A few months ago I covered the topic of the original Peloton cycle versus the Bike Plus. That was when a cousin had texted with questions. Why? Because he and his wife were thinking about getting the Peloton but they weren’t sure which one to buy.
Interestingly, my husband and I have been talking about getting a second Peloton bike. And even though we’ve owned our original bike since 2016, we’ve been on the fence about whether to get a second Bike or go with the new Bike Plus–also known with the plus sign (+) after the name.
Anyway, with the recent announcement that Peloton was lowering the price (again) of the original bike, this is top of mind.
Original Peloton Bike is now much cheaper than the Bike Plus
In case you missed the announcement, Peloton is now selling the original bike for $1,195, down from $1,895. However, the Original Bike has a $250 delivery and set up fee.
Meanwhile the Bike Plus is $1,995, down from $2,495. So, you can get the Bike Plus for $500 less than it used to be.
Finally, the Bike Plus comes with free shipping, delivery and set up. So, in essence, it’s a $250 additional savings over the original bike.
Peloton Bike vs Bike Plus
So the exercise of answering my cousin’s text, with the pros and cons of each, while weighing the cycle versus the bike plus, was good for us to go through, too. And I thought it might be helpful for my readers, too.
Therefore, I’ve put together the following, side-by-side comparisons of the original Peloton cycle versus the Bike Plus. This comparison covers everything from fees to footprint and more. So, if you find yourself questioning the Peloton bike vs Bike Plus, you can see if it’s worth it to get the newer equipment or get a second original bike.
Overview of Peloton Cycle versus Bike Plus
UPDATE: In February 2021 we decided to buy a second Peloton bike. This time we ordered the Bike Plus.
We came to this decision after considering buying a used Peloton bike instead. The Bike Plus was delivered in early April. Here is my review of the delivery experience.
Let’s start with just a brief overview of the original Peloton cycle and then the new Bike Plus.
As I’ve mentioned many times, we got our Peloton in 2016. At that time lots of people didn’t know what a Peloton bike was. I sure didn’t when my husband surprised me with his decision to get one that year.
However, I’ve since learned that OG or original Peloton owners go back as far as 2014, and this New Jersey Monthly article about instructor Jenn Sherman, Peloton’s first teacher, says the company hired her in 2013.
Price of Peloton Cycle versus Bike Plus
One of the first differences between the original Peloton cycle and the new Bike Plus was price. Like, you would expect that a new piece of equipment would be more expensive. And technically, the Bike Plus is priced higher than the original cycle.
Cycle trade-ins were allowed
Even better when Peloton first announced the Bike Plus, they gave people who owned or had just ordered the original Cycle two options. One, they could trade their “old” bikes in for the new one, pay the difference plus get an accessories package for free.
Or, two, if you’d purchased an original Cycle within 30 days of the Bike Plus announcement, Peloton would refund the price difference, no questions asked.
This is what happened for my daughter, who bought her Peloton in August 2021. While the bike itself wasn’t delivered until October (and we’ll get into delivery delays in a bit), Peloton automatically refunded her so that her cycle would cost the new price of $1,895. Too bad she hadn’t waited until the price was $1,495.
In addition, you can still trade in your old Peloton bike when you buy a new Bike+. Peloton will give you $700 for the old bike. Plus, it will give you a yoga and toning and accessories kit for “free.” Not sure if this promotion is still going on this year. I’ll have to double check and update this section as necessary.
Finally, over on the Pelotoncycle Reddit, there has been some discussion of rumors of a third price point for bikes–sometime in the future. People believe that at some point, Peloton will begin selling used, refurbished bikes for even cheaper. I mean, what are they going to do with all of the bikes that original owners traded in for the new Bike Plus?
Size and weight of Peloton Cycle versus Bike Plus
There are a few differences in the size and the weight of the cycle versus the Peloton bike plus, but nothing that I think would affect where you put the bike. For example, the footprint of the original cycle and the bike plus are, basically, both four feet by two feet.
Or, if you have a Peloton mat, that’s three feet by six feet, so plenty of room for around both versions. The only thing that might affect where you place the Bike+ is the swivel screen. But I’ll get to that shortly.
Bike and cycle dimensions
According to the Peloton website, the original cycle is 59 inches long by 53 inches high by 23 inches wide. The bike plus is 59 inches long by 59 inches high by 22 inches wide. From looking at the two bikes, I cannot figure out where the extra six inches of height is or why the width is one inch smaller.
The original bike weighs 135 pounds; bike plus weighs 140 pounds. Thank goodness for the Rollerblade-like wheels on the front bottom crossbar, which makes it easier to tip the bike and roll it from one place to another.
Screen comparison of Peloton Cycle versus Bike Plus
The new screen on the Bike Plus is a game changer. It’s bigger–nearly 24 inches versus 21.5 inches on the original cycle–and has a better sound system, with forward facing speakers. Additionally, the screen has a privacy cover for the video chatting camera–who video chats during a ride anyway? Me, I have blue tape over the camera on my original cycle.
However, as I mentioned above, earlier this year we bought a second Peloton bike. What is the screen on the Bike Plus like vs the original Peloton bike? Night and day.
I do not have to wear headphones to get good sound quality when I take classes. The only reason I wear headphones is so I don’t disturb the other people in my house.
Peloton screen swivel or pivot or tilt
Another change with the Peloton screen: it can swivel or pivot from facing the rider to 180 degrees to the right, or facing the rider to 180 degrees to the left. It does not do a full 360-degree rotation.
This screen swivel makes it worth it for people who want to take the Peloton bike bootcamp classes and don’t want to have to crane their necks to see the static screen on the original cycle. This way they turn the screen to the side of their bike and do their workout.
Finally, if you’re wondering, “Does the Peloton screen tilt?” with the Bike Plus, it does. In fact, you must tilt the screen until it is perpendicular to the floor before swiveling it. Otherwise, it will hit the handlebars.
This tilt option comes in handy if you’re riding in a bright room. By tilting the screen down or up slightly, you can minimize distracting screen reflections.
How to make the original Peloton bike screen pivot
While that sounds convenient, it may not be worth it if you have a narrow space where you have placed your Peloton–maybe your Peloton room is really a Peloton nook. For people tight on space, the swivel screen won’t help you see workouts off the bike if there is no space next to the bike for strength work.
If you have an original Peloton bike and want to pivot the screen, there are aftermarket products that can help. Check one of them out, below.
Casting your Peloton screen
In addition, many Peloton owners have been using a “casting” hack for years to get a more “flexible” screen experience. That is, they “cast” the screen from their bike to a smart TV nearby–often displayed on a wall in front of the bike.
This way you’re working with a bigger screen and if you want to do floor work off the bike, you don’t have to go to another room like I do. I can confirm that even my circa 2016 bike can cast to my Roku TV. The only challenge? That Roku TV is in another room so I can’t use it easily.
Seat, handlebar and resistance adjustment changes cycle vs Bike+
There are other significant changes from the Peloton cycle vs Bike plus, with regards to the seat, handlebars and resistance knob.
First, some say that the seat on the Bike plus versus the Peloton cycle is softer and better designed. Only time will tell if Bike plus users end up with sore butts, the way cycle users have for years–and the reason I wrote this blog post on how to make the Peloton seat more comfortable.
However, I will tell you that I do not feel a difference. Maybe it’s because I only ride with padded shorts. But the seat on the original Peloton bike vs the Bike Plus feel the same to me.
Second, the ways you adjust the seat position–forward and back, and up and down–has changed. From a crank arm, if you will, to a knob–that should make these adjustments much easier.
However, in my opinion, the crank arm is easier. Why? Because it gives you more leverage for tightening or loosening it.
For example, one of the things you’ll notice on the Peloton Bike Plus is the screen wobbles more. That’s probably because of the ability to rotate. I have tried and tried again to tighten the handlebar/screen knob to stop the wobbling to no avail. I do wonder if I had a crank arm whether I could have maneuvered it even tighter. Or, maybe it’s just a design flaw.
New Peloton handlebars
One of the biggest complaints about the Peloton handlebars is that they move up and down only, not forward or back like traditional spin bikes. As a member of the Shortie Tribe on Facebook, I can tell you lots of riders have issues reaching the handlebars.
When Peloton redesigned the handlebars for the Bike Plus, they did change the shape so they’re more ergonomic. But they didn’t fix the problem of fore or aft movement. So, if you were hoping for that ability in the newer version of the bike, which would make the higher price worth it, you can forget about that.
However, I’ve since learned that the Bike Plus handlebars are automatically two inches closer to the seat. So if you’re a Shortier in the market for a Peloton, definitely go with the Bike Plus.
Again, there are aftermarket products for both the original Peloton and the Bike+ that will move the handlebars forward and back. Check them out, below.
Peloton resistance knob
The red Peloton resistance knob sits on the bike frame, between the handlebars and the seat. Riders reach down to change how hard or easy their road–or resistance–is.
Turn it to the right, the ride gets harder. Turn it to the left, the ride gets easier.
How? By controlling how close or far away magnets on the bike’s flywheel are to the metal wheel. Your resistance shows on the screen, on the bottom right. The resistance know looks and feels slightly different between the two bike models.
Changing your resistance on the bike
With the new Bike Plus, you can still manually manipulate the resistance wheel. And you’ll still see your resistance on the screen. But you have the option to turn on “auto follow” so that the bike automatically follows the resistance that the instructors are calling out.
Keep in mind this feature is available for on demand classes only. With live classes those metrics are happening in real time. The class has to be programmed after the fact to allow for auto resistance to be enabled.
I have to say that I love riding with the auto resistance option. The only thing that you have to get used to is the small “shudder” you feel on the bike as it changes the resistance for you. You get used to it quickly.
You never have to calibrate a Peloton Bike Plus
Recently, I had to recalibrate my original Peloton bike. I wrote about calibrating a Peloton cycle here. TL;DR–it’s a total pain in the ass, and not always a perfect science. With the Bike Plus, you really don’t have to worry about calibration. Because the bike’s computer handles it with the push of a button.
So if the idea that your bike might change how it feels or “rides” over time–thus needing a calibration–and that freaks you out, definitely go with the Bike Plus. Also, right now the Bike Plus is $500 less than it’s been in the past. And you get free delivery and setup.
Final thoughts on Peloton Bike vs Bike Plus
When I first wrote this blog post, there was only a few hundred dollars difference between the Peloton cycle and the Bike Plus. Now it’s $1,000.
Also, with aftermarket products you can buy to get the screen swivel or pivot that the new Bike Plus offers, you may be wondering if it’s worth buying the more expensive Peloton bike.
Hopefully, I’ve laid out the pros and cons of each option to help you make your buying decision. If I’ve missed anything or you have additional questions, please post a question and let me know.