Peloton Bike Review, Comparisons, Alternatives, Pros, and Cons
The Peloton is the most talked about spinning bike in history. It was completely different from many other bikes on the market, and it was very well marketed by their team. It made such an impact on the health and fitness community. It became a replacement to a Spinning Studio and a Gym for so many people, and when the pandemic hit, you couldn’t get them fast enough. It’s the go to choice for so many celebrities and the first name people say when you tell them you want a spinning bike for home. Does the Peloton warrant all the hype around it though?
Drivetrain, Flywheel, and Resistance
The Drivetrain, when it comes to the Peloton, is excellent. Peloton doesn’t disclose too many technical specifications, but from what I gather, the Flywheels is about 30lbs, and this is great. It is built with a fixed-flywheel system which means there is no coasting on this bike. It is driven by a belt drive system which is excellent for many reasons. Firstly it makes it quiet, and secondly, it makes the bike require very little maintenance. However, it is not a Toothed/Timing belt, it is a simple Poly-V belt. So, on high-resistance off-the-saddle rides, you might not have the same power efficiency that would normally have with Carbon/Toothed-belt driven spin bikes such as Stages SC3.
The Peloton bike also uses a magnetic resistance system. This is intelligent. Instead of brake pads, it uses magnets. What is impressive about this is that it works by pulling magnets closer to the flywheel pushing it the other way, creating resistance. It means the bike is even more silent and also again requires even less maintenance.
The next thing we need to mention is resistance. The Peloton works with 100 different levels to challenge all levels of users. It also has a power meter function. This, although it is fantastic to have it, is just an estimate. Although an estimate, it is still very accurate compared to a set of power meter pedals.
Screen and the Application
The screen is a 22-inch high definition 1080p monitor. It looks great and adds to the experience of riding the bike when in a class. The inbuilt speakers are great, and also it has Bluetooth if you wish to connect your headphones or Heart Rate monitor. Peloton is not just a bike with a screen though, it is an application, and the screen is pretty much just locked to this.
The Peloton Application is fantastic. It has so many classes were not talking about hundreds. We’re talking thousands. They don’t just have classes with all different instructors and types of music. You can do the classes live, see yourself on a leaderboard, and go up against other people doing the session. What also is remarkable is the instructor can see who is in the class, and they often shout out to people.
The bike will give you a lot of different metrics while riding, such as RPM, Speed, Calories, Power, Duration, Time, etc. There’s not much the bike doesn’t tell you as far as spinning bikes go. Many people ask the question if they can use the screen for applications such as Zwift. Peloton doesn’t let you get away with this, and the screen is limited to just Peloton.
Not only this, but the Peloton has many other types of classes. They offer HIIT workouts, Strength workouts, Yoga, and many more. It offers the user a huge variety of exercises that aren’t just spinning. I love that they provide off the bike classes, but it can be challenging to see them sometimes as, unfortunately, the screen doesn’t swivel around. This does make it a bit more challenging, but you can buy custom swivel brackets, but you don’t want to be doing that. It does come with a Micro USB Charger, and front facing camera for video chats on board too which is a nice touch.
Pedals, Crank, and Q Factor.
The Peloton uses a Standard Pedal thread, so you can put really whatever you want in there. The Pedals they recommend you use are the Peloton clip in pedals, and they are Look Delta Clip-in pedals and standard in the industry. Peloton does recommend their shoes, and they are ok, nothing too special to call home about. You can always opt for a pair of these shoes we recommend for Peloton bikes.
The crank length is 170mm. This is the length of the pedal arms. This is an excellent bike feature as many spinning bikes use a minimal crank arm length. It is the same as a lot of Road bikes and Mountain bikes. I feel they have done their research here.
Now we have the bike Q Factor. This is the size of the bracket where the pedal arms attach to. A regular Mountain bike would typically be about 170mm, and a Road bike would be about 155mm. Peloton have made the bike 170mm. Many other spin bike manufacturers will go much larger, and it doesn’t give the bike a very nice feel to it.
User limits and adjustments
The Peloton bike is 59” in length and 22” in width. This isn’t a giant bike and knowing it has a 22” screen on the end actually makes it pretty small compared to some of its competitors. It weighs about 64kg but do not let that put you off. It’s pretty easy to move around the house as it has wheels.
They cater to people taller than 4ft 11” up to people who are 6ft 4”. This isn’t a massive range for the users especially compared to Keiser M3i, but I’m sure there’s a little room to play with. The weight limit is 305lbs, which will cater to many users.
The bike can be adjusted easily, and they have put time into keeping this a simple task to cater for families or housemates that will share a Peloton. It can adjust up and down and forward and back at the saddle. The saddle itself is okay but if you get too much saddle sore, I suggest you get yourself a padded comfortable replacement seat for Peloton.
The handlebars will go up and down but, unfortunately, will not go back and forth. However, if you do find yourself in an awkward position and think that might want to ride the bike in a more “upright position”, I highly recommend you get a Peloton handlebar adjuster. It’s sold separately and can be installed in a few minutes. One thing I like about the bike is the fact they number the adjustments, so it’s effortless to find the place you were before if someone else has used the bike.
Warranty, price, and support
The warranty on Peloton, in my opinion, has always been an issue. They offer 12 months on parts and labor and five years on the frame, which isn’t very much compared to other spinning bike brands. They did speak of extended warranties at one point, but nothing ever came of it.
Now for the nasty bit, the price. Peloton bikes are not the most expensive bikes on the market, but they are not cheap. You are roughly looking at about $1700 for the bike currently. Which compared to what they were initially is actually much more reasonable. This isn’t the only cost involved with Peloton. The subscription is $39 a month on top of buying the bike. It isn’t the cheapest setup, but they offer a fantastic service, and the bike is excellent. It’s still less than most gym memberships. You have different packages you can buy when you buy a Peloton bike from the basic bike all the way to them, coming with two pairs of shoes and two heart rate monitors. Or you can just ignore the overpriced stuff that Peloton sells and get these great Peloton women’s bike clothing for half the price.
Peloton has a pretty good support network. They are highly rated on trust pilot, which is a good start. Many spinning bikes you can buy on the market at a lower cost have no support. It’s nice to see they have people you can go to for issues or technical advice.
Peloton Bike Assembly
Putting a Peloton together is very easy and is not something to worry about. If you are lucky enough to be buying one where XPO delivers, they will even install it for you too. Things to watch out for are making sure the seat post and handlebars are nice and tight. Peloton users make one of the most common mistakes when they first get the bike, they don’t tighten the pedals up enough, and it destroys the thread of the crank arms. Do not let this happen to you.
One this that sets Peloton out from the crowd is the community behind it. Not only do you have the interactive capability to ride with live instructors and other people you also have a lot of clubs and groups around the Peloton. You will make friends from all over the world by joining these communities, and for motivation, this is amazing.
Difference Between the Peloton Bike and the Peloton Bike+
We get asked a lot about the Peloton Bike Plus and what features it has compared to the Peloton? Here’s what you need to know about Peloton Plus’s improvements.
Bigger Screen with Anti Glare
Apple Watch integration
Stealthy Drive Chain Cover
Although it is a lot more in price, I feel you get a lot more for your money with Peloton Bike+. I think it comes down to the user’s budget before anything else.
Alternatives to the Peloton Bikes
The market for high end spinning bikes is vast and you will find a lot of competitors of the Peloton or alternatively you have the option to buy a less expensive bike and DIY the Peloton Setup. In this next section I want to speak about other bikes that I believe are worth considering.
The Nordictrack S22i bike is amazing. It not only has all the features of the Peloton, it has the ability to literally make the bike feel like it is climbing. The instructor in classes can control the incline on your bike and the resistance to give you one of the best interactive workouts possible. For more information check out the link below
The Schwinn Fitness IC4 bike I feel is one of the most underrated spinning bikes on the market. It is a high-grade spin bike brimming with amazing technology such as a Bluetooth monitor, app connectivity, RPM and Resistance readings. If you looking for a tool to really challenge you and doesn’t break your bank account, this is it.
There are tens of accessories for Peloton that would enhance your Peloton ride experience. We have recently, reviewed the best accessories that you might want to consider. Although they are not mandatory, they can change your Peloton experience. These Peloton accessories are;
Peloton Laptop Tray
Peloton seat cushions
Peloton floor mats
Peloton phone mounts
Peloton handlebar adjusters
Peloton Monitor adjuster
Peloton cooling fans
Peloton Shoe Racks
Peloton Bike Shoes
Pedals: Metal Toe Cage
Weight capacity: 305 Pounds
Height capacity: 4ft 11” – 6ft
Bike weight: 140lbs
Bike dimension: 22″W x 59″L
Monitor: 22” HD
RPM tracking: Yes
Speed tracking: Yes
Watt tracking: Yes Estimated
Peloton Bike FAQs
When it comes iFit is better because it gives you the option to create an “individual account” and pay $130 per year while in Peloton your only option to access everything in the app is $400 per year. In terms of navigation, Peloton provides a better user experience than iFit. In contrast, iFit’s library is much larger than Peloton’s — they offer upwards of 20,000 live and on-demand classes, whereas Peloton keeps their library in the 10,000 range, both adding new classes daily.
In short, No. Peloton bikes are higher quality equipment and the Peloton Plus comes with automatic resistance system that puts it way above the Echelon bikes including the Echelon EX7-S model. Aside from that, Peloton application is more reliable and has more/better content than Echelon.
The short answer is yes it possible. However using Peloton with Zwift does require additional accessories that you would need to purchase separately. The two accessories that enables you to use the Peloton bike with Zwift are “The Shift Smart Trainer” or Power Meter Pedals. No matter which solution you go with, they do open up the virtual platform Zwift to those riding on Peloton bikes.
No, Peloton is not necessarily a better indoor bike than NordicTrack, especially if you like to simulate the uphill and downhill terrain while cycling on the bike. With that said, both, Nordictrack and Peloton exercise bikes score high in terms of quality and streaming content. But in comparison, NordicTrack, especially the S22i Model, comes out ahead in affordability and smart features whereas Peloton has better reliability rating averages among their bike.
The answer is yes. Although the monitor on the Peloton bike is not meant to be used for browsing on the web, there is a possibility (trick) that allows you to watch Netflix or browse something else on your Peloton Bike while exercising. So, to answer the question “can you watch Netflix on Peloton?” Is yes, it is possible to watch Netflix while on Peloton bike.
The Peloton bike is fantastic, and it has been around long enough to realize it’s not just a passing fancy for people. Since Peloton came out, many bikes have been released, but still, people go for the Peloton. Let’s take out all the celebrities, let’s take out all the marketing, and look at it as a spinning bike. It is well built, looks absolutely fantastic, it has incredible classes, and some of them are even live, and it has a great support network and community. Does Peloton deserve the hype? 100%
- Amazing Classes and Instructors
- Great quality bike
- 22 inches touchscreen monitor
- Magnetic resistance
- Great Support Network
- Screen doesn't pivots for off the bike exercises
- Subscription Cost and bike cost
- Warranty is short, considering the price tag
- Screen Limited to just Peloton stuff
- Timing/Toothed belt drive would have been better
- Handlebars only adjust up and down, not forward and backward.