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DIY Peloton

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Here is how to I created a Peloton cycle experience in my basement for a fraction of the price.

Last week marked my one year anniversary of riding a bike that goes no where! This is huge for someone like me who has NEVER exercised or done anything remotely athletic in my life.

I have more energy, lost 10 pounds and feel better and stronger. The only way I was able to stick with it for a year was because of Peloton. I even became a Peloton Century Club honor awarded to all Peloton riders who complete 100 rides.

I've never belonged to a gym. I've never played a sport. But I knew something in my life had to change because I just wasn't feeling as good as I knew I should.

I had seen the sleek Peloton commercials with riders getting fit in their living rooms and I thought this might be something that I could do. I needed a class to motivate me but I also needed the flexibility of tuning in on my own time at home.

I checked out Peloton and realized all in I'd be paying almost $3000 for the bike and accessories along with a monthly subscription of $40 (as opposed to the Peloton app which is only $20 per month - cheaper than a gym membership).

For someone with an elliptical sitting in my basement collecting dust I couldn't justify the price because I didn't believe I would stick with it long term.

So I searched for an alternative solution and promised myself if I can do this for one year that I would invest in a Peloton. I haven't bought one yet because honestly the set up I outline below really does work for me.

I exercise when I want and don't waste any time commuting to a class. I track my numbers, which keeps me honest and accountable (if I say I'm going to get on the bike three times a week it is marked off on the app calendar so it's right in front of my face every time I ride). There are countless workout options like strength training and yoga in addition to cycling and now running.

The instructors are amazing!

The instructors are why I pay the monthly fee. I truly feel like I am there in class and there is no way I would burn the amount of calories I do (300 - 350 for 30 minute ride and 500 for a 45 minute ride) if I was just riding on my own without the app (trust me I've tried).

All in I've spent $385.61 on the bike and gear and $20 per month for the Peloton app (it was $13 when I started but they have added several helpful features and I didn't blink an eye when the price increased). Other important accessories are an iPad (which you will need to download the Peloton app), weights, and a floor mat. The iPad is a necessity, and you can add the weights and mat later.

$386 vs $3000

Kind of a no brainer!

There are some differences between the app and the real deal, like the bells and whistles of the leaderboard and the output measurement. Output is a metric the instructors will call out but I've been fine using cadence (explained below), heart rate and calories burned to measure my progress.

You will also not be able to measure the resistance of your pedal stroke (this is how hard it is to push the pedals). The instructors call out this metric by using a specific number but after a while you will learn the level of resistance that you need to burn the calories you want. For me, I feel like one full turn of the resistance nob is equal to 10 resistance points. The instructors also give you ideas of what the "road" should feel like so you can gage resistance without the exact number ("flat road" or "it should feel like you're cycling through mud"). At first I thought I needed this to be successful but overtime I have realized that is not the case.

If you are looking to start or change up your exercise routine try this out! It works for me and I'm not switching any time soon. My leaderboard name is 2girlsmamaESQ so feel free to follow me...see you on the bike! Here's to year TWO!!!


Here are all the details of what I bought and my set up.

Click on the pictures or the links below to purchase any of the items.

This is the app you will provide you with access to all the Peloton classes both live and on demand. There are 20 live studio classes streaming daily and there are 10,000 cycling, running, bootcamp, floor and outdoor workouts on demand. Download it on the device you plan to attach to the front of your bike (iPad).

Available on Apple and Android devices. You will need to download this app to your iPhone as it will measure your cadence and heart rate (info below) as you ride. I watch the Peloton class on my iPad and then set my phone on the handlebars to watch my cadence, heart rate and calories burned during my ride. Your cadence sensor and heart rate monitor will connect to this app through blue tooth while you ride to measure your progress. The best part is it's free.

A flywheel bike is a must...this one is super reasonably priced and the exact one I ride. I was able to put it together myself and I like that it has toe cages so you can wear your normal tennis shoes and don't need to buy cleats.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1423 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

This is the tablet mount I use for my 12.5 inch iPad Pro which I attach to the handlebars of my bike.

ChargerCity Strap-Lock Tablet Mount

This little guy is a sensor that attaches to the pedal crank on your bike to measure your cadence or how fast or slow you are turning the pedals. Cadence is one of the metrics that the instructors call out during the rides and will help you stay on track. The sensor will connect to the Wahoo Fitness app (above) via blue tooth so you can watch it on your phone and adjust throughout your ride.

This device will measure your heart rate throughout the ride. You wear it around your rib cage and it also connects to the Wahoo Fitness app (above) via blue tooth so you can watch your heart rate on your phone while you ride. Your heart rate plus your cadence (above) provide the number of calories that you burn during your ride. All of these measurements are visible and calculated through the Wahoo Fitness app.

These connect to your iPad so you can jam out to the music and listen to the instructors without interruption. I hate ear buds but these ones are really comfortable and great for exercise.

Extras (Recommended but not required):

Some of the rides have arm sections so you may want to purchase weights to set next to your bike if you plan to participate in the arms sections. I believe the Peloton comes with 1lb, 2lb or 3lb weights. I usually use 3lb weights.

I did not use a fan at the beginning but it is something worth considering if you don't have one.

High Velocity Floor Fan

I had one of these already so I didn't have to buy one but if your bike is on any surface that you need to protect it's probably a good idea to get one of these too.

Heavy Duty Equipment Mat

And that's it (I know it's a lot of info)! Download your apps, set up your bike, connect your sensors and headphones and get started!

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