My DIY Peloton bike: An ongoing journey

Years later, my DIY Peloton remains one of the best purchases I have ever made.

I am an early 50s Gen X dotcommer, and like many of the few of us, pain management is kind of sorta what life has become. Having grown up at the tail end of an era where everything from cigarettes to bad posture was cool, I often ask myself how bad 70 or 80 is going to suck if I feel this way now, and it inspires me to work harder at "self-care."

In that regard, my two most helpful things are my DIY Peloton and my Pilates reformer. I put an iPad on a SunnyBike SF-B1002 stationary bike, added a Wahoo cadence sensor, and used my Apple watch for heart rate tracking. Over the many years, I have become accustomed to running the Peloton app for my spin classes. As they continue to raise the prices, I keep thinking I will try another venue but pay for an additional year's subscription. It works well with my setup, and I look forward to my three sessions a week, which tend to be 45-minute classes with a five or ten-minute cool-down ride. The cool-downs seem to help me avoid some muscle fatigue.

I rode five times a week for a while and overstressed myself. A physical therapist recommended turning to Pilates. When a studio opened up criminally close to my house, it became what I used to restore balance with the rest of my body. After a couple of years of in-person group classes, I found a local studio closing down and got a great deal on a fantastic reformer. Pilates as a balance to HIIT cardio cycling workouts presents a pretty nice balance to my body, and I've been able to use Pilates to solve some pain problems in my hips. My lower back is light years better than it has been.

While heavily targeting my hips, glutes, and core with Pilates, I backed off the Peloton and gained weight. Hopping back on the Peloton and looking at my stats has shown me that I need to keep on the bike a couple of times a week, or I need to eat less :) Instead of using any paid service, I have just been taking an occasional free course on YouTube and planning my hour on the reformer solo. I don't need to be told what to do and how long to do it, which I require on the spinning bike. Different experiences, I guess.

Over the years, I've needed some new shoes and pedals and recently had to oil the resistance pad on the bike—but for around $300, I can't complain, and I never consider a $2000 Peloton. Their business should be subscriptions, not hardware. Sometimes, this bike is available for around $140, so keep an eye out.