Peloton Bike Plus review | Tom’s Guide
The Peloton Bike Plus is Peloton’s most premium exercise bike, building on all of the features of the original Peloton Bike, to give users a top-of-the-range cycling experience from their living rooms. Compared to the Peloton Bike, the large, 24-inch screen rotates, allowing you to spin the screen around and join Peloton’s yoga, strength, HIIT, Pilates, and stretch classes.
Like toilet roll and hand sanitizer, Peloton Bikes were one of the most popular purchases during the Coronavirus lockdown, but how does the Bike Plus compare to some of the best exercise bikes on the market, and is it still worth investing in? To find out more, I installed the Peloton Bike Plus in my living room and cycled over 100 miles on the Bike+ over several months. Read my Peloton Bike Plus review below to find out more.
Peloton Bike Plus review: Price and availability
The Peloton Bike Plus costs $2,495/£1,995, $1050/£650 more than Peloton’s cheaper Bike option, which retails for $1,445/£1,345. On top of this, you’ll need to pay the $44/£39 a month All-Access Membership fee in order to do classes on the Bike. There’s no doubt about it, this is an expensive piece of equipment.
Membership fee: $44/£39 per month
Max rider height & weight: 4’11” to 6’4” | 297 pounds
Bike Dimensions: 59 x 59 x 22 inches
Footprint: 4 x 2 feet
Total bike weight: 140 pounds
Pedals: Delta clips
Display: 23.8 inches 1080p
Sound: Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, built-in microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.2-Channel rear-facing stereo speaker system with 16 watts of total power
Apple watch integration: Yes
Free Trial: 30 days
Of course, there are a number of different financing options available, plus Peloton recently rolled out its Bike rental scheme, allowing you to rent the Bike Plus and get access to Peloton’s library of classes for $119 per month (although at the time of writing, this is only available in the US).
There is also a number of different packages available, that include accessories for the Bike+ such as a mat to protect your floors, as well as shoes (check out the best Peloton shoes here) and weights. These include the Starter Package, which gives you the Bike+, Bike mat, Bike shoes, and a set of light dumbbells for $2695, the Select package, which gives you all of the above, plus a Peloton water bottle and a heart rate band for $2775, and the Ultimate package, which includes everything in the Starter pack, plus a heart rate band, set of dumbbells and a reversible yoga mat.
There are also a number of finance options available, allowing you to spread the cost of the Bike Plus. The Bike Plus comes with a 12-month warranty, and at the time of writing, the price includes delivery and set-up. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, here’s what you need to know before buying a used Peloton.
Peloton Bike Plus review: Design and set-up
Unlike other exercise bikes on the market, Peloton only gives you one option when it comes to the color of the Bike Plus — all black, with a red resistance knob. The Bike+ has the same footprint as the cheaper model, which is about as big as your average yoga mat at four feet long, and two feet wide. Peloton recommends you have 24 inches of space around the Bike Plus to train, but if you’re like me and you’re short on space, you can get away with less (although don’t blame me if your couch gets sweaty).
As you’d expect from a piece of fitness equipment worth this much money, it’s set up and installed in your home as part of the delivery fee. From my experience, this is seamless — the Peloton delivery guys had carried the Bike Plus into my home, installed it in my living room, and connected the Bike Plus to my WiFi before I’d had a chance to make them both a coffee. Once they’d given me a quick run-down on how to use the Bike, they left, but I had a number to contact support on with any post-installation questions.
When it comes to getting yourself up and running on the Bike Plus, it’s easy to adjust the saddle and handlebars to your riding position by using the levers. I found this particularly useful, as my boyfriend (who swore he didn’t want a Peloton), used the Bike as often as I did — switching between our two set-ups took seconds.
The Bike+ has an extremely premium feel to it — if you want to feel like you’re working out in a high-end gym, this is the exercise bike for you. It only took one workout for me to realize that the Bike Plus lived up to the hype. The large screen has a 360-degree swiveling mount, allowing you to tilt it up and down for a better view while cycling or 180 degrees left and right for floor workouts. At the top of the screen, there’s an 8MP front‑facing camera with a privacy slider built-in. You can use this for connecting with friends during workouts, although you both have to be following one another, and taking the same class at the same time.
The bike itself is made from high-grade powder-coated carbon steel, which means it’s heavy — 138kg of heavy. This isn’t an exercise bike you’ll want to be wheeling from room to room, (although there are wheels on the front of the Bike Plus if you do need to move it). When picking a spot for the Bike, you’ll need to consider how much space you have above you too — Peloton says the ceiling needs to be at least 8 feet to allow you to stand up on the Bike.
The downsides? I can’t really think of any — the Bike looks great, doesn’t take up an awful lot of space and the screen is bright and clear. If you were hoping to get a more subtle colorway that blends in, or a bike that you can move around regularly, however, this might not be the one for you.
Peloton Bike Plus review: Performance
You don’t buy an exercise bike to look pretty in your home. After months of using the Bike Plus, I can confidently say that it’s the best exercise bike I’ve ever used. It’s comfortable to cycle on, even when I’ve stacked rides for an hour-long cardio burst. The handlebars are easy to grip, even during the sweatiest of workouts, and the Bike Plus feels stable, no matter how much you move around on the bike.
The Bike Plus has a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm QCS605 processor and 4GB of RAM and features Wi-Fi, ANT+, Bluetooth 5.0, and 100Mbps Ethernet connectivity. I preferred connecting my Bluetooth headphones to the Bike, rather than waking my household with Cody Rigsby’s pop anthems. I was also able to use my Apple Watch Series 8 as a heart rate monitor during classes — here’s how to connect your Apple Watch to your Peloton. This meant my heart rate would appear on the left-hand side of the screen, and the Bike was able to calculate my strive score — a metric that measures how much time you spend in each heart rate zone.
The Bike Plus also has a 17kg magnetic flywheel at the front, which allows you to adjust your resistance during classes using the red knob on the bike. The resistance knob is sensitive — just a tiny twist and the resistance can be increased or decreased, it also has haptic feedback, which I appreciated during testing. The Bike Plus also has the option to switch the bike to electronic resistance, which means the instructor can change your resistance during class, so you don’t have to worry about it. It’s a cool feature, but one that’s only available during on-demand classes.
Peloton Bike Plus review: Classes and app
It’s something I said when I reviewed the Peloton Tread, and something I’ll say again here — Peloton’s magic lies in its classes. There are thousands of on-demand classes already on the Bike, and new classes are uploaded every week. There are also a number of different instructors, and it won’t take you long to find your clique. Sure, at $44/£39 a month it doesn’t come cheap, but living in London, it’s much cheaper than a gym membership, and the cost of a class and a half at my local spin studio.
When finding a class, the sidebar on the right allows you to filter by the instructor, length (there are 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 90-minute workouts), music genre, and class type — there’s low impact, beginner, interval and themed rides amongst others. You can also bookmark classes to save for later, and stack classes, so they play one after the other if you want to pair a ride with a cool-down, or stretch.
During the class, the instructor will give you a cadence range and a resistance range to aim for. The cadence range (RPM) is how quickly you spin your legs and appears at the bottom left of the screen, and the resistance is controlled by the knob on the Bike Plus, appearing on the right. These two things add up to your total power output score — a calculation of your resistance combined with cadence, measured in kilojoules, or KJs. You can also see your heart rate if you’re wearing a connected monitor on the right of the screen and the music track, which you can save to a playlist should you wish. On the left, you have the leaderboard, which allows you to compete against others in the class if it’s live, or everyone who has previously taken that class or started at a similar time if you’re riding an on-demand class. At the top, there’s a countdown timer measuring how long you have left in the class. If all that sounds too distracting, you can easily hide the metrics you don’t want to see.
There are around ten live classes each day, at different time zones for both US and UK users. You can set reminders on your phone and connected watch to join these classes, and see them in the schedule section of the connected Peloton app to keep track of them.
From an app and class perspective, the functionality is seamless. I loved the clever, well-thought-out features like being able to stack classes, so I didn’t have to go back to the home screen and find them in my bookmarked menu. I also loved how the more I rode the Bike Plus, the more it suggested classes from my go-to instructors or new rides to try. I do wish there was an option to download classes onto the Bike Plus on days when my internet was a little sketchy. I also wish there was the option to interact more with fellow Peloton users on the Bike Plus or the app — aside from seeing what rides they’ve taken, and organizing to ride together, there’s no easy way to see what your friends have been up to, and I’d like the option to give them kudos or a high five for their achievements.
Peloton Bike Plus review: Verdict
If you can afford it and the ongoing costs, the Peloton Bike Plus is an excellent exercise bike. The live classes are wonderfully motivating, and the bike itself is one of the most premium bikes on the market right now. It’s fun to ride, and as a result, I’ve used it daily over the past few months.
That said, if you’re not all that bothered about the rotating screen, the Apple Watch connectivity, and the electronic resistance, the classes are exactly the same on the Peloton Bike, which is $1000 cheaper.
Overall, this is an excellent piece of home workout equipment for anyone looking to get into cycling, get better at cycling, or just up their cardio indoors. There’s a reason why Peloton offers newbies a 30-day free trial — you won’t want to send it back.