Apple Health, Google Fit, Apple watches and ANT+ heart rate monitors.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review

"The Smart Motor Damping Resistance system to provide 80 levels of quiet resistance."

(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Workout performance

Renpho’s AI tech might sound complicated, but this bike is really simple to use. Beginners will especially like it because it takes out all the guesswork by deciding on the optimum resistance you should be training at based on your experience level, power output, goals and cadence. That means you can focus on with the task at hand, i.e., pedalling, without worrying if you’re working at the right level or pushing yourself hard enough to reach your goals and get the best results.

The Renpho AI Smart Bike uses a Smart Motor Damping Resistance system to provide 80 levels of quiet resistance that are automatically applied or manually controlled with a twist of the circular digital console. 

This digital dial is actually one of my favourite features because it precisely tells you what level you’re working at down to the .5 (from levels 0-40) and lets you scroll through your metrics, including RPM, power, cadence and calories. It’s also super easy to change the resistance compared to the clunky knobs of some pricier bikes.

Of course, you only need to use the manual resistance when the going gets too tough, or you want to turn up the heat because the auto resistance automatically adjusts the degree of difficulty according to your personal fitness levels and real-time power metrics with an accuracy of more than 90 per cent. 

This auto resistance also responds and adjusts to the terrain on your screen, so it naturally gets tougher on uphill climbs when you’re riding in the scenic mode and kicks in if you’re using a Peloton or Zwift app – not just the AI Gym app. 

Finally, the Renpho AI Smart Bike is seriously sturdy. It never rocks or wobbles, so you can get out of the seat and pedal hell for leather with absolute confidence during the more vigorous Power classes, although the absence of a heavy flywheel means things can get a little choppy on your pedalling downstroke when the going gets tough.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review

"The Renpho AI Smart Bike is solid, reliable, and comfortable, with enough immersive classes and courses to keep beginner and intermediate exercisers entertained and motivated."

(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Verdict

The Renpho AI Smart Bike is a fantastic buy for those who want to access instructor-led classes without the extra monthly subscription fees. The software and hardware aren’t as flashy or advanced as your top exercise bikes, and so the accuracy and user experience won’t rival the Peloton Bike+ or the Wattbike Atom as it currently stands. But it costs a great deal less to get home, and there are no hidden costs.

It’s also solid, reliable, and comfortable, with enough immersive classes and courses to keep beginner and intermediate exercisers entertained and motivated, plus the option to connect to third-party apps like Zwift, Peloton and Kinomap. The best bit, as you’d expect, is the auto-adjust resistance, which takes the guesswork out of working out. But serious cyclists might want to look elsewhere and spend a bit more.

Renpho AI Smart Bike review – Also consider

The Echelon Smart Connect EX3 is a sturdy Peloton alternative for those on a budget, and don’t mind a monthly subscription fee. Like the Renpho AI Smart Bike, it doesn’t have a built-in display, but if you're happy to stream workouts on your smart TV, you can save a significant amount of money getting this smart bike.

The Schwinn IC8 is a Peloton-friendly, cheap exercise bike that's not intimidating to use. Dual bottle holders and space to hang dumbbells mean it wouldn't seem out of place in a spin class, but it also packs embedded cadence, power and resistance sensors for those who want to get more serious. Great value-for-money overall. 

Jo has been obsessed with writing and fitness since her teenage years and spent all her pocket money on magazines and workout VHS tapes. When ITV cancelled Gladiators – causing her dreams of becoming the next ‘Jet’ to crash and burn - she decided to combine her passions and become a fitness writer instead. A qualified PT and author of several fitness guides, she has spent the last 15 years writing for many of the UK’s most respected newspapers, magazines, and online publications. When she’s not interviewing celebrities and athletes or testing fit kit, she can be found watching YouTube breakdowns of the latest MCU releases.