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Last Updated: December 20, 2023
Peloton is known for their indoor cycling bike but in recent years they’ve become very popular in home fitness in general. When you buy a piece of Peloton equipment, you are really buying into an entire fitness community and interactive workout experience. Throughout this full Peloton review, I’ll go into the different membership options and let you know everything that you need to before you subscribe.
The majority of their classes are filmed in a studio and led by a trainer. Once you take a few classes, you’re sure to have a favorite trainer or two. They definitely help get you hooked, and the leaderboard is sure to get you motivated to push harder in every class.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of Peloton
Here at Treadmill Review Guru, our reviewers are also group fitness instructors, so we know what can make or break a good class. Knowing all the nitty-gritty that goes into creating classes and leading groups of people in fitness settings, allows us to really dissect these online exercise platforms that have exploded in popularity.
We also know that buying a piece of home fitness equipment is an investment and what can be a determining factor in if you use it or not, is the subscription content you’ll also pay for with a lot of brands nowadays. So, our hope with our reviews is to help you decide which of the many platforms is right for you.
Who Peloton Is For:
- Trainer-led fitness class enthusiasts who want to take classes at home.
- Peloton equipment owners who want to get full access to the attached touchscreen.
- Users who want motivation and instruction from a trainer.
- Competitive users who want to compete against and connect with people virtually.
- Households with multiple users who want access to one fitness app.
- Indoor cycling lovers who want those classes at home.
A Brief History of Peloton
Peloton was founded in January 2012, after raising enough money to start the company “Peloton Interactive, LLC”. It’s based in New York City and was founded by John Foley who is also the current CEO.
What You Get With A Peloton Membership
Cost of membership types:
- Peloton All-Access Membership: $39 per month
- Peloton App Membership: $12.99 per month plus tax
All-Access Membership features:
- Access all Peloton classes on Peloton equipment
- Up to 20 user profiles
- Track progress and position on the leaderboard on Peloton equipment
- Cancel anytime
- Log into as many iFit enabled equipment as you want to
- Use one membership for the Peloton Bike and Tread but not the Peloton Bike and Bike+
- Access to the Peloton App
App Membership features:
- Access to all Peloton classes through the app on a digital device
- Access to Peloton Guide
- 1 user profile
- Available on IOS, Android, and streaming devices
- Cancel anytime
In-depth Review of The Peloton App
Peloton offers a variety of classes on their equipment and off. The majority of their classes are filmed in a studio with top-notch lighting, sound, and video quality.
They have trainer-led running, cycling, strength, cardio, yoga, boxing, meditation, stretching, tread boot camp, bike boot camp, walking, outdoor audio, and scenic classes. In the app, you can access most of Peloton’s classes, except the scenic classes. Those are only available on the bikes and tread and there’s only a small number of them currently.
I find it handy that when you click on a class there is a description box that will give you a bit of insight into what to expect like if you need equipment like weights for the strength classes, the music playlist, and the level of difficulty it is rated as.
Another feature that we like is the Auto-Resistance feature that is available on the Bike+. It lets you lock the bike to the trainer’s cues for the resistance level and changes the bike’s resistance for you. Unfortunately, this is only on the Bike+ on-demand cycling classes right now.
In the Peloton digital app, there are also outdoor audio classes that let you listen to your Peloton instructor on your phone as they guide you through a class while you walk or run outside.
The classes range in time from 5 minutes up to 90 minutes, so if you’re short on time you can squeeze in a quick workout, or enjoy a long sweaty ride on the bike. The shorter classes are also nice to take a few at a time. With the stack feature, you can choose 2 or more classes and have them queued up for you to take one after the other for a custom workout.
There are also shorter warm-up and cool-down classes in activities like running, cycling, and strength that you can add before and after a class or stack of classes.
In our opinion, what really makes Peloton so popular is their trainers. Currently, there are over 45 instructors. If you follow them on social media, you’ll see that they’re kind of like mini-celebrities often with hundreds of thousands if not more, followers.
Members have even created social media groups and fan pages dedicated to the trainers, like Peloton Tread instructor Adrian Williams’s “Thunder Squad”, as his fan group is called.
Even apart from their status and popularity in and out of the Peloton community, every trainer is an experienced fitness professional and they each have their own unique flair. That flair may be the types of exercises they do, like Selena Samuela’s use of clamshells in her lower body strength classes, their playlists that they create, their intensity level, or just their overall energy and personality.
Sometimes you’ll even notice them scheduled at the same time and day each week teaching the same class, like Rebecca Kennedy’s “Friday 45” strength classes, or Ally Love’s “Sundays With Love” cycling classes, enticing you to get into a bit of a routine. Most likely when you start taking a few classes, you’ll have at least one trainer that you gravitate towards. I know I have a few.
Live and On-Demand Classes
On both Peloton’s equipment and in the digital app, you’ll find an extensive library of live and on-demand classes. The live classes are found on the schedule for you to take live with the instructor and other members. There are live classes available daily in pretty much every class category.
Live classes are fun because if you have reached a milestone, like taking your first tread boot camp class or it’s your 500th ride, the instructor might shout out your username during class. You can also get a shoutout if it’s your birthday when you take the class, too.
On-demand classes are there for you to take whenever you want. You can simply select an on-demand class if you’re on one of Peloton’s equipment and in the Peloton app, and take it. If something comes up like a visitor comes to your door, or you need to make a trip to the bathroom, you can pause an on-demand class in the digital app and on the equipment. You can’t pause live classes, however.
There’s also a feature where you can schedule classes for yourself at certain times. These work with live and on-demand classes. When you schedule a live class, you’ll get a reminder before it starts so you won’t miss it. You can schedule on-demand classes whenever you want. The personal schedule feature lets you build a workout schedule for 2 weeks out.
We also like that there are subtitles and captioning available for both live and on-demand classes. You can turn these on and off in the app and on the equipment.
We really like how Peloton incorporates music. They let their trainers create playlists for every class so you’ll hear the music as they intended it to be heard. This makes it great for classes like cycling because music is such a huge part of those classes. Oftentimes, the tempo from the beat of a song is used to drive the pace of a ride when you’re pedaling.
Since the trainers are so energetic, many of them will bust out a few dance moves while they lead a workout too. To me, this makes the class more engaging and fun.
Personally, my energy and mood during a workout, and even on my own, are influenced by the kind of music I’m listening to. I’m a lot more likely to push myself if I like the songs that are being played.
This is also true with taking a trainer-led class. If the instructor is enjoying themself and jamming to the music, their class most likely will feed off that energy, too.
What is nice is that there are often themed classes that dictate the type of music the instructor uses, like in a country run. You can search for the class depending on the type of music you want to hear, and there’s a wide variety of musical genres to choose from. Such as:
- Classic Rock
- Hip Hop
Another fun music feature is Peloton’s Artist Series. For these, you can take different kinds of classes that have playlists of songs from specific artists, like Beyonce and David Bowie.
There are also different themed classes during certain months where the playlist is chosen around a theme. March is Women’s History Month, and there are many classes that celebrate it by featuring music from female artists. The instructor will also talk about the topic during the class, too.
You can also adjust the volume by keeping it balanced between the trainer’s voice and music, or you can make the music or the trainer’s voice louder. You can’t completely mute one or the other though.
The leaderboard reflects your ranking with others who are taking the class or have taken it before (if it’s an on-demand one). There are filters that will only show members in that category and how you rank. You can choose to see how you rank with all the members in the class, just members you are following, just you, or narrow it down by gender and age group. That way you can decide how you want to be motivated or may be intimidated. I know I definitely find the leaderboard to be intimidating.
When you take classes in the Peloton digital app or mat classes on the tread or bike, a list of members who are currently taking the class is shown instead of the leaderboard. While some members love the leaderboard, others hate it and swipe it out of sight, and some use it as a means to connect.
Peloton does a good job at encouraging its members to engage with others. The simplest way is by giving someone a “high-five” on the leaderboard by pressing the small hand button by their username.
When you get a high-five it will pop up on the right side of the touchscreen on Peloton’s equipment. Getting one or a few can give you a little extra encouragement and overall it’s a nice gesture.
You can also connect with other members of the Peloton community by using tags on your profile. These are hashtags that you can create or join based on your interests. The hashtags then turn into groups. Common tag groups are “#PelotonMoms” and “#TogetherWeGoFar”. There are even tags that you can join to connect with other users that like the same instructors you do, like #RobinsWolfPack” for trainer Robin Arzon.
These are definitely nice ways to help people connect virtually.
Programs and Collections
If you’re looking to add some structure to your workout routine, Peloton’s programs let you do just that. The programs are classes that you can take in a specific category for the course of a week or multiple weeks. They have an overall goal, like Emma Lovewell’s Crush Your Core program which is designed to help strengthen your core by using bodyweight movements.
There are also 3 different Road To Your 26.2 programs to help you train for a marathon. These feature classes from multiple running trainers are 6 weeks each. Part 1 gets you started in your training, and then you keep progressing and adding miles as you work through Part 2 and Part 3.
Peloton’s Collections are a little bit different. Instead, they let you mix up your workout routine by trying something new like Barre, Pilates, and Dance Cardio. They’re a place where you can find Peloton’s picks for cycling, yoga, running classes, and more. This is also where you’ll find several Artist Series.
Plus, if you’re wanting a little extra motivation you can join a challenge and win a badge on your profile after you complete it. These are monthly and can be found on Peloton equipment and within the app along with the list of programs and collections.
If you like gamified content then you’ll like the Lanebreak series of workouts on Peloton. Currently, they are only available on the Bike and Bike+. Instead of having an instructor, it’s a video game that displays six lanes and a single wheel rolling forward on the screen. You use the resistance knob to change lanes, and you want to stay in the lane that is lit up.
To make it more interactive, there are different colored sections where you will pick up your pace and make sure the wheel hits all the lights. As you’re riding, you’ll see your cadence, watt output, and resistance right behind the wheel.
Different cadence ranges pop up under certain segments and you have to keep your pace within that range to earn points. There are other sections where you have to increase your speed to earn the most points possible.
The different segments are displayed by color, for example, the “beats” section is blue, so once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to know what you need to do during each part. Currently, there are 21 classes but I’m sure Peloton will probably continue to add more.
When I did a 10-minute game, it felt like a class with the beginning and end being easier like a warmup and cooldown, while the middle was more challenging and incorporated speed pushes that felt like short sprints. So, you’ll definitely get a good well-rounded workout in. There are classes that feature certain artists, music genres, and class styles like Tabata. There are also difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert based on the level of resistance you want to work at.
Of course, in true Peloton fashion, there’s a leaderboard for you to see how you rank among other members, too. It’s definitely a fun concept that reminds me of Guitar Hero from the early 2000s, and I found it to be really engaging to play. It’s definitely a nice mix-up from taking classes with an instructor.
Comparison To Other Fitness Apps
Other fitness apps like iFit and JRNY have some similarities and differences from the Peloton app. In our opinion, Peloton stands apart with their trainers and use of music.
iFit has a lot more trainers than Peloton with over 180, so you’re a little less likely to favor a specific one. iFit also has its music as a background component because it is not integrated into the classes. You can pick a set playlist and skip through it during your class.
We like iFit because you can literally explore places all over the world virtually. Peloton’s scenic classes aren’t at this level yet, and their library isn’t nearly as full as iFit’s. However, I think Peloton’s studio classes are more engaging than iFit’s studio classes.
JRNY’s library of classes is much smaller than Peloton’s and iFit’s. While classes are added daily, there aren’t any live classes offered, unlike the other two fitness platforms.
Where You Can Use Peloton
As mentioned above, if you purchase Peloton’s equipment you have to subscribe to the All-Access membership in order to get the most out of the attached touchscreen on the Tread, Bike, and Bike+. You can access all of Peloton’s classes with this membership on the equipment, and you can also log into the app and use it.
There are also rumors of Peloton adding a rowing machine to their lineup. We can imagine it will be interactive like their other machines, and that they’ll add trainer-led rowing classes to their library.
Peloton also has a strength training device called Peloton Guide to watch your positioning while taking mat classes. If you’re already an All-Access member, you can subscribe to Peloton Guide at no additional cost.
The Peloton digital app only gives you access to the app on a device like your phone or tablet. You can also use the app on your television through a streaming device like Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.
Performance & Functionality
Navigating the digital app and the library of classes on Peloton’s equipment is pretty easy. Everything is clearly labeled in both memberships and there are filters that let you narrow your class search. On top of searching by music type, you can search for classes that your favorite instructor has taught, too.
One thing to be aware of is that there are only filters instead of an additional search bar to look for a specific class. This can be challenging if you want to find a certain class or program. Another aspect to consider is that on the equipment you’re only able to access Peloton’s content, instead of other 3rd party apps too. There’s also no internet browser feature either.
If you’re interested in taking running or cycling classes, I would definitely recommend getting the Peloton Tread or one of the Peloton Bikes. This way your metrics will be shown on the screen and you can take advantage of the leaderboard. You’ll also be able to take classes off the equipment too. The All-Access membership is really where you get the most out of Peloton.
While we would like to see more guided and non-guided scenic classes (they have a small number of both), the quality and engagement that you get from all the other indoor classes at Peloton are worth the membership.
On Peloton’s equipment, the functionality is entirely through the screen when it’s plugged into an outlet. So, if the screen becomes damaged, it could make the machine unusable.
To track your heart rate, you can connect your Apple Watch to the Peloton app and the equipment, or use a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor.
The digital app is great if you are traveling, or are dedicated to taking mat classes, like strength and yoga. It’s also handy to use in situations where you have to work out from home because your gym is closed.
With either membership, you’re sure to get in a great trainer-led, studio workout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the Peloton app with another bike?
Yes you can. You can simply use the app through your device and take a class on your non-Peloton bike. If you want your bike’s metrics shown, however, you’ll need to purchase a Bluetooth-compatible cadence sensor for your bike. This will attach to your pedal crank or shoe. We suggest checking out the Wahoo Fitness RPM Cadence Sensor.
Is the Peloton app on Roku and Amazon Fire Stick?
Yes. You can install and use the Peloton digital app on a streaming device like Roku and Amazon Fire Stick.