Welcome to the 414th Metamorphosis Monday! Happy New Year to you!
The dressing area off my master bedroom has been through a couple of transitions over the last few months, one of which was unwanted but has probably worked out for the best.
When my father and mother-in-law moved into assisted living about 12-15 years ago, none of their children wanted the beautiful green bedroom set that had been my mother-in-law’s when she was growing up. Not wanting to see it sold, we purchased it from the estate. It was too beautiful and had way too much sentimental value to let it go.
The bed, bed-side table and chest of drawers have been stored in my basement all these years, but I’ve been using the lovely dresser here in my bedroom. Back during the summer I received a phone call from another family member who remembered that I had the set and had changed their mind and now wanted it. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy about it since I loved it and was actively using the dresser, but I felt if my mother-in-law were alive today, she would probably have wanted them to have it. So, of course, I said, yes.
It left a big hole in this room and in my heart. The room has remained empty until very recently.
About two months ago I was watching TV and saw a commercial that I found really intriguing. I never watch commercials, but this ONE caught my eye. It was for a spinning cycle that lets you take live (and on demand) spinning classes right from your own home. You can even take scenic rides through some of the most beautiful national parks around the world!
Many years ago I remember hearing about the spinning craze. Kelly Ripa is a big fan of spinning and I think that’s where I first heard about it. Though I knew spinning was hugely popular, I had no interest in trying it. There was no I way I was going to drive through Atlanta traffic to some distant spinning studio several times a week to take a class.
Another deterrent was the cost. Classes typically run around $35 per class. I can’t imagine spending $105 each week to take just 3 spinning classes. If you did that for a month, it would be over $400! As if that isn’t bad enough, the classes can be hard to get into. Since they are so popular, folks normally have to reserve them well ahead of time or risk finding the class has already filled up. Motivation to exercise is hard enough to come by without all these obstacles.
After seeing the Peloton bike on TV, I started doing some research. What really cinched my desire to ultimately buy one was a visit to the Peloton Facebook page where I saw my daughter-in-law’s sweet face as someone who had “liked” their page. I had no idea she knew about Peloton. I texted her and discovered she was a fan and dreamed of owning one some day. She loves spinning and used to take classes all the time before she had two little ones.
That did it, with Christmas right around the corner, I knew this was the perfect time to make her dream come true. There was no way I could buy one for myself and not get one for her since she had been wishing for one long before I even knew they existed. It’s been so much fun comparing notes with her and talking about which coaches are our favorites.
After having the bike for several weeks, I’m completely addicted. They warn you it’s addictive, and honestly, I was hoping it would be. So nice when something that’s good for you is actually something you enjoy and want to do. Rare, that!
I wanted to share this with you because this is a lifestyle blog and this bike has been a significant and positive change in my lifestyle. In this post I’ll share some general information about how it works, then feel free to ask me any questions you might have. By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post, I paid for my bike in full and Peloton has no idea I’m writing this post.
How It Works
So, here’s how it basically works: You purchase the cycle and they deliver it a week or two later, depending on how close you are to one of their warehouses. Once the bike arrives, you can take spinning classes live while they are actually happening in the Peloton Studios in New York. Or, you can take any of their “On Demand” classes, any time of the day. You’ll need a decent internet speed/wi-fi connection because the classes are streamed to the bike.
These bikes are not cheap, just under $2,000, but then it’s not just a bike. It’s bike with a sophisticated tablet/computer built into it. My daughter-in-law who has been spinning for years, said it’s by far the nicest spinning cycle she has ever ridden. It is a beautiful piece of machinery, so the price didn’t surprise me that much.
I purchased our bikes in the Atlanta Peloton store at Lenox Square Mall, where I was able to test one. (See their current retail locations here: Peloton Locations.) They have a bike in back where you can take a full class before deciding if you want to purchase one. I didn’t take a full class, I was pretty much sold after reading articles online, reading the reviews HERE and talking with my daughter-in-law.
I was told that Peloton doesn’t really make any money off the bikes, that it’s more or less a break even in that regard. Where Peloton makes their money is the fee you pay to stream the classes each month. It’s $39 a month for unlimited classes, which I think is a bargain when you consider it normally costs $30-35 to take just one spin class in a studio, more in some places.
For $39 a month, you and anyone in your household can take as many classes each month as they wish. So a husband and wife (and anyone else in their family/home) could take as many classes as they like for that fee. And the best part is, you don’t even have to leave your home! Love that!
Update: I’ve heard there’s a Peloton app that you can also use to take classes. I think it runs around $12 a month from what I’ve heard. So you may be able to use the app to take a class via an iPad, tablet or smartphone. If having a smaller screen would be okay for you, that may be an option to explore.
The monitor is huge (size of 4 iPads) so it helps make you feel like you’re really there. When you’re taking a live class, the instructors can see your User Name on their leaderboard in the New York Studio. They sometimes give you a shout out or say something encouraging. They are great about noticing milestone rides, like when you’re taking your 100th class. I haven’t actually taken a live class yet, have been content with thousands of “On Demand” classes available, but I think I’ll take one soon.
You’ll notice I’ve added a padded seat cover to my bike. My dil says the Peloton seat is much more comfortable than the spin bikes she’s ridden before. I’ve also read your tush gets used to the seat after a while, but I figure why not ride in comfort from the start. lol I wear padded biking shorts, too. Eventually, I may remove the cover, but it’s so comfortable, I may not. This is the one I saw recommended by other Peloton riders on the Peloton Rider Facebook page, and the one I purchased for my bike: Padded Seat Cover
Update: It’s amazing how fast your bottom adapts. After just a couple of weeks, I no longer need the padded biking shorts, but still love the padded seat.
I’ve plugged my bike into a surge protector since I don’t want a surge to hurt the computer. Update: I upgraded the surge protector to one with higher joules since I wasn’t sure if the small one I was using was enough to protect the computer. Read more about that in this post: Peloton Cycle: Two Months In and What I’ve Learned.
I’ve placed my green stepper thingy under my bike because it makes it a little easier for me to hop onto the seat. It can be kinda slippery with cleats, so if you have a bike and do this, be careful when getting off the bike, that you’re feet don’t slip out from under you.
The seat is positioned around hip height. When riding, your legs should be almost straight with a slight bend in the knee, basically the way it should be when riding any bike. When riding the Peloton, you wear cycling shoes with cleats. All this was new to me since I’d never taken any spinning classes.
There’s a spot to hold water and trust me, you need it! During a typical 45 minute ride, I usually burn between 400-450 calories, per the stats on my monitor. Those who are in better shape and have been riding a lot longer, will sometimes burn as much as 700-1,000 calories during a 45-minute class! That’s the beauty of spinning, you make it as easy or as intense as you wish. The orange knob that you can just barely see in the lower part of the photo below, is how you adjust the tension as recommended by your coach during a class.
When I bring up my screen each day, I see all the live classes down the left side of the screen. There’s one pretty much every hour or so during the day. I think I’ve counted 10-12 live classes on most days. It’s a good idea to wake up your monitor as you’re getting dressed to ride because there are often short updates that come through. Peloton is forever adding new features to the bike, which is awesome!
On the right side you can see just a few of the “On Demand” classes. There are classes for every fitness level, beginner on up to very challenging. There are around 4,000 “On Demand” classes already and that list keeps growing everyday since the live classes taking place in New York each day are often being recorded so if you missed the live class, you can take it later via On Demand.
The coaches are amazing–very motivating and professional. When I first bought my bike, I thought I’d primarily use it to take the “Scenic” rides. Peloton sent biking pros out to bike some of our gorgeous national parks and other scenic rides across the U.S. and in other countries. Those rides were filmed with a Go-Pro and when you take those rides, the view is as if you’re riding it yourself.
Years ago, I regularly biked our Silver Comet Trail three to four times a week, riding 22 miles each time. I’d start at the 11 mile marker, ride out to the 22 mile marker then turn around and bike back. I stopped after so many people were attacked and one person was murdered around the 17th mile marker, a spot I had biked through every time I rode the trail. I just couldn’t enjoy it anymore knowing what had happened there.
I’ve missed it so much! It was my therapy, my happy place until it became too dangerous. I knew the scenic rides on my Peloton wouldn’t be quite the same as being on the trail, but I thought they would be a lot of fun and they are!
Surprisingly, after buying the bike mainly for the scenic rides, it’s the actual spinning classes that have really drawn me in. You work much harder when there’s a coach cheering you on, reminding you why you’re doing this and sharing tips to keep you going.
You can look up your favorite coach to take one of his/her classes (there are tons taught by each of the coaches) or you can choose a class by the length of the class.
Or, you can find a class based on the class type/style. Peloton is continually improving and adding to the already vast number of classes available. They recently added in Yoga classes for folks who enjoy that. I haven’t taken a Yoga class yet, hope to do that soon.
There’s motivating music playing during all the classes. The music is chosen by the coach and it varies from Hip Hop to Rock and Roll to Country, to you-name-it. Coach Christine D’Ercole has taught several “Legends” classes where all the songs are by a single, iconic, musician/singer. I took her Billy Joel class and it was awesome!
Update: I love Coach Jennifer Sherman’s 60 minute Epic Sing Along classes, they are so much fun! The riders who take the class, often post videos of themselves riding and singing afterwards on the Peloton Rider’s Facebook page. 🙂 It’s a party! lol
Some of my favorite rides are those with a live DJ. It’s a lot of fun because in addition to the coach, the DJ is right there partying and dancing all the way through the class. I love those rides and love the interaction between the DJ and the coach. The time passes pretty quickly with so much going on.
Update: I’ve gotten a few questions about the monthly classes and if you have to sign up for those. You don’t have to sign up for the spin classes, but the classes and the coaching are really the main reason for purchasing the bike. The classes and the coaches are what make you want to ride. I know there’s no way I would want to ride if I was doing it while watching TV…I just wouldn’t have the motivation. The classes and the coaches are so engaging, that’s what makes you want to ride.
Also, if you are referred by someone, Peloton will give you two months of classes free and the person referring you gets two months free, as well. If you decide to purchase a bike, appreciate if you give them my daughter-in-laws name (Nancy Herin) as your referrer or you can click and order online here: Peloton Spin Cycle. You’ll get two months of classes free and she will as as well, so thanks in advance for that!
Note: Also, I think this probably goes without saying, but if you have any concerns about cycling or any type of exercise, be sure and talk to your doctor first before buying a bike or starting any new exercise.
Over on the built-in dresser to the right of my bike is where I keep my wireless headphones and heart rate monitor.
When you purchase your cycle, you can buy a kit that comes with headphones, but they aren’t wireless. You don’t have to use headphones but I wanted the class experience to be as immersive as possible. I want to feel like I’m there in the class. I purchased wireless headphones that are designed to work well under heavy sweating conditions. From what I’ve read on the Peloton Facebook Riders page, not all headphones stand up to heavy sweating. You’ll find the headphones I use here: Wireless Headphones for Sports Activities
The other thing I purchased is a heart rate monitor. It’s a very good idea to wear one while riding for a lot of reasons. The kit that’s available to purchase when you buy your a bike does come with one, but it’s the type you wear around your chest. I knew I wouldn’t like that without even trying it, so I purchased a different style.
I love this one because you wear it on your arm and it pairs very easily with the Peloton Cycle, showing your heart rate right there on the monitor in front of you. Most heart rate monitors will not pair with a spin cycle so you end up having to use an app on your phone, which means you’re having to stare down at your phone throughout the ride.
This band will last for around 6-8 classes before it needs charging and it charges up quickly. I’ve been very pleased with how it works and can’t imagine riding without it. You’ll find it here: Heart Rate Monitor. I purchased the hot pink one, my dil has it in a bright blue color.
Update: I think Peloton has updated the bike where it will now work with a Fitbit. I’m not positive about that since I don’t have a Fitbit, but if you have one, you may find that it will pair up with the bike to display your heart rate on the screen when riding.
Aside: A heart rate monitor is invaluable when riding/taking classes. If you haven’t been doing a lot of aerobic activity in the past, your heart rate will climb pretty quickly in the classes until you get in better shape. After taking an endurance class from Coach Steven Little, I realized I’ve been riding way too hard, staying in heart rate zones 4 and 5 most of the time. Now I want to take more of his endurance classes and focus on riding more in Zone 3.
Oh, almost forgot to mention one of the coolest features: The bike has a camera, so if someone you know has a Peloton, you can ride with them. I haven’t tried this yet, but there’s a way to connect with them and see them in the top left side of the screen. I guess it’s like Facetime or something. I wonder if you can actually talk to them? Again, I haven’t done this, so not sure how it works.
I can tell my endurance is improving. I’ve never had trouble running up and down the steps in my house, but now it’s pretty much effortless. I’ve also noticed my tush is changing, moving up and inward. lol And that started happening after about 12 rides. I guess it’s from riding the hills in the standing position on the pedals. So you start to see changes pretty fast, faster than I expected!
I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, so you’ll never see me writing that post. But I do believe in waking up each day and asking myself, “What can I do today to make this and the days that follow, the best days of my life?”
I’m always striving to grow, to improve, to learn more, to experience more, to do more. My Peloton bike is just one more step in that direction. It truly is one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself. When I get off that bike after a ride, I feel like anything is possible.
Update: I’ve written a follow-up post sharing some additional info and answering some of the questions I’ve received here: Peloton Cycle: Two Months In And What I’ve Learned.
If you would like to know more about this bike and how it works, check out the Peloton page here: Peloton Cycle
Read the reviews of those who have bought the bike here: Reviews
1-Minute Video: This is Peloton (This was the commercial I saw that made me want to know more.)
5-Minute Video by the founder of Peloton that goes into even more detail: Peloton: Tour of the Peloton Bike
Official Peloton Rider’s Facebook Page where you can read what people who own the bike are saying: Peloton Rider’s Facebook Page
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