I have been a Peloton bike rider and app user for about 3 years now. It is a huge component of my workout routine. I have loved my regular Peloton bike during this time and it has served me so well. Ask anyone, I am Peloton’s biggest fan! You can check out my review on that here. When the Peloton Bike+ came out in September of this year, I couldn’t help myself. I ordered one the day it came out and now that I have been using it for a bit, here is my Peloton Bike+ review.
Make sure to check out my Peloton Bike Review if you are looking for information on the regular bike as well as the Peloton Digital app and Peloton in general. This review here is specifically for the Bike+.
What’s the difference between the Peloton Bike and the Bike+?
So, let’s start first with the biggest difference. The screen moves! This is a big one. You can swivel your screen 180 degrees to be able to do other workouts next to your bike. You can do strength classes, yoga classes or core classes right after you hop off your 30-minute ride and simply flip the screen to be able to have easy viewing access. This comes in especially handy for Peloton’s new bike bootcamps. These classes have you going back and forth from the bike to the floor for strength workouts.
I should note that you can do all of those classes without needing the Bike+. You don’t HAVE to swivel your screen, but it is definitely not as easy to set up your area in a way that allows you to see the strength workouts happening. But it IS possible. Also, if you have the regular Peloton Bike and you don’t feel like upgrading you can simply order this little contraption that will allow your screen to swivel. I have never used this on my bike, but my friend did it and said it was super easy and works perfectly. I also hear great things about it from the Peloton Facebook community!
The other difference is Auto-Follow. This feature, when set, allows your bike to automatically adjust to the resistance that the instructor is calling out so that you can ride without having to worry about paying attention to the resistance. Initially, I didn’t think that I would be super into this but I think it’s probably my favorite new feature. It’s really SO nice not to have to think about the resistance as you ride. The bike will typically adjust somewhere in the middle of where the instructor is calling out so if they say 40-50 resistance, the bike will head to 45. From there, you can manually take it up or down depending on your preference. The bike will also recognize your patterns. So if you move that 45 to a 50, then the next time when they say 50-60 it will automatically go to 60. It’s really such a cool and helpful feature. You can turn auto-follow off if you prefer as well if it’s not your thing but tapping the unlock button.
The other cool little thing about auto-follow is that when you turn it on to “lock” it, there will be a yellow circle that goes around the lock. When the yellow circle is completed, that’s when you know a change in resistance is coming up. So, when you are riding, it’s nice to take a look a know you’re halfway to either a recovery or an increase in resistance.
Apple Watch Gym Kit
Another fun feature is the syncing with Apple watches. This has been a big ask from many Apple Watch users to be able to use the watch as a heart rate monitor and have that reflected on the screen. With the new bike there is an Apple Gym Kit that allows you to sync up and show your heart rate on screen simply by holding your wrist up to the sensor on the screen. It connects with a quick little beep, you confirm on your watch that you want to connect and then the workout app automatically starts up on your watch to record your workout and your heart rate is displayed on the screen. It also stops your workout when the class is over which is nice since I sometimes forget to stop my workout.
Structural Differences in the Peloton Bike+
The other major differences from the Bike to the Bike+ are more structural. There are now knobs to change your seat height versus a longer lever and there is a different mechanism to move the handlebars closer or further away from the seat as well. The headphone jack is located in the middle of the handlebars instead of behind the screen. I have only had to use wired headphones once on the Peloton bike when my wireless ones weren’t charged, and I can confirm this is a huge improvement. Having the jack behind the screen made it really difficult to sit back unless you have a really long cord.
Another little design change is that the Peloton logo on the Bike+ is a more lifted and textured versus the flat more sticker looking logo from the Bike.
Lastly, the speaker is different. The speaker for the Peloton Bike leaves a lot to be desired. The sound quality is not great, so I often connected my Bluetooth Bose speaker to the bike for rides or for early morning rides I simply used my Airpods Pro. But the Bike+ has a legit speaker installed on the screen with a built-in subwoofer which makes it a much better listening experience. This is a huge upgrade.
Is the Peloton Bike+ more difficult?
One personal difference I discovered upon first use is that the new Bike+ seems to be much tougher output wise than my old one. On my first few rides I found myself struggling for things that felt moderate on the old Bike. A 50 resistance on the Bike+ felt like a 60 on the old Bike. I thought maybe I was just more tired than usual but I asked around and my other friends who have the Bike+ noticed the same thing.
I read up on the Peloton Facebook group and it looks like because the Bike+ is calibrated electronically, it’s much more accurate. So it probably means more that my old bike was not calibrated correctly but that’s just something to note. I even reset my PR’s because it felt almost discouraging to be so far away from my old output numbers so this way I can compare Bike+ output to Bike+ instead of the old bike where I will keep coming up short. And if things level out, you can always go back to your old PR’s by going to Profile >Personal Records > Manage and then choosing calculate based on workout history. That will bring your numbers back to the all time PRs. Simply change that to a certain date to make it from whenever you got your Bike+. Or maybe you even want to do that after an injury and you’re just starting back. For whatever reason, It’s nice to know it’s possible.
Is the Peloton Bike+ worth it?
When doing this Peloton Bike+ review, one of the main questions out there is: is the new bike worth it? The price of the Bike+ is the same as the old bike used to be so if you’re a new buyer I 100% would say to go for the new bike over the old one. Those extra few features are well worth the price to me! If you are going to spend a couple thousand on a quality piece of equipment, I would go with the top of the line in terms of quality and features. If the price tag is a little too steep, then you can still go with the regular Peloton Bike and that itself is still an amazing bike. For reference, the price of the old bike dropped to $1895.
If you currently have a bike, Peloton was offering $700 to trade it in and in my honest opinion, if I still had a lot left to pay off my bike, then $700 would probably not be enough incentive for me. In my case, I was able to sell my bike to a friend for more than that, so it worked out perfectly. I think you have to weigh your options and look at your situation in terms of how much you have left to pay but I will say there are several Buy Sell Trade Peloton Facebook groups that make selling your bike very simple. I am very happy with my decision to upgrade.
What Peloton Bike Accessories Do You Need?
Here I will outline what accessories I use and you can decide if it’s a necessity for you! None of these are essential (except the shoes of course) but they have all come in handy.
- Bike Mat – I currently have the Peloton bike mat but I used to have one I bought from Amazon. It worked great and it’s about half the price. I have my Bike+ on carpet so the mat helps keep things from moving around to much and it protects my carpet from the buckets of sweat I leave behind
- Weights – These are another thing I bought on Amazon. I have 3lb weights and 5 lb weights. I know 3-5 lbs doesn’t seem like much but when you are lifting them up for 10 minutes straight with no rest, it gets heavy fast. Again, this is something Peloton sells but I find their prices for these are pretty inflated.
- Cycling Shoes – I have never used or purchased the Peloton brand cycle shoes so I can’t give you info there but I have used both Shimano and Nike and love them both. Shimano I bought from Amazon and they served me well. When Nike came out with some I made the swtich because I liked the color and design. I find that the Nike ones are very breathable and soft in the toe and don’t make my feet feel numb. The Nike ones are similar in price to Peloton and the Shimano are a bit cheaper.
- Cleats – Along with shoes you will need the proper cleats. Peloton pedals come with Delta cleats. I prefer SPD cleats so I have switched out my Peloton pedals to be SPD friendly. I find I have better grip with SPD and I can push from my mid foot instead of the top of my foot by the toe as I pedal. Either way, just make sure your shoes either come with them or you purchase the correct ones separately.
- Shoe Hook – I purchased a shoe hook for mine and my husbands shoes and it has some in so handy! I bought it on Etsy. It keeps the shoes off the floor tucked neatly behind the bike under the weights. This one isn’t a necessity but it definitely is nice!
- A set of Bluetooth headphones is also ideal if you need to do early morning rides or you simply don’t want to disturb anyone else in the house with your blaring party music. If you’re looking on the cheaper side I love Plantronics BackBeat Fit. I used those for years before switching over to the my Airpods Pro. I am obsessed with the Airpods but that is a review for another time.
- Clip On Fan – This is the MVP right here. I clip it right on the font of the handle bars and it saves my life every time. I never ride without it.
Also noteworthy is if you use someone’s referral code to purchase a bike, you will get $100 off of any accessories you put in your cart as well from the Peloton site. And the other person will receive $100 off in the apparel store. If you’re looking for a code to use – here’s mine! Just enter BUF7V8 in the promo code section. Pro Tip: make sure your accessories are already added to the cart or the code will not work. You will get your own code to share with friends once you take a few rides yourself.
Hopefully this Peloton Bike+ review can help you make your decision if you are trying to decide if you want to upgrade! Let me know if you’re going for it in the comments below!