With the retail extravaganzas that are Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas fast approaching, November is the perfect time to grab a great deal on the latest fitness and training equipment before the New Year, New You price hikes kick in.
As the science-driven, personalised indoor cycling app, CicloZone is already the place to be for a fun, immersive, results-focussed indoor cycling experience but, if you're thinking of investing in new wheels, take a look at our founder Darren Lee's reviews of the Top 5 Indoor Bikes before spending your money, starting with...
The phenomenon that is peloton has taken the world by storm, bringing spin style classes from the commercial gym into the home over the last six years. 'Superstar' fitness class instructors take to the bike to deliver motivational music-based, rhythm ’n’ ride classes with a hint of metric data and competition thrown in for good measure.
The bike, of course, comes with its large touch screen, from which you can access the huge library of peloton cycle classes on demand and various live classes. The bike itself is very simply a standard-frame indoor-cycle bike, the likes of which we have seen since the 1990’s; from the times of the Tomahawk ICE, with obvious modern aesthetics to bring it up to date. Adjustments to seat vertical and horizontal positions are easy and handlebars can be adjusted up and down in the same way.
The bike calculates power from an algorithm based on the amount of resistance and the speed at which you turn your pedals. This data is then used on screen in live classes to allow you to compete against other riders within that class. Power can be increased by adding resistance with the traditional resistance knob, found below the handlebars on the crossbar. The ride is smooth and comfortable although, when riding the bike, it is obvious it is not of the same commercial standard as some of the other bikes on the market.
Firstly, of course there is the price. At nearly $2,000, this bike is an expensive piece of kit, with additional monthly subscription fees to the the peloton library of $20 and upwards.
Secondly, at this price the bike does not come with a strain gauge or direct power meter from which it takes its power data, relying entirely on the algorithm for this. This does mean that calibration can be an issue when comparing to more accurate power data gauges and certainly, for the more accomplished cyclist, these variations are quite stark.
For me though, the main problem is the classes themselves as most are based around rhythm and beat of the music and there is no attempt to apply any cycle-training methodology to the classes. This leaves the intensity up to the individual rider and, therefore, you cannot ensure you are riding hard enough, or not too hard, in any of your classes. As a training piece of equipment, it therefore lacks considerably against some of the other platforms that are available.
Peloton has an enormous following worldwide and the classes they teach do appeal to lots of people but, as this is a bike review, we have to take the bike as it stands - without the screen and class libraries.
The bike itself is expensive and not of the highest quality, and the quality of classes too - in terms of cycle training - are extremely poor when compared to other instructed class platforms available.