The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Peloton


Yep, this is why we’re here.

The Bike

The Saddle (It’s a seat, we’re just being pedantic)


Heart Rate Monitors

Leaderboard Names


Your First Live Ride

The Century Shirt


Power Zones

Riding at the Studio


The Pause Button

Progress Indicators


Your Apple Watch

Helpful Tips

Types of Rides

  • Low-Impact — this doesn’t mean low effort, but in general it means that the cadence won’t go over 100, the resistance won’t go over 50, and there will be little or no ‘out of the saddle’ (i.e. standing) sections
  • Groove — less cadence dictated by the instructor, more based on riding to the beat of the music. Can also sometimes include more movement on the bike. When people ask “What ride is more like Soul Cycle” — this is one of the frequent answers.
  • Live DJ — exactly as expected; a live DJ is in studio mixing songs and helping to drive the class. These are fun when the DJ and the instructor have a good rapport.
  • HIIT — high intensity interval training. Intense periods of effort followed by a short rest, and then back on the gas. Don’t do this as your first ride.
  • Tabata — a type of HIIT ride, but it follows a specific pattern. The classic Tabata pattern is 20 seconds of effort followed by a 10 second rest. I think ‘Tabata’ translated means sweaty. Or death.
  • 70’s / 80’s / Y2K / Classic Rock / EDM — all rides based on the associated genre of music. There are a ton more: country, jazz, broadway, etc.
  • Power Zone — based on your calculated Functional Threshold Power, these rides direct you through 7 different zones of output from ‘Very Easy’ to ‘Max Effort.’

Encore Rides

  • Encore rides are broadcast at a fixed time, not when you choose
  • When you do an encore ride, the leaderboard is live. You may only see 100 or so people on there doing it with you. Afterward, your results are put in with everyone who has done the ride ever; you may have been 14th place in your group, but you might be 199th once the results are merged with on-demand riders. (Yes, those are my numbers, no I’m not too bitter.)

What is HRI / Peloton Homecoming

Multiple Riders, One Bike

I’m the DJ


Riding with Friends

Slap that face!

Getting a Shoutout

  • Riding on your birthday (Make sure your birthday is set in your profile)
  • Milestone rides — any that get you an award are a good start: 50, 100, etc…
  • Your first live ride

Losing Weight

Common Problems

  1. Squeaky or clicking pedals, especially when out of the saddle: Use this, or something like it. Also, for a lot of people switching to LOOK brand ‘bi-material’ cleats available at bike shops or on Amazon. Don’t get LOOK “Keo” cleats — they’re incompatible. Don’t use SPD-SL cleats either.
  2. All of your on-screen metrics are reading ‘0’: check the cable from the bike to the screen — it’s probably loose. Happens on a lot of new deliveries
  3. Trouble detaching shoes from the pedals: this one takes practice, and is covered in the intro videos. If needed, you can adjust the pedal tension with an Allen wrench (it’s a 3mm.) If you really get stuck, just undo your shoe velcro and slip out and then figure out the problem.
  4. You feel like the bars are too far away, even with the seat slid all the way forward. If your handlebars are all the way up, and you’re a shorter person, there are a few common tricks: you can get a wrench and adjust your seat within the rails that it mounts on. Depending on how it was installed this might get you as much as another inch. Some short-stature riders have also put a section of ‘pool noodle’ over the handlebars to shorten the space between the bars and the saddle.
  5. Howard Rubin has a great troubleshooting guide that you should look at if you’re having issues.
  6. If your cleat comes off the shoe and gets stuck in the pedal, Peloton has put up a great video explaining how to fix it.

What about Zwift?




Rookie father, Infosec leader, Peloton addict, drone photographer, and 3D printer wizard.

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John Abella

John Abella

Rookie father, Infosec leader, Peloton addict, drone photographer, and 3D printer wizard.

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