I Tried the Peloton Bike: My Thoughts Compared to My Non-Peloton Bike

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When I first purchased the Bowflex C6 years ago, I was tempted by the Peloton bike due to the convenience of their online community. The fact that I could access it at numerous hotel gyms during my business travels was a major draw. Recently, I had the opportunity to use the Peloton bike during a leisure trip, and I’m here to share my insights on how it compares to my non-Peloton cycle.

This is me with my Bowflex C6 & the Freebeat Lit that I tried for a few months.

My Verdict & Pros/ Cons

The Peloton bike offers many unique features that enhance the overall Peloton experience. However, it does come with a higher price tag in the form of a monthly membership fee. On the bright side, Peloton provides a rental option, a feature not commonly found with other brands, in addition to the opportunity to purchase refurbished bikes, treadmills, and rowers for a discounted price.


·       Instant access to the Peloton platform

·       Access to the leaderboard and metrics

·       Allows users to own or rent the bikes


·       Uses Look Delta cleats instead of the standard SPD

·       Requires an expensive membership

·       More expensive than other similar cycles on the market

First Impression

When examining the bike itself, not the platform that is included, the Peloton bike is extremely similar to the vast majority of the bikes on the market. The largest difference between a Peloton and other models is that it offers a Delta cleat option in contrast to the traditional SPD most commonly used for indoor cycling bikes.

Peloton Bike Specs

Footprint: 4’ x 2’
User Height Range: 4’11” – 6’5”
User Weight Limit: 297 pounds
Dimensions: 59″ L x 53″ H x 23″ W
Total Weight: 135 pounds

Peloton Bike Components

Frame: The frame is crafted from welded steel and includes a powder coating. The powder coating helps to minimize sweat erosion and rust.

Resistance: The Peloton includes 100 magnetic resistance levels that allow this bike to challenge even the strongest riders.

Drive: This brand of indoor cycling bikes offers a Poly V® power transmission belt drive for maximum performance.

Seat: An ergonomic sports saddle offers a slim seat profile for pedaling efficiency.

Pedals: Whether you prefer to ride in your cleats or street shoes, this model features dual aluminum pedals. Just be aware that a Delta cleat is needed if you want to ride in cycling shoes.

Instructor Note: Most outdoor riders use a Look Delta pedal, while many indoor cycling studios include an SPD.

Katie Pierson

Peloton Detailed Comparison

When comparing the Peloton to my current, here is how the Peloton stacks up.

Riding Experience & Performance

The Peloton’s riding experience and performance level are very similar to my current bike. The smoothness of the ride and the noise emitted are about the same, with no clear winner. The most significant difference is that Peloton has a screen that links directly to the platform, whereas, on my C6, I must access the Peloton app on my phone and view the class from that screen or Smartcast it to my television.

Construction Quality & Durability

I appreciate that the designers kept us shorter riders in mind when designing the Peloton. While the frame is more of a V-shape, unlike other V-shape frames, the handlebars do not follow the frame shape. This means that while traditional V-shaped frames move the handlebars farther away from the rider when being lifted to a higher riding position, shorter riders have an easier time finding a comfortable position since these handlebars move vertically.

Peloton designed their bikes to have the hand weights behind the saddle, which I feel is the best location, depending on where the flywheel is. My C6 has the weights located in front, where the flywheel is also located. They fall out sometimes when I am riding a little more aggressively, which makes me nervous that they might damage the flywheel.

Comfort & Adjustability

I actually prefer the seat on the C6 over the seat available on the Peloton. While they both feature a competitive-style saddle, the C6 saddle is more comfortable. Unfortunately, due to the monitor, the Peloton handlebars do not offer 4-way adjustability. For shorter riders like myself, 4-way adjustability provides a greater chance of finding the perfect riding position for your frame and limiting the chance of saddle soreness.

App Experience & Content

This category is where Peloton sets itself apart from others on the market. Due to its massive success, many other companies have attempted to model their platforms after the Peloton platform. I have not yet found a platform with the same production quality. I also feel that the number of really outstanding instructors is higher than most other platforms. Remember that instructor preference is highly personal, so your opinion might vary from mine.

Katie’s Tip: If you are looking for challenging Peloton Instructors, I recommend Olivia Amato or Kendall Tool. They are my favorite for when I want to really push myself.

Membership Options

While there are various Peloton membership options, only the All-Access Membership is available if you own a piece of Peloton equipment.

Membership TypeFreeApp OneApp+All Access
Monthly PriceFree$12.99$24$44
Exercise bike, treadmill, & rower workouts

Only free classes are provided, not always in English3/MonthUnlimitedUnlimited
No Peloton equipment neededClasses can be accessed on a bike or app.
Strength, yoga, outdoor running, HIIT, and more
Stream classes on mobile, tablet, web, and TV apps
Step-by-step gym workouts
Activity tracking outside of Peloton workouts
Performance Metrics Tracked   
Programs and challenges 
Smart Watch® & heart rate monitor connection
Real-time cycling metrics using a cadence monitor 
Exclusive classes with special guests and themes  
Leaderboard access
Exclusive Classes  


The Peloton now connects with a variety of non-Peloton heart rate monitoring devices, including:

  • Samsung® Galaxy Watch (Watch 3 or earlier)
  • Garmin® Smartwatches & HRM Dual
  • Fossil Smartwatches
  • FitBit® Devices
  • Scosche Rhythm+, Rhythm 2.0, & Rhythm 23
  • Wahoo Tickr X, Tickr Fit

The Peloton Entertainment feature allows riders to watch their favorite streaming service if they are all-access members.

Financing Options

Peloton offers a wide variety of price points and options for riders. They offer 12, 24, and 36 months 0% down monthly payment options and the opportunity to purchase refurbished bikes for a discount or even rent them instead of buying them. They are one of the few cycling companies that allows bike rental instead of purchase.


Peloton’s warranty is standard for the industry and includes a 12-month limited warranty with the option to extend it for as long as 48 months. Peloton also offers a one-year warranty for its refurbished bikes.

Value for Money

The Peloton has decreased its price over the last few years, making this bike more affordable than it once was. However, compared to my current bike, it is much more expensive when you also factor in the mandatory $44/month all-access membership to use all of the bike’s functions.

The Bottom Line

While the Peloton is an excellent model, many offer comparable riding experiences and pair with the Peloton app, but lack the ability to track performance metrics. If you have your heart set that the Peloton platform is the only one you want to use, then purchasing or renting a Peloton is a good idea. However, I suggest expanding your search if you would like some versatility in your riding programs.

Katie Pierson CPT

Katie has been a certified fitness professional for twenty years and holds ten fitness certifications, including Spinning Elite and Personal Training. She has shared her expert knowledge in many fitness outlets like Bicycling & Verywellfit.

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