When my cheap Amazon spin bike broke, I felt like I should upgrade to something better. But even though I was already following along with Peloton videos (on their app), I thought that getting an actual Peloton was out of reach. But good spin bikes start in the high triple digits, and it turns out Pelotons could be rented or even bought used. Thus began my quest for a cheap Peloton, and in the end, I bought a used model I’m very happy with.
Mine cost $950 through a Facebook Marketplace sale last year, and if I had taken the time to shop around and negotiate more, I likely could have found one for less. (Used Pelotons also seem to be cheaper now than they were then.) But before I could find a Bike to exchange money for, there were a lot of questions I needed to answer. I’ll take you on a tour through my shopping process.
What is the difference between the Peloton Bike and the Bike+?
Before you start shopping, you’ll need to know if you want to look at a Peloton Bike or a Peloton Bike+. The Bike is what you probably think of as a normal Peloton; the Bike+ costs about $1,000 more (new) and has a few extra features. (I knew at the start that I wanted a regular Bike.)
Here are the product pages on Peloton’s site, if you’d like to check out the full specs:
The biggest differences between the two models are:
Do you have to pay a subscription fee to use a Peloton?
Peloton’s Bikes are intended to be used with an All-Access subscription, which costs $44/month and gives you access to classes of all types, scenic rides, and Lanebreak rides (Lanebreak is a video game you play by riding the bike). The All-Access subscription also comes with the ability to take classes from the Peloton app on your phone or other devices.
If you don’t have a subscription, you can still use the Bike in “Just Ride” mode, which shows you a plain black screen with the basic metrics: your cadence, resistance, output, and time. So if you just want to get a workout in, but you don’t care about consuming Peloton-branded content, you can still do that.
What’s the better deal: used, new, refurbished, or a rental?
All of the prices we discuss in this section are current as of fall 2023, and are subject to change. The prices below reflect the regular Bike; there is also a Bike+ model, which is more expensive.Used Peloton Bikes vary wildly in price and quality. Some are gently used and come with accessories; others may be cheaper but have significant wear and tear. I’m seeing asking prices from $500 to $1,000 for the standard model Bike, and $1,150 to $1,700 for the Bike+ (subscription not included, of course).New Peloton Bikes run $1,445 for just the Bike, or $1,650 for a “Starter” package that comes with shoes, hand weights, a water bottle, and a mat. (The Bike+ is $2,495, or $2,700 with the Starter package.) Both options include delivery and setup, and a 12-month warranty. They do not include the $44/month All-Access subscription that you’ll need to take the platform’s famous video classes. Peloton Bike rentals run $89/month, plus a one-time $150 delivery and setup fee. The rental includes a pair of cycling shoes and the subscription fee for video content. There is also a warranty for the life of the subscription period.Peloton certified refurbished Bikes have gone for $1,145 in the past, although at the moment, only Bike+ models are available. They are $1,995, a full $500 off the price of a brand-new Bike+. Otherwise, the terms are the same as new bikes: The warranty and delivery fee are included; your All-Access subscription is not.
As you’d expect, used Bikes are cheaper than refurbished, and refurbished is cheaper than new. Where do rentals fall? We need to crunch some more numbers to see.
Is a rental Peloton a better deal than buying new or used?
I considered a rental before I started shopping for used Bikes. If you don’t know whether you want a Peloton at all, or if you’re planning on a move soon, the rental might be worth it; Peloton will send someone to come pick up the Bike, for free, if you decide you don’t want it anymore. Rentals may be new or refurbished—Peloton sends you whatever they have, although they promise it’s in good condition even if it has a few dings or scratches. There are Bike and Bike+ options. We’ll discuss pricing below for the regular Bike.
You have the option to buy your rental at any time, and the price varies based on how long you’ve been renting. If you decide to buy the Bike the moment it arrives, it will cost you $1,295. At that point you’ll have already paid the $150 delivery fee and probably your first month’s $89 rental fee, meaning the Bike effectively costs $1,534—similar to the full price of a brand-new Bike. (Remember that your rental Bike might be a new Bike, but it might also be a refurbished model, which sells for less.)
As time goes on, the deal stays about the same. After a year, the buyout price is just $895, but you’ll have already paid $1,218 in rental fees (including the delivery fee). That’s a $2,113 Bike, although you’ve saved $44/month on the All-Access subscription all along. When you take that into account, you’ve paid the same amount, in total, as if the Bike had cost $1,585 in the first place.
So, buying a brand-new Bike at full price will run you just slightly more than renting and buying out your rental. The calculus shifts in favor of buying new if you’re able to catch a sale on the Bike, or if you overpay for your rental because you didn’t watch the buyout calendar. For example, the buyout price is $895 anytime between 12 and 24 months into the rental, so it’s a much better deal to buy at 12 months than at 23.
If you aren’t sure whether you’ll want the Bike long term: Rent, and take advantage of the free pickup when you’re done with it. If you like it, you might as well buy it out at one of the price drops, which occur at three, six, 12, and 24 months.
If you know you’ll keep the Bike for years: Go with new, refurbished, or used, depending on your preferences.
Are used Peloton Bikes a good deal?
I ended up buying mine used, so I would say: definitely. But it depends on a few things.
First, resale prices are high, which is both a pro and a con. Sellers know what they have is in demand, so they’re not going to list a Bike online for $100 when they know similar Bikes are selling for close to $1,000.
But on the flip side, if you buy a used Bike for $1,000 and decide you don’t like it, you can turn around and sell it for a similar price. That was a big part of my calculus: A used Bike doesn’t depreciate instantly like a new car.
Besides the price, though, you might want to consider two other factors that will affect how good a deal you’re getting if you buy used.
Used Bikes don’t come with a warranty
New and refurbished Bikes come with a 12-month warranty that covers the touchscreen, parts including pedals, and the labor to replace them. If something breaks, you just contact customer support and they’ll send somebody out to fix your Bike.
The warranty does not transfer to new owners. So even if the original owner has had the Bike for less than a year, you don’t get the benefits of the remaining time on the warranty.
However, if the original owner purchased an extended protection plan—which can last up to four years in total—those are transferable. Only the original owner can buy this plan, and only within the first year they own the Bike; you can’t buy one yourself if you’re buying a used Bike. If you’re buying used and the owner is transferring a protection plan, make sure to get their order confirmation number, and don’t be surprised if the asking price is a bit higher than other used Bikes to account for the owner’s extra expense.
Without a warranty or protection plan, you’re on the hook for any repair costs, including labor. I had to replace the bearings on my Bike shortly after I got it; I believe I paid Peloton around $45 to send me the part I needed. Fortunately, it was easy to install. On the other extreme, if something went wrong with the touchscreen, it would cost $375 to replace, labor not included.
Used Bikes have wear and tear
A bike is a collection of moving parts, and if you love your Peloton, you’ll put a lot of miles on it. That means a lot of wear.
Peloton Bikes tend to be pretty sturdy, and indoor bikes don’t accumulate as much damage as something you’d ride outside. But it’s still worth considering when you might have to replace parts. If you’re buying a used bike, you’ll want to check these parts for wear:The pedals should be replaced every year, Peloton has said, although most Peloton owners don’t seem to bother. (They certainly seem to last a lot longer than that, but the company is probably remembering their 2020 recall in response to pedals that broke, injuring some riders.)Speaking of recalls, the seat post on all Peloton bikes was recalled this year because it could break. If you’re buying used, make sure the owner has gotten and installed the new post. The bearings in the center of the flywheel won’t last forever. You can expect them to last roughly a year of regular use, although this varies greatly. If a used Bike is a few years old and hasn’t had them replaced, that’s a repair that is probably due. When the bearings start to go, the Bike will still be functional, but it will make a rattling noise as you ride.Cosmetic damage may also be an issue. There could be dents or scratches on a used bike, worn areas on the handlebars, and so on. Refurbished Bikes may have minor cosmetic issues; all bets are off when it comes to a used Bike.
If I’m buying used, how old a Bike is still good?
Peloton only has two models of bike, which makes shopping easy. The original Bike and the Bike+. Both have a large touchscreen that plays videos of the workouts and shows you statistics about your ride.
The models haven’t changed much over the years, with one exception. The Generation 1 Bikes are no longer supported; the software in their touchscreens will no longer be updated. These Bikes have an orange power button at the top of the touchscreen, and were manufactured before September 2016. If you own a Bike with this touchscreen, and are a paying Peloton member (even if you weren’t the original owner), Peloton will give you a $350 credit toward a new, modern touchscreen.
As long as the used Bike doesn’t have that older touchscreen, any model you buy used is going to be basically equivalent to what’s for sale now.
Where can I find used Peloton Bikes?
There are plenty for sale on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, and there are also Peloton-related Facebook groups that allow members to post Bikes for sale. Check anywhere you would look for used items, like OfferUp and the local search options on Ebay.
As with any sale on these platforms, watch out for scams. Don’t pay anything until you’ve seen the Bike in person and are sure you want to buy it.
What should I ask the seller of a used Bike?
When you’re looking at a specific used Bike, here are some things to ask to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Are you the original owner?
Peloton recommends you ask the owner to show you proof of the original purchase. They warn that rental Bikes aren’t supposed to be sold, and if you buy one, you won’t be able to activate a subscription on it. There’s nothing wrong with buying a Bike that has been through multiple owners, except that it’s harder to document where it actually came from.
This question can also kick off a conversation about why they are selling the bike, and how well it has worked for them over the years. Which brings us to...
How many rides has this Bike had?
There’s going to be a difference in wear-and-tear between a Bike that was ridden a few times, versus a Bike that gets hours of use every day. You don’t need to know the exact number, but it can be good to get a sense of how much use the bike has seen.
The bike doesn’t come with an odometer, but you can ask when it was purchased and how many rides the owner has done on it. (Their Peloton profile will tell them how many rides they’ve done, but remember that they may also have family members who ride as well.)
Have any recalled parts been replaced?
Peloton Bikes’ seat posts were recently recalled. Although the rollout was slow, most people should have gotten their new ones by now. You can check whether the seat post is the newest type by looking at the bottom-most measuring line on the post.
While you’re at it, check whether the pedals have an orange Peloton logo. If so, they were part of the 2020 pedal recall and should have been replaced.
This is also a good time to ask about repairs, in general. Has anything broken, and if so, was it fixed and when? Does the Bike have any ongoing problems?
Can I ride it?
Hop on the bike (don’t worry about the shoes for now) and turn the pedals. Do they move smoothly, without clanking noises that might indicate bad bearings? Does the big red knob turn smoothly? Does the screen have any chips or cracks?
Peloton also recommends checking that the adjustment levers and screws move smoothly, and that there aren’t any signs of overtightening like cracks. Check that the power cable is in good shape, and that the bike is clean and appears well-cared for.
How to move a Peloton
If you decide to take the Bike home with you, proceed carefully. These suckers are heavy, weighing about 140 pounds. Most of that weight is in the flywheel at the front, so be aware of that when carrying it with a partner.
Peloton has a guide to moving Bikes here. Importantly, you’ll want to remove the touchscreen first. I wrapped mine in towels and put it in the front seat of my car; the rest of the Bike went in the back. They also recommend taking off the water bottle holders and the cage on the back that holds the dumbbells. Lower the handlebars and seat to their lowest position, and tighten all the adjustment levers so nothing moves in transit. I didn’t remove the pedals, but they say you should.
How to transfer a Peloton to a new owner
Peloton recommends doing a factory reset on a Bike before it changes hands. Go to Settings > System > Factory Reset. When you set your Bike up at home, follow the prompts on the screen to register the Bike and set up your new subscription.
If you already have a subscription to the Peloton app, make sure to cancel it; that doesn’t always happen automatically.
What else will I need to buy to enjoy my new Bike?
You’ll want cycling shoes. They don’t have to be Peloton brand (the standard Peloton shoes kind of suck, if we’re being honest), but they do need Delta LOOK cleats to fit the pedals. That said, you can replace the pedals with another type if you prefer. If you plan to ride a lot, padded cycling shorts are also a good idea.
Peloton’s cycling classes sometimes involve small handheld dumbbells; these should come with your bike. If you want to do the strength classes, though, you’ll want bigger dumbbells. Peloton makes its own branded dumbbells with square ends, but the workouts work just as well with any dumbbells you care to buy from the store.
You may want a mat to put under your Bike to protect your floor from dripping sweat. You’ll likely also want a towel, a water bottle, and maybe a heart rate chest strap to sync with the Bike (even my cheapo strap syncs just fine).