Experts, engineers, and scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute test thousands of products year-round to bring you the best of the best in terms of performance and capability. When it comes to working out, we know that optimizing the home fitness experience is more important now than ever. And with a hefty price-tag, if you're going to invest in workout equipment, it needs to be durable and worth it. Enter the new Peloton Bike+, the latest edition to the Peloton family that has made its way to the GH Institute Labs.
How We Tested
Fitness experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Wellness Lab tested out the new Peloton Bike+ rigorously for three consecutive months, evaluating six categories of criteria which include dimensions, delivery/assembly, functionality, innovation, durability, and aesthetics.
In this review, you'll find our thorough analysis of the bike and testing notes on our first-hand experience with this new model. Having also previously tested the original Peloton Bike, we are fans of Peloton's large selection of diverse workout classes, talented instructors unparalleled in the fitness industry, supportive community, and leaderboard and metric capabilities. The original model still gives you access to all of these features, but some main differences you'll see on the new premium Peloton Bike+ model include the following:
Larger 23.8” swivel HD touchscreen
High-fidelity front-facing four-speaker sound system
Privacy camera cover
One-tap integration with Apple Gymkit™ easily connects with Apple Watch
Auto-follow digital resistance system
Upgraded adjustment knobs
Now that you know the basic differences, here's our full review of the new Peloton Bike+:
Dimensions and Cost
The new Peloton Bike+ basics package includes the bike, delivery, and assembly for a price tag of $2,495. Upgraded packages are available that include cycling shoes, dumbbells, yoga mats, and other pieces of equipment and range from $2,695 to $2,945.
The original Peloton Bike is now offered at a lower price point of $1,895, with packages ranging up to $2,345. Both bikes offer the standard 30-day home trial period with financing options available and a standard 12-month limited warranty. The bikes are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany.
It's important to note that if you purchase a Peloton Bike+ or original Bike, regardless of the package, you are required to have a monthly Peloton All-Access Membership. Although we are big fans of the membership app and consider it to be an industry-leader, this does tack on an additional $39/month membership fee for unlimited class content access and is billed on bike activation. But, you can pause or cancel anytime, and your entire household can create their own individual profiles on the same account which gives the membership more bang for your buck.
At $2,495 + $39/month membership fee, the Peloton Bike+ averages just under $250 monthly over the course of one year (though you'll likely have the bike for longer). Whether or not the cost of the bike is worth it for you depends on how frequently you plan to utilize it, if other members in your household will be taking advantage of the bike as well, and if you have any other fitness expenses currently. The nice thing about the Peloton Bike+ and original Peloton Bike is that with access to the app and thousands of digital classes, it makes for a total home gym experience with the ability to keep your workout routine versatile and constantly varied.
Peloton Bike+ Measurements
Footprint: 4' x 2'
Dimensions: 59" L x 59" H x 22" W (slightly higher height and thinner width than the original bike model)
Total weight: 140lb
User requirements: Height Range: 4'11" - 6'4" | Weight Maximum: 297lbs; Age Minimum: 14+ years
Space suggestions: Ceiling height minimum: 8’ to ensure riders have adequate headroom |
Space to store and train: 24" on all four sides
Delivery and Assembly
Ordering Your Peloton Bike+
As of December 2020, Peloton's website states that customers who ordered the original Peloton Bike can expect a 4-8 week delivery and those who purchased the new premium Peloton Bike+ can expect a 10+ week delivery due to increased demand making delivery times substantially longer than normal.
A Peloton representative tells Good Housekeeping that they have been experiencing unexpected delays in receiving inventory due to on-going congestion at ports of entry and pandemic-related challenges. “Having to wait this long for a Peloton Bike or Tread is not the experience we want for our Members. We’re being transparent with Members and immediately updating them with any changes to their order status,” representatives said in a statement. "While they wait, they receive complimentary access to our full class library using the Peloton App until their order arrives. Our goal will continue to scale production and be able to deliver bikes and treads to as many people as possible.”
Taking advantage of the Peloton App includes access to classes like bodyweight strength, outdoor running, dance cardio, barre, yoga sessions, and more. While you wait for the bike, you'll still be able to familiarize yourself with instructors, badges, monthly challenges, community, and the array of classes.
Assembly and Set-Up
Our experience with the set-up team was actually much better than other fitness equipment services we have tested. Peloton has a dedicated team of professionals that assemble and set-up your bike, as well as walk you through the app and experience. They calibrate the bike, measure your appropriate seat and handlebar positioning heights, set up your profile, introduce you to the platform, explain special features on the bike, and more.
We found the team very thorough, answering any questions we had, and they also took appropriate safety precautions like wearing masks, gloves, and social distancing when possible. There is Bluetooth connectivity and screen sharing capabilities with both the original bike and the new Bike+, although we will say the new premium model has Bluetooth® 5.0 connectivity (upgraded from 4.0 connectivity on the original model) and seemed to connect much faster and more easily than the original model. And the new GymKit express allowed us to easily pair the Apple Watch with the Peloton Bike+ with just one touch.
Smooth Quiet Ride
The construction and drive of both the original and new Bike+ are the same and is what you would expect from a high-end exercise bike. They both have high variable magnetic resistance, which results in a quiet belt drive and very smooth ride. Both bikes have delta-compatible clip-in pedals, and you can purchase cycling shoes with your bike. There are alternative options available, but we highly recommend cycling shoes to maximize your workout and make the most of each and every pedal stroke.
Improved Sound System & Screen
In addition to a larger screen that swivels (more on that later) and system upgrades all around, the sound system on the new Peloton Bike+ is what really stands out and makes the functionality of the machine and user experience that much better. The new speakers are front facing, an upgrade from the original bike's back facing speakers, and have a higher capacity for wattage which resulted in what felt like a more immersive experience and clearer sound quality. Another key difference is the new location of the headphone jack on the Peloton Bike+ that is now strategically located in front of the handlebars. A privacy cover on the camera is another new feature on the Bike+ that we appreciated.
Upgraded Adjustment Knobs
A key difference between the models is that the original bike has levers to adjust the height of the handlebars and seat, which many users found difficult to maneuver with the first version. We like that Peloton took into account customer feedback and that the new Bike+ has upgraded adjustment knobs that have a more ergonomic shape, sleek design, and are more intuitive to use and less strenuous to adjust. The biggest improvement in our opinion is the change to the lever that determines your seat depth which is far easier to use on the new model.
The newest auto-follow feature on the Peloton Bike+ is a big differentiator from its predecessor. This optional feature allows you to simply touch the auto-follow lock image to have the Bike+ automatically adjust the resistance for you throughout the class based on what the instructor recommends. If you already set your bike to the higher end of the range, then the bike will adjust your resistance to the higher end of the new range that the instructor announces and vice versa if you are on the lower end of the range. Another feature that we appreciated was the circle around the auto-follow lock image; a yellow line goes around the circle indicating to you how much time is left in the interval.
This function scored well in our tests: we found it very easy to use and it allowed us to get more immersed in the actual ride. It particularly came in handy during Tabata style classes. It's important to note that this function is not available on live rides but is offered on most on-demand rides once the Peloton team is able to add the target metrics to the class. It also won't work for any other classes where target metrics aren't added, like power zone rides.
Probably the biggest draw for new Peloton Bike+ customers is the addition of a swivel function on the larger screen, allowing you to rotate the HD screen for full 360-degrees coverage that was particularly helpful in bike bootcamp classes. It's important to note that the screen rotates 180-degrees on both sides, not 360-degrees in one smooth motion, although you still get the full coverage and angles. And in order to rotate the screen, you have to angle it down or else it hits the handlebars. The screen is about two inches bigger on the new Bike+ which we found made a significant difference, especially in floor classes allowing you to better see the instructor and form cues.
Community and Class Variety
Regardless of which Peloton bike or piece of equipment you purchase, the app itself is truly the highlight of this home workout system. The instructors are some of the most motivating and skilled in the industry, delivering quality workout programming that's engaging and efficient. With thousands of classes from a variety of workouts ranging from cycling to bootcamp and resistance band training, the platform caters to all intensity levels and lifestyles, making options for every type of user. And the types of classes and formats are constantly being updated and added every day, most recently with the addition of resistance band classes and barre sessions. Although this platform doesn't have virtual personal training, the instructors do a good job at explaining modifications throughout workouts. The community is vast with over 3 million members, and the app itself is very goal driven with badges, challenges, and metric insights to track your performance and improvement.
The bike itself is well-made, sturdy, and high-end. With regular vigorous use over the past three months, the bike maintained its great condition and did not require re-calibration, though calibrating the bike is simple if needed. Both the original and new Bike+ measure metrics including cadence (speed), resistance, output (powered in KJ), calories, and heart rate. We found the material of the bike easy to clean when using a damp cloth or gentle cleanser to wipe down and remove any sweat as Peloton recommends. For the touchscreen itself, use an approved electronic cleaner and a microfiber cloth as Peloton advises.
Though the Bike+ is only available in one color (black), we find the design sleek, modern, and well-made. A few upgrades on the new bike include hardware updates and round knobs as we mentioned, slightly modified water bottle holders and hand weight racks, and raised lettering for the Peloton logo on the body of the new Bike+ as opposed to the sticker type lettering on the original bike. All of these changes make for an improved aesthetic and finish.
Final testing thoughts
The new Peloton Bike+ is a hefty investment but performed very well in our tests when looking at functionality and durability specifically. With upgraded features, this newer option enhances the user experience with a larger screen that rotates, optimized audio, and special features making the ride that much more immersive. Many of the upgrades to the Peloton Bike+ are based on customer feedback to the original bike. But in general, you can't go wrong with the original or the Bike+ as both give you access to the top-notch Peloton instructors, which is what really sets this platform apart from others in our opinion. Effective workout programming from unparalleled instructors that is innovative, versatile, and vast is what makes this platform a top-tested pick consistently with our fitness experts and engineers.
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