How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: My Simplified Home Workout Routine – Real Food Whole Life

How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: My Simplified Home Workout Routine

How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: My Simplified Home Workout Routine

Disclosure: This post is not affiliated or sponsored by Peloton–I wrote it because I spent hours researching options and wanted to save you the time. The Peloton App links are not affiliate. The Amazon links are affiliate, which means if you decide to purchase via any of the links in this post I’ll receive a small kickback at no cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you quality content.

My workout philosophy is simple: keep it time-efficient, effective, streamlined, and most importantly, keep it fun!

Also? Preferably done at home.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweaty studio session, but most days my schedule simply doesn’t allow time for an hour-long class, nor the time commuting to and from a gym.

I do love a good indoor cycle class, however, so when I first heard about the Peloton Bike I was intrigued.

Here was a piece of home workout equipment that mimics a studio experience, without the commute or time commitment.

When I checked out the price of the Peloton Bike, however, I took a pause.

Currently priced (at the time of this writing) at $2,245, the bike and recurring membership fee represent a considerable investment.

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t think the bike is worth the investment–rather it’s that I couldn’t be completely sure I would be able to develop a consistent home workout habit that would justify the cost of the bike over time.

Enter the Peloton App Digital Membership.

After researching the digital membership, I realized that it is very possible to use the Peloton App with any bike.

The next challenge, then, was to find an at-home exercise bike comparable to Peloton, but for a lower cost.

After countless hours of online research, I’m excited to share that I found both a Peloton bike alternative, and a handful of relatively inexpensive accessories, that together mimic the Peloton experience all at a fraction of the cost.

What’s more, after using the system as part of my daily 20-minute home workout routine for about 9 months, I can confidently, enthusiastically recommend it.

Of course, at some point I may decide to upgrade to the real deal Peloton Bike, but for now, I’m happy with my at-home Peloton hack, and thrilled to share all the details with you.

Read on for how to use the Peloton App without a Peloton Bike.

How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: Recommended Spin Bike & Gear

1. The Best Spin Bike to Use with the Peloton App

 Sunny Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike (what I use)


Sunny Silent Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

2. The Peloton App

Peloton App

3. Cadence Sensor (optional)

Wahoo RPM Speed and Cadence Sensor

4. Fitness Mat (optional)

Fitness Mat

5. Clip-In Petals

SPD Compatible Clip-In Petals  (optional) 

How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike Step-By-Step

1. Decide on the Best Spin Bike to Use with the Peloton App

Sunny Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

Cost: $599 (via Amazon at time of writing)

I chose the Sunny Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling bike because of the higher weighted wheel, and magnetic resistance, which requires virtually no maintenance and allows for micro-adjustable resistance.

The bike comes in one heavy box, and requires some assembly.

You can pay to have the bike pre-assembled.

We (my husband and I) were able to assemble it ourselves in under an hour.

Sunny Silent Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

Cost: $299 (via Amazon at time of writing)

A lower cost alternative to the magnetic belt drive, the Sunny Silent Belt Drive doesn’t use magnetic resistance and has a slightly less weighted wheel so it doesn’t approximate the experience of the real Peloton quite as well.

However, at under $300, it’s a relatively affordable alternative that still works well with the Peloton App.

2. Set up a Peloton Account

Cost: $12.99 per month (via Peloton website at time of writing)

Set Up aThe Peloton App Digital Membership

You can trial the Peloton App for free for 30 days before signing up for the membership.

Tip: I personally recommend creating an account on a desktop, then downloading the app and logging in from there.

I’ve found managing an account directly through a company’s website rather than through the App Store seems to work better, however you can also go straight through the App Store.

If you decide to sign up for an App Digital Membership it’s $12.99 per month, as of this writing.

That’s less than the $39 monthly Peloton Membership because there are fewer features included.

With the Digital Membership, you get access to Peloton classes (no Peloton equipment necessary).

One profile per Membership includes:

  • 20+ live classes daily and thousands on-demand

  • Curated training programs

  • One account

  • Limited workout metrics

  • Basic Leaderboard

3. Download the Peloton App to a phone or tablet.

I recommend viewing the app on a tablet if possible, just for size purposes, but a phone also works.

Once you’re ready to ride, pick a workout live or on-demand, place your phone or tablet on the bike handlebars, and start riding.

That’s it!

3. Secure the Cadence Sensor to the Petal of Your Spin Bike

Wahoo RPM Speed and Cadence Sensor

Cost: $39.99 (via Amazon at time of writing)

While a cadence sensor isn’t required, it will help you follow along with the Peloton instructor cues, and provide you with feedback related to speed and cadence.

You’ll need to install the sensor to the petal of the bike, and then you can wirelessly connect to it via the Peloton App each time you ride.

4. Get Set Up with a Fitness Mat

Fitness Mat

Cost: $29.99 (via Amazon at time of writing)

Also not required, if you want to protect the floor under the bike, a sturdy fitness mat will do the trick. 

5. Switch out the Standard Petals for Clipe-In Petals

SPD Compatible Clip-In Petals 

Cost: $52 (via Amazon at time of writing)

Again, not required, but if you already have clip-in cycling shoes, you might want to switch out the Sunny petals for a clip-in compatible option.

Tip: make sure to select an option with a Thread size of 9/16″.

How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: Summary

In short, I’ve found this home set-up to be incredibly effective and much more affordable than purchasing a Peloton Bike + Membership.

And as gyms have been closed over the past few months (as of updated writing) my home Peloton hack has saved my sanity–I really can’t recommend it enough!

Full disclosure: This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Peloton, I simply wrote it because I wanted to save you the time researching all the options and simplify your home workout.

The Peloton App links are not an affiliate–though Peloton, if you’re listening, I’m ready when you are. 🙂

All Amazon links are affiliate, which means if you decide to purchase via any of the links I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you–we appreciate the support!

I’ll also do my best to keep this post updated with current prices and additional info.

If you have questions leave them in the comments and I’ll update the post over time.

Here’s to quick, efficient home workouts. Cheers!


12 comments to " How to Use the Peloton App Without a Peloton Bike: My Simplified Home Workout Routine "

  • Kristina Proffitt

    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing what you are doing! Loved it and appreciate it so much!!

  • Karen McHenry

    Great information, as always! Thanks Robyn!

  • How long have you owned your bike? Have you had any issues with it? I am thinking about placing an order for one this week!!

    • Robyn Downs

      Kaitlin, I’ve had it for about 6 months now and love it! Hoping on for a 20 minute ride has been so helpful in my daily routine, especially right now!

      • Thanks Robyn for the quick response! So glad you still love it. I just put my order in and it’s temporarily out of stock but hoping they re-stock soon! Thanks so much for this honest review, it really helped me make a decision and I am excited to start getting in daily rides.

  • Maria D

    thank you so much for sharing! just to clarify, if we do it the way your suggesting, does this allow you to be on the leader board for live classes?

    • Robyn Downs

      Maria, great question! No, as of this writing the only way to show up on the leaderboard and compete with others in the live class is with the actual Peloton bike and membership. Hope this helps!

  • I am not understanding how any of these apps work (the one you suggest or any of them) if you aren’t going through wifi. I don’t care about heart rate, distance etc. I just want to be able to get the sensation of riding through the trails, mountains, etc. So my question is: If my bike is in no way hooked up to the app, via wires, bluetooth of any other apparatus, can I still use these apps? Thank you.

    • Robyn Downs

      Tammy, is your question about resistance on the bike? In the case of the real Peloton bike or using another type of spin bike with an app, you control the bike resistance yourself–so you manually turn the resistance knob to make it feel like you’re on a hill. The Peloton instructor will give a prompt like “turn up resistance up to 40” and you turn it up yourself.

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