Like many who love spinning (indoor cycling) I’ve seen the ads for Peloton bikes in my Facebook feed and have been intrigued. However, the price quickly sent me looking to create an affordable studio cycling experience at home that is similar to Peloton.
In reading Amazon reviews, I found the Sunny Health and Fitness indoor bike and suggested accessories for modification to create my own spinning bike at home for under $400.
Running the Numbers
I figured the first year of using a Peloton bike and classes would be an investment of $2700:
$1995 for the Peloton bike (but they offer 0% financing for six months
$468 a year for classes (subscription is $39/month)
$250 for shipping and installation
Choosing a Bike
Amazon has plenty of models to review and I chose the bike model with a chain drive because it also offers adjustable fore/aft handles bars. For a little bit more money, Sunny also makes a bike with a belt drive and a belt-driven bike with clip-in pedals.
It all comes down to price for the features, but being able to adjust the seat and handlebars fore/aft as well as up/down is important to me and I couldn’t find that on the belt-driven bikes at the time I was buying.
I’ve used both chain and belt-driven bikes over the years and while I can tell a difference, I don’t have a preference. I know some gyms have chain-driven bikes because they can withstand high use before the chain loosens.
I don’t know how many rides I’ll get from either model before needing maintenance. If the chain-driven bike needs lubrication, it should be similar to tending to an outdoor bike while I might need a mechanic to help adjust or replace a loosened belt. I’m not sure wen it will happen and hope there are others who face it before I do!
Bike Set Up
I had read reviews of the Peloton bike that it could take 4-5 weeks or longer for delivery. Thanks to Amazon Prime, my bike model was delivered within two days of ordering and I was able to assemble it on my own, in about an hour. It was delivered to my front porch so all I had to do was get it in the door.
The box suggests two people be available to open it. I was solo and found from an upright position, turn the box to one side to open the bottom, return it upright to open the top, and lift the cardboard way. I found the instructions very easy to follow and I did not experience any snags with assembly.
My bike is housed in my spare room with the iPad and an external speaker, which I already owned. In addition to the bike, I bought a floor mat, iPad handlebar holder, Wahoo RPM speed and cadence sensor and Shimano clip pedals since I was used to those with my shoes.
Keeping in mind that Amazon prices fluctuate daily, I spent about $365 total.
Since I owned shoes or heart rate monitor and didn’t know I would be creating this setup, I might have waited on my Polar A300 Heart Rate monitor and gotten the Wahoo TickR, which measures cadence and heart rate. But on the other hand, the Polar A300 is an activity tracker so it works for every day use including days when I’m dog walking.
You may find that you don’t need a cadence sensor, but I find it helpful for those rides that refer to cadence and since I previously took classes centered on cadence I like knowing it as I ride.
I’ve tried Peloton Ride, BitGym, CycleCast, and MotionTraxx on my iPad and like the Peloton classes the best, especially Alex’s hip hop rides. The $13 monthly subscription has been worth it to me because I have access to a variety of class styles and lengths to choose from as well as yoga and stretching from their Beyond the Ride series. They offer a 2-week trial so you can check the app for yourself.
Because I’m not using the Peloton bike, I cannot match my setup exactly to what the instructor says but that hasn’t stopped me from getting into my fitness and fat burning zones and getting a great workout. It only took a few rides to get an idea for how my bike responds to resistance, get where I need to be based on what my legs feel, and what the instructor is saying.
I also cannot interact with the instructor or others using a Peloton bike (not that any of my friends are using one) nor get a shoutout from the instructor, but I’m okay with that. Being able to take a spinning class at home, at any hour is worth it to me.
Over seven years, I’ve spent about $1500 with Urban Active and LA Fitness, but have dropped my gym membership in favor of a $13 per month subscription for the Ride Peloton app. I realize cancelling I’ll never get a gym membership so inexpensive again, but I think I’ve exhausted all this club can offer me.
My figure of spending under $400 is based on owning an iPad, cycling shoes, heart rate monitor, and having wifi at home. If you’re going from nothing to creating an at-home spinning set up you’ll be spending a bit more, but certainly not upwards of $2700.
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