Value Machine

Kyle McIntosh

SEPTEMBER WAS A BIG anniversary month for us. In addition to celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary, we celebrated our third Pelo-versary. In the words of my mother-in-law, we are Peloton addicts. Ask us about our favorite instructors at your own risk.

The general perception of Peloton—for which the entry price is now $1,495—is that it’s priced too high for most people. While I don’t believe that Peloton is “democratizing fitness,” as its CEO suggests, I do see solid value in Peloton bikes for households that’ll use them consistently.

As early adopters of Peloton, we paid $2,200 for our bike, shoes and delivery. We also pay $39 per month to be “connected fitness users,” which allows us to take live and on-demand classes. Our membership covers all four members of our household, though my wife and I are the main users. In addition to bike classes, we have access to strength, yoga, stretching and bootcamp classes.

How can a $2,200 bike with a $39 monthly fee be a good value? First, if we spread the $2,200 over the past 36 months and add the monthly fee, the monthly cost is $100. That average compares favorably to what we’d pay for two high-quality gym memberships here in California. Further, if we assume the bike will last two more years, the average monthly cost becomes $76 and the comparison favors Peloton even more. And, of course, the value equation is even better for those buying at today’s lower price point.

Another way I look at value is based on cost per workout. Since 2018, between my wife and me, we’ve completed almost 3,000 classes. As we usually complete two or three classes during each workout session, we’ve done about 1,200 workouts—which usually last between 45 and 60 minutes—in the past three years. This puts our cost per workout at $3, which compares very favorably to spin and barre studios, which usually charge $15 or more for a workout.

The bottom line when it comes to Peloton: If you’ll use it consistently and not let it become a clothes hanger, there’s a good chance it will be a good value for your household.

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