It’s been just over 12 months since I started using the Peloton App with my own bike and I thought it was time to share an update to my original review.

I am happy to report that with the Peloton App and my wonderful Sunny bike I have now lost 22 pounds, am fitter than I have been in years and am in a much better mood (according to my family)!  The variety of Peloton spin classes is awesome, the instructors are great and all the other options the Peloton app has added over the past year like weight training, bootcamp and ab workouts are simply amazing.  I even think the production value is great compared to some classes I have tried on YouTube.  Overall, super psyched that I “converted’ my Sunny bike into a Peloton.

If you are a first time visitor, my comprehensive review and step-by-step guide to my Peloton App alternative can be found in my  original “Peloton for Less” blog post.   It chronicles how I pined for a Peloton bike but after seeing the price tag how I MacGyvered (yes, that is a word) an alternative with my Sunny 1509, some Wahoo sensors,  and  other bits & bobs that make my method not only an absolute money saver but also turns me into a sweaty mess.  This post is a scaled down summary of what has worked, what hasn’t and how everything is holding up after 12 months (and also includes my interview with ABC News!).

Have a I used the Peloton App every day for 12 months straight?  Heck no!  Life gets in the way (like sick children, work or deciding to stay in bed instead of working out).  There have even been stretches where I simply haven’t worked out for no reason in particular.  When there has been a lull in my routine I am happy that I am only spending $12.99 on the app and didn’t take the plunge and go all in with the expense of the actual bike and an additional $40 monthly subscription.  I can’t imagine the guilt!

My Year in Review – Using the Peloton App without the Peloton Bike

Step 1.  The Sunny Bike.

A year in and this bike is good as the day it was delivered.  There are LOADS of at-home bikes on the market at various price points but for my purposes, this one can’t be beat.  I did my research and this was the one (plus it was relatively inexpensive alternative all things considered).  I assembled it myself but depending on your situation you may want  to consider using Amazon Home Services to have it brought into the house and assembled.

My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 9

Here is a quick video of me on my bike (with some audio in case you are wondering where the noise is coming from).

(Just an FYI, as an Amazon Associate I earn a modest commission from purchases made after you click on links.  It helps with the cost of hosting the blog.)

Step 2. The Peloton  App.

When I first started with the app there was about 3,500 spin classes.  Now there are over 10,000 classes to choose from on-demand and it is also available in the UK and Canada.  At $12.99, it is less expensive than the $39 monthly subscription required if you buy the actual Peloton bike.

Spin classes can be selected by length, type (e.g., Low Impact, Intervals, Live DJ), music genre (e.g., Pop, Country, Hip Hop) and instructor.  The classes are all very well done. I’ve tried all the instructors and my favorite is still Emma Lovewell.  I stream the classes to my TV from my iPad via Apple TV but you could also just buy yourself a tablet holder and attach your iPad to your handlebars.  Alternatively, you could purchase a bike that already has a tablet holder attached like this new  Sunny 1805.

In addition to spinning, the app now lets you access classes like yoga, strength training, HiiT and classes for the Peloton treadmill like bootcamp classes (you are both on and off the treadmill during those classes), running and walking. I like to take short strength training and abs classes (10 minutes or so) after a bike ride.

When I am taking any class that has me off the bike and on the mat, I like to switch to watching directly on my iPad. Much easier to follow along with a downward facing dog when the screen is near eye level.  And if you think about it, the portability is another bonus over having the monitor bolted to the actual bike.

Step 3.  Wahoo Speed & Cadence Sensor

I attached both the cadence and speed sensors to my Sunny bike.  See my full post for photos. The cadence sensor is a must to follow along with the cadence instruction.  For example, an instructor will tell you to keep your cadence anywhere between 45-60 while going up a hill.  The speed sensor belongs more in the”nice to have” category but is not essential  unless  you  want  to  measure  distance.

Step 4.  Wahoo Fitness App

This is a great free app. It wirelessly connects to, and displays, my cadence, speed, heart rate, calories burned, workout distance and workout time.  Here is what the Wahoo app, cadence and speed sensors look like:

My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 21

You can If you are using just a tablet to view the classes without streaming to a TV, a recent upgrade to the app allows you to display your cadence and heart rate on the tablet (using your Wahoo heart rate monitor and Wahoo cadence sensor) instead of to the Wahoo app.  This is super cool, however, if you are streaming from the tablet to a TV like me the cadence and heart rate do not display on the TV.  So, long story short, the upgrade doesn’t change my set up.

Step 5Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor 

I use the monitor to track calories burned during a workout. It works seamlessly with the app.
My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 26

Step 6.  Max Miles Phone Holder.

I use this phone holder so that I can see my Wahoo app and my cadence, speed, etc.  I connect it to the handlebars but with a recent update,  you may no longer need a phone holder. If you  take  the classes on your tablet,  mirror to your TV or connect your device to the TV with an Apple Lighting AdapterAV connectors or an Amazon Firestick, your cadence, HR, class time and the screen names of others take the class at the same time show right up right up on your screen.  If you  stream classes via  AppleTV  like  me,  you  still  need  it  because when you stream, the TV doesn’t show all of those stats.

I’ve written a post  about the pros and cons of streaming and mirroring: PELOTON APP; STREAMING AND MIRRORING
My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 5
Here is what my TV looks like when I mirror my iPad to the TV.

Peloton mirror

Step 7Dumbbells.

Get yourself some inexpensive weights for the arm routines during the spin classes and the other boot camp style classes.

Step 8.  Extras.

Seat Cushion.  My bum hurt. End of story…

Cart. I needed somewhere to put my dumbbells and towel.

Disinfectant Wipes.  Trust me. It all starts to have an odor after a while unless you keep the bike clean.

Audio Books.  Shhhh….sometimes I select “scenic ride” and listen to an audio-book when I feel like taking it a bit easy.

My 15 Minutes of Fame with ABC News

A few months into my journey I was interviewed by the ABC News New York “7 on Your Side Team” about my inexpensive Peloton App alternative (which they called my “Peloton hack”).  I had never been interviewed before and was super nervous.  I think we spoke for 45 minutes and I am on the air for about 30 seconds.  Here is a link about the interview: Peloton App Review; Cheaper Options Exist for Taking the Peloton Plunge   

The Peloton App is Fantastic

In summary, its been over a year and I am extremely pleased with my set-up. The Peloton app is awesome, my bike is great, I have saved a ton of money while losing weight.  I have zero regrets about using the app and it is an unbelievable rich resource of  workouts and such a value for the money.  What could be better?

As long as you vary your classes so as to not plateau and you choose healthy foods, you will drop it like its hot. 🙂

Drop me a note if you have any questions!

Beth

Disclaimer:  My Sipping & Shopping blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

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Dawn Walker
November 6, 2018 12:14 am

I’ve been using this exact setup for almost a month now and it is really working for me. So far the classes have been very engaging and I like the flexibility of working out on my own schedule. Looking forward to adding the strength training and abs classes. So happy to have found your hack!

Dawn Walker
January 30, 2019 12:32 pm
Reply to  TheMarlow4

Hi, Beth, Over 3 months in and still loving this setup! Just completed my 50 th ride last Wednesday on a JJ climb ride (ooof!)! I even got a ticket to homecoming in NYC this May. I think that’s called being addicted! My question: is it possible to measure output with this setup? I have not yet found a way and was wondering if i was missing something. Also, I am trying to get into heart rate training and have taken the test to establish burn and burst numbers. I don’t quite fully grasp how that is supposed to work.… Read more »

Vanessa
November 8, 2018 5:07 am

I am going to purchase everything and give it a shot! I’ve been really wanting a Peloton, but I can’t stomache the cost right now. Can’t wait!! Thank you!

michelle
November 21, 2018 11:18 am

HI! these posts are exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you! Do you have any info/ideas about streaming to a ROKU smart TV?

Matt
February 1, 2019 1:35 pm
Reply to  TheMarlow4

Roku has one of the best screen mirroring options out there, at least for android devices. With both devices connected to the same network, screen mirroring is as simple as the press of a button. Tho it may be called something different like miracast, my android phone has an icon called smart view in the pull down menu that automatically detects my Roku.

Ali
December 19, 2018 8:46 pm

Hi there – I just got my setup up and running this week. I was wondering what you use the speed sensor for? I did my first ride yesterday and was aware of the instructor’s use of cadence, but wasn’t quite sure how I should be monitoring my speed.

Ali
December 21, 2018 8:16 am
Reply to  TheMarlow4

Ahhh..Should have read your 6 month review and just purchased the cadence sensor. I’ve done two rides and so far so good. The only slightly annoying thing is that I have to use my iPad to watch the Peloton app and my phone to monitor my cadence. I wish I could just use one device. I could buy an apple TV, but I don’t want to spring the $200. But I am excited to have my only little spin studio in my house. Thank you!

Nick
January 2, 2019 3:37 am

Hey Beth, just love that you tried this out and are doing so well! My wife and I are looking at Peloton as well and, just like yourself and other respondents, are having some sticker shock at the price… I have a question for you based on my research and am having a frustrating time getting an answer from other sources. I really like the actual Peloton bike over some of the alternatives, and I may be able to swing the price, but can’t bring myself to pay $40 a month for the subscription. Could you have just used your… Read more »

AKC
January 17, 2019 7:15 am

First thanks for the inspiration. I put together a very similar setup with a different Sunny bike. We’re about a month in and have no regrets. I’m just writing because there seems to be a few questions regarding the Wahoo cadence sensor and using two devices for the process–1 device to stream the app to TV and 1 device to display the Wahoo app. You can now connect the Wahoo cadence sensor directly to the Peloton App. There is a ‘sensor’ icon button right next to the airplay button. It will connect to the Wahoo cadence sensor (as long as… Read more »

Kaycee
January 18, 2019 11:05 pm

Hi Beth- I just got my bike a month ago off Amazon ( I bought a different brand than Sunny, but still so much cheaper than Peleton) and then signed up for the Peleton app. So many people said you won’t do it at home. The bike will just become a clothes rack. So far, I absolutely love it! I love the Peleton classes and already see small changes in the way my clothes fit. I feel great and bonus is I don’t have to leave the house! I’m averaging about 4 days a week on the bike and am… Read more »

RAM
May 15, 2019 12:51 am
Reply to  Kaycee

Hi Kaycee,
What bike did you choose to go with? The bike Beth suggested is out of my price range (even though it’s a massive savings from the Peloton bike) so I’m trying to find something else that I can get the same setup with a little less expensive bike, hopefully.

Mallory
January 25, 2019 8:43 am

Hello! I’ve had this same for over a year now. I can’t seem to get into a routine because I get frustrated with the cadence / resistence. When the instructor tell you to increase resistance by x how do you know how much to change it on our makeshift peloton? I think once I get thr hang of that I will enjoy this bike better. Any help is greatly appreciated.

AKC
March 8, 2019 5:49 am
Reply to  Mallory

I attempted to work this out and came across something online that stated there were 15 (or 14 can’t remember off the top of my head) full turns of the Peloton bike resistance knob. And that the Peloton bike uses a scale of 0-100. I worked out by way of how many full turns my bikes knob has (a Sunny bike) and it equated to a 3/4 turn on my bike is an increase of 10 on the resistance scale of the Peloton. I use that a reference for hitting the called out resistance. When I look at the instructor… Read more »

RMS
January 30, 2019 1:59 am

Thank you for the recommendations. I bought all of the items on the list (minus heart rate monitor). I love it. I’m still estimating the resistance but that’s a minor thing. Do you have any advice as far as resistance estimates? I never would have been able to put all of this together without you. Thank you again.

Matt
February 1, 2019 1:27 pm

Thank you so much for this article. I know my wife really wants a peloton and I just can make it happen for what they’re asking (not to mention you can’t listen to your own music or watch Netflix on those big beautiful displays). So for Christmas she got a really nice tablet 2in1 and I just found a great bike for her birthday. I think this solution will be a perfect bridge and give her the access to spin classes (and cool kid club) she was wanting. One question, are friends able to link up in a spin in… Read more »

Allison Winkler
February 7, 2019 10:49 pm

Is it the actual peloton app? And is it $14.99 per month or a one time fee? Thanks!

Gary
February 8, 2019 4:08 am

Quick question please about using the app. When using the app do the rides count towards your total rides with Peloton even if you are riding a bike that does not have any sensors? Towards your century rides and such? I am going on vacation and will be staying at a place that has a stationary bike but it is not a peloton.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Catherine
February 11, 2019 11:43 pm
Reply to  TheMarlow4

Hey Beth!!! ! Great information! I am going to try and do this after I get back to work from Maternity Leave in June. I want to get the speed and cadence sensor. The place where I work has Spinning brand bike I can use. Do the sensors stay permanently on the bike?

Jonathan
February 25, 2019 1:38 am

Hello Beth,
Thanks for the time you put into this review. I have a question about the Peloton app. Is the monthly fee for 1 user or multiple users? From my understanding the subscription service ($39 per month) allows multiple profiles for the one fee. Just wondering if the app is the same.

Thanks,
Jonathan

Ramah Mannan
February 26, 2019 5:42 am

I LOVE this! Totally doing it. However, there are so many Sunny bikes ranging in price from $219-$370. The link for the one you purchased is now $370 (it’s the premium), and I can’t figure out how it is better than Sunny’s other similar styles other than the option for clicking into the foot pedal on the other side. Adjustable seat/handlebars, belt drive, 40lb flywheel. I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth it to buy the one you have for another $100 or so? What made you choose this one over similar styles?

Amy Gough
February 27, 2019 8:37 am

Do you have pics of where you installed the speed and cadence sensors?

Sos
March 18, 2019 9:54 am

This was sooo helpful and I now have a similar set up. I think I’m missing one thing though. How do you know where you are with resistance when an instructor gives you a target? I’ve done maybe 5 classes now and used the wahoo app for cadence for the first time today. Would just like to follow along more with resistance. Any tips there? Thanks for the inspiration!!

Gladys
April 19, 2019 9:43 am

Can we buy the bike with out the tv

Chrissy
July 29, 2019 8:22 pm

Can you interact with the class in live feed with this set up?
Thank you!

Paige Adams
August 14, 2019 12:22 am

Are you able to get shutout from the instructors through the app or get on the leader board?

Jamie
August 19, 2019 10:04 pm

Are you using spin shoes or the pedal cages that come with the bike?

Margaret
December 7, 2019 10:57 pm

This is a great informational post. I have also been looking into Peloton and you have simplified my research!

I would recommend these type of shoes…they are SPD Mountain Bike shoes. I ride outside and inside and own both road shoes and mountain shoes with SPD. These types are by far easier to get off the bike and do squats, do weights, etc vs. the style you are looking at. They feel more like “sneakers”. I have the version that is several years older.

https://www.amazon.com/Pearl-iZUMi-Womens-Canyon-Cycling/dp/B072C8RWZ9/ref=sr_1_21?dchild=1&keywords=pearl%2Bizumi%2Bmountain%2Bbike%2Bshoes%2Bx%2Balp&qid=1575726572&s=apparel&sr=1-21&th=1

Tasha
September 11, 2019 1:20 am

Hey. I’m thinking seriously about using your Peloton Hack Plan. My child has an Ipad but I don’t so I would need to buy one. Should I purchase an Ipad or an Apple tv? I’m not real tech savvy. Which one would be best for a tech illiterate person.

Mike
September 21, 2019 2:10 pm

Can I look at a class on the tablet and see cadence on tablet at the same time? Similar bike setup as you

Melanie Pearse
September 24, 2019 1:20 am

THANK YOU so much for sharing this information! I really appreciate it! I just have one question for you…if you were to buy a new bike today for under $500 (with magnetic resistance) with the knowledge that you have, which one would you buy? The amount of bikes on the market that seem great are kind of overwhelming for someone who is new too spinning.
Thanks!
Melanie Pearse

Melanie Pearse
September 24, 2019 9:51 pm

Thank you for answering! I will check out the Sunny 1805.

Thanks,
Melanie

Lisa Mehlman
October 7, 2019 12:45 am

Hi Beth I would like to purchase two bikes so I can either work out with my husband or a friend. Notice from the pic that you are appear to be streaming classes to a TV this would be easier than my purchasing two iPads. How do you go about this? I thought you could only access the app on an android
Best regards
Lisa

Evix
October 14, 2019 10:22 pm

Great post. I too have my own spin bike star strar and tablet and was trying to figure a way how to get into varied spin classes. I think i am going to give it a shot. Thx for your tips and have a great work out!

derek dillon
October 20, 2019 6:16 pm

Im going to try and copy this set up in uk.the peloton bike is fantastic but the price is for rich people.
Ill go for sunny bike and wheel sensor.ps how did the sensor fitting go,was it easy or hard.and thanks for this blog.
Ive got an old macbook air as the screen hopefully if i can mount it.

Tyler
November 5, 2019 4:32 am

Great review, thank you. The bike you use isn’t a “connected” bike right? I am wondering if there is a benefit to using one like the new Bowflex C6 or will any reasonable quality spin bike do the trick?

Emily
December 2, 2019 10:04 pm

Thanks Lady! I’m purchasing everything in this article today!!!

Stefanie
December 7, 2019 9:40 am

My parents offered to buy me a Peloton for Christmas, but I’m now leaning towards getting a cheaper bike (because I’ll be responsible to pay for the monthly fees still!) and setting it up this way. With the latest update, I will be streaming it on our Firestick and using my Apple Watch for my heart rate. I’ve been trying to find more information on this but there’s a lot of different thoughts on this… and I’m not sure what would show on the screen as far as metrics, and how many apps I would actually need open on my… Read more »

Martha badillo
December 18, 2019 5:29 am

I’ve been wanting a peloton for a while but wasn’t able to afford it. For some reason I googled peloton without bike and low and behold there it is . I’m am so freaking excited can’t wait for hubby to come home, he was willing to pay the thousands just to make me happy and now he can save some cash. It’s ready In my Amazon cart wAiting to press buy. Just have one question what’s the best way to stream?

Cameron
December 22, 2019 11:22 pm

Thank you for posting this article. It is very helpful. You mentioned that when you stream the workout to your Apple TV it does not show the heart rate or cadence. If you do screen mirroring it will show up. I hope that helps you.

Cameron
December 23, 2019 10:34 pm

No. The quality is the same for me both ways.

Haeli
January 5, 2020 9:32 am

Thank you for this post! I really want a peloton, but of course can’t afford it, so I’m super thankful to learn what i can do to hack together the peloton experience!

Terravoir
January 7, 2020 5:25 am

Thanks for the great breakdown. I have been looking into this and this lays everything out nicely.

Kimmie
January 20, 2020 12:36 am

Hey there! Just wondering, do the Wahoo sensors allow the Peloton instructors to see your output?

Tara
January 21, 2020 10:07 am

Hello..I am looking to buy an on home spin bike and wasmlook mg at the echelon but want to use the peleton app. Do you know if I can use the peleton app with an echelon? Their bikes got good reviews but not their app. Any advice would b appreciated.

Tara
January 21, 2020 11:13 am

Oh great! Thankyou so much!

Valerie T PEREZ
January 22, 2020 2:01 am

Just what I needed to know about hacking Peloton. Thank you

Kim Walker
February 9, 2020 2:48 am

Could you do the classes without any sensors on your own bike? I woulf like to try the app but don’t have sensors on my bike and don’t want to attach any until I k ow I love the app…

Shanna
March 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Thank you for this! Ordered what I needed! I do have an Apple Watch though and would love to use that for my heart rate monitor since I know it is accurate. I see they have a watch app. But I can’t seem to find how I can use the app on my iPad and get the heart rate info from my watch? From what I’m finding, I would need to use my tiny phone screen to watch workouts for that to work? Or do you know of a way to make it work so I can watch on the… Read more »

Derek
April 3, 2020 6:51 am

Hi! Love the blog. Can you use the Peloton scenic rides (outdoor) with your setup? We would be using the Firestick App. Thank you!

john
April 7, 2020 6:07 am

I saw a question about the Echelon bike and peloton app. Will the Echelon bike connect to the app to show distance and cadence, without the wahoo speed and cadence devices?

Kyle
April 11, 2020 6:55 pm

Thanks for your article. I have peloton app and a sole tread and love it. Thinking about investing in a sole sb900
Bike. A little more expensive bike but is magnetic and has speed and cadence sensor built in. What do you think?

Victoria
April 15, 2020 3:46 am

I discovered your page after just using the app since quarantine started. I borrowed a regular spin bike from my gym and use my Firestick. I’ve taken indoor classes in the past so I can live without a sensor and match the cadence of the instructor like I would do in a normal class. I can’t imagine investing in a Peloton as I ride outdoor as well. But I was shocked at how great this app is. I love the strength classes and after quarantine ends I could see myself continuing with the app to use at the gym for… Read more »

Caitlin Fetterman
April 15, 2020 9:28 am

This is so neat thank you for sharing this !!!! I will definitely use your links if I purchase anything ! I have a spin bike that’s about 8 years old but works really good ! Am I able to just use my iPhone for the peloton app ? Does the app literally have everything I need to do peloton classes for just 12.99 month?! Is there anything else I must need to do this !! ? I am so excited !!

Patty
April 17, 2020 1:59 pm

I have a question. I brought the bowflex bike and just put the iPad on the rack to do the peloton app. The only thing I can’t figure out is how my friends see me on the leaderboard? I see them and myself but they don’t see me. They see my high fives but that’s it. Is there something I’m missing or can they not see me because they have the actual bike and I have the app? Thank you

Dana
April 23, 2020 4:22 am

Hi! I am really been trying to decide if I want an actual Peloton or a gym set up like yours. It is so hard to decide. My main question is, does the cadence still show on the app? I have heard rumors Peloton has removed that option recently. Also, besides the leaderboard and output, anything else I would be “losing” from choosing a DIY set up, vs an actual Peloton? Its not that I can’t afford the Peloton, I just feel stupid for paying so much extra money for a screen (Who doesn’t already have a million screens in… Read more »

Emily Davis
April 25, 2020 10:16 pm

We need to purchase a recumbent bike due to some lower back issues. Do you think You can still benefit by from the app? Of course there would be adaptations when the instructors have you out of the saddle.

Cathy
May 9, 2020 12:39 am

This is so helpful. Thanks so much! I have almost the same set up as you. One question I had is during a live class, is there a way to see the participant list?

Brianne Manley
May 19, 2020 12:50 am

Hi Beth,
I am currently setting up my home bike the way you did and I’m super excited to get started. I was wondering if you are able to see yourself on the leaderboards when you don’t actually have the Pelaton bike? I am pushed harder when I can see where I am compared to others. Please let me know when you have the chance.
Brianne

Karen K
June 6, 2020 4:17 pm

Is there any way to buy just the cadence sensor? Both are expensive. I randomly came across your blog and was SO glad I did! I got a spin bike but REALLY wanted to do the fun workouts that are on the Peloton app, so this was GREAT news! Can’t wait to get everything set up. I read where the app is now $19.50/month. Still, less expensive than my gym membership, which I am most likely going to discontinue since I have a lot of gym equipment at home.

Karen K
June 7, 2020 4:12 am

From Amazon? I looked but didn’t see the option of only buying the cadence sensor. I’ll try again.

sas
June 30, 2020 3:30 am

I know you can’t be ON the leaderboard with just the app…but can you SEE the leaderboard and try to figure out where you would land on it? Just for an idea if you are doing things within the range of others or is it impossible and you just follow the cadence/resistance? Also annoying is not many sites like this point out you can’t see the cadence on an android systems (?yet….)

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