What was your best cycling experience

(Last Updated On: September 2, 2019)

Top Tips for a Peloton Hack

Get (almost) the Same Expensive Experience for Less

Do you love spinning? Dream about buying aPeloton bike, but the price tag makes it beyond reach? Then, you’ve come to the right place (or post!) to learn how you can experience the wonders of Peloton cycling at a fraction of the cost. With a minimal expense, we provide you with all the details that you need to get a cheaper alternative to Peloton with our hack. 

After you are done reading our tips to a cheaper alternative to Peloton, remember to sign up forour free ebook: 40 Easy Hacks to a Food, Fitness & Feel-Good Reboot!

The Latest on Indoor Cycling (Spinning)

Indoor cycling lets you bike no matter what. Whether indoor or outside, cycling helps you burn fat, improve your heart health, and boost your muscle endurance. Your legs will get a serious workout. Indoor cycling or spinning classes are typically held in a classroom at a gym with numerous stationary bikes, speakers to play music, and an instructor bike facing in the front, facing the student riders. Ideally, the spin instructor has a routine with heart-thumping music. The instructor will encourage you to push the resistance to mimic going uphill, standing in the bike to push harder, and relaxing the resistance to pedal sprints. After 30, 45, or 60 minutes of a class, you will have burned several hundred calories and be thoroughly drenched.

The Problem with Indoor Cycling Class

One of the problems with a scheduled cycling class is that this may not be the most convenient time for you. Plus, you may have to arrive early to get a bike or call to reserve a spot in the class. However, if you have your own indoor bike at home, you can hop on your bike at your convenience. You’ll be free to show up on your bike wearing whatever you like, with as little makeup as you want, and play your choice of music.

Unfortunately, though, with just an indoor bike at home and without a plan, you’ll like the drill-like instructor, yelling your next commands to you. Your workout is as good as your motivation and plan for an invigorating self-spin class Hmm…doesn’t sound too enticing. However, you can get a great indoor cycling class at home. Peloton, the leading indoor cycling class company, offers an amazing digital experience with its bicycle (over $2200) and its multi-exercise digital class app. Don’t want to spend $2200? Below we provide the details on how to still have a terrific, calorie-burning indoor cycling class at home at a fraction of the cost. We have the best Peloton alternative for you!

What’s a Peloton Bike?

For those of you who may have missed the commercials and social media messaging, Peloton is an “indoor cycling studio in your home.” Peloton has a cult-like following with its super attractive and amazing instructors, heart-pumping music and hundreds, if not thousands, of live-streaming and on-demand classes. It’s truly a phenomenon. Peloton is focused on bringing “serious fitness” into people’s homes in a “fresh and relevant” way with its growing library of classes.

The main appeal of the Peloton bike (The company also offers a new treadmill.) are these features:

  • Large digital screen on the bike’s handlebars 
  • Amazing cycle instructors in their New York City Studio
  • Peloton Digital app
  • And, of course, a world-class spin bike!

We are going to detail how to get a cheaper Peloton experience and enjoy the very same Peloton workout as owners who have paid more than a couple of thousand dollars for an actual Peloton bike. This is the ultimate Peloton hack for a great workout. The secret? A good indoor bike, a smartphone with a decent-sized screen, and your desire for a great workout every day! 

An Overview of Peloton

Let’s face it. For many of us, a Peloton bike is a big financial commitment. Their spin bike is equipped with a state-of-the-art monitor that streams hundreds of on-demand and live classes plus the bike has a motivating leaderboard. You’ll spend $2245 for the Peloton bike including delivery, as of September 2019. Plus, you’ll need to pay another $39 per month to have access to the classes, leaderboards, and bike metrics, including your heart rate. (Hmm, did we mention that the Peloton Digital app through iTunes is $19.49 per month? Yep!)

When you have the Peloton bike and the digital subscription for bike owners, you’ll get have access to all of this:

  • Digital bike classes include 14 daily “live” rides at convenient times (EST)
  • Elite instructors
  • Detailed metrics (speed, wattage/power, RPMs, heart rate and maybe some other data)
  • Motivating leaderboards,
  • Motivating and engaged community; and,
  • Many, many choices of class length, effort, music, instructors, etc.

Peloton Alternative

Now, the bike is a great piece of equipment and the classes/instructors are amazing. However, the ongoing subscription for the bike at $39 per month seems high, especially since there is another way to get the same Peloton experience at the fraction of the price. And, drumroll, please… it’s the Peloton Digital app! This is the official Peloton Digital app available to anyone who wants to partake in the true Peloton experience. 

For access to the Peloton Digital app, you’ll spend $19.49 per month through iTunes. The digital app features the exact same classes as a Peloton bike owner has access to. In addition to the cycling classes, the Peloton Digital app features the following classes:

  • Running (Inside on the Peloton Tread)
  • Outdoor (Running and walking, audio guided)
  • Strength (Weights and Isometrics)
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Bootcamp
  • Walking (Tread and outside)
  • Stretching
  • Cardio

Most of these classes are video. However, the outdoor running classes are strictly audio (makes sense as it’s hard to watch a screen while you are running.).

The class selection can easily be filtered by length, class type, instructor, music genre, and other sort functions. Plus, you can share access to the app for up to six family members. (Currently, Peloton is offering a free trial of their digital class app. You can find it here.) One of the great things about the app is that you can “test” to see if you like the Peloton classes before investing in a “cycling studio in your home.” More importantly, you can really determine if you can truly commit to making Peloton part or the whole of your exercise routine.

Let’s “spin” thru what you’ll need to set up a similar Peloton indoor cycling experience using their app without the Peloton bike but with another similar bike at a fraction of the cost.

Enjoy a Peloton Class Virtually at Home or at the Gym

Spin @ Home

Of course, you’ll need access to a spin or an indoor bike so that you can follow the cycling classes offered on the Peloton Digital app.  Ideally, your spin bike should have some sort of digital display. And, you may also want to use a heart rate monitor to determine your intensity.  The bike’s digital readout would include watts (your power, effort), RPMs (revolutions per minute or cadence) as well as the ability to increase or decrease the tension on the pedals (this feature is standard with most indoor bikes).

Spin @ Your Gym

If you belong to a gym that offers spinning classes, you may be able to use a spin bike when a class is not in session. Now, of course, that seems counter-intuitive to use a spin bike in an empty spin studio. However, once you start using the Peloton app, you’ll find that you don’t need a room of other spinners to feel motivated to spin at the gym class.

For either your home or gym spinning workout, it’s helpful if you have access to a heart rate monitor like a Fitbit, your iWatch or other something similar to determine if you are working intensely enough. 

Using Your Indoor Bike with the Peloton App

  1. Bike (at your gym or less expensive version from Amazon)
  2. Bike Cushion (to make a narrow, hard bike seat more comfortable)
  3. Spin Shoes (work your muscles more efficiently as you pull your legs)
  4. Wireless, Bluetooth Headphones

Now, that you found a bike that you like (either at your gym, Amazon or elsewhere), it’s time to consider getting abike cushion andspin shoes. The cushion really helps make the narrow, hard bike seat more comfortable. Also, wearing spin shoes work your muscles more efficiently as you are able to pull up your legs, not just push down, providing an even pedal stroke as you move through exerting strength throughout the cycle.

Steps to Getting a Cheaper Peloton- the Alternative Peloton – Experience

#1 Use a Spin Bike from your  gym or home

#2 Download the Digital Peloton app onto your smartphone through the iTunes store

#3 Position your phone to view the screen on your bike

#4 Use wireless headphones and pair with your phone’s (or tablet’s) Bluetooth

#5 Select your calls and start pedaling

#6 Follow the instructor’s call-outs

  • RPMs (how many revolutions per minute; also known as cadence)
  • Watts (output; power meter)
  • Peloton Level (resistance)
  • Level (about 20-65+)

The trickiest one to “match” to a non-Peloton bike is the “level.” This number is unique to Peloton’s bike. The Peloton rider can turn the level up or down. (Higher the number, the harder the resistance). Here is an average from lightest to heaviest that you might hear from an instructor:

Resistance LevelPeloton #

Light:20-35

Moderate:35-45

Heavy:45-55

Extra Heavy: 55+

Once you take a couple of Peloton classes on their app, you’ll get the idea on how to adjust your spin bike to align with the metrics. For instance, typically the instructor starts on a low number, like 20-30. Then, over the course of the class, the instructor will build up to at least to level 45. Then, you just crank up the resistance by using your best judgment. This resistance (level) number is the only metric that you may need to guesstimate on a well-equipped spin bike at the gym. The newer spin bikes at the gym will include RPMs, watts, heart rate, etc. 

Get Electrified with Peloton’s Most Excellent Instructor

Now, unless you already have a membership at one of these popular cycle studios like Peloton in NYC, Soul Cycle, Cycle Bar or Flywheel, spin instructors at your local gym will vary greatly in quality. With the Peloton Digital app, you are guaranteed access to hundreds of amazing classes. Plus, you can access a class at your convenience.

Some of the best Peloton instructors are Alex, Matt, and Robin, just to name a few.Robin Arzon has become a celebrity in her own right and is one of the toughest instructors at Peloton. She was a corporate attorney at one point and now is a cycling star plus executive at Peloton.Matt Wilpers is another dynamic instructor and offers a highly motivating and effective heart rate zone class. Another Peloton favorite isAlex Toussaint with classes featuring amazing music and variety of moves. Plus, our new fave is Ally Love, who is always cheery and motivating with some of the hardest spin classes that Peloton has to offer.

Conclusion: Spin-tastic with the Peloton Digital App

The monthly fee of $19.49 for the Peloton Digital app is definitely worth the expense. It will elevate your spinning experience. Plus, the app offers more than just spinning. With the weight training, yoga, treadmills classes, guided outdoor runs and more, you’ll enjoy a huge variety, including world-class spin classes, at a fraction of the Peloton bike investment. You can use the Peloton Digital app to plan your own workout and create your own Exercise Shuffle!

If you like to use the stairclimber or elliptical for your cardio, check out these posts: How to Burn More Calories with Your Elliptical Workoutand How to Achieve a Calorie-Burning StairMaster Workout.

Do you plan on downloading the Peloton Digital App? We welcome your comments and feedback below!

Please note: FitFortyForever does not receive any fees from Peloton.
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