Peloton, the in-home connected workout program that is gaining popularity has seen a huge increase in usage in the last year. Although it isn’t cheap, it can be a significant investment. Peloton is often asked the most frequently: “Is it worth it?”
This is a question that we will attempt to answer in this article, but we will first spoiler it: It all depends on your situation.
Is Peloton worth it?
It all depends on how often you use it, just like so many other purchase decisions.
Peloton is a popular sport. Peloton was first introduced in 2014. It quickly grew, and it became public in 2019. Peloton also benefited from the COVID-19 epidemic as more people turned to home-based training. This trend is expected to continue even after the pandemic.
Peloton has a large marketing budget and its ads can be seen everywhere from billboards to online videos. Peloton hadmore then 3 million paying subscribers as of late 2020. However, there are still a lot more registered members than recurring subscribers. Peloton makes $40 per month which is a good revenue stream. However, as a fitness enthusiast, you should be concerned about your monthly subscription fee. Will you get the value for your money?
Cost of Peloton
Let’s begin with the price of Peloton. It is not very high. Although the price of a Peloton bicycle has decreased in recent years, it is still quite expensive. You can expect to pay at least $1,500 without accessories such as shoes or a mat. This is compared to the $2,200 bike price a few years back. This is a significant investment in an exercise machine that will only work if you spend more on your subscription. You can buy a nice entry-level bike for the price of a Peloton bicycle, with a carbon frame, disc brakes, and a decent road bike .
The subscription fee for Peloton’s streaming service is $39 per month. The subscription fee is $500 per year, plus the initial cost of the bike. Is it worth the cost? To determine this, we must look at the benefits and consider how often you will use it.
Peloton’s many benefits make it worth the investment. It might be worthwhile to invest in a Peloton bike if you plan on using it faithfully. The best thing about Peloton is its appeal for those who are serious about their workouts.
The first is that the monthly subscription grants unlimited streaming access for all Peloton workouts. There is no limit to how many workouts you can do per day. If you consider that $20 would be spent on a class at a studio to take a spin class, $39 per month for unlimited Peloton workouts may seem like a good deal. Peloton isn’t the only one that offers a home-based workout. There are many options, from Mirror to smart bikes trainers (more below) to streaming workouts on a tablet. However, Peloton appears to have reached a critical mass that places them at the top of their game.
You also have the option to do live workouts with an instructor or pre-defined, on-demand rides. You can choose from up to 14 classes per day or call-up another ride using the on-demand function. There are plenty of rides to choose.
You can also ride with your friends. You may want to ride with your sibling, who lives halfway across the country. This can be a great way for you to ride virtually together.
Peloton bikes can be shared by more than one member of the family. All-access memberships to Peloton allow everyone in the household to use the bike. It is important that everyone knows the correct settings for their bike so it can fit from one person to another. This is a great benefit to a Peloton bicycle. Although a smart trainer can be great for solo riders, it can make it difficult for multiple family members to swap bikes.
Peloton can whip you into shape if you use it enough.
What are the Downsides to Peloton?
Let’s forget about the obvious negative: the cost. Peloton has other disadvantages from different angles.
The bike isn’t used much other than for Peloton’s $40 per-month service. You probably wouldn’t ride it for pleasure, and it is not something you can take outside to enjoy the great outdoors. This bike is only for Peloton classes if you spend the two grand-plus. This bike is not multi-purpose, as a real bike would.
Second, your bike is not your real one. For those who prefer to ride Peloton over a spin class, this isn’t a problem. For someone who is training for a triathlon or road riding, however, your bike workouts may be more important than your ability to ride faster outdoors. It might be better to ride indoors on your own bike frame than outside. We’ll discuss this further below.
Third, Peloton’s spin-class model is extremely popular. There are other options if you don’t like spin classes or prefer riding courses or “free rides”. If you’re someone who likes to ride on interesting courses, then the gamification of Zwift might be for you.
Peloton also prefers you to ride on a bike other than your outdoor bike. Peloton bikes come with a Delta (or 3-hole) bike shoe and cleat. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, please read our bike-cleats explained article. This might be for those who have ridden in different shoes and cleat systems.
Alternatives to Peloton
This home trainer is popular and used by thousands of people.
Smart bike trainers with apps
There are many other options if spending more than $2,000 for a bike that can only be used indoors and with the Peloton streaming services is not an option. The top smart bike trainers and apps covered the majority of them.
Smart trainers are a great alternative to Peloton. Although you could use a traditional trainer, it will not offer the benefits of connected, integrated workout technology, which may defeat its purpose.
Many cyclists depend on the combination smart trainer and smart training app. There are many options.
Smart trainers are devices that connect to your regular road bike or tricycle. They allow your bike’s Bluetooth function to communicate with different apps. Wahoo and Saris (formerly CycleOps) are popular smart trainers. We recommend the Saris H3, which is a quiet, high-quality trainer that connects easily via wireless. You can read our Saris H3 Review and then evaluate it yourself.
The Tacx Flux 2 is a quiet and excellent trainer. It’s just a tick below Saris H3. The Flux 2 from Tacx is a great brand. Although it has a smaller flywheel that the Saris, and it’s not as easy to fold when not in use, it is still very good. Check out our full Tacx Flux review.
There are many great apps to choose from. While we tend to favor Zwift and Sufferfest, there are other options such as Trainerroad. We profile them .
The app connects seamlessly to the smart trainer. You can also monitor your workout from any device, including a smartphone, tablet or TV equipped with an Apple TV.
The smart trainer’s total cost is approximately $1,000. Additionally, the app typically costs $10-20 per month. This means that the cost of the smart trainer will be about half of the cost of Peloton.
This setup is also popular among seasoned cyclists because you can take your own bike to ride on it. It is nice to be able to fix your bike indoors if you have spent a lot on your tricycle or road bike.
Other smart bike options
Smart bike trainers are so advanced that we recommend them highly. There are also a few other smart bikes available. They are similar to a Peloton unit and come with everything you need to ride right out of the box.
We love the Wahoo HTMLR Bike from the trusted Wahoo manufacturer. This stationary smart bike feels just like a high-end street bike. It might also be an option for those who prefer their indoor smart bikes to feel exactly like real things.
We also tried the WattBike and wrote about it in our WattBike Review. We liked the WattBike and found it to be a great workout. However, we preferred the KICKR bike.
Frequently Asked Qeustions
How can you make a peloton more affordable?
This is where it gets difficult. Peloton is locked down by vendors, so it can be difficult to cut costs. Peloton’s integration is a key feature of their model. It is best to use the full-priced Peloton bike with their streaming service.
There are still a few ways that the Peloton can be reduced in price.
- It is easiest to get a discount from the company. This is what Peloton will do for military personnel, first responders and medical personnel. The proof will be required. You can read more about the discount program.
- You can stream the Peloton app and ride your bike on your own bike set up. It wouldn’t be possible to integrate it, so it wouldn’t be a smart home workout. It could still be an option if you’re happy to follow a Peloton-led exercise, but use your own equipment without integration or feedback.
Is Peloton able to take scenic routes like Zwift or others?
It’s not. Peloton instructors can lead you on a scenic ride. It can be very enjoyable if you enjoy riding with others. Smart trainers and apps are the only way to get on your bike and see real Swiss postal roads at Sufferfest.
Is Peloton sold in stores?
Sort of. Peloton can be purchased in Peloton shops. Peloton systems can also be purchased online. There are usually two or three stores in major cities where you can try out the bike and take it for a ride. They aren’t sold in shops or bike shops like other fitness and cycling equipment.
What members are saying about Peloton?
What makes a Peloton Bike worth the investment? It’s the ability to ride any time you like. Peloton Bike for some is worth the price, especially when you can have a personal trainer in your basement. For others, the cost of multiple classes is worth it compared to one Peloton membership. These are 11 reasons why Peloton members believe the Peloton Bike is worth the investment.
I did the math and a Peloton Bike is worth it
“I have had my Peloton Bike for a year and half and love it. Studio cycling classes were $32 USD per class for over 4 years. The Peloton Bike costs $1,495 USD plus $39 USD per month. This is almost the same price as an indoor cycling class. Although it’s expensive, I realized I could have purchased multiple Peloton bikes in the same time period. My biggest obstacle to getting in exercise is setting a time. I work full-time, have twins, and also have a job. Peloton allows me to do a challenging, sweat-inducing workout whenever I want. Peloton saves me almost every week from missing a workout due to the fact that there are always things between work and my children. Peloton’s yoga classes are also great. They can last as little as 20 minutes, unlike other yoga classes that take well over an hour. This is something I don’t have the time for. Sometimes, I miss the excitement of indoor cycling, with the music blasting, and riding in sync to a group of people in darkness. But I have found some great Peloton instructors (shoutout to Cody Rigsby!). Rachel B., California
It’s worth it for the convenience
After having two children, I bought my bike to keep me in shape. Although the first year was expensive, I didn’t have to pay for a gym. The convenience of having a peloton bike in the basement, and being able ride it whenever I wanted was priceless. I now ride about one to two times per week, and with a fee that includes the app and loads of classes (both on and off the bike), it’s reasonable–especially when you consider the price you’d pay to go to a single cycling studio in the city. Sarah B., New York
I actually do less laundry thanks to the Peloton Bike
“Why didn’t I buy this sooner?” They are great motivators. My competitive spirit is kept alive by the metrics. My husband and I do less laundry, since we exercise in our underwear.” Jill C. Colorado
As a Christmas present, we bought the Peloton bike
Before I became pregnant, I was an avid rider and went to spin classes at least 3-5 times per week. After the birth of our baby, it was difficult to keep a regular workout routine. I couldn’t do after-work or early morning classes. My husband was also struggling. As a Christmas gift, we decided to buy our bike. We now ride when we can, and don’t rely on a studio schedule. Actually, my husband is riding and on conference calls as I write this.” Sanja A. Louisiana
With The Peloton Bike, I finally found a non-boring home workout
I have owned in-home equipment before, but it has never been motivating. Because I wanted to be able to exercise when I had the time, I purchased a Peloton Bike. It’s a great way to get the “live” experience at home. This pushes you even harder. The instructors and the music are my favorite things about the classes. Peloton has finally achieved what all others failed to do… an effective in-home exercise combined with an out-of home experience.” Lauren L. North Carolina
My Family Uses the Peloton Bike
“I was a little skeptical about doing home exercise at home and whether it would motivate me, but the classes are fun, the music is great, and the instructors are professional. I can actually ride the bike for between 30-45 minutes. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to exercise. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes per day for good health? Kimberley L., California
Peloton Bike is More Than Cycling
It’s my best investment. I can take on-demand or live strength training classes, and I can also do yoga classes. All of this is included in my membership at no extra cost. It’s cheaper than joining a gym and I can do my workouts in the privacy of my home . Christa P, New Jersey
A Peloton Bike is like a Cycling Studio in My Basement
“I bought the bike for Mother’s Day and use it a couple of times per week. I love being able to work out in the basement without having to travel to the gym. All of the instructors are positive, motivational, and inspiring. My favorites are Emma Lovewell and Robin Arzon. You can choose from many different styles depending on your mood or class length.
I had given up on working out until I bought a Peloton bike
“I had given up hope of being able to include cardio (or any other workout) in my Peloton Bicycle. Although I enjoy the convenience of the Peloton Bike, I realized how much I missed the atmosphere of a class and having a trainer to help me along the journey. Justine L. Virginia
The Peloton bike helped me through a very difficult time
“I loved spinning classes when I had a gym membership. Due to my work schedule and the fact that classes filled up quickly, spinning became difficult to do. My time was even less when I had my second child. My life became very stressful after I went through a divorce. I was focusing on work and children and was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle. Peloton was advertised in a TV commercial. It seemed to solve my problem. I could hop on a bike and pick the class that worked best for me, whether it was a short workout during dinner or an hour-long class after bedtime. I love the fact that I can also choose classes based on music. My favorite: Cody’s live DJ classes. Hye Yeon C. New Jersey
Peloton helps me run my business and my life
Balancing motherhood with running my own business means that I have little time to exercise or take care of myself. The Peloton Bike has been an excellent way for me stay fit while my little one is sleeping or after bed. Tara M., Texas
Peloton may be the right choice for you if you love spinning classes and want to do quality home workouts. Peloton is a popular choice for people who want to exercise at home.
You might prefer to ride on your own bicycle or free rides if you have a tight budget.