How Does Peloton Film Their Scenic Rides? (Explained)


In May 2021, the peloton has added and updated new their scenic rides experience. It not only has now more variety of rides to choose from, but it also has a completely new filming style.

As a whole, the peloton scenic rides are filmed with different types of shots, depending on the class you choose. Time and distance-based scenic rides are mainly filmed with the point-of-view shot, where guided rides are the combination of close-up, long, and medium shots.

Peloton Scenic Rides Filming

I was licking my chops after I saw the new peloton scenic rides and the quality of how they’ve been filmed. Not only it makes it look more dynamic, but also more realistic to ride.

How does peloton shoot scenic rides? In general, the peloton films scenic rides using multiple cinematic drone shots and car camera shots that frame the rider from multiple angles and distances. These include tracking shots, bird’s-eye view shots, and over-the-shoulder shots.

What I like about the new scenic rides is that not only you get to feel like riding along with the person, but also get to see the location from a panoramic view.

Peloton has three different scenic rides category:

  • Time based
  • Distance based
  • Guided

Peloton Time Based Scenic Rides

Peloton time-based scenic rides are the classic scenery rides that you can see in most of the cardio machines. The idea is to set a certain time and ride the bike ride within a certain timeframe

How does peloton film distance-based scenic rides? In general, the peloton shoots distance-based scenic rides using point-of-view shots. This works by showing placing the camera in close proximity to the rider’s head and showing everything that the instructors are seeing in front.

I live to see the point-of-view shots, however, when the whole class is filmed using only one perspective, it becomes boring.

One thing that I like about the time-based scenic rides is there is no talking from the instructors. In general, I like the personality of the peloton trainers and I enjoy listening to them.

However, sometimes I also like to launch the time-based scenic ride and put my own music. Like John Foley, the CEO of Peloton said “Peloton scenic content is a virtual and mental escape“.

I agree.

Peloton Distance Based Scenic Rides

Distance-based scenic ride is a brand new class category that peloton launched. It works by pre-selecting the distance in miles for bike and tread.

How does peloton film distance-based scenic rides? In general, the distance-based scenic rides are all filmed from the first-person perspective. This means you see everything that character (the rider) is looking at. These rides are filmed from the car using a mounted camera stabilizer, also called a gimbal.

The camera stabilizer allows maintaining steadies of the camera against the rapid movement and sudden changes in the position. This results in smooth-motion shots.

Not only that.

One cool thing about distance-based scenic rides is that your cadence determinate who fast the video will play. The faster you cycle, the faster the content moves along.

This makes the whole experience more realistic because everything that you see matches your current speed.

You see, the scenery rides have been there for over a decade in all modern cardio machines like treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. However, the speed of the content was the same, regardless of your speed or intensity.

The content in peloton distance-based scenic rides is matching your bike. This means that even if you stop, the video will stop.

Peloton Guided Scenic Rides

Peloton guided scenic rides are the most cinematic and engaging workouts from all scenic classes. They not only include peloton instructors in their rides but also mix footage from multiple shots.

How does peloton film guide scenic rides? As a whole, the peloton film guided scenic rides using multiple cinematic techniques like aerial shots, over-the-shoulder shots, bird’s-eye view, long shots, and first-person shots. This makes it more entertaining, as well as more attractive to participate in.

Here you can see the main filming techniques used in peloton guided scenic rides.

  • Medium shot – Medium shots covers the peloton instructors in close distance either just above or just below the waist (e.g. introduction talk and/or stretching at the end).
  • Long shot – Frame covers the entire person in either front, back or side (e.g. see the picture above). This is the most popular shot but its been used with different camera angles on both rides and runs.
  • Bird’s-eye view – Bird’s-eye view covers both scenery and the peloton instructor riding the bike (or running) from the elevated view. This shot is used to emphasize the epic locations (e.g. mountains or canyons) that the person is passing by.
  • Point-of-view shot – Point-of-view shot is mainly used to show what the instructor is seeing in front of them. There are way more first person shots in the peloton rides comapred to peloton runs.
  • Aerial shots – The aerial shots (also known as overhead shots) are taken from an elevated vantage point using an airborne device and they capture the scenery. They are mainly used as an establishing shot where the viewer is introduced to the scenery.

What I love the most about the new peloton scenic rides is their aerial shots using drones because they show off some of the top locations like Hawaii, New Mexico, or Big Sur.

They are also used as a way to transition from one type of scenery to another. I noticed that the peloton filmmaking crew used many aerial shots as a way to transition from one song to another.

Peloton Scenic Rides vs Life Fitness Lifescape

The difference between the peloton scenic rides and the life fitness lifescape is that life fitness content is filmed in only one point-of-view shot. It also has the same speed throughout the whole session, regardless of your speed on the bike.

This makes it very boring to do the classes because not only you see the same places, but you also are stuck in just one camera position.

On the other hand, the peloton scenic rides have three separate class categories with over 8 different kinds of shots (including different camera angles).

Peloton Scenic Rides vs iFit

The peloton scenic rides and iFit scenic rides are completely different but they have something in common; they both provide outdoor experience to at-home indoor cycling classes.

The NordicTrack scenic rides are filmed using the first person shot throughout the whole class. However, the filming was made by the actual riders so the content feels more realistic.

One thing I love about the iFit is that they have hundreds of different scenic rides and other classes.

In fact, a lot of iFit classes like pilates, strength, yoga, and cycling were shot in exotic locations like Bermuda, Bolivia, Aruba, Mexico, or Cape Town.

They also show the whole map with your current position of where you’re and how long you have left.

On the other hand, the peloton includes a lot of different filming shots, but they present the class like an experience, rather than the class to ride along.

Conclusion

I like how the Peloton has relaunched their scenic rides with the addition of new categories, as well as making the content more cinematic.

I don’t often use scenic rides, but when I do, I like to try something different.

My favorite ones are distance scenic rides because they use playback speed dependent on my cadence, which is motivating me to beat my previous PR.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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