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Why I’m Not Buying the Peloton Row

Peloton has been teasing us with the Peloton Rower for years. It’s taken such a long time that many members moved on from the idea of it or bought a non-Peloton rower in the meantime. In September 2022, the Peloton Row finally became available.

Should you add the Peloton Row to your home gym? I’m a certified personal trainer and avid Peloton user. Here’s everything you need to know and why I’m not buying a Peloton rower.

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Peloton Row Teasers Over the Years

Going back to 2018, Peloton members started asking for a Peloton rower on the official Facebook Page.

Then someone discovered a patent application for what looked like a rowing machine. There was talk of Peloton hiring new instructors.

Finally, Peloton made an official announcement at Homecoming event in 2022 and this video of Peloton instructor Adrian Williams surfaced.

In September 2022, new CEO Barry McCarthy officially announced that the Peloton Row is coming and it will be “expensive.” And he was right.

Everything You Need to Know About the Peloton Rower

Before you drop some cash on another piece of fitness equipment, let’s determine if the Peloton Row is right for you. From the quick glimpse of the video Peloton released, we can tell a few things.

How Much Will the Peloton Row Cost?

The Peloton Row costs $3195 which includes delivery and setup. In November, Peloton introduced financing options with Affirm.

The Ultimate Row bundle includes a row mat, workout mat, dumbbells, yoga block, yoga strap, and a heart rate band. Oh, and you also get a water bottle. That will cost you $3570.

(Of course, you can always buy accessories separately).

Back in 2016 when I discovered Peloton, there was no Bike Plus, and the original Peloton Bike cost almost double what it is today. That’s one of the reasons why I started using the Peloton app with a non-Peloton bike.

Although Peloton recently began selling its original bike and accessories on Amazon, they have no plans to sell the Peloton Row there.

What’s So Special About the Peloton Row?

Sure, the Peloton Row is sleek. And it has a leaderboard and a swivel touch screen much like the Bike Plus. I have the original bike and bought this to turn my screen.

It measures stroke rate, pace, output, and distance. You can also change your own pace target from levels 1 to 6. It’s smooth and quiet.

It also has Form Assist which appears on the upper left screen during workouts. This is similar to what you get when you use the Peloton Guide.

It folds up and can be stored upright when not in use with a cord to hold it in place. (Peloton does not need another safety recall).

But mainly, you’re paying for the Peloton Row classes on their branded erg.

Peloton asks in the above commercial: “Why isn’t rowing a thing?” Well, it is a thing, just not with Peloton. There are specific rowing boutique fitness centers like City Row across the country and it’s used in many cross-fit type classes.

If you like rowing, you may be interested in reading the fiction book, Lessons in Chemistry. It’s a great read and will get you pumped about rowing.

You'll Want to Row after Reading this Book
Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel
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02/18/2024 11:11 am GMT

Can You Take Peloton Row Classes on the App?

No. I predicted that to be the case as it was the same with the tread. At this time, you cannot get the Row classes on the app. However, if history plays out as it did with Peloton’s other equipment like the bike and tread, it will become available soon to everyone.

Right now, the communication from Peloton is very confusing:

Rowing Classes with the All-Access Membership

Will All-Access members (those with the Bike or Tread) have access? Peloton says that on the date of release (end of 2022), All-Access members will not have access to the Row classes. However, they may have access to a limited library of classes at a later date.

Rowing Classes with the Peloton App

All Peloton App uses (even those who do not own any Peloton equipment) have access to rowing classes.

Peloton Row Size

The long-awaited rower should be available in showrooms soon. I have not seen one in person yet.

It has an 8’ x 2’ footprint which is comparable to other rowing machines out there. Like a treadmill, you should have 2’ of clearance to both sides of you and in back of the Row.

The Peloton Row weighs 156.5 lbs. Remember, it folds and can be stored upright against the wall.

For Peloton Row bootcamp classes, you’ll also need extra space to safely do that. An area of 8’ x 6’ is recommended.

Peloton Row Instructors

The Peloton Row instructors are:

Adrian Williams

Peloton instructor Adrian Williams teaches the rowing machine classes. He’s one of my favorites, especially for strength classes. I appreciate his self-deprecating humor alongside his killer smile.

Matt Wilpers

Matt Wilpers is teaching Pro Row.

Ash Pryor

Ash Pryor, a former collegiate rower, joins the Peloton Rowing team. She founded Relentless Rowing Academy to bring rowing to underserved communities and people of color.

Katie Wang

Katie Wang (pronounced Wong) from Barry’s Bootcamp also teaches the row classes.

Alex Karwoski

Alex Karwoski is not only an Olympic athlete (in rowing, of course) but he’s also getting his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Becs Gentry

This ultra-maranthoner takes her skills from the Tread to the rower.

Peloton’s most certainly hiring new trainers specifically for its new rowing machine classes.

What Type of Workouts Can You Do on the Rower?

What excites me most about rowing is that it is a full-body workout. Many people don’t realize that it trains not only your legs but also your upper body and core.

It’s low impact, cardio, and strength all in one.

woman on rowing machine in gym
Rowing is a full body workout


They have an “Intro to Rowing” program similar to other Programs Peloton has released.

Unless you’re truly an experienced indoor rower, I recommend taking these classes. I’m sure the instructors will demonstrate proper form to avoid injury and overuse.

I recently attended an OrangeTheory class and while I did not love the strength training or treadmill portion, I loved the rowing time. Since many of us were new to indoor rowing classes, our OTF instructor spent some time demonstrating proper form.

It also appears that similar to the Peloton Guide, you can see your form on screen and compare it to that of the instructor.

On-Demand and Live Classes

On-Demand Classes

We can assume that on the Peloton release date, there will be a ton of on-demand pre-recorded rowing workouts already in the library. As usual, you can filter on-demand rides by minutes, instructor, and difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced).

Live Classes

Personally, I try to take as many live classes as possible, although they don’t always fit into my schedule. There is something motivating about signing up for a class and adding it to my calendar that makes it hard to ignore.

All of Peloton’s live classes become available on demand, often just mere hours later.


And while I don’t do bootcamp classes too often, one of my favorite Peloton Guide programs was actually the Floor Bootcamp.

woman doing lateral raises with dumbbells
woman doing lateral raises with dumbbells

A row boot camp certainly makes sense. Unlike the bike, you don’t have to unclip from any pedals and you can sit your weights right beside you. Just remove yourself from the foot straps and you’re ready to go.

Scenic Rows

Peloton revamped its scenic classes on both the Tread and Bike this past year. Members have a choice of guided scenic classes or timed classes.

Note, if you don’t have the Peloton Bike, you can’t take advantage of the scenic classes, and the same goes for the Peloton Tread scenic classes. This means that these classes are entirely unavailable to Peloton App users who don’t use any Peloton equipment.

This is the one thing I feel like I’m missing out on by not having a Peloton Tread, the scenic classes.

With that logic in mind, it seems plausible that Peloton will offer scenic rows in various idyllic locations. But, without purchasing the Peloton Row, you could not access these classes.

scenic lake

The scenic rows do look pretty amazing on Peloton’s website.

Just Workout

Peloton added a new feature to its app in 2021 called “Just Workout.” You can now track any of your non-Peloton workouts including outdoor cycling, outdoor walks, outdoor runs, yoga, just to name a few.

I’ve seen Facebook posts where people feel like they’re cheating if they take an exercise class that’s not Peloton. For those of us trying to keep our Peloton steak, Just Workout is the answer.

Just Workout would also allow you to use your rower while you watch TV, listen to music or a podcast, or use another workout program. (Apple Fitness already has its own rowing classes).


I’m a huge fan of Peloton meditation classes. I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep without listening to Ross Rayburn or Chelsea Jackson Roberts’ voices.

Although I don’t have much experience with an indoor rowing machine, I’ve done my fair share of kayaking. There’s something transformative about the movement of our arms and the stillness of the water.

Granted, a rowing machine has a different feel to it but I won’t be surprised if Peloton starts offering meditative row classes.

Class Duration

The Peloton site says that you can work 86 percent of your muscles in just 15 minutes. For those of short on time, you can’t beat that for an efficient workout!

If we look at the traditional Peloton schedule, I would guess that most classes would range from 15 to 30 minutes, with some longer 45 and 60-minute classes thrown in.

They also offer 5 to 10-minute warm-ups and cool-down classes.

Which Heart Rate Monitors are Compatible with the Peloton Row?

Like the Tread and Bike, you should be able to use any ANT heart rate monitor. I’ve tried almost all of them. The Peloton Heart Rate Arm Band syncs seamlessly as does the Scosche.

Peloton Arm Band Heart Rate Monitor
Peloton Heart Rate Band | Arm Band with Rechargeable Battery
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02/18/2024 09:30 pm GMT

But the best way of tracking my heart rate is with the Apple Watch. I don’t have to remember to charge it and it’s always with me.

My favorite Peloton update of 2022 was the ability of the Apple Watch to connect to their equipment, including the Guide.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying the Peloton Row

For many, buying the Peloton Row is a no-brainer. But if you’re an over thinker like me (remember my tagline is “I do the research so you don’t have to”), you may want to consider some of these things to make the best choice for you.

1. Have you ever taken an indoor rowing class before?

I know a lot of people have purchased the Peloton bike without ever taking a spin class.

Yet, I also have friends who bought the Peloton bike and regretted it after realizing spinning isn’t for them.

For most of us, this is a splurge item. At the very least, try to get yourself into a showroom to try it out. Find out if there’s a Row in a Peloton showroom near you.

2. Will you use it?

I don’t know about you but sometimes it seems the more equipment I add to my workout room, the fewer things I use.

You only have so many hours in your day. If you love your Peloton bike (and maybe treadmill too), do you have the time to take full advantage of all these classes? Sure, in the beginning when it’s shiny and new, you will use it. But six months down the line, will you still want to use it, or will it be out of guilt?

3. Is it worth the money?

I may be channeling Suze Orman here but for me, this is a better question that can you afford the Peloton Row?

People choose to spend their money differently. It’s why I never loved the term Poor-Aton or similar phrases to describe people who used a non-Peloton bike with the app. There are many people who use indoor cycling bikes like the Keiser that cost more than a Peloton.

The Peloton Rower, while nice and high quality, will not be the top of the line just as their Peloton Bike and Tread are not. So you are paying for the Peloton branding along with the ease of using a machine designed specifically for their workout program.

To some this is worth it, to others it is not.

4. Is there a cheaper alternative?

Yes. There are plenty of less expensive rowing machines out there.

Are you a person who needs all the bells and whistles? I’ll admit when I MacGuyvered my non-Peloton spin bike, it wasn’t for everyone.

Back then, it took a lot of figuring things out and trial and error. That’s the very reason why I wrote my blog post How To Get the Peloton Experience Without the Price Tag,” to share what I had learned.

You need to determine how important it is to you to have all your metrics available on screen, getting access to all classes, and not needing to buy anything extra. Those are things you need to consider when you ask yourself is it worth the price tag?

I’ll give you an example from my own life. I’m not an avid runner and don’t aspire to be one. And I have no desire to compete on the treadmill leaderboard. However, I love the Peloton classes so much that I felt like I was missing out on them by not having a treadmill.

So I bought an inexpensive treadmill.

Our Pick
Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT Treadmill
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02/19/2024 12:45 pm GMT

Do I use it? Yes.

Do I use it often? No, and most times, I watch TV and walk. I do some light runs. I love the Peloton hikes. I do the Tread Bootcamps occasionally but my space isn’t really set up for that.

Do I regret my treadmill purchase? No. It’s not costing me any more money to take the Peloton Tread classes as I’m already paying for the All-Access Membership.

I knew from the beginning that it would not get nearly the same use as my bike. But I do enjoy it and I have zero buyer’s remorse because of how much I paid for my particular treadmill that meets all my needs.

5. Do you have room for another piece of fitness equipment?

I have a dedicated workout room that I share with my drummer husband. It’s big enough for the bike but there’s not enough room for the treadmill.

And, with the Peloton Guide, you need a TV to use it. So that’s not in my gym either.

Where will I put a rowing machine? I don’t know. But it has to fold if I’m going to consider buying one.

Peloton Row Pros

What are the Pros for buying a Peloton Row?

Immediate Access to All Classes

When the Peloton Tread came out, you could only access the classes on their equipment. It’s possible and likely that this will be the case for their rower.

Yet, Peloton released Guide-only exclusive content that dropped for everyone else just 7 weeks later. Peloton has always been primarily a software company first and it only makes sense that rowing classes would become available to all members rather quickly.

Form Check

It appears that you can check your form on the new rower. But put up an inexpensive mirror and you can do the same thing. Peloton instructors do not see you so just like the Guide, you’ll have to self-correct anyway.

Touchscreen and All Metrics

The ability to filter classes, high-five, compete on a leaderboard, and have everything you need in front of you is appealing.

Peloton Row Cons (and Reasons Why I’m Not Buying a Peloton Row)

Price Tag

When Peloton said the Row would be expensive, they weren’t kidding. This rowing machine costs a lot more than other rowers on the market. Is the technology that much more advanced? I guess only time will tell.


If I’m going to be honest with myself, I know I’m not going to use the rower as much as the bike.

Popular Peloton Rower Alternatives

Are there alternative rowers on the market? Absolutely. Here are some of the most popular brands:

Concept 2

This rower gets great reviews and is a fraction of the price of the Peloton Row. It’s one of the best rowing machines out there and is considered the gold standard, especially for CrossFitters.

Top Choice
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor, Black

The gold standard for CrossFitters!

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Want the feel of the water? Check out the WaterRower.

Water Rower
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine S4
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02/18/2024 09:45 am GMT

Sunny Health and Fitness

This rower is simple but it has great reviews and is perfect for a beginner rower.

I know what you’re thinking, how can you get a decent rower for this price? I bought a bike from this company Sunny Health when I first started using the Peloton app. And a friend of mine has their treadmill and zero issues.

Budget Pick
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with LCD Monitor
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02/18/2024 10:30 am GMT

How to Stream the Peloton Rowing Classes

Once the classes become available on the app, you can stream to your iPad, phone (that’s what I use for the treadmill), Roku, or use the Guide.

If you can use the Guide, that’s what I recommend because of its ease of use. But I’ve tried all of the methods above and they all work great.

Remember, some of your metrics may not be available and you will likely not have all the Peloton Row features.

Will I Ever Get the Peloton Row?

First of all, I think Peloton will lower the price at some point. Until they do, I won’t even thinking about buying their rower.

As much as I love Peloton, I can’t see myself using the rower that much. I’m intrigued by getting a total body workout, especially in a short duration of time. Admittedly when I have used a rowing machine, the time flies by.

But I do plan on getting a rowing machine. If I love it, yeah, maybe I will eventually get the Peloton Row.

I used my non-Peloton bike for almost 2 years before upgrading to the real thing and I don’t regret that. It fueled my passion for Peloton and I’ve enjoyed watching the company change from a spin bike company to one of the leading fitness companies.

What about you? Are you planning on trying out the Peloton Row or the rowing classes (when available)? Let me know in the comments below.

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