Peloton Bike+ upgrade first impressions: Great hardware, but a poor installation experience leaves me with a damaged bike

Back in January, I decided to upgrade to Peloton’s Bike+ and sell my Peloton Bike. Because of Peloton’s long delivery delay, the installation appointment was set for April 19. I had tried to get moved to an earlier appointment, but there was nothing available. I received the delivery window on Saturday, so I was very excited to have it delivered today.

I received a call around 3 p.m. for a 3:30 p.m. delivery, so that was perfect timing with my schedule. By the time I got home, my wife had already let them in and they were putting it together. Once I set my belongings down, the XPO representatives were walking out the door without giving me a chance to look it over.

Peloton Bike+: the bad

Once I went up to inspect the bike, I noticed some clear problems with the hardware. The screen, while extremely impressive, was wobbly. From my experience with Peloton, I knew that screws often need to be tightened, so I went looking through the manual to find the screw to tighten. I found it and then quickly noticed why it was wobbly: I didn’t have the bolt.

I called Peloton, and they jumped right on it and overnighted me a new bolt for the monitor mount for the handlebar. I was honestly fine with that as it’ll be an easy fix and won’t impact my bike long term.

During my first ride, I noticed that one of the screws on the handlebar was put in at an angle. When I went to unscrew it to fix it, I found that the screw was stripped, and the bike frame was also scratched from where it was forced in.

Obviously, this issue is a much bigger deal than a missing bolt. I got back on the phone with Peloton support, and they have escalated the case. Anything less than a new handlebar frame installed by Peloton will result in me returning the Bike for a full refund and reordering a new one. That statement might sound harsh, but I waited four months for an expensive piece of hardware and bought the extended warranty. I expect it to be perfect at the time of delivery.

Peloton Bike+: the good

The big question I want to answer here is should you upgrade to the Bike+ if you have a Bike, or is the Bike+ worth ordering over the Bike if you’re buying your first Peloton.

Larger screen + rotation

The screen on the Peloton Bike+ is much nicer, and the larger size makes the classes feel more immersive. I particularly enjoyed the ability to tilt the screen down to where it was flat. I will enjoy the ability to take my strength classes off Bike instead of using the Apple TV app.

Soundbar

Another upgrade over the Bike for the Bike+ is a soundbar on the bike’s front instead of two speakers on the backside. In practice, it’s a massive upgrade. During the class, the music sounded much clearer.

Auto follow & digital resistance

One of the headline features of the Bike+ is the auto-follow for on-demand classes. You can set your resistance to be on the low-, mid-, or high-end of the instructor’s range. When they call out adjustments, there is a slight vibration/sound to let you know it’s changing. In my first class, I found it extremely beneficial not to have to think about my resistance. The digital resistance vs. the analog one in the Bike is much nicer as well. For me, it’s the reason to buy a Bike+.

Misc thoughts

The rack for the weights is plastic, but it is a mid-cycle revision as the earliest models had the same as the Bike. This part is a downgrade.

The power brick is much nicer and includes Peloton branding. Peloton has also stepped up the quality of the storage of tools and documentation. The original Bike included a big ziplock bag, where it’s a pouch for Bike+

Wrap-up on Bike+ first impressions

The big question you’re wondering at this point is would I recommend the Bike+ over the Bike – and I would as long as Peloton is the center of your fitness universe. If you still go to a gym or do cardio outside, then stick to the original Bike. If you’re the type of person who uses their Peloton five or six days a week, the upgraded aspects of the Bike+ make the purchase worth it. If you’re still using an original Bike, you could easily get $1,600+ on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, so it might be worth upgrading to enjoy a more immersive experience.

My delivery issues highlight key problems that Peloton is facing as they continue to grow. It’s really unacceptable to wait four months and be left with a damaged bike.

Update 4/20/21

Peloton has shipped the missing bolt, but the scraped frame will not be repaired until May 13th. I was originally quoted a June 3rd date, but I pushed back pretty quickly.


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