An introverted year of exercise with my DIY-Peloton cycle


Originally published at:


How’s that cliff holding up to the Winter storms?


I will say, I adore my Peloton spin bike. I think their spin instructors are great. I also really like their bike – having the digital readouts on-screen so you can see exactly where your speed, RPMs and resistance is at, is GREAT. Even a few percentage points of difference in the resistance number can mean a very different effort level I have found, so having the exact number on the screen lets me dial in very precisely where I want to be for a given effort. If you’ve considered one and are on the fence, I would encourage you to go for it.

They also just announced a treadmill product at CES, and what’s interesting is that they are not going to charge a cent more than the existing $39/month for the spin class subscription, if you already have that. I’m not in the market for a treadmill, but if it’s as good as the spin bike, it’s going to be killer.

OK OK, enough of this product endorsement. :slight_smile:


I would definitely like to be able to afford either a Peloton or other branded stationary bike, just don’t have the ability to afford the expense right now. Last stationary bike i bought was super uncomfortable to ride and despite trying to adjust it i felt that no matter what the seat kept wobbling and going off kilter. Was so glad to have gotten rid of it.

Some day i hope i can get a nicer one :slight_smile:


I really want an indoor trainer, but I already have two bicycles in my apartment, so I’m thinking of getting the kind where you pop the rear wheel on a stand, or the the direct drive kind that has a gear cassette and you remove your rear wheel. There’s this social riding app called zwift that looks really fun. Sort of like grand theft auto looking 3D graphics for cycling. Nothing beats riding outside though. Unfortunately it’s cold and icy and covered in shitty snow here right now.


Thanks for the update, Jason!

I’ve planned on building a stationary bike with a generator instead of a back wheel (not to make power, especially, but to give me magnetic controls, charging small devices would be a side effect) for at least 20 years, and still never managed to get it done…


It’s a good idea. I think that the car alternator would be ideal as a variable load. If you disconnect original voltage regulator, you can adjust load very smoothly just by varying voltage on the brushes. It can be done with a single MOSFET, Schottky diode and a microcontroller.


Technical details is over my head but always enjoy seeing knowledgeable people problem-solve :slight_smile:


I keep meaning to bodge together one of those control systems so I can turn my bike into a control system to navigate virtual environments, so I can do virtual tours through Google Streetview or a game space. Unfortunately it’s a fair amount of work and I’m not sure it would be any better than watching movies on my laptop propped in front of me while I bike, now.


There must be people that have already done most of the leg-work for this kind of hack, there’s some old instructables on how to do a really rudimentary hack dated 2011, the most recent one i’ve seen is this:

I can’t find documentation on how to replicate his hack… though he’s using VR plus Street View.


In place of the wahoo, Bryton Rider has a lot of features at a terrific price point which could be adapted to your road bike and the peloton. I have the Bryton Rider 310 with cadence and HRM. I bought as a combo with handlebar mounting components (here for $117), but I think this slightly cheaper Bryton Rider 100 is substantially the same deal. They are reviewed and compared here.


Actually you would probably have faired better with a genuine narrow profile racing seat rather than a pad. A good racing seat is narrow so it does not put pressure on your soft parts, and allows you to bear your weight on the “sit” bones of your pelvis. Its counter intuitive - narrower skinnier is better.


also, padded shorts


yes - real bicycle shorts make a huge difference. I always like the ones with thin gel pads, although you felt like you were wearing a wet diaper.


I kid you not, the first time I heard about spinning classes, I thought they were about making yarn.

How many skeins a month can you make with that setup?



But only if you have an initial power source, an alternator does nothing without a magnetic field. Short of throwing a small car battery in the mix, a DC motor (permanent magnet) being driven (used as a generator) would be smaller, and easier to use as a charging source by simply adding a voltage regulator. Would be interesting to know if the charging load of a small device would be perceptible enough to require the microcontroller to monitor it and adjust the MOSFET accordingly, or if they could be separate circuits.


Yeah, that was one of my inspirations to look into how it could work, and I have found some documentation that’s relevant, but it’s a fair amount of effort to replicate - a system of DIY sensors + Arduino hackery just to essentially simulate a keyboard sending a “forward” button-press input… and then some other system entirely for the other controls.


Funny that they chose to use the name peloton for a solitary stationary bike. Where’s the elbow bumping comradery?


Personally, I like going to a gym where all the equipment maintenance and repair is their problem.