Peloton exercise bikes

Curious if any QT3ers picked up a Peloton? I have trouble making myself go to the gym when there ISN’T a pandemic and need to get in better shape. A high tech bike with gamification and constantly changing content seems to be a good way to get me exercising.

Still, it’s a huge investment of over $2000 plus a subscription fee. Everyone online seems to absolutely love them and formed a sort of enthusiast cult. Only downsides I’ve really been able to find are the long delivery times because they can’t keep up with demand (currently their site says 8-10 week delivery).

We have an appointment this week at the Peloton store to try one out, but I’m hoping someone here has impressions to give. How long have you had one? Have you stuck with it? How bad was delivery?

I never ended up buying a peloton, but i’ll relate a bit of my story because it seems similar to your situation and you might be able to extract some value from it.

I hated exercise bikes. Like really hated. I don’t mind exercising itself, but i hate being bored and for me exercise bikes equated with boredom. Ten years ago, it wasn’t so much a problem, because I was younger and did other things like hiking and biking. However, following some events out here relating to hikers(getting murdered) and bikers (getting killed by cars), my wife started getting very anxious about me exercising. So, long story short, i got an exercise bike (pro tip, by the way, with exercise bikes - get the heaviest fly-wheel you can get).

And i never used it. It was boring as fuck and sat around in the garage for a couple of years. But then i had a bit of a idea - i had an old TV that i was moving from the bedroom and was going to back away, so i got a rack and put it and the tv in front of the bike. Then i got my surface tablet, and a small side table and hooked it up to the tv. Then i started playing hearthstone and it pretty well became my exercise game of choice. If you’re going to try this, i recommend games that can be played with just a mouse(no keyboard interaction). Controller games could work very well too (and consoles for that matter, might be an ideal fit). And pretty much i’ve been doing this 2-5 times a week for the last 6 years.

Lately I had to replace my original bike with a new bike, and I thought long about peloton. In the end, I really don’t like the subscription model and so opted for a bike from lifespan (my three finalists, were lifespan, peloton and nordictrack). However, depending on what motivates you, the subscription might work as good motivation to keep up with it. I think the thing to figure out is what’s going to motivate you to get on that bike - because you’ll need more than just having it present.

Couple other things I’ll mention - Figure out where you’re going to put it. If it’s inside the house proper, you’ll probably want a good rubber mat for it, cause you’ll probably sweat (mine’s in our garage so that’s less an issue). In the garage though, and depending on where you live, you might need a space heater or fan. It’s pretty temperate here, so i just have a fan that i’ve mounted on the rack in front of the bike, it’s pretty essential in the summer. But even inside, i could see airflow being an issue, so you might want to think about that a bit. And wipe down the bike afterwards - sweat can get into a lot of weird places and rust out components.

My advice? Whichever way you go, don’t half-ass it, because even the best bike/programs aren’t going to inspire you to ride if the environment is no good. Make your work out environment interesting, comfortable and compelling space. Make sure you have enough vertical space and that you have enough area around you to work out and not feel crowded. All that said, unless you know that you’d respond to a peloton workout, I’d try a cheap bike with a tv and a console. For a fraction of the amount of the peloton you’ll be able to find out whether it’s something you like or not.

I ordered one on January 3, so I don’t have experience with one yet, but I’ll use this opportunity to talk about myself anyway :)

When I was single and renting a few years ago I had room for an elliptical machine, and I found that with an iPad on a stand in front of it for Netflix, I didn’t have any trouble with the discipline to use it at least 4 times a week.

Married now and in a house already stuffed with stuff, we decided to order a Peloton this year because it’s about all that we can fit, and we’ve heard all the same glowing reviews from everyone who has one.

I’m a little curious if I’ll be more or less motivated to use it when I’m using their classes and programs, instead of just watching Netflix. I’m not sure if that’s the kind of thing I could just split my attention with and set up an iPad again in addition to the Peloton screen.

FWIW on ordering times, when we ordered it on Jan 3, the website estimated it would be 10+ weeks until delivery, but during the checkout process it offered us an “install” date of Feb 15. If that pans out, it’ll be a pleasant surprise since we thought it would be three months.

What is it you would do in the gym if you could go? Would you be going to the gym to ride a bike? If not there are better options out there, imo.

Also, every commercial for them guarantees I won’t ever get one. Not for me.

Oh, personal speculation here, may not apply to anyone (including us, time will tell): I think my wife isn’t going to like it as much as she thinks she will, but I hope she gives it a shot. I think she’s going to struggle with the clip-on shoes, and I suspect she may find the seat uncomfortable, since in our limited actual outdoor biking, she always prefers the very wide, soft, seats. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m worried it’s going to feel like a more aggressive biking experience than she expects.

I tried a spinning class once…many, many years ago. I have yet to recover feeling in my ass

Personally, for exercise on a piece of cardio equipment, my preference/go-to is reading a good book. The Kindle (or a tablet) works great here as you can often lay it flat and read while you are working the handles (if applicable) and just tap to turn the page. The minutes just melt away for me if I’m reading something I am into, and I an often go for a lot longer than if I’m just watching something or listening to a podcast, for whatever reason.

I thought about getting a Peloton, but $40 a month and the fact that if you stop paying the bike is almost useless, at least the big monitor part (although there must be a hack since it’s just an Android tablet). Instead, I was going to get an expensive bike that supports ANT+ that you can use with Zwift and a bunch of other apps which try to recreate outdoor bike riding as opposed to spinning classes like Peloton.

At the end of the day I couldn’t justify the price on any of those and bought the $1000 Schwin (which is the same as the Bowflex) and use it with Apple Fitness+. It works with a number of other apps as well, including Peloton, but without ANT+ its very limited for apps like Zwift. Anyway it’s not fun, but it’s good exercise.

I would suggest looking into a smart trainer with an actual bike mounted on it (or a smart trainer bike). I ride a ton of zwift but there’s rouvy and a few other options. If you like gamification they are great. They are also a lot cheaper. Zwift is only $15/month.

I used to ride on my road bike with a $400 smart trainer but like it so much I splurged on a wahoo kikr bike with lockdown. Adore it.

I absolutely cannot read while working out, so it’s just the bike in the basement + TV until I can get back to the gym (where it is mostly elliptical + podcasts when I’m not on the indoor track).

My current exercise show is Bosch, but if there’s an interesting PL match on the dvr I’ll watch that instead. I also try to time workouts to be during an interesting football game or college basketball game when I can.

I been listening to books which works well. I listen to certain books I enjoy on the spin bike so it helps motivate me to ride each day.

We’ve had one for the last few months. It’s good quality hardware, though definitely expensive and can be hard to justify depending on what you want out of it. Shortly after lockdown started, we realized that we weren’t going to be going back to the gym anytime soon, so cancelled our memberships and got this.

My wife and kids like the full class experience (as well as things like yoga classes). I usually play games while exercising, so I don’t give the instructor my full attention. But I still find that the automatic tracking of results is helpful, and I like the way that classes will vary the resistance and suggested cadence.

I hate their commercials.

Kindle (or a dead tree book with decent-size print, if the lighting is ok) for me, on the stationary bike. Harder on the elliptical, but doable with the Kindle.

I can’t do spinning or any other bike thing that requires clip on shoes. When I rode a road bike, mostly when I lived in Germany, the shoes killed my feet. I wear 6E width shoes, and, um, no one has bike shoes in that width.

There might be exceptions, but pretty much every bike option will have removable pedals, you can swap in non-clip ones.

@Vesper I do not have a Peloton but I do have an elliptical and what pyrhic says here is great advice. Where you put your bike or machine and how easy it is to get to it, how comfortable the space is, and how easy it is to clean are KEY considerations inside your home. Gyms get cleaned and wiped down constantly just to battle the smell of things that linger on exercise machines. They also have regular maintenance of that gear to keep them in service.

I bought the following two items with my elliptical that were recommended and have turned out being great!

A mat that provides the base for your bike/machine. It catches sweat, it protects your floor and it (lightly) deadens some of the sound made:

Lithium grease for metal to metal or metal to plastic lubrication:

Beyond that I also keep a spray bottle of cleaner and some hand towels near my elliptical, and similar to pyrhic I have a small space heater in the room and also a portable AC unit, as the room gets hot in the summer and the AC doesn’t keep up well. Again, placement of where you put it in your house is key. Make it easy to get to and comfortable to use, clean and upkeep.

Oh, yeah, that’s what I did for my mountain bike of course. For an exercise thing like a Peloton, serious business, the shoes seem part of the deal, like wit spinning. At the moment, at the gym I just use the bikes with the normal pedals. Those aren’t super hardcore machines.

Clipping in will let you engage more muscles on the upstroke so they are useful for exercising (where power transfer efficiency doesn’t really matter) but they aren’t needed to get a serious workout in.

If you’ve never spun before and have instead rode bikes, exercise bikes that are upright etc. you should really check out whether you want a Peloton first.

When you’re upright on the Peloton or any other spinning bikes (i. e. standing up not sitting) it’s a very intense cardio vascular exercise and puts a LOT of stress on your knees. If you go at it with intensity and aren’t used to such high intensity workouts you can easily tear miniscus in your knee. Great workout but not worth hurting yourself or finding out it doesn’t fit your needs.

Another option if you are into biking is to set up your current bike on a trainer inside. Simple trainers start at around $250 or you can spend more and go the Wahoo Kicker route (or other trainers) and hook it up to Zwift which runs $15 a month and provides you with a community of riders and courses etc. There’s another biking thread here that has details on biking inside.

I think he must have gone to try one… which explains why we haven’t heard further from him.