The basic difference between Peloton (or spin classes, because in the end that’s what it really is) and structured training (be it via TR or other means) is, well, structure. I’d compare it with people who “run” - they go out, regularly, run for a certain time/distance, rinse, repeat - vs people who do a running training program - they’ll have a day of short intervals, one of 10k-pace blocks, an easy long run, all organized in a progression towards a goal. Both are good; they just won’t provide you the same benefits, nor demand the same efforts.
I have no experience with Peloton and very little with spin in general, but this sums up a lot of what I see in the fitness world. Well said!
Thanks so much for all of the great replies! I’m not going to respond to each message individually, but I’ll try to sum up some responses.
- Yes I “kind of” already made up my mind. I do still enjoy the Peloton, and like some have mentioned it’s a great way to get a quick, high intensity workout in. Do I know what my long term training plan is? No. So maybe the Peloton could be a supplement for off-season/days I just can’t commit to a longer structured ride. But again, would be nice to not have multiple monthly subscriptions, and the proceeds from selling the Peloton could buy a nice smart trainer, tablet, and maybe even cheap bike to dedicate to it!
- At this point I’m probably trying to do too much - I’m losing weight, building base miles, training for a race, and trying to improve my power/endurance. Sounds impossible, but I’ve been making great progress in each area. Bottom line is, as mentioned, I need more structured training that goes beyond the “stay in shape” benefits of the Peloton.
- The engagement/motivation piece is huge for the Peloton platform. But at this point (and with my long biking history/interest) I’m past that.
- Along with structured training, I’d like the option to ride custom courses when I want to. Basically simulate a specific route by using the data from a real, tracked ride. This would have to be done manually on a Peloton and would be near impossible to simulate a route with frequent changes in elevation/speed.
- My wife is not really into the Peloton (or even the extra classes on the app) so I won’t be losing out there. I don’t know anyone personally that has a Peloton bike/subscription, so I’m SOL on jumping on a membership.
I listed the Peloton for sale locally. Not in a huge hurry to sell, so I’ll wait for the right local buyer and a good price. I’m going to hold off on a smart trainer purchase for now… wait in see what kind of interest I get in the sale. At some point though, when I’m ready to set a specific plan for my race in March, I’ll just pony up and get the trainer equipment regardless of the Peloton status.
This community seems really great, and I’m excited to get started in the near future. I’ll chime back in at some point in other posts as well as bug you all for a month trail when the time comes. Thanks!
Forgot to mention, @mcneese.chad I think we’ve met! I’m friends with Josh C. up in Billings, we used to ride a lot together before I moved.
Is there any way to connect a Peloton bike to your phone to use Trainer Road on? Probably not a huge amount of demand for that since that’s probably the most expensive imaginable way to get a power meter, but could be useful for using TR on vacation if they have them in a hotel gym.
Right on! I remember meeting you at the State Games MTB race I ran a few years ago.
Great to meet again in this other place
I don’t know anything about Peleton bikes, but could you attach a pedal power meter to it and use TR that way?
No there is not. Peloton has locked down the live data to their platform.
Yeah that’s right! Seems like a long time ago now!
yeah I’ve popped some vector pedals on a peloton before, wanted to see how the Power tracked. Vector pedals were like 20-30w higher than the peloton. (have to adjust the crank length though in your head unit)
I’ve ridden a peloton bike a few times when traveling where I replicate a TR workout. You can do structured training on a peloton (see screenshot below of example workout), but the main disadvantages vs TR are:
- You have to create your own training plan and workouts.
- Suspect power measurement - although the important thing would be consistency vs accuracy… but I don’t know even if the peloton power measurement is consistent from ride to ride
- No erg mode, hence need to be continually looking at power and adjusting to keep on target. This means it would be hard to do something for entertainment like watch TV.
Again thanks so much for all of the great input. Just a little update:
Everything moved a bit faster than I expected! I went to my LBS yesterday for something unrelated, and they have the smart trainer I want for $200 cheaper than I can get it anywhere else. The owner also said he’d throw in a cassette and help me set it up in the shop on my bike. It will be in early next week!
Also, on a whim I sent Peloton support a message, basically outlining my situation above… I knew it was a long shot for a return because I’m well outside of the 30-day return window… but they made an exception! I’ll be out $250 for the return shipping, but that’s much less than I would have taken on a used sale loss. And (I don’t really need to justify for anyone) if you look at it like $250 for the ~60 classes I took that’s just over $4/class. Much cheaper than a spin studio!
So I should be up and running on a smart trainer mid-late next week!
Though they won’t do it … the above is a GREAT tag/ ad line!
Also if cost is at all an issue, don’t underestimate the approach of a basic wheel-on smart trainer - which is much cheaper than a direct drive - and then use all those savings for a power meter that can be setup to both control the indoor trainer and provide matched outdoor data. I believe for the price of a Peloton you could even throw in a decent quality entry level road bike in the deal
Are you happy with the Peloton quality (assuming you take note of it)? I am TR through and through, but considering buying a Peloton for my wife as she is Flywheel/Studio rider but they’re closing up the local studio. She has no interest in TR structured type training, and I figure Peloton is the best way to get that studio like feel (and actually cheaper in the long run).
Cost isn’t a huge factor at the moment. I’m obviously not looking to spend a fortune, but a smart trainer is definitely they way I’m going. I’m poking around for a used road bike so I can have a permanent setup for indoors. Where I live, road riding is a death sentence, so it likely would not see any outdoor use unless I traveled somewhere.
I’m also planning on a new XC MTB in the first part of 2020, so most of my “bike money” will be going towards that. I’d probably get a power meter for that bike if anything.
Now if only someone made SPD pedal meters!!! Then you could have one set for two bikes + trainer duty!
(I ride SPD on road pedals and would love for such a thing to come out…)
Man, I’m good at writing walls of text… Maybe that’s a sign I’m a terrible writer, since I can’t condense a few thoughts into less than 5 paragraphs…
Yes am satisfied with it! It really is a top of the line spin bike. Now it doesn’t have some of the fancy features like the Nordic Track - which has auto/digital resistance adjustment and incline adjustments. But from what I gather, the Peloton ecosystem is best in the business.
It’s just a super nice, manual, magnetic resistance spin bike. Probably worth half the price, but you’re buying into the ecosystem. A few people seem to have issues with their bearings failing prematurely, but for the most part I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Peloton customer service. All warranty claims seem to be honored, and I even read a few stories of people getting free/discounted service outside of warranty.
I’m sure you’ll do plenty of research on your own, so I’ll save you from the basics.
Some people are very happy with replicating the experience with their own spin bike/trainer and the Peloton app. It depends on how “immersed” you want to be in the process. You can buy a $300 spin bike and essentially watch the classes and do your best to approximate the efforts. Obviously a fancier setup with cadence/power meter could get you even closer. The app subscription is also only $20 as opposed to $40 with the bike. You’ll still get a great workout, but your numbers won’t be captured in Peloton and leaderboard is non-existent for app riders. So personal preference for your wife - does she care about leaderboards/data integration/challenges/social aspect of the classes?
As mentioned in my original post, even with all my gripes, the Peloton bike is so easy to just jump on and go. There have been so many nights I was NOT in the mood to ride, but just got on the bike and after a quick warmup was really enjoying the decision. Even with the high price tag, you’re correct it’s cheaper in the long run. What’s a Flywheel class run, $20? So all-in on the Peloton with shipping and taxes you’re looking at ~$2,500. That’s 125 Flywheel classes. At 5 rides/week that’s only 25 weeks of riding to break even. Everything after that is gravy.
I feel like I’m rambling now. Just let me know if you need any more details!
I’m with you! I tried Look Delta on the trainer and hated them! Ended up using my SPDs on it. I’ll probably put SPDs on any other bike I get in the future…
Good to hear- I often am not good at being concise either! Yeah, I came across the bearing thing on a Reddit forum. Otherwise most of what I have found is positive, and I think it can replicate what my wife likes about Flywheel (live instructors and leader boards). While not cheap, always happy to prioritize spending on fitness! Although this might be a slippery slope as it might help me justify a second bike or a smart trainer to replace to my rollers