I’m not going to lie to you – I hate, hate, hate exercising. When I was in school, I dreaded gym classes most of all and found every possible excuse not to participate. Things didn’t change when I came of age either. I tried to run just to stay healthy, and even tried to train for a few 10k runs. The problem is that as soon as the race was over, I again lost interest. Even the best cheap fitness trackers did not help. But, recently something caught my interest; the Peloton bike.
For some reason I really liked the Peloton commercials on TV. And even though I don’t ride a bike and the price was a bit steep, I took the plunge and bought the Bike + model last week. Here’s my overall experience so far including what I’ve learned and how it’s been.
Why did I buy a Peloton bicycle?
It might seem like an off-the-cuff decision, but I had actually been considering buying a Peloton for a few months. Since the pandemic struck and working from home became a regular occurrence, I felt like I was becoming even more unfit. I did my best to make time for daily walks and convinced myself to do a few short jogs on the weekends, but found every reason to avoid it.
I saw that Peloton sales had exploded during this period and I too wanted to participate. The idea of ââworking out at home without others watching me was a key driver, and I really liked that in addition to cycling you could twist the screen of the new Bike + model to do yoga, Pilates and meditation. But, there was such a wait for delivery (13 weeks at the time) that I was put off.
By the time winter arrived – with nightfall earlier and the temperature dropping, I had practically stopped exercising. I knew something had to change. That’s when Peloton’s last bike, the Bike +, entered Black Friday sales in the UK. It was Â£ 300 off, reducing it to Â£ 1,995. Still a steep price by all means and then there’s an extra Â£ 40 ($ 39) per month subscription, but when my partner offered to split the cost and the bike, I jumped on the offer. After all, Â£ 20 each a month for unlimited classes seemed a lot cheaper than a gym membership.
The accessories we wanted were likely to increase the price, but we found ways to bring it down. Instead of buying two pairs of Cycling shoes (Â£ 119 or $ 125 each), we ordered toe clip adapters for Â£ 25, so we could ride in regular sneakers. We also bought the Bicycle mats (Â£ 49 or $ 59) for the bike to sit on, as we didn’t want sweat dripping onto the mat, but you could technically use another mat for that. You can also buy your own adjustable dumbbells and water bottles, so you don’t have to pay full price.
Peloton bike: Installation
I was quite worried about the installation as I heard horror stories about bikes dumped at the bottom of the stairs and left for the buyer to assemble. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The delivery arrived during the agreed time slot and the guys called me 30 minutes before arrival. We live in a building and they brought the bike through four sets of doors, to the elevator, to our guest room.
They took about 20 minutes total to assemble and even offered to move the bike around to see if I would prefer it in another position. I really can’t fault the customer service. They installed the Toe Clip adapters, helped me set up the Wi-Fi connection, and walked me through the system.
How are the lessons?
Since Saturday night, I’ve taken three beginner cycling classes, two yoga classes, and a quick meditation class. I was hoping to do more cycling, but being new it took a toll on my muscles. I felt good in the first and second cycling lessons, but in the third, the aches started to set in. Having said that, I did 13.4 miles which doesn’t feel too bad for the first week. Plus, I can check my progress on the Peloton app and see I’m going faster.
When looking for courses, it is useful that you can filter by your level of experience, duration of the course, music genre, and even the instructor. You can post a description of the class before you start as well as the music they will be playing, which is a good idea. Also, there is a good range of lesson times – I found 20 minutes to be just right so far. But, it can range from 5 minutes to 90 minutes for the bike.
As I was sticking to the beginner classes they didn’t take me to the extreme, but I still found them to be more than enough, especially if you’re in pain before you start. I had started to sweat at the end, which to me means it works. One thing I will mention is that the seat is wreaking havoc on my butt – maybe that’s because I’m new to cycling, but it’s true that I feel like it could be. better cushioning.
Hope I get used to it over time. I find the instructors to be motivating, they explain the stats on the screen as you cycle as well as how to interact with other riders which was very helpful.
I loved being able to see others taking the same course at the same time. I’m quite competitive so that made me pedal harder. Also, it’s a good idea that you get badges and rewards for certain milestones, such as the number of classes you’ve taken and daily streaks. I have only taken pre-recorded lessons so far, but I definitely want to try the live lessons because I guess it will be the most engaging and interactive option. If you sign up, it’s in your calendar and you’re less likely to give up.
The other class options should not be ruled out either. I loved being able to rotate the screen and easily select a yoga or meditation class. You can even tilt the screen down so you can see it from a yoga mat. I thought it was great to participate early in the morning before starting my day. I will say it can be a bit more complicated than cycling, especially if you are not used to yoga. I was asked to do poses I had never heard of and was confused by the directions – and turning my head to look at the screen isn’t the easiest in the downward dog pose . That said, you quickly recognize patterns and become self-reliant.
My peloton verdict
Overall I think it’s a successful first week with the Peloton Bike +. I want to go there as much as my body allows, and I really feel it. Now I just have to keep going and hopefully progress to the intermediate levels. I’m also excited to try out some of the programs, which involve a number of classes over a few weeks – boxing has just been added, which sounds interesting!