Analysis

Do I need to buy the Peloton Bike to enjoy a Peloton subscription?

The short answer is “No.” The longer answer is a little more complicated.

Peloton offers an app that you can use on your Android, iPhone or iPad device as well as your smart TV or Amazon Fire. This Peloton app is essentially a Netflix for fitness videos with some limited tracking functionality.

You can most certainly use the Peloton app for strength workouts, yoga, outdoor runs and walks, dance cardio, etc. You can also use it for spin classes with a non-Peloton spin bike, or treadmill for that matter.

The tablet on the Peloton bike offers a lot more interactive functionality than the app. Whether it is important to you or not is up to you.

I find Peloton to be competitively priced compared to other high-end spin bikes. However, if you prefer to put your own set up together, whatever 3rd party spin bike you choose needs to have the following features to take the most advantage of Peloton classes:

  • Tablet mount,
  • Resistance setting range from 0-100%, with zero being free spin, and 100% being almost impossible to turn. Anything that is easily mentally translatable to 0-100 and has sufficient range works,
  • Resistance adjustment knob within easy reach as you will need to adjust it quickly many times during the class,
  • Resistance value display that you can read at a glance,
  • Cadence display,
  • Power output display — you will most certainly need it for Power Zone training that Peloton offers, and you will most definitely need it to take advantage of many other options and to monitor your progress

Although the Peloton app can pair with common cadence and HR sensors, as long as the spin bike you buy has its own performance monitor display with the aforementioned data, it doesn’t need to connect to Peloton itself.

Apple Health

See Configuring Peloton Apple Health Integration.

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