It’s a BIG FREAKING DAY over here my friends!
After weeks and weeks of research, debating with myself, and going back and forth a million times over, and getting waaaay too deep in the amazon reviews, there is a new addition over here to the Simply Real Health office: squished in between my bookshelf and the door, is my BRAND NEW SPIN BIKE!!
I literally, couldn’t be more excited.
I wanted to share the details with you guys, in case anyone is in a similar situation: new mom life/entrepreneur/doing all the things/a busy but efficiency-loving person, etc and your hard workouts aren’t happening as much as you’d like.
So, here’s the deal:
You guys know as a new mom the one thing I haven’t been able to figure out just yet is how to get my hard/sweaty workouts back. I’m a in-person class girl for sure. Always have been, and probably always will be. I thrive off of the people, the energy, and needing to be a certain place at a certain time (hello, accountability).
But as of late (the last 6 months), the timing of the classes just isn’t working for me. Between feeding, nap schedules and running a business full time, when I do have a chunk of time to work out, it’s just never at a typical class time. 1:20pm on a Tuesday? 11:35am on a Sunday? Factor in driving there and back, changing, showering, feeding or pumping first and then getting myself out the door, and it’s easy to see why my daily walks and random self-guided weight workouts on my back deck has been all that’s been going down.
I know that so many people do great with being self-motivated, and can follow along with the hundreds of options for free youtube videos or various free or paid apps (all of which look awesome, truly), but I am just NOT THAT GIRL. I can do my own weights, but high intensity stuff? I lose focus real fast. I need the extra push and energy and excitement.
Until now. I’m so excited to share what I’m doing now to MAKE THINGS WORK and take care of myself, even if it’s not perfect.
I feel like so many people talk about “not having time to workout”, but the truth is that it just might not be one of their values in life. But it is for mine. And I DO have time, or will figure out a way to make the time for the things that are the most important.
And moving my body daily, and getting a good sweat in a few times a week is one of them, because of everything else that it affects (my mental health and strength and resilience, my energy, my mood, my sleep, and how my body functions, how I handle stress, etc). My health is a huge value in my life, because that’s where everything starts. It makes me a better entrepreneur, wife, friend, sister and person when I take care of myself first. Non-negotiable in my life, for sure. Even if it’s not ideal or perfect or that it might look different than what I have done in the past.
So. The full story:
A month ago when we were in Mexico, one of the places we stayed had a few Peloton bikes. I had tried one before and liked it (but I had the time still to get to my favorite classes). This time I tried it again. And again. Everyday on vacation I was SO INTO IT.
It was the first time I had time multiple days in a row to get my sweat on (and dad watching Noah, or the ability to wheel him into the workout room while he napped). I took full advantage.
My body felt so good after. My energy felt so good. My endorphins kicked in. I’m still trying to figure out how Peloton makes it feel like a real class– like you’re right there with them. I think it’s the lighting, the music, the way the teachers are pumping you through the whole thing. Whatever it is, it’s magic.
And one thing was for sure: I FREAKING MISSED THAT feeling. Although, side note, I’m so glad I didn’t force myself back into hard workouts (or any “workouts” really) too early, post partum. I fully believe that we need that time to heal properly, especially in those first 4 1/2 months. The “snap-back” and hurry to get your pre-baby body back thing is NOT something I’m into, for a lot of reasons, that’s probably worth a different post. Focusing on nourishing your body with sleep, really good food and nutrients, pelvic floor and core exercises and fresh air walks are all that I did until 4 1/2 months on purpose.
All this to say, that’s not where the feeling was coming from. I’ve done spin classes a few times a week for the last 10 years, even though pregnancy. It’s the one workout that has always felt great and sustainable and kept me injury free and strong, no matter what else is happening in my life.
My wheels started turning. Maybe this Peloton thing was the solution.
So, I got real deep into the Peloton website. The reviews. I talked to friends. Asked people who had it.
And for whatever reason, just could not really get over the price tag ($2,250 for the bike + setup, plus $40/month for the membership). I knew it would be worth it, of course. It was was health– physical and mental we were talking about. But I also felt like at that price I couldn’t justify doing other things and workouts too– yoga classes or a live class on the weekends if I wanted, etc. That I would feel stuck.
A few of my girlfriends (moms also), had told me about a little hack they did: to buy a cheaper spin bike on amazon ($250-350) and use the Peloton app to stream classes (
only $20/month. UPDATE: it’s now even cheaper at $14/month). It didn’t have all the “full features” like your stats against other people, the ability to get called out by the instructors, etc but had mostly everything else. I was intrigued.
But also, skeptical about a cheap spin bike. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to a good quality ride, after years of loving it as my main workout source.
Cue the hours (and hours and… ok fine, weeks) of rabbit hole of amazon reviews and research. I wanted the ride of the Peloton bike: high quality and super smooth. Something that has a heavy resistance option. Something that feels good and easy on my joints and body. But not the commitment just yet as I figure out my new mom workout life.
Here is what I found in my research that I knew I wanted:
- Magnetic resistance vs belt resistance: Magnetic resistance is not only lower maintenance long term (belt bikes, while cheaper, need maintenance to keep them running smoothly and quietly, and parts need to be replaced more often in high use scenarios). But magnetic also means a very quiet ride and a heavy flywheel (the thing that makes the resistance of the bike heavier or lighter when you turn the knob). Magnetic is more expensive and the technology is newer so there are fewer to choose from at this point, but the thing that makes a big difference in the feel and ride. The Peloton bike is a magnetic resistance bike.
- Handlebars that can hold a tablet if you’re gonna do a app. Some of the handlebars are real weird looking and would require a separate stand/attachment.
- Most spin bikes don’t come with a montior on them, so you’ll need a seperate cadence sensor if you want to see your resistance level/cadence level to match what the instructors are suggesting. I chose this Wahoo Cadence sensor after lots of reviews and it seems to work great- it sticks on with a sticker and pairs via bluetooth with an app on your phone.
- Caged pedals, so you can ride with any shoes, unless you own or want to use clip-in spin shoes. Or if they come with caged and you want clip-ins, I read they were easy to buy and switch out.
- Adjustable seat: up and down and front to back on the seat, and up and down and front to back for the handlebars = a total custom fit. I have a small frame at 5′ 3” and was worried the bike would be too big, but it’s great because of all the ways it can adjust.
I ended up going with this bike, for all these reasons, and am SO HAPPY I DID. It’s honestly better than any of the reviews really let on, I think because it’s the newest model out and not that many people have it yet. I might even write my first review, that’s how much I’m digging it.
Cost of my Sunny Bike: $577 (free shipping on amazon). It came really well packed and took about 35-40 minutes to assemble (aka, Kyle assembled while I helped hold parts).
Cadence sensor: I got this one. You download an app, and stick the sensor on the inside of the pedal arm. Easy peasy.
Peleton App: $20/month or $240/year (plus a 2 week free trial if you want to test any of the classes out).
Bike mat: this one.
For 1 year: $857 (including the mat, sensor, bike & app membership). Or $71/month. I don’t know about you but that was definately cheaper than my gym membership. After the first year, then it’s obviously just
$20/month $14/month. So great, right?
Cost of (the beautiful) Peleton Bike:$2,250 (for their most basic package, with delivery and setup included)
Peleton Membership (which is required with the Peleton Bike for any classes): $40/month
For 1 year:$2,730 (including bike, setup and membership). Or $228/month initially. After the first year, it would be $40/month.
More About The Peleton App:
At $14/ month, it’s a steal. Considering that’s pretty close to what you would pay per class, right?!
But not only do they have cycling classes that for real makes it feel like you are in the studio with them, with such positive high-vibe instructors and killer playlists, but you can SORT the workouts by time you have (10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes), and also by workout type (HIIT, Intervals, beginner rides, low intensity, etc), by Instructor, by type of music, etc.
You can save ones you love too.
AND, they have the same for guided running workouts, yoga, meditation, body weight exercises, stretching, etc. Such a wealth of great stuff for whatever you need that day. I love the focus on not just only cardio here- such a smart move!
Someone told me you can have up to 3 users on the app and the membership too, which would make EITHER choice def worth it if you have someone else in your house that would use the bike too.
My plan is to start here with my new off-brand bike first and the Peloton app. If I find that I’m loving it as much as I know I will, I might upgrade to the real deal. With it you get the full Peloton membership + Peloton bike, you do get some added things: including stats, where you rank compared to other riders in class, the resistance and cadence sensor built in and on your screen, the potential for your name to be shouted out, etc.
And I’m sure some other things that at least for me, don’t matter as much as just getting in a hard 20 minute workout at home a few days a week. Again: spin has always been my workout. I don’t need fancy. I just need something that’s reliable and feels good and is quiet and just helps me GET IT DONE. But I say that because maybe for others, they need those other things ya know?
For me, this bike has been the biggest blessing in my life. For my mental health as much as physical. To know that I always have to option and zero excuses for why I can’t change my mood, outlook and health in 20 minutes. Convenience is right there.
So, to each their own. But that’s how I’m taking care of myself and making it happen over here, new mom life, working mom life and all.
When I posted this video on instagram (saved to the “Bike” Highlights if you want to see a full tour) , so so so many of you chimed in and said that you have been thinking about the Peleton (but like me have been hesitating on the cost) or have it and are obsessed with it. I love it!
BIKE UPDATE (APRIL 2020)- almost 1 year later:
I get sooooo many messages about this post every single week. Most of them ask if I still love it or wish I upgraded to the real thing. Honestly? I love my bike. It’s perfect for that I need. It’s comfortable and works and I have no need or desire to upgrade it. Granted I’m not doing like 1 hour long rides 7 days a week– I’m doing 20 minutes 3-4 times a week or so and it’s PERFECT! Everytime on it, I want to cry in gratitude. Dramatic, but true.
I know that since I’ve talked about this bike and option for people so much since this original post, and after COVID 19, it looks like there is a a month long wait time for it to arrive, and a bit higher price point now with demand. So many of you guys have asked if there are any other bikes I could suggest instead that are similar. I have looked and looked and just haven’t had a ton of luck. THIS ONE is the only one that looks like it could be a good runner up. It’s magnetic resistance too BUT it doesn’t have a great ipad holder if you watching and streaming classes that that way. Maybe if you’re just using your phone it would be ok? Or if your bike would be in front of a TV then it wouldn’t matter. I have not tried it or seen this bike, but it does look somewhat similar to the standards of what I was looking for, the price is similar, and the reviews are good. If you end up getting it, will you let me know how it turns out? Either on instagram here @simplyrealhealth or in the comments below.
Have any questions? Thoughts? Comments? Let me know below!
Love this recipe? You’d love the cookbook then too. And be sure to check out the seasonal meal plans (or the new easy Dinner Only plan)! Wanna know more about this real-food lifestyle made simple I always talk about? Be sure to check out this little podcast workshop I created for you, called: Simply Real FOOD: Real food, finally explained. Check it out here!