How To Use Peloton Without Subscription (Pros and cons)


Peloton subscription unlocks over 9,000 rides and bike Bootcamp classes (not including other classes). However, it all comes with the hearty price tag of $44 per month (on top of the cost of the bike or tread).

If you’re on the fence and cannot decide whenever you should sign up for peloton membership or not.

Or maybe you’ve already bought a peloton, but your circumstances have changed and you cannot swing the subscription cost anymore.

Today I will clarify if you can use peloton without a subscription, as well as what you get for no subscription (pros and cons) to help you make an informed decision.

list of classes from peloton

Key Takeaways

  • Peloton subscription gives you access to all content that includes classes, programs, and live workouts.
  • Peloton subscription unlocks the performance metrics, leaderboard, and allows you to create an unlimited number of profiles.
  • Using Peloton bike without a subscription allows you to access 3 pre-recorded classes and the Just Ride feature.
  • Using the bike without active membership only displays your cadence, resistance, and speed, and does not save any data.

You can use peloton without a subscription

In general, you can use a peloton without a subscription, but it’s not the same experience. No membership means that almost all of the features and perks are off. You won’t see any content, and the only limited feature is the “just ride” mode.

For me, the just ride mode is fine becasue it allows me to do my own wokrouts, without having to join a specific class. However, I also like to do classes with my favorite instructors (Cody and Robin) so I use the just ride feature on and off.

Just ride mode is limited

When you start a peloton just ride mode, the bike only shows your cadence, resistance, and speed. Another thing you get without active membership is access to a handful of pre-recorded classes.

(I haven’t tried these pre-recorded workouts, so I don’t know if are they any good).

My point is that you won’t get access to the live and on-demand classes, leaderboard, and workout history.

How does peloton work without a subscription?

To see how peloton work without a subscription, I had to cancel my existing membership.

  • The membership allows you to track all the fancy statistics and gives access to on-demand classes.
  • No membership means you can ride the bike but with very few options and no metrics (just like you would use the spin bike in the gym).

Honestly, I think if you don’t want the subscription, one of the options is to get a less expensive bike.

For me, the content is what the peloton is all about, but I know heaps of people who are not a fan of group classes and want to use bike on their own.

That’s also fine.

What’s included in the peloton subscription?

Let’s start by saying that peloton membership is not cheap. Currently (as of September 2022) the all-access membership costs $44/month.

Content

One of the most valuable things that a subscription is content.

picture from the peloton bike that list class categories
Categories from the peloton classes
  • Peloton’s all-access membership includes access to over 24,000 classes.
  • These include cycling, running, walking, strength, yoga, cardio, bootcamp, and meditation.
  • It also includes live classes, weekly events, and programs.

Unlimited profiles

One all-access membership can be shared across one Bike, Tread, and Guide. You can create an unlimited number of members’ profiles and track the data for everyone separately.

I like to use bike with my wife, but I also created new profiles for all my family and friends who want to use the bike when they come for visit.

Also, keep in mind that with multiple user profiles you can get more than one peloton century shirt, as long as you complete over 100 rides or classes.

User metrics

One thing I like about the membership is the fact that you can track your metrics (regardless of the number of profiles you create).

For example.

  • With each profile, you see all the history of your rides, badges, achievements, daily logs, and all other statistics.
  • On the other hand, when you cancel your subscription, all you have left is a couple of classes and basic metrics of your current workout just like on a normal bike.

You can buy peloton without a subscription

Unlike Tonal, the price for the Peloton bike does not include a 12-month membership.

This means when you buy the bike (or tread) the peloton will only charge you for the hardware. You can only activate your membership directly from the bike.

I did spend a day or two without creating the membership where I used my Peloton just like a regular stationary bike.

  • To activate membership you need to log in to your bike and set up the account, provide your credit card details and you’re ready to go.

Peloton subscription is pricey

In general, $44/month for an exercise app is a lot of money. That’s over $500 per year that I could spend on holidays, hobbies, and leisure time.

On the one hand, I understand that the high price is justified by the number of workouts you can do on the platform.

  • Subscription offers access to several features that aren’t available even on the peloton app (e.g. peloton auto resistance or a full collection of scenic rides).
  • It unlocks unlimited access to a library of live and on-demand classes, user profiles, and real-time performance tracking.

On the other hand, people who do not need to follow any online class may find the $44/month excessive.

That being said, I do find value in their membership.

Is the peloton subscription worth it?

I really think that a peloton subscription is worth it, as long as you use all the features.

Let me explain.

  • People who want to get access to the statistics, track their progress, and collaborate with others find it worth the cost.
  • However, if you just want to use a peloton without using all the perks, then paying a monthly fee is not worth it.

Plus, there are many other factors you need to take into consideration.

  • How often do you plan to use the bike?
  • How many people will be using the bike?
  • How many classes do you want to do?
  • What types of classes do you want to do?

These are all legitimate questions. Getting access to all the bells and whistles is great, but only if you actually plan to use them.

Below you can see the table with all the features that come with peloton membership.

FeatureProsCons
Access to the performance dataGreat for people who want to track their results
Can be motivating and encouraging to get started
Not useful for people who are already motivated
Access to on-demand classesVariety of workouts
Good to try different classes from home
Can be used on the go
Not useful for people who just want to use the bike
Access to leaderboardsCan motivate and inspire to train
Creates a sense of connection
Not useful for people who are already motivated
Unlimited profile Great for couples and family
Everyone can use the bike and create a separate profile
Not useful if you gonna be using it by yourself
$44 per monthCan be done for people with more disposable incomeCan be hard for people on the strict budget
Pros and cons of peloton subscription

As you can see, there are pros and cons to getting into the subscription.

Before you splurge on Peloton membership, I recommend you ask yourself a question – are you gonna use all the features, or do you just want to ride the bike?

  • On the one hand, I think that the subscription offers a lot of value. There are leaderboards, tracking data, and peloton live classes.
  • On the other hand, if you not gonna be using it then it’s not worth it. In my opinion, the peloton is a great product, but it’s not for everyone.

A subscription is good for beginners

In the table below, I give you a broad look at who can benefit from getting a peloton subscription and who can stay without it.

Peloton with a subscription is good for people who:
Just getting started with their fitness lifestyle
Need social interaction to stay motivated
Need guidance with the exercise plan
Want to use all the classes on a regular basis
Live in a large household with others keen to train
Are motivated by the performance metrics.
Don’t mind paying an extra fee (or need to pay something as a motivating factor)
Peloton subscription benefits

As you can see, a lot of people actually can benefit from active membership.

NOTE: Paying the subscription is also a motivating factor by itself. Paying for something and not using it can be one of the few reasons why the company growing.

In other words, some people need that monthly fee because otherwise, they wouldn’t do it.

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

  • I know from my experience that if we get something for free, I often place little value on it (and do not use it).
  • On the other hand, if I need to prepay for something with a lot of money, I’m more likely to do it.

For example.

  • I’ve seen this all the time with my clients who were coming for Personal training.
  • Even when they didn’t feel like exercising, they still did it, mainly because they felt guilty to lose $100.

Peloton subscription is not for everyone

Let’s not forget that there are people who don’t need any of the aforementioned features that peloton offers and still manage to stay fit consistently.

Here you can see the breakdown of who I believe doesn’t need the peloton subscription.

Peloton without a subscription is good for people who:
Fitness is already part of their lifestyle
Don’t need to get motivated to train
They can train on their own
They prefer to train in the gym (or at home)
Don’t use on-demand classes
Are motivated from within, not by the metrics
Cannot afford additional costs of monthly fee

NOTE: If you’re looking for a top-notch cycling bike that doesn’t require a subscription (for a third of the peloton cost), check out this model from Sunny Health & Fitness on Amazon. Details here.

(if you buy through links on this page, I may earn a small commission).

Is peloton worth it without a subscription?

In a nutshell, getting a peloton bike without a subscription is a waste of money. Membership adds a lot of value and if you’re not in the position to pay a monthly membership fee then it’s better to invest in a less expensive bike than the peloton.

I understand that peloton bike is expensive and that there can be hundreds of reasons why you may not want to pay for a subscription, and that’s ok.

  • If you already have a peloton but cannot swing the monthly fee, after canceling the membership you’re still able to use the bike, minus all the technology.
  • If you don’t have the bike and you’re not sure about the $44/month thingy, you can buy a regular stationary bike without a subscription for a fifth of the price.

If the situation is temporary you can always pause the membership and come back to it once the circumstances change.

You can pause your Peloton subscription

One thing you can do to see if you still enjoy the bike without the content is to pause your membership.

For example.

  • You can pause your peloton subscription for 1 to 3 months.
  • According to the company policy, the pause starts at the end of your current billing month and while you put on hold your subscription, you won’t be able to use any of the classes.

However, in the long term, there is no value in keeping the peloton bike without getting all the content. If that’s the case, I recommend you sell the peloton bike.

My thoughts on using the peloton without a subscription

Some people argue that the whole reason to have a Peloton is the metrics and the community.

At the end of the day, whenever you should go with or without membership, it all comes down to expenses and how consistent you gonna be with your workouts.

Obviously, you can use the Peloton bike without paying for the membership because it offers the standard features that come together with the bike.

I have the Just Ride stats where you can read all the metrics that measure your speed, cadence, and resistance and free access to 3 classes.

Apart from that, a peloton bike without a subscription is just a regular stationary bike. If you’re on the fence about buying the bike or not, I would recommend making a list of your own pros and cons.

How to use a peloton bike without a subscription?

To use a peloton bike without a subscription all you need is access to the internet. Here are the steps:

Step #1: Cancel peloton subscription

You cannot do it from the bike. You need to go directly to the peloton website. You must log in to members’ profiles and choose preferences and subscriptions.

From there you just click cancel subscription and confirm cancelation.

What happens if I cancel my peloton subscription? In general, if you cancel your peloton subscription you will still have full access to your bike.

However, the only features that will remain are 3 pre-selected and pre-recorded classes and the Just Ride feature where you can see your speed, cadence, and resistance.

Step #2: Turn on the bike

After you turn on the bike you won’t be able to log in anymore. The only option to choose from will be “just ride”.

As you can see below, the “just ride” mode option allows you to track basic details from your workout. You won’t be able to save those metrics.

picture of peloton screen without subscription

However, the “just ride” feature can also be very useful, even without the subscription. You can learn more about “peloton just ride” in my article here.

Step #3: Enjoy your ride

Even without all the fancy technology, you can still have a great workout.

You cannot use peloton tread without a subscription

The Peloton used to offer a “just run” feature where you could start the treadmill without being logged in.

Since May 2021, the company implemented a mandatory Tread Lock, a safety feature that doesn’t allow it to be used without a subscription.

In other words, you cannot use the treadmill without a membership. The Consumer Reports received an email from the Peloton representative that says:

“Unfortunately, at this time, ’Just Run’ is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership”

Consumer Reports

It’s hard to tell if the peloton treadmill will work without a subscription in the future.

Generally, the peloton had to recall its treadmills and since May 2021 they’ve implemented a safety feature that is only available with the monthly subscription.

Is a peloton subscription per person?

Generally, a peloton subscription isn’t per person, it’s per household. This means everyone from your home can register a separate user without additional cost.

Even with just one bike all the members of your family can start to participate in classes and track their results.

What I like the most is the fact that you can share your peloton subscription with everyone in your home. For example.

  • If you have a family of 4 that means everyone can use a bike or tread, create a member profile, and start using all the features without paying an extra fee.

One cool thing you can do is you can gift a peloton digital membership to your friends or family members.

Remember that as a paid member of an all-access subscription, you have unlimited access to create a new profile for peloton digital.

There are different peloton subscriptions

As a whole, the peloton has two types of subscriptions.

  • One is all-access membership that costs $44 per month for people who own a Peloton bike or tread.

Peloton subscriptions are referred to as all-access membership and peloton digital.

  • All-access subscription is a build-in to your Peloton bike or tread.
  • Peloton digital is a peloton app that can be used on your phone, laptop, or tablet.

The picture below shows you the screenshot from my iPad that display peloton cycling classes.

picture of peloton classes

Peloton digital membership is a good alternative

  • Peloton digital is the access to the peloton app for laptops and mobile devices.
  • It has the same features as the all-access membership, without being able to track the performance, and allows only one membership profile per device.

This is a great alternative for people who love the classes but don’t want to pay extra.

It is very common to combine peloton digital membership together with different bikes (usually cheaper) and use a phone or tablet to follow all the classes.

I know a number of people who manage to “hack” the peloton by mounting the IPad and running the digital app from another bike.

Peloton all-access is more expensive

Of course, a peloton subscription is more expensive than an app because you can create an unlimited number of profiles and use all the performance tracking features with everyone.

The only thing you can measure on the digital app is the heart rate.

You also have access to the leaderboard where you can see yourself on the list and compare with others.

All-access membership offers a better deal

In general, a peloton subscription is better because it has more features and allows you to do all classes directly from your bike.

However, for people who are on the go and don’t always use a peloton bike or tread, the peloton app is a better option.

Peloton digital vs subscription

The difference between peloton digital and subscription is in the access to the features, leaderboards, stats, and cost.

Here is the full breakdown and difference between app and subscription.

Peloton SubscriptionPeloton App
Access to on-demand classes from the bikeYesNo
Access to on-demand classes from the mobile deviceYesYes
Access to leaderboardYesNo
Access to BluetoothYesYes
Access to metricsYesNo
Members profileUnlimitedOne
difference between peloton digital and subscription

So basically in the full peloton membership, you get everything there is to get. In the peloton digital, you have access to classes and that’s it.

Bear in mind that once you get a peloton subscription you can connect as many devices as you want.

You cannot use peloton digital membership with peloton bike

Obviously, there is no way to use peloton digital on the peloton bike. Peloton bike has already built-in software.

It is not possible to cancel the all-access membership, buy the peloton digital, and use the peloton digital on the bike.

(Nice try).

Peloton Digital is free with the bike

Peloton digital comes free with an all-access subscription. Once you start your peloton subscription, you automatically have access to the peloton app and you can use it on all devices.

Conclusion

  • You can use the peloton bike without membership, but it’s not the same experience.
  • There are several factors that play a role in choosing the best option (at the end of the day, it all comes down to finances).
  • The good news is that a peloton subscription can be placed on hold during situations where you need extra cash.
  • Over the long run, if the money is not an issue, then is better to invest and experience the whole content as this is what makes peloton so popular and successful.

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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