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With the rise of Soul Cycle came a craze for indoor cycling like we’ve never seen before. When the classes emerged in 2006, it struck a chord with upper-middle-class fitness-enthusiasts. Spin studios became a coveted business. The high-energy instructors, low lights, upbeat music and riding to the rhythm — it all makes you feel like you’re working out in a nightclub. For some, this is a nightmare, but for the dedicated users it was a fitness dream come true, and it took off.
After more than five years of watching other spin studios pop up, the founders of Peloton decided to bring all of that community excitement and world-class equipment into the home. They found that with busy jobs and family obligations many people struggled to get to workout classes but didn’t want to settle for mediocre exercise equipment and the loneliness that comes with working out at home. Thus, the Peloton brand was born and boutique fitness became accessible anywhere.
Since then, they’ve developed a world-class bike and treadmill you can buy for your home, an extensive online library of fitness classes accessible via the Peloton app and a whole team of inspirational instructors, each with their own dedicated following. Today, the “One Peloton Family” brings together tens of thousands of riders and unites fitness enthusiasts from far and wide.
Yet for every Peloton rider, there are many more sitting on the fence and wondering, “Is Peloton really worth the money?”
A Peloton exercise bike costs $2,245, which is more than enough to give most people pause. I can tell you that I’ve been using my new Peloton every day since social distancing began, and I absolutely love it. With financing, you can get this world-class stationary bike for as little as $58 a month. And as a long-time user of the Peloton app, I’m glad I finally upgraded.
You can try out the bike and treadmill at one of the brand’s showrooms and book a test class with your favorite instructor at one of the studios. They’re also about to open a brand new Peloton Studios location in New York City where you can book classes with your favorite instructors, in addition to a studio location in London.
I’ve been using the Peloton app for almost a year and recently acquired my own Peloton bike for use during the COVID-19 quarantine. In this post, I’ll review the Peloton bike and app (I don’t have experience with the treadmill).
The Peloton App, Reviewed
My first experience with Peloton was through the app. The app normally costs $15 a month but Peloton is currently offering a 90-day free trial. I downloaded the app for online fitness classes, which I would take at the gym on the spin bikes there. This worked well enough; I got a great workout and could follow along with their metrics easily even though I didn’t know how heavy I was going with the resistance. I would pedal along with the beat, keep up and at the end felt like I’d gotten a lot out of it without knowing exactly where I sized up with the target metrics.
They have spin classes ranging in training style from Tabata to HIIT to intervals. There are also varying choices for music style from country to pop and hip hop. They’ve got hour-long classes, 10-minute climbing classes and everything in between. You can scale back at any time or push yourself when you want to, and it always ends with a quick stretch with the instructor. I consistently felt that I was getting more of a workout than I would’ve gotten pedaling on my own, which alone made the $15/month worth it.
The core strengthening classes, arm toning workouts and other floor training were also all top-notch. The classes range from no-equipment to full-equipment, similar to the Nike training app. They’re easy to tack onto a cardio session or use as a warm-up for more intense strength exercises.
I’ve also done a few of the running workouts on a gym treadmill, which have been very successful. The instructor leads you through interval jogs, sprints and recoveries to music, and I found it easy to follow along while using my own equipment. If you already have a treadmill and are wondering if the app is a worthwhile way to take it to the next level, it definitely is.
The Peloton Bike, Reviewed
Now for the bike. Recently, with the closures of gyms and fitness studios across the country, working out at home has become the only option left for health junkies.
Peloton has made their app free for 90 days, so you already have access to their whole library of classes at home without any commitment. This is definitely worth a download, if that hasn’t already been made clear.
But, should you take it to the next level and invest in their bike? Is the Peloton bike worth it?
My answer is yes, with some further discussion. The bike is expensive, full stop. Peloton offers financing, but all in all this puppy is going to cost you somewhere between $2,245 and $2,694 depending on the package you get. My boyfriend and I invested in the Family Package that includes the bike, bike mat, a set of weights, two sets of shoes, two water bottles, two heart monitors and two sets of headphones.
They’ve also got the Works Package, which includes just one of everything mentioned above minus the water bottle. The Essentials Package cuts it down to shoes, headphones and weights, and the Basics Package comes with just the bike. With the financing option, your monthly payments can reach as low as $58 to $70/month. For most of us, that’s what we spend on boutique fitness classes and gym memberships anyways, if not less.
The cost is substantial, there’s no doubt about that. If you’re looking for a short-term solution to a movement need during quarantine, you might want to explore some less expensive options. However, if you were already considering getting one and know you’ll use it consistently — it’s more than worth it. Other Peloton reviews back this up, too.
I was getting a great workout with the app, but the bike takes it up a notch. The classes are HARD. The actual resistance they want you working with is much heavier than you would subject yourself to in the gym, which makes the classes harder and the end result much more rewarding.
The Bike Equipment
The app on the big screen is seamless to use, and the bike is one of the best pieces of fitness equipment I’ve ever used. In fact, all of the equipment provided works together and is top-notch quality.
The heart rate monitor provides accurate output metrics that you can view after class to see how your efforts fluctuated throughout your workout, and you can track your progress easily with accurate resistance numbers.
I also ordered shoes that were too small and Peloton sent me a new pair and a return label for the others within a day. The customer service has been great so far, and the delivery was easy and setup simple. They couldn’t bring it inside my apartment due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the men who dropped it off were friendly and helpful.
I’ve been using my Apple AirPods instead of the headphones they provide and they’ve paired easily via Bluetooth every time. I’ve also successfully paired Beats headphones.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a spin enthusiast like me, there’s no way to beat being able to climb out of bed and into a top-notch spin class in 30 seconds. There’s a reason there are so many enthusiastic Peloton reviews.
If you live with your partner, consider investing in the family package — it’s got everything you need without having to share sweaty equipment. If you live alone, the Essentials or Works package should suffice.
The Peloton bike has exceeded my expectations and made me excited to get a killer cardio session in every morning. If you crunch the numbers and can reallocate funds you’re already spending on monthly spin classes to a bike of your own, this is a great choice.