I am an Ironman triathlete. I am a cyclist. I love riding and anything that has to do with riding. I have tested, played with and bee pitched pretty much every fitness/cycling technology, gadget and piece of equipment that’s out there.
That being said, I feel I have a pretty solid background when it comes to reviews products in the fitness industry.
Simply put the Peloton library of workouts is the best I have ever come across. Here’s why and also things you need to know before you invest in the bike or use the Peloton app.
Last year, while training for the Ironman triathlon, I tore up my ankle so badly, I had to have surgery that left me in a cast or boot for over six months.
By the time it was all said and done, I was fifty pounds heavier, had a very weak ankle and was limited in what I was allowed to do as far as exercise.
Knowing me and my ability to “over do things,” the doctor allowed me to ride a spin bike… gently, which at first seemed like a death sentence of boredom, and at first it was.
Then I saw the commercials with the “happy mom” riding her Peloton bike as she sweats and smiles. My sarcastic side said “she obviously is the step mom,” but my desperate to try anything new side, downloaded the Peloton app, and the transformation began almost immediately. It’s truly that impactful.
The reason the “sweaty mom” in the commercial looks so happy, is because it’s hard to be mad when you’re working out with Peloton. I’ll explain.
The app. Before you plunk down $2000 on the bike, try the app. The first two weeks are free, you can use your phone and a spin bike at the gym and get the same effect that you get on the bike.
I look at Peloton like Dancing with the Stars for fitness. Everybody is happy, positive, giving it their all and they all look amazing(the instructors…not me). Unlike DWTS, you are actually able to “play along” as you work towards your fitness goals.
It’s hard to walk away, because you can order up your own “instructor, mood and environment” with the click of a few buttons.
I like the sexy and sweaty Hanna Marie Corbin, she kind of purrs and kicks the crap out of you at the same time. Or the Super hot, always positive Cody Rigsby to lead me on my journey. When I want to get serious and ride like an Ironman, Matt Wilpers is there for me. Believe it or not, my wife has different tastes.
It’s like Match.com, for fitness. Black, white, Latina, gay, straight, thin, a few extra pounds. Type in your criteria and boom a person shows up made to order.
Beyond the person, you can order up the music, great, great music!! Everything from country to an actual live DJ, right there on stage. Pick your time, pick the kind of class you want, the music you like and you are off on your own journey.
Besides being sexy, smart and generally cool. All of the instructors are positive. Not cheesy. They do offer what you need as far as encouragement, when you need it most. Robin Arzon let’s you know before you start a Tabata (Japanese for portal to sweaty hell) “this is going to be explicit, this is going to hurt and you are going to feel amazing as you change you.” Or something like that.
The instructors give you permission to hurt, to feel pain to be vulnerable, which may sound odd, but it’s the fuel that lights the fire that is Peloton. They don’t just sit there yelling out instructions, they travel along with you like a great training partner, encouraging you to the end.
I am all in. So is my wife and my son. I Instagram workout pictures, follow my favorite instructors on social media (NOTE- Hanna Marie Corbin once “liked” a picture, which in some places makes us BFFs forever). My playlist is much cooler because of Peloton.
It’s more than a “bike workout.” The Peloton app. Offers you a library of content: Running, walking, yoga, stretching, boot camp, even outdoor runs. You name it they have it all on demand when you want it, where you want it.
Ok, love fest over like any relationship there is good and bad. Here are the things you need to know before you decide to buy the bike or stick with the app.
The App, or Peloton Digital
- It works with everything. Download it, stream it to your TV, pick your classes, it can travel where you want, when you want.
- You don’t get all the “cool stuff” when you use the app. Meaning you are a member of the Peloton community, but more like a visitor. You can’t see your stats or where you rank in a particular class or “high five” people like you can on the bike. A lot of people don’t need this and go “the hack” route with no real issues.
- Peloton Digital aka the app. Is $19.49 a month and if you are like most Peloton junkies, that comes out to about dollar a workout per month.
- Cycling, running, walking, stretching, yoga, bootcamp, the app. has it all and it’s ready to go where you want it.
- It’s not cheap. Over $2000 for a Peloton bike, so it is an major investment on one piece of equipment. In some homes $2000 is the most expensive thing in your house, besides your car.
- For me one try is all it took and I was hooked. A friend let me use his Peloton bike, as the tablet turned on and came to life, it was like a fitness party exploding right in front of me. Analytics galore, playlists of the music, my ability to race against people who were either live or on demand, more stats and graphs and statistics that you could imagine! It’s motivating from the get go!
- You don’t have to buy the Peloton shoes, you can use cycling shoes and the Look Delta clips which are about $25 at any cycling shop. If you don’t want to clip in you can buy a shoe cage and put it on the crank as well.
- The bike gives you access…sort of to the entire Peloton world. Peloton’s flat monthly subscription of $39 costs just a little more than what one boutique fitness class typically costs.
- The “sort of” part comes into play quickly. Unlike Peloton Digital, the bike despite costing over $2000 only allows you into certain parts of the Peloton exercise world. Meaning the running and walking classes aren’t accessible from your tablet.
- We have a treadmill next to the bike and the idea of setting up a super gym where you can stream running workouts to the TV in the gym and Peloton…It was too enticing to say “no…” Well you can’t.
- You see Peloton has a $4000 treadmill, yes, I said a $4000 treadmill that they just released and their thinking must be that “money falls from the sky and people can afford $7000 on home fitness equipment, so why not get both?” You have to buy the treadmill to get the running workouts (or just use the app).
- This is a shortsighted/ greedy move that comes across as unappreciative of the fact that you plunked down over $2000 and it can leave people sour on the idea. For that amount you should get access to everything. Plain and simple.
- Since were talking streaming. Peloton and Apple do not get along. It won’t stream to your Apple TV, the HR monitor on your Apple Watch won’t work with Peloton either.
- If you’re like us and wanted to stream the running workouts to the TV, we had to buy an Amazon Fire Stick and then use the Peloton Digital to stream from our phones to the TV…because you know the $2000 bike won’t do it.
- The bikes aren’t that well built. Get an extended service contract. In six months we are on our third bike and that one has issues as well. Many people have gone years without an issue, but when I posted something about my issues in the Peloton Facebook Group, the first comment was “get used to it.”
- That kind of goes back to the $4000 treadmill. They are new and like a new model of a car, if you are looking at one for this season, my recommendation is hold off. If they are built like the bikes, you can expect problems, frustration and not a lot of help.
- Which leads to customer service. Peloton puts so much effort into building an amazing supportive community they must have run out of money for customer service. While Peloton is the best library of workouts I have ever used, their customer service is worse than Comcast. I’ll just let that sit for a four count.
- The many calls, emails and hoops you have to jump through to get someone to actually be proactive about fixing your problems makes me almost regret the investment we made.
- I’m not being whiney, well maybe a little. Here are just two examples: I was having a problem with my HR monitor and “chatting” with one of their customer service people. She told me she had sent me a link on how to pair my device to my email. I waited and it didn’t show up. I asked her to send it again, and again it didn’t show up. She said she was going to check and then “ghosted me.” No matter how many chats I sent her way and despite I could see her online she would not respond.
- I ended up calling and getting s supervisor, who read the transcript of the chat and then the next day got a note from the customer service rep. that said she panicked …so sorry.
- When bike #2 broke, we went through the process of chatting, then taking a video of the problem, then uploading it to YouTube, then sending them the link to send to someone to diagnose, having them send it to tech. expert to send me an email stating they were going to send someone out and I would hear back in two days to schedule.
- One day, two days, three days past and nothing. We went out of town and a neighbor called on a Sunday at 3:00pm, letting me know “a Peloton truck is in your driveway.” I got on the phone with the tech, asked about the lack of communication and his answer was “that happens a lot, we just show up unannounced.” Then he gave me the option of starting the process all over again or letting them into my empty house to fix the bike.
- Making Comcast sound pretty good right about now doesn’t it.
So that’s the good, the bad and the ugly of Peloton.
To date I have lost 40 pounds, I feel great and have more energy than I have had in years. I attribute a great deal of that to the community Peloton has built and the massive library of customized content that changes every day.
Should you drop $2000 on a Peloton bike or stick with the app. That’s up to you. Will you be happy with trying Peloton? Absolutely.
Finally, here’s the sweaty mommy to get you pumped up for Peloton!