Peloton bike review: Is the exercise bike worth the cost?

Connectivity: Wifi, 100 Mbps ethernet, Bluetooth for headphones and heart rate monitors,
Display: 21.5in HD screen
Weight: 61.2 kg
Size: 149.9 x 134.6 x 58.5 cm

Peloton is a New York-based fitness company that has taken the indoor cycling world by storm with its high-tech at-home spin bikes. It has amassed a large fan base including the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The brand’s offering is multi-faceted. As well at the bike itself, it provides an interactive fitness program that offers users virtual access to studio-style workouts with real-life instructors that guide you through a spinning session.

The easy (sweat-proof) touchscreen interface is positioned between the adjustable handlebars, and you can join classes – livestreamed or pre-recorded – at any time of day. With thousands of hour’s worth of content, there really is something for everyone. When choosing a specific class, you can filter by length, class type (such as beginner, intervals, metrics), instructor (our favourite is Hannah Frankson), and music genre. Much like an ordinary spin class, instructors provide a ballpark for where your resistance and cadence (speed) should be. The classes are high in quality and intensity, and the upbeat instructors provide the perfect amount of motivation needed.

If you need further incentive to keep going, the bike’s screen shows a leaderboard (something you can hide should you wish), displaying your output compared with those who have already completed the same class or who are currently in the same session. This data can be filtered to select people who are the same demographic as you. And there’s even the option to virtually high five people who are riding at the same time as you. Perhaps the fiercest competition though is the fact you’re always riding against your personal record. Racing against past versions of yourself serves as a reminder of how quickly exercise bikes can improve your overall fitness.

The app is not exclusive to cycling, it also has a range of additional classes including yoga, audio-guided running, post-ride stretches, and strength training. All of which can be streamed via the bike’s installed interface, your phone, or on your TV using Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast and AirPlay.

If you look beyond the classes on offer, the bike itself is comfortable and will suit all shapes and sizes. The wheels use magnetic resistance that can be adjusted in one per cent increments via the red handle beneath the handlebars. While the workout data isn’t at quite the same level as Wattbike’s offering, you can still view time (elapsed and remaining), speed, distance, resistance, calories burned, and heart rate (if your monitor has been connected). There’s also a range of helpful guidance videos that you can watch, with advice on everything from adjusting the height of the handlebars and seat, to the correct form.

As you might expect from something of this high calibre, it comes with a hefty price tag. The bike itself costs £1,750, but the intial purchase also requires you to sign up to its subscription service (where you’ll find all of the classes), which costs £39 a month. You can cancel this at any tine, but to get any real value out of the bike, we’d recommend factoring this in.

You can opt to buy the bike using Peloton’s financing options, meaning you can get the bike for £45 per month over 39 months. With a continual subscription to the app, it will set you back £91 a month for the financing period, which is roughly the same price as a premium gym membership, and once it’s paid off, £39 is less than a normal gym membership. Really the only downside to the Peloton is its steep price, but we do think, if you can afford it, it’s totally worth it.

While motivational messages during your workout sessions might not be for everyone, each class is positive and enjoyable, while also being addictive and tough. This bike really will transform everything you know about working out from home.

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