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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Donmoyer

Peloton Bike Hack

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a free trial of the Peloton app. Peloton is a one-stop shop for spin workouts, running workouts (both on treadmills and outdoor guided runs) boot camp classes, stretching and meditation.

I used to LOVE spin classes back in the day, in fact, it was what I did after I started running a ton to help alleviate some knee pain while maintain my "cardio." I then started CrossFit and spin together (60 min spin classes with 10-20 minutes CrossFit metcons) for several years, before moving solely to CrossFit in 2014 (and finally focusing on strength training).

The Spin bug has always been in me. I love the good music, the intensity, and the fact that now, I don't have to even GO anywhere to take a GREAT spin class!

My dear friend, GM, has been a Peloton user for a long time. She posts regularly about using her Peloton Spin bike. When I downloaded the app one afternoon, I realized I don't need their bike, their treadmill, etc, to take the class. Any old spin bike or treadmill will do, with a little tweaking.

So, here's how I saved myself nearly $3,000 on a Peloton Spin Bike and and $3,000 on the Peloton Treadmill! I get the same awesome experience for a fraction of the price. I participate in 3-5 classes per week, both running and spinning (I've also tried their Bootcamp and Yoga classes), for the awesome price of $25 per month. Read on friends, read on!

What You'll Need:

I went with a very entry level Spin bike that got great reviews from Amazon. Mine is pretty loud when I jack the resistance up. I knew it would be, because I didn't go with the more expensive model that's belt driven (they are WAY quieter). The choice is up to you. Here's the one I have! I have no complaints. With Amazon Prime it shipped free in just two days, and I was able to put it together easily in less than an hour.

You can also look around for used spin bikes on Craigslist, FaceBook Marketplace, etc.

Probably the most important piece you need to buy for whatever Spin bike you have, is a cadence sensor. When taking Peloton Spin classes, the instructors ALWAYS ask you to maintain a certain cadence. Sometimes they talk about resistance levels, but without the Peloton Bike, you won't know what resistance you're at. I haven't found this to be a big deal -this is very easy to find on your own. Typically, I start on what feels like a flat road and build from there, in quarter-turn increments. In a few classes, you'll totally get the feel of where you need to be in terms of resistance!

You attach the sensor to the bike or your shoe. Since I have spin shoes, I attached it to the shoe.

You will need two devices (two screens): because you need a device that can play the Peloton videos, and a device that can also show you your cadence from the Wahoo app.

Two Options:

A) Use your phone to pull up the Wahoo app that will display cadence and keep it nearby for the class - and stream the Peloton videos from your laptop or desktop (this is what I do).

B) Stream the Peloton class to your TV using Apple TV or Chromcast (you will have to pull it up on your phone, then cast to your TV), and use an old iPhone or your iPad to display your cadence (download the Wahoo app on it).

I keep my bike in my office, where I have a gigantic iMac desktop. I pull my bike right up to my desk. I pull up the Peloton website on my desktop computer, log in, and play the class. Then, I use my phone to display my cadence (I use this phone holder), and keep the Wahoo app open during the whole class.

I splurged on this $5 water bottle holder too, not necessary but nice! You could easily set up a stool next to you to set your towel and bottle on, but I was feeling extra. It doesn't require any pre-drilled holes, it connects to almost any tubular shape with a few twists. I used the second one on my treadmill.

You can jack the sound up, (if you have surround sound and are streaming from your TV, this can be LOUD and very awesome!) I use my earbuds though, because I like an in-ear experience. Love my Apple AirPods that connect right to my iMac via Bluetooth.

If you decide you love Spin and want to get a little more serious, I'd invest in better petals and clip-in shoes. These are old shoes I got when I thought I wanted to do a Triathlon. When you purchase new pedals for your bike, they'll come with new mounts for your shoes.

The benefit of a clip-in pedal means you can train the entire leg - with traditional pedals you can only push down, there is no "up" portion of the drive. So you get more power, a better workout and a better ratio of hamstring /quad utilization, being clipped in allows you to literally PULL UP on each stroke.

You can find a pair of shoes here.

Here's a video of the final set up, of me in the saddle, the view of my iMac, and how I just pull it up to my desk. Husband is watching TV, so obviously my chain-driven bike isn't that loud and annoying.

I cannot compare my set-up to the actual Peloton Spin bike, but I have taken Spin classes for years, and I must say that this is some of the most enjoyable riding I've done, all for about $300 (I already owned the shoes).

If you want to get into running, they have great treadmill guided running classes, too. I snagged my treadmill from a friend for less than $100. You don't need any extras for this - just a treadmill that can go up and down (for hill workouts) and a treadmill that can go up to at least 10MPH. I prop my phone up on the treadmill, put my headphones in, and go!

Questions? Drop me a comment!

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1 Comment

Barbara Ross
Barbara Ross
Sep 19, 2019

Thank you! Can you share what brand of clip in pedals you used that are compatible with the spin bike?

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