In my previous life (pre-affair/divorce/baby) I wasn’t very good with money, nor with patience. I realize that buying a Peloton in the first place isn’t the cheapest way to exercise, but that’s beside the point. I wasn’t sure if I was going to use it regularly (I’ve never done that with previous “cheaper” equipment) and now I do try to save where I can, so when I first got this idea I decided to buy the original Bike instead of the more expensive Bike+. I also knew Peloton Bike’s have great re-sale value if I had to sell it at a minor loss (I view that as the price I paid to rent the bike for however long I had it). I had my Bike for almost four weeks before I decided to exchange it, so here is a review of both Bikes from someone who had both.
MY FIRST PELOTON EXPERIENCE
After using the Bike just one time, I was totally hooked. I absolutely loved the classes, and I’ve always been more successful with guided workouts instead of just sitting down on an exercise bike and doing my own thing (honestly, that goes for any piece of equipment, not just bikes). I think that is partially why I was so successful at CrossFit as well: you don’t need to come up with something to do or plan your own routine, you just show up and do what they tell you to do. And sometimes cry about it.
ABOUT PELOTON – THE APP
Peloton has a ton of different trainers and types of classes, and there are new live classes almost every day that then get added to the on-demand database. There’s no limit to the variety both in trainer types and classes. Plus, it’s not just a bike. You can use the app on any device when you own the bike at no additional charge. This offers outdoor running or walking workouts, meditations, yoga, guided stretching, strength training of any kind, cardio workouts, the Peloton Tread workouts, and both Bike and Tread Bootcamp (that incorporate strength and cardio into one workout using the Tread or the Bike).
Something I really love about Peloton is the way they track your activity. There is a calendar that fills in a colored circle if you were active that day and tracks your active days this 30 days versus the last 30 as well as the week-streak you’re on. Below that is the tally of workouts and which type they are.
The challenges are motivating and help track different types of activity, like how many miles were spent cycling in the month or how many active days. There is one big challenge for the year that tracks how many minutes you’ve spent on any activity in the app (I’m currently almost to 4,000!).
WHY THE BIKE OR BIKE+?
About week two of riding every single day, I started to question my decision about the original bike. I intended to save money and figured I wouldn’t miss the things the Bike+ had to offer. The new bike just came out in September of 2020 (which is almost a year ago now) and I figured there are a ton of people that have been using the original for years, so it can’t be that bad. However, considering how much I enjoyed it and that my 30 day full-refund time limit was running out, I decided to bite the bullet and return the original Bike and get the Bike+.
I can say now that it was 100% worth it, but I didn’t realize HOW worth it until I switched and noticed the differences for myself.
The new Bike+ features better speakers that are forward-facing instead of on the back of the screen. The speakers weren’t something I originally cared about, but it makes a HUGE difference and I’m very happy with them. I’ve never been to an in-person spin class, but I can assume I would love the experience
The best thing about the new Bike+, in my opinion, is AUTO-FOLLOW RESISTANCE! The instructor sets the range, you set where you want your resistance in relation to the range they give you (if they say 40-50 I set it at 45 and it keeps the resistance set in the middle of wherever they say), and the bike does the rest for you in all the on-demand classes. You don’t have to touch the resistance knob at all, it follows automatically. I originally thought that was one of those things I just wouldn’t care about, but what a difference it makes to not need to bother with it. Not only that, but there’s no risk of turning the knob way too far one way or the other. You spend less time adjusting and more time focusing on a great workout. Keep in mind that sometimes (rarely) the classes are set up incorrectly and the range isn’t updated as it should be, and if you take a Live class, the class hasn’t been set up for auto-follow yet since that happens post-filming.
APPLE WATCH PAIRING
Another nice feature is that it pairs with Apple Watch now, so you can use your watch as your heart rate monitor instead of putting on a separate one (like I did with the original bike).
The actual screen on the Bike+ turns all the way around. This is really nice because it turns your Peloton space into additional space for all of the other types of workouts offered on the app. You can take any class, aside from Tread or Outdoor classes, from the bike itself. Turning the screen makes your space fit your needs. This is an especially important feature when considering taking the Bike Bootcamp classes. In these classes you are on the bike some of the class, you’re given transition time to change shoes, then you enter into a strength portion of the workout, and when you’re done with that you’re back on the bike. When I was trying to decide if I wanted to spend the extra money, I saw that people had to start the bike bootcamp classes either on their tablets or tv at the same time as on the bike, use the tablet/tv for the strength portion, then get back on the bike when it’s time. The app will register two workouts, so you have to delete one, which deletes your calorie burn for the strength part if you connected your apple watch to your tablet.
The touchscreen is bigger on the Bike+, which is nice yet not something I would have noticed if I hadn’t known already it was going to be bigger. It’s like getting a TV that’s two inches bigger – you don’t really notice it unless someone tells you. Am I happy they did that? Sure. Would I have noticed if they didn’t? Probably not.
HERE’S WHAT I DON’T LIKE
First of all, these things I’m about to list don’t really matter, and I would still choose to trade in my Bike for the Bike+ even knowing these things.
I’m assuming Peloton was trying to save money in doing what they did with these changes. The original Peloton’s water bottle holders felt sturdier to me, and the weight holders were definitely more sturdy. The Bike’s weight holders are metal, and the Bike+ has flimsy plastic. My toddler pulls on them sometimes and I am a little afraid they might break.
The part of the bike in the center that says “Peloton” on the original bike is white with a red logo and painted on. With the Bike+, those letters are metal and just stickers. The reason I know that is because my son pulled off the “n” and handed it to me – I had no idea they were stuck on there. I just felt like for the amount I was paying… maybe that shouldn’t happen.
Overall, if you’re on the fence between the two, go big or go home my friend!