Let me be upfront: I hate spin. It’s the one fitness class I never do. Outdoor cycling is great! There’s a breeze! You’re so close to nature! Indoor cycling makes me want to die, and not in a ‘what-a-good-workout’ way. Which is why I’ve been watching the US craze over Peloton with a bit of a raised eyebrow, because SURELY no one loves indoor cycling this much. Well, Peloton is about to launch in Australia, and after an early test ride, I might just be a convert?
For the uninitiated, Peloton is both a fitness platform and a stationary indoor exercise bike. It’s also something of a cult overseas, particularly around the trainers (who are celebrities among Peloton’s 5.4 million-strong community).
You might also remember the name Peloton from this cursed ad, which has lived rent free in my mind since November 2019.
Anyway! Peloton is coming to Australia. So it is worth it? And what is all the hype about?
First of all, this is definitely a luxury fitness experience. Your standard Peloton Bike will set you back $2,895, while the Bike+ (with all the bells and whistles) comes in at a lofty $3,695. Then there’s the little fact that you need somewhere to put the bike, and spare rooms aren’t always easy to come by. Plus, once you have the bike, it’s a digital membership fee of $16.99 per month.
But if you have the space, and the cash – then Peloton might just be the fitness cult you’ve been looking for.
Ahead of its launch in Australia, Peloton hired out a fancy ass mansion in Sydney’s Darling Point, where I was greeted with million-dollar views and shown to my private room.
There I strapped into my Peloton shoes, ‘locked in’ to the bike’s pedals, and chose a 20-minute workout with Cody, one of the platform’s most popular trainers. It’s not hard to see why: he’s chatty, entertaining, and will distract you from the sweat sesh by telling you which pop tune is his summer anthem (‘React’ by the Pussycat Dolls, which was “robbed” by coming out in 2020).
Each workout comes with a curated playlist, which is a big part of the Peloton ethos.
“Music is an essential part of the Peloton experience,” Karen Lawson, Peloton Australia’s Country Manager, said.
“We have a dedicated music team who focus on programming we know our Members will love or enjoy discovering, and they’re always looking at new opportunities to partner with locally relevant artists.”
My sweat sesh was soundtracked by Cardi B, Dua Lipa and various high tempo tracks I’m pretty sure I’ve heard on TikTok, so yeah, story checks out.
One of the crucial differences between the Bike and Bike+ (which I was riding) is the ‘lock’ feature, which automatically adjusts your resistance as per the trainers instructions. It means you don’t have to keep fiddling with the knob (lol) yourself, and pushes you to not go easy on yourself by always choosing the lowest – and therefore easiest – setting.
The other key difference is the much larger (32 inch) HD touchscreen, which has 360 degrees of rotation if you want to follow your cycle with a yoga, strength or stretching class, all of which are offered on the app. There’s also meditation, bootcamp, and even outdoor running sessions you can log into from your phone.
So why did I like Peloton better than a normal spin class, a.k.a. the devil’s sweat box? Cody’s energy and personality for one, absolutely. Everybody has their favourite trainer and right now, he’s mine. Then there’s the competitive element. There were 25,000 people taking my class, and I found that if I cycled just a tiny bit harder, I could see my ranking jump by several hundred at a time.
Of course, sometimes it’s just nice to be doing the thing that everybody else is doing, you know? All the hot, fit, funny people are doing this class and I WANT IN. Ergo, it’s a cult. (Want some names? Here’s a page dedicated to sussing the usernames of all the famous people, but everyone from Joe Jonas and Billie Eilish to Richard Branson and Usain Bolt is believed to be on there.)
This particular cult is landing in Australia soon – June 15th for the Peloton app, and July 14th for the Bike and Bike+. Sign up here if you want to be among the first to lock in.Image: Supplied