Since Peloton’s kickstarter launch in 2013, the connected fitness brand has garnered nearly 3 million subscribers, according to a letter to shareholders in May of this year. Many people turned to the bike and high-energy classes during the pandemic, when the brand’s user base skyrocketed. And while many people rode the original Peloton Bike, we saw the introduction of the Peloton Bike+ in September 2020. This new bike promised to have everything that the original lacked, including updates like:
A bigger screen size (it increased from 21.5” to 23.8” with an anti-reflective coating), which also now rotates
Automatic resistance changes
Increased RAM and processor, making it work faster
Front-facing speakers and rear-facing woofers for improved sound quality
Updated front-facing camera with privacy screen
Apple GymKit compatibility to better track your stats
Hidden wires for a more organized set-up
USB-C charging port
Personally, I’ve been using the original Peloton since early 2021, and I ride about three times a week. To offer a full review, I swapped several rides over three weeks with the Peloton Bike+ to test out its new features. I’m currently training for an Ironman, and my indoor rides need to be comfortable enough for me to hit my mileage. Most of my training rides are over an hour, which is longer than the average Peloton class, so I can say I easily spent over 15 hours on the Peloton Bike+.
After testing the Peloton Bike versus the Peloton Bike+, I laid out the pros and cons of both bikes based on their most important features. This guide should help you determine which new bike could work for you, and if you’re already a Peloton cyclist, help you figure out whether an upgrade is worth it.
The Pros and Cons of the Original Peloton Bike
I initially started using my Peloton Bike for cross-training and as a fun competition with my husband. Now that I’m training for a triathlon, I’m more intentional about how long and how far I’m going. Most rides are classes, but I also pick popular trails under the “Scenic Rides” section in preparation for hitting the road in competition.
I love that the Peloton is more comfortable than the bikes offered at the gym. The stiff hard metal of a cheap spin bike can’t compare to the soft, cushioned feel of the seat and handlebars of the Peloton. The smoothness of the ride also makes it more comfortable and enjoyable to ride, compared to other bikes.
A year and a half into riding, and I still find the Peloton Bike to be fun. I love taking spin classes with motivating instructors like Tunde Oyeneyin, Ally Love, and Robin Arzon, and I’m able to fully immerse myself into a class with some noise-canceling headphones. But even without my headphones, the sound quality is great and I can blast it and feel like I’m in an indoor cycling studio.
I previously owned a manual spin bike and it felt wonky to ride and left me with tailbone pain. After I adjusted to the seat on my second Peloton ride, I no longer felt any seat pain. I think Peloton is a good example of “you get what you pay for,” as you do pay what most would consider a hefty price for this indoor ride.
What else makes the Peloton Bike stand out from others: A screen that definitely helps to keep you engaged. When your wifi works well, the ride is almost like you’re in a live class. You can clearly see the instructors and you can feel the energy they’re throwing into every ride.
I’ve never had any complaints about my Peloton, and I’d never thought to upgrade until I tried my best friend’s Peloton Bike+. If my bike gave me everything I needed, why buy a newer model? Here’s what I found when I tested the upgraded bike.
The Pros and Cons of the Peloton Bike+
Comparing the Peloton Bike to the Peloton Bike+ side by side, you’d think you were looking at the same bike. That’s because they are almost the same size (with a slight difference in dimensions), and from afar, the only visible change is the shape of the handlebars—the new bike has a straight center bar. Another difference is the logo, which blends into the frame on the Bike+, plus the shape of the knobs.
The main upgrade on the Peloton Bike+ is the screen, which is two inches larger and makes it easier to follow Peloton’s classes that don’t involve the bike. On the original Peloton Bike, I’d strain my neck doing crunches, or I’d have to try to position myself in a way that would allow me to see the screen while doing floor exercises. But the Bike+ allows you to swivel the screen or tilt it in a way that is more comfortable and easy to adjust to a view that works best for you. Also, the anti-glare screen makes it easier to see.
I also feel like I’m less of a distraction if my husband is working in the same room as me, because the ride on the Peloton Bike+ is quieter than the original Peloton. The original has a belt-whir sound that isn’t overly loud, but still noticeable.
I also love how the wires are hidden on the Bike+, which may not be a big deal to many, but my eye twitches every time I see my original bike’s dangling cord. There is also a sleeker appearance with smaller cages under the handlebars for holding your water bottle or cell phone. The sound quality is also better—its like surround sound—and that’s because the speakers have been upgraded. This offers up a pretty immersive experience.
Also, unlike the old bike, you can set your resistance to auto mode, which means it automatically adjusts to the instructor’s guidelines—without you having to turn the knob. The old bike only allows you to manually change the resistance. This feature means you can focus on the ride, pushing through each tough, leg-burning interval, without having to worry about manually turning up the challenge.
The Peloton Bike+ is also just as smooth as the original, maintaining the comfort and enjoyment factor you get from the first version.
Similarities and Differences Between the Peloton Bike vs Peloton Bike+
Roughly the same size
Both hold up to 300 pounds and can accommodate someone heights of 4’11” to 6’5”
The app is the same for both bikes
Both screens tilt up and down
A smooth ride and comfortable positioning
Good classes with motivating instructors
The Bike+ is 5 pounds heavier
The Bike+ screen rotates 180 degrees and has more of a tilt range
The Bike+ has a shield that covers the camera
The Bike+ allows for automatic resistance changes
Should You Buy the Peloton Bike or Peloton Bike+?
If you’re looking for motivation to hit indoor rides, want to mimic the studio experience at home, you want to start a regular fitness routine, or you’re looking for a strong, supportive community, you can’t really go wrong with Peloton. But determining what you want out of your Peloton will help you decide which one will work better for you and keep you pedaling. Keep in mind, Peloton offers a trade-in program and a credit if you decide to upgrade from the original Peloton Bike to the Peloton Bike+.
If you know you want a Peloton, but can’t decide which one, let this quick guide help:
Go for the Peloton Bike+ if…
You prefer the top-of-the-line features
You prefer premium sound quality that makes for an immersive experience
Long cords bug you as much as me and you want everything to store neatly in its place
You take (or want to take) other Peloton class options, like strength training or Pilates, just as much as cycling
You don’t mind spending the extra money for an upgrade
Opt for the original Peloton Bike if…
You want to save money or already have this version
You plan to only take indoor cycling classes
You mostly ride a road bike outside
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