The Peloton bike has become one of the most popular exercise bikes in recent years, renowned for its interactive live and on-demand classes. With its sleek design and large HD touchscreen, Peloton aims to bring a boutique fitness class experience right into your home.
However, with its premium price point ranging from $1,445 to $2,495 for the bike alone, it’s a significant investment. If you’re considering purchasing a Peloton bike, a test drive can help you determine if the price is justified based on the overall experience and value you’ll get from it.
Outline of Peloton Bike Test Drive Review
Here is an outline covering the key aspects we will explore in this Peloton test drive review:
- Overview of Peloton and its popular exercise bike
- Purpose of review – assess if high price of Peloton bike is worth it
Peloton Bike Test Drive Setup
- Scheduling appointment for home test ride
- Delivery and setup process
- Adjusting bike settings for proper fit
Testing Out Peloton Bike Ride Classes
- Choosing beginner classes for first test ride
- Joining live classes with instructors
- Cycling performance and comfort during rides
- Sound quality and visual display
Review of Peloton Classes and Content
- Variety of class types – cycling, strength, yoga, etc.
- Class length options
- Quality of instructors and motivation
- Music options and playlists
- Off-bike classes using mat and weights
Peloton App Overview
- App dashboard and features
- Creating profile and syncing stats
- Connecting app to bike
- Tracking progress and achievements
Additional Peloton Equipment
- Peloton shoes
- Heart rate monitors and bands
- Weights and yoga equipment
- Water bottles, mats, etc.
Peloton Membership Cost Breakdown
- Monthly membership fee
- Packages and family plans
- Access to classes and content
- Subscription vs. one-time payments
Peloton Bike Financing Options
- 0% financing offers
- Payment plans for bike and membership
- Financing through Affirm, Klarna, etc.
Peloton Delivery, Setup & Maintenance
- White glove home delivery
- Assembly and setup process
- Ongoing maintenance needs
- Tuning and calibration
Peloton Warranty & Returns
- 30 day return policy
- 1 year limited warranty
- Repairs and replacement parts
Peloton Community & Motivation
- Leaderboard and social features
- Facebook groups and online community
- Events, challenges and programs
- Motivation to keep riding
Pros of the Peloton Bike
- High quality instructors and classes
- Convenience of live and on-demand workouts
- Customized performance tracking
- Motivating leaderboard and competitions
- Engaging social community features
- Low impact cardio and strength training
Cons of the Peloton Bike
- Expensive price tag
- Ongoing membership fee required
- Limited weight lifting and strength options
- Lack of outdoor rides and terrain
- Not as immersive as in-studio experience
- Potential for technical issues
Peloton Bike vs. Alternatives
- Comparison to other smart bikes like NordicTrack, Echelon, etc.
- Spin studio and gym classes
- Non-smart indoor cycles and spin bikes
- Standalone cycling apps and digital platforms
Final Verdict – Is the Peloton Worth the Investment?
Scheduling a Peloton Bike Test Ride
The best way to evaluate if the Peloton bike is worth the price is to schedule a test ride. Peloton offers 30 minute home trials of the bike to experience it firsthand before committing.
To schedule a test ride, you can request an appointment on Peloton’s website. You’ll enter your location information and preferred date/timeframe. Peloton allows you to select morning or afternoon test ride blocks.
Once you request an appointment, Peloton will follow up to confirm your test ride date and 4 hour delivery window. A delivery team will bring the Peloton bike to your home and get it fully setup for the test ride.
Peloton notes test ride requests may take 1-3 weeks to fulfill depending on availability in your area. So schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible.
Peloton Bike Test Ride Delivery Process
On the scheduled date, the Peloton bike will be delivered right to your door. Peloton offers white glove delivery, setup, and orientation services to get you riding quickly.
Here’s an overview of what to expect with the Peloton test ride delivery:
- Shipping confirmation – Peloton will call, email, and text to confirm delivery date and time window the night before your scheduled ride.
- Delivery to your door – The Peloton bike will arrive on a truck with 2-3 delivery crew members who will bring it inside to your desired room.
- Unpacking – The team will fully unpack the Peloton bike and recycling all packaging materials.
- Assembly – Delivery experts will assemble the bike and attach the touchscreen. Assembly takes about 30-45 minutes.
- Connecting – The bike will be plugged in and connected to your wifi network so it’s ready to use.
- Settings adjustments – Seat, handlebars, and screen angle will be adjusted to fit you properly. You can fine tune later.
- Orientation – The team provides a tutorial on how to use the bike, touchscreen, and app.
- Safety check – Brakes, pedals, and screen are checked to ensure proper functioning before the team leaves.
The whole process takes 2-3 hours. You can ride immediately after the delivery team leaves. Schedule your test for a day when you can be home the entire window.
Adjusting the Peloton Bike Settings For Your First Ride
Once the Peloton bike is assembled in your space, the delivery team will do some initial adjustments so you can test ride. However, you may need to fine tune the bike settings yourself to get the proper fit.
Here are the key bike adjustments to make for your first Peloton ride:
Seat height – Sit straight with one pedal at 6 o’clock. Adjust height so knee is slightly bent when extended.
Seat fore/aft – Adjust horizontal seat position so knees are over the pedal spindles when pedaling.
Handlebar height – Raise or lower so shoulders are relaxed when holding handles.
Handlebar distance – Slide handlebars in/out so upper body feels upright but not overreaching.
Screen tilt – Adjust angle of screen so you can see it without straining your neck.
Pedals/Cleats – Ensure shoes clip securely into pedals and unclip with a gentle twist.
Start with the delivery team’s recommended settings, then change as needed during your test rides for comfort. Don’t be afraid to re-adjust between classes to get it right.
Choosing Beginner Peloton Classes for Test Rides
If you’re new to Peloton, it’s smart to start with beginner cycling classes for your test rides. This allows you to get a feel for the bike without overexerting yourself initially.
Here are some great options for your first Peloton bike test class:
- 20 minute low impact rides – Great for cycling newbies. Emphasis is on an easy pace and proper form.
- Beginner series – Peloton has specific collections for first-time riders to learn basics.
- Introduction to Peloton – Class teaches you how to use the bike and get set up properly.
- New buyer rides – Special classes to orient new Peloton owners to features.
- Beginner theme rides – Fun rides focused on a particular genre like 80s, rock, country.
- Low impact or advanced beginner rides – Work at your own pace with less complex moves.
The instructors clearly explain what resistance and cadence ranges you should target as a beginner. Don’t worry about keeping up – focus on learning!
Pro tip: Use the handy “Beginner” filter on the touchscreen to find ideal classes for your test ride.
Joining Your First Live Peloton Classes
One of the most fun parts of testing the Peloton is taking live classes with top instructors. During your 30 minute home trial, try a couple beginner live rides to experience the energy and community.
Here are some tips for your first live Peloton cycling class:
- Join 5-10 minutes early to get bike settings ready. Instructors do pre-show welcomes.
- The “Tap to join” button appears right at start time – tap quickly before the class fills up!
- During class, metrics like resistance and cadence are called out – adjust as able.
- Keep your own pace – don’t worry about hitting specific targets as a beginner.
- High five other members taking the class and watch the leaderboard.
- Stay for the end stretch – important to cool down properly after rides.
With the hype and high energy of live classes, you may feel tempted to overdo it as a beginner. Remember to take it at your own pace and level during the test to prevent burnout or injury. But the motivation of a live class will let you experience the signature Peloton environment.
Testing the Peloton Bike Ride Experience
Now for the fun part – actually riding the Peloton! During your home trial, you’ll want to assess the overall experience. How does the bike feel? How is the class content? You’ll get to test out:
Cycling performance – Test the fluidity of the magnetic resistance knob, responsiveness of adjustments, and smoothness of the ride itself.
Comfort – Evaluate how comfortable the seat, handlebars, and bike geometry feel during extended riding.
Sound system – Assess the volume, sound quality, and ability to clearly hear instructors.
Display visibility – Check if the HD touchscreen is easy to see from bike seat and displays class metrics clearly.
Motivation level – Gauge how motivating and entertaining the classes and instructors are.
Class variety – See the diversity of class lengths, formats, music genres, instructor styles available.
Overall workout – Evaluate how effective the bike classes are for cardio training and if you feel properly worked out after.
During each test ride, make notes on all these aspects so you can assess if the Peloton bike delivers a high-quality cycling experience that will motivate you.
Reviewing Peloton’s Class Types and Content
A major draw of Peloton is the vast library of classes available on-demand. Spend time browsing the class content on your test ride to understand the variety offered.
Here’s an overview of key class categories:
- Cycling – Peloton’s signature instructor-led spin classes with different formats.
- Strength – Off-bike classes like bodyweight, weights, HIIT using your own dumbbells.
- Yoga & Stretching – All levels of yoga classes plus focused stretching. Requires a mat.
- Cardio – Non-cycling cardio like bootcamps, dance cardio, and HIIT.
- Meditation – Guided meditation classes to build mindfulness.
- Bootcamp – Combines cycling with strength for a total body workout.
- Walking & Running – Treadmill-based cardio classes, also great for outdoor walks/runs.
- Barre – Isometric-focused classes to sculpt and tone.
This variety lets you customize well-rounded training beyond just spinning. Bookmark interesting classes to take after your test ride ends.
Peloton class lengths range from 5 to 90 minutes:
- 5-20 min: Warm up rides, post-ride stretches, strength, meditation
- 20-30 min: Standard spinning class length, HIIT, yoga
- 30-45 min: Common for theme rides, intermediate cycling, bootcamps
- 45-60 min: Endurance rides, advanced strength, yoga
- 60-90 min: Marathon or advanced cycling, full body workouts
So whether you want a quick lunch break session or long endurance workout, Peloton has you covered.
Evaluating Peloton Instructors and Motivation
Peloton’s 50+ instructors are at the heart of its engaging experience. During your test drive, take classes with different instructors to find those you vibe with.
Consider how motivating, entertaining, and knowledgeable the instructors are. Do their teaching styles push you and keep you focused?
Here are the qualities to look for:
- Clear cuing – Instructs proper form, cadence, and resistance levels
- Supportive – Offers encouragement and modifications for all fitness levels
- Engaging personality – Entertaining banter and style to boost enjoyment of workout
- Music curation – Quality and variety of playlists that align to workout pace
- Effective coaching – Provides the right amount of coaching/pushing for maximal effort
Finding 1-2 instructors that you love during the test ride makes it more likely you’ll stick with Peloton long-term. See who connects with your personality and training style.
How Does the Music and Playlist Selection Stack Up?
Music is a huge part of the Peloton experience. Testing out the playlists and song variety is key.
Peloton offers many different music genres like pop, rock, hip hop, country, and EDM. Instructors choose songs that match the ride type and theme to drive your workout performance.
You can also take artist series rides focused on a particular band or musician’s catalog. Common artist spotlights include:
- Classic rock bands – Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen
- Pop superstars – Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga
- Throwbacks – 80s, 90s, 2000s hits
- Today’s hits – Current pop and hip hop
If you love or loathe a certain music genre, make note during test classes. This will influence long-term enjoyment.
Check that volume is loud and clear enough from handlebar speakers to hear songs and instructor cues. Seeing song details on-screen is also a nice touch.
Using the Peloton App and Understanding Its Features
The Peloton bike experience is enhanced by its accompanying app. Download the app to test out its features and syncing capabilities.
You can use the Peloton app to:
- Browse on-demand classes and schedule them
- Join live classes remotely from your phone
- Cast classes to a TV to follow along off-bike
- Track workout history and performance metrics
- Earn achievement badges for milestones
- Interact with friends and the community
- Manage your account and profile
When you create a profile and take a class on the bike, your workout data will automatically sync to the app. This allows tracking progress over time.
Connecting the app to your bike opens up a whole new world of classes you can take anytime on your phone, tablet, smart TV, or computer for a seamless experience.
Considering Additional Peloton Equipment and Accessories
To enhance your workouts, Peloton sells various equipment add-ons and accessories beyond just the bike itself.
During your test ride, see if any of the following are worth the investment:
- Peloton cycling shoes – Clip in shoes starting at $125, specially designed for the bike.
- Weights – Dumbbells, bands, Pilates rings, etc. to use for strength classes.
- Yoga package – Includes mat, block, strap, and towel starting at $150.
- Heart rate monitor – Arm band or chest strap to provide live heart rate metrics during rides.
- Bike mat – Protects floors from sweat and marks ($59).
- Peloton water bottle – Leak-proof bottle to stay hydrated ($20).
- Peloton apparel – Trendy activewear like leggings, shorts, shirts if you want to rep the brand.
Try out any equipment used in the classes you take during the trial to determine if those add-ons boost your experience and are worth paying extra for.
Breaking Down the Peloton Membership Cost
While the upfront Peloton bike cost draws the most attention, you also have to factor in the ongoing membership fee. This recurring charge grants you access to classes.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of current Peloton membership plans:
- All-Access Membership – $44/month. Gives unlimited access to all live and on-demand classes. Can have multiple member profiles per membership.
- Peloton App Membership – $12.99/month. For access to classes just through the app, no bike purchase required. More budget-friendly to test out.
- Family Accounts – Add up to 4 users or households under one account for $44/month total. Great for families and roommate shares.
- Digital Membership – $39/month for bike owners who want app access without live classes.
- One-Time Class Packs – Range from $29 single class to $169 for 20 classes. Use on pay per class basis without monthly fee.
So for complete live and on-demand class access plus multiple users, expect around $44+ monthly. This recurring cost factors heavily into the bike’s value, so know what you’re signing up for.
What Peloton Offers for Bike Financing and Payment Plans
The high upfront cost of the Peloton bike may be hard to swallow all at once for some buyers. That’s where their financing and payment plan options come in handy.
Here are some ways Peloton allows you to split up the bike purchase cost:
- 0% APR financing – Through Affirm, pay off bike over 12-18 months with no interest. Applications are quick and don’t impact credit
- Klarna financing – Similar to Affirm, get 0% APR financing over 6-24 months through Klarna’s payment options.
- Peloton financing – Apply for Peloton’s in-house payment plan to finance bike and membership monthly.
- Paypal Pay in 4 – Break payment into 4 interest-free installments every 2 weeks with Paypal.
- Gift cards – Use Peloton gift cards toward a portion of the bike cost as a payment option.
- Trade-in program – Trade in old fitness equipment to get a certificate for $100-$700 off a Peloton.
- Gym equipment financing – Wells Fargo offers financing specifically for gym equipment like Peloton bikes.
- Credit card points – Some credit cards offer bonus points or cash back for fitness purchases that can offset cost.
- Fitness grants – Some health insurance companies and employee wellness programs offer partial reimbursement.
- Referral discounts – Get $100 off bike for each friend you refer to purchase one.
Leveraging one of these financing options can help lower the monthly cost of the bike and make purchasing more budget-friendly over time. Compare all the payment plan details before choosing the best one for your needs.
What to Expect for Peloton Delivery, Setup, and Maintenance
Once you decide to purchase, here’s a peek at what Peloton’s white glove delivery and setup entails based on the test ride experience:
- Scheduled delivery – Choose your delivery date and 4 hour arrival window. Evening and weekend times available.
- Room of choice – Bike is carried in and assembled right where you want it set up.
- Complete assembly – Experts fully unpack, assemble, and level the bike so it’s ready to ride.
- Wifi connection – Bike will be connected to your wifi and Peloton account for immediate use after setup.
- Adjustments and tutorial – Handlebars, seat, and screen will be dialed in for you. In-depth tutorial is provided.
- Haul away – All packaging materials will be hauled away so no cleanup needed.
- Quality assurance – Post-assembly checks done to ensure proper functioning before team leaves.
After delivery, you’ll want to monitor a few maintenance items:
- Tire air – Inflate tires to 50psi monthly to keep ride smooth. Floor pump with gauge included.
- Calibration – Regularly calibrate bike to maintain accurate resistance levels.
- Screen cleaning – Use microfiber cloth and eyeglass cleaner to wipe fingerprints off screen.
- Screw tightening – Check pedals, cleats, handlebars, and frame screws monthly and tighten as needed.
But overall, the bike itself is low maintenance compared to your car or other equipment. Let Peloton know if any issues arise.
Peloton Warranty, Returns, and Repair Policies
Peloton offers competitive warranty and return policies should any problems arise with the bike after purchasing:
- 30 day return policy – Full refund (minus shipping) if bike is returned in like-new condition within 30 days.
- 1 year limited parts warranty – Covers any defects/repairs needed to components like bearings, pedals, etc.
- Labor warranty – Free troubleshooting and repairs by Peloton for 1 year after delivery.
- 5 year frame warranty – Replacement of defective bike frame up to 5 years from purchase date.
- $250 return/exchange fee – Applies for returns or exchanges made more than 30 days after delivery.
- Return pickup – Peloton will send a carrier to pack up and transport the bike back at no cost to you.
For any issues, Peloton’s customer service department and online support resources can walk you through troubleshooting or repair requests. Extended warranties are also available for purchase.
The Peloton Community Features and Motivation
A unique aspect Peloton sells is the motivational community features built into the bike/app experience. See how these social components engage you during the trial:
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- Live leaderboard – Compare your performance to others in real time during classes.
- ** Class comments feed** – Interact with classmates by sharing encouragement, high fives, and motivational messages.
- Challenges – Join time-based fitness challenges with other members to stay dedicated.
- Workout groups – Connect online with small groups sharing fitness goals for accountability.
- Social sharing – Share your achievements and milestones to Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Local events – Meet up with Peloton fans for in-person social rides and happy hours.
- Facebook community groups – Join Peloton enthusiast groups to ask questions and find tips.
The leaderboard competition and community bonding during intense workouts can really boost motivation and performance. If you like group fitness dynamics, these elements shine.
The Pros of Owning the Peloton Exercise Bike
If you’re still on the fence after your test ride, here are the standout pros to consider about making the Peloton bike investment:
- Top-notch instructors – Personable, motivating instructors guide your workouts and progress.
- Convenience – Workout anytime at home on your schedule without commuting.
- Thousands of on-demand classes – Massive and growing library of classes for unlimited variety.
- Engaging class formats – Group dynamic and music make you push harder than solo workouts.
- Performance tracking – Detailed metrics and achievement milestones to beat personal records.
- Live and studio classes – Adrenaline rush of joining live rides or studio sessions.
- Effective low impact cardio – Low joint impact with high calorie burn for heart health.
- Full body training – Mix cycling with strength, yoga, cardio, barre, and more.
- Accountability and competition – Leaderboard, groups, and challenges keep you motivated.
- Resale value – Pelotons resell well compared to other fitness equipment.
Potential Downsides to Consider About the Peloton
To make an informed decision from your test ride, be aware of the potential downsides of the Peloton bike:
- Expensive – High price tag plus ongoing membership fee is a luxury purchase.
- Must pay for membership – Additional monthly cost after buying the equipment.
- Limited weight training – Light dumbbells only, no barbells or rack training options.
- No outdoor elements – Can’t replicate real outdoor riding terrain or training.
- Not a substitute for gyms – Lacks certain equipment like pools,tracks, group sports.
- Not as immersive as studio – Energy still different vs. an in-person boutique studio class.
- Leaderboard addiction – Can create unhealthy obsession with metrics vs. personal goals.
- Potential technical issues – Touchscreen, wifi connectivity, and software problems in rare cases.
- Tuning and repairs – Professional servicing required for any major repairs.
While there are some limitations, none of the potential drawbacks seem to be dealbreakers for most Peloton enthusiasts. But be realistic about any expectations.
How Does the Peloton Bike Stack Up to the Competition?
The Peloton bike pioneered the interactive home cycling experience, but many competitors have since entered the market. Here’s how other options compare:
NordicTrack Commercial S22i – Closest model to Peloton in terms of design, display size, and overall ride feel. Includes 1 year iFit family membership ($39/month after). Around $1999.
Echelon Connect Sport – Lower priced around $600 but requires you bring your own tablet. Magnetic resistance, Bluetooth music connection. Echelon Fit membership is $40/month.
Bowflex VeloCore – Unique leaning bike with screen for $1799, but less integrated leaderboard and metrics. $20/month membership for classes.
Schwinn IC4 – Basic spin bike with tablet holder for under $900. Bring your own device/apps – no membership required.
VariDesk Pro Plus 36 – Desk exercise bike allowing you to pedal while working starting at $395. No screen or classes.
Sunny Health & Fitness – Budget magnetic resistance stationary bikes around $400-800. Basic LCD display with media shelf. No membership fees.
Peloton still leads in terms of motivation, customization, and benchmark metrics due to its vertically integrated platform. But competitors are closing the gap while being more budget-friendly.
Should You Buy the Peloton Bike? Final Verdict.
After test riding and reviewing all aspects of the Peloton bike experience, here is my final verdict on if the high price tag is justified:
The Peloton bike undoubtedly delivers an incredibly motivating and personalized home cycling program through its leaderboard competitions, music integration, and coaching. Although expensive as a fitness equipment purchase, financing options combined with the vast on-demand class content make it worth the cost for devoted riders wanting to train and improve regularly with data tracking.
However, more casual exercisers may not use the bike to its full potential long-term or need all the performance metrics. The classes, training variety, and motivation may also be replicated more budget-friendly through boutique studio memberships. So for anyone less competitively driven, the price is harder to justify.
I can confidently recommend the Peloton bike with some caveats:
- Ideal for goal-driven, frequent riders who will fully utilize the class content
- Compare financing to reduce sticker shock and ease cash flow
- Ensure you have space for the equipment and to workout safely
- Expect an adjustment period to build cycling endurance if new to spin
- Maximize the experience by participating in competitions, groups, and social features
- Try adding bootcamp, strength, yoga, and running classes for cross-training benefits
While not inexpensive, ultimately the Peloton bike earns its reputation by making indoor cycling more entertaining and results-driven. Use the 30 day home trial to decide if the immersive experience and quality training is worth the investment for you personally before committing long-term.