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.  They are seriously on to something here.

Have a I used it 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 – but hey, I am only human, right?).  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 $13 on the app (now $19.49 for new riders) and didn’t take the plunge and go all in with the expense of the actual bike and the $40 monthly subscription.  I can’t imagine the guilt!

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 1805, 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 my interview with ABC News!).

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 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).My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 9Here is a quick video of me on my bike (with some audio in case you are wondering where the noise is coming from).

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.   Even at the new $19.49 price it is still less expensive than the monthly subscription required if you buy the actual Peloton bike.   Spin classes can be selected by length, type (e.g., Live DJ), music genre (e.g., Pop, Country) 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.  The app is also available on Android.  

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.

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. 

Use Peloton App with Own Bike

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

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.My Peloton Bike Alternative; A Great Money Saving Hack 5

Step 7Dumbbells.

Get yourself some cheap 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.

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 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.  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
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Dawn Walker

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!

Vanessa
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Vanessa

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
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michelle

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?

Ali
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Ali

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.

Nick
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Nick

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
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AKC

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
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Kaycee

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 »

Mallory
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Mallory

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
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AKC

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
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RMS

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
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Matt

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
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Allison Winkler

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

Gary
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Gary

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.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

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
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Ramah Mannan

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
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Amy Gough

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

Sos
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Sos

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!!

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