I am a Peloton believer – my Bike and app review

I ordered my wife a Peloton Bike for her birthday and I’ve been on it pretty much every day since. I figured I would get marginal use out of it and maybe use it once or twice a week to supplement my running. However, I’ve discovered the great suite of exercise programs that come with the membership, and I’ve used it a ton already. I really didn’t think I’d buy into the religion of Peloton, but a week in and I’m hooked.

Like many others, going to the gym isn’t high on our list of priorities right now. I didn’t exactly go often before the pandemic anyway, but my wife did enjoy taking spin classes at the gym in her office pretty regularly. So for her birthday – and for myself – we ordered the Peloton bike because so many of our friends were also enjoying it. My only experience with spin before had been two short sessions of Soul Cycle during a team charity event with friends, but I knew it kicked my butt. Running for hours didn’t seem to translate over very well.

Peloton is seeing a massive surge in orders now due to the number of people looking to get in workouts from home and still experience some of the benefits of working out together. While it’s not the same as being in a class with others in person, the experience does at least make you feel connected and the social aspects approximate working out with others. I’ve already found myself pushing harder toward the end of a workout when I see I am close and can beat a friend who had taken the same class. The membership and app are very sticky too, once people sign up and take a few classes, most never leave. It remains to be seen if this will continue once gyms reopen more, but I can personally say I much prefer this experience to going into a crowded smelly gym.

Once we got set up and connected, I understood why the members are so religious about it, becoming fans of specific instructors, working their schedule around specific classes, and purchasing the next iteration of each pricey piece of equipment the moment it’s announced. While we didn’t change our order from the original Bike when the Bike+ was announced days later, plenty of others did. We did appreciate the refund we got for the new lower price on the bike though. The programming from Peloton is incredible. The trainers are excellent and while I haven’t narrowed down a specific one I like the most, I’m starting to pick out some favorites and can see myself primarily following their activities.

It’s not only for the bike too. I thought we would mostly use the bike for workouts, but it’s actually been only the third most used activity for me. The monthly membership comes with tons of other exercise options including the newly launched bootcamp and barre programs. For me, I’ve been making a lot of use of the core and strength training ones, some yoga, and primarily the audio guided outdoor running activities. As much as I like to listen to music or books while I run, I’ve really been enjoying the motivation that comes from a trainer’s encouragement, the amazing playlists, and the different workout options in the app.

I’ve also really enjoyed the stretching and strength classes. The app lets us cast to the basement TV Chromecast so we can do them together and we’ve actually been able to make 15-20 minutes each night for a class. It’s the first time we’ve been on a regular workout schedule together since our twins were born 4.5 years ago. It takes me back to the days when we would do P90X at night nearly 10 years ago when I lost over 60 pounds from starting to exercise regularly and got me in shape to start running. It’s only been a week, but the classes and instructors have been motivating enough so far to keep us on track so I hope we can continue and maybe I can finally lose the beer bump that evening training and running a 50K hasn’t gotten rid of.

The only things I think could be a bit better are the discovery of classes. There are just so many it’s hard to know what to do next. While features like bookmarking classes for later and filtering by numerous attributes like length, music, and intensity help, it’s still a bit overwhelming for a new user to find the best and relevant workouts. I also wish there was a little bit more social integration. I want to see which classes my friends are doing so that we can team up or compete, but it’s a bit hard to do that. I would also love a feed of activities the people I follow are doing. And it’s hard to find people on it if you don’t know their usernames. You can search Facebook friends, but for those of us without FB, I have to search manually.

So far, I absolutely love our Peloton bike and the content. We already feel like we have gotten our money’s worth for the price and expect to continue. The product does an exceptional job of getting us to come back. As I write this, my wife is taking a live spin, I finished a guided run this morning, plan to take a quick spin when she finishes, and we’ll do a strength class tonight. That says a lot about how great the offerings are and how good it is at actually motivating us. I’m so glad we finally got the bike and now I really have my eyes on the treadmill as well.

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