Peloton Cycling: The Only Group Cycling Class You Can Take at Home

Bring the Studio Home

peloton bike

Want to know a secret? There are only two pieces of standard cardio equipment I'd ever consider buying for in-home use: a professional spin bike, or an AMT Trainer. The trouble with spin bikes, though, is that they really are best used in a group cycling setting, and that's hard to recreate at home.

Until now.

Peloton Cycling is a New York City-based cycling studio that has figured out how to bring their live group cycling classes directly to living rooms across the country.

It's a very cool concept and one that could revolutionize the group fitness industry, especially for boutique-style studios geared to specialty classes, such as cycling, barre, dance, or suspension training.

How Peloton Home Cycling Classes Work

Because Peloton is an actual group cycling studio in New York City, each of the studio's live classes is recorded and streamed through an online membership portal. This means as long as you have a special Peloton Bike and a membership, you can join live classes from the comfort of home, or play pre-recorded classes on demand whenever you want.

It sounds pretty great, right? While you might not actually be sweating alongside a class full of riders, it's the next best thing - you get to experience the energy and enthusiasm of a live-recorded instructor without having to drive to a studio or figure out where to park (or risk being sprayed by someone else's sweat).

The Investment

The catch is that you have to have the Peloton Bike and the Peloton monthly membership to enjoy the ride... and it's quite an investment. First, the Peloton Bike costs $1,995. While spendy, this is actually on par with other high-end spin bikes, so it's not out of range for those looking for a quality bike.

In addition to the bike, you need to pay a $40 monthly membership fee to access the Peloton classes. While this membership fee costs about the same as a basic gym membership and actually covers everyone in your household, it still adds up to almost $500 per year.

Finally, if you don't already have clip-in cycling shoes, you're going to need them, and to fully enjoy all the classes and utilize all the bike's features, you may want to purchase an accessories package. And don't forget, you probably want someone to deliver and set the bike up for you - that's $250. All told, you'll probably spend about $3,000 on the bike in its first year, an amount equivalent to $250 per month.

After the first year, though, the investment is minimal - just your $40 monthly fee and any repairs or maintenance you bike may need.

The System in Action

To really get a feel for how the whole system works, you need to see the tablet interface. Check out this video to get an introduction to the bike and the membership portal. In a nutshell, the sweat-proof tablet makes it possible for you to select between live or on-demand classes. It also enables you to set up personal accounts for everyone in your household, search for classes and instructors based on class format, and get to know other Peloton members.

For those who want a social interaction while exercising, that's possible, too. When you join a class, you can share your experience on Facebook. You can also see other members from all over the world who have signed up to take the class, and you can interact and compare stats with them as you enjoy your ride.

If you prefer a class without interaction, simply hide the stats and community from your screen to focus on the instructor.

Who It's For

As a total fitness geek, I'm kind of going bananas for this bike - as in, I really wish I could justify the cost - but I can't, and I'll readily admit the bike's not for everyone.

Really, it's only for those who are true group cycling fans with money to burn. If you haven't tried a group cycling class, or if you've only taken a few classes and you're not fully committed to the cycling format, I'd hold off on buying a Peloton.

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