Peloton Bike Review: How this Runner Was Converted

We’ve had our Peloton for about a month now and honestly, we’re obsessed. I’ve had a lot of questions on IG if I’ve been gifted the bike or if I’m working with Peloton… nope, I paid for the bike and am sharing because I love it and know that quite a few of you would too.

A Peloton is essentially a posh at-home exercise bike. Whilst the bike is similar to any of the other spin bikes you might have been on. However what makes it different is the class based approach. Theres a large touchscreen attached to the bike showing live and on-demand classes that you can join virtually from your own home.

What Peloton has got really right is the branding and the tribe-like community. I have to admit, I did not understand it until I got my bike. I thought that they were just for those with a lot of money and lived in penthouses in NYC. What tipped me over the edge to buying our own Peloton after seeing a number of friends with them was reading this post by Terri, and chatting with her about her workouts (and feeling FOMO when two of my best friends bought them!). I love that we can schedule regular rides together which is helping me stay motivated and accountable, and it feels like we’re working out together, something I’m so grateful during this time.

Is Buying A Peloton Bike Worth It?

Short answer…yes!

We’ve had the bike for a month and I’ve taken 22 cycling classes in that time (and a total of 36 workouts if you include the other workouts on the app). I love that I can get home after a day at work, hop on the bike and either use that 20 minutes to relax, sing along to the music and unwind or push myself hard and sweat out the stress from the hospital. I really enjoy the challenge of beating my PB, or let’s face it…seeing how far up the leader board I can get.

It’s been the best thing to have during lockdown when honestly I’ve lost my running mojo, and kept me moving when I think without it I would have spent a lot more time on the sofa!

Tom and I worked out that even once we start paying for the app, it’s going to be less per month than both of us having gym memberships and going to workout classes, sometimes for £16 a pop or more.

There’s a 30 day free trail of the bike, which I thought perhaps we would send it back at the end of, but we are obsessed!

Between the two of us we’ve taken a class every day since we got the bike, cost per use is pretty low. And yes I’m aware that the novelty of having the bike will probably reduce, especially when I get my running mojo back and Tom goes back to work, but for now, it’s been worth every penny. And I now don’t have any reason not to cross train during my next marathon build up!

You can use the Peloton discount code FMHYD3 when you buy a bike to get £100/$100 off accessories. 

Peloton Bike Review 

Peloton bike review for runners

On Demand Classes

These are amazing, they are either pre-recorded classes or old live classes that you can take at any time. There’s so much choice to suit whatever time frame you have, your goal for the workout and your music taste. With class length options from 5 mins – 90 mins, low intensity, HIIT or hills, there is something for everyone.

Tom actually came to bed one evening worrying that we were going to run out of classes, but with new rides added daily, this isn’t going to happen!

Live Classes 

I’ve actually only tried one ‘live class’ because most of them at the moment are while I’m at work, however I tried one this weekend and it was sadly a bust (they had technical issues). However, another friend told me that’s the first technical issues she’s experienced, and I guess they’re dealing with a lot setting up the live classes from the instructors houses. Usually the live rides would be streamed from the Peloton studios in London and New York City. (I actually took a class in NYC two years ago before I even knew about the company!)

Just like most spin bikes, turn the knob to the right to make your resistance heavier, and left to ease off. The screen will show you your cadence, resistance and overall power, and includes that within the leaderboard on the right hand side of the screen. This will include both people that are taking the class at the same time as you, and anyone who has ever taken that class, and you can filter it to include just people you know.

What I particularly like and those that are fans of SoulCycle or BoomCycle will appreciate, is that most instructors ride to the music beat. They will give you a cadence target, say 80-90, but will also explain that the beat for that is 87, which gives you something to aim for and really helps me stick with the cadence rather than letting my legs slow down or speed up too much.

However for those more technical cyclists, there are pro-cyclist rides with former Garmin-Sharp rider Christian Vande Velde,  although I’ll admit that I haven’t tried one of these yet.

Peloton Bike Review for runners

The Peloton App 

The app comes as part of your monthly Peloton membership or you can pay to use the app without needing the bike (and then use it with your own spin bike/treadmill etc).

I wasn’t expecting to love the app quite as much as I do and have used far more than just the cycling classes. I started off just adding a post-ride stretch or strength class but over the past two weeks I’ve tried out a number of other offerings. You can download the classes so that you don’t have to use your data on the go (although you do need internet to start your workout).

Running

From 20- 60 minute options for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners, these guided runs are based on effort so can be translated to any pace. I have only taken one beginner 20 minute workout with Matt Wilpers, it was my first speed workout in a long, long time but I really enjoyed it (and the music was amazing!).

The drills and pre-run warm ups as well as the guidance while working out are great additions to any runner’s routine and form. For beginners or those coming back to running, there are run/walk and fun/power walk options (although I haven’t tested any of these yet).

Cardio

I’m testing my first cardio class this week (although personally I’ll be giving the dance cardio a wide berth), they have family friendly options that have been added in response to COVID 19, and HIIT workouts that require only a mat and a little space. Most of the workouts are 10-20 minutes, perfect to fit within your day, do in your hotel room/hotel gym or tag on to another workout at the gym.

Meditation

‘I don’t have time for meditation’, I’ve been telling myself that for years but suddenly with a new app to play with, I finally tried it, and I didn’t hate it. So far I’ve only tried the 5 and 10 min ‘sleep’ meditations (they have 5-30 minute options) and found them to be a lot like savasana. I’ve been sleeping pretty badly and so am about to start the Power of Sleep two week meditation course.

Yoga

No excuse not to get your yoga on with 5 min flows right up to 75 minutes. I love the fact that there’s ‘chair’ yoga options that would be great to try in an office or on a plane! I’ve been recommended Kristen McGee and look forward to taking one of her classes soon.

Strength  

I read a review that said that Peloton Strength workouts weren’t hard enough, well let me tell you, as someone who often neglects their strength workouts, they are hard enough! I love that they have 5 minute core and arm options to tag onto a run or ride, it feels achievable after every workout and those really do add up. I’ve only done the bodyweight workouts so far however for those with more exercise equipment (light, medium and heavy weights)

Bootcamp

There is a plethora of classes in the bootcamp section of the app, with themed classes, bodyweight workouts, and options to focus on either the full body or target different areas. Some of these do involve a treadmill, although for those without access to one could run shuttles outside. For those with a HR monitor, you can make the most of the Heart Rate Zone classes (a bit like Orange Theory!).

Cycling

Even if you don’t have the bike, you can follow the workouts on a stationary bike or with your road bike in a trainer, however you won’t see your output or be on the leaderboard. If you’re travelling without your bike ( Westin hotel gyms have Pelotons!) this is a great option to keep a streak going or spin out your legs after a long flight.

Peloton bike review for runners

How will it work alongside Marathon Training? 

Whilst a marathon seems a long way away right now (both in terms of my personal fitness and when we’ll be allowed to race again), I am thinking long term when it comes to the Peloton. I am looking forward to using the Peloton classes for cross-training, strength and stretching. Plus I think including regular interval workouts both on the treadmill and outside would also be fun to help with speed, especially if you don’t have access to a track.

They even have an 18 week marathon training plan with special ‘strength for runners’, warm up routines and include meditation to help with breathing, energy and relaxation. Led by marathon veterans Becs Gentry, Matt Wilpers and Robin Arzon, the only run of the week that isn’t guided is the weekly long run (which I quite like as that’s the perfect time to listen to an audiobook or podcast).  I’m quite intrigued to give their training plan a go for a marathon! There’s also a 5K training plan that although it says it’s for beginners, starts with 26 mins of running on the first day.

My Favourite Peloton Instructors 

I’ve been doing regular rides, mostly in the evenings as a way of relaxing and winding down after work. I love some of the themed workouts, basically any POP rides or throwbacks. Ashley introduced me to Ben Alldis Hiit and Hills and they are brutal, but help maximise output (and sweat!)

  • Ben Alldis
  • Cody Rigsby
  • Ally Love
  • Leanne Hainsby
  • Matt Wilpers
  • Becs Gentry (running only)

How much does a Peloton Bike cost? 

The bike itself costs £1990 which is expensive, but you can break it into monthly payments. There is the option for payment plan options, starting as low as £52 a month (for 39 months) up to £166 per month (for 12 months). This also includes a 1 year warranty and shipping. You do also have to consider the £39 monthly subscription fee for use of the app. That gives you access to the live and on demand cycling classes. Although this is currently free for the first 3 months. And you only need one Peloton membership for multiple users. So Tom and I can share the monthly fee without needing one each, yet have our own user profiles.

You can use the app even if you don’t have the official Peloton bike (for £12.99 monthly), and it also includes yoga, running, strength, stretch and meditation ‘workouts’ you can follow anywhere.

Accessories are also extra but not a necessity. We took advantage of the offer for a free accessories pack for NHS workers, this included a pair of bike shoes, a set of weights, heart rate monitor, a mat and headphones. The shoes are quite expensive (£119), so we bought a pair of regular SPD’s for Tom to use.

You can use the Peloton discount code FMHYD3 when you buy a bike to get £100/$100 off accessories. 

Peloton Bike Shoes

Pros & Cons of a Peloton Bike

Pros:

Community.

Honestly the best thing about the bike and app is that you can ride virtually with friends. It’s helped keep me accountable and connected to friends during lockdown. It also pushes me harder seeing others on the leaderboard in class with me (virtually). You can follow people on the app and when you log onto the bike it will tell you which friends are working out and what ride they’re doing. Plus you can hand out ‘high fives’ to those in your ride. A new feature also allows you to be part of a hashtag, such as the ‘UK Ladies Peloton’ or ‘I Ride with Ahmaud’.

My Peloton user name is: therunnerbeans 

The diversity of the rides available.

You can hop on for a 15-20 minute spin and sing along, push yourself hard for 45 mins, ride for a 90 min endurance ride and everything in between. If you like spinning classes, I think you’ll love this.

The music.

You can link your Peloton to your Spotify and hit the heart when a song you like comes on to add it to your playlist. I sing along to a lot of songs during my rides, something that I’m sure my neighbours are not too happy about!

Convenience.

I actually really enjoying biking at home; I love being able to get home and just jump on the bike, no drive to a workout class or faffing around setting things up. There’s really no excuse not to do even a 15/20 minute workout, and right now that is really helping to keep up with my goal to move daily.

Cons:

Cost.

Compared with some of the other bikes on the market such as Apex and Echelon, it’s a higher price point. Plus you do have to pay the monthly membership fee on top of the bike cost to take advantage of the live classes. We are lucky that we’re splitting the cost between two of us, and established it’s £3 per day each (so we make sure to take advantage of the bike or app daily!).

If the cost is too much, there are some other options available on the market right now with Apex Bikes hitting the market this summer for £1200 (they use BoomCycle instructors here in the UK), Echelon (from watching my friend Annie’s stories this looks very similar to a Peloton bike down to the red and black colourings and almost identical screen set up, however I can’t speak for the class quality).

Space.

The bike isn’t small or light, so it’s not going to fit into all flats (and good luck getting it up the stairs in a walk-up). We’re lucky to have a gym/shed for our workout equipment, this would fit in a spare room, corner of a living room or office space.

Stability.

When I’m out of the saddle I do sometimes feel the bike moving a little bit…this is also something I’ve felt at regular spinning classes but is a tiny bit annoying. I don’t feel unsafe or that the bike is going to tip over though.

Competition.

This is actually a pro and a con, but I’m really competitive and sometimes I get on for an easy ride and end up pushing myself because I can see the leaderboard or view how friends have done when they’ve taken the class in the past.  You can turn off the leaderboard though, as hide your PB if your aim for the class is a cool down, low intensity ride or just to have fun so that you don’t get swept up trying to beat your previous output (or anyone else!) It is seriously annoying though that my husband, Tom, smashes my PBs and I can’t get close to his!

Pros and Cons of Peloton

Answering your other FAQ’s: 

Does it link to Strava? 

Yes, you’ve got the option to link every workout to Strava, and you can even get the outdoor runs to include time and distance if you set it up before you run! You can link yours by logging into your Peloton account on the bike, tapping the three dots in the bottom right of the screen, click on Social > Strava > Connected, then log in to your Strava account.

Is the seat sore? 

Honestly, no. I didn’t have any soreness even after the first ride. Tom said he did after the first ride but hasn’t commented on it since. So either he’s getting used to it or the seat is getting more squishy as we use it! I’m also only doing 45 min rides, so can’t say if after 90 mins you might feel it.

Is there enough variety in the bike classes for it to be your main source of cardio? 

Personally, I think so and they are constantly adding new rides to the collection. You can choose between beginner, low impact, Power Zone, Climb, Live DJ, Intervals, Heart Rate Zone, Theme, Groove, Metrics and ProCyclist rides. Between Tom and I we’ve used it everyday so far and no two rides have been the same.

Do you think another bike will be the most popular in the market in a year? 

I think a lot of bikes are trying to replicate what Peloton are doing. Peloton have been around since 2012, with their bikes hitting the market in 2014. Since then a number of copycats have been released (including FlyWheel who had to shutdown it’s virtual after admitting to illegally copying Peloton). Of course having cheaper options is great for inclusivity, however without having tested other options, it’s hard to compare them. I like the sheer number of classes available on Peloton. It feels like they move with the times to update and innovate as appropriate.

Are you going to get one of the Peloton Treadmills? 

I haven’t tried the Peloton Tread. At $4000+ it’s not something I plan on purchasing anytime soon. I love our NordicTrack treadmill and have no reason to switch. I use the Peloton App on my iPad or phone when taking the treadmill classes and haven’t had any issues.

Why did you choose Peloton over NordicTrack?

To be quite honest, I didn’t really compare them. As I’ve said, we love our NordicTrack treadmill, and my friend Heather raves about their bikes. I felt like Peloton gave more of the spin class experience that I was after. Rather than guided rides which iFit do so well. I’ve also had a lot of difficulty getting on to the NordicTrack website (perhaps just me?). The main tipping point for me was the number of friends who had Peloton bikes enabling us to ride together that secured it for me. I did compare Peloton and Echelon, but it was Peloton’s history and guaranteed quality of the rides that won me over, despite the price difference.

If you’ve got a Peloton, who are your favourite instructors? For those using the app…which are the best classes? Let me know if you have any other questions about the bike or app, always happy to help! 

8 Comments

  1. Lee
    13th May 2020 / 2:01 pm

    Thank you for the review Charlie, I was really interested in this as I am definitely getting a bit of FOMO haha..
    Everyone that has one seemingly raves about it, but I haven’t seen many describe specifically why they love it, that magic ‘wow’ factor, which from your review seems to be the community aspect, is that right?
    If don’t have any real life friends that have one, will I get as much out of this feature? What exactly IS it about this that inspires the rave reviews and cult following?
    I‘m genuinely curious..

    • charlotte
      Author
      14th May 2020 / 6:52 am

      Honestly I think for me its the endorphins I get from the workouts which is a mix of the sweat/workout, enthusiasm of the instructors and the incredible music in every class I’ve taken!

      • Lee
        15th May 2020 / 11:53 am

        Thank you, I appreciate the response! Well I’ve got the app now, I really enjoy/need guided S&C sessions for which I’ve been using the Nike app for the last 2 years, so excited for some new classes.
        Who knows where this may lead, maybe I’ll see you in a class on the bike one day!

  2. Emilia
    13th May 2020 / 5:56 pm

    Wow, what a comprehensive review. Thanks for sharing! I was definitely one of those people who was sceptical about Peloton, but lockdowns have made me come around. While my apartment won’t allow for a bike, your review convinced me to give the free trial a go. Especially interested about the guided runs.

    • charlotte
      Author
      14th May 2020 / 6:52 am

      Let me know how you get on with the app!

  3. 14th May 2020 / 10:35 am

    I’m pretty sure the bike was much closer to £3k when they first launched in the UK. Now they’re £1990?! I would be gutted if I paid £3k and now they’re a grand less. Anyway, if I had space and funds, I think I would 100% get one of these! I’ve used the app a couple times for a guided run and enjoyed it – ace that it’s free for 3 months at the moment!

    • charlotte
      Author
      14th May 2020 / 5:42 pm

      Oh really, I didn’t know that. There are more expensive packages with more equipment that are up to $3000? Glad you’ve enjoyed using the app!

  4. Jocelyn Prentice
    14th May 2020 / 3:50 pm

    I have had my Peloton for over a year now and the obsession has not gone away. Having it during this pandemic has been a life saver!! I highly recommend trying out the Power Zone classes and I love the Tabata classes that Robyn Arzon has. Usually I finish off my workout with a 10 min upper body class on the bike. So glad that you are loving it and maybe we can do a ride together one of these days!