I’ve had readers reach out and ask for advice about maintaining a Peloton bike. Many had already read my article on how to clean a Peloton but they wanted more information. They wanted to know about things like maintenance of the pedals and if your Peloton bike needs a tune up and what you should do if you hear a squeaky noise.
First, I reached out to a Peloton maintenance representative who got me answers to common questions about maintaining a Peloton bike. Next, I did a bit more digging on other maintenance and management questions that might be floating out there about how to take care of your Peloton. In the end, you have this article, which I hope you’ll find helpful.
Overview of maintaining a Peloton
So let’s start with an overview of what you need to know about taking care of your bike. For starters a Peloton does not have a chain. Therefore, if you’re used to tuning up an outdoor, cycling or road bike by oiling a chain, you don’t have to do that with your Peloton.
A Peloton runs on magnetic resistance. If you look on top of the flywheel and under the water bottle holder, you’ll see two calipers that look like brakes. It’s where you’ll also see that red light blinking. Those calipers actually hold magnetics, which get closer to the flywheel when you turn up the resistance.
What the red blinking light on the Peloton is
The first time I got off my bike to stretch, I glanced down and saw the red blinking light near the fly wheel. I was afraid it was a warning light and that something was wrong and that’s why it was flashing.
It’s not. The red blinking light is just the resistance sensor on the bike’s flywheel and shows that the bike is “communicating” with the wheel. It’s all good. No need to worry.
Also, the blinking light on my bike looks red. It might look orange on yours. Again, don’t worry. It actually means your bike is in good shape and working as it should be.
Fun fact: if you take an On Demand class from the “before times,” when people rode in the studio with instructors, you can sometimes see red blinking lights all throughout the studio.
The Peloton does not have brakes
So no brakes? No need to tune up or replace bike brakes.
However, the Peloton flywheel does have bearings in it. But these aren’t ball bearing like you might have remembered having in roller skates. The bearing (singular) is the center of the Peloton flywheel–the metal wheel that spins when you move the pedals.
Sometimes a bearing can go bad. Many people have reported on Reddit, in the Peloton cycle subreddit, being able to replace them on their own–after Peloton support sent out a new bearing.
Sidebar: how do you know if your bearing has gone bad? You’ll hear a really awful grinding or rubbing noise. Not a clicking but like a noise that’s so loud it will wake up your neighbors.
Upkeep for your Peloton
One of the most important tips for maintaining a Peloton is keeping it clean. You don’t want dirt or dust or–worse–sweat getting into places where it can do damage.
My popular post on how to clean your Peloton addresses many of these issue. I believe it’s good advice worth repeating.
Wipe down your bike after every ride
Same with the Tread. Wipe it down to get ride of sweat. Sweat = salt = rust. Have you seen what road salt does to the underside of the car? Your sweat could corrode parts of your Peloton, too.
Peloton recommends that as part of maintaining your Peloton, you use a gentle cleanser for wiping down your bike. They say specifically do not use soap and water.
Gentle cleansers only
Some people have reported that the Peloton delivery guys say to use baby wipes. I guess if that’s gentle enough for a baby’s butt, it should be gentle enough for a Peloton. However, I use the Wipex all natural wipes that I got on Amazon.
People have asked if you can use Clorox wipes on the Peloton. If Peloton says no soap and water, I’m thinking that Clorox wipes might be in that category since you use them to clean grimy parts of your home. So, I would stick with the Wipex wipes or a gentle cleaner like Mrs. Meyer’s. Spray it on a microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down everything on your bike you may have sweat on.
Special cleaning for touchscreen
However, do not use any of these cleaners on your touchscreen. Here are Peloton’s specific instructions for cleaning a touchscreen:
“Wipe down your touchscreen using only an approved electronic cleaner (one made specifically for use with LCD, Plasma, or other flat screens) and a microfiber cloth.”
Dry around any metal parts
This includes screws, the pedal crank arms and resistance knob. Why dry? Because you don’t want any moisture to cause rust.
Vacuum and dust your Peloton regularly to maintain it
I find that hair and other dust debris builds up between the plastic chain guard–technically, the belt guard since the Peloton does not have a chain–and the frame of the bike. I find that the Swiffer duster is great for getting in there to get the dusty stuff out. Also, if you have a narrow nozzle head for your vacuum cleaner, you can use that in this small spaces.
Wipe down the mat underneath your Peloton bike
I sweat puddles on my Power Zone Rides. So much so that the first time I noticed it happening, I thought my water bottle was leaking. It wasn’t. My pores were leaking sweat.
While salt from sweat doesn’t do as much damage on a rubber mat as it does metal screws, you should wipe it up anyway. This keeps it clean, helps avoid breakdown and, frankly, prevents things from smelling funky.
Shut down your Peloton for maintenance in between uses
It’s important to remember what your Peloton really is–a computer. Sure, it’s a computer tablet attached to a really cool bike or a super awesome treadmill. But it’s a computer nonetheless.
And it’s important with computers (as well as smartphones) to shut them down and let them reset. We shut off our bike in between every ride. I like to think of it as the hardware (or even the software) getting “tired.” I know that if I don’t shut down my computer or my phone for a few days it is slower to respond. So as part of your Peloton maintenance, be sure to shut it down after every use.
Peloton bike tune up
I know that some hardcore Peloton riders like to do a regular tune up on their Pelotons or have a Peloton maintenance schedule that they adhere to strictly. One such tune up includes using a spray-on, dry lubricant on the belt. To do this you have to remove the plastic belt guard.
They also like to tighten the pedals on a regular basis. From what I’ve read you only need to tighten the pedals if you find your cleats slipping out of them while you’re clipped in and riding. That’s a good sign that your pedals are loose.
Just don’t tighten the pedals too much. You may recall my anecdote in my best Peloton accessories blog post about how we broke our pedals after we first got our bike.
Well, we were having trouble clipping in and clipping out. Peloton support suggested we tighten the pedals to help our shoes stay clipped in. Unfortunately, my husband tightened the pedals so much that they snapped off. Again, as I mentioned in that post, Peloton sent us new pedals for free.
Check your seat and cleats
Finally, Peloton recommends, on a monthly basis, checking the tightness of your seat, pedals and cleats on your shoes. Since my husband and I both ride the Peloton, the seat gets moved every day. So I’m not so worried about its tightness. However, it’s been awhile since I check the cleats.
FYI, I know that some people complain about hearing a squeaking noise from the pedal area. This could be a sign of loose cleats. That aforementioned spray-on, dry lubricant can also help with a squeaky pedal or squeaking shoe cleat or clip.
Maintaining a Peloton bike calibration
Some people report that, over time, their Peloton gets harder to ride. They find it frustrating because they’re become fitter yet their PRs are getting harder to beat. First, try a program like Power Zone training. It can do wonders for your fitness. Second, you may need to re-calibrate your Peloton bike.
After we moved more than two years ago, I noticed that our bike felt different. Whereas before, 40 resistance was challenging, now 40 resistance felt like pedaling through cement. Riding my Peloton had become so difficult that it was no longer fun.
I asked on the various Peloton Facebook groups about this issue. Most people started talking about bike calibration. Basically, it’s a manual “reset” of your bike.
To do this, you could ask Peloton to send you a calibration kit. I’m pretty sure they still send it out. Then, you watch a You Tube video that tells you how to recalibrate your bike.
Be careful when you recalibrate your Peloton
Fair warning: recalibrating your bike could make your bike or easier to use. Sometimes too easy. The first time I tried recalibrating my bike, it was ridiculous easy. Like I could turn the bike up to 60 and just start to feel grit.
So, I used the calibration kit and did it again. Now, the bike was impossible to use. Like I couldn’t get out of the 20s.
Finally, we achieved the Goldilocks effect with the third calibration. The bike is now more enjoyable to ride. It is definitely easier than it was before but I’ve adjusted how I ride to take that into account.
For example, I’ve noticed that I have to turn my resistance five to 10 points higher than what the instructors are calling for. However, I’ve retaken my FTP test many times at this new “setting” and I ride my zone based on how the bike is now. I know my output is probably higher than other rides, but I’m never at the top of the Leaderboard.
Reach out to Peloton support for maintenance help
Speaking of reaching out to Peloton support, I’d mentioned at the start of this article that I spoke with a representative from Peloton support while researching this blog post. Now is a great time to share their tips for maintaining a Peloton.
Caring for your bike under warranty
Every Peloton comes with a one-year warranty. Parts are covered under that warranty, which is why when we broke our pedals, Peloton sent us a new one for free.
FYI, when I requested my calibration kit, it was in year two of owning my bike. So, clearly I was off warranty but Peloton still sent me the kit.
According to the Peloton rep I spoke with, “You do have an option for an extended warranty as well. The purchase price for an additional 12 months of coverage under the service plan is $175; the purchase price for an additional 27 months of coverage under the service plan is $230. By comparison, a single service appointment without a service plan might cost more than $200 including parts, depending on the type of repair.”
I had no idea you could buy an extended warranty–and after owning the bike already. You can find more information about the Peloton extended warranty on the Peloton website.
Interestingly, I just assumed that Peloton was a lot like Apple and Apple Care. That is if you didn’t sign up for Apple Care when you bought your device, you would be SOL if you wanted to buy it after the fact. Pro tip: always get the Apple Care. In decades of owning Apple products, I’ve never once regretted paying for Apple Care.
How to get Peloton replacement parts
I’ve had readers write to ask what to do if the bike cup holder breaks or how to get a replacement cup holder, how to get a Peloton power cord replacement, a new Peloton seat post (I know some families have different saddles for different riders), etc.
So when I asked Peloton about that, here’s what they said:
“Users can use Peloton’s live chat function or email to inform them of any maintenance issues. Users are encouraged to send any information (videos/pictures) as well to [the Peloton support email].”
Maintaining a Peloton screen
As I mentioned earlier, you should be shutting down your Peloton screen in between uses so it resets. Additionally, you should be using a cleaner that is approved for flat screens. These are both super important for maintaining a Peloton bike screen.
However, there may be another maintenance issue with your Peloton bike screen that we haven’t addressed–an older bike.
We got our bike in 2016. We know it’s a generation 2 bike from the color of the power button–red/orange. However, there are still generation 1 bikes and screens out there with the same color power button that may not be working as well as they once did.
Don’t worry–you don’t have to get a whole new bike. You can order a new Peloton tablet–for a fee. When I asked the Peloton support rep about this, here is what she said:
“For the [screen] upgrade, you will need to call 1.866.679.9129 and they will get you squared away.”