Man riding a peloton

Peloton Bike Review: Trying the $4000 Bike for 3-Months

We’ve always said that the price matters little when it comes to quality technology, especially when the product is the absolute best thing you can get your hands on. The case stays the same for the Peloton Bike as it’s still the best stationary bike money can buy, but convincing higher net worth individuals to forego their personal training sessions, boxing classes, and Barry’s Bootcamps to fork out almost $4000 AUD + $60 AUD a month in subscription fees is asking a lot.

Peloton Australia knows that.

While a global pandemic sent the Peloton brand to the stratosphere, the brand has slowly rolled out its most successful product Downunder – the Peloton Bike and Bike+. Its rather exorbitant entry fee somewhat deterred customers from the get-go, combine this with most gym-going Aussie’s returning to the indoors permanently before the brand even launched and the timing for Peloton couldn’t have been tougher.

So where does that leave us? We got out hands on the cult favourite for three months to figure everything out, outlining our Peloton experience below. Three months and 30-rides were more than enough to learn the ins and outs of the process and we’re excited to share our thoughts.

Peloton bike family room image

Image: Peloton

Initial Impressions

The Peloton experience for us started a little early when our partner became one of the first Peloton customers in the country, picking up her Bike+ on pre-order before the first shipment even landed. One ride on the machine and it had us hooked. It has been years since we jumped on any sort of stationary bike, but it only took one class with Alex Toussaint to realise the fitness potential the Bike+ offered.

Installation

Installation of your Peloton is completely hassle-free and embodies a premium experience from the get-go. Once you purchase your Peloton Bike the brand uses a third party to schedule an installation – for us it was Appliances Online. It weighs an absolute tonne (132kg), so installing yourself is hardly an option and two people are required to carry the thing inside.

Construction and the overall feel is very premium. Designed for riders between 150-195cm in height and under 135kg in weight, you have one choice of colour; black with red accents. You’ll need a well-vented room with at least 3m x 2m of space for the bike to fit. Handlebars, seat and pedals are fully adjustable, and the installers are well versed in the product. They’ll even calibrate the machine if you require any assistance.

It’s also worth noting here, the integrated speakers sound excellent and Bluetooth connectivity is available.

Profile Setup

Setting up your profile will seem familiar. You can choose whether or not to link your various social media accounts, Strava, and Spotify to play music while you listen. It’s about as simple as things get.

Groups

After setting up your profile you can choose to peel back the layers of the Peloton community. If you link your Facebook profile you can further explore the Official Peloton Australia Member Group, which works well for connecting with fellow Peloton Bike and Digital Members. You’ll also stay up to date on news and announcements for Australia, but it’s Facebook, and we’re not super keen on the platform. We wish there was an alternative, maybe something on the Peloton itself (outside of tags) to separate you and your personal Facebook account.

As far as on platform groups go, we recommend joining a tag group so you can feel a part of the community, for us it was #beersafter because of dad-bod things. Others include #pelotonmoms, and #pelotonnewbies but the list goes on and on and on.

Peloton bike weights

Image: Peloton

What It’s Like to Live With a Peloton Bike

Once you have your bike configured and your profile set up it’s time to ride.

Choosing Your Class and Instructor

Your instructor and class will make or break your experience with the Peloton, thankfully, there are thousands of classes to choose from with live and recorded options available. Unfortunately for Aussies, attending a live class often mean waking up (or staying up) at strange hours of the day.

We recommend choosing your class based on your music preference, after that, it’s a matter of finding which instructor you vibe with – ours was Alex Toussaint. Alex hosts Hip-Hop and RnB classes daily based on a certain theme and time frame – his Club Banger and early 2000s rides are our favourites – but he also hosts artist-specific rides if you want to vibe our to Rick Ross for an hour.

How We Selected Our Classes

  1. Choose your favourite music genre.
  2. Find an instructor you vibe with, experiment.
  3. Find a length of time that suits you, always push yourself towards that longer 45-minute class.
  4. Change it up daily, whether that means theme, time, instructor, or intensity.
  5. Utilise the ‘cool-down’ classes after you finish your workout.

With so many classes to choose from it’s only a matter of finding the music, instructor, time frame, and intensity that suits you. It’s like having a selection of personal trainers at your fingertips.

Workouts

The workouts are intense, but you can make adjustments through the Bike+ and turn the resistance up and down to stay inside the recommended cadence range (the Bike+ can also automatically adjust the resistance for you).  Positions are tracked globally, noting your Kilojule output as a performance indicator on the leaderboard. Our personal goal in using the bike was to achieve personal best every time we jumped into a class.

Classes are filled with vastly different levels of fitness. By cranking up the resistance +4 and staying within the higher end of the recommended cadence range we could consistently crack the top 12000 out of 70000 riders in the 30-minute classes. Here, we’d burn over 300 Kilojules in a 30-minute ride, and over 400 Kilojules in a 45-minute ride.

Speaking from our experience with Alex, his classes varied in time frame and intensity based on the music selection. His 30-minute rides typically involved two tough climbs with flat roads and sprints on either side, the 45min classes involved three climbs and were no less intense. The shorter 20-minute HIIT classes were by far the toughest.

Peloton Support has a full list of available classes to help you decide, but exploring the menus to see what’s on offer is half the fun. It’s hard to speak from experience as we haven’t explored every single class (there’s too many), but the Peloton Blog has a great breakdown of the different types to help you choose. If that’s not enough Peloton Australia offers a 30-day free trial with free pickup and full refund available.

Peloton bike screen

Image: Peloton

What We Loved

The main difference between the Peloton Bike and Bike+ is the larger 23.8-inch touchscreen on the Bike+. If it sounds big, that’s because it is, and we love it. The screen swivels and tilts to allow you to partake in Yoga and Weight-based workouts off to the side which changes things up nicely from the usual spin class.

An 8MP front-facing camera (with a privacy screen) means you can video chat with your friends while you ride.

We love the integrated user experience that this big-screen and camera offers. Fostering a community is such a hard task for brands to achieve, but with over 2.5 million subscribers internationally Peloton has done it. We just wish we didn’t have to use an outdated Facebook Group mechanism to really tap deeper into the community. That brings us to our next point…

What We’d Do Differently

We can’t help but think there are better ways to take advantage of the user experience on the platform.

The product, being the bike, is about as good as you can ask for but we’re left wanting more when it comes to competition, community, and personal experience. Riders can’t wait to have their name shouted out during a ride, and adding a competitive aspect would really take things to the next level. Essentially, we’re asking Peloton to take a page out of Zwift’s book where they almost simulate a ‘Tour’ style race, but we’re more than sure they’re already looking at all options available.

Does Peloton Suit Australia?

Tapping into the social aspect will be one of the most important targets for Pelotons success in Australia. We love going down to our local park for a Bootcamp, beach for a surf or mountains for a cycle. The coffee after is great, but it’s the social itch you get to scratch in the process that brings the motivation.

Adding a deeper connection through already existing hashtag groups on the platform (Strava style) would keep things mostly anonymous and deeply interactive. It already feels great when you’re attending a recorded class and someone from the class gives you a high-five, but the last thing we want to do is join a Facebook group.

Maybe the solution is as simple as accessible live classes for Aussies? We’d love to see it.

Peloton bike in a room

Image: Peloton

The Verdict

Ultimately, the Peloton products, workouts, trainers, and customer involvement is world-class. It’s no wonder trainers have become pseudo-celebrities and with so much space to grow and fully integrate the user experience we can’t wait to see what happens to the Peloton brand in the future. With the founder and CEO stepping down recently and 2800 jobs being cut this will either spell the winning or losing formula for the brand. We hope it’s a winning one.

Should You Buy a Peloton?

If the convenience, privacy, and experience aren’t enough to lure you in then maybe Peloton isn’t right for you.

There’s nothing on the market quite like Peloton, and you’re sacrificing nothing when picking up a Bike+ with all the fruit. In terms of price, it works out to be the equivalent of 150 Barry’s Bootcamp classes – another cult fitness program – so you’re really paying for the convenience with the Peloton. Something you can’t argue with.

Peloton Bike Pricing Australia

We’ve said this to anyone who’s asked “if you have your eye on a Peloton, nothing else on the market will satisfy your needs” and we can’t some up our experience with the Bike+ any other way. Check out the links above to pick one up for yourself, and feel free to direct any ownership questions directly by clicking the profile at the top of this page. Happy riding!

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The Peloton Bike is Finally Coming to Australia
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JOURNALIST

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.