My Faux Peloton...a Feloton
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Peleton bike. For the uninitiated, it is an at-home spin bike with on-demand spinning classes, targeted at parents who have no time to get to the gym but miss gym classes. Our office gym has one and it is glorious. It also happens to be $3,000. Mind you, the list price is $1995 but there is a required $39/month subscription, a $250 delivery and taxes. So yeah, let’s call it 3Gs.
And despite this exorbinate price tag I was seriously considering it. I love spinning because the music is fantastic and with my limited free time, it makes me sweat in the smallest amount of time possible. But then I kept wondering, would I really use it? And then I found out they released a Peleton app you can use on your iphone, ipad, or on apple TV. And the app is only $12 a month. So then, I enlisted my husband for my Pelton hack.
There are a ton of other blog posts about this, but here’s how we put ours together:
Bike: This one from Amazon is honestly good enough for me. I know the Peloton bike is much better, but it wasn’t so much better that I felt it warranted that kind of money. This is not the entry level, but it’s very solid, quiet and I figure if I keep at it and really make this part of my regular routine, then I’ll upgrade. PRICE: $298
Clip in pedals: I pooh poohed the cleats and clip ins and thought the cages on the pedals would be enough. But it makes a huge difference. You get so much more strength because you can pull up with your feet instead of just pushing down. So we got these clips. They install easily and if they spin, you can clip in to either side. PRICE: $27
Weights: These are somewhat optional but a lot of the rides use weights. You can honestly use soup cans, which are 2-3 pounds. But I figured I could spring for the real deal. PRICE: $14
Wahoo accelerometer: The real Peloton bike tracks your speed, and the instructors will call it out. Your hacked bike does not. So, you can buy this little device, stick it onto one of your pedals, and then it links to your iphone. Viola, you’re in business. PRICE: $39
Screen: We went with an Apple TV because I wanted a large screen. You could hypothetically do it on an ipad pro, which is 12 inches, but bear in mind the real Peloton has a 22 inch screen and I think that makes a big difference into making you feel like you’re IN a real class. It helps with the motivation. But if you want to go the other route, get a refurbished ipad for $150 and then this mount and you can put it on the bike. PRICE for Apple TV: $150.
That’s it. TOTAL PRICE: $578
The only piece that is missing is there’s no way to simulate the Peloton classes’ resistance level. It’s proprietary to their bikes, so the instructors will call out “I want you at 25-35” and you’ll be on your hacked bike and go “Wait, what?” But, the nice thing is that all their classes are timed to the music, so if you try to just find that beat, it doesn’t take long to figure out where you should be. Some instructors are religious about the resistance, and I’ve found others will say generic things like “turn the resistance until you feel the road under you” and “Can you give me a little more?” So, I stick to those classes for now. But, is that difference worth a difference of $2500? For me, no.
Listen, if money were no object, the Pelotonis fabulous and I’d definitely get it. But for us, the hacked version works well enough that I’m really happy we went that route.