5 months in: A Peloton Review!

5 months in: A Peloton Review!

We have officially had the peloton for 5 months! This is a long awaited post and I have a lot to say and many questions to answer for you all. I am going to start by giving you the story on why we chose the peloton, the cost, then the pros, then the cons, then end with Q&A. These are solely my own opinions. This post is not sponsored in any way by Peloton (a girl can dream!)

OK, let’s dive right in!

the backstory and why we chose the peloton

After my beloved gym announced that they would be cancelling all childcare (you can read all about my love for gym childcare HERE and HERE), I knew we were headed in a new direction. To be honest, I had been feeling the nudge for a while that a change in fitness routine was needed. I am one of those people who loves to workout. I love the sweat, the endorphins, the way it helps me to mentally process things and helps burn off anxiety. I decided I wanted to try an at-home workout program to cut down on the immense amount of time it took to get everyone out the door to the gym, drive there, workout, then get everyone home. Yes, it was a wonderful way to spend a morning with no plans, but I started to get the nudge that the overall experience was taking too much of my most precious resource: my time.

I also have worked out long enough to know that cardio is my bread and butter. It is what I enjoy the most, and while I do include strength training, cardio is what makes me feel amazing. And yes, I know people can say that lifting weights is cardio. I get that. But if you are someone who loves to run, bike, swim, climb stairs, etc. you know it just isn’t the same thing. 

We decided to go with the peloton for a few reasons:

  1. Their marketing is amazing. Those commercials got me pumped!
  2. I knew if I was going to get an at home workout program, it would need to have a heavy cardio element
  3. A good family friend had one and told us it was the best purchase they had made in the last 10 years
  4. They had a promotion going to try the bike for 30 days with zero strings attached
  5. It takes up fairly minimal space; basically the size of a yoga mat

the cost

We decided to go with the basics package and added on the shoes and weights (I highly suggest getting their shoes). The reason I did this was because it was less money than the essentials package and I knew I didn’t need the headphones (the bike connects to my airpods). I also knew that I could order a bike mat for way less money off of amazon. I used a referral code I found online to get $100 off of accessories (the shoes and bike). 

We took them up on their financing offer. It is $0 down, 0% interest. Therefore, we pay 62/month for the bike (this does NOT include the monthly peloton digital membership. After 39 monthly payments, the bike will be paid off and we will only pay the monthly digital membership fee. 

On top of the bike, we pay a monthly peloton digital membership fee of $42/month. This is the cost monthly if you have the bike.

If you do not have the bike, the peloton digital app costs $13/month, and can only have one membership on the account. 

Personally, I think it is silly that people who invested in the bike have to pay a higher monthly membership fee. The only reasoning I can figure is that the bike/treat membership allows for more members. Still, I think people who choose to invest in the larger purchase of the bike/tread should be incentivized with a lower monthly membership fee, not penalized.  

For the bike and the classes, our monthly cost is $104.

This is less than I was paying for my monthly gym membership and childcare. It is less than most monthly memberships to specialty gyms. It’s nice that I don’t have to leave the house, but then again there’s no childcare. But I am getting ahead of myself. Read on for the pros and cons.

Image via https://www.onepeloton.com/shop/bike

 

the pros

I have come to really, really enjoy the peloton! I have a lot of pros and will list them for easy reading.

ONE: The overall positivity and inspiring instructors. I really have been blown away by how positive and encouraging all of the instructors are. I have not once felt bad about myself or been in a worse mood after a class. They are fun, upbeat, and empowering.

    • On that note, you do have to take the time to find the instructors that are best for you. There are going to be instructors that you do not enjoy. I suppose this is the case with any class you take anywhere, and the beauty of the peloton is the ability to change instructors mid class and start a new one. Give it time and (hopefully) you will find many you love and enjoy!

TWO: The classes! There are so many to choose from. All different levels, lengths, instructors, etc. 

THREE: The easy filter they have in order to choose your class length, instructor, etc. This goes for classes on the bike and tread as well as all the beyond the bike classes. There are SO MANY! You can quickly filter through them in order to get to what you are looking for. 

You can click and filter by all of the above categories, making it so fast and easy to find exactly what you are looking for.

 

FOUR: The personal profile and stats. These tell me exactly how many classes I took that month, what they were, etc. It can be really rewarding and motivating to see yourself making progress towards consistency goals.

      

FIVE: The music. The instructors do such a good job of curating the music for their classes, making the overall ride experience that much more enjoyable. When there is good music, a 30 minute class will fly by! 

SIX: The huge selection of strength classes, meditation, yoga, outdoor running, and stretch classes. If you ever find yourself getting bored on the bike, I highly suggest taking a week off and exploring all that is offered in the peloton digital subscription. It is unbelievable and you really don’t ever get bored!

This is a small example of the different types of classes you can search in regards to strength training. There’s also a treasure trove of other types of classes as well!

SEVEN: Peloton digital being available on all my devices. I love that I can always do a quick yoga class or 10 minute bodyweight strength class. All I need is the app on my phone or ipad. 

EIGHT: The outdoor (audio only) running classes. These classes have pushed me to run harder and faster than I have in years. They fly by and have made running so much more enjoyable for me.

NINE: Having the bike at home. I can wake up in the morning at 5:30 and be on the bike ready to ride by 5:38. I know this because I have done it many times! I love that on a cold morning I don’t have to leave the house. I love that there is no commute time. I love that if I want to take a 30 minute class, it takes just that. 30 minutes! You hop on, you hop off. Quick and efficient.

TEN: The minimal space needed. The bike takes up the space of a mat only slightly wider than your average yoga mat. And it’s pretty! I don’t mind looking at it one bit. 

ELEVEN: The unique challenge programs. Whether you are wanting to train for a marathon, partake in a killer 4-week ab challenge, learn a daily meditation practice, or gain overall strength, the Peloton app has a program for you. I am about to start a 4-week Total Strength Program and cannot wait for a month dedicated to weights. And it’s included in the monthly app fee. No extra charges for these incredible programs!

TWELVE: the celebration of movement, no matter what kind. One thing I have noticed is that when you look at your profile, if you do anything in the peloton app, the bubble for the day gets filled. Whether you take a 60-minute spin class or a 10 minute stretch class, you have done movement. 

 

the cons

ONE: The music. I know, I know, I just told you it was a pro. But sometimes it also comes as a con. I do miss working out to my own playlists and many of the songs in the rides are explicit and can be pretty vulgar. That being said, I do feel like peloton does a good job of trying to mark certain rides as explicit and over time you start to find instructors that you love and play music you jive with. 

TWO: Being at home, there is no childcare. While I love the ease of being at home and quickly hopping on and off the bike, I cannot at this time do it while Millie (17 months) is awake. I can put on a show for the older two and squeeze in a quick ride, but not with Millie around. If you have super young children, or ones who cannot easily entertain themselves, you will need to find times to ride the bike while they are napping, at school, early in the morning, etc.

THREE: You need to be ok and motivated enough to workout “alone.” While the classes and instructors are motivating and definitely have the same overall feel as a workout class, at the end of the day, you are likely in your house alone. If you desperately need the motivation/camaraderie of others, this might not be the best fit. 

FOUR: The water bottle holders. I know it’s funny, but they are too small! I keep a little stool behind my bike to hold my nalgene, cell phone, etc.

FIVE: The referral rewards. While it might seem like a good incentive, I have felt like peloton is a bit stingy when it comes to their referral rewards. Basically, whenever someone uses my referral code to get a bike (mind you, that’s a $2,000+ purchase), I get $100 to the peloton apparel store. That money can only be used on apparel only (not on any bike/accessories) and you can only use 1 per transaction. That means if I have 5 codes stored up (a $500 value) and I want a pair of leggings that cost $130, my code will only take off $100. I will still have to pay $30, as well as taxes and shipping. I even emailed the company about this and they said they will not allow you to use more than one code at a time. The codes never cover taxes or shipping either. This means means if you go and buy a shirt that costs $75 and use your code, you get the shirt for free, but still have to pay around $7 to ship it. On the one hand, they are brilliant. They make you feel like you are getting rewarded for referring people, but the only thing you can purchase is gear that says peloton. They reward you by gifting you things that advertise for them. And don’t me wrong, the apparel is super nice and high quality, I just think they could be a little less stingy with how you get to use the rewards. Someone did just get referred to buy a $2000+ bike, after all!

SEVEN: The cap on referrals. One more thing on this and then I will be done. They only allow 12 people to use my code a year. While that might seem like a lot, I do not understand why they would cap that amount of people trying to use a code to order their bike. The code gives the user $100 off of bike accessories. They are still paying for the whole bike. Why not let any and everyone who wants to use the code us it? These people are all paying a lot of money to get this bike; by all means, let them use the dang code! This really doesn’t have anything to do with me getting more reward money to the peloton store (Lord knows, over 12 items makes me into a walking billboard already). This is about having people go to use my code, the code I told them would get them $100 off, and being turned down. 

*I know those last two were more about the referral policy than the actual bike, but I think it it the one point that puts a bad taste in my mouth about the company as a whole. I think they could handle this entire program better. The people giving out their referral code obviously love the bike and are telling people about it. They are doing some of pelotons most powerful advertising.

now, on to some frequently asked questions! The list is long but I tried to be thorough.

q + a

 

Above is a little breakdown of my setup for you to see.

Our bike is in the playroom/guest room/my office. The “multi-purpose room,” if you will! 

 

Why did you choose to purchase the bike and not just get a cheaper bike and use peloton digital?

While getting a less expensive bike and using the app is a great option, I wanted to have accurate metrics. The instructors will say things like “let’s get up to 60 resistance with our cadence between 70 and 80” and I have have no clue if I was in the accurate range without the screen. There are some bikes you can purchase that have screens that show your cadence and resistance, but at that point you might as well just go with the peloton if you ask me. 

When do you ride?

This changes a lot for me. I go through seasons where I wake up and ride super early (around 5:30 am) and absolutly love it. I can ride the bike, brew some coffee, and read my bible all before the kids wake up. It is bliss. Other times, waking that early isn’t in the cards. I try and squeeze in a ride during Millie’s morning nap if I can. Or, I do a peloton outdoor run with her in the stroller if she’s awake. I don’t use the peloton daily., but love that is it there and available whenever I want to.

Do you have to like spin?

I would say that enjoying spin is important if you are looking to get the spin bike. However, one thing I have loved is how I don’t have to commit to a 45 minute class. That is one thing I hated about going to spin studios. I love to ride, but I am not trying to do it for 50 minutes! With the peloton, I can do a quick 15-20 minute class, throw on a 10-15 minutes strength class, and call it done.

Does the seat hurt your butt?

This is such a valid question! I did not have any discomfort on the seat, but I also used to teach spin and have been riding spin bikes for a long time. If you think you might have some issues, I would suggest ordering a gel seat cover. People seem to swear by them!

How did it work in your budget? 

Since we were already budgeted for the monthly gym membership where I was, we didn’t have to think about this. I will say, Nate sees exercise for me as the cheapest therapy around. Of course he says that jokingly, but what it does for my overall mood and anxiety is unbelievable.

Do you miss having work out variety?

Thanks to all the off the bike classes on the peloton digital app, I feel like a still get amazing variety!

What are your favorite non-cycle classes?

I have really loved taking Rebecca Kennedy’s strength classes a lot lately. (Updated: I actually love Jess Simms classes the most!)

Is it worth knowing cadence and resistance? Been using app with home spin bike and love it!

Personally, I do think it is worth it. It really helps me to work a lot harder when I can clearly see that I am below the cadence I am supposed to be at.

Does it give you a full body workout? Or just legs?

Full body! You can choose to do spin classes that involve upperbody light weights for toning, or take an off the bike strength class.

Beginners guide! Just moved into a building with one in the gym and I want to start using it but I’m intimidated. 

The best advice I can give is to hop on and choose a short class. They also offer some beginner instruction classes for how to set up the bike, etc. You could watch a quick youtube on how to set up the bike before you go to hop on. 

Why Peloton and not Beachbody?

I really wanted to have cardio machine of some sort. I have learned over time that achieving the cardio level I desire with things like high knees, jump rope, etc are not for me. 

How do you get motivated to work out at home? That’s so hard for me!

I totally understand! I personally love the workouts and the instructors are amazing. Really, all I have to do is get myself on the bike and the classes motivate me from there. 

Do I have to buy the special shoes?

You do not have to buy the specific peloton shoes, but you do have to have shoes that clip into the bike pedals. Regular sneakers are not comfortable to wear on the bike since the pedals are made for clips.

How long does delivery take once you place an order?

You order and then schedule delivery. I would say around 2 weeks.

(Updated 10/12/20: due to COVID it is taking much longer)

Who are your favorite instructors? Why?

The Bike: Robin Arzon, Cody Rigsby, Olivia Omato, Tunde Oyeneyin, Ally Love, Alex Toussaint

Running Outdoors: Robin Arzon and Olivia Omato

Strength: Jess Simms, Andy Speer, Selena Samuela, Adrian Williamns, Chase Tucker

*(Updated 10/12/20: I also really love any of the themed classes. Lizzo, Prince, Alicia Keys..they are awesome!)

*(Updated 10/12/20: I did Andy Speer’s 4 weeks of total strength and it CHANGED ME! I loved it. It taught me so much about strength training and now I strength train 2-3x/week)

Do you miss group fitness or being around live people working out with you?

I do miss the community atmosphere of my old gyms. I used to go to the YMCAs in NC and a community-oriented fitness center in Charleston and really miss seeing people of multiple ages. I miss the time out of the house and the “activity” the childcare was for the kids.

Is it beginner friendly? Do you have to know how to ride already?

You do not! They have tons of beginner classes and youtube video tutorials.

Are they traditional cycling style classes or the ones like soul cycle with the pushups?

I have never done one involving push-ups. I would say more traditional classes set to good music.

Do you wish you had other workout options? I.e., elliptical, treadmill?

Personally, I don’t. I can run outside and the ease of hopping on the bike outweighs having more machinery options. I will say, if you don’t like a bike for your cardio, this really might not be for you.

What do you do with the kids while you workout? 

Oftentimes I do it in the morning before they wake up, or I squeeze it in while the big kids watch a show and Millie naps. 

Is it good for someone trying to get back into a workout routine? For super busy moms?

Yes to both of those! There are tons of beginner classes and classes of all lengths.

How do you keep your toddler off it?

The kids really never try and get on it. From the beginning it was one of the few things that is “no touch” and they never really try to climb on it.

What kind of time do you need to have? As a mom of littles, I may have 10 minutes or 40. 

They have classes of all lengths and that goes for all those both on and off the bike. I love to do a 15 minute spin then one or two 5-minute strength classes when I am crunched for time.

What’s your LB name?

naptimekitchen, of course!

Did they replace all of the music they had to remove last year?

I believe so, yes.

Recently went to a hotel gym w/ a peloton. I signed up for an acct…it seemed free? Is this true?

It is free for 30 days, then you get charged. I would imagine the hotel will just pay for a membership for their bike.

Help me convince my husband it’s worth the dollars!!

I would show him all the research in my cost section, and then try it free for 30 days (as long as they still have that promo going)!

Is it loud? 

Not in the least. You can ride with or without headphones but the bike itself is super quiet. 

Do you miss core power? You seemed to really really enjoy it.

I do love it and miss it! But it was such an ordeal to drive all the way there, make sure I got to classes on time with the traffic, and arrange for childcare. But the corepower workouts are wonderful!

I have very limited space, is it easy to move around, or is it a two man job?

One person can move the bike but it is heavy. It has tiny wheels on the front end to allow for you to tip it up and move it. Since we have gotten ours, I have not moved it.

Where do you get shoes & how much are they?

I got mine from the peloton website. They cost $125.

Is it good for someone with low back pain at times?

I wish I could answer this! I would talk with your doctor. 

Does Nate use it and like it? (Updated 10/12/20: he really never uses it.)

He likes it but he prefers to run outside.

Where do you use yours? I feel like I would die of heat in a house/spare bedroom?

Ours is in a room with AC, but I also run this little fan by it that works like a dream! 

Do you feel like you have to wash your hair after every single ride?

I do not! I use a thick hair bandana type thing when I ride and swear by dry shampoo.

Maybe TMI, but do you always shower right after a ride?

Nooooope, ha!

Does it work on carpet?

Absolutely. I would suggest a mat for if you sweat. 

Do you follow any schedule or routine for which workouts you do?

I do not! I go solely based on what I am feeling.

How much space does it take up? 

It takes up roughly the space of a 4×6 yoga mat. 

Do you still feel motivated to work out as hard as you would in the gym?

I think the classes do an excellent job of motivating you! I would say it sort of depends on the day. Some days I am highly motivated. Other days not as much. 

Have you seen a difference in your body/endurance?

I worked out pretty hard at the local gym before I switched to the Peloton. I haven’t noticed any major improvements physically, but no decline either. It has really helped with consistency and getting to enjoy shorter workouts more frequently. 

Can you enjoy it if you aren’t an experienced spinner? Do you feel pumped up during classes?

You absolutely can! I would suggest trying a few local spin classes or a bike at your gym to see how you like it. 

How is the transition now that the shine has likely worn off?

It has been good! I have actually started to use the off the bike classes a lot more in order to get in some variety, but I still love the spin classes!

Did you already bike before or is this a new exercise regime for you?

I have never owned a bike but used one at the gym a lot. I also used to teach spin up until I had John Robert.

Do you have a referral code?

I do! It is: 4BPR4Y As said above, I only get a certain number per year but depending on when you read this it might still work.

What are your fitness goals?

Such a great question to end on! My goals are daily movement for overall health and well-being. I work out more rigorously 3-4x week (usually weekdays) and take the other 3 days (usually weekends and one other day) for walking, playing with the kids, and resting. 

 

Alright everyone, that’s all I have for you!

I hope I was able to answer many of your questions and give some of my personal thoughts on using the bike.