Is Peloton Worth It? What to Consider If You’re Thinking of Buying a Bike

Weigh the costs of buying new vs. refurbished, or buying vs. renting. A class membership can raise the price as well.
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Written by Amanda Barroso
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Edited by Sheri Gordon
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If you’re in the market for at-home workout equipment, you’ve probably thought about Peloton. With its signature Peloton Bike and Bike+, the company promises a full-body cardio workout with motivating classes taught by instructors with big personalities and a sense of community.

But the Peloton experience comes with a steep price tag. If you buy directly from the company, a Peloton costs $1,445 for a new Bike while its upgraded counterpart, the Bike+, is $2,495.

Is Peloton worth it? Here’s what you need to know if you're considering buying a bike as well as how it might fit in your budget.

What is a Peloton? The Bike vs. Bike+

When they say “Peloton,” most people mean a stationary exercise bike with a touch screen that makes it seem like you’re in the front row of cycling or other exercise classes. Peloton also makes treadmills and a rowing machine, but we’re focusing on the bikes, the company’s primary product.

Peloton bikes come in two models. The Bike is compact and features a large, 21.5-inch HD touch screen. You can pair your Apple Watch or heart rate monitor to get personalized stats.

The Bike+ adds a bigger, 23.8-inch rotating HD screen, which makes strength, yoga and other off-bike workouts convenient. The Bike screen tilts up and down only.

The resistance knob on the Bike+ automatically adjusts along with the instructor, so riders don’t have to take their hands off the handlebars. Riders have to manually adjust the resistance on the Bike.

How much does a Peloton bike cost? Buying vs. renting

Peloton offers the option to buy a new or refurbished bike as well as to rent a bike. Rental bikes are a mix of new and refurbished that have been “thoroughly inspected,” according to Peloton.

Here’s a cost breakdown by model if you buy directly from Peloton (prices may vary elsewhere):

Peloton Bike

Peloton Bike+

Buy new: $1,445. Buy refurbished: $995. Rent: $89 a month.

Buy new: $2,495. Buy refurbished: $1,595. Rent: $119 a month.

The buy price includes delivery and setup (renters pay a one-time $150 fee) along with a 12-month limited warranty. The rental price includes a Peloton membership ($44 value), a pair of cycling shoes ($125) and the option to cancel or buy out your bike at any time.

How much does a Peloton membership cost and do I need one?

A Peloton membership provides access to a large library of classes, including cycling as well as strength training, yoga and Pilates. The All-Access Membership requires a Peloton bike, while the app memberships can be used with any model of bike or no equipment at all.

All-Access Membership

At $44 a month, this is the top-tier Peloton membership typically purchased when you buy a Bike or Bike+. You can access unlimited content on your bike’s screen and through the Peloton app. It is meant for a household to share with up to 20 user profiles.

Peloton app memberships

For these memberships, designed for a single user, you’ll need to download the Peloton app.

  • Peloton App Free (no cost) is the most limited app option. Designed for “newbies,” it provides access to roughly 50 classes, including featured classes that rotate over time. 

  • Peloton App One ($12.99 a month or $129 annually) offers a wider selection of classes, including programs, challenges and live classes. 

  • Peloton App+ ($24 a month or $240 annually) takes what the other memberships offer and adds unlimited classes and cadence tracking. 

After a free 30-day trial of the App One and App+, you’ll be automatically billed for the membership. You can upgrade (or downgrade) your membership or cancel at any time.

Is Peloton worth it? Pros and cons

Making a list of what’s important to you is a good way to figure out if the cost of a Peloton is worth it.

Pros of a Peloton Bike

  • Convenience: You don’t have to leave your home to work out, which means you could save time and money on a gym membership

  • Space saving: The Peloton is popular for its low profile. The company says the 4x2 foot Bike is “smaller than your average yoga mat.” 

  • Variety: There are many class options at various durations, and the mix of instructors and music genres could keep your workout routine fresh.

  • Metric tracking: You could get a good feel for how your body performed by connecting your Apple Watch or heart rate monitor.

  • Community: The live classes could help you feel like you’re working out with a group even though you’re at home. 

Cons of a Peloton Bike

  • Cost: The Bike and Bike+ aren't cheap, and you’ll likely need accessories such as shoes ($125), free weights ($25), a protective floor mat ($75) and a heart rate monitor ($34).

  • Customer service complaints and safety issues: The Better Business Bureau website notes a pattern of complaints about Peloton customer service and installation. There was also a voluntary recall issued by the company in May 2023 for a problem with the seat post. 

  • Not built for every body. The weight limit for each Peloton bike is 297 pounds. If you live in a bigger body, there might be other inclusive equipment options for you. 

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How Peloton might fit your budget and ways to cut the cost

Before purchasing a Peloton or any item, it’s important to consider your budget. Using the 50/30/20 framework, in which 50% goes to needs and debt minimum payments, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings and debt paydown beyond the minimums, a Peloton would fall into the “wants” category.

Budgets are flexible and represent your priorities. If you’d like to make room for a Peloton, take a look at other expenses in your “wants” to see how you might save money.

How to reduce the cost of a Peloton

There might be ways to offset the cost of the full Peloton experience.

  • Replace your gym membership with the free Peloton app membership. 

  • See if you can use an employer stipend to offset the cost of the bike or membership fee.

  • Consider the rental option. Renting gives you the chance to try Peloton without the long-term financial commitment. 

  • Check out Facebook Marketplace or neighborhood group for a secondhand Peloton. You might be able to negotiate for an even better deal. 

  • Check your credit card benefits. Some cards may offer extra points on Peloton purchases. 

Cheaper alternatives to Peloton

A Peloton isn’t the only way to get a challenging cycling workout. Here are some ideas to get you in motion:

  • Piece together a comparable workout experience by using a bike you already have paired with the Peloton app. 

  • Look for cycling classes that you can pay for without a membership fee. 

  • Dig out that old Schwinn from the garage. If the weather allows and you feel safe riding in your neighborhood, you might be able to work up a Peloton-level sweat.