What Convinced Me To Buy A Peloton

Like you, we’d seen the legions of Peloton commercials on tv and were curious if it would be a fit for us, but it wasn’t until we heard the How I Built This podcast with Peloton founder John Foley that we really understood what it was all about.

In it, he talked about how he felt that the fitness class experience far exceeded working out on your own, but it was expensive and you were doing it in someone else’s place at someone else’s time.

His big idea was to have a big screen with a bike that talks to the screen with metrics and leaderboards and instructors and do it on a global scale. Foley knew from the start that content is king, that the star of his big idea would be the instructors teaching the classes.

He noted in the podcast how yoga instructors are often more important than the yoga studio. People will follow great instructors, and he wanted to create a medium where everyone could have access to these great instructors on their own time in their own home.

We were curious to see what the fuss was about.

Our biggest worry about buying a Peloton was that it would become a clothes rack like our old treadmill had become a decade earlier. Once we got rid of the treadmill, we got a gym membership a few years later and, despite the state of the art facility in our neighborhood with a variety of activities, we went a handful of times.

Is Buying A Peloton Worth It?

The math for the treadmill and the gym just didn’t add up, they were big wastes of money. Would the same happen if we bought a Peloton? So, emboldened by the podcast, we visited our local showroom and bought one without ever taking a class or riding it.

Now it wasn’t an immediate sell, we asked all our questions and got all the information we needed before retreating to the food court to have a heart to heart and do the math on Peloton affordability. We knew the bike was great, we knew the instructors were motivating, we knew it had variety, but we wanted to really know if owning a Peloton would be worth it.

We chose to take advantage of the 0% financing offer from Peloton instead of buying it outright. This broke down our cost into equal C$129 monthly payments over 2 years. The app would be an extra C$50 on top of that. The cost of the bike, over 2 years, would be about $4300. 

On the surface, that sounds like a big ticket. It was certainly more than we paid for our gym membership or the treadmill. So I broke the cost of the Peloton into a cost per workout.

Around the same time I was looking at buying the Peloton, I was also interested in Orange Theory Fitness where classes cost $12-$15 ea, or $159/month. When my wife and I took yoga classes at our old gym, we paid $15 – $20 per session.  Spin class passes in Calgary range from $18-$25 a ride.

To do cardio workouts, spin sessions, and yoga, I’d need three separate memberships, juggling class schedules with my personal schedule. With Peloton, I can do it all at home without packing up and traveling to the gym.

While Peloton is sold as a bike, the magic is that the Peloton Digital app brings with it a variety of off-the-bike workouts ranging from stretching to yoga to meditation to treadmill runs to boot camp sessions to body strength to outdoor running and walking. One $50/mo subscription to Peloton Digital brings an entire personal training suite to your pocket for an unlimited number of users.  

How To Calculate Peloton Affordability

The Peloton math to see if it’s “worth it” or “affordable” for you is very easy, it’s just like an opportunity cost equation.

COST OF PELOTON PER MONTH / HOW MANY WORKOUTS EA MONTH

= COST PER WORKOUT

So we asked if we could commit to working out twice a week with the new Peloton. That would mean working out 100 times a year each, at that rate we would be paying $11 a session, far cheaper than any of the other options we were looking out – and we could do them ALL at home!

7 months into our Peloton ownership, we’ve worked out more than 400 times and paid $1253 in bike payments and membership fees. That’s less than $3.13 a workout, much less than what we were paying for our gym, or if I had signed up for Orange Theory AND .. in 18 months, when the bike is paid for, our cost will be down to less than $1 / workout. 

Now mix in the time.

To do a workout at home takes us the amount of time to get changed and walk downstairs. With thousands of on-demand classes, I can work out on my schedule 24/7/365. There’s no lugging a bag to the gym, fighting traffic, finding parking, and heading back home. A 45 minute class at the gym often can eat up close to 2 hours, at home a 45 minute work out is just 45 minutes.

The money makes sense, the time saving makes sense, the convenience makes sense, and I haven’t even factored in how motivating the instructors are to keep you coming back and using the membership (check out this post on my favorite Peloton instructors

The math on Peloton affordability is there – IF YOU USE IT! 

Disclosure: I bought my Peloton in June 2019. I acted as a Peloton spokesperson on the radio from Nov 2019 – Jan 2020. 

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