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Peloton Exercise Bike Review

Quick Summary

The Peloton exercise bike has carved out an interesting niche, leveraging the collective craze surrounding the cultish cycling classes (SoulCycle & others) that has been sweeping the nation, and mating that enthusiasm with the ever growing demand for connectivity and large display screens on basically everything in our daily lives. With one of the highest price points on the market, this bike is made to impress the athletic consumer. Its design is sleek and minimal, and though it doesn’t match its competition (the NordicTrack S22i in particular) in some aspects regarding features it will still win over some shoppers with its 24/7 access to live training classes.

The bike is equipped with a 21.5” HD screen, a manually controlled magnetic flywheel, and 2 points of adjustment for the seat—height, and distance from handlebars. The handlebar shaft also features a vertical adjustment to help achieve proper riding posture. It has 2 10-watt speakers that go loud enough to fill a room, but also includes a headphone jack to avoid disturbing those around you. On the topic of sound output, there will be a lot to listen in on with the many live and on-demand classes coming from Peloton at any given time, which remains this exercise bike’s biggest selling feature. It’s worth noting, as you won’t necessarily catch it right away on the Peloton website, these classes don’t come free. On top of it’s purchase price, a $39/month membership fee is charged for access to its extensive training programming. If you’re after results and have the commitment to back it up, the additional cost is likely going to be worth considering (though some competition offers a similar service with one year subscription included).

Specifications

FitRated
Model Peloton Exercise Bike
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the bike's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

90.25%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,245
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

Resistance

The flywheel in an exercise bike is what creates resistance. You can choose the level of resistance to increase your workout intensity.

0-100
Resistance Type

The type of resistance shows what kind of flywheel is being used (if any), and its weight if the manufacturer provides it.

manual
Type

Type refers to the style of the ride: Recumbent bikes allow you to lay back, while Upright bikes are more like road bikes (lean forward).

Studio
Drive System

The bike's drive system is how your pedaling interacts with the rest of the bike (flywheel) to give you a good workout.

Poly V power transmission belt drive
Frame

It's important to choose an exercise bike that will last, and the material of the frame determines how durable the bike is.

Welded steel frame
Seat

The most important part for comfortability during your workout, the seat should be adjustable and have ample cushioning.

Adjustable
Pedals

Pedals are the driving force for an exercise bike, and should be comfortable, adjustable, and easy to control without slipping.

LOOK Delta clip-⁠in pedals
Programs

Bike Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

14 daily live studio workouts
5,000+ on-demand workouts
($39/month fee, manual resistance adjustment needed)
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

no
Display

Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

22’’ HD touchscreen
Max. Weight

Max. User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that the bike can safely support, which can represent durability.

305 lbs
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this treadmill will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

48"x 53"x 24"
Weight: 135 lbs
Accessory Tray

Some bikes include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Cooling Fans

Portable?

Some exercise bikes can fold up and/or have wheels that make it easy to roll them around for convenience and to save space.

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

12-Month Limited Warranty

Rating: 90.25%

Our Rating

Rating: 90.25/100. I gave this bike a high rating in part because of its ability to offer a respectable ride with a strong frame, but the biggest contributor to its score is the experience with the instructors leading its virtual workouts. Peloton uses real instructors from its NYC location who teach regular classes (you can even see people in the class), and they are at the top of their game. Though this is not a bike for riders on a budget, the price reflects the quality of the service that comes with the bike, as well as the bike itself. If you’re not going to spend the additional $39/month on the membership then look elsewhere, but once subscribed you’ll have access to thousands of different workouts such as HIIT rides, themed rides, climbs/sprints, and workouts that incorporate dumbbells (also not included with the bike). Riders will love the different options, and the music is fantastic!

Clearly geared towards to the many tech-obsessed fitness enthusiasts, the Peloton is all about connectivity. Through its 21.5” HD touchscreen, you can either be transported to the Peloton gym in New York City for a live workout, or follow scenic trails through simulated outdoor training. During live training sessions, a video camera lets you chat with the instructor and classmates as you ride—a leaderboard shows the top participants’ scores as added motivation. As an added bonus, instruction for yoga, general stretching, strength training and other exercises is also included with Peloton virtual membership. One thing I would have liked to see on this bike is remote control for resistance. Similar competition from NordicTrack and Proform allow the bike’s resistance to be controlled by instructors of their live iFit training programs, whereas Peloton riders will have to make resistance adjustments on their own as they participate in classes.

Engineering for the Peloton bike is respectable, and at least up to snuff considering its north of $2k price point. The machine came to market as a Kickstarter project, and it launched with support from “people like you” who care about home fitness. It’s sturdy, constructed of high strength steel and other higher grade materials, and just like a commercial exercise bike, the Peloton home exercise bike is adjustable for just about any body size. The saddle adjusts to fit riders from 4’11” to 6’5” tall, and supports riders with a weight limit of 305 pounds.

New Peloton bikes cost $2,245 including delivery with assembly, though don’t forget to factor in the $39/month fees when comparing it to other models. This bike’s top competitor is the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio, that boasts similar features but has a bit of an upper hand with digitally controlled resistance and adjustable incline (not to mention a lower price). With the Peloton bike you’re still getting an elite spin bike, but also investing in the live instruction and social features of a virtual studio membership.

Purchase includes a 12-month warranty on parts, electronics and labor. Extended warranties are available to cover the purchase up to 39 months.

Here are lists of pros and cons we’ve noted in a preliminary Peloton bike review.

Pros:

  • Thousands of enthusiastic customer reviews & very few complaints
  • Connect with spin classes 24/7
  • 21.5” touch screen and stereo speakers for immersive experiences
  • Webcam for in-class video chats
  • Compatible with wired and Bluetooth headphones
  • Bluetooth for automated statistics tracking
  • Welded steel frame with powder coating for a durable finish
  • Adjustable saddle and handlebars; sized for riders from 4’11” to 6’5”
  • Takes up little floor space; Peloton bike dimensions are just 48” L x 24″ W
  • Peloton customer service available daily by phone and online chat

Cons:

  • Higher price point and monthly membership required
  • No fan in the screen display as other bikes include
  • No tray or holder for items such as phone, keys, etc.
  • Screen does not swivel

Peloton Workout Programs

The Peloton is a popular model in the cycling community as many riders are looking to find a bike that provides the experience of being in a spin class while in their own home. The Peloton is the closest riders will get to an in-studio experience without physically leaving their homes. Peloton has upped the ante in their quality of fitness app by using real instructors whose classes are filmed in NYC. Many apps on the market can come across cheesy, overly rehearsed and inauthentic, where the Peloton gives you a real, motivating and sweat dripping experience. The music has a ton of variety from throwbacks to modern age hip hop which left me singing along even when the workout was finished.

Alex Toussaint is one of the top instructors for Peloton and was my personal favourite on the app. He speaks to his class as if you are in it rather than filming for an app. The dialogue is often funny, inspiring and most importantly, real. He is motivating and informative telling you exactly how much resistance to add and at what cadence you should be riding. The instructors inform you of how to use the numbers at the bottom of the screen: cadence, output and resistance and always tell you where you should be or striving to be in different parts of the ride. Other bikes on the market tell you to add resistance but this is the first I have seen where you can see the amount of resistance you are adding for a more accurate workout.

Peloton organizes studio bike classes into these eight categories:

    1. Beginner – The easiest Peloton rides, all low-impact
    2. Low Impact – Low impact rides for all experience levels
    3. Rhythm  – Spin bike workouts set to a beat
    4. Theme – Bike classes set to musical themes such as classic country or 1980s rock
    5. Live DJ – Peloton classes with live DJs for workouts especially focused on fun
    6. Metrics – Highly structured rides focused on cadence, resistance and output
    7. Climb – Rides that use resistance to simulate uphill climbs
    8. Heart Rate Zone – Workouts focused on any of five effort levels as measured by heart rate

Peloton videos are also designed to help you focus on your arms, core and total-body stretching.

Following each Peloton workout you get the chance to review each ride and rate the music, and the company uses feedback to continually improve and adapt to members’ preferences. You can also use the bike’s social media feature to recommend a specific Peloton workout to friends.

Peloton bikes are sold with one-year virtual studio subscriptions, which cost $39 per month. Starting in autumn 2018, a bike membership will give access to Peloton treadmill classes as well.

Peloton Exercise Bike Features

The flywheel and seat are important features to look at when purchasing an indoor exercise bike as you are going to be spending a lot of time on the bike and should be comfortable riding it. The magnetic flywheel is quiet and smooth as butter. You could be riding right beside someone in your home and they would barely hear the wheel moving. The push-stop option with the resistance knob is also extremely smooth with no friction to bring the wheel to a complete stop. The seat on this bike is narrow like a road bike seat but cushioned for comfort when riding in the saddle. If you are looking for a smaller, professional seat but without the discomfort of actual road bike seats, the Peloton will be perfect for you.

With any great piece of equipment there are always some downfalls that users will find. One of the main things that would be considered a negative about the Peloton is the screen’s inability to swivel. Some of the workouts require off the bike movements so not being able to turn the screen like its competitors definitely makes it more difficult to use. Another feature that is less desirable is the fact that the screen is so close to the user’s face when riding, especially as some of the rides require out of the saddle work that would bring you within centimeters of the screen. Something to consider when buying a stationary bike with a screen that doesn’t move is that if there are times when you don’t want to ride to a video but perhaps your own TV, the screen will be distractedly in your way.

The Peloton home exercise bike weighs a sturdy 135 pounds. Its charcoal grey frame is 125 pounds of carbon steel, and the console with wide screen adds another 10 pounds.

For showing live and on-demand spin classes, the Peloton bike has a 21.5” screen. The screen shows HD video and uses touch technology. High fidelity stereo speakers are included.

A 5 megapixel camera faces the rider for video chat. You can use the webcam to interact with classmates and instructors.

The Peloton bike frame is powder coated to be sweat-resistant.

The bike provides nearly silent resistance with a high end magnetic belt drive.

Peloton’s saddle is molded and can be micro-adjusted vertically and horizontally with levers. Peloton handlebars are adjustable too.

This bike takes 4 feet x 2 feet of floor space. Caster wheels are attached for easy repositioning.

Warranty & Guarantee

The Peloton bike warranty provides 12 months of coverage for the bike’s parts, electronics and labor. Two extended warranties are available, with the longest bringing coverage to 39 months for $230.

For a Peloton warranty to remain valid, the bike needs to be kept where it was originally assembled.

Conclusion

Overall, the Peloton lives up to its high status and price point, but it is also very much geared towards the rider looking for training support rather than someone that wants to build or already has their own training regiment sorted. This bike is also a great option for users with busy lifestyles that do not allow them to go to conventional spin classes. I definitely wouldn’t recommend the Peloton for someone who is new to exercise bikes or isn’t already enthusiastic about spin classes overall. The app also requires a monthly membership fee that would be what most people pay for a gym membership, so it is definitely a model for avid riders and fitness fanatics rather than someone who’s starting to work on new fitness goals. Even if the added training is of interest, I’d suggest also looking at the Peloton’s closest competition, the NordicTrack S22i. Between a lower price, additional features, and pricing inclusive of training videos, it’s a compelling alternative for those who haven’t already succumb to the Peloton siren song. As a suggestion to those considering the Peloton, try downloading the Peloton app and spend some time exploring it before investing in the bike itself. While you will truly only have a real spin class experience by physically going to a studio, the Peloton is about as close as you’ll get from a home exercise bike for now.

14 Comments

  • Michael Colbert April 16, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    One last comment ... "Peloton riders will have to make resistance adjustments on their own as they participate in classes." At Peloton, this is called you do you. Instructors provide the framework and motivate you with their music and words ... you as an athlete are accountable for your performance, adjust as you need. Up or down. No one judges. Having an instructor come over and adjust my resistance in a spin class was one reason I hated them. I personally hope they never add this feature.
    • Courtney Grafton April 18, 2019 at 10:02 am
      Hi Michael. Yes, this is an option as some people need more of the push in having the instructor control the resistance. Keep in mind you can always override the program and turn it down or up to your own discretion. This is just a way for those who need that extra motivation to keep working and not take a lighter route. The intention is to challenge riders who need it but you can always change it yourself.
  • Michael Colbert April 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm
    I am a Peloton owner for over two years, 1,200 rides in and can't say enough great things about this company, it's products, support and most importantly the community. You missed a category of ride called Power Zone. The Power Zone Pack, arguably, the largest and most involved community in Peloton is led by instructors Matt Wilpers and Denis Morton and a host of awesome admins who keep the group communication alive and well. This category of rides along with the constantly updated training programs is based on Power Zone training and provides arguably the best way to improve performance on the bike (if that's your goal) as well as provide a great indoor training tool for cyclist who live in the colder regions. I've had nothing but top notch support from Peloton. A recent service request to have the bearings replaced was excellent. Consistent follow up before and after to make sure I was happy with the end result. Peloton continues to innovate and listens to their riders to provide features they ask for, a huge one was shopping Power Zones on the tablet so once you've taken your FTP, all PowerZone rides are easy to keep in your zone by checking the simple graph. I am in my mid 50's and in the best shape of my life due primarily to my passion for this "bike". It's so much more than that.
    • Courtney Grafton April 18, 2019 at 10:03 am
      Hi Michael, this is so great to hear! We love the Peloton as well and the instructors are amazing!
    • Mary Little June 27, 2019 at 5:46 pm from Illinois
      Michael, Thank you for your review. I am an avid outdoor biker but really think I could get a good indoor workout on this bike ... on my own schedule despite the weather. What generation is your bike? Do you have any preference on generation to purchase. I have a possible option on a used bike. Any advice is appreciated. I'm a 64 yr old female. Thanks!
  • R.Smith February 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm
    I am a Peloton owner. I do not work for, or receive any benefit or payment from Peloton. The content quality (from the instructors) is phenomenal, and the access to on- and off-bike content (running, boot camp, yoga, etc) is awesome! Candidly, I have had issues with my Peloton too (a creaking/loud frame), however the support I received was excellent; the issue was diagnosed over the web within a day, and they swiftly sent out a team of Techs to review the issue and remedy if possible. They simply replaced the frame and I was back up & running in no time! Conjecture item on my part: The Tech also noted that the replacement frame is one he "assembled himself" that morning. Quality issues may stem from local assembly rather than factory quality (not that it is an excuse for a degraded customer experience). I have spoken to several people who have had poor experiences, and I will say it sounds more like a people issue; in areas where Peloton don't have their own Techs, they have 3rd party companies act on Peloton's behalf and there are some outstandingly negative situations with those 3rd parties regarding support, lead time and delivery that I think Peloton is getting some heat for. Tip: talk with your local Peloton store first. Ask if support & delivery is direct from Peloton in your area. And talk with Peloton directly (email and web chat is awesome) about any issues that might come up. The company is growing and may be working out some kinks. The results (the bike, content, and the rider-to-rider engagement) are worth it, in my opinion!
    • FitRated Editorial Team February 25, 2019 at 10:31 am
      Hi R. Smith, Thanks for your in-depth information about Peloton Bike. I'm curious, for our readers out there - do you have a list of support locations for Peloton? Or, should Peloton bike owners just navigate their site.
  • Jason C February 19, 2019 at 10:10 pm from Ohio
    Have had two bikes since first week of January 2019...neither one lasted more than 7 days due to bike pedal threads being stripped. Second time almost injured my wife as she was pedaling (pedal literally came out still attached to her shoe). It’s obvious they dont care too much about the bike or the bike members anymore now that the Tread is in play. Their support even stated that they are so backed up due to all the focus being on the Tread. Was a new member...now no longer a member because of the fear of injury (from lack of product or install quality).
    • FitRated Editorial Team February 21, 2019 at 9:58 am
      Hi Jason, Sorry to hear about your experience. Did you return the bikes? Also, we're starting to hear stories like yours and we are very curious on whether you have tried the NordicTrack s22i. We reviewed this bike side by side with the Peloton and realized it has many great qualities that the peloton doesn't. See our video on our review, https://www.fitrated.com/exercise-bikes/nordictrack-commercial-s22i-studio-cycle-review/!
  • William D Ward February 18, 2019 at 8:29 pm
    Who manufactures the Peloton?
    • FitRated Editorial Team February 21, 2019 at 9:49 am
      Hi William, Peloton is a privately owned company, are you asking who their general manufacturer is and where they are from?
  • Ellen kornfeld February 16, 2019 at 11:17 am from New York city
    We have two peloton bikes broken and have called for service for 2 weeks. No service. Terrible on making repairs and responding.
    • Michael Colbert April 16, 2019 at 5:40 pm
      Ellen, I had the exact opposite experience. They've been awesome. I started my last service with the chat on the Peloton web site and got things moving very quickly. They were awesome. Hopefully by now you've gotten them fixed.
      • Courtney Grafton April 18, 2019 at 10:02 am
        Hi Michael, thank you for your comment. We are happy to hear you have had a great experience with Peloton!

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