Well, yesterday was the day our Peloton Bike+’s arrived. Being Peloton riders for almost four years with over 1000+ rides each, we took the plunge to get new bikes. We opted to go with new bikes to refresh the equipment, start with a new warranty, and take advantage of some of the Peloton Bike+’s unique features, such as Apple’s Gymkit and this new digitally-controlled resistance brake system that has a load cell sensor.
Let’s start with the order process; I woke up on September 10th around 6 am, armed with my mobile phone, and curious to see if the order page was up. Once I logged into the www.onepeloton.com website, I was greeted with the new Bike+ on the main page, navigated to the order page, and placed the order for two bikes before making it to the coffee maker.
Living on Long Island, we are very close to a Peloton warehouse, and we had a delivery option available for the 15th. The delivery team was fantastic; they quickly took away the old bikes, and in a matter of minutes, set up the new bikes and walked us through some of the new features. Peloton continues to excel in the customer experience, making it friendly and fast. Let’s drill into my observations and experiences so far with the Peloton Bike+ coming from the original Peloton Bike.
Smooth. The feel on the Bike was smooth and very quiet. I don’t recall how our original bikes felt and sounded, but I can say I noticed a difference right away.
Larger screen. The screen looks crisper and richer in color over the previous version. The performance of the screen was impressive; everything feels faster and more responsive. Of course, as you may have seen, the screen can swivel. I was downplaying it at first until I watched Tricia do a Bike Bootcamp earlier today. It was nice to have the option to pivot the screen around for off-bike work. The upgraded Soundbar is an improvement, though since I often workout early in the morning, I tend to use wireless headsets. The camera on the top of the screen has a privacy cover that you can place in front of the camera, and the volume up/down buttons have moved over to the right side, making it easier to adjust.
Handlebar. As we have seen in the various marketing photos, the handlebar design differs from the current Bike. Though the design looks similar, there is something about the layout that feels more comfortable when I am in the saddle or up and standing. One feature that I have not heard talked about is where the headphone jack is. Most people today use a Bluetooth headset, but of course, there are times when the battery dies, and you have to break out a traditional headset. I was searching all over the screen for the headset jack. Then I noticed on the front of the handlebar there is a headphone jack. Placing the headphone jack here is a significant improvement as it is an ideal position to have a headphone jack, so it’s not interfering with your hands on the handlebar.
Gymkit. This has been on my wish list for a while. I tend to switch between the Apple Watch and Garmin Fenix, depending on the workout. I like having as much data from the Peloton Bike available to be within the Apple Health app. I can also stop wearing a Scosche HR monitor in addition to my Apple Watch as it can now reliably transmit heart rate information to the Peloton Bike+
Auto Follow is an exciting feature that utilizes the resistance ranges that show up in the yellow bar on various on-demand rides to adjust your resistance settings automatically. The automated adjustments are achieved through a digitally-controlled resistance brake system that auto-calibrates. The system also has a load cell sensor that measures output separately. I have to experiment with this feature some more, but it was fun to let the bike auto adjust and allow me to stay focused on maintaining the called cadences.
Now, let’s talk about this digitally-controlled resistance brake system that auto-calibrates. This auto-calibration capability runs during the initial setup and can be done any time through the settings menu. This auto-calibration will help to remove variances between bikes and create a more consistent experience. One thing that I can say is that on my old Bike, I found that as I increased resistance, I would hit a point where I felt like I was hitting a wall. On the new Bike, I find the resistance is very smooth as you progress higher and higher.
The new digitally-controlled resistance brake system will also help out on the leaderboard providing a more accurate representation of people’s outputs and open up the door to some exciting gamification opportunities in the future.
I have gone ahead and used this opportunity to start a new journey on the new bikes and have reset my Personal Records for the Bike category based on all-new rides going forward.
Power supply. The power supply brick was redesigned in a new format but takes up almost the same amount of space. The one feature that I appreciate is there is now an LED light at the point where the plug connects into the Bike. This is handy as a way to determine if electricity is making it to the Bike quickly.
Seat and handlebar adjustments. The new round knobs are a great addition as I have hit the lever a few times as I clipped in and out, causing me to have to stop and tighten it back down. I like the flip mechanism on the seat forward back setting. This is helpful for those who share a bike with others in the house.
Overall we are happy about the new features and getting new equipment given the milage we have put on our previous bikes. We were nearing a point where we might start experiencing issues that required replacement parts. So far our experience has been positive, nice improvements to the overall experience, and I am really liking the digitally-controlled resistance brake system. Stay tuned for more updates as I take more classes.