Buying a Peloton bike was 100% my husband’s idea. I wasn’t even fully on board with the purchase until I was in the saddle. I didn’t try the Peloton prior to purchase and had only done one spinning class a lifetime ago that left me close to dying.
To be entirely honest, I haven’t worked out properly since falling pregnant with my son nearly 3 years ago.
Really, no one was more surprised than me to find that I not only regularly use the bike but I really enjoy it.
So, this review is for anyone who has heard of Peloton and wants to understand what all the fuss is. I’ve written it from my Pelo-sceptic, exercise-averse perspective to show you that you don’t have to be fit to love it.
I don’t think you need me to explain why more people are working out at home right now but Peloton isn’t exactly the most affordable option. So, I’ll also try to lay out why it has been a worthwhile purchase for our family, thus far, plus answer some of the common questions people have asked me since we got the bike in September 2020.
Let’s get started.
What is Peloton exactly?
I quickly discovered that Peloton is way more than a fancy exercise bike in your spare room. (Although essentially that is what it is!) Peloton is a bike, a gym membership and a community in, erm, your spare room.
What we have is the original Peloton bike and a family membership that gives us access to hundreds of live and on demand classes. Your Peloton subscription includes not just spinning classes but strength training, yoga, meditation and more. This review will focus mainly on the bike and cycling classes as that’s what I’ve been getting the most use out of over the last 10 weeks.
How it works is that the Peloton bike has a large computer screen where you log into your profile and can see all the class options. You can join one live in real-time. This has the benefit of having lots of other riders doing it at the same time whose profile you can see and you can give virtual high fives while trying to compete with them. You can hide this leader board, as it’s known, if you find it distracting, or you can use it to push yourself to keep up with other riders.
You can also search for past classes in the library and take them any time that suits you. This is mainly what I have been doing as I’ve been working through my fave music genres and trying different instructors’ classes to see who I like the best.
Leanne Hainsby, Hannah Frankston and Sam Yo are the clear favourites for me, in case you’re wondering. I don’t think it’s a coincidence they are all English. Some of the more popular US instructors are a bit too full on for me personally.
You can filter classes by duration, type and length and search for specific artists to find a playlist that gets you going.
My work out history
Before I share what I like about the Peloton, I thought I should share a little of my work out history, or lack thereof, for context.
Prior to having my son, back when we lived a much healthier lifestyle in Australia, I used to ride, swim and do yoga regularly. After giving birth, however, I struggled with abdominal pain and even doing my beloved Yoga With Adriene work outs became painful. When the bike arrived in our home we had just come out of months of lockdown where I comfort ate and binge-baked. I wasn’t feeling great in my own skin and my work out clothes were literally busting at the seams.
I was expecting my first ride to hurt and, while it was by no means easy, I was seriously surprised to find it didn’t kill me. I took it easy with 20-minute beginner classes at first, which really help you get used to the bike and ease your way into reaching max potential.
During the work out you are given a range of resistance and cadence (speed) and at first I was at the lower end of the recommended bracket or sometimes not even in it. It doesn’t matter. No one sees you; no one is judging. You’re in a race with yourself and it’s surprising how quickly you start doing better and better.
The bike measures your output for every class and displays your PR on the leader board while you’re riding, which is a great way to make sure you’re always doing your best or better. My PR quickly went up and then plateaued. I was sick last week and am currently striving to get the numbers I was achieving a fortnight ago. Of course, these numbers don’t matter, it’s the showing up that counts. I just want to make sure I’m working my absolute hardest every time I get on the bike.
The best thing about getting back into exercising with Pelton though was that I didn’t get abdominal pain AT ALL. I’m working out harder than I have done in years, like arms sweating kind of energy, and it only takes up 20 to 30 minutes of my day.
It seems like I have found something that works for me.
Why I like Peloton
I think one of my favourite things about the Peloton has to be the playlists. I’m the kind of girl who loves to belt out a bit of Whitney or murder the songs from The Greatest Showman and the fact I can do this while burning 200+ plus calories pedalling is amazing.
The Artist Series rides are so much fun and they keep adding to them, so just when you think you might be getting Peloton fatigue along comes Beyoncé week and suddenly I’m all in again.
The range of classes is truly impressive and no matter what music you’re into or how much time you have to work out there is something there for everyone.
I’m also working out the hardest I ever have. I’ve wasted so much time in gyms over the years going through the same old routines and never really pushing myself and feeling like I’m progressing. The Peloton structure – from the classes to instructors, the leader board, the community and the way they track your stats for you – is designed to make sure no minute on the bike is wasted. I’ve seen bigger fitness results doing short Peloton workouts over the last 10 weeks than I have with months of other exercises.
The worst bit
OMG getting the hang of clipping the shoes in and out of the pedals is so difficult. I still haven’t completely nailed it. Some people leave their shoes attached to the bike – it’s that fiddly – but as I share the bike with Justin I’ve been trying to learn how to unclip without losing my feet instead.
How often do you use it?
Not unexpectedly, I’ve definitely cooled my horses since the initial excitement of the bike arriving. I was riding 5 or 6 times a week at first but now it’s more like 3 or 4 times a week.
I’m doing more 30-minute classes now and it’s a real push to beat my PR.
How much does Peloton cost?
The question I get asked the most is whether the Peloton is expensive and how much it costs exactly. There are a couple of parts to the pricing.
Firstly, we have a Peloton household subscription that costs £39 per month. (Here in the UK). We have the original bike which was on offer for £1750 at the time we purchased. We decided to use Klarna to pay that monthly interest-free so we’re paying £95 per month for 2 years.
We also bought a family package with 2 pairs of shoes, headphones, heart rate monitors, weights and water bottles for £299. This is an optional extra, you can source your own versions of these or use what you have already.
Do you have a referral code? All Peloton members get given a referral code which entitles their friends to £100 off accessories when ordering a bike. Feel free to use mine JRXZ5F. I get sent vouchers to use in the Peloton store if anyone uses my code so thanks in advance if you do use it!
Is Peloton worth the money?
It’s so hard to answer this question as value is circumstantial but we certainly don’t regret the investment. In a year of lockdowns, working from home and caring for a toddler, the fact I can hop on a bike and work out while my child sleeps in the next room has been a blessing.
I’d say I’m only getting a fraction of the value right now as I don’t do the off-bike classes or participate much in the community side in terms of riding with and connecting with other users. (You can follow people and see what rides they’ve done and what their output is.)
My husband is definitely getting more value for money. He’s done over 100 rides (to my 42). He rides 6 times a week doing mostly 30 to 45 minute classes and sometimes rides twice a day as he gets on and pedals when he’s on work calls! He’s been working long hours from home this year and having the Peloton there (literally in his office) has been hugely helpful for his physical and mental wellbeing.
From the Peloton Facebook groups I’m in I can see that a lot of people credit the bike with helping them mentally through a tough year. And I’m always astounded with how many members are on their 400th or 500th ride, showing it’s definitely something that many are using on a long-term basis.
Personally, I’m just glad that I’m working out again after years of not prioritizing my health or fitness. I’m definitely seeing and feeling the difference in my body. Keep reading on for details of our Peloton weight loss.
Does the seat hurt?
Surprisingly not! Back when I was riding most days per week I was expecting that the cheeks would need a little breaking in but it never got to that point for me.
I eased myself into classes by doing 20- or 30-minute rides at a time and always took a recommended stretch class after to flush the system.
The instructors are really good at reminding you of form during the class, including making sure your bum is towards the back of the seat, and I think this really helps to make sure you’re not causing any injuries, including to your saddle.
I also recommend you watch the videos on how to set up the bike, which will be recommended to you when you first start riding. Getting that seat position right is key to making sure you’re not straining.
Our 10-week results
I didn’t take any measurements when I first started on the bike nor have I been strictly counting calories as I didn’t want weight loss to be the main focus. I just wanted to start doing something good for myself and that in turn has led to dropping the pounds.
I’m nearly 7 kilos lighter than I was in the summer and most of that fell off since we purchased the Peloton. I haven’t made any drastic changes to my diet but I’m trying to make better choices. Plus, I feel less guilty about the odd treat when I know I can burn the calories with Beyoncé later.
I feel more confident and comfortable in my clothes than I have in a long time and can fit into jeggings that I couldn’t get over my bum just a few weeks ago. It feels good after living in loose dresses and elasticated joggers for most of the year to be wearing more fitted clothing once again.
I find myself less out of breath when chasing the toddler and as my muscles have gotten stronger I’ve had less joint pain than I used to too. I feel like I’m just starting the journey to a fitter version of me but at least I’m enjoying it!
My husband’s results are truly impressive. He’s done 100 rides in the last 10 weeks, losing 12 kilos and dropping 3 clothes sizes in the process. He’s achieved more in the last 10 weeks with Peloton than 5 years of doing CrossFit. He doesn’t completely different classes to me and uses the bike far more often, but we are equally happy with our results and the way we’re heading.
I hope this helps anyone who might be thinking about buying a Peloton. I know it’s a big investment and only time will tell if it’s really worth it for you personally.
Between the bike and this post holding me accountable, hopefully I can report some more great results for you after the next 10 weeks!
Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.
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