Peloton Bike Review: Is It Worth Your Money?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 18, 2019

Home fitness equipment promises to give you all the benefits of the gym without any of the cost and inconvenience. But before you purchase, how can you tell whether a product will wind up used or abandoned in the basement?

Peloton promises to solve the problem of unused exercise equipment with its high-tech spin bike that gives you access to a passionate fitness community and thousands of engaging spin classes at any time.

In this review, we’ll analyze what Peloton offers and compare it to the competition so you can determine whether to add this spin bike to your wish list.

What Is the Peloton Bike?

The Peloton bike is a spin bike with a screen that lets you take boutique fitness classes from home.

With this bike, you can live-stream workouts from the company’s NYC studio, compete against others on a leaderboard, and get shoutouts from instructors when you reach key milestones.

Peloton’s goal is to help you get rid of the mental and physical barriers associated with getting to a physical fitness class. When you own a Peloton, you can workout anytime- no commute required.

  • High tech spin bike with 22" LCD touchscreen
  • Access to 5000+ on-demand classes and 20+ live classes daily
  • Compete against others in real-time with leaderboard
  • Wide variety of class and music styles
  • Complimentary access to the Peloton app for other workout options
  • The bike costs about $2,500 with accessories and requires $39.99/month subscription
  • Repairs may take several weeks, depending on the crew’s availability
  • More expensive than the competition
  • The screen can’t be used for other purposes if you cancel your subscription

How Does the Peloton Bike Work?

The Peloton bike is essentially a magnetic resistance spin bike with a 22-inch touchscreen on the front. The bike’s footprint is approximately 4' x 2', and you’ll need to put it somewhere near a power outlet and a strong WiFi connection to use it.

While the bike can be used like any other spin bike, what sets it apart is integrated access to Peloton’s studio classes. The company live-streams approximately 20 classes from their London and NYC studios daily, and these workouts are added to the continuously-growing on-demand library soon after.

You can choose from just under 5,500 spin classes, ranging in length from five to 90 minutes. The workouts vary in difficulty, class format, instructor, and music genre, and it’s possible to filter your search by these parameters. Here’s an example of some of the most recent class options.

  • 20 Minute 80’s Pop Ride with Denis Morton
  • 20 Minute Beginner Ride with Cody Rigsby
  • 45 Minute Tabata Ride with Ally Love
  • 30 Minute Intervals and Arms Ride with Tunde Oyeneyin
  • 45 Minute Heart Rate Zone Endurance Ride with Christine D’ercole
  • 30 Minute Electronic Dance Ride with Matt Wilpers

As you take a class, you’ll see your workout stats displayed on the screen. These include your pedaling cadence, resistance level, total power output, heart rate (if wearing a monitor), and more. You can track your stats against the cues that the instructor is calling out.

Your ride experience will vary slightly depending on if you take a class live or on-demand. Live classes get a real-time leaderboard that lets you compete against everyone else who is taking it. It’s possible to filter the leaderboard to a specific gender, age range, location, or to hide it completely.

The instructor can also see your stats when you take a ride live. If you are reaching a milestone (such as your 100th ride), they might give your leaderboard name a shoutout.

When you take a class on-demand, you can compete against a “here now” and “all-time” leaderboard to see how you stack up against others who have taken it. The main difference from a live ride is that fewer people are likely to be taking it simultaneously and there’s no chance of a shoutout.

Note that the only way to take these classes is to purchase a bike subscription, which costs $39.99 per month. Without this subscription, you are limited to three 45-minute workouts included on the bike and a “free mode” where you can bike in front of a blank screen that displays your workout stats.

Beyond spin classes, a Peloton membership also gives you access to a variety of other kinds of exercise. These include:

  • Strength
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Cardio
  • Stretching
  • Outdoor Running (audio only)
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Bootcamp (workouts that are split between strength training and running on a treadmill)

You can access these classes through the bike’s touchscreen or through the Peloton App, which is complementary for bike owners (it costs $12.99/month for everyone else). Some of these additional classes, such as certain strength training sessions, take place on the bike. Others work best if you play them through a separate device so that you have a better viewability angle.

Peloton Instructors

There are close to 20 Peloton instructors at the company’s NYC studio alone. They vary in age, teaching style, and qualifications, and most have massive social media following thanks to their Peloton fans.

While Peloton instructors are usually leading classes with in-person participants, they put a lot of their focus on the camera that’s live-streaming them. This is meant to help home riders feel connected with the rest of the class and motivated to keep showing up.

Some Peloton instructors, such as Matt Wilpers, take a technical approach to train with data-focused Powerzone classes. Others, like Cody Rigsby, keep the sessions lighthearted with pop music playlists. Still others, such as Ally Love, pepper their classes filled with encouragement for anyone who might be going through a hard time, exercise-related or otherwise.

Most Peloton riders have their favorites, so you might need to try out several classes until you find the instructor that resonates with you.

What Does the Peloton Bike Cost?

The amount you’ll pay for Peloton depends partly on your payment plan and the accessories you purchase. This chart highlights the available options:

Basics Package Essentials Package Works Package Family Package
Price $2,245 $2,404 $2,494 $2,694
Price Per Month Through Affirm (0% Interest, 39 Months) $58/month $62/month $64/month $70/month
What’s Included Bike, delivery and setup, one year limited warranty All previously mentioned plus spin shoes*, hand weights, and Bluetooth headphones All previously mentioned plus heart rate monitor and bike mat Bike, delivery and setup, one-year limited warranty, two pairs of shoes, headphones, heart rate monitors and water bottles, and one bike mat and set of hand weights

*Peloton bikes include LOOK Delta Compatible aluminum pedals. This means you will need to use spin shoes with Delta clips to use it.

Note that these prices don’t account for the $39.99/month membership fee, which you will start being charged as soon as your bike arrives.

Peloton offers a 30-day home trial for new bike users. This allows you to try out the bike for thirty days. If you don’t like it, you can request a full refund and the company will pick the bike up. This refund also includes all accessories and your first month’s subscription.

All Peloton purchases come with 12-month parts and labor warranty. If any part of your bike breaks down within that time frame, Peloton will cover the costs for replacement parts and send out an authorized Peloton technician to complete the repairs free of charge.

The best way to contact the company is through their online chat profile on the official website, or at (866) 679-9129.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

We looked at Peloton bike reviews across a variety of platforms, including here at HighYa and Peloton Facebook pages. Here’s a summary of the main takeaways from these reviews:

Stable, Well-Built Bike

A clear majority of Peloton users love this spin bike. They write that it is well-built and barely budges while they ride it, even when placed on the carpet. Many also mentioned that the bike was extremely quiet when they were cycling on it and that the 22-inch touchscreen was perfect for following the workout classes.

A few people mentioned that they had maintenance issues with the bike like broken wheel bearings, stripped pedals, and malfunctioning screens over the time they owned it, but that the company responded promptly and sent out a tech crew to fix it when necessary.

Wide Variety of Challenging Workouts

Peloton’s key selling point is its classes, and customer reviews show that they don’t disappoint. Users rave about the convenience of taking studio-quality spin workouts at home, and many appreciate how many options there are to take live classes throughout the day.

Many reviewers also appreciated that their Peloton membership gave them free access to the Peloton App, which included options for yoga, running, strength training, boot camp workouts and more.

Good Motivator to Workout at Home

A big selling point for many reviewers was that the Peloton allowed them to work out when convenient for their schedule. This meant mothers with young kids didn’t need to find a babysitter before going to the gym, and city dwellers didn’t need to suffer through another round of traffic to get fit.

The bike also resonated with people too intimidated to join an in-person fitness class. The Peloton allowed them to work out in the privacy and not worry about sweating in front of strangers. Likewise, many people found the class leaderboards kept them more engaged and committed to pushing themselves.

Promoted Long Term Use and Weight Loss

What set the Peloton apart for many users was that they kept wanting to use it. Many reviewers wrote that they had lots of home fitness equipment collecting dust in their homes, but that they looked forward to using the Peloton even years after they first purchased it because the classes and community continued to be engaging.

Many experienced real benefits from this regular exercise and reported that they had lost dozens of pounds, improved their fitness stats, and lost inches around their waistline after several months of regular use.

Quality Concern Issues

Some Peloton customers didn’t have a positive experience from a quality standpoint. Some wrote that their bikes arrived dented or damaged, or that the bearings went out after just a few weeks of use.

Though most had the issues resolved by Peloton’s repair theme, they resented how long the process took.

Confusion with Subscription Costs

In many cases, reviewers were blindsided by the cost of the bike, as they didn’t know that they needed to pay a $39 monthly subscription fee to access classes. Many of these reviewers wrote that they wished they had bought a cheaper spin bike and used the $13-per-month Peloton app instead.

Key Takeaways

Overall, these reviews show that the majority of people who buy the bike seem to love it. Exercise enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike raved about how much they enjoyed using it.

The biggest problems from a customer perspective seem to be price and that the equipment is prone to breaking down, and that it can take a while to get it fixed. Those who have a functioning bike seemed to have little to complain about.

Peloton Bike vs. Other Home Spin Class Bikes

Buying home fitness equipment like the Peloton is expensive, and several competitors have entered the market at a slightly lower price point. Below, we compare the features between Peloton, NordicTrack and Echelon:

Peloton Bike NordicTrack Commercial Studio Bike Echelon Connect Bikes
Equipment Cost Starts at $2,245 Starts at $1,599 Starts at $839.98
Subscription Cost $39.99/mo $39.99/mo (first year free with purchase) $39.99/mo
Class Types Metrics-based spin classes that give you cadence, resistance and power targets, plus access to off-bike workouts High-energy spin classes, instructors control your machines decline, incline, and resistance levels High-energy spin classes and “FitPass” access to trainer-led yoga, stretching, meditation, kickboxing, Zumba, and more
Number of Available Spin Classes 5,500+ 100+ 1,000+
Live Classes Per Day About 20 N/A 14+
Key Details Large community means lots of competition on the leaderboard and online support groups You can choose to have the bike automatically adjust the difficulty setting depending on the workout Most bikes come without a tablet so that you can use your own and keep costs lower

As this chart shows, Peloton has the highest upfront cost for equipment, though each brand requires a $39.99 subscription to access its content. You’ll get a year’s subscription for free with NordicTrack, and Echelon offers subscription discounts with some of their bike purchases, but Peloton’s subscription price doesn’t fluctuate.

Unlike Peloton, both NordicTrack and Echelon offer several bikes to choose from. That lets you choose which features you want to pay for, and in Echelon’s case, it allows you to buy a bike without a screen. That’s significant because it means that you aren’t locked into their platform forever with the bike.

In other words, you could follow either Peloton or Echelon classes (or another platform entirely) on an Echelon bike outfitted with your own tablet, but a NordicTrack and Peloton bike’s touchscreens are limited to that company. If you stop your subscription, you can’t use the screen for anything else.

Each of these bikes has its appeal, and choosing the right one for you depends on what you value.

Peloton has the highest price tag, the largest community, and the broadest range of classes. It makes sense for you if you want to feel like you are part of a bigger group and want ultimate flexibility in how you workout.

NordicTrack doesn’t offer any live classes (yet), but its bikes are uniquely outfitted to adjust their difficulty level during the workouts. Those who struggle to push themselves hard enough when they are in charge of their own difficulty settings will likely appreciate this feature.

Finally, Echelon offers the most affordable tech-integrated spin class experience. You can choose from a range of bikes starting at $900, and it’s possible to use your own tablet. Though the company offers less than a fifth of Peloton’s on-demand workouts, this library is growing fast with 14 live classes each day.

Peloton Bike vs. the Peloton App

If you’re not interested in dropping thousands of dollars on a Peloton bike, it’s possible to enjoy much of the same experience by using the Peloton App with a regular spin bike. There are dozens of tutorials online that go into detail on what you will need, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to app users.

I personally have used the Peloton app for more than ten months, paired with a Schwinn spin bike and a Bluetooth cadence sensor and heart rate monitor. This setup lets me participate in both live and on-demand classes and monitor my cadence and exertion level (through my heart rate) directly through the app.

The biggest appeal of this approach is that you will save money. It’s possible to buy used commercial bikes from fitness centers that are the same or better quality than a Peloton for about $500, and a cadence sensor and heart rate monitor for another $75.

This gives you an upfront cost savings of more than $1,500 over the Peloton, and you will continue to save money each month with the app subscription ($12.99) compared to the bike’s subscription ($39.99).

Over one year of ownership, a Peloton Essentials Package ($2,404) plus a subscription ($480) will cost $2,884. Buying a different bike with accessories ($600) and using the app ($156) could cost you about $756 instead, a savings of more than $2,100.

Obviously, your numbers will vary significantly depending on the cost of your bike. But even if you buy a new spin bike at a similar pricepoint to the Peloton, you’ll still save over the length of the subscription.

However, this stripped-down Peloton alternative has some drawbacks. You won’t be connected to the leaderboard, which might decrease motivation for some people. Likewise, you will need to use another app to save your ride stats is you want to look at them later.

Using the Peloton app with a regular spin bike is an excellent option for anyone with access to spin bikes at the gym, anyone who doesn’t want to be tied to a $39.99 monthly subscription, and anyone who doesn’t want to own an exercise bike that’s limited to one platform.

However, if the community leaderboard appeals to you, you don’t mind paying more for premium equipment, and you don’t want to go through the effort of rigging up your own system, then you’ll likely be happier with a real Peloton.

The Bottom Line: Who Should Consider a Peloton?

For those who want the feeling of a studio spin class while working out at home, Peloton offers an industry-defining opportunity to get in shape.

If you can afford it, this bike can transform your approach to exercise by making it possible to follow an NYC studio spin class regardless of where you live and what your schedule looks like.

The primary thing to keep in mind before committing to Peloton is the price. Expect to pay about $3,000 for the first year of use and an additional $450 in subscription fees every year after. Though it’s possible to continue using the bike if you cancel your subscription, you’ll be left with an almost unusable screen in the front if you do.

However, $3,000 a year can be cost savings for you compared to attending in-studio cycling classes. SoulCycle, a leading spin class studio in the US, charges more than $30 per class at many locations. Once you use your Peloton 100 times, you’re saving money compared to paying for the same number of SoulCycle classes.

Overall, we think Peloton makes sense for anyone who:

  • Loves instructor-led exercise classes
  • Wants to get in shape without going to the gym
  • Has a busy schedule and struggles to make it to in-person studio classes
  • Wants to save money on a gym membership or studio classes
  • Wants the accountability of an engaging virtual community and competitive leaderboard
  • Doesn’t mind buying fitness equipment that’s limited to a single platform

Intrigued by Peloton’s virtual classes but not ready to pay the $3k price? Cheaper options are available from NordicTrack, Echelon, and the Peloton App. You can also try out the app for a thirty-day free trial. Our advice is to pair it with a regular spin bike and see whether you love the workout style enough to commit to the full system.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Peloton Bike:
  • 41 Customer Reviews
  • 49% Recommend This Brand
3.0 out of 5
5 star: 41% 4 star: 4% 3 star: 2% 2 star: 9% 1 star: 41%

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  • Worst

    Overall Experience:

    Peloton Cycle sucks. Probably will go out of business soon. They treated me like crap and made me feel worthless. I will never do business with them again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Delivery process stinks

    • By Matt Harris,
    • Nebraska,
    • Jun 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I can't even rate the bike, but I can say that my experience has been among my worst ever with a company. I had a "confirmed" delivery date scheduled as promised, but apparently, that didn't mean much as they didn't show on that day, nor the next. Finally, they showed on the third day when we weren't around. That's when the real frustration started.

    You can't find a customer service person to save your life that can do anything. "Looks like we can deliver it tomorrow." No bike. I call again, "looks like we can deliver it Tuesday." No bike. I call again, "looks like we can deliver it Thursday." I still don't have the bike. We may ultimately really like the bike, but I will probably never be a real fan.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Big mistake, don’t buy

    • By B Cam,
    • Arizona,
    • Dec 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The Peloton bike broke after two days, and it has been three weeks trying to get it fixed. They keep telling me someone will contact me, although they never do. I’ve spent many hours trying to get it fixed; emails, chats, phone calls, and nothing works. They finally confirmed that someone would come and fix yesterday so we made sure we were home, but no one showed. I called, and they said they have no record of it, although it was right in my email that they sent. It’s a sad joke at this point, they are completely unable to help me and I have a broken bike that I’ve only used twice.

    No exaggeration; completely true and sincere review, unfortunately. Just terrible experience. Big mistake to buy!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Nice bike, terrible customer support

    • By Elisa Guida,
    • Colorado,
    • Dec 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The product is amazing. My problem is with customer "support," Candis Bateman, in particular, who was "helping" me. My family loved the bike so much that BOTH my husband and I had the great idea to get it for each other to my surprise! My son is the one who told me that he had gotten it ordered weeks ago and I needed to cancel mine ASAP because his order was to be delivered and set up the next day. Not too hard right?

    WRONG. There is no phone number to call someone! My only choice was to email support explaining my situation and request someone to a call to confirm. No call, and they canceled the wrong order. Ten EMAILS back and forth later with Candis (over two days), and no calls after four requests and nothing. REALLY disappointing. I even asked her at the end to call my husband to explain/apologize and nothing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Terrible experience

    Overall Experience:

    I purchased a Peloton, and before I could even take my first ride, the thing broke. The monitor would not work and when I was finally able to rig it (plugging the power cord into the monitor but you can’t see cadence, resistance, calories, etc.), the pedal discontented from the bike mid-ride. It took me FOUR times calling Peloton to finally get someone to agree to replace my one-day-old bike. While waiting four days for them to deliver my new bike, I tried another ride, and the other pedal flew off mid-ride. My entire experience has been frustrating, disappointing and overall poor.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Stay far away

    • By Ray Ruggerio,
    • Point Pleasant, NJ,
    • Jan 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My girlfriend has had nothing but problems, and no customer service as so many others have reported. We got it working for a couple of days, and the classes were horrendous. It’s not working again, and I think that might actually be a good thing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Worst delivery ever

    • By Kim W.,
    • Tri-Cities, WA,
    • Jul 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Not sure if the bike is great, I couldn’t get their delivery service to make an appointment and show up to deliver the bike. They gave me a delivery window of Monday-Friday and showed up the week before when I wasn’t home, then never bothered to try to schedule another delivery. I decided my Spinning bike works just fine.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • No way

    • By John C.,
    • Texas,
    • Aug 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This bike sucked, it was wobbly, loud and rickety. You see the commercials? Do not trust it. Unsafe, expensive and unresponsive to phone calls. It is not what I expected, and that is on y'all. I only buy made in America. No, do not buy this.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Poorest Customer Service EVER!

    • By V H.,
    • Reno, NV,
    • Nov 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My family bought me a Peloton Bike as a birthday gift on Nov 3, 2018.

    It did not arrive until Nov. 12th. On Nov. 19th Peloton put the bikes on sale. I contacted them to see if they would honor the sale. Sadly, they told me I missed the window by 2 days, even though the bike was not activated until Nov. 18th. I will likely return the bike I am FORCED to do business with Peloton via subscription for the life of the product.

    Lesson learned; Anytime Customer Service starts out on a poor note, it NEVER gets better! Choose wisely.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Peloton Guarantee Shipping Promotion

    • By Joseph C.,
    • Honolulu, HI,
    • Dec 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I bought a Peloton for my wife as her Christmas present. At the time there was a promotion that guaranteed I would get the bike before Christmas if I ordered it by 12/10/2018. I ended up ordering the bike on 12/08/2018 just to later find out that the bike won't be getting to me till 1/7/2019. I received an email from a representative who stated that I could reach out to him or anyone attached to the email with any questions. I sent them a follow-up email and three days later I still got no answer/response. I reach out to another representative who tells me that because I live on an island, I won't be getting the bike at the guaranteed time frame. It's pretty ridiculous after paying $525 for shipping and assembly. I guess you can say Christmas is ruined (it is now 12/20/2018, still no email response).

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Not satisfied

    • By Timothy H.,
    • Belvidere, IL,
    • Jan 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    We received our bike today. We were recommended by a friend that told us when they took delivery of their bike they explained how to use the bike and set the bike up for them. Our delivery team DID NOTHING but drop the bike off and leave. We paid the same as our friend for the same service but because of where we live, Peloton told us that all we get because of where we live. REALLY, you had NO problem taking 3 grand for us. DO NOT buy this bike! They are a scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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