If there’s one thing I’ve realized during quarantine it’s that I’ve become a proud, nerdy, Peloton influencer.
People have asked me a lot of good questions, so I figured I should write a quick blog post with my thoughts and recommendations. My first blog post on here in 6 years! There’s also an amazing Facebook group (250K members) you can join before you buy to search and ask questions.
The Peloton app is free for 2 months at the moment, so if nothing else you should check out some of the content. There’s more than cycling and running – there are bootcamps, strength, yoga, meditation and even cardio dance (which is fun and hilarious) and fit family programming for young kids.
Follow me at allytbrett on the leaderboard.
Going to keep this short and sweet because I could drone on for a while. For us, getting a Peloton was all about finding something to do at home to save time going to and from the gym – especially with a little one at home. I was skeptical about how engaging remote fitness classes could be, but Peloton exceeded my expectations. They have built a community of ~1.4M users globally, so you’re never riding alone. Accountability and competition are huge benefits of this bike (and now tread) that goes nowhere. Virtual high fives may sound dumb until they come from friends and your favorite instructors.
Here’s a blog from Peloton on the topic too, “How to Convince Your One Holdout Friend to Try Indoor Cycling Classes.”
Bike or Tread?
This is the hardest question because I love them both for different reasons. It depends on the person/family. For us, the bike was a smaller initial investment ($2,245 or $58/mo for 39 months) than the tread ($4,295 or $111/mo for 39 months). Plus, at the time we already had a treadmill – it was a beat up one from my grandma, but it still worked so there wasn’t an immediate need to replace it.
Also, my husband and I both like spin class. If you’ve taken spin and you don’t like it, I’m not sure you’ll love Peloton. However, not all spin experiences are created equal – i.e. LA Fitness spin compared to Cycle Bar or Soul Cycle. I’d compare Peloton more to the latter, but I still loved LA Fitness spin too! So I’d hate for you to assume you wouldn’t like it because of a crappy gym experience you had once.
Although good news! You can try the bike and tread before you buy. If you’re local in Indy, there’s a showroom at Keystone at the Crossing. The showroom wasn’t open when we got the bike, so we didn’t do a test ride but it was open when we got the tread and I still didn’t do a test run. I know – blind faith in the brand. 😬 But thankfully I love it. It’s a hell of a machine. Not sure if they’re doing it during COVID-19, but Peloton had started offering a 30 day in home trial of the bike too.
Update: There’s now a Bike and a Bike+ available. Here’s a helpful comparison from Peloton. The Bike+ has a bigger screen that swivels for other class types (i.e. yoga), better sound output, automatic resistance, and Apple Watch integration. We are still really happy with our OG bike, but these new features are nice!
The treadmill would be a great choice for someone who loves running or some who likes the treadmill ok but could use more motivation. The tread classes have pushed me harder than I would normally push myself on a tread. For example, a lot of classes use incline which I never really used before outside of adding 1% occasionally to mimic outdoor running. You can also do these on a normal treadmill if you’re a Digital Only user. Digital Only would option #3 if you aren’t ready for the bike or tread. It’s definitely the cheapest option to start after the free 2 months!
What do I need to buy with the bike?
When you go to purchase the bike, you’ll have options for several different packages. We did the Basic package and bought accessories elsewhere, but with a referral code (ask me for mine!), you do get $100 in accessories when purchasing. We used a friend’s referral code to get two heart rate monitors because we didn’t have any. Then, we bought the other accessories online.
- Extended Warranty – Personal preference, but we did it for both the bike and the tread. Technology breaks and we decided to protect our investment.
- Mat from Amazon – $33 – only for bike, not recommended for a tread.
- 3lb Weights from Amazon – $40 – Looks like Peloton’s are now cheaper! Weights are optional but nice to have! They fit in a rack on the back of the bike.
- Shoe Brands – There are decent reviews of Peloton shoes, but my husband and I have different brands of cycle shoes. I had cheaper ones before that I used for a while too. The main thing is that you need shoes that work with “Look Delta clips”
- Shimano (his)
- Specialized (hers) – Torch 3.0
- Spintray – $54 – If you WFH, this is such a great addition to the bike. You can work while you ride! Note: As of Feb 2021 it’s only compatible with the original Peloton bike.
What classes and instructors do you like best?
Peloton has world class programming and instructors. There have only been a few times where I didn’t like the class I took (like Rebecca Kennedy’s Holiday Run on the tread… so weird).
My favorite bike instructors are:
- Alex Toussaint – For tough love and his playlists
- Ally Love – For inspiration and I love her name (obviously)
- Ben Alldis – For his climb rides and pleasant English accent
- Cody Rigsby – For entertainment
- Hannah Frankson – For her accent and relaxed teaching style that still kicks my ass
- Kendall Toole – For a great workout
- Robin Arzon – For inspiration
- Sam Yo – For his accent and relaxed teaching style that still kicks my ass
- Tunde Oyeneyin – For a great workout
My favorite tread instructors are:
- Adrian Williams – For his muscles and positivity
- Becs Gentry – For her good run coaching
- Jess Sims – For her bootcamps
- Matt Wilpers – For his good run coaching and tough workouts
- Matty Maggiacomo – For his contagious positivity and entertainment
- Rebecca Kennedy – For her good playlists
- Selena Samuela – For her Italian-ness and good playlists
If you just got your bike, there are “All For One” rides (and runs I think) that feature all of the instructors so you can get a sense of each of them in a single class. Highly recommend these!
There are tons of different class types. Here’s a helpful article about all of the different bike classes. You can also “Just Ride” or do a Scenic Ride if you’re not in the mood to ride with an instructor and want to do your own thing. You can preview a ride before you pick one as well – unless it’s a live class.
My go-to bike classes are:
- Genre – i.e. Pop, Hip Hop, 80s Rock – I like these because I like working out to music I like and it usually gives you a little bit of everything on the bike
- Artist Series – Same as above but these are specific music artist-themed – i.e. Miley Cyrus, Brittney Spears, Prince, Beyonce, Sean Paul, Beatles, Nicki Minaj. God bless Pelo Buddy for this list of all of the Artist Series rides available. You can easily search on the bike for one of these.
- Live DJ – Great music and energy because there’s a live DJ with the instructor. Usually a little bit of everything on the bike.
- Climb – Heavy on resistance and less speed work – I’m much better at these rides I’ve discovered
- Intervals & Arms – includes some arms work which is nice to have
- HIIT & Hills – not in the article above but combines intervals and climbing for a really good workout
The tread classes are similar in different types of running classes they offer. Both the bike and tread now have bootcamps as well which have you do cardio and strength back and forth. They’re really fun and challenging.
Why would I do a live class vs. an on-demand class?
First, you should know the different between them. Live classes are streamed live from the Peloton studios and taken live with other Members. On-demand classes are previously recorded classes available to take any time. There are also Encore classes that are previously recorded classes streamed as if they were live, with a fresh live Leaderboard – so they “feel” live even though they aren’t.
The reason live classes are fun is because you’ll typically get more engagement with the leaderboard – i.e. more high fives. They’re also great if you’re celebrating a big milestone and want to try to get a shoutout from an instructor (pretty hard these days with 1000s of people in live classes at a time and 100s celebrating milestones in each class). If you’re on a streak you’ll get a ton of high fives during a live ride – i.e. 10 days in a row – others riding will be notified and can high five you. If you’re riding with multiple friends live rides make it easy to all join at the same time. During a live ride – or any ride for that matter – you can filter the leaderboard to just see certain tags – i.e. #pelotonmoms #rideandraise – it’s a fun way to engage with others while riding.
On- demand rides are great if you want to work out on your own time and not when live classes are available. Most people do on-demand rides more than anything for this reason. You can search the on-demand library and filter for specific class types. You can still take on-demand classes with friends by picking a class you want to take and starting it at the same time. Then, you’ll see each other on the “Here Now” portion of the leaderboard.
What is the Ride & Raise thing you do with Peloton?
Ride & Raise (https://rideandraise.org/) is a community that was started in 2020 when a few of us wanted to get together during quarantine and ride together. We decided to donate money for each person who agreed to ride with us and got together on a Zoom while we did a live class (weird at first for sure). It was so fun, so we’ve now done a monthly event every month for various causes and it’s gotten more legit! We’ve raised over $16K.
Now, our monthly event includes a two-week activity challenge via an app called Kilter that allows anyone to participate – not just Peloton people. You can walk, do yoga, etc. to get points and compete. It culminates with a live Peloton ride and Zoom event on the last day of the challenge. Registration cost and prizes vary based on the cause, but it’s usually $20-50 to join and sometimes comes with swag. Join us!
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions (or if you need a referral code 😉). I could talk about this all day.
P.S. I’ve been lucky enough to ride in the studio in NYC! Hopefully again someday – especially since they’ve since built a brand new studio!
If you want to take the rides I was in:
- 11/2/2019 – Alex’s 45 Min Club Bangers Ride (I got a shoutout for my century ride! but you can’t see me)
- 7/16/2019 – Alex’s 45 Min Pop Ride (I got to ride in the front row and feel his sweat it was heaven 😂)
- 6/19/2019 – Ally’s 45 Min Interval & Arms Ride (I’m in the front row on the right side wearing yellow)
- 4/5/2019 – Ally’s 45 Min Country Ride (I’m in the second row in the middle)