First Impression + Experience with the Peloton

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I took the plunge.

After a lot of consideration, and taking note of the 30-day return policy, I decided to buy the Peloton bike. I was intrigued whenever I would see people I know talking about it, and after hearing a few really positive personal reviews from people I trusted, I bit the bullet and the bike was delivered December 30th.

I’ve had it for about two weeks and wanted to share my first impression, as well as some of my experience with it thus far.

Prior to working out on the Peloton, I was attending Burn Bootcamp classes as regularly as possible. November and December are really busy times for my business, as well as my personal home life, so it was becoming harder and harder to find time to make it to even the very early 5:30am classes. I wanted to try something at home that would save me about an hour of “wasted time”, so the Peloton was what I chose

I’ve never really been one that enjoys working out at home because I thrive on the competition and social aspect of a group class. I also push myself harder when I have a trainer telling me what to do. The Peloton, though, has a social aspect tied into the bike in that you are able to live-stream classes and participate on the leaderboard just like those cyclists in the actual class.

My first ride was exciting. I felt good, albeit very much not in bike-shape, and was looking forward to my second class before my first class was even over.

The following day the second class I took brought the painful reality of sore sitz bones. I could barely sit on the saddle to get through the class. The good news is I was able to sit comfortably on the bike just a few days later and now I don’t experience any discomfort. This was something I expected, but in case you hadn’t thought of that aspect and you are new to cycling, be aware that it may take a week to feel comfortable on the seat.

I started to see pretty quickly that there are a wide variety of trainers, and each has its own spin on the class. Ben, from London, is a bit more serious and intense. Cody is lively and entertaining (I laugh during all of his classes). Hannah has a wonderful accent and is very warm and inviting. I’ve already picked a few of my personal favorites but I know there are a handful of trainers that I still need to try out!

Within about 10 rides on the bike I started to feel really great, a significant improvement in my cardiovascular strength and endurance for a ride, and I could feel ready to push myself a little harder.

There have been a few moments where I’ve felt slightly bored, especially in 30-minute classes that don’t have a lot of variety. I like to come out of the saddle and really crank up the resistance instead of pushing myself on speed, so if I need to get my heart rate up a bit during an otherwise slow part of a class, I’ll just do that.

The trainers say, and they truly mean it, that you are in charge of your experience with the class. You control everything so it’s up to you to push yourself and give it your all.

Overall I don’t have a lot of negative points to mention. It can be a really tough, intense workout or you can choose a more easy-going, low impact ride. You do not need to have spent any time cycling before getting the bike, as I had very little experience myself!

The Peloton bike is quite expensive, and you have to pay for the monthly subscription to the digital part of the business as well. It’s also a very heavy piece of equipment and it takes up a lot of space. Cycling instructors have reached out to me to make sure I’m sitting on the bike properly to avoid injury. Like with any new exercise plan or machine, you need to be sure you are using it correctly.

I love the social aspect of giving virtual high fives to other riders in my class, and seeing my achievements at the end of a workout. It’s really motivating for me to see my personal record above my leaderboard name as well so I can push myself to beat it.

I spent three days traveling for work recently and genuinely missed getting a ride in. I did alternative classes via the Peloton app (a strength class and a running class), but I must admit I was ready to get back on the bike for a calorie-blasting ride.

In case you are interested, you can use my referral code: “6Q9YHQ” to get $100 off accessories when you purchase!

Quick Q&A:

One. How much does it cost? You can find all the cost and info here. I would highly recommend the Essentials Package that includes the shoes and the floor mat for under the bike.

Two. Is Peloton sponsoring you? No, I bought the bike myself. All opinions are my own (as always).

Three. Didn’t your pedal fall off? Yes. My pedal fell off during one of my rides. My husband was able to screw it back in. I didn’t contact Peloton because the pedal is fixed, but I heard from many other riders that Peloton will fix it and has great customer service if you have an issue with your bike.

Four. Is it called spinning or cycling? I haven’t heard a single person who works for the brand say the word “spinning”. I think they prefer the word cycling.

Five. What is so special about the Peloton bike? The Peloton bike is like any cycling bike in that it has pedals you click into (not necessary though it makes a huge impact in your rides) and a resistance knob. I’ve used a bike identical to it, save the digital interface on the screen, at various gyms. What makes it unique is that it connects to the screen which allows you to track your leaderboard progress and rank. The software also connects into the bike to allow you to view your output based on your speed and resistance, and that number plays a part in your leaderboard ranking. It also syncs with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor as well. You do not need to own the bike or the tread in order to use the app, which offers a wide range of classes from yoga to strength to running to cycling. You could download the app, sign up for a membership, and set a device on the info area of a regular bike or tread. You wouldn’t be able to track your rank on the leaderboard, though, so the social aspect would be sort of different!

Six. Do you have to pay for the monthly subscription as well? Yes. I do wish this was free if you buy the tread or the bike, but it isn’t. Like I said above, you can subscribe to the app and do any and all of the classes WITHOUT buying a piece of Peloton equipment. If you have Peloton equipment (bike or tread) you are going to want the app.

Seven. Is every class live? Do they talk to you directly? No, some classes are offered live at certain times (you can look on the schedule) but there is a huge offering of past classes that you can do at any time that works for you. I’ve only done one or two live classes. More often than not I choose a class based on how much time I have and what instructor I’m in the mood for. New classes are being added regularly! And they do not talk to you directly unless they call you out from the leaderboard during a live class.

I hope this post was helpful if you are considering the bike! I will write a follow-up post to this one at the end of the month sharing whether or not I’m going to keep the bike just before my 30-day “trial period” is up!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy this one about some other apps I love too!

Leave a Comment

Comments (69)

  1. Lindsey says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Re: question 5, what’s so special about the Peloton bike? You might like to mention that yes, there is something special about owning the actual bike and it’s interaction with the app. The instructors guide their rides with cadence, output and resistance. This is an extremely important part of the ride. If you use the app on a different bike, you can’t track this as they don’t all have the same systems. For example, some bikes you just turn the knob right or left but have no idea what resistance number that equates to. Definitely not saying you can’t use this on another standard work our bike but this is a pretty critical part of their programming. Hope this might help others! (Long time Peloton owner here.) Glad you’re enjoying it! Getting one was such a game changer for my family (mom of three here too)!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      Yes I totally agree. The bike ALONE isn’t different from other cycling bikes, but the ability to align with the instructors, be present on the leaderboard, and generally be a connected part of the community is what makes it different!

  2. Alex says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Thanks for this info! I was curious about your thoughts on the quality of the other workouts on the app. Are the bootcamp-style classes worth the time? Or is it mostly cycling/running focused? I was considering downloading the app to use with a treadmill at the gym and to have access to the other types of fitness classes.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      I haven’t explored many of the other classes in the app yet since I’m pretty focused on using the bike. I have not done a boot camp style class yet so I cannot comment on that. I’ve done Yoga, Strength and running and enjoyed all of those!

    • Lauren says
      Posted January 18, 2020

      I just have the app (parents have the bike) and I am obsessed. I am horrible about working out and usually have zero self motivation, but there is something about the app and the interactive aspect of watching them do it with you that has made me fall in love!

  3. Marjorie Coleman says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    If you change out the pedals you void out the warranty

  4. Tiffany says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I purchased a spin bike on Amazon last fall for around $400 and a subscription to Peloton digital (which is now about $12/month) and downloaded the app to my smart TV and have been really happy with that set up. While you don’t have the social interaction, it is far more economical for someone who doesn’t want/can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on the Peloton bike itself. As far as not being able to know what your resistance or cadence are, I haven’t found that a hindrance at all to getting a great workout. Perceived exertion is a great guide to know if you are working hard enough or not, no numbers required! And if you really want to know cadence and speed you can also purchase and install cadence and speed sensors on your bike. Don’t get me wrong, if money were no object I would have bought the Peloton bike for the full experience, but for me the budget-friendly option was the only way it was going to happen, and I really haven’t felt like I have missed out on much by going that route.

    • Lauren says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      This is what I did! I have the cadence monitor though and love it.

    • Heather says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      I’ve been looking into this route as well, but can’t decide which budget friendly bike to purchase. I’ve been reading reviews and comparisons for what feels like months and still can’t decide. Which one did you end up purchasing?

    • Bonnie says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      Can I ask which bike you got from Amazon? I’ve been looking to do the same thing you did at about the same price point and have been having a hard time deciding on a bike. Any input you have would be much appreciated!

    • Alicia says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      Id love to know which bike, as well! I’ve been eyeing a Peloton but can’t stomach the price !

    • Elaina says
      Posted January 16, 2020

      Would LOVE to know what bike you got off Amazon… this would be a great budget-friendly option!

    • Tiffany says
      Posted January 16, 2020

      Kate, if this is not allowed I apologize and please remove! This is NOT an affiliate link, I don’t profit in any way if someone purchases this bike, but this is the one I bought. There are more expensive and less expensive bikes also, I just wanted something that wasn’t a huge investment.
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0140JN7D8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Maria says
      Posted January 16, 2020

      I bought a cadence monitor on Amazon for about $30. There’s a great blog post about how to make a faux peloton. Google “peloton on a shoestring.”

    • Rosalie says
      Posted January 16, 2020

      You can also get the Peloton experience without a cadence monitor using the Bowflex C6 bike (which you can buy directly from their website). It’s a great option and is also really inexpensive compared to the Peloton bike. https://www.bowflex.com/bikes/

  5. Posted January 15, 2020

    I need a bike in my life too! It would make working out so much easier and save me so much gym money… ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  6. Meredith says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I have a Peloton and second everything you said! I’m a huge fan.

    A tip that I was given is to be sure to plug the bike into a surge protector, so it doesn’t get zapped in case of a bad storm!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      good tip!

  7. Lori says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Great review! I love my Peloton bike, and I use the app for core and strength training. Emma is my favorite! Also really love Jenn Sherman! Happy cycling!

  8. Lindsey says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    One more fun thing I thought of since you mentioned the competition aspect of working out: you can filter your leaderboard to show ONLY you and it will let you compete against your previous “best KJ” record for that timed ride. Like if your last 30 minute ride, you hit 200, it will show you if you are currently tracking below that record or above it and you can kind of “chase yourself down” if that makes sense. It’s been fun that way, competing against your own records!

  9. Sarah says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I love my Peloton! I recently got mine for the same reason as you- it’s hard to leave for hours at a time when you have little kids. I have always worked out on a gym environment so i was a little weary of if I’d actually use a piece of exercise equipment. But it’s so much fun! I’ve been stacking 10/15 minute classes one after another if I’m home alone with the kids. If they are still behaving/playing nicely/don’t need anything, I’ll add another ride. I also don’t get as bored with the shorter rides. This has been such a good addition to our household! Let you’re followers know when you’ll be riding so we can jump on with you! I’ve found the community aspect to be really fun. They are huge on social and there’s a peloton group for every category. Easy way to find your people. Enjoy!

  10. Daniela says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I’m 4’11! I’ve hesitated taking cycling classes(for one, they’re intimidating) because I’m worried I wont reach the pedals! Any idea if this would be an issue? Thanks, Kate!

    • Lindsey says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      Not an issue at all! The seat and handle bars are fully adjustable. I am 5’2” and I raise my seat to a 14 so there’s plenty below that for a shorter rider.

  11. Melanie says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Hi Kate
    I didn’t add you to my peloton app when you shared your handle. Can you share it again?
    Love the blog and the insta stories
    Melanie

    • Liz says
      Posted January 15, 2020

      Yes I also would like to know your leaderboard name so we can follow! I’m foodlover if anyone wants to follow me 😀

  12. Megan Karabon says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    We got our Peloton in July, and we have loved it from the minute it was delivered. I had NEVER taken a cycling class before we bought, and I am not athletic or competitive; however, the Peloton has changed the way I work out and the way I feel about exercise. The trainers make me feel good –healthy and strong. I haven’t lost a ton of weight, but I feel great! I have also connected to many women via Facebook groups (Peloton Mom’s Group and Peloton Teacher’s Group) who motivate me and hold me accountable. It is truly one of our best purchases to date! Glad you’re loving it!

  13. Georgia says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Thank you so much for this review!! I’ve been attending spin classes for around a year and absolutely love it! Although it can sometimes be hard to make it to some of the classes due to work etc. When I heard about these bikes I was very intrigued and so I’m doing lots of research before I decide whether to buy or not!!

    Georgia Rose | http://www.justgeorgiarose.com

  14. Amy says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Alex and Ali are my favorite!!! They are brother and sister. I also love Cody.

  15. Angela says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Glad you enjoy it! Spinning isn’t my cup of tea but I love the idea of the class experience at home, since I’m a home workout lover!

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

  16. Shannon says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I always use the trial period, with anything that cost a significant amount. Do it with mattresses. Just have to be diligent about the timing of the trial period!

  17. LYNN says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I love the idea of a less expensive bike and just having the app! I, too, would hate to shell out thousands of dollars for something that I could get tired of in a year or 2, once the novelty wears off. I’m betting you keep the bike.

  18. Melissa says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I have had the peloton for almost a year. I use the monthy challenges to help keep me accountable for days and miles(gold=150 miles per month).

    All the instructors are great and I pick them based on my mood. The All for One(4th of July) ride gives you sample of all the instructors.

    Power Zone Training has also been a game changer for my performance. I have taken the FTP test 3 times with significant improvements everytime.

  19. Amy says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Did you have Peloton instructors comment on your form or someone your know? Just curious about that.

    In terms of the bike, I have to say this bike is far superior in terms of many I have used at gyms and the cheapy I had off Amazon when I was using the app (though I would say it’s a fantastic alternative!). Once I got on this bike, it was clear this was better quality. The only similar quality I have seen is at spin studios.

    • Stephanie says
      Posted January 19, 2020

      The people who come set up the bike will help you with all your settings, and they have “learn the bike” form classes too!

  20. Christine O. says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Just got a peloton in December also. Love the cycling classes so far. One disappointment to me is that I would love to stream the off-bike classes to my smart tv and I can’t. I have a samsung that’s a couple of years old and the videos won’t play on it 😢 I don’t have an iPad , only an iPhone which is way too small to try and watch a class on. If anyone has any other suggestions for me, I would appreciate it! I really wanted to take advantage of the other classes as well.

    • Amy says
      Posted January 16, 2020

      While not ideal, you can cast to a Roku

    • Lindy says
      Posted January 18, 2020

      There’s also a Peleton app on the amazon fire TVs, if you want to get one of those it’ll plug into the HDMI and you can stream it! (Along with just about any other streaming).

  21. Sojeva Ortega says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    I absolutely love my Peloton bike. I used a regular spin bike with the digital app for a couple of months and then made the investment for the bike back in August 2019. I have two little girls (8 and 5) and can’t make time for a bootcamp or spin class between homework, dance and other activities. I love being able to jump on anytime I get a chance. Sometimes it is 10 min or when my husband is home I can take 45 min class. Here is my referral code C5YCCA for $100 off accessories if Kate’s codes are used up. Thank you in advance if you use my code! I am so passionate about Peloton but can’t seem get anyone to make the investment so I can’t get any cool merchandise to wear and continue to spread the word.

  22. Amber says
    Posted January 15, 2020

    Use the wahoo cadence sensor, $40 off amazon and you can track that metric in a budget friendly way. I have a matrix bike and use peloton digital, I use both the bike and tredmil workouts and love it. Many ppl who want a budget friendly bike buy the sunny or check out the bow flex c6 bike.

  23. Steph says
    Posted January 16, 2020

    Our bike gets delivered on Friday! So excited. Didn’t you use a little bit extra padding on the seat at first? Can you share what you used?

  24. Katie Gregory says
    Posted January 16, 2020

    You helped me bite the bullet and buy a Pelonton too! I’ve been thinking about it for about a year and got mine on Jan 10th. Although I’ve had it less than a week, I agree with everything you said! I’d love to hear more on your IG stories when you find a good ride.

  25. Whitney Marmer says
    Posted January 16, 2020

    I’m getting back into indoor cycling, something that I’ve really loved in the past. I just bought the Schwinn IC4 bike ($799, so a lot less expensive) and plan to use it with the Peloton app. For now I’m just building up my cardio with my Aaptive subscription, but I can’t wait to try the Peloton app! In the photo, it looks like you have a seat cushion – do you have any recommendations? Thanks!

  26. Kate says
    Posted January 16, 2020

    Thanks for sharing! I have been so curious about these!

    -Kate
    https://daysofkate.com/

  27. Jessica says
    Posted January 17, 2020

    Hello! What’s your coupon code for kyte baby? I can not find fit now on your Instagram! Thanks

  28. AJ says
    Posted January 17, 2020

    Can you see other people on the screen during the live rides who are also at home using it?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      yes!

  29. Maria Crain says
    Posted January 18, 2020

    I just got one as well and I love it. It is so convenient to have at home. My husband has started as well. Join the power zone group on facebook-it is great. What is your screen name so I can follow you?

  30. Amy says
    Posted January 18, 2020

    I am happy for you Kate! In case anyone is looking for a workout from home solution that doesn’t involve a bike….I have THE MIRROR and I absolutely love it! There are tons of different kinds of workouts including pre and postnatal….it is awesome. It is about $1500 for the mirror itself and then $40/month subscription….but I think they have a promo going for over $400 off in January. The cool thing about the mirror is that it is flat up against a wall and so you only need the room of a yoga mat to work out. Working out from home when you have kids just makes so much sense!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      I looked into The Mirror but ultimately wanted equipment! Glad to hear it works for you!

  31. Carisa Dodson says
    Posted January 18, 2020

    We have owned the bike for 2 years now, and can honestly say as a mom of 2 who works from home (in Durham NC) , this is one of THE best investments I’ve made into myself. It makes workouts so accessible and easy. I truly love it, and my husband does too. So much so, we just went to NYC in Nov so we could both ride in studio (which I highly recommend) and my husband celebrated his 400th ride with his favorite instructor in studio. Loved your review.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      Way to go!

  32. Rachel says
    Posted January 18, 2020

    I have a spin bike from Amazon that was around $300, and I love it. I also subscribe to the Peloton app using my iPad and enjoy the classes. While I would love to use the metrics they track with the actual Peloton bike, for the money it’s a great set up! Definitely recommend to anyone looking for something more budget friendly but still interested in the Peloton set up.

  33. Blair says
    Posted January 19, 2020

    Seriously you must be an idiot … nothing special about the Peloton?!?! Have you been on any other spin bike? I saw so many posts ripping you! Oh, and then you add a promo code!! You make influencers look bad! You’re the worst!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      Hey Blair. May be best for you to move on from this site. No, I’m not an idiot.

      I’ve already answered your questions in the blog post.

    • Katie says
      Posted November 5, 2020

      Oh My Blair. You are so rude. The actual bike isn’t anything special compared to other higher end spin bikes but the classes and interactive screen are what make it unique. Just like Kate said in the post.

      It’s also not a “promo code “ that just an influencer gets. It’s a REFERRAL CODE like she stated. Literally everyone that buys one gets a code for $100 off accessories to pass along.

      Instead of being mean to strangers on the internet maybe you should do some reading on how to be nice. What a shame.

  34. Natalie says
    Posted January 19, 2020

    We got our Peloton in December as well…we bought the family package and absolutely love it. It may be pricey on the front end but will actually save us money in the end since we won’t need gym memberships. We didn’t have a very large space to put it and found it to be on the smaller side…which we appreciated. We shopped many treadmills and elliptical machines and by far the Peloton came in the most compact. The instructors and interaction is wonderful and keeps us super motivated. We look forward to it and on “off” days we love that we can do a low impact 10 minute ride…just to get some sort of activity in. It’s been an amazing purchase and would definitely buy it again.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      nice! I also like the interaction from the trainers!

  35. Amy says
    Posted January 19, 2020

    Thank you Kate as always for your input, I have always been interested in the Peleton bike and this has helped!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 20, 2020

      I am glad it helped!

  36. Jennifer says
    Posted January 19, 2020

    Thanks for this post. Although I’m still on the fence. The equipment is so darn expensive plus the cost of the app. I’m definitely interested in your follow up post after you’ve used it for a month. Thanks for being the guinea pig 😂😂

  37. Brook says
    Posted January 22, 2020

    I just recently got a bike as well. I’d love to follow you and see what rides you are enjoying but I can’t seem to find if you have shared your handle or not. If you have, would you mind sharing it again?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 23, 2020

      It’s K8bryan . Enjoy the bike!!

  38. Sunny Woelfel says
    Posted February 5, 2020

    Just curious if you have done a follow up post somewhere after your 30 day trial? I have a friend that just bought one and I spoke to her about your initial review.

  39. Christy says
    Posted March 4, 2020

    We finally took the plunge! With $100 a month we get unlimited access for my husband and me. A gym membership for 1 person is more than that in Denver. We love cycling and are so pleased to be able to finance this bike with no $ down, no APR- it’s ours forever. It’s the smoothest ride I’ve had and I’ve been cycling- indoor and out- for over 20 years. I figure if it’s not your cup of tea, return it and get your $ back. My name on the Peloton is HotWheelzMama! Come say hi!

  40. Paul says
    Posted April 8, 2020

    “Spinning” is a trademarked term, owned by another company. That’s why Peloton doesn’t use the word.

  41. Julie says
    Posted April 23, 2020

    Kate, I feel like you posted a while back on Instagram about a seat cushion you recommend for the bike. Could you reshare?

  42. Damaris Smyth says
    Posted June 25, 2020

    Thanks for the insight! I have been on the fence about investing in a Peloton bike for a while now. At home workouts are becoming more interesting and challenging for me. It’s good to know Peloton offers other classes along with the cycle ones. I think this will complement my routine given COVID-19.

  43. Christine says
    Posted July 13, 2020

    Why are pedals falling off on a $2000 bike????

    • Kate says
      Posted July 13, 2020

      One pedal fell off one time. It wasn’t properly secured when the bike was installed. It was a very simple fix.