High-tech fitness startup Peloton has filed for an IPO. Here's what it's like to use its $2,000 bike.

Peloton

  • Peloton on Tuesday publicly released paperwork for its planned IPO.
  • The buzzy New York startup has revolutionized home fitness with its high-tech indoor bike, which enables users to stream live classes from home. More recently, it launched its second product, a treadmill that costs nearly $4,000 plus a $250 delivery fee. 
  • We got to try out the bike that launched it into popularity. Here’s our step-by-step review.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Peloton has revolutionized home fitness. 

Since launching in 2012, the New York-based high-tech fitness company has gained a cult following of fans who are obsessed with its core product, the indoor cycling bike. In June, the company announced that it had filed for an IPO and on Tuesday, it publically released the paperwork. 

Peloton has grown a fan base in a relatively short period of time and has been referred to as “the Apple of fitness.” It’s a buzz that even the company’s CEO, John Foley, says he wasn’t expecting.

“I was totally surprised by it,” Foley told Business Insider’s Avery Hartmans in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018.

“When I started Peloton with my cofounders, I saw clear as day what it was going to look like and how it was going to work — the technology, the hardware, the software, the business model,” he said. “I saw everything except the community. The community has blown me away.”

In February 2018, it unveiled its newest product, a treadmill that costs over $4,000. 

But, we also wanted to try the $1,995 product (plus a $250 delivery fee) that made Peloton popular in the first place. Here’s our step-by-step review of the Peloton bike:

SEE ALSO: We tried the new $4,000 treadmill from the billion-dollar startup that could be ‘the Apple of fitness’ — here’s the verdict

We headed to the Westin Hotel near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan to trial a Peloton bike, which is available for guests to use.

You can also use the bike at Peloton’s studio in Chelsea, New York, where its live classes are conducted. Classes cost $32 each.

The machine is similar to a bike you might use in your local gym. However, there’s one glaring difference: its screen, which enables you to stream live and on-demand classes from the saddle.

It costs $39 a month to stream these classes. This charge is made per bike rather than per user, so you can split the cost with roommates or family members.

The touchscreen is definitely the most impressive part of its appearance. It’s HD and 22 inches in size.

We were first asked to create an account. Each account is linked to individual riders’ workout history and performance.

This bike was styled specifically for hotel guests who most likely don’t have special cycling shoes to hand. The standard Peloton bike, however, comes with clip-in pedals, unless you specify for it not to have them.

You can have the clip-in pedals swapped out for “toe cages” that allow you to work out in sneakers. This costs an extra $60.

Peloton doesn’t throw its clip-in cycling shoes into the $1,995 price tag. They cost $125 on Peloton’s online store, but you can use your own if you already have them. 

The screen was user-friendly and easy to follow on the bike.

There are a ton of classes to choose from, ranging from 45-minute, high-intensity classes with weights to 10-minute, low-impact rides. For our trial, we opted for a 30-minute intervals-and-arms class with instructor Robin Arzon.

It’s an easy process from the get-go. The class began with a three-minute warm-up.

The screen shows how fast you’re going, how much resistance you’ve got on the bike, and where you rank in the class in terms of output.

This was the best part of the experience – the instructor gives you exact instructions on what resistance level you should be on and what output you should be aiming for. This leaves you no chance to cheat.

When you stream the classes live, your username is added to a leaderboard on the right-hand side of the screen. This means that the instructor can shout out your name to motivate you.

The workout ramped up, the music was pumping, and it felt just like being in a boutique workout class.

It definitely felt less sturdy than a machine you might use in a boutique class. We noticed that it started to wobble when we picked up the pace.

The resistance wheel was easy to adjust.

As we were in a public space, we had to listen to the class via headphones. In the high-intensity bursts, the headphones occasionally fell out.

It would definitely be preferable to wear cordless headphones or play the sound from the speakers.

10 minutes in, the class switched to arm work.

The weights were handily located at the back of the bike.

These are not included in the price of the bike. A set of weights — in one, two, or three pounds — costs $25 each. 

We finished off with a one-minute cooldown.

The verdict: This is as close as you can get to being in a boutique workout class without having to leave home. And for those who want to work out in a pack, the ability to stream live classes is a big bonus. 

Overall, we were very impressed with the bike — the standard of the workout class was great, and we stayed motivated throughout.

However, it’s not cheap. $1,995 is a big commitment, even if paid in installments, and the cost of extras does mount up.