So, Is Peloton Actually Affordable? Here's the Deal With Its Payment Plan

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A few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to go on the Peloton website. Maybe it was because of that viral commercial or a post I saw on Instagram—who knows? I wasn’t thinking about actually buying a Peloton bike, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look. Plus, I was curious as to what all the hype was about. Any piece of exercise equipment that can somehow inspire a cult-like following is something I want to know more about. I wanted to know how it all worked and whether it was really just as straightforward as a big screen attached to a bike. Turns out, the community aspect of it seemed to be the biggest selling point. The bike connects to the Peloton app (which is an extra monthly fee of $39), which is home to thousands of classes—both pre-recorded and live. The live classes allow you to “join in” on real, competitive classes. The leaderboard and your own personal stats show up right on your screen. I immediately understood how someone could hooked on the whole process pretty quickly. I even found myself considering getting one. And then I saw the price.

The Peloton Payment Plan

Pelotons are not cheap. They’re a luxury piece of fitness equipment, and the price reflects this. The bike itself starts at $1,495 for just the bike (and, again, this does not include the monthly subscription to the app—which is home to all of the live classes, etc.). It’s a big purchase, but one thing Peloton does offer is financing. On the site, you’ll see the full price of the bike right next to a phrase that reads, “Or $39/month for 30 months at 0% APR.” If you’re wondering (I was too) APR stands for annual percentage rate, or the amount of money you would be charged per year for the monthly payments. According to the Peloton website, this financing option is $0 down and simply requires a quick application that will not affect your credit score (as opposed to, say, applying for a credit card). They even have a quote on the website from a Peloton user that says, “I financed the whole thing. I have friends who spend more on their monthly gym membership.”

When you think of it that way, the Peloton quickly becomes a pretty appealing exercise option. Odds are most of us spend about that much per month for a gym membership or workout class package. It’s essentially the cost of a single nice dinner out, or a few bottles of decent wine. And it requires nothing up front, meaning you could have a Peloton in your home in no time for an extraordinarily low cost (set-up and delivery is included in the price of the Peloton bike as well). The number that’s easy to forget about in all of this, though, is the amount of months it will take you to pay off the bike at that rate—30. That’s more than two years of paying off your Peloton bike. 

The Decision

So ask yourself: Are you going to love it and happily use it for more than three years? Can you handle monthly payments for that long, in addition to any other costs you have going on in your life and future? Do you have a tendency to get sick of a specific type of workout quickly or miss payments? If yes, then this plan might not be for you.

But, if the financing plan does sound good to you, there is another option that makes the Peloton more appealing: the home trial. Simply purchase the bike, have it delivered and set up in your home, and then use it for 30 days. Not into it? Realize the whole thing isn’t your cup of tea? Peloton will come pick it up and take it away for free.

The Bottom Line

All this is to say: Peloton makes the idea of having a cycling class in your own home very appealing and surprisingly flexible. It’s still a hefty investment, but the financing option certainly makes it seem more possible. While the financing and home trials do help make the bike seem more attainable, it’s talking to other people who own Pelotons that will really convince you. So if the financial side seems right to you, go ahead and talk to someone who owns one of the bikes next. You’ll be spinning in the comfort of your own home in no time.

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