At the beginning of every New Year, thousands of people set resolutions to achieve goals and live a better, healthier life than they did the year before. One of the most common goals is to start a fitness routine and the latest craze is cycling. There are numerous cycling providers to look into, such as Soul Cycle, Flywheel, and Peloton.
As an avid gym-goer and part-time Soul Cycle enthusiast, I’ve been intrigued by the Peloton in-home cycling experience. If you’ve ever been to a cycling class at Soul Cycle or Flywheel, you know how fun they are to join. From the lively instructors to energizing music, it’s a great way to burn some calories. As a single mother on a budget, it’s also a great way to burn through all of my disposable income.
Living on a strict budget, I couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on another fitness fad (I’ve done Beachbody, Body Beast, Jillian Michaels, you name it!). But honestly, I have a treadmill that taunts me everyday and it’s torture getting myself to take a jog on it every night. So a fun, energizing class of cycling is right up my alley and I decided to turn to my trusty friend, Amazon, to see if I could replicate the same experience. Turns out, you can!
Getting Soul Cycle, Peloton, and Flywheel in Your Home for Half the Cost
One thing these providers have in common, besides cycling, is their hefty price tag. At $30/class for Soul Cycle, going only twice a week will cost you $240/month including other costs, like shoe rental. For an in-home cycling experience, Peloton will cost you even more upfront. The bike itself is close to $2k, with $250 shipping. The membership for their classes is $39/month on top of that.
The game changer here is the Peloton app – it’s only $12.99/month or $5.99 for a weekly pass. There are numerous classes you can take, from beginner to expert level, with different instructors. If you want, you can do a live class and spin along with everyone! Or, you can access a class recording at any time – any time! Did y’all hear that? As a mother who often gets the first moment to think about working out at about 9pm, anytime is golden.
What’s even better about the app – it supports family sharing for iOS users. That means – up to 6 devices can access the app and stream the classes! Woot, woot! And the classes are absolute magic, it doesn’t feel like I’m working out at all. But you do need the correct equipment, luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Equipment Needed for Cycling in Your Home
Amazon is my go-to marketplace for just about anything so I hoped that they had what I needed to cycle along with Peloton. Luckily, Amazon did not disappoint. Below is the list of items, required and additional, that I use for in-home cycling. Please note that the required items are needed but the other items are just nice to have (I use affiliate links for Amazon) so don’t feel like you have to purchase everything if you’re on a strict budget (it took me over 3 months to slowly purchase everything).
Required items – Total $424
- Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1509 Bike $334
Really the best alternate option I could find, this bike is amazing! And just over $300, it’s a legitimate steal. You’re going to want one with a belt instead of a chain. It’s a smoother ride and much quieter so even if you don’t purchase this bike, choose one with a belt. This bike also has a resistance knob, which will be utilized throughout the classes to amp up the effort. The resistance isn’t a straight apples-to-apples to the Peloton bike so you will have to take guesses until you can accurately get the correct resistance. I try my best to amp up the resistance when they tell me to and turn it down when they say I should. It works for me, although I know it’s not an exact science.
Because this bike comes with clipless pedals, you don’t have to install your own pedals – yay! Just buy shoes that coordinate and you’re on your way.
- Clipless Pedals $29 (if you go with another bike without clipless pedals – you don’t need this if you purchase the bike above!)
The Sunny bike has cage pedals, meaning there is a little you slip your shoe into, however, it isn’t sufficient to when you’re really working at it. The best option is to replace the pedals with clip pedals and shoes.
- Clip Shoes | Cleats $80
To work with the clipless pedals, you will need cycling shoes with cleats. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. The shoes have plates in the bottom that the cleats screw into. The plates allow you to clip/ unclip your shoes from the pedals. This ensures that while cycling with all your power, your foot doesn’t fly off the pedal and put you in a compromising, potentially harmful position.You will also need the cleats that fit into the shoe plates. I’ve included my favorite, multi-way cleats, that allow you to unclip your shoes in more than one way. Most one-way cleats make you twist your foot to the right only, these cleats give you multiple options to unclip so you don’t get stuck while trying to jump off in a hurry – which I’ve done!
- Cushion seat (trust me!) $10
For anyone who’s taken a class, you know the tushie trauma. Your rump is going to be sore, it is inevitable, but it goes away. Minimize the soreness with a good seat. It will be the best $10 you’ve spent in a long time!
Additional Items for your Peloton In-home Cycling Experience
- Wahoo RPM Sensor for iPhone, Android $50
The Wahoo RPM Cadence sensor lets you capture your cycling data by pairing it with your iPhone, Android, or ANT+ bike computer. It easily collects your real time cadence data to help optimize your cycling performance. You’ll have to adhere it somewhere to the wheel so it can accurately measure.
On-Ear Active Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $107
These are a bit pricey but so worth it – your birthday is coming up, right? I can’t rave enough about the UrbanEay wireless headphones, also the recommended headphones by Peloton. The headband and earpads are sweatproof and are removable so you can throw them in the wash! They are wireless so no worries about wrapping the cord around yourself while pedaling.
SuperMats Heavy Duty P.V.C. Mat $27
To protect your floor and your bike, a heavy mat is recommended.
Strap-Lock Tablet Mount for Bicycle $20
Ensuring that you stay engaged throughout the ride is important, luckily the app takes you right into the class! You can either strap your tablet/phone to the bicycle itself and plug in your headphones. Or you can use AppleTV or other display to stream the class through the app. Either way, having the music and instructors in your face and loud enough to get you moving will ensure your success.
Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Bicycle Water Bottle Holder Brackets $6
Hand weights are used throughout the classes so having them nearby is important. The bike above doesn’t come with weight holders so I use aluminum bottle holders to work as caddies for my weights. The weights can be 2,3, or 5 pounds, depending on what size you need. These hold them just fine.
Neoprene Body Sculpting Hand Weights $17
These can be any kind you want, here are the weights that I use.
- Fitbit or other activity tracker $100
I like to keep track of my heart rate to accurately track when I’m in my burning zone. You can turn on their cycling mode to track your rides. Additionally, data can be fed into MyFitness Tracker or other app to cross-reference your data. The Wahoo sensor also uploads data to MyFitness Tracker so you don’t really need both unless you want to measure heartrate. I know I’m getting a bit nerdy here but it’s really motivational to see your progress!
When you look at Peloton, the costs are staggering: $1995 for the bike, $250 for shipping & installation, $25 for weight set, $39/month membership. All in all, I spent about $750 for everything – including all of the bells and whistles. There was a bit of a learning curve but I fumbled my way through figuring it out and am happy with the results. As a busy mom who needs to challenge herself with staying fit while at home, an in-home solution is heaven-sent, but not financially a blessing. There ya go, an in-home Peloton or Soul Cycle experience for half the cost!
Lauren is Co-founder and CMO of momsplained.com. A single mom, marketing pro, and avid DIYer, she spends her days playing as much as she works and working as much as she dreams. “Omnia Feminae Aequissimae (women are equal to everything).” – Lady Hale