Doing Peloton doesn’t have to be expensive!
In fact, learning how to use the Peloton App without the bike makes it super affordable.
At just $12.99 a month, you’ll have access to thousands of classes.
And while you may want to invest in a stationary bike to take full advantage of what Peloton is best known for, there are a TON of different workout types to choose from including:
- treadmill running
- outdoor running
Keep reading to learn how to DIY your Peloton bike experience using just the digital app.
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used throughout this post. You can read our full disclosure here.
Differences between Peloton Bike vs App
Can you use the Peloton App with a different bike?
That’s part of what makes it so good.
Peloton offers two membership subscriptions:
- All-Access Membership ($39)
- Digital Membership ($12.99)
Why is the Peloton app cheaper than the bike subscription?
There are a few features that the All-Access Membership offers that the Peloton app (Digital Membership) does not.
- access to performance metrics
- ability to complete on Leaderboard and interact with other riders
- connect more than one user profile
An All-Access Membership also lets you use the Peloton App exactly as you would with the Digital Membership!
More Peloton Tips:
- My 3 Month Peloton Fitness Journey: Before & After
- 10 Must-Have Peloton Bike Accessories You Need to Have
- The Easiest Way to Stabilize a Wobbly Peloton Bike on Carpet
Upgrades You Get with the Peloton All-Access Membership
1. Access to performance metrics
One of my other favorite features about the All-Access Membership is the performance metrics.
I also love having the ability to analyze my progress over time.
It’s amazing to have a look at how far you’ve come after 30 days or even one year!
What are Peloton Performance Metrics?
Unlike the Peloton bike screen, Cycling classes completed on the Digital Membership do not show your Resistance, Cadence, or Output (the Performance Metrics we’ll get into more later on).
The app does show how many calories you’ve burned and you can sync a Bluetooth Cadence Sensor or Heart Rate Monitor to it.
2. Ability to compete on the Leaderboard
Competing on the Leaderboard is neat, especially as you get more competitive.
It feels amazing being part of the top percentage of riders to complete a certain class (you’ll become more competitive with every ride) and it motivates you to work harder each time you get on the bike.
Sometimes you’ll start a workout around the same time as someone else who’s capable of hitting similar numbers to you.
This offers a really cool way to compete with another person while pushing yourself to do more!
With the Digital App, you can see a list of other users completing the same workout as you and offer high fives.
However, the only details you get about your workout are shown in the completion ring around profile pictures.
3. A Peloton Digital Membership is intended for ONE user only
We actually ended up purchasing the bike for these reasons!
Since both my husband and I wanted to get serious about working out, we liked the idea of having two separate accounts.
This meant we’d actually be paying $27.98 USD a month ($13.99 x 2).
And when you compare that to the $39 monthly membership bike fee, it’s a difference of $11 for the other features – $5.50 each or a trip to Starbucks we’ll just skip each month!
Recently, I also added my mom to our bike subscription.
Since Nadia was born, she’s been staying with us occasionally to help out with the kids so I can continue working from home.
But the cool thing is, my mom still has access to the Peloton Digital Membership at her home since we created an account for her on own bike!
If you want to invest in a quality piece of home gym equipment and have at least 2 or 3 people in your home who will use it, the all-access membership is worth it.
Who Doesn’t Need the Peloton All-Access Membership
You may want to consider starting with the Peloton Digital Membership if you:
- are on a budget
- live on your own
- already own another stationary bike
- prefer to work out at a gym
- want to give Peloton a try without making a huge investment
How to Use Peloton App without the Bike
To start using the Peloton Digital app, you’ll need just a few things:
- a smartphone or tablet
- television (optional)
- cadence sensor
- stationary bike
- workout mat
- weights (optional)
I had a simple ProForm bike when I started indoor cycling.
This one is similar to my old bike in terms of quality and pricing – plus it’s over $1,000 cheaper than the Peloton bike!
1. Using Peloton Digital on iOS or Android
There are two ways to use a mobile device for your workouts:
- watching on the device itself
- screen mirroring to a television
Personally, I found the second option more comfortable for my eyes!
Peloton Digital on Mobile Device
To get started with your digital membership, visit this link to get a FREE 30-day app trial.
After you enter your email, you’ll be prompted to add your credit card details so that after your trial ends, you’ll Digital Membership plan will automatically renew.
You’ll even get a reminder 7 days before your trial ends!
Note: the price above shows that the app costs $16.99 a month – this is in Canadian dollars.
The app costs $13.99 USD a month if you’re located in the United States!
Once you’ve created your Peloton account, search Peloton in the App Store or on Google Play.
Now, open your newly downloaded app on your phone.
Enter the details from the account you created earlier.
Stream Peloton Class on Mobile Device
To begin a Peloton class from your iPhone or Android device, click on the Peloton App to open it.
Then, choose a class from the Featured options or click on the Classes button in the bottom center of the menu.
When browsing Classes, select the Workout Type you want to do and click on the Filter button at the bottom center of the app to narrow down your options.
I filter by the following:
- Class Type
* You can use the Sort filter to browse New, Trending, Popular, Top Rates, Easiest, and Hardest classes. I usually look for the newest classes by my favorite instructors!
Start Peloton Class
Once you’ve determined which class you want to take, click on the thumbnail and tap the red Start button to get going.
It’s that easy!
2. Screen Mirroring a Peloton Class from iPhone onto a Television
To start Screen Mirroring from your iPhone, swipe down on your phone’s home screen.
Tap on the Screen Mirroring button.
If you’ve previously connected a device, available devices will appear here.
If not, pairing is ridiculously easy.
Tap on your screen of choice from the options shown.
Then, enter the four-digit code displayed on your Smart TV onto your mobile device.
Open the Peloton workout you want to do from your phone and get started.
You can even flip your phone into Landscape mode to utilize the entire screen.
3. Invest in a Cadence Sensor
When you do your first Peloton cycling workout, you’ll notice that the instructors constantly refer to three different numbers on your screen.
- Output (based on your combined resistance and cadence)
While most stationary bikes won’t tell you exactly what your resistance is at, I found that you eventually get an idea of what feels good and what feels challenging with practice.
Cadence is the most important one of these numbers and your Peloton instructors will frequently remind you of it.
Your Cadence tells you your speed, which is measured in RPMs (rotations per minute).
The Wahoo RPM Cycling Sensor is my choice for a DIY Peloton setup.
More ways to enjoy your Peloton:
- Everything You Need to Know about Peloton Hashtags
- What are Scenic Rides? Here’s How to Get the Most of Them
- How to Easily Sync an Apple Watch to Your Original Peloton Bike
4. Choosing a Stationary Bike for Your Digital Membership
Determining which stationary bike to use with your Peloton Digital Membership will depend on a few things:
- your budget
- importance of quality
- presence of a tablet-holder
What bikes work with Peloton app?
Yes, you can use the Peloton app with any bike!
To use the Peloton Digital app with a tablet and create a DIY Peloton station, you may want to consider purchasing a stationary bike with a built-in tablet holder though.
This just makes things cleaner!
Three great stationary bikes you should consider are:
- SND Magnetic Resistance Bike (great quality at a VERY affordable price)
- SCHWINN IC4 (a top choice for Peloton moms without the app)
- Keiser M3i (all in one bundle that includes floor mat, heart rate monitor, media tray, and more!)
When I started spinning again for the first time in a while, I was using a stationary bike almost identical to this one.
It doesn’t have a tablet holder like the bikes I mentioned above but I didn’t mind it since you can easily do screen mirroring from your phone for classes!
As long as the bike is comfortable for you and offers an adjustable resistance, you have everything you need to get the most out of your Peloton Digital subscription.
5. Choosing a Workout Mat for Your Peloton
Selecting the right workout mat for your DIY Peloton setup will depend on the size of your gym space and whether or not your stationary bike will be on carpet or on a hard floor.
Since we had our bike upstairs for the first two years, my genius husband picked up a piece of MDF board and cut it to the exact dimensions of a stationary bike mat:
36″ x 72″ (91.44 cm x 182.88 cm)
Our mat sat on top of it perfectly!
Although a hard floor is ideal, using a large piece of plywood or MDF board will stabilize your bike if you plan on setting your stationary bike up on a carpeted area.
This was also recommended to us by the delivery team.
If you’ll be using your bike on a hard floor, you have a ton of options!
From interlocking floor tiles to a large workout mat for all of your gym equipment.
You could even keep it simple with a regular bike mat!
A workout mat will help keep your bike stables even during the most intense workouts.
It’s also a great addition to your gym space if you plan on doing any yoga or strength classes.
6. Choosing Weights for Your DIY Peloton Setup
Even if you plan on taking only Peloton cycling classes, investing in a set of dumbbells is a good idea.
There are plenty of classes that incorporate dumbbells in Peloton’s catalog and personally, I find breaking up my workouts with a dumbbell break really enjoyable.
On their own website, Peloton offers weights ranging from 1 to 3 pounds and I genuinely regret choosing the 2-pound set – I should have chosen 3 pounds.
These days, I lift a 5-pound weight set during cycling classes with an arms portion.
Consider what you think is right for you but keep it between 1 to 5 pounds for the bike.
Arms sessions are meant for toning NOT strength training.
And if you do plan on trying Peloton’s Strength classes, invest in 8 to 20-pound sets to start.
These classes frequently utilize Medium and Heavy-weight sets.
Again, use your own discretion.
Note: if you can’t picture how heavy these weight sets will feel, head into your kitchen!
Picking up a standard 10 lb bag of potatoes, a 5 lb bag of flour, etc. will give you a great idea.
But do keep in mind, your dumbbell will be denser!
To use your Peloton app without the bike and make the most of your digital membership, be sure to invest in the following DIY essentials:
- Digital Membership
- Television for screen mirroring
- Cadence sensor
- Stationary bike you enjoy using
- Quality workout mat
Happy Cycling, Pelofriends!
More ideas from Inspired Plum: