Peloton Bike Pros and Cons

Hi Y’all,

The other day the wife asked me how come I don’t use those “videogamey” indoor bike things. She refers to Zwift, of course. I’m a roadie and do own an insideride set of rollers that I swear by, but the thought of riding indoors makes me shudder. I mentioned that those things are pricey, so why not get a Peloton bike and both of us can use it (we’re roughly the same height). She agreed, and now I need some intel on how it works. Does it record power? Do I have to subscribe to the Peloton app for workouts? I know she might have to buy road shoes (no biggie), but aside from that what are the concrete pros and cons of owning this machine? Does it have to be a peloton? Cause I know there are other contraptions out there. Remember this is for the wife and I, so no suggestions of things for my bike. She’s not a bike person so the subscription would be appealing as it offers other services.
Thanks guys.

The new Peloton bike has some sort of power meter. The original bike does not.

This review may answer many of your questions:


This is a lot of questions being asked post-purchase, i feel.

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Friend of mine has one and the power readings are wildly conflated when compared to his Stages crank arm. To the tune of 100w higher than the Stages.

My wife rides the ‘original’ Peloton (without power meter) alongside me when I’m on the rollers and/or Kickr. She does 5x per week, and absolutely swears by it.

Ours is ‘non-power’ based, but the interactive classes are a bunch of fun and always have new/fresh music to listen to. I use it a few times per month. The “road feel” is pretty lousy if you’re used to a proper trainer, but getting the fit/measurements correct is quite simple. It’s just the flywheel thing feels mushy (to me) and there’s no possibility of back-spin or freewheeling because it is directly connected to the crank.

For me, it’s a diversion from the monotony of TrainerRoad (truth!) but it’s not in any way useful as power-based training. It’s aerobic. It’s fun.

p.s. @GPLama reviewed some cool pedals last week which I already ordered for our Peloton, so I can wear my normal SLD-SL shoes, and my wife can run SPD ‘spin bike’ cleats. (At the moment, I wear SPD cleats when I Peloton rather than messing with pedal swaps – but thanks to GPLama, those days are numbered!)

I’m not sure what you mean when you say it’s not power based. I had the original P, and it definitely has watts. It’s highly inaccurate, but it is measuring and displaying power.

My sister has a peloton subscription and uses her Schwinn stationary bike. She went that route because the Schwinn was a lot cheaper and she not locked into Peloton for any reason.

Well, ok, you are correct — ours does show watts too. It is meaningless number however compared to my Quarq.

I think the Peloton was programmed with this:

echo rand() . "\n";
echo rand() . "\n";
echo rand(5, 15);



Not to derail this thread, but this was the reason I switched from a Kickr to the Stages SB20 - so my wife could use the bike as well. The SB20 has the advantage of accurate power compared to the Peloton plus it works with TR (or Zwift / Rouvy, Fulgaz, et.c).

We have a Peloton (order version) and my wife loves it dearly. I put a pair of Favero Assioma look pedals on it and put look cleats on her shoes, that way she can do Peloton rides and I can use TrainerRoad on my tablet with accurate power data. Power readings on our Peloton are ~20% high - quite flattering, but grossly overstated.

Yes, you have to get a subscription to use the Peloton workouts. Otherwise it’s a basic stationary bike. The subscription comes with spin workouts, as well as a bunch of yoga, stretching, strength and meditation classes that are highly complementary to TR.

As a spin bike, it’s a fantastic product. It’s not a smart trainer, but for your use case it could work well. Certainly has for me.


We also have one. Wife loves it. It comes with Look Delta pedals so you can change cleats on road shoes or change pedals. As others have observed, power reading appears to be about 20% inflated and power readings do not seem to be consistent across different bikes. It can be hard to tell, however, as lot of the spin class hard efforts are out of the saddle. Inflated power is an issue if you link to Strava and then the reading get picked up by, etc. My PRs each season are usually from Peloton classes.

If you are motivated by spin classes, it’s a very good user experience. For a cycling only experience, the subscription is more than TR or it’s competitors unless you have multiple users.

If you are mainly doing a bunch of 30 minute rides each week, it’s a good but premium-priced product. The bike itself is pretty solid - similar to Stages bikes. I have not heard a lot of anecdotal stories about the need for replacement bikes or parts (unlike the 1st Gen smart bikes on the market).

Given that you could buy an actual bicycle, a top ranked turbo trainer and a TR subscription for much less than a Peloton, I fail to see how the pros outweigh the cons.


Not got one, but friends have.

For them, it’s the social aspect of live classes that are the motivator…it works for them.

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Peloton is now $1500

Why do people keep saying this? It simply is not close to being true. A “top ranked turbo” is ~$1000, an even halfway decent bike is going to be the same (and that is a stretch). Even at the old price of ~$2000 for a Peloton, it isn’t true.

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At the end you have a spin bike with a random generator for power while that “top rank turbo” is a precision instrument in comparison. Comparison such as this is none starter and they not substitutes for the other. They target very different audiences.

Peloton Bike+ has accurate power and a few nice features.

My gym has a few - I’ve done about five or so sessions over the last year when not been able to use my bike / TR for whatever reason.

I thought it was excellent. Decent ride feel, solid and the screens and content are very good. I agree re: power estimate but you could always put Garmin pedals on it I assume?

It’s fun to ride and will get non cyclists working out. I still much prefer my bike / Neo / TR but it has a place and wasn’t as ridiculously gimmicky as I thought it would be…. It was good fun and a good workout but can see why it’s not for TR users

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