Congrats, you ordered your bike!! Now what??
The first thing you’ll need to decide before your bike is delivered is where you are going to put it. If you already have a dedicated home gym this may not apply, but if you are like most and are deciding between your bedroom and your home office, here are some things to consider:
How much space do you have? While the bike is fairly small (roughly 2’x 4′), you will need a good amount of distance to your sides and overhead in order to do the arm exercises and stretches on the bike.
Do you prefer privacy when you ride? A room with a door and out of the way might be important to you, if not go ahead and plop it in the middle of your living room.
How noisy are you? The bike is virtually silent, your heavy breathing and the unclipping of your shoes are going to make the most noise. In many cases nearby napping children or spouses can go uninterrupted, yes really!
How is your home network set up? While the bike can connect to wi-fi, riders can incur connectivity issues and streaming can be less predictable. It might not sound like a big deal, but the white circle of death is the last thing you want to see at a pivotal moment in your workout. If hardwiring your bike directly with an ethernet cord is an option, you’ll probably be able to avoid streaming issues completely.
Once you decide where to put your bike you’ll need to get the space prepped and gather your gear. Peloton offers almost everything you could need but there are plenty of comparable substitutions if you prefer to explore your options.
MAT – Whether or not you need a mat really depends on what type of flooring you have. The main purpose of the mat is to protect your floor. A mat alone will not stabilize your bike.
- Home gym or solid concrete: No mat necessary
These types of floors are very stable and workout ready.
- Hardwood: Mat only
A thin equipment mat will protect your floor from sweat and and clomping around in your cycling shoes. A spongy yoga or exercise mat is not ideal, the added cushion intended for your body will be an unstable surface for your bike.
- Carpet: Plywood (+ optional mat)
To reduce any movement have a 1/4 inch piece of plywood cut (to approx. 36″ x 72″ or the size of your mat) at any home improvement store. This will eliminate any instability while riding. If you choose, you can put a mat on top of the plywood for nicer aesthetics as well as easier sweat clean up.
**Once your bike arrives, don’t forget to adjust the stabilizers underneath in order to get the most solid ride possible.
SHOES – The pedals on the Peloton bike are LOOK Delta compatible, so any shoe that will fit a LOOK Delta cleat will work (UPDATE: the bike no longer comes with one set of cleats. You will need one set per pair of shoes you are going to use). If you already have cycling shoes that you use at a gym or local studio, it’s most likely that they are SPD. For some shoes the cleats can be replaced with LOOK Deltas and on others they can not. If you are not sure, your best resource is a local bike shop. Most will even install the cleats for you.
If you do not have LOOK Delta compatible shoes, one option is to swap out the pedal completely. You can easily install dual sided pedals (similar to what many gyms have) that will allow for two different types of cleats or one side for a cycling shoe and the other for a street shoe. This popular pedal will give you all three options.
SOCKS – My very favorite socks are Bombas. I like the ankle socks for riding and no shows for everything else. They are soft and cushioned without being super thick. Use this link to save 25% off your first purchase.
WEIGHTS – Any weights will work! It’s most likely you will start with 2’s and never need anything more than 5’s. Most neoprene covered hand weights will fit in the holders.
AUDIO – Bluetooth is the only way to go. I find that wired headphones get in the way, no matter how long the cord is (although Peloton Co-founder and CEO John Foley personally recommends these). I keep this wired pair with an extra long cord close by as a backup, just in case I forget to charge my favorite wireless headphones and the battery dies mid-ride. You’ll want to make sure whichever pair you choose is sweat-resistant (if not waterproof). You can also connect the bike to a wireless bluetooth speaker system. The bike does have its own speakers but the audio quality is mediocre.
My new favorite headphones for outdoor runs are AfterShokz Trekz Air (currently out of stock on amazon, best price is direct from AfterShokz and they’ll still ship free). The Trekz Air are light and comfortable but most importantly SAFE for running or cycling outdoors. They use bone conducting technology so you hear WITHOUT YOUR EARS, isn’t that crazy? That way you can still be aware of traffic or your running buddies while still hearing your music and coaching! They do work with the bike as well, I use them when I need to keep an ear on my kids but need to keep the wise explicit words of Robin and Cardi B to myself.
HEART RATE MONITOR – If you would like your heart rate to appear on the bike, you will need at minimum a chest strap or armband that is ANT+ compatible (not Polar, not Bluetooth, typically Garmin). Steven Little’s pick for an optional watch is the Garmin Fenix 3. Heart rate zone training has recently become very popular and updates to the heart rate portion of user interface appear to be forthcoming. You can of course, use any HRM even if it does not connect to the bike, but you will not see your data with the rest of your Peloton metrics. I’m still searching for the perfect Peloton/HRM/Wearable configuration, if you have a recommendation, let me know!
Water (lots of it)
Towels – Don’t wait on a Spintowel – buy a few so you can rotate them into the laundry! These are custom made for the bike and fit like a glove. Use code ‘PELOTONGUIDE’ to save 10%.
Fan (with remote!)
Surge Protector – Protect your bike the same way you would a computer or television.
Something to clean your bike with – It’s going to get sweaty and smelly. The tablet is sweat-proof, but I prefer to treat it gently like any other device and use a mild glass cleaner. For the rest of the bike I use Mrs. Myers spray and Lysol wipes when needed.
Padded Seat Cover – If you are not already a regular rider, your “seat” is going to be fairly sore for the first week or two, no matter what you do. It happens to everyone and your body will adjust. Some people find significant comfort in a padded seat cover.