So, What Makes a Peloton Bike So Special?

We’ve all seen that infamous commercial – that botched ad that was meant to generate a lot of excitement, only to end up drawing criticism and backlash instead.

Yeah, there may have been some sexist undertones but although the dissent hurt Peloton’s evaluation, it didn’t affect their membership. In fact, shortly after, their sales continued to increase along with their memberships…

….and in the wake of their success, they’ve even expanded to treadmills and other accessories.

Rider Experience

So, to answer the question as to what makes a Peloton bike so special, it’s a mix of a lot of things like convenience, real time metrics, etc..,

But the key feature that makes Peloton rise above its competitors is the rider experience, in other words, the immersive and engaging content.

This is not your ordinary stationary bike. Thanks to its interactive content, Peloton makes fitness exciting and fun.

If you’ve ever been to a decent spin class, you know it’s loud, grueling, and full of energy.

There’s a lot of sweat, camaraderie, and an instructor with crazy expectations.

Now, imagine having all of that from the comfort of your living room – minus any of the drawbacks.

This is where Peloton stands out.

A spin class experience from the comforts of home, the best of both worlds.

You interact digitally with the instructor and other riders. Get or give a high-five, get a little shout out from your instructor……..or video chat and ride with your friends.

Streaming Content

The quality of their streaming content is second to none.

No cell phone quality videos here since the video production is professionally done.

All of their videos are recorded and streamed in 1080p HD from their studio in New York.

Some of the classes will have a small group of riders in the darkened background but the instructors are highlighted and centered with an occasional shot from a different angle just to change it up a bit.

There are literally thousands of classes you can take. Their extensive library holds classes across multiple disciplines including yoga, cycling, running, stretching, and strength training.

Some of the classes are a bit unusual…….kind of like “troga”, a reference from Modern Family.

All the classes are led by a number of highly qualified trainers, each with their own preference of music and style of training.

In most cases, you’ll find a number of riders participating in the same class at the same time which makes it that much more engaging and motivating.

You also have the option for scenic views in case you want a more casual ride and for those who want a little creativity, there are classes that incorporate upper body exercises into their routines.

Display

The Peloton bike comes with a large 22 inch touch screen display that is plenty big enough for you to enjoy your classes.

A camera is situated right on the top and all of the controls can be found behind the monitor. The power button is conveniently behind the top center and the volume controls are on the right side.

You have the option to listen through built-in 10 watt speakers, headsets/ear buds that plug into a 3.5 mm port, or you can go bluetooth.

When you ride, all of the important metrics are clearly displayed on the panel including wattage, cadence, output, speed, calories, etc..,

The right side has the leaderboard which shows all of those in the community who are currently participating or have participated.

It also reflects the names and locations of all active participants.

You can cheer each other on by giving each other high fives or request to follow anyone.

If you have friends that use Peloton, you guys can share a ride together or even compete against one another.

The Bike

I may draw a little heat for this comment……..but aside from the color scheme and attached monitor, the bike itself is pretty unexceptional.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking bike but it’s not exactly a jaw dropping design.

Nevertheless, the bike itself is solid.

Weighing at almost 150 lbs., it’s a pretty heavy bike and can handle riders up to 305 lbs.

With a few tweaks of the leveling screws, the bike will feel like it’s anchored to the floor.

Fortunately, guys from Peloton will assemble the bike and have it ready for you when they deliver it.

Seat

The seat height adjusts to accommodate anyone between 4’11” and 6’5”.

A little bit of wiggling will get the seat to slide up or down with a lever to tighten. It also has a fore and aft adjustment to help with the comfort but…………

………..I don’t if it’s just me but after 10 minutes in the saddle, my ass hurts.

I’ve read where other riders seem to experience the same problem.

I’ve tried everything including distributing my weight evenly between the seat, pedals, and handlebars by lowering and raising the seat, adjusting the fore and aft of the seat, and raising and lowering the handlebars.

Nothing worked.

So, I ended up with a thick seat padding I bought off of Amazon which has helped. And no way in hell will you catch me in padded bike shorts…not with my wife and kids around.

Handlebars

The handlebar design will satisfy virtually any grip preference.

You can adjust the height to suit most riders.

The only downfall I see to the design is the lack of fore and aft adjustment.

Personally, I think it should have been included to provide even more customizable adjustability.

Flywheel

With a 19” in diameter and a weight of about 38 lbs., the belt driven flywheel is whisper quiet but you probably won’t notice since the music will be blasting from the classes.

Pedals

Peloton bikes use Look Delta pedals but the cleats aren’t included so if you want to buy Peloton’s, expect to pay $125 for the pair.

You’ll also want to get a toe cage which will cost you $40.

We were fortunate enough to have ours included after a little haggling with the sales person.

Give it try, you might be able to get a few extra freebies.

The sales person may try to persuade you to get the cleats but I didn’t need them.

One pair for the wife was enough.

I don’t even need to put the toe cage on.

I’m fine without it.

Resistance

A big, red knob prominently positioned in the center of the frame adjusts the resistance.

Turn it left to decrease and right to increase.

Press down and it stops the flywheel immediately.

The bike uses magnetic resistance.

In case you’re wondering, magnetic resistance uses two magnets on either side of the flywheel to create tension.

And unlike other types of resistance used, since there is no contact, there’s virtually no maintenance required.

Thanks to its belt driven flywheel, the bike is whisper quiet.

Membership Fees

Of course there’s a membership fee.

The classes aren’t free.

However, you do get a 30 day home trial for the bike or a 90 day trial for the app alone.

Once the trial ends, you can continue for $39 a month for a multi-user membership or $12.99 for the digital only membership.

Final Thoughts

The classes are what make Peloton.

They’re just awesome and keep me motivated and wanting more.

Something about watching the stats and the total output of everyone participating in the class brings out the competitive spirit.

I just hate that the bike is so dam expensive and everything costs extra. You would think they could include a few things.

It’s like paying for an expensive entree only to find out every side dish costs extra…..including the water.
Oh, well……..comme ci comme ça.

On a happier note, I do have a referral code you can use if you want to save $100 in Peloton accessories: Just use the following: UA5787.  It won’t work for the bike but at least you can save on some accessories.

Ready to drink the Peloton Kook-Aid?