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First Look: Peloton Bike+ review
Offering a fun space where fitness and technology meet, Peloton brings a world-class gym experience into people’s homes. We tried the Peloton Bike+ to find out if it truly lives up to all the hype.
By Tammy Jacks | Last updated Mar 10, 2023
Whether you’ve read about it on the Mumsnet exercise forum or overheard others talk about it over coffee, chances are you’re familiar with the name Peloton. Since the company’s inception in 2012 when the founders set out to bring challenging and immersive workouts into busy people’s homes, Peloton has continued to capture the heartbeats of many, gaining a committed following of more than 6 million members thanks to its intuitively designed bikes, treadmills and accessories which are built to last.
Another feature that truly makes Peloton stand out is its top-rated app which boasts an impressive library of classes and guided programmes ranging from yoga and strength training to boxing, indoor cycling, running, meditation, Pilates and Bootcamp (which is a mix of cycling and strength training in one). All of these are hosted by fun, experienced instructors who really bring the gym experience to your living room.
As one Mumsnetter puts it: “I love the different instructors, music styles and the fact you can do classes at any time. I find the instructors really motivate me and are better than a lot of the instructors at my previous gym. I have the Bike+ so it turns the resistance up for me which I love as I can then really get into the class with no distractions.”
So is the hefty price tag that comes with Peloton’s Bike+ worth the investment? Our First Look reviewer, who’s a passionate long-distance runner and cyclist, put it to the test.
With an ever-growing community, Peloton continues to take the fitness world by storm
Transform your workout with game-changing cardio
Explore running, strength, bootcamp and more, all at home
Short on time? Here’s what we thought
After putting the Bike+ through its paces for seven days, we were pretty impressed. If you’ve got the space and you’re looking for a home workout experience that can replace your gym membership, then Peloton’s Bike+ is worth every penny.
From live indoor strength and endurance classes to scenic rides, outdoor running classes and programmes, plus a range of wellness offerings such as sleep programmes, yoga classes and meditation sessions, you’re spoiled for choice and can mix things up so you’re always challenging yourself and working towards your fitness goals.
Who's it for?
Cycling on a stationary bike is a great low-impact exercise for beginners, more advanced fitness enthusiasts and everyone in between. It’s also suitable for those suffering from joint-related injuries or knee problems as it puts less stress on the joints in general. The Peloton Bike+ is made with a sturdy steel frame that supports all riders from age 16 with a maximum weight of 134kg. The ideal height range is between 4’11” and 6’5”.
Peloton’s instructor-led cycling classes are suitable for all fitness levels as they range from five-minute warm-ups, beginner rides and cool-downs to full 90-minute endurance rides, with most classes lasting between 30 to 45 minutes. Every class is clearly labelled and colour-coded as either beginner (green), intermediate (yellow) or advanced (orange), so you can always train within your limits or challenge yourself to reach new fitness goals.
Whether you choose a male or female instructor, they’re all trained to meet you wherever you’re at fitness-wise, and help you to improve from your starting point. We tried out a range of beginner and advanced pre-recorded classes and found that the instructors were positive and full of energy throughout the entire session.
All instructors choose their own playlists so you have the option of hip-hop-, pop-, 80s- or 90s-inspired classes or even classic country music sessions to keep you going.
“I have a Peloton Bike and I love it. I cycle almost every day, but I also do strength and meditation classes.” Mumsnet user
At first glance
From the second the Peloton team set-up the Bike+ in your home, it’s clear that it's no run-of-the-mill exercise bike. Every item that comes with this top-of-the-line offering is packaged beautifully and labelled accordingly. From the sleek design of the bike to its lightweight, yet sturdy steel frame, wide sweat-proof handlebars, crystal clear HD screen and near-silent belt drive, you can rest assured the Bike+ is made with precision, style and functionality in mind.
We were also impressed with the wider Perspex bottle holders and dumbbell racks which sit behind the seat for easy access during a cycle and arms class or Bootcamp session. Additional accessories include a neat tool kit (presented in a nifty black purse), an easy-to-read product manual and set-up-guide, plus a bonus security bike lock that’s designed to lock the wheels and protect fingers.
While the bike frame isn’t foldable, it has front rolling transport wheels for easy manoeuvring and storage, and is suitable for smaller homes, provided you see it as a piece of much-loved furniture.
All in all, the Bike+ Ultimate package has everything you need for an effective full-body home workout both on and off the bike. Yes, it’s pricey – but you’re essentially paying for Peloton’s Full Monty with this offering.
What sets Peloton apart from their competitors is that their Fields Ops team will assemble the bike in the desired location in your home so that it is ready to go and there’s no need to spend hours putting it all together. On arrival, you’ll simply need to create your profile and work with a member of the team to fit your cycling cleats. This can also be done alone as the cycling shoes come with clear instructions and an allen key so that you can fit the cleats yourself.
Ensuring your cleats are positioned correctly on your cycling shoes is one of the important parts of the set-up as loose or skew cleats that shift slightly can cause knee niggles, alignment issues and possible injury. Peloton says you should always check to see if your cleat is properly aligned by making sure the pressure falls in the ball of your feet as you pedal. The ball of your foot should be directly over the pedal axle.
On the screen, you’ll find great video tutorials on how to set the correct saddle height and distance from your handlebars, plus how to remove your cleats from the pedals. We found this to be quite tricky, as the cleats were super tight and therefore required a hard twist and pull to clip them out.
The bike also comes with a quick-start guide which is packed with plenty of images and step-by-step instructions to get you on the bike as soon as possible. The user manual is also easy to go through with no technical jargon.
We found the process to be swift and painless which isn’t always the case with other home gym equipment that needs to be assembled.
360-degree rotating screen
The larger rotating screen has been the spotlight feature for the Peloton Bike+ and it makes all the difference to mat workouts as you can see and hear the instructors clearly.
While the screen can rotate and tilt up and down, it’s worth noting that to get a full 360-degree rotation, you need to turn around at the halfway point and go back in the opposite direction which isn’t a big deal as it’s been designed that way to avoid the wires from twisting inside the frame.
The near-silent belt drive
Just to be clear, the original Peloton bike isn’t loud, but the belt drive system on the Peloton Bike+ ensures it remains exceptionally quiet with no squeaking or grinding sounds. In fact, the only noise you’ll hear is the clipping in and out of your cleats.
New handlebar and seat adjustment knobs
The new Peloton Bike+ has upgraded the original adjustment levers for the handlebars and seat with soft-touch, easy-to-turn knobs to adjust the handlebar height and seat height – as well as moving it forwards or backwards.
The seat can move forward with a quick-release lever which is an improvement on the standard bike, although it can feel stiff to lock in place. The bike doesn’t allow for the handlebars to move forwards or backwards.
The seat design
We like that the bike seat is just like a road bike seat, but a little wider and with more padding and mesh holes, offering better air circulation and ventilation. Plus, there’s no need to wear cycling shorts which is often necessary for gym spin classes or with other stationary bikes that mimic road bikes.
The bottle and weight holders
Made with convenience in mind, the extra-wide Perspex bottle holders sit just underneath the handlebars for easy reaching, and the handy weight racks are just behind the saddle, so no need to hop off the bike to grab your dumbbells off the floor midway through your ride.
The wider handlebars
Whether you’re seated or standing on the bike, the wide handlebars offer extra support and stability that few other exercise bikes have. Plus, the design allows for easy gripping anywhere on the handlebars as they’re slip and sweatproof.
Full Apple integration
This handy feature allows for one-touch integration between an Apple Watch and the bike. You just start the class, then tap the notification or open the Peloton app to automatically begin tracking your workout.
As you start pedalling, you’ll see your heart rate displayed on the screen and other stats like mileage and ride time. After your workout, all stats will appear on the Apple Health app that’s installed on your phone.
As with other virtual ride programmes such as Zwift, the Peloton Bike+ has a special auto-follow function with a new slider feature to show resistance changes. This works by automatically setting the resistance as per the instructor’s cues and course outline.
There’s also a locked icon to the left of the slider bar which you can push to toggle the auto-follow digital resistance feature on or off as you see fit. The lock feature also has a timer to show you how long you need to stay on that resistance before it changes to the next level.
While you’re using the auto-follow feature, you can override the automatic resistance by manually turning the resistance knob.
While many competitors have great apps with plenty of classes to choose from, Peloton offers thousands of on-demand classes that vary from strength to endurance all the way to Pilates, yoga, stretching and meditation. They also offer 22 new programmes to help you reach your goals including Mastering the Basics of Cycling, Road to Your 5K, a three-part marathon programme, The Power of Sleep, Beginner Yoga and more.
Their new Bootcamp class was a hit with our reviewer who gets bored easily during a workout. Bootcamp classes typically last 45 minutes and instructors work your entire body from head to toe, both on and off the bike. The progress bar at the top of the screen also keeps you engaged as it shows you exactly where you’re at in the class and how much time you have left, and it accounts for transition times to change shoes and so on.
Tammy says “While I enjoyed all the classes I took part in with both male and female instructors such as Ben Alldis (who gave an excellent 80s-inspired steady ride) to Ally Love and Jess Sims who both brought tons of energy and enthusiasm to their interval-style classes, I resonated particularly well with Robin Arzon. From her upbeat Hip-Hop jams to her inspiring messages and sayings like, “You didn’t get up to be mediocre” and “If you’re running outside, give those around you something to stare at” or “Put on your crown today”, I just felt motivated to do my best and push my hardest no matter what she threw at me.”
“When I was at the gym, I loved spin classes - it’s the only exercise I’ve ever enjoyed. Peloton is in a different league - so many different instructors each with their own outlook and motivational push. Also, your whole family can set up their own profile too.” FNel
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- Large 24-inch fully rotating touchscreen
- Full surround sound with front speakers and back subwoofer
- Camera with a physical switch to slide back and forth (to turn the camera on or off)
- Easy-rolling transport wheels on the front of the bike
- Additional Perspex belt guard to keep fingers safe
- Perspex weight rack on the bike
- Two wide Perspex water bottle holders
- Audio jack linked to the screen for easy listening
- Wires and cords have been hidden inside the frame of the bike – making for a more aesthetic look
- Slip and sweatproof handlebars
- Wide padded seat with mesh holes
- Apple integration
- Comes with slip and sweat-proof bike mat
- Auto follow feature (versus manual resistance control on older model)
- Includes accessories such as dumbbells, a reversible exercise mat and cycling shoes
- Unlimited access to all Peloton classes via the app with an All Access Membership
“If you do the same classes as your friends (either live or not), it shows you how they were doing at that particular point in the class so you can race against them, which is a great motivator.” mypetpeave
Let's talk money
There’s no denying that the Peloton Bike+ is a premium product that comes with a price tag to match. However, you’re not just purchasing the bike - you’re investing in the entire programme with all its offerings and you’re essentially joining the Peloton fitness community with all its support.
The Peloton Bike+ has a few options depending on the accessories you choose. We tested out the top-of-the-range Bike+ Ultimate package which retails for £2,690 and includes VAT, delivery and set-up which they all do. This package includes all accessories we listed above. Other packages like the Bike+ Basics, Bike+ Starter and Bike+ Select range from £2,295 to £2,780.
To make it more cost-effective, Peloton has 0% APR payment plans so you can pay the bike off over 43 months at a fixed rate per month. The Bike+ Ultimate package retails at £63 a month for 43 months. This makes the total outlay a bit more affordable in the long run.
However, bear in mind that the All-Access Membership which is needed for the Bike+ package is charged separately and will set you back £39 per month. This membership includes membership for everyone in your family plus unlimited access to live-streaming and on-demand classes, plus real-time performance tracking.
The good news is that all Bike+ packages include a 12-month limited warranty from the date of the original delivery. Peloton warrants the components and all original parts of the bike including the brake resistance, belt, crankshaft, seat post, handlebars and water bottle holder. However, this warranty doesn’t include the pedals.
To ensure the bike stays in tip-top condition past the initial 12-month warranty, Peloton has extended service plans which can be purchased with your Peloton Bike or up to 12 months after your bike is delivered.
For the Bike+, expect to pay £170 for a 12-month extension – 24 months of total coverage or £225 for a 27-month extension – 39 months of total coverage.
Peloton offers a home trial service, where you can road test the bike at home for 30 days before you decide if it’s a good fit for your family. Or you can try out their bikes in one of their 27 showrooms located across the UK.
Peloton’s service plans cover:
- All parts and labour for covered repairs (no deductible)
- Protection from mechanical and electrical breakdowns or failures from normal wear and tear or those caused by power surges
- Repairs by authorised Peloton Technicians with genuine Peloton replacement parts
- A hassle-free claims process directly managed by the Peloton Member Support Team
- Replacement of your Peloton product including shipping if it can’t be repaired
The service plans don’t cover:
- Deterioration of the appearance of the bike
- Any cosmetic part or finish defects such as paint, plastic, dents, scratches, chips, rust or peeling
- Accidental damage from handling such as drops, spills or tip-overs
What's the difference between the Peloton Bike and the Peloton Bike+?
While both the standard Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+ offer the same number of exercise classes and community features such as the leaderboard – where you can see who’s participating with you - ‘high fives’ and social tags to keep you engaged, Peloton’s Bike+ is a premium product that takes the standard bike features to the next level. In a nutshell, it includes smart new features and a few tweaks here and there to make the workouts even more enjoyable.
Both bikes have a super-clear HD touchscreen, but the Peloton Bike+ has a larger screen (23.8 inches versus 21.5) and rotates a full 360 degrees so you can swivel the screen towards your mat during yoga, Pilates, Bootcamp or stretching classes.
We found that keeping the screen forward-facing as you would with the standard bike doesn’t allow for a clear view as the neck of the screen doesn’t swivel much. It’s also worth noting that, with the larger screen on the Peloton Bike+, there’s a very tight clearance space between the bike and the handlebars, so the screen needs to be tilted at a certain angle.
If you’re looking for an even more immersive gym experience with better surround sound, you’ll appreciate that the Bike+ has front-facing speakers and a rear-facing woofer versus the standard bike which just has rear-facing stereo speakers.
Since the speakers face forwards, the audio is much clearer. However, if you live in a smaller house and are conscious about noise levels so as to not disturb your neighbours, or you prefer using wired or wireless headphones (which connect to the handlebar on the Bike+ rather than the screen on the standard model) then enhanced sound might not be on your list of priorities.
While the sound is crystal clear, both bikes have volume adjustment settings so you can listen to the instructor and/or the music depending on your preferences.
When it comes to design, Peloton doesn’t cut corners. While both bikes feel stable and solid, the Bike+ is five pounds heavier, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it certainly feels more grounded if you like to throw your weight behind those HIIT classes or hop on and off the bike for Bootcamp. Plus, the slightly wider handlebars on the Bike+ offer extra support while standing and sitting in different positions. Both bikes come with adjustable legs to sort out any wobble issues.
The Bike+ frame is around the same size as the standard Peloton model and needs a minimum ceiling height of 250cm to ensure you have enough headroom and space around the bike. The footprint for both bikes is around 60cm on all four sides, but you may need more space for the Bike+ as you’ll be transitioning between the bike and mat if you choose to follow Bootcamp classes.
Both the standard model and Bike+ have a manual resistance knob to adjust speed and resistance according to the instructor’s cues. However, the Bike+ comes with a handy new feature called Auto Follow which automatically changes the resistance for you depending on the route profile. As an avid outdoor cyclist, our reviewer loved this feature as it mimics the ‘real feel’ of the road.
If you’re a diehard Apple fan and wear an Apple Watch, you can sync the data on your watch such as pace, heart rate, calories burned and distance covered with the bike in real-time. This is a real bonus as most exercise machines aren’t very precise when it comes to measuring individual metrics like calorie burn and heart rate.
Take note that this feature is only available for seated cycling classes on the Bike+ platform and not Bootcamp. Another downside is that Peloton doesn’t link to other popular running watches like Garmin, so you can’t upload and analyse your rides on the Garmin Connect App.
However, we noted that the bike did pick up our heart rate via Bluetooth that’s connected to Garmin (although it wasn’t too accurate), and rides can be uploaded to Strava – another app that tracks exercise sessions and records metrics such as time, pace, distance, heart rate and calories burned.
If you’re keen to just ride, both the standard bike and Bike+ have a scenic ride function where you can choose to ride through beautiful landscapes and/or cities as you would outdoors on undulating terrain. We chose to ride through Portland, Oregon, and it was breathtakingly beautiful.
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There are various Bike+ packages, all of which come with different accessories depending on your preferences.
We tested all the various accessories that come with the Bike+ Ultimate package including: a high-quality bike mat to protect the floor and prevent wobbling; a thick, reversible exercise mat (26 x 71 inches); cycling shoes, one pair of cast iron dumbbells for strength-training workouts (weight varies from 2.3 to 13.6kg); one pair of lighter dumbbells for bootcamp classes available in either 0.5, 0.9 or 1.4kg; and a heart rate band which is really useful to track your Strive Score - one of Peloton’s metrics to help you determine how hard you’re working in each heart rate zone.
Verdict (for now)
The great thing about the Peloton Bike+ is the variety it offers for a home work out. There’s always something new to try or a way to challenge yourself.
Another bonus is that the Bike+ Ultimate package includes everything you need for a great home workout including cycling shoes – which would all add up if bought separately. For instance, the average price of cycling shoes ranges from £40 to £150, and the 4.5kg dumbbells which you get with this package cost between £60 to £80 if bought from a sports shop.
We also love that Peloton is more than just a workout – it’s an invitation to join a highly motivating, non-judgmental fitness family with fellow members you can see on the leaderboard and inspiring instructors who push you every step of the way. It’s just like having your own private personal trainer in your living room.
All things considered, we feel that it’s worth the initial upfront investment if gyms just aren’t your thing and you’re looking for a convenient way to exercise at home.
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We give all new products a thorough once-over, checking that the features are as good as they say and that the product functions as it's supposed to. This isn't an exhaustive test of the product or how well it performs – look to our Reviews content for extensive testing in real-life situations.
Rather, our First Look features are informed previews, providing a basic overview and getting a feel for the product’s most exciting features.