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.
If you're curious about the new Peloton Bike+ click here for my full 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 AirPods Pro Bluetooth headphones and they work perfectly. 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. Update: I know have an Apple Watch and it works great with the bike. You can connect it to the Peloton App or if you have the new Bike+, it connect automatically with the Gym Kit feature.
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. (Update: A cool feature of the new Bike+ is that the screen swivels 360 degrees so you can take Bike Bootcamp classes pr other strength and yoga classes more easily!) 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.
At the bottom of the screen the suggested ranges for cadence and resistance are written out so if you ever miss what an instructor calls out, you can just check your screen. This feature is only available for on demand classes so if you take a live class, you gotta pay attention!
What is the Peloton Leaderboard?
The leaderboard 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 can filter this leaderboard so it only shows people you follow or people in your same age group or people who follow the same hashtags as you (my hashtag is BATBPfriends by the way!)
To place on the leaderboard, you are ranked based on your output number which is a combo of your resistance and cadence. 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 Peloton, is the variety of classes that are offered. Classes are done live at their studio in NYC (and they now have studios in Germany and the UK!) 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 60 minute class), what type of class you want to take (live DJ ride, Hip Hop ride, Groove ride, HIIT, Tabata, PowerZone) 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 so much fun (my personal faves are Cody, Robin, Alex and Jess Sims!) 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! Now that several of my friends have bikes as well, we are able to all ride together from the comfort of our home which has been an amazing way to stay connected especially during this pandemic.
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.
One cool new feature is that the bike allows you to stack classes. So you can use the Peloton Bike to create a playlist of workouts for the next day so it's ready to go instead of searching for one class on the bike and then another in the strength category and another in the stretch category, etc etc. You can also access your stack on the app on your phone if you are taking your workouts outdoors or to a gym.
The Peloton App
I can't bring you this Peloton bike review without going over their digital app. With your subscription, you can also take your classes anywhere. (I sound like an infomercial). 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, bootcamps, cardio, strength, yoga, pilates and barre. These options are perfect for days when I don’t feel like thinking about what to do. Instant workout! I utilize the app constantly as Peloton has quickly become my preferred source of working out!
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 regular bike runs for about $1900 The price was recently dropped to $1495. The Bike+ for $2500. Add on the monthly subscription fee of $39 and you’re looking at shelling out a significant amount of dinero. You can find other spin bikes for much cheaper. So if it is completely out of your range, you can sign up for the app subscription for $129 for the year and do the workouts on a cheaper bike or a spin bike at your local gym. In addition to bike rides, you can also enjoy the other features of the app. They have 30 day trials if you want to check it out.
That being said, while regular spin bikes are cheaper, they’re also a lot less fun! For me personally, the Peloton bike is 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, you can use code 8QYKKT for $100 off accessories you add to your cart. Once you have an account and ride a few times you will also be set up with your own link 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!
I moved to a new complex in July of 2019. There were two Peloton bikes in the gym as well but a lot more competition for their use at the times I needed to workout. I finally bit the bullet and bought my own and I could not be happier with my decision! Being able to jump on the bike and get a workout in any time I want, with no competition and not having to leave my house is seriously amazing. Plus I can workout in the scrubbiest gym clothes I have and live my best life! 🙂
Now that I have experienced the Peloton both ways, I can update this Peloton bike review to say I 100% think it's worth it to have this in your home!
Check out my review of the new Peloton Bike+ along that came out in September 2020 + some of my favorite Peloton accessories HERE!