The most frequent questions I get about using the Peloton App with my Sunny Bike are about resistance. The questions generally go something like this:
- How do I measure resistance on my Sunny?
- Should I buy these power pedals?
- Is there anything similar to the Wahoo cadence sensor that will measure resistance?
- How do I convert Peloton resistance when using my own bike with the Peloton App?
- Is knowing your resistance worth the extra money to buy the Peloton bike?
- How do I convert Peloton resistance to my Sunny or Keiser M3i?
My answer is always the same. Let go of not knowing. Work hard. Get sweaty. Let your fitness do the talking.
I chalk it up to FOMO (fear of missing out). But if you absolutely, positively need to know your Peloton resistance, I have some advice:
What works for me?
First, let’s talk resistance. Resistance is how heavy your wheel feels. To make the wheel feel heavier, turn the knob to the right. Lighter? Turn the knob to the left. The Peloton bike displays your resistance on its screen. It is measured from 1-100. Without it, you need to get a feel for the resistance just like in a spin class at your local gym.
As I mentioned in my original “Peloton for Less” post, I have found that on my Sunny cycle every turn of the resistance knob equals about 10. It’s not an exact science but I equate a 1:1 ratio. So, if the instructor tells you to add 10, that is one full crank for me. Not all bikes are calibrated the same and I am confident that when an instructor calls out a wide range of resistance (“Get somewhere between 35 and 55”), that I am falling somewhere in that range.
I’d say more importantly, though, is to make sure that I am following the rhythm of the instructor. I watch their legs. If he or she is going very slowly up a whill and I am cruising along pumping my legs fast, that means I need to turn my knob to the right, slow down and make the wheel heavier. It is really easy and intuitive to get the hang of it.
With all of that said and after well over a year of using the Peloton App with my own bike, I find that I concentrate more on my cadence numbers using my Wahoo cadence reader than I do thinking about resistance. Resistance is an after-thought for me.
What About Other Spin Bikes?
There are some spin bikes out there that do include the resistance but they are a significantly more expensive. For example, the Keiser M3i displays resistance, cadence, heart rate, etc. on its built in computer. A great bike but too rich for my blood. There are also some power pedals out there to measure your watts/output but again, uber expensive. Of course, there is always the actual Peloton bike.
What Others Think About Resistance
I’ve also consulted Christy Abbot Alvey, world-renowned cycle instructor, on the resistance issue and with her permission, I have pasted her advice here:
“I ride 2 different bikes. The Keiser shows resistance; the LeMond does not.
I find myself not looking at the resistance. Ever.
You want to base your resistance on your perceived exertion, HR, and class guideline. The instructor is often very good about describing the road: sprint, power jog, moderate climb, heavy climb.
Don’t over complicate it. Truly. Put on as much resistance as you can to sustain the cadence suggested. Then, monitor your HR and perceived exertion. HR is an honest, truthful way to tell if you could or should add more or less resistance.
If you are bouncing in or out of the saddle, you need more resistance. If you feel like you are chasing your pedals, you need more resistance.”
So there you have it friends. Stop worrying and start sweating.
(UPDATE 1: We bought a sound activated disco ball and it is AWESOME!!!)
Of course, if you have a bike like the Keiser M3i that displays resistance, cadence, distance, heart rate, etc., you will need to convert the resistance from Peloton’s 1-100 to Keiser’s 1-24. I found this conversion chart online and it may be helpful:
UPDATE 2: After 500+ rides on my Sunny, I splurged and bought the Keiser M3i. While we started with the chart above, I found it a bit on the low side and have since updated it. I created two different versions for downloading:
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