What is the Peloton Cycle?
Using a 21.5” HD touchscreen display with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Peloton Cycle promises to give you access to 12 daily, high-energy live studio classes—as well as 3,000+ on-demand classes—without ever leaving your home.
We’re told these videos are streamed in 1080p resolution and professionally made to be engaging, challenging, and anything but boring.
Regardless of the time of day, all you have to do is hop on the bike, log into your Peloton account, choose the live or on-demand class you’re interested in and get down to it.
But here’s the reality: Even if you’ve never purchased high-end fitness equipment before, you probably recognize that for most of us, these things eventually end up gathering dust in some dark corner of the house.
In other words, unless you’re actively using it, you’re wasting money and reducing your level of fitness, so what’s the point?
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, we’ll cover all of the most important aspects of Peloton Cycle in this review, so that you can make an informed decision. After all, each of us has different wants, needs, and goals, so we’ll give you the information and leave the final decision up to you.
First, let’s take a closer look at what Peloton Cycle offers.
An In-Depth Look at Peloton’s Classes & Equipment
It’s no secret that when it comes to meeting your fitness goals, maintaining motivation is the key to success. We all have a million demands each day, so it’s a whole lot easier to justify watching TV for an hour than it is to sweat it out.
To combat this, Peloton claims to “deliver a fully engaging experience with the technology to make every workout effective, and the social connection to make every workout addicting.” This way, you’ll be able to bring the “energy of a group class in your home” and keep your motivation meter pinned to the max.
Peloton Cycle Classes
Peloton brings this energy to you through their professional high-definition videos, which are filmed at the company’s NYC studio and broadcast via 12 daily live classes.
There are currently 15 different coaches on the Peloton roster, each of which adds a different style and music preference to the mix. Peloton claims they represent “some of the best studio cycling instructors in the country”—including 4 members of the Cannondale-Garmin Professional Cycling Team!
In fact, one of Peloton’s coaches is none other than George Hincapie, professional road racer for nearly two decades and domestique to Lance Armstrong in each of his Tour de France victories!
If you’d like to work out to one of Peloton’s on-demand classes, their library of 3,000+ videos can be searched by coach, type, length, and more. When you find one you like, you’ll be able to preview before committing.
Afterward, you’ll also be able to tell the company your thoughts by leaving a review. Here’s a quick video of how it works, hosted by founder John Foley:
The Peloton Console
Peloton’s videos can be streamed directly to the 21.5" Wi-Fi enabled, 1080p PCAP touchscreen that sits directly in front of your handlebars and works using an Android 5.1 operating system.
This console also features 2GB RAM, ANT+ wireless (typically used with heart rate monitors), two 10W stereo speakers, headphone and microphone connectors, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.
Pro Tip: Any headphones with a standard, 3.5mm connection can plug into Peloton’s touchscreen. If you’d prefer to use wireless headphones like KANOA or Samsung Gear IconX, Peloton’s screen should be compatible with many that also communicate via Bluetooth 4.0.
While you’re streaming your live or on-demand cycling classes, the Peloton console will display real-time performance tracking (total distance, cadence, power output, resistance level, and calories burned). These metrics are then fed to a real-time leaderboard, which keeps you motivated and can even be shared to Facebook.
An example of what you’ll see on your Peloton console while you’re working out. Image credit: Peloton Cycle.
During your ride, the console will also allow you to video chat live and feed your metrics to your rider profile. You’ll also be able to view the metrics of other riders (whether live or those who have completed an on-demand ride previously), and even follow them if you choose.
Don’t feel like a traditional cycling class? You can choose scenic ride videos from locations all around the world!
Do you have more than one cyclist in your household? The good news is that the Peloton bike can support an unlimited number of users. We’re told that switching between them requires just two taps on the monitor’s touchscreen.
Offline, Peloton also gives you the ability to create a personal schedule of live rides and receive reminders before each class. And through Peloton’s iOS app (more about this in a moment), you’ll be able to stream your rides directly to your Apple TV.
The Peloton App
For the most part, Peloton’s iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) app aims to work as an extension of the monitor mounted on their spin bikes.
Here, you’ll gain access to the same library of 3,000+ on-demand rides taught by elite instructors, along with 12 daily live rides streamed in HD from their NYC studio.
As with their bike-mounted monitors, you’ll be able to select from Peloton’s 3,000+ on-demand rides. Image credit: Peloton.
You’ll also be able to choose from all the same 12 daily live rides. Image credit: Peloton.
While you’re on-the-go, Peloton’s app gives you the ability to set a custom schedule with advance class notifications, while gaining access to “Beyond the Ride” classes that focus on rounding out your training with Yoga, strength training, stretching, cardio, and more.
We’ll talk more about this in the Reviews section, but Peloton’s app can’t read any sensors to measure power output, heart rate, and so forth. As a result, perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind is that your effort won’t appear on the leaderboard during app-accessed rides.
The Peloton Spin Bike
Peloton Spin Bike features a carbon steel and aluminum frame with a compact 2’ x 4’ footprint (total dimensions are 46.9” × 23” × 46.9”).
Peloton tells us their bike is built to last for the long haul, and its neodymium rare earth magnet system, Poly V power transmission belt drive, heat-treated chromoly axle, and sealed bearings deliver super smooth and nearly silent pedaling.
Pro tip: Comparing magnetic vs. friction resistance? If so, while magnetic resistance is nearly silent, requires little-to-no-maintenance, and you won’t have to worry about replacing brake pads, you’ll pay meaningfully more than a friction resistance system.
We’ll come back to this thought shortly.
Peloton’s magnetic resistance system, which is supposed to deliver near-silent operation and require less maintenance than friction-based systems. Image credit: Peloton Cycle.
Peloton’s sport-series seat features two-dimensional adjustment and a depressed ergonomic center channel for comfort, LOOK Delta compatible pedals, as well as customizable settings that can “optimize effectiveness and maximize comfort for any rider.”
Pro tip: The type of pedals used on the Peloton spin bike are known as clipless pedals (i.e. your shoes are attached directly to the pedal using cleats on the bottom of specially designed shoes). If you don’t want to purchase new shoes, you can easily switch out the pedals from your existing bike, or use alternate options such as toe clips.
For more details, be sure to read about shoes that work with the Peloton bike.
Despite all these features, like many other spin bikes (don’t worry, we’ll explore other options momentarily), the Peloton Cycle bike weighs in at a not-too-light 125 pounds.
The complete Peloton spin bike. Image credit: Peloton Cycle.
How Much Does Peloton Cycle Cost?
The Peloton Bike is priced at $1,995, which includes unlimited on-demand and streaming rides, and unlimited accounts for friends and family.
You may also need to pay the following:
- Tax on purchase – up to $250 depending on where you live.
- Video access – $39 per month, $468 for a one-year subscription or $936 for two years.
- iPhone or iPad app – free for the first year then $12.99 per month.
- Starter packages are available.
On top of this, you’ll be required to pay for a $250 for in-home delivery and set up.
With this costs in mind, our order totaled more than $2,400+ when attempting to check out, which didn’t include any accessories or upgraded warranties.
If necessary, Peloton offers 3, 6, or 12-month financing through Affirm. At the time of our research, a 0% APR was available, but if you don’t qualify, you can expect rates anywhere between 10% and 30%.
However, these aren’t the only additional expenses you’ll need to keep in mind.
Peloton Cycle’s Additional Expenses
The fact of the matter is that, while the Peloton Spin Bike represents a significant investment, you’ll have some meaningful additional/recurring expenses to keep in mind as well.
For example, you must have a subscription in order to access Peloton’s videos; otherwise, you’ll be paying a lot more than many other magnetic spin bikes, without any additional content. Obviously, this will also require an internet connection.
Peloton’s video access will cost you $39 per month, $468 for a one-year subscription, or $936 for a two-year subscription.
Are you also interested in Peloton’s iPhone and iPad app? One year of free access is included with the purchase of every bike, although you can start a 14-day trial for free or purchase a one-week pass for $5.99. Thereafter, a monthly membership will cost you $12.99.
If this is your first experience with a spin bike, there are also some additional accessories you’ll need to make the most out of it. To this extent, Peloton offers 2 different “get started” packages:
- The Essentials: $149 – Includes only the essentials, such as Peloton shoes (with cleats), weights, and headphones.
- The Works: $229 – Includes Peloton shoes (with cleats), weights, headphones, heart rate monitor, and bike mat.
Outside of this, individual accessories range in price between $12 and $125.
Pro Tip: When researching a Peloton bike, you can browse through their website, request an information brochure, speak to a representative through live chat, request a consultation, or even visit one of the company’s 12 showrooms.
Peloton Cycle’s Refund Policy & Warranty
All Peloton Cycles come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges. Important note: These stationary bikes weigh 125 pounds, so return shipping will not be cheap.
On top of this, according to the company’s Return Policy:
“If you received free shipping, when returning the bike, the initial shipping charge will be deducted from the amount being refunded [which could be $250 or more!]. Moreover, if your bike is returned in damaged condition or missing parts, you may be charged an additional restocking fee.”
Depending on the part (e.g. the HD console, frame, pedals, other components), your Peloton bike will also come with a warranty against defects in workmanship and materials for between 12 months and 5 years. You can extend your warranty for a second year for $175 or a third year for $225.
To request a refund or process a warranty claim, Peloton Cycle’s customer service department can be reached at 866-679-9129 ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do these prices compare with other spin bikes?
Peloton Cycle’s Competition
If you type the phrase “spin bike” into your favorite search engine, you’ll have thousands to choose from.
While many options can be purchased for as little as a couple hundred dollars, these lower-priced models won’t feature the same quiet drive train (some even use modified fans to provide resistance; can you say loud?!) as Peloton, the same level of adjustability, and certainly not the same focus on content and technology.
But what about those with the same magnetic drive as Peloton? If you search online for “magnetic spin bike,” you’ll find that most options fall somewhere between $800 to $1,000. In fact, several of these bikes appear very similar to Peloton’s.
Ultimately, this means you’re paying roughly $1,000 for Peloton’s 21.5” console, which is arguably its biggest benefit. Is this $1,000 money well spent, or will you just be throwing it out the window?
We’ll come back around to this topic in the final section. But before we do, let’s find out what everyone’s saying about their Peloton experience. After all, there’s a lot to be said if everyone’s enjoying their Peloton bike, even in light of its high price.
Are Customers Pleased with Their Peloton Cycle Purchase?
Peloton Cycle has received a lot of media attention, even in high-profile publications like Tech Crunch, Good Housekeeping, NY Times, and more. However, most of these were just high-level overviews and not in-depth reviews.
On the other hand, USA Today provided a short review based on their experience with Peloton Cycle and enjoyed the fact that you’re competing against others, the quality of the videos, and the silent operation. All of which helped keep them motivated without bothering others in the household.
The biggest downfall? Peloton’s price, which the author called “a small fortune.”
Bicycle Touring Guide provided a more in-depth review about their experience with Peloton and appreciated their professional video library, the personalized metrics, and the “stellar” physical design. Ultimately, they claimed that if you can stomach the price, “this bike has got to be one of the best out there.”
Racked.com wrote another detailed review about their Peloton experience, noting that they were impressed by the video library, the accountability provided by the leaderboard, and the ability to get outside the traditional gym spin class experience.
Again, the author’s biggest stumbling block was price (not just the initial cost, but also the recurring costs for video access, etc.), not to mention the amount of space it takes up.
Since our original investigation, one HighYa reader provided feedback about the Peloton spin bike, giving it 4 stars. Overall, they seemed pleased with its performance, the number of different classes, and that the magnetic resistance requires little to no maintenance—including no brake pads to replace.
17 Amazon reviewers also provided feedback about their Peloton experiences, giving the spin bike an average rating of 3 stars. There, common compliments referenced quality materials and engineering, great class selection, and helpful customer service.
On the other hand, more than one reviewer complained about lack of adjustability (specifically, that there’s no fore or aft adjustment capability on the handlebars) and that you’ll probably end up paying much more than the advertised price of $1,995 price. For example:
- Price of the bike: $1,995
- One-year subscription to streaming services: $468
- Shipping, tax, and in-home setup: $250
As we outline in the Pricing section, your actual Peloton costs can quickly exceed $2,700, not factoring in any additional equipment you might need to purchase, such as shoes, cleats, padded shorts, etc.
Peloton’s iOS app had a 4-star average rating on iTunes, based on 929 reviews. Many liked their selection of high-energy instructors and classes, reasonable pricing, ease of use, and the ability to spin whenever it matches your schedule.
A big drawback mentioned by several reviewers is that you can’t view ride stats when using the app (like you can when using the Peloton spin bike). More than one also didn’t mesh with the instructors’ personalities or didn’t appreciate the music selection.
From a company perspective, Peloton Cycle is operated by Life Time Fitness, Inc., although they weren’t listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research.
Who Founded Peloton Cycle?
Peloton Cycle is a classic example of a successful project brought to life through a crowdfunding campaign.
Originally founded in 2012, it wasn’t until 2013 when CEO John Foley launched Peloton Cycle via Kickstarter, where it would go on to raise over $300K based on an original goal of $250K.
Before launching Peloton, John previously worked with high-profile companies like Barnes & Noble, Evite.com, Ticketmaster, CitySearch, and more.
Previously, he earned his bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Whew! We’ve covered a whole lot of ground in this Peloton Cycle review, so let’s bring it all together.
Is Peloton Cycle Worth Your Money?
In addition to everything we’ve discussed, here are 3 key questions we think can help you make a well-thought out decision about Peloton’s spin bike:
1. Budget: How Much Is Too Much?
Like any other buying decision, everyone comes from a different perspective. So, what makes Peloton Cycle a good value for me might not work for you, and vice-versa.
For example, if you’re an avid cyclist, dropping a couple grand on a new bike (while certainly nothing to sneeze at) could be considered on the lower end of the spectrum for quality, high-end gear.
Bikes are often considered long-term investments, so if you plan to use your Peloton Cycle for at least 3-5 years, it might be a lot easier to justify the cost.
Add to this that you won’t have to pay for spin classes at a local gym, and the cost savings over a few years could more than make up for the purchase price.
2. What’s Your Experience Level?
On the other hand, if you’re only casually interested in spinning, it might be better to pay for a few classes locally to see if you enjoy this type of exercise before handing over a couple grand of your hard-earned money.
Or, if you know you enjoy spinning but are on the fence about Peloton’s videos (after all, you’re basically paying $1,000+ for them), I might recommend downloading their iPad app, signing up for a 1-week subscription, and then using a spin bike at your gym before making the leap.
Just keep in mind that you won’t have access to some of Peloton’s (arguably) most important features, like real-time stats and performance tracking.
3. What’s Your Size?
Finally, while Peloton Cycle’s bike should be able to accommodate the vast majority of users, they note that if you’re under 4’11” tall, 6’5” tall, or over 305 lbs, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you ultimately decide to make the leap, though, you can always take comfort in the fact that, in an overwhelming number of cases, it seems like just about everyone is happy with their Peloton purchase.
What’s your story with Peloton Cycle? Did you get a lot of value, or was it just not for you? Whatever it is, add to the conversation by writing a review below!
4 out 4 people found this review helpful
As awesome as you hope it will be, and a time saver too!
This was the best investment I've made in a long time in regard to my health. Yes, it's a chunk of change (nearly $3,000 initial investment for the bike, tax, delivery, shoes, one-year subscription, etc.), BUT it's so worth it.
I've been on my bike nearly every day since it arrived. It's addicting, and it is so easy to get dressed and join a class from the comfort and privacy of your home. I am done with my awesome, sweat drenching 30-minute workout in less time than it takes to get ready and drive to the gym and back. I LOVE it. I urge you to invest in yourself, and I don't think you will regret the decision.
We did not buy the $59 Peloton mat but rather used a $15 thin entry carpet from Home Depot, which works just fine.
One last tip; YES, you need the shoes, and it is so worth the $125.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
5 out 5 people found this review helpful
Great for moms
I am a new mom and can't find time to get to the gym anymore, but needed a way to get back in shape. Peloton Cycle has been an amazing investment. I can get in a quick workout when my baby is sleeping without having to find childcare, travel to the gym, and get there early to make sure I get a spot in class. I used to love SoulCycle and Flywheel and this gives you the same high quality experience right at home.
I darken the room and put on headphones and it feels like I am really in the class. If you went to one of these boutique classes only two times per week at $35 per class, that's $3,500 in just one year. With Peloton Cycle, although it's a large upfront investment, it actually can save you money over time, especially since you can have unlimited riders in your household (my husband and I both cancelled our gym memberships).
The iOS app is included with your subscription, so when I travel for work I can still do a class in my hotel gym. They also now have Beyond the Ride workouts like Yoga which you can cast to your TV if you want a break from spinning one day.
I researched buying a cheaper bike and just using the app, but if you want a high quality, quiet stationary bike with magnetic resistance (which gives the smooth, quiet ride), you will end up paying $2K anyway, and that doesn't include the giant tablet that the Peloton bike comes with. If you ever decide to cancel the subscription, the tablet still has a few demo rides and still tracks your metrics.
If you pay for a 2-year subscription up front, you get three months free, and if you use a referral link, you get another two months free on top of that. Here is my referral link: https://www.pelotoncycle.com/r/?rc=a00a03287cfa49da89e3169a559fba3d.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
5 out 5 people found this review helpful
Love the bike. I was worried about motivation, but the classes are great, and the metrics and class rank really push you. The bike was really for my wife, but we are both using it daily.
We don't have good studios or gyms nearby, so it made sense for us. We used to have good spinning classes at our gym, but once we moved, began to miss that. You can set up as many names under one account as you want, it doesn't cost extra. The bike is silent, which allows us to work out once the kids go to bed. Overall, a great investment for the right person.
It is expensive, and you have to pay for a monthly subscription on top of it. They do run a referral program, so you can get two free months if someone refers you. Here is ours, if you decide to buy it: https://www.pelotoncycle.com/r/?rc=b81989cd1b014ebd9965e6b7dcdfa379
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friendView all 1 commentsHide comments
Jan 15, 2017
Brian, thanks for the review. It was a part of our decision-making process. I just used your referral code to order the bike over the phone. So hopefully, you will get your two months for free.
6 out 6 people found this review helpful
Excellent Home Workout Equipment
I received my Peloton this past week. I have completed three rides so far. I am not an avid outdoor cyclist but have taken a few spin classes before. I love the spin classes, however, the biggest obstacle was always fitting the class schedule with a work schedule.
The Peloton was intriguing from this perspective. I had seen the television commercials but was skeptical as I am of most home workout equipment that is sold via television or the internet. I wasn't sold on the product until I actually saw it and touched it while walking through a mall and happened upon a store. I was blown away by its construction. It is solid and smooth. So, from an engineering, set up and ease of use perspective, I can't say enough good things about the Peloton, it is top shelf. It's unbelievably nice.
The two things that I would count as 'negatives' if they are truly negative, is the price being the first. It is indeed an investment. It will only be worth the money if I look forward to getting on it and riding it often. As of now, I can't stay off of it and look forward to riding it every day.
If you buy it and only use it once a week and it gathers dust in your home, you will think that it is way overpriced.
The second negative: the Peloton network technology. It was pointed out in the above review that you are spending nearly $1000 for the HD monitor.
While the Bluetooth connectivity is nice and the class options are top-notch, you would think that there would be a limitless amount of capability with the monitor to include adding your own music playlist via iTunes or Google and the ability to zone out and watch Netflix or Amazon Prime when you don't feel like joining in on a class.
I have done a couple of the 'scenic rides' and while the video is done very well, the music associated with the video is awful. I mean, not good at all.
Bottom line – I would buy the Peloton again, without question. And I would recommend it to anyone that wants the spin class workout option in their living room. It is a world class piece of gear.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
8 out 9 people found this review helpful
Great Bike - More Reasonably Priced Than Most People Think
I can't say enough good things about the bike. It's ready to ride whenever I want. I don't have to drive anywhere. I don't have to plan around a scheduled class. I don't even have to see anyone in person while I ride.
The convenience factor is probably the biggest selling point for most people (myself and my wife included). Most people complain about the cost. But, if you look closer at the cost, it's actually significantly cheaper than going to a high-end spin class or even a mid-range spin class, particularly considering my wife was spending a small fortune on spin classes (and complaining that she could never fit in the perfect time for a class).
The bike costs about $2,500 all in with delivery. The monthly is $40 for as many riders as you want (so the $40 covers me and my wife). If you take it out over 3 years, that comes to about $4,000 total. Divide that by 36 months (that doesn't even account for the free months you can get for referrals or prepaying), and it comes to about $110/month (or $55/month per person if 2 people are using the bike).
Soulcycle charges like $35 per class. The mid-range spin places charge at least $20/class. So, if your comparison is other spin options, the bike is actually very reasonably priced.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
56 out 57 people found this review helpful
Well designed/ constructed luxury fitness item
This review hits all the points very well, but for what its worth I'll add some further input as an owner of the bike. Price will be the major drawback for most, although a comparably designed spin bike with the same features (Schwinn/ Keiser/ LeMond/ Star Trac) - but without the Android tablet - will probably set you back something like $1,500 anyway.
Heavy perimeter weighted flywheel. (Key to good inertia/pedal stroke.)
Magnetic rather than friction resistance. (Nothing in contact with the flywheel - no maintenance, no brake pads to wear down and replace.)
Belt rather than chain drive. (Virtually silent, and again no maintenance - no chains to oil/adjust/tighten.)
All in all a very well designed/constructed spin bike. Comfortable (for a spin bike), rides quiet and smooth, very solid, really a pleasure to use if you're into spinning for exercise.
The Android tablet with all the on-demand spin classes (thousands now and counting?), 10 to 12 new live classes everyday, and scenic rides as well – more variety than my wife and I will ever exhaust. And we’ve found all the classes and instructors are great - they certainly keep you engaged and motivated.
BTW - I think the $250 "white glove" delivery and set-up may be mandatory now - not sure you can avoid that expense by putting it together yourself. But you absolutely do not need to purchase accessories (i.e. shoes, weights, headphones/ear-plugs, etc.) from Peloton - you may be able to do better elsewhere, although you might find their prices competitive on some of it. I would recommend that you get some Bluetooth compatible headphones/ear-plugs - the speakers are on the back of the tablet, and while they're certainly adequate, I've found the experience far superior with my Jaybirds (there are cheaper options).
Since I’m the first to comment here and for anyone considering the purchase, I’ll give our referral code below – two free additional months on the subscription – anyone is welcome to use. If you buy and whether you use us or someone else, please use somebody as a referral! That’s the only deal I’m aware that they’re running right now.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friendView all 5 commentsHide comments
May 21, 2016
Thank you for the review, I just used your RC.
May 27, 2016
Chris you're very welcome and thank you. I think you'll be pleased with this bike. We've had the bike more than three months now and my wife and I still love it - work schedules permitting, one or both of us still hit it everyday. And the number and variety of workouts keeps growing. It's a really fun way to get cardio!
Oct 3, 2016
I'm looking for a quality spin bike for my apartment. But really have no interest in the tablet. I was looking at the Soulcycle bike. Any opinion on that?
Nov 9, 2016
I can't say enough good things about the bike. It's ready to ride whenever I want. I don't have to drive anywhere. I don't have to plan around a scheduled class. I don't even have to see anyone in person while I ride. The convenience factor is probably the biggest selling point for most people (myself and my wife included).
Most people complain about the cost. But, if you look closer at the cost, it's significantly cheaper than going to a high-end spin class or even a mid-range spin class. Considering how much my wife was spending on spin classes (and complaining that she could never fit in the perfect time for a class).
The bike costs about $2,500 with delivery. The monthly charge is $40 for as many riders as you want (so the $40 covers my wife and me). If you take it out for three years, it comes out to $4,000. If you divide that by 36 months, (doesn't account for the free months you can get for referrals or prepay), it then comes out to about $110 a month or $55 a month (per person if two people are using the bike).
SoulCycle charges like $35 per class. The mid-range spin places charge at least $20 per class. So, if your comparison is other spin options, the bike is very reasonably priced.
Nov 9, 2016
The tablet is the key to the bike. You get the leaderboard and metrics. The soul cycle bike is $2,200 with no tablet and no ability to take live or on-demand classes.