Peloton Bike Vs. Bike Plus: Which Is Better?

You've seen the commercials, you've heard all your friends talking about it, and you're ready to take the plunge into the Peloton world by purchasing a spin bike. Perhaps you rushed to the gym before or after work before the coronavirus pandemic began but stopped going when the world shut down and now realize you'd much rather work out at home. But you need the right piece of equipment for your cardio workouts — and following some fitness videos on YouTube isn't quite cutting it.

A Peloton spin bike seems to offer the perfect solution, but then you realize that there are two different bikes to choose from, and you don't know if the Peloton Bike or the Peloton Bike Plus is the right one for you. You also notice the price difference between the two and wonder if the less expensive Peloton Bike will suit your needs or if the Bike Plus will enhance your experience and add to the convenience of at-home workouts. Here we break down the two Peloton bike types.

What you get with the Peloton Bike and the Bike Plus

As of this writing, Peloton is offering a discount on the Peloton Bike, selling it at $1,495 rather than the regular $1,895, and even the $1,895 was considered a bargain when Peloton introduced the Bike Plus in September 2020. The original bike retailed for $2,295 before the Bike Plus debuted at $2,495, according to CNBC. Why such a price difference?

The Bike Plus comes with more features than the original bike, including a slightly larger touchscreen that swivels so you can go right from your cardio ride workout to a floor workout with weights or just using body weight, according to CNET. That means you don't have to grab the weights standing next to your bike while twisting your neck to see the screen and instructor. You can rotate the screen to wherever you are for a more convenient workout. This is especially handy if you enjoy Peloton Boot Camp classes, where you do half the class on the bike and the other half on the floor.

If you already have the Peloton Bike and are tired of leaning slightly downward to turn the knob when one of your favorite instructors calls out a new resistance range, the Bike Plus will take care of that for you, automatically adjusting your resistance to what the Peloton instructor recommends (via CNET).

The technical differences between a Peloton Bike and Bike Plus

You'll find that some things come standard with both the Peloton Bike and the Bike Plus. Both models allow Bluetooth integration so you can listen to your favorite tunes during a class rather than what the instructors choose. You also must remember that these bikes house computers, with the Peloton Bike coming with 2GB of RAM and the Bike Plus coming with 4GB.

The sound system is also more powerful with the Bike Plus. While the original bike features a two-channel rear-facing sound system, the Bike Plus comes with 2.2-channel front-facing speakers and 2.2-channel rear-facing woofers. The screen display on the Bike Plus is also about two inches larger, with the original model coming with a 21.5-inch screen and the Bike Plus coming with a 23.8-inch screen (via CNET). Finally, the Peloton Bike has a standard USB charging port, while the Bike Plus features a USB-C charging port.

Choosing between the Peloton Bike and the Bike Plus

In the end, whether you purchase the Peloton Bike or the upgraded Bike Plus depends on both your needs and wants. Maybe you prefer to choose your own resistance level, especially if you are new to cycling and spin bikes. While you can turn the resistance back down after it auto-adjusts on the Bike Plus, that can be a little inconvenient when in the middle of a workout.

A slightly louder sound system and larger screen might not be worth the extra money to you, and you also might not care about rotating your screen for strength workouts and use a different device for the off-bike Peloton instructor experience. Thankfully, the Peloton app can be downloaded on both Roku and Amazon Fire streaming systems, as well as on your phone or tablet, so you can take those workouts anywhere inside or outside your home. 

While the Bike Plus definitely has more features for those who like fitness with all the bells and whistles, the original Peloton bike will give you the same workout and feeling of empowerment when a ride ends.