Peloton is an exercise bike that comes with built-in spin classes. In order to use Peloton, you’ll need to lock into a subscription plan at $40 per month. Find out everything you need to know about Peloton’s subscription services today in our guide.
What is Peloton?
Peloton is a type of exercise bike that comes with a large on-board display. That display features classes you can join on-demand. It’s advertised as like having a spin class in your own home.
The bikes feature touchscreens, music, heart rate sensors, distance tracking, and many other smart features.
Today, Peloton is a full-blown movement. It comes with accessories – like hand weights and special shoes – along with a selection of frequently-updated classes.
At the time of writing, Peloton has over 4,000 on-demand rides available through its Peloton app (which you can use for $12.99 per month, or $6 per week). The rides range from 5 minutes to 75 minutes in length. Some people actually buy the Peloton app then use their existing exercise bike – which means you get the Peloton experience without the $40 per month subscription fee or the big upfront investment.
The real reason you’re paying $40 per month for Peloton, however, is because you can join live classes on any day of the week. On any given day, you’ll find about 11 live classes beginning between 6am and 830pm.
In those live classes, the HD screen will deliver a feed that replicates the feeling of being in a spin class. There’s an instructor at the front of the room you can see, and there are different themes for each class (like “One Hit Wonders” or “Adele”).
Do You Need the Peloton Subscription?
The Peloton bike isn’t cheap: you pay $1995 for the bike, plus $250 for the delivery, plus a subscription fee of $39 per month.
Many people are curious about the subscription: what happens if you want to cancel the subscription? Can you still use the Peloton bike normally? Does the bike lose all its features if you don’t want to pay $39 per month? Are you left with a $2,000 paperweight if Peloton goes out of business in the future?
The truth is hard to find. Peloton doesn’t like to advertise any features beyond its $40 per month subscription fee. For example, you can find tutorials online on how to get your Peloton cycle to play Netflix and other media, but Peloton makes no official mention of this anywhere.
With that in mind, you do not need the $39 per month Peloton subscription to use your exercise bike. The bike still has basic cycling functionality without the subscription. However, if you plan on using Peloton without the subscription, then you’re better off buying a cheaper indoor exercise bike (especially since Peloton charges you early cancellation fees and other surcharges for cancelling your subscription).
The Fine Print of your Peloton Subscription
Peloton doesn’t have a complicated subscription policy, but it’s definitely weighted in favor of the company. You can view the complete Peloton purchase and subscription terms at their website here. Here are some of the important things we learned by reading through the fine print of that agreement:
- One Peloton subscription covers you and other members of your household
- Peloton subscriptions are billed on a monthly basis, giving you unlimited access for one month thereafter
- When you first sign up for a Peloton subscription, you need to commit to a period of one, two, or three years. When you agree to one of those periods, you’re committed to Peloton to that period. The price displayed for your period is the price you’ll pay throughout the duration of your period.
- Some members prepaid for their Peloton subscription. At the conclusion of your prepay period, your subscription will be assessed on a month-to-month basis.
- Peloton likes to give away your first two months for free. They often use this to entice new members through a discount code or special promotion. However, all free months offered are in addition to the commitment period. So if you signed up for Peloton, received your two free months, then committed to two years, then you’re committed for a total of 26 months from the beginning of your subscription.
Peloton Cancellation and Refund Policy
Peloton has a harsh cancellation policy that can leave you with hundreds of dollars of charges on your credit card. We’ve read through the fine print of your Peloton agreement to tell you everything you need to know about cancellations and refunds:
- You can only cancel your Peloton subscription after your commitment period is over.
- If you cancel before the end of your commitment period, you’ll be charged the remaining balance from your commitment period. In other words, there’s no difference between you cancelling your subscription today and continuing to pay your monthly subscription until the end of your commitment period. You’re paying the same amount either way.
- Even after you cancel your Peloton subscription, Peloton admits that your username and email address will remain in their database. Peloton does not explain that there’s any way to remove this information.
- The only way you’re getting any money refunded from Peloton is if you return the bike within 30 days of receiving the bike at your house.
- Peloton will not refund your bike if there are any signs of wear and tear. Here’s their official word on the subject: “Peloton’s guarantee doesn’t cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents subject to the terms of our limited warranty.”
- Additionally, you will never receive a refund on any shipping charges. When you return your bike to Peloton, the company will charge you “an additional return shipping fee of $250 or more” (bringing the total shipping charges up to $500+).
- If you want to require about returning your Peloton and receiving a refund, you’ll need to contact the company’s customer support team at 866-679-9129 or by email at [email protected].
Peloton has an unusually harsh refund policy that appears to be designed to convince users to keep their bikes and maintain their subscription. If you decide Peloton isn’t you, then you have one option: you can return your bike in pristine condition within 30 days and pay a “$250 or more” return shipping fee. If you try to cancel your Peloton subscription after 30 days, then you’ll need to pay out the duration of your Peloton subscription. There doesn’t appear to be any way to receive a refund on your $2000 bike purchase after 30 days.
Peloton Accessories Return Policy
Peloton’s strict return policy also applies to its accessories. Here are some of the things to note about returning other Peloton merchandise:
- Peloton offers no refunds, exchanges, or returns on most of its merchandise after it has been used or worn, including headwear (hats, hair ties, headbands, bandanas), socks, underwear, water bottles, in-ear headphones, and heart rate monitors
- Refunds are not available on any accessories that were sold during sales or at a mark-down price
- All accessory returns, including shoes, heart rate monitors, over the ear headphones, sports mats, and weights must be made within 14 days from the date of purchase and include proof of purchase
- All other returns must be made within 30 days of purchase
- All merchandise must be unwashed, unworn, and unused to qualify for a return, and it must be returned in its original packaging
- If you ordered shoes in the wrong size, then Peloton can exchange them for you
Ultimately, Peloton’s accessories policy won’t apply to most customers: if you’ve worn or used any of your accessories at least once, then they’re not eligible for return. Even if you didn’t wear or use your accessories, you need to return them within 14 days of purchase – which could be difficult for purchases made online (you might only have a few days to request a refund).
How to Use a Peloton Bike Without a Subscription
If you listen to Peloton, then the only way to use your Peloton bike is with their mandatory $40 per month subscription package. Customers have repeatedly asked Peloton if they can use things like Netflix on the Peloton’s beautiful touchscreen, but the company continues to insist it’s impossible.
If you want to use Peloton for more than just spin classes, then you’ll need to hack it and install another Android ROM. Peloton specifically locks down their Android tablet (their touchscreen is just a fancy Android tablet) to prevent you from doing this.
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy tutorials you can follow online to install Google Play, the Amazon app store, and other platforms onto your Peloton cycle. You’ll need a bit of technical expertise, and you’ll need to root the tablet for this to work. However, once you’ve done that, you have a touchscreen Android tablet that’s vastly more functional than it is with the native Peloton software.
Want to hack your Peloton cycle? You can read a tutorial on installing the Google Play Store on your Android tablet here. Reddit’s /r/pelotoncycle community in general is a great place to learn how to maximize the value of your Peloton cycle with or without a subscription.