Peloton Bike Review

Pedal toward your fitness goals on a premium indoor bike

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4.8

Peloton Bike

Peloton

Verywell / Liz Allen

What We Like
  • Immersive live and recorded classes

  • Sleek, compact design

  • User-friendly controls

  • Many motivating features

What We Don't Like
  • Bike and membership are pricey

  • Cycling shoes required for included pedals

  • Must be plugged in

Bottom Line

The Peloton Bike is certainly pricey, but its class-like streaming experience gives it significant long-term value for cycling enthusiasts.

4.8

Peloton Bike

Peloton

Verywell / Liz Allen

If you’re a spin enthusiast, you’ve likely heard of the Peloton Bike. Despite its high price tag—the bike alone will set you back $2,245—this piece of home exercise equipment has a zealous fan base ready to evangelize it whenever they can. With access to more than 5,000 on-demand workouts, as well as up to 14 live-streamed cycling classes a day, this bike certainly has a lot to offer.

To see whether the convenience of an at-home cycling workout and Peloton’s immersive streaming experience lived up to its hype, we turned to a spin class devotee, who tested out the bike every day for over a year. She evaluated its performance, comfort, and usability and compared it to other bikes she’s used in a gym, as well as popular cycling studios like Flywheel and SoulCycle.

Setup Process: Professional installation is swift and easy

Peloton wants the bike’s delivery and setup process to go as smoothly as possible, so it sends a professional, at-home delivery and assembly service to do everything for you. After you order your bike, Peloton will assign you a date and two-hour window for the setup. If that time doesn’t work for you, you can call to pick another time that fits into your schedule. 

"The folks that set up your bike also make sure that you're comfortable before they leave, even having you put on the shoes and snap in to ensure everything is perfect—so you can ride as soon as they walk out the door," our reviewer said. You’re also left with instructions and a plastic bag with tools should you ever need to tighten anything on the bike on your own. Overall, the whole setup process took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

The folks that set up your bike also make sure that you're comfortable before they leave, even having you put on the shoes and snap in to ensure everything is perfect.

Once you have the bike, you'll need to sign up for an account to use it. It takes just a few minutes to enter your basic info (username, age, height, weight, etc.) before you can start riding.

If you have multiple riders in your household, you'll each have your own accounts to track your performance and milestones individually. You'll have to adjust the bike's seat height (and possibly the distance from the handlebars) between riders, but it only takes an extra minute or two, according to our tester.

Compatibility: Connecting you to the studio

What makes the Peloton bike so superior is—without a doubt—the membership and Peloton app, which grants you access to live and on-demand content, real-time performance tracking, and unlimited accounts for family members and friends who also want to use the bike. Peloton Bike purchases include a membership package, so all you’ll need is an internet connection to start riding. Peloton claims most broadband connections over 10 Mbps are sufficient for streaming, and our reviewer experienced no issues with connectivity. 

The Peloton membership (and app) includes access to recorded cycling classes as well as extras like floor routines, stretching, and arm routines that you can perform off the bike, too.

Peloton
Verywell / Liz Allen

"While it doesn't mimic an in-studio class exactly—your husband, kids, or dog can surprise you any moment—the live and recorded classes do have the same encouragement and team-riding aspect of studios," our tester said. She added, "The recorded classes are just as fantastic as the live ones (since they basically are live)—but the option for the live classes is killer since there are some fun social moments, like high-fiving others in the class, getting a special live call-out from the instructor, and a leaderboard where you can compete against others from around the globe in real-time." 

The bike includes Bluetooth 4.0, and most (but not all) wireless Bluetooth headphones and speakers will work with it. Also of note, you can pair your ANT+ compatible heart rate monitor (Garmin, Samsung, etc.) with the bike and it will display your real-time heart rate during the ride. 

The recorded classes are just as fantastic as the live ones.

Performance: A next-level ride

While we set out to get this bike reviewed by someone who frequents spin studios, we also created a new fan: her husband. He told us that he "would never imagine himself a cycling guy," but he uses the bike every single morning. In fact, he’s lost 40 pounds in the last 10 months and attributes it all to Peloton.

What’s to love? Plenty.

A smooth ride and variable resistance are stationary bike basics, and this one doesn't disappoint there. While our tester was warned by Peloton that the first four to six rides may "stick" a little, she said that it was "completely smooth" for her. 

The resistance setting, which features a Neodymium rare-earth magnet system, is easily controlled by a knob and mimics what you would find on other studio bikes. In terms of riding the bike itself, our reviewer found it to be "totally in line with other modern studio cycles like a SoulCycle or FlyWheel." Plus, you’re getting a great workout. She said, "For me, I'm burning about twice the calories as the same amount of time on the treadmill in my gym (i.e. 250 calories for 30-minute cycling class vs. 100-150 calories for 30 minutes of boring running on the treadmill)."

The actual mechanics of a bike can be great, but if you never use it, what's the point? That's where the Peloton Bike really shines. It has mastered the art of motivating people to work out through community and gamification.

Peloton
Verywell / Liz Allen

Motivation: All about the metrics

Your metrics—including cadence, resistance, output, and heart rate—are displayed prominently on the screen so you can see what you're doing at all times. Your instructor will constantly encourage you to stay within a certain cadence and resistance range to keep you in step with the class. That range displays above your current metrics and will light up yellow once you hit the minimum number.

Part of your motivation to work hard will come from keeping those ranges lit up and from growing your output over the duration of the class. Your current output and personal output record for that class length—170 kJ for a 30-minute class, for example—will display on the leaderboard (more on that soon) and keep you pedaling until the end.

The cadence of your ride usually matches the music and you may find it a bit tricky to keep up when you first start—especially if this is your first time working out in a while. It does get easier once you build up your strength and then you'll feel like you're at your own personal dance class.

Peloton
A ride summary once your class ends. Verywell / Julia Warren

Leaderboard: Encourage yourself and other riders

Peloton creates a riding community through the leaderboard, which displays on the right side of your screen during a class. The board shows where you rank among every rider that has ever taken the class, plus the people that are taking it right now (displayed as "here now"). The information is updated in real-time, so you can see people joining the class and your rank rising as you pedal harder.

If you're more about competing with yourself, one of the best pieces of information on the board is your personal best for that class length. You'll find yourself pushing harder as the class progresses just to set a new record.

Peloton
Courtesy of Peloton

If you want to compete against the group, you can focus on your rank and total output compared to everyone else. You can try to catch up to people that are a few spots ahead of you or high five other riders to show some encouragement along the way. The concept of high-fiving might seem corny as an idea, but you'll appreciate it when your legs are turning to jelly halfway through a ride.

You can also follow your friends, similar to other social media platforms. You'll get alerts when that person is taking a class, so you can join in and ride too.

Badges: Start a collection

Badges are another way to motivate yourself. You'll get badges added to your profile for certain milestones—first ride, 25 rides, etc. You can also join monthly challenges, like how many miles you rode that month, to get bronze, silver, and gold badges depending on what you do.

Peloton badges
Verywell / Julia Warren 

Design: Sturdy, sleek, and as comfortable as you can get 

The whole idea of the Peloton Bike is that it will fit seamlessly into your home, making your workouts less of an obstacle in your daily life. The bike has a 4’ x 2’ footprint, which Peloton insists is compact enough to fit nicely in any office, bedroom, or living room. Our reviewer lives in a New York City one-bedroom apartment and said she was initially worried about having to displace her home in order to make room. However, she was pleasantly surprised by the sleek design. "I had many places to put this bike once I saw the final sizing and wound up having it fit neatly in my living room where a side table usually sat," she revealed. 

The whole idea of the Peloton Bike is that it will fit seamlessly into your home, making your workouts less of an obstacle in your daily life.

The carbon steel frame is designed for stability. To protect your floors, Peloton recommends installing a sports mat, which will also prevent rocking if you’re on carpet. If you have thick pile carpeting, Peloton suggests adding a 1/4-inch plywood board underneath the mat to ensure a stable ride.

Peloton
Verywell / Liz Allen

When it comes to comfort, keep in mind it’s still a bicycle—not a sofa. The seat is a Sport series saddle with an ergonomic center channel and two adjustable dimensions (up/down and forward/back). Our tester called it "comfy-ish as it goes for studio cycle bikes, but still in need of a gel pad for folks who would need one in a studio setting." Comfort was the only factor that knocked her rating down to 4.8 stars from 5.

The bike features LOOK Delta clip-in pedals, so you’ll need to purchase compatible shoes. However, the Peloton website says their customer experience team can work with you on alternative options (like cages) if you’re not a fan of the clip-in. 

Peloton shoes
Verywell / Liz Allen

Then, there’s the 1.5" Full HD 1080p PCAP Multitouch screen, 2 x 10 watt stereo speakers, and a 2.0 GHz Mediatek MT8173 quad-core processor with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal flash storage, and a Peloton Cycle data connector—all of which contribute to the immersive, in-studio experience of a live class.

The touchscreen is both intuitive and responsive, making for an incredibly user-friendly ride, according to our tester. Overall, the bike is designed for a premium workout experience: "The usability was great," she said. "It's super easy to ride, get in and out of, and the screen feels like you're in a class." 

Power: You’ll need an outlet

The machine is not wireless, which is something to keep in mind when you're thinking about placement because you will need access to an outlet. The bike comes with a 10-foot power adaptor. "There is only a small battery box and a single cord to plug in the machine, but it would be such a cool product if this was completely wireless," our tester noted. 

Waterproofing: It’s a sweatproof screen

The 22" HD touchscreen is sweatproof, and Peloton simply recommends wiping it down about once a month with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.

Price: A significant investment

At $2,245 for a "Basics Package," the Peloton Bike is an expensive purchase. Plus, this price doesn’t include the membership subscription, which is an additional $39/month. This also doesn’t include shoes, weights, or a mat for the bike—which could set you back another couple of hundred dollars.

When compared to other indoor cycling bikes, the Peloton definitely sits at the top of the price spectrum, but you have to consider what you’re getting for this investment. If you’re just interested in a stationary bike, you might find this one to be over the top. However, if you’re someone who spends a lot of money each month on a gym membership or various fitness classes (or both), the Peloton’s convenience and state-of-the-art experience make it worthy of the total price tag.

Competition: The Peloton Bike is above and beyond

Take a look at competitor bikes on the market and you’ll see you can get a basic model with adjustable resistance and readouts of metrics like calories burned, distance biked, and your heart rate for under $200—but you’ll be sacrificing a lot in terms of quality and advanced features. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle, which comes in at just under $2,000. While this bike is Bluetooth-enabled and features an app with real-time graphs to show you metrics like power, heart rate, and cadence range dials, the real-time class experience is still missing.

The closest competitor for Peloton is probably the Flywheel Fly Anywhere Bike, priced at $1,699, which can be purchased with an optional built-in 15.6" tablet (compared to Peloton’s 22" screen) for an additional $300. With a similar subscription model of $39/month for on-demand classes, Flywheel’s bike seeks to provide an in-studio experience. The biggest difference here, though, is that Flywheel’s at-home setup is much newer and there aren’t as many live classes to choose from. The website simply says there’s the option for live classes "at various times," whereas you can take any Peloton class as it’s happening in the studio.

Final Verdict

A worthy investment.

Our tester gave the Peloton high marks across the board and concluded, "It’s exactly what you would find in one of NYC's most high-end studios. It almost feels like a personal trainer, since they talk directly to you on camera, but you are also able to feel like you're in a class when you hear the folks in the room responding or see them standing up riding on the bikes."

Specs

  • Product Name Peloton Bike
  • Product Brand Peloton
  • Price $2,245
  • Weight 135 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 59 x 53 x 23 in.
  • Materials Welded steel frame, ED & Powder coated, Neodymium rare earth magnet system, Poly V® power transmission belt drive, Sport series saddle with ergonomic center channel, LOOK Delta compatible aluminum pedals, 170 mm forged steel crank arms, industrial-grade bearings with ISIS splined spindle
  • Footprint 4 x 2 ft.
  • Screen 21.5 in. diagonal (20.75 x 12.5 in.); Full HD 1080p PCAP Multitouch
  • Power requirements 100 V to 240 V, 50 Hz to 50 Hz, 1.2 A Max
  • Sound 2 x 10 watt stereo speaker, 3.5 mm TRRS headphone and MIC connector
  • Warranty 12-month limited parts and labor warranty
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