Now that I’ve officially been using my Peloton bike and the Peloton app almost every day for more than a month, I figured it’s time to give you a review! I bought “The Works” package, which includes the bike, a pair of spin shoes, a pair of weights, a heart rate monitor and a mat. As with everything I do on my blog, I like these fitness reviews to be comprehensive. If you’re considering buying a Peloton bike, this post has everything you need to know to make a decision and make sure it’s worth the money to you! As far as “why Peloton”? There are definitely other bikes out there, but I really wanted the seamless experience that comes with a Peloton – the Peloton monitor on the bike, as opposed to having to place the bike in front of a TV to stream the workouts. Sure, the Peloton is more expensive than most and is a big chunk of money up front (although they do have payment plans!). But considering how often I went to in-studio spin classes and how much I was spending every month, this thing will pay for itself in no time. I just wanted the full Peloton experience since I’d heard so many great things! Read on to hear about my experience and a full review on the bike.
As a lot of you know, delivery dates have been really far out due to increased demand and COVID-19 restrictions in many cities. The only delivery date available when I ordered my bike was six weeks out! I’ve heard if you call or chat with the Peloton team online you can potentially move up your date if there are cancellations, but I kept forgetting to do that. So six weeks later my delivery date came, and it was a breeze!
Because of COVID-19, they’re currently doing contactless delivery. What that means is, they deliver your bike fully set up and just drop it over the threshold of your front door. They will not move it to other areas of your house for you or do anything else with the bike once it is in your house, so it is up to you to get it where you want it in your house, plug it in and set it up! While the bike does have rollers that make it easy to move, the bike itself is very heavy. Luckily Liza was here and was able to help me roll it back to my master bedroom.
Once we got the Peloton bike in my room, setup was practically effortless. After plugging everything in, I turned on the bike and waited for it to load. It did require me to update the software (again, super easy – it basically just restarted the bike). After that I signed into my WIFI, entered my login info and was ready to go! Adjusting the bike positioning is easy too, but it did take me a few times of getting on and off to make changes to get it in the right spot. Even though the bike is adjusted to my height/legs, it’s not the most comfortable bike I’ve ever been on. The seat on every bike is uncomfortable at first (as is this one), but everything is adjustable – the height of the handlebars, distance of the seat from the handlebars, etc. Just make adjustments until you get the most comfortable setup for you!
The screen is large and adjustable, but it is definitely hard to see if there are any lights on in the room or directly behind you! What I do now is close all the shades in my bedroom except for the one directly in front of the bike (so I can get my shoes on and such), and then turn off all of the lights (including in the bathroom behind me). This helps avoid any glare on the screen, but it also makes my room feel more like a spin studio!
The bike comes with a headphone jack, two cradles for a water bottle/phone, and holsters for your hand weights. I got the 3 lb weights! I bought these bluetooth wireless headphones to use while I’m crate training Reeses, and they work great. They’re super comfortable and connect to the bike instantly! I have had some issues with buffering/connectivity on the bike with video, but I blame my wifi – it is truly the worst. I’ve only done spin classes + add-on arms classes on the bike in my bedroom (although the bike monitor can stream any workout class on the app!), and use the Peloton app on an iPad for the rest of the workout options in my garage gym!
There are both live classes and on-demand classes on the Peloton bike. I’ve only done a couple of live classes so far, mostly because of my weird schedule with the puppy. I just find an on-demand class when I’m ready to ride! There are thousands of on-demand spin classes to choose from and new live rides daily, so the options are literally endless. Classes range from low impact rides (great for injury recovery + pregnant women) to HIIT, Tabata, Climb and Interval style rides. There are theme rides, arms + intervals rides, and they even have warm up and cool down rides for pre- and post- challenging classes! The classes range from 5 minutes to 90 minutes in length, so even if you’re short on time you can fit in a quick sweat. I just LOVE having all of these amazing options!
One thing I haven’t used yet in the package I bought is the heart rate monitor. I’m so used to using my Apple Watch for all workouts, so I’m just continuing to use that! I just set it to the “Indoor Cycle” workout mode for spin classes and “HIIT” for strength and cardio classes.
THE SPIN INSTRUCTORS
If you’re unsure of where to start with the wide variety of instructors on the bike, below is a little summary of each. Honestly they’re all great and offer something a little different, but I starred my very favorites! I’ve taken a class from nearly every teacher on this list (not all spin, some just arms) – I also scrolled through each instructor’s class offerings to share what music and class formats they favor. Hope this is helpful!
- Alex Toussaint* – his classes are tough! His playlists are amazing and range from hip-hop to pop. He’s got great energy and a no bullshit approach, which I appreciate. Super motivating and will keep you hyped up all class!!
- Ally Love* – Ally chooses amazing music and the rides she does are really fun and happy! She’s got amazing energy, but I will admit I’m not a huge fan of the *sometimes* cheesy motivational chatter throughout the ride. I liked her Arms and Intervals ride I took, which switches off from doing three minutes of riding to 3 minutes of arms the entire class. Definitely not boring!
- Ben Alldis* – I took one of Ben’s HIIT rides and loved the intensity + playlist! Except for giving direction, he doesn’t talk a ton which I appreciate. Will definitely be taking more of his classes!
- Christine D’Ercole – I’ve only taken one of Christine’s arm add-on classes, and while the workout was good I couldn’t get into the playlist. She’s got a lot of soft rock, classic rock, 70’s rides and that kind of music if that’s what you’re into!
- Cody Rigsby* – If you’re looking for entertainment on a bike, Cody’s your guy! He’s energetic, funny and is constantly telling little stories throughout the ride (like I said with Ally above, the extra chatter isn’t really my thing). His playlists are great (hello, Lady Gaga!), but most of the rides I’ve taken with him aren’t super challenging. He’s a good go-to when I need a pick-me-up ride that won’t kill me!
- Denis Morton – I was skeptical of Denis mostly because a bunch of his rides have a classic rock or country music theme, but I really enjoyed the HIIT ride I took! The music was more alt rock focused (which is more my speed) and I enjoyed his direct teaching style. I’ll probably still skip over his country and classic rock rides, but will definitely try his others!!
- Emma Lovewell* – I’ve only taken one of Emma’s classes so far, but I LOVED it! I did one of her Listening Party rides, where she features cool new music and not a ton of talking. The one I did featured Young The Giant, Phantogram and other bands I love that are often featured on AltNation (my fave SiriusXM channel). The Listening Party ride wasn’t super challenging, but it’s a great option when you’re looking for a more relaxed ride with good tunes. Looking forward to trying more of her classes!
- Erik Jager – When I filtered by instructor I was surprised to see only two on demand classes for Erik, but I soon found out why! He’s a German instructor who is just now starting to do classes in English. His English isn’t perfect, but that adds to his charm! I honestly couldn’t help but smile throughout the ride – he’s got great energy and is just fun to ride with. I’m not starring him as he only has two classes available in English so far, but definitely give him a go!
- Hannah Marie Corbin – While Hannah does a little bit of everything, she does a lot of classic rock and decade-focused music rides! While I don’t want to listen to that kind of music on intense rides, I really enjoy her low impact rides with those playlists. Great for days where I’m not feeling 100% or need a break!
- Hannah Frankson* – In addition to her British accent that I could listen to all day, I love her kind energy and awesome playlists. Most of her music is pop, hip-hop or EDM! Will definitely keep taking her rides.
- Irene Scholz – Irene is another German instructor! Some of her classes are in German, but she does have some English-led rides as well. She does all kinds of playlists, from pop and hip hop to rock and alternative. Like Erik Jager, she doesn’t have a large volume of classes to choose from yet!
- Jenn Sherman – If you’re looking for longer rides, Jenn does a ton of 45-60 minute classes! Her teaching style is more chill and relaxed, and her playlists are mostly rock or pop.
- Jess King* – Jess is so positive and a great way to start your day! She’s enthusiastic and motivating without sharing any unnecessary stories/talking too much. Her music is a wide range of genres, but it looks mostly like EDM, pop, etc. Loved the EDM class I took! Challenging and fun.
- Kendall Toole* – Kendall’s straightforward teaching style is totally my vibe (I don’t love a ton of cheesy motivational talk), and I love her taste in music! I also really love her arms segments – unique and challenging. Can’t wait to ride with her again!
- Leanne Hainsby* – Leanne does a wide variety of rides, including decade themes, HIIT, Intervals + Arms, and Tabata rides, low impact rides and more. I love her personality and music picks (lots of variety here too: dance, pop, rock, etc)! Also love the British accent!
- Matt Wilpers* – Another great instructor for long rides! Most of his rides are 30, 45, or 60 minutes, many of which are Power Zone rides. I took one of his Power Zone Endurance rides yesterday and loved it! That specific class focuses on keeping you in one of two power zones the entire class – so for example: for 10 minutes you’re in zone 3, then you get a 3 minute break where you stay in zone 2 before staying in zone 3 for 6 minutes. It’s less about intervals or HIIT and more about maintaining your strength at the same output the entire class. His playlists are mostly filled with EDM, pop and more upbeat tracks like that!
- Olivia Amato – I’ve only taken a low impact ride from her so far, but looking forward to trying her others! Her teaching style is definitely my vibe – no bullshit and not a lot of extra talk/storytelling. Her playlists are mostly pop, dance music, hip hop and rock – so a wide range to choose from! I didn’t 100% love the music in the low impact ride I took, but going to try some of her others since I enjoyed her teaching style.
- Robin Arzon* – If you’re looking for a challenge, her Tabata rides are an ass-kicking! Her playlists are mostly filled with pop and hip-hop, which I love. She’s very motivating and doesn’t do a whole lot of extra talking (which I also love)! Robin also has amazing strength workouts on the app – they’re always challenging, interesting and fun.
- Sam Yo – His playlists aren’t my favorite, but he does have a great upbeat energy and is a fun teacher. I LOVE his arm sequences though! They’re unique and really mix it up. Definitely check those out!
- Tunde Oyeneyin* – I love Tunde!! Her playlists are bomb (mostly hip-hop and pop!), and she’s very motivating without being cheesy. I really enjoyed her Speak Up ride a couple weeks ago, as well as the 2-for-1 ride with Alex for Black History Month.
- Christian Vande Velde – Christian’s rides are all more technical and aimed at professional cyclists! They aim to bring the best of the outdoor experience to indoor rides! This is the only instructor I haven’t tried yet.
- Jennifer Jacobs – Jennifer has a bunch of 80’s and classic rock rides, which generally isn’t my music scene! But I did enjoy her teaching style. Direct, not fluffy – even in the low impact ride I took. If those are your music vibes, definitely check out her classes!
- Steven Little – Steven’s classes intimidated me the most for two reasons – almost all of his rides are 45 minutes or more, and the class names all feature “endurance”, “sabotage”, “threshold”, “max capacity” and other scary words in the title! I did a 30 minute “sabotage” ride on Friday, and realized that it was titled that because it was a Beastie Boys ride – I almost exited the ride when he said that, but stuck it out and really enjoyed myself! One thing I did notice after my ride is that he hasn’t been an instructor since 2017, but his rides are worth checking out if you want a challenge.
Even if you don’t have the Peloton Bike or Tread, you can still download and subscribe to the Peloton app! The app features hundreds of workouts in all of the following categories: cardio (HIIT + dance cardio here!), strength, yoga, meditation, stretching, bootcamp, outdoor running (audio only), treadmill walking, treadmill running and cycling. In addition to individual classes, they also have several programs that progress in difficulty as you go – I have not yet done one of these programs yet, but if you’re looking for something similar to the way BBG is set up, give those a try!
I love how you can filter each category by teacher, class length, class type, etc! For example: in the STRENGTH category you can filter by class type for full body, core, upper body, lower body, bodyweight or strength skills. You can also bookmark classes to save for later! I often will go through the app on my phone and bookmark a ton of stuff, and it automatically syncs up to the app on my iPad. That way I can just hit the ground running with a combo of classes I’ve bookmarked, instead of having to waste time searching through the large volume of classes available every time I open the app!
Most of the spin instructors for the Peloton bike only do spin classes + add-ons (like arm workouts on the bike), so the app features another wide variety of instructors to choose from as well! Because each category has different instructor options, I haven’t had a chance to try every teacher in every category (but I hope to eventually!). I’ve mostly done Strength classes to replace what I was doing with BBG, and my favorite instructors from that category have been Adrian Williams, Jess Sims, Rebecca Kennedy, Robin Arzon and Selena Samuela. I like the women especially because they tend to target areas I’m more concerned about (like my hips/butt)! What I typically do for strength training is to combine a 20 min lower body (usually glutes + legs), 20 min upper body and either a 5 or 10 minute core class for a full body workout! I’ve been doing this three times a week in addition to three days of spin classes. Last week I added a Peloton highlight to my Instagram profile if you want to keep up with the class combos I’m trying!
A LOOK INSIDE THE APP
As someone who works out from home consistently every day, the bike has been 100% worth the money for me! I’ve received some questions about whether I’ve “seen a change” since getting the Peloton. I’ve worked out from home consistently and done spin classes regularly for years, so adding a Peloton bike to the mix hasn’t really changed anything in terms of how I look/feel. It’s simply replaced my spin classes in-studio for spin classes at home! I will say that when I started doing cycling several years ago I definitely noticed a difference. It’s such a great workout!
But the biggest thing the Peloton has changed for me since I got it is the convenience – I can fit in a great cardio workout any time I want in the comfort of my own home. I can make my workout as short or as long as I want, choose classes based on instructors, music, ride types, etc! I love that I don’t have to worry about getting the bike I want in a studio class (or even making the list!), and don’t have to be at the mercy of my spin studio’s limited class times. With the amount of spin classes I was taking regularly, my Peloton bike will have paid for itself in no time! I’ve also really enjoyed experimenting with new workout classes on the Peloton app. There’s so much variety, so I doubt I’ll find myself getting burned out on it!
As I’ve said with BBG in the past, if you aren’t great at working out on your own or at home, then this might not be the best option for you. But what makes Peloton different from BBG is the wide variety of workout classes available on the Peloton app (in addition to the cycling classes on the bike). The other big difference is all Peloton classes are lead by instructors live on video, whereas BBG just features animations of Kayla Itsines (the trainer) doing the moves and not actual live instruction. Peloton classes feel more “in studio” than BBG does because of that factor, and I’m really enjoying that piece of it. If you’re on the fence about buying the Peloton bike, I’d suggest downloading the app and trying some of the other workout classes available first. That way you can find out if you like the teacher-led classes and see if you’ll stick to it before you make the big purchase! If you already have a non-Peloton bike at home (or don’t want to invest in Peloton’s bike), you can also just stream Peloton’s cycling classes via their app to a TV or tablet.
PS: if you don’t know what BBG is or need a refresher, it is a workout program I was doing the last three years! I got burnt out on it, which is when I decided to get a Peloton + try their app. You can read more about BBG and my experience with the Sweat app here! I’ve written tons of comprehensive blog posts on it!