Peloton has dominated the at-home fitness market, at least in terms of indoor cycling bikes, for quite a number of years. Peloton has also expanded its lineup of products to include the Peloton Tread and now a Peloton Rowing machine.
While other competitors have entered the scene with attractive Peloton alternatives, many people still decide to purchase a Peloton bike based on the reputation, quality, and caliber of the instructors of the Peloton classes.
However, Peloton fitness equipment is expensive and comes with a hefty membership fee for the Peloton All-Access Membership to be able to take Peloton workouts.
So, is Peloton worth it? Are there cheaper Peloton alternatives that can provide a Peloton-like experience at any more affordable price point?
In this article, we will discuss some of the pros and cons of the Peloton Bike and other Peloton exercise equipment, Peloton costs, and alternatives to Peloton to help you answer your question, “Is Peloton worth it?”
We will cover the following:
- Is Peloton Worth It?
- How Much Does Peloton Cost?
- Is Peloton a Good Value?
- Budget-Friendly Peloton Alternatives
Let’s dive in!
Is Peloton Worth It?
Peloton is based in the United States and launched its first product, the Peloton Bike, in 2012.
The company now has a second bike, the Peloton Bike+, along with the Tread (treadmill) and, most recently, a Peloton rowing machine.
Although Peloton has built a reputation for manufacturing premium at-home fitness equipment with world-class instructors, all of the Peloton equipment, along with the Peloton membership, is quite expensive.
However, Peloton places a lot of emphasis on high-quality classes and top-notch tech, offering 24/7 live and on-demand workout classes.
For this reason, unless money is no object, you will likely want to determine, “Is Peloton worth it?“
As with any purchasing decision, there is no universal answer to whether Peloton is a good value or worth it because it really depends on your budget, needs, preferences, and flexibility in what you are looking for.
Let’s look at the costs associated with Peloton.
How Much Does Peloton Cost?
Peloton exercise equipment is expensive.
Although the prices of the Peloton bikes fluctuate and depend on the accessories that you purchase, the Peloton Bike+ currently costs $2,495, and the Peloton Bike costs $1,495. The basic Peloton Tread without additional accessories is a whopping $3,495.
Additionally, even after these hefty fitness equipment costs, the main budget consideration when buying a Peloton Bike or Peloton Tread is the ongoing subscription fee. Depending on where you live, the monthly fees can be on par with a mid-level gym membership.
Peloton bikes or the Peloton Tread require a continued subscription to the Peloton All-Access Membership, which is currently $44 per month. This means you will be spending $528 (plus tax) per year just to use the Peloton equipment.
The Peloton warranty is not very good, given the cost. The Peloton Bike warranty is just five years on the frame and 12 months for everything else.
Is Peloton a Good Value?
The actual Peloton Bike (or Bike+) and Peloton Tread are feature-packed home exercise equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the features:
#1: Display and Graphics
The Peloton Bike and Tread both have a rotating and tilting touchscreen display with high-definition graphics, enabling you to watch workout classes off of the bike or treadmill or on a mat next to your bike.
The Peloton Bike touchscreen display is 21.5 inches, and the Peloton Bike+ display measures 23.8 inches.
The basic Peloton Bike has two rear-facing speakers on the back of the monitor while the Peloton Bike+ offers a pretty immersive surround sound experience with two speakers on the front of the monitor and two woofers on the back.
#2: Compact Exercise Equipment
The Peloton Tread and Peloton Bikes are relatively compact with a 5½′ x 2¾′ and 4′ x 2 ‘ footprint repectively.
The Bikes support 297 pounds, and the Peloton treadmill has a max user weight of 300 pounds.
#3: Well-Rounded Workouts
If you only have one piece of Peloton exercise equipment, your cardio workouts will be limited, unlike having a full suite of gym equipment. However, Peloton training does include all sorts of off-bike or off-treadmill workouts like strength training, yoga, and HIIT.
Therefore, it is still possible to put together a fairly well-rounded fitness program with just one Peloton bike or Peloton treadmill.
Additionally, if you like to run, bike, hike, or do some sort of exercise outside but want to have the convenience of indoor training for inclement weather, the off-season, or cross-training from your primary sport, a Peloton bike or a Peloton Tread can be a more convenient option than a gym membership while still providing everything you desire and need.
If, however, you’d like a lot of variety in your workout routine and tend to get bored with doing the same type of cardio, you might be better served by getting a gym membership and going with the Peloton Digital subscription for live and on-demand classes.
This is instead of buying one piece of expensive Peloton fitness equipment and then getting sucked into committing to the expensive Peloton All-Access Membership.
Then, you can work out with variety by doing different types of cardio at the gym, structured indoor and outdoor running workouts, indoor cycling workouts, strength training workouts, and use other types of cardio machines at the gym to prevent boredom and keep your routine fresh and engaging.
Budget-Friendly Peloton Alternatives
There are also a variety of Peloton alternatives for different budgets.
Some people choose to get just a basic indoor cycling bike from Amazon, such as a Sunny Health and Fitness indoor cycling bike, and then purchase a subscription to the Peloton Digital app.
This is the most budget-friendly Peloton alternative, although you will be missing some of the features of the Peloton bike, such as automatic adjustments to the resistance level based on the class you are taking.
Many budget-friendly Peloton alternative exercise bikes have fewer resistance levels than the 100 resistance levels on Peloton Bikes.
For example, two of the more popular Peloton alternatives that also have their own platform for streaming live and on-demand workouts are Echelon and NordicTrack.
However, Echelon indoor cycling bikes have only 32 resistance levels, and the NordicTrack studio cycles (such as the S27i) have 24 resistance levels.
It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean that the Peloton bike is harder than the Echelon bike or any of the other Peloton alternatives that have fewer than 100 magnetic resistance levels.
Essentially, it’s not that the Echelon bikes top off at level 32 of the Peloton bike, after which the Peloton bike would offer an additional 68 levels of more challenging resistance for advanced riders.
Ultimately, there isn’t enough data or reviews to conclusively compare the difficulty of the maximum resistance levels between Echelon vs Peloton bikes.
The few in-depth product review comparisons that have tried to qualify this difference have not mentioned that the highest level on the Echelon bike is easier than the highest level on the Peloton bikes, nor do user reviews of the Echelon bikes report that the amount of resistance is insufficient or even advanced riders at the higher levels.
Rather, the primary functional difference between the resistance levels with the Echelon vs Peloton bikes is in the jump in increased tension from one level to the next.
Because Peloton bikes offer about three times as many resistance levels, there is a much more nuanced difference between one level and the resistance level above or below it. This can enable you to really fine-tune the exact amount of tension that you want.
With the Echelon bikes, you will be making a bigger jump in difficulty when you increase the resistance by one level.
However, most riders find that there is plenty of adjustability in the resistance on the Echelon bikes and that you do not need to have such minute degradations to find an appropriate resistance level.
Most indoor cycling workout involves increasing and decreasing the resistance rather frequently at different intervals during the workout.
Therefore, even if a given resistance level feels slightly too hard but the one above it or below it is likely too easy, you may only be doing an interval at that particular resistance for a short period of time before switching resistance levels anyway.
Note that another benefit of the NordicTrack vs Peloton Bike or Echelon vs Peloton Bike is that the subscription fees are lower, price points are lower, and NordicTrack has a much better warranty.
For more information about how to best make use of Peloton, check out our guide to cycling vs running here.