What It’s Really Like to Do a Test Ride In a Peloton Showroom

Dana Zepeda
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Have you ever had that dream where you’re standing naked in front of a roomful of people? That’s kind of how I felt when I first volunteered to do a test ride at the Peloton showroom. One of the perks of clipping in at home is you’re not on display in front of other riders. I can roll out of bed, ride in my pajamas or get all gussied up in my favorite Lululemon leggings and sports bra. Nobody knows the difference! That said, I sometimes miss the communal atmosphere of sweating in a live spinning class. So I recently decided to combine the best of both worlds by booking a test ride at the Newport Beach, Calif. showroom.

Peloton showrooms (different than Peloton studios, which are only in NYC and London with the new interim studio there!) are technically retail stores where prospective Members can check out the Bike and Tread and book a test class, but they’re so much more than that for the Peloton community. Showrooms regularly throw events like parties and panels, welcome in Members who are traveling for on-the-road workouts if they’re staying somewhere without access to a gym (or just miss their Bike or Tread!) and throw milestone celebrations for Members who want to share their moment with the larger community. Today, though, I was here to sweat it out on my own timeline with extra motivation to crush my workout, since I’d be riding in front of the Peloton staff the entire time.

Photo of Members celebrating their milestone rides in their local showroom

As I entered the showroom, I was immediately greeted by Fashion Island Mall’s friendly store manager Justin, who gave me the choice of riding in a private room (available by appointment) or on the showroom floor. I chose the latter, since my primary goal was to push myself harder by riding in front of other athletes.

Before I clipped into my bike, Justin handed me a cold water bottle, a pair of size 6 ½ spinning shoes and a set of wireless headphones. We chatted for a few minutes about our favorite instructors before he got down to business finding the perfect workout to fit my busy schedule.

Photo of a private riding room via Member Mollie M.

Since I had a full workload that day, we decided on a 30-minute session with Cody, my all-time favorite Peloton teacher. The ride started with a slow, easy warm-up that quickly evolved into a calorie-torching sprint set to The Backstreet Boys. As Cody bantered about Britney Spears vs. The Backstreet Boys, I grabbed the towel Justin had handed me at the start of my workout and wiped away the sweat already accumulating on my brow.

Although the store was mostly empty since it was a weekday morning (something to consider if you don’t feel comfortable in front of big crowds!), I noticed a small group of shoppers watching me climb up and down hills on my bike. My back was turned to them so I didn’t immediately notice they were standing there. But, once I did, the adrenaline kicked in pushing me to ride even faster during Cody’s next big sprint.

Photo of Member Kenneth M. riding in a showroom window

Half an hour later, I felt happier, less stressed out and more energized than I had in a long time. Not only had I successfully overcome plateaus, but I’d also accomplished my goal of amping up my motivation levels with live support from the Peloton community.