10 Essential Peloton Tips and Tricks For Beginners

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Being able to work out at home offers many advantages over having to get to the gym to exercise, or always having to train outside. Home workouts provide the ultimate in terms of convenience, comfort, and privacy.

Peloton revolutionized home indoor cycling workouts with the interactive, high-performing Peloton Bike and the vast library of live and on-demand indoor cycling workouts and more available in the Peloton app.

However, getting started with Peloton can be quite overwhelming for beginners.

There are so many workouts to choose from, and even learning how to properly set up and use the exercise bike can be a confusing process to navigate if you have not used similar indoor cycling bikes before.

In this article, we will provide 10 Essential Peloton Tips for Beginners to help you get the most out of your Peloton journey without feeling totally overwhelmed from day one.

Let’s get started!

10 Essential Peloton Tips: Title Image

10 Essential Peloton Tips and Tricks For Beginners

#1: Set Up Your Bike Before Your First Ride

The Peloton Bike is adjustable for a reason: we all have slightly different body sizes and heights. Being able to adjust the seat and handlebars will help you get the best fit.

You should adjust the height of the feet so that it is aligned with the top of your hip bone when you are standing next to the seat. 

When you are sitting on the saddle and have your pedal pressed all the way down, there should be a 5 to 10° bend in your knee. Your leg should not be fully locked out, but you also don’t want to have the seat too low so that there is more than this 5-10 degree angle of flexion in your knee.

In terms of the fore/aft bike seat adjustment, the recommendation is to have the nose of the bike seat about elbow length back from the handlebars when you are holding onto them. 

There isn’t necessarily a “best” handlebar height. Peloton typically recommends beginning with the handlebars up at the highest setting, and then gradually moving them down once you get more comfortable with riding the bike and get a sense of what feels best.

You can view this video from Peloton for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to set up your bike. 

Placing the bike on a mat will also help protect your floors and keep the bike stable.

A black bike saddle on an indoor bike.

#2: Make the Saddle Comfortable

Some new riders find the Peloton bike seat uncomfortable. There are a couple of different ways to handle this, though a combination of them tends to work best for most people. 

One option is to replace the seat with a more cushioned saddle. Amazon sells all sorts of bike seats that are compatible with standard seat posts like that on the Peloton bike. 

You can choose the seat shape that you prefer. You might want a bike saddle with relief channels for your anatomy or a wider or narrower saddle, depending on your preferences and body shape. Some of these bike seats have gel cushioning which can help relieve pressure as you ride. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a gel seat cover for the Peloton bike seat. This slips over the saddle that is already on the bike and then cinches in place. 

Lastly, you can (and should) wear padded bike shorts, which have a padded chamois in the crotch and butt to provide a little bit of extra cushioning. 

Even if you end up putting a gel cover on your Peloton bike seat or replacing the saddle altogether, padded bike shorts help protect your anatomy and will make longer Peloton workouts more comfortable.

The other benefit of bike shorts is that they typically are form-fitting compression shorts so they will stay in place as you ride. This will decrease the risk of chafing on your inner thighs and groin. 

Even if you do not want to wear padded bike shorts, you should choose comfortable shorts or fitted leggings or capris. Wearing loose pants can be problematic because the material can get caught as you pedal the bike.

A woman in a yellow top rides her Peloton bike in her living room.
Credit: Peloton

#3: Think About Temperature Control

Unless you are doing a very low-intensity ride, you can expect to get pretty hot and sweaty during your Peloton workouts.

Although you might start the workout feeling cold, you will want to have ready access to a fan or air conditioner. 

Wearing easily removable layers on the top will help you regulate your temperature once you warm up. Otherwise, just start in your tank top or workout top as if dressing for hot weather workouts, hot yoga, or a super sweaty spin class. 

You’ll feel miserable if you’re dripping with sweat because you are wearing long sleeves and long leggings and your at-home studio for your Peloton bike has the heat cranked up and no fan.

#4: Drink Plenty of Water

Make sure your water bottle is filled and ready to go on the bike before the workout – you’ll need it!

#5: Try Different Instructors

One of the best things about the Peloton workout classes is that the platform offers dozens of fantastic instructors to choose from. 

There are Peloton instructors with different coaching styles, allowing you to find the best instructors that match your personality and preferences. 

You might like someone who gives a lot of technique and instruction, or you might prefer an instructor who tells stories and anecdotes during the workout to distract you from your effort, or you might prefer someone who gives lots of encouragement and motivation throughout the class. 

Taking at least one or two classes with each of the instructors will help you find someone that meshes with the vibe you are looking for.

A woman looks at the screen of her Peloton bike in a sunlit apartment.

#6: Learn the Peloton Terms

There is some basic terminology that you will hear throughout your Peloton journey in most classes and when you are looking at your workout metrics on the bike itself. 

Familiarizing yourself with this vernacular will help you understand the workout instructions and how to get the most out of your Peloton workouts. 

Here are a few key terms to learn:

  • Cadence: The number of times you turn the pedals per minute. You may also hear the instructors use the term “RPMs” (revolutions per minute).
  • Resistance: The amount of tension on the bike. There are 100 levels of resistance.
  • First Position: When your hands are placed on the lower portion of your handlebars.
  • Third Position: When your hands are placed on the upper portion of your handlebars.
A cyclist takes a rest after a Peloton workout.

#7: Take Rest Days

Whenever you start a new fitness routine it can be super exciting, but rest is still important.

Particularly if you are a complete beginner and haven’t been doing any sort of indoor cycling or spin classes, begin with just three days a week

Ease into the frequency and duration of your workouts so that you don’t become too sore or risk getting an injury.

#8: Start With a Beginner Ride

There are rides marked for beginners that are entry-level rides.

These will be easier and will also include lots of instructor guidance about how to use and adjust your bike.

Even if you’re an experienced rider, taking a beginner Peloton class first will help you get specifically familiarized with the Peloton Bike.

A cyclist adjusts the settings on her Peloton bike.

#9: Hide the Leaderboard 

The Peloton leaderboard is a fun way to compete and push yourself against other riders.

However, when you are just getting started, it is more important to focus on your technique and listen to your body rather than fight internal pressure to ride harder and climb the leaderboard. 

After you have a couple of weeks of workouts under your belt, you can turn on the leaderboard if you want the competition. 

Focus on your journey, not the stats and performance of anyone else on that leaderboard.

#10: Cool Down

When your workout is finally over, it could be tempting to just hop off the bike, jump in the shower, and get on with your day, but it’s important to cool down and incorporate a few post-workout stretches. 

This will help your body return to resting conditions and may reduce soreness after your workout.

A cyclist rides her Peloton bike at sunset.

Now you know the Essential Peloton Tips…

Getting started with the Peloton Bike can be an exciting but intimidating process. Take it one day at a time, one workout at a time. 

The bike is yours forever so there is no rush to start taking on the hardest, longest power rides and climbs right away.

Work your way up as your fitness, comfort, and technique on the bike improve.

Found these Peloton tips helpful? Check out more from the BikeTips experts below!

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With over a decade of experience as a certified personal trainer, two Masters degrees (Exercise Science and Prosthetics and Orthotics), and as a UESCA-certified endurance nutrition and triathlon coach, Amber is as well-qualified as they come when it comes to handling sports science topics for BikeTips. Amber's experience as a triathlon coach demonstrates her broad and deep knowledge of performance cycling.

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