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Peloton Review

Friday, October 22nd

2021 Exercise Bike Reviews

Peloton Review 3.5 Star Rating

Peloton

3.5 Star Rating
  • Risk-free 30-day in-home trial
  • World-renowned leader in livestreamed fitness classes for home users
  • Free delivery and professional in-home assembly

Peloton: it's probably the first name you think of when shopping for an exercise bike. And why wouldn't you? Their fitness classes have taken the home workout scene to a new level: there's no need to go to the gym to get a sweat session perfectly geared towards your ability (and maybe your competitiveness too!).

Choose between Bike and Bike+

There are just two models of exercise bikes to choose from at Peloton, with just a few slight differences between them. The Bike is $1,895 plus tax with a 22" touchscreen. The Bike+ is $2,495 plus tax with a 24" touchscreen that swivels 360 degrees, Apple Watch pairing, AutoFollow resistance and a forward facing sound bar. Both have the same Membership content (which ranges anywhere from $12.95 to $39 a month, depending on the promotions available when you sign up), Bluetooth capability and standard headphone jack.

Worth extra for the swiveling screen

Is it worth the extra money to get the Bike+? For most people, probably. You get the obvious upgrades on the technology - bigger touchscreen, greater connectivity, and so on - but the swiveling screen makes it much easier to do the non-cycling workouts. You just flip the screen in whatever direction you need to be able to follow your favorite strength class or yoga session (instead of trying to see it from behind your Peloton bike).

Best Exercise Bikes

Equipment overview:

  • Type of exercise bikes: Indoor
  • Price range: $1895 to $2495
  • Different models: 2
  • Can stream live/pre-recorded workouts: Yes
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Weight capacity: 297 lbs.
  • Return policy: 30 day home trial
  • Warranty: 5 years on the frame, 12 months on everything else
  • Shipping: Free, includes professional in-home setup

Have to order toe cages if needed

Both Peloton bikes use clip-in pedals by default. That means they're harder to use with your regular gym shoes, and you'll need to buy Look Delta-compatible cycling shoes (which are available through Peloton or from the retailer of your choice). If you don't want to use clips, you can buy toe cages through Peloton: they're $35 if you order them at the same time as your bike, or $50 if you order them separately.

Accessory packages available

You can also gear up when you buy a package from Peloton. It's a good option especially if you have multiple people in your household who will be using the exercise bike. For example, the Family Package comes with two pairs of cycling shoes, a bike mat, weights, and all extras needed for Peloton's streamed yoga classes (resistance bands, blocks, workout mat, etc.). If you're not sure on the fit of the shoes, Peloton's customer service says they fit like most Nike athletic shoes but without half-sizes so order a size up - and rest assured that you can exchange them within the first 30 days.

Risk-free 30-day trial

Peloton offers a fantastic 30-day in-home trial. Not only will you get free shipping and in-home, professional setup, but you get to use the exercise bike and all of its membership features for 30 days. If you want to send it back for any reason, Peloton will refund the full cost of the Peloton, accessories, and membership after the Peloton is picked up. You don't even pay return shipping costs! That's a deal you probably won't find anywhere else.

Delivery in 2 weeks

At the time of our review, Peloton was operating within about a two-week delivery window in most areas. You won't get an official delivery date range until you place your order, but once it's confirmed you get to choose the date you prefer.

Improving in order fulfillment

That's good to know: like most retailers of home fitness equipment, Peloton has had problems in the past with keeping up with customer demand. The Better Business Bureau shifted Peloton's evaluation to "Not Rated" because of a pattern of delays in order fulfillment in the past. Fortunately, that seems to have been resolved, and two weeks isn't a bad timeframe at all to wait for a Peloton exercise bike.

Less warranty, lower weight capacity

All of that being said, Peloton still doesn't capture our highest ranking. Why? Their warranty coverage doesn't quite compare with many of their rivals': just 5 years on the frame and a year on everything else. For most bikes in Peloton's price range, you'll usually get lifetime warranty on the frame and up to 10 years on electronic/mechanical components. Their bikes also have a weight capacity of just under 300 lbs., while other manufacturers have options up to 350 or 400. That's not a dealbreaker per se, but it's worth keeping in mind.

Too many complaints

Our other concern with Peloton is the pattern of complaints received by the BBB that describe major hassles with delivery and service post-purchase. There were over 1900 complaints filed in the 12 months leading up to this evaluation, and almost all of them describe serious delays in getting exchanges, repairs covered under warranty, or refunds for returns. We're glad to see that the Peloton team responds to each complaint but it shouldn't take Herculean efforts (as one review put it) to get and maintain a working exercise bike - otherwise, it just becomes a very expensive clothes rack!

Not the only option for live fitness

Peloton may have set the standard for studio-style cycling at home, and no one can argue that their classes aren't amazing. But, with so many look-alike exercise bikes out there for much less money - or with much higher quality and better service after placing the order - Peloton needs their equipment and their delivery/warranty/repair service to match if they want to earn the #1 ranking here.

Where Can You Find the Best Exercise Bikes?

Fitness equipment is more popular now than ever, with so many people working, learning and doing just about everything from home. It can be challenging to find anything in stock near you, with no idea of when your preferred exercise bike will be available to buy.

Naturally, that's where the internet comes in, making it a lot easier to get the type of bike you want most. Looking for live and on-demand fitness classes on a machine that automatically increases and decreases resistance - or that even allows a coach to remotely shift your settings to give you an extra push (or a break!)? Shopping online gives you access to not just one company but several that offer that boutique-style workout experience.

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Exercise Bike FAQ

There are plenty of reasons that people buy an exercise bike for home use. For people with balance or mobility issues who still want a good cardio workout, bikes are a much better option than a treadmill or elliptical machine. They also take up much less room, are more portable/movable, and easier to maintain than larger pieces of cardio equipment.
That's up to you. Recumbent bikes have a seat like a chair, and the pedals are in front of you; they're the exercise bike of choice for people with joint and back issues. Upright bikes offer more flexibility in your workout: you can ride seated or pedal standing up for a more intense experience.
As with most products, the more features an exercise bike has, the more it will cost. You can get a basic, entry-level model for under $500 - or pay $7,000+ for one that has every bell and whistle imaginable (but it won't do the exercise for you!).
How does "free" sound? Many retailers include delivery in the price of the exercise bike. That definitely beats trying to lug it home from a brick-and-mortar store in your car!
Not necessarily. Most manufacturers have step-by-step instructions and even videos for how to put your bike together. You can also purchase professional installation/set-up from some retailers, either with their in-house team or through a third-party partner.
That depends on the store. Some offer no return policy whatsoever, while others give you 30-60 days to try your bike and decide if you want to keep it. Even then, you may still be responsible for return shipping costs and/or restocking fees.
Most bikes come with warranty coverage, usually with longer protection on the higher-end models. You may have lifetime coverage of the frame and brakes, 1-3 years on parts and electronics, and 90 days to 3 years on associated labor costs - but the specifics vary by manufacturer and bike model. Some retailers offer extended warranty plans as well.
That's one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry, and many bikes come with some kind of workout option with live coaching or on-demand classes. But, even if your bike doesn't, there are plenty of apps you can subscribe to and follow along on your own; you just need to have a way to see your phone, tablet or TV from wherever you position your exercise bike!
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Continued from above...

Or, maybe your doctor has told you that you can't do high-impact exercise anymore, but you still need something to stay healthy. Recumbent bikes to the rescue! There are plenty of models available from internet retailers, from basic models under $500 to high-tech designs with plenty of features for over $2,000.

There are even exercise bikes designed for use under your desk or with a tabletop/desk built in: no more using work as your excuse for not working out! Your coworkers can get in on the fun if you choose a model that has three bikes at the same round table, too.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you start your search for the exercise bike that's right for you. Studio style? Recumbent? Touchscreen or basic console? Fortunately, there are several criteria you can use to narrow down your options and find something that fits:

  • Number of Exercise Bikes. How many models does the retailer sell? The more bikes in their inventory, the more likely it is that one of them will have the features you're looking for - and that it will be in stock when you're ready to buy.
  • Features. Think about what features are most important to you when using your fitness equipment. Is it connectivity with your smartwatch or fitness apps? A weight capacity that accommodates each member of your household? Interactive displays with games and leaderboards to keep you motivated? It's not impossible to get a bike with everything you want, if you know what's on your must-have list.
  • Value. Is the exercise bike you're considering a good value for the money? That's not just a matter of price: some lower-end models actually offer a lot, while some of the most expensive models don't give you nearly what you'd expect.
  • Customer-Friendly Policies. Can you get a free trial with your exercise bike? How long do you have to return it if it's not working out? Is delivery free and/or will it include professional set-up? How about warranty coverage?
  • Reputation. It's a good idea to consider what customers have said about the particular bike you want and the company itself. Can you count on getting fast, friendly help from the customer service department if anything goes wrong? Even the most promising warranties aren't worth much if the retailer doesn't follow through on them.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best online retailers of exercise bikes available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the indoor ride you've been hoping for!

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