A while back, I walked into the gym at my apartment complex for my usual workout but this time there was a shiny new toy. Two Peloton bikes. I had never even heard of Peloton and I have never been a fan of cycling classes but as I watched the little informational video on the screen my excitement grew. I signed up for an account online and the rest is history. It’s safe to say that I am now absolutely obsessed with this thing! Since I have been talking about it nonstop on my Instagram account, I wanted to share my thoughts here on the blog as well. So today I will be sharing my official Peloton bike review.
At the most basic level, the Peloton bike is your typical spin bike. But it’s also SO. MUCH. MORE. Like I mentioned, cycling has never really been my thing. I’ve gone to a few classes and they were alright but no matter how many times I took classes I was never really hooked and to be honest, my lady bits were always left feeling bruised. TMI? Oh well, it’s the truth. For some reason, I have zero issues with this bike in that department. From what I can tell, the seat is no bigger than a standard spin bike but something about it is just much more comfortable to me.
The bike is easily adjusted so I can set the handlebars, seat height and seat distance. I figured out my perfect combination and I feel like my rides are all very comfortable with the full range of motion I need to keep good form. Overall, this bike feels like it is a high quality piece of equipment compared to other bikes I have been on.
The bike has pedals that when facing one way, are cages for your feet and when facing the other, are spots to clip in your spin shoes. I used the Peloton bike for a few months with my regular old sneakers in the toe cages. I thought everything was fine but people were often telling me I was missing out by not using the right shoes. I was curious about the difference when using spin shoes so I finally caved in. I found some from Shimano on Amazon and I also purchased the cleats (according to the website, Peloton is compatible with “Look Delta” cleats). The cleats were easy to screw in but man, as a cycling novice, I really had to practice when it came to clipping in! I struggled the first time with both clipping in and out and I was so frustrated! Then by the third time, I was clipping in like a pro. Practice makes perfect friends! Peloton sells their own brand of cycling shoes that come with cleats as well.
I can definitely say my ride was improved with the shoes. I had less pressure on my knees and the whole experience was just smoother overall. It was far easier to pull up on the pedal instead of focusing only on pushing down. I noticed the most difference when riding out of the saddle in second or third position, especially when going at a higher cadence. I was able to go much faster without feeling like I was going to fly off. Overall, I highly recommend the right cycling shoes.
Other accessories sold by Peloton include headphones, a heart rate monitor, their own brand of cycling shoes and a bike mat. Amazon sells bike mats for about half the price, like this one. For headphones, I use my tried and true Plantronics BB Fit Bluetooth headphones and they work just fine. They also sell a heart rate monitor but since I have a Fitbit Versa (check out my review on that here), I just use that to track my workouts. Especially since Peloton has the capability to connect with your Fitbit device.
One major way this bike differs from other spin bikes, is the digital display. That 22-inch HD flat screen attached to the front of it. It is on this screen that you “take” your spin classes. This digital display is also helpful when adjusting your cadence (how fast you are pedaling) and your resistance. When the instructor is telling you to take your resistance two numbers heavier or to keep your cadence between 80 and 85, it’s easy to get exactly where they are trying to take you. Your cadence and resistance combined gives you your total output for the class. This is the number that moves you around on the leaderboard.
What is the leaderboard? Well, it is this fun little area on the right side of your screen where you can see every person who has taken the class overall and who is currently taking the class at the same time as you. You are ranked based on that output number. Now some people probably hate this and if you are someone who gets discouraged by this or just doesn’t care to know, simply tap the leaderboard and it goes away. Me? I’m competitive. I look at that leaderboard and it makes me want to push myself harder. Sometimes I find myself “racing” with someone for an entire class and it’s a fun little push of motivation. You can also just compete with yourself and try to outdo your own personal best. But like I said, if this isn’t your thing, you simply tap it and it’s gone.
My absolute favorite thing about Pelton, is the variety of classes that are offered. Classes are done live at their studio in NYC and you can virtually join live classes from your home based on the schedule. Then there are the On Demand classes. Once a live class happens, it is placed in the On Demand library and that is where all of your amazing options are. You can choose how long you want to ride (from a 5 minute warm up ride to a 45 minute class), what type of class you want to take (live DJ ride, Hip Hop ride, Groove ride, HIIT, Tabata) and which instructor you’d like. I am so picky with my music so I love that with your subscription, you can preview the playlist before starting a class. And because the classes are done live before they’re available On Demand, the music is always fresh and up to date.
The instructors are fun (my personal faves are Robin and Alex) and when I take a virtual class, I truly feel like I am in the studio. For someone like me who loves group fitness classes, it is such a motivator for me to see everyone else sweating right along with me!
After your workouts, you can checkout your profile. Your profile houses all the workouts you have completed along with stats from your ride (like highest cadence, resistance, output and calories burned). You can check for achievements you have earned for Personal Records, working out with a friend or a streak of taking a certain amount of classes in a row. Just a few fun little extras.
Below is a snapshot of the workout stats for your rides from the Peloton App.
With your subscription, you can also take your classes anywhere. If you don’t have the actual Peloton bike but you are somewhere with a spin bike, you can use the app on your phone or iPad to take the classes on any bike. Not only that but in addition to the cycling classes, the digital membership has tons of other options as well including audio for outdoor runs, treadmill classes, bootcamp, cardio, strength and yoga. These options are perfect for days when I don’t feel like thinking about what to do. Instant workout!
I’ve shared all the positives about this bike. The only con for me, is the price. I won’t lie, Peloton is expensive. The bike runs for about $2300 and then delivery and set-up is another $250, add on the monthly subscription fee of $34 and you’re looking at shelling out a significant amount of dinero. Regular spin bikes are far cheaper. So if it is completely out of your range, you can sign up for the digital subscription for $20 a month and do the workouts on a cheaper bike or a spin bike at your local gym.
That being said, while regular spin bikes are cheaper, they’re also a lot less fun! I personally think it’s worth it. The overall experience I get on that bike has me looking forward to cardio and that my friends, is no easy feat. I have found something I thoroughly enjoy and that keeps me coming back for more. I can ride on my own terms, my own schedule and hand select my classes without driving down to a studio and paying $20-30 per class. In my opinion, the bike ends up paying for itself! There are financing and interest free options that can help out too. If you do decide you want a bike, I have a referral code that gets you $100 off accessories. (enter code: 992F3E at checkout!) Once you have an account and ride a few times you will also be set up with your own code to refer your friends and you get $100 to their boutique items which is pretty cool!
Right now, I have the digital subscription. I am lucky enough that my complex gym has the bike but let me tell you, if I ever move, my first purchase is going to be a Peloton bike! Hopefully this Peloton bike review was helpful if you’re considering taking the plunge!
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