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Peloton ipo analysis buy or not

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Peloton Bike Review: Is It Worth Your Money?

Home fitness equipment promises to give you all the benefits of the gym without any of the cost and inconvenience.

But before you purchase, how can you tell whether a product will wind up used or abandoned in the basement?

Peloton promises to solve the problem of unused exercise equipment with its high-tech spin bike that gives you access to a passionate fitness community and thousands of engaging spin classes at any time.

In this review, we’ll analyze what Peloton offers and compare it to the competition so you can determine whether to add this spin bike to your wish list.

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What Is the Peloton Bike?

The Peloton bike is a spin bike with a screen that lets you take boutique fitness classes from home.

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With this bike, you can live-stream workouts from the company’s NYC studio, compete against others on a leaderboard, and get shoutouts from instructors when you reach key milestones.

Peloton’s goal is to help you get rid of the mental and physical barriers associated with getting to a physical fitness class. When you own a Peloton, you can workout anytime- no commute required.

How Does the Peloton Bike Work?

The Peloton bike is essentially a magnetic resistance spin bike with a 22-inch touchscreen on the front.

The bike’s footprint is approximately 4' x 2', and you’ll need to put it somewhere near a power outlet and a strong WiFi connection to use it.

While the bike can be used like any other spin bike, what sets it apart is integrated access to Peloton’s studio classes. The company live-streams approximately 20 classes from their London and NYC studios daily, and these workouts are added to the continuously-growing on-demand library soon after.

You can choose from just under 5,500 spin classes, ranging in length from five to 90 minutes.

The workouts vary in difficulty, class format, instructor, and music genre, and it’s possible to filter your search by these parameters.

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Here’s an example of some of the most recent class options.

  • 20 Minute 80’s Pop Ride with Denis Morton
  • 20 Minute Beginner Ride with Cody Rigsby
  • 45 Minute Tabata Ride with Ally Love
  • 30 Minute Intervals and Arms Ride with Tunde Oyeneyin
  • 45 Minute Heart Rate Zone Endurance Ride with Christine D’ercole
  • 30 Minute Electronic Dance Ride with Matt Wilpers

As you take a class, you’ll see your workout stats displayed on the screen.

These include your pedaling cadence, resistance level, total power output, heart rate (if wearing a monitor), and more. You can track your stats against the cues that the instructor is calling out.

Your ride experience will vary slightly depending on if you take a class live or on-demand.

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Live classes get a real-time leaderboard that lets you compete against everyone else who is taking it. It’s possible to filter the leaderboard to a specific gender, age range, location, or to hide it completely.

The instructor can also see your stats when you take a ride live. If you are reaching a milestone (such as your 100th ride), they might give your leaderboard name a shoutout.

When you take a class on-demand, you can compete against a “here now” and “all-time” leaderboard to see how you stack up against others who have taken it.

The main difference from a live ride is that fewer people are likely to be taking it simultaneously and there’s no chance of a shoutout.

Note that the only way to take these classes is to purchase a bike subscription, which costs $39.99 per month. Without this subscription, you are limited to three 45-minute workouts included on the bike and a “free mode” where you can bike in front of a blank screen that displays your workout stats.

Beyond spin classes, a Peloton membership also gives you access to a variety of other kinds of exercise.

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These include:

  • Strength
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Cardio
  • Stretching
  • Outdoor Running (audio only)
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Bootcamp (workouts that are split between strength training and running on a treadmill)

You can access these classes through the bike’s touchscreen or through the Peloton App, which is complementary for bike owners (it costs $12.99/month for everyone else).

Some of these additional classes, such as certain strength training sessions, take place on the bike.

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Others work best if you play them through a separate device so that you have a better viewability angle.

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Peloton Instructors

There are close to 20 Peloton instructors at the company’s NYC studio alone. They vary in age, teaching style, and qualifications, and most have massive social media following thanks to their Peloton fans.

While Peloton instructors are usually leading classes with in-person participants, they put a lot of their focus on the camera that’s live-streaming them.

This is meant to help home riders feel connected with the rest of the class and motivated to keep showing up.

Some Peloton instructors, such as Matt Wilpers, take a technical approach to train with data-focused Powerzone classes. Others, like Cody Rigsby, keep the sessions lighthearted with pop music playlists. Still others, such as Ally Love, pepper their classes filled with encouragement for anyone who might be going through a hard time, exercise-related or otherwise.

Most Peloton riders have their favorites, so you might need to try out several classes until you find the instructor that resonates with you.

What Does the Peloton Bike Cost?

The amount you’ll pay for Peloton depends partly on your payment plan and the accessories you purchase.

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This chart highlights the available options:

*Peloton bikes include LOOK Delta Compatible aluminum pedals. This means you will need to use spin shoes with Delta clips to use it.

Note that these prices don’t account for the $39.99/month membership fee, which you will start being charged as soon as your bike arrives.

Peloton offers a 30-day home trial for new bike users. This allows you to try out the bike for thirty days. If you don’t like it, you can request a full refund and the company will pick the bike up.

This refund also includes all accessories and your first month’s subscription.

All Peloton purchases come with 12-month parts and labor warranty.

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If any part of your bike breaks down within that time frame, Peloton will cover the costs for replacement parts and send out an authorized Peloton technician to complete the repairs free of charge.

The best way to contact the company is through their online chat profile on the official website, or at (866) 679-9129.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

We looked at Peloton bike reviews across a variety of platforms, including here at HighYa and Peloton Facebook pages.

Here’s a summary of the main takeaways from these reviews:

Stable, Well-Built Bike

A clear majority of Peloton users love this spin bike. They write that it is well-built and barely budges while they ride it, even when placed on the carpet.

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Many also mentioned that the bike was extremely quiet when they were cycling on it and that the 22-inch touchscreen was perfect for following the workout classes.

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A few people mentioned that they had maintenance issues with the bike like broken wheel bearings, stripped pedals, and malfunctioning screens over the time they owned it, but that the company responded promptly and sent out a tech crew to fix it when necessary.

Wide Variety of Challenging Workouts

Peloton’s key selling point is its classes, and customer reviews show that they don’t disappoint.

Users rave about the convenience of taking studio-quality spin workouts at home, and many appreciate how many options there are to take live classes throughout the day.

Many reviewers also appreciated that their Peloton membership gave them free access to the Peloton Digital app, which included options for yoga, running, strength training, boot camp workouts and more.

Good Motivator to Workout at Home

A big selling point for many reviewers was that the Peloton allowed them to work out when convenient for their schedule.

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This meant mothers with young kids didn’t need to find a babysitter before going to the gym, and city dwellers didn’t need to suffer through another round of traffic to get fit.

The bike also resonated with people too intimidated to join an in-person fitness class. The Peloton allowed them to work out in the privacy and not worry about sweating in front of strangers.

Likewise, many people found the class leaderboards kept them more engaged and committed to pushing themselves.

Promoted Long Term Use and Weight Loss

What set the Peloton apart for many users was that they kept wanting to use it. Many reviewers wrote that they had lots of home fitness equipment collecting dust in their homes, but that they looked forward to using the Peloton even years after they first purchased it because the classes and community continued to be engaging.

Many experienced real benefits from this regular exercise and reported that they had lost dozens of pounds, improved their fitness stats, and lost inches around their waistline after several months of regular use.

Quality Concern Issues

Some Peloton customers didn’t have a positive experience from a quality standpoint.

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Some wrote that their bikes arrived dented or damaged, or that the bearings went out after just a few weeks of use.

Though most had the issues resolved by Peloton’s repair theme, they resented how long the process took.

Confusion with Subscription Costs

In many cases, reviewers were blindsided by the cost of the bike, as they didn’t know that they needed to pay a $39 monthly subscription fee to access classes. Many of these reviewers wrote that they wished they had bought a cheaper spin bike and used the $13-per-month Peloton app instead.

Key Takeaways

Overall, these reviews show that the majority of people who buy the bike seem to love it.

Exercise enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike raved about how much they enjoyed using it.

The biggest problems from a customer perspective seem to be price and that the equipment is prone to breaking down, and that it can take a while to get it fixed. Those who have a functioning bike seemed to have little to complain about.

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Peloton Bike vs.

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Other Home Spin Class Bikes

Buying home fitness equipment like the Peloton is expensive, and several competitors have entered the market at a slightly lower price point.

Below, we compare the features between Peloton, NordicTrack and Echelon:

As this chart shows, Peloton has the highest upfront cost for equipment, though each brand requires a $39.99 subscription to access its content. You’ll get a year’s subscription for free with NordicTrack, and Echelon offers subscription discounts with some of their bike purchases, but Peloton’s subscription price doesn’t fluctuate.

Unlike Peloton, both NordicTrack and Echelon offer several bikes to choose from.

That lets you choose which features you want to pay for, and in Echelon’s case, it allows you to buy a bike without a screen. That’s significant because it means that you aren’t locked into their platform forever with the bike.

In other words, you could follow either Peloton or Echelon classes (or another platform entirely) on an Echelon bike outfitted with your own tablet, but a NordicTrack and Peloton bike’s touchscreens are limited to that company.

If you stop your subscription, you can’t use the screen for anything else.

Each of these bikes has its appeal, and choosing the right one for you depends on what you value.

Peloton has the highest price tag, the largest community, and the broadest range of classes. It makes sense for you if you want to feel like you are part of a bigger group and want ultimate flexibility in how you workout.

NordicTrack doesn’t offer any live classes (yet), but its bikes are uniquely outfitted to adjust their difficulty level during the workouts.

Those who struggle to push themselves hard enough when they are in charge of their own difficulty settings will likely appreciate this feature.

Finally, Echelon offers the most affordable tech-integrated spin class experience.

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You can choose from a range of bikes starting at $900, and it’s possible to use your own tablet. Though the company offers less than a fifth of Peloton’s on-demand workouts, this library is growing fast with 14 live classes each day.

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the Peloton App

If you’re not interested in dropping thousands of dollars on a Peloton bike, it’s possible to enjoy much of the same experience by using the Peloton Digital app with a regular spin bike.

There are dozens of tutorials online that go into detail on what you will need, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to app users.

I personally have used the Peloton app for more than ten months, paired with a Schwinn spin bike and a Bluetooth cadence sensor and heart rate monitor.

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This setup lets me participate in both live and on-demand classes and monitor my cadence and exertion level (through my heart rate) directly through the app.

The biggest appeal of this approach is that you will save money.

It’s possible to buy used commercial bikes from fitness centers that are the same or better quality than a Peloton for about $500, and a cadence sensor and heart rate monitor for another $75.

This gives you an upfront cost savings of more than $1,500 over the Peloton, and you will continue to save money each month with the app subscription ($12.99) compared to the bike’s subscription ($39.99).

Over one year of ownership, a Peloton Essentials Package ($2,404) plus a subscription ($480) will cost $2,884.

Buying a different bike with accessories ($600) and using the app ($156) could cost you about $756 instead, a savings of more than $2,100.

Obviously, your numbers will vary significantly depending on the cost of your bike.

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But even if you buy a new spin bike at a similar pricepoint to the Peloton, you’ll still save over the length of the subscription.

However, this stripped-down Peloton alternative has some drawbacks. You won’t be connected to the leaderboard, which might decrease motivation for some people.

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Likewise, you will need to use another app to save your ride stats is you want to look at them later.

Using the Peloton app with a regular spin bike is an excellent option for anyone with access to spin bikes at the gym, anyone who doesn’t want to be tied to a $39.99 monthly subscription, and anyone who doesn’t want to own an exercise bike that’s limited to one platform.

However, if the community leaderboard appeals to you, you don’t mind paying more for premium equipment, and you don’t want to go through the effort of rigging up your own system, then you’ll likely be happier with a real Peloton.

The Bottom Line: Who Should Consider a Peloton?

For those who want the feeling of a studio spin class while working out at home, Peloton offers an industry-defining opportunity to get in shape.

If you can afford it, this bike can transform your approach to exercise by making it possible to follow an NYC studio spin class regardless of where you live and what your schedule looks like.

The primary thing to keep in mind before committing to Peloton is the price.

Expect to pay about $3,000 for the first year of use and an additional $450 in subscription fees every year after. Though it’s possible to continue using the bike if you cancel your subscription, you’ll be left with an almost unusable screen in the front if you do.

However, $3,000 a year can be cost savings for you compared to attending in-studio cycling classes.

SoulCycle, a leading spin class studio in the US, charges more than $30 per class at many locations.

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Once you use your Peloton 100 times, you’re saving money compared to paying for the same number of Soul Cycle classes.

Overall, we think Peloton makes sense for anyone who:

  • Loves instructor-led exercise classes
  • Wants to get in shape without going to the gym
  • Has a busy schedule and struggles to make it to in-person studio classes
  • Wants to save money on a gym membership or studio classes
  • Wants the accountability of an engaging virtual community and competitive leaderboard
  • Doesn’t mind buying fitness equipment that’s limited to a single platform

Intrigued by Peloton’s virtual classes but not ready to pay the $3k price?

Cheaper options are available from NordicTrack, Echelon, and the Peloton App. You can also try out the app for a thirty-day free trial. Our advice is to pair it with a regular spin bike and see whether you love the workout style enough to commit to the full system.

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