Even for the most committed Peloton fan, the new heart rate band is a tough sell. Whether you prefer an armband or a chest strap, there are plenty of better products available that cost less.
The wristband is easy to use with Peloton’s machines and has a neat screen to show your heart rate zone, but it doesn’t offer ANT+ connectivity and is less accurate than the best heart rate monitors. And we know from our experience reviewing the Peloton Tread and the Peloton Bike that pairing any heart rate monitor to a Peloton machine is easy anyway.
Peloton Heart Rate Band Review: Price and Availability
You can buy Peloton’s heart rate band for £80, which is £50 more than the company chest strap heart rate monitor. An alternative to note is the Polar Verity Sense armbandwhich costs £76.50, offers Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and has longer battery life than the Peloton Band.
The Peloton heart rate band comes with a small or large cuff, with the small designed for forearms 19-27cm and the large for 27-34cm. The band is wide and quite thick, so it stays in place, but it’s also warmer and more clammy than the thin band of a product like Polar’s Verity Sense.
There is stretch in the band strap and I found that I could carry the small band on my forearm or on my biceps, helped by the small size of the latter. I would recommend aiming for a band that also fits on your upper arm, as wearing a heart rate band there, rather than your forearm, gives more accurate readings in my opinion experience.
The sensor is a capsule that you slip into the wristband. Press the top to wake it up and the five-light display will show battery life in bars and flash blue when the band is in pairing mode. Once linked to a Peloton machine or app, it will display the heart rate zone you are in using color coded bars.
I found that the Peloton tread easily connected to the band, and I could also pair it to third-party apps like Strava. Note that it can only pair via Bluetooth, whereas most monitors will connect to devices via Bluetooth and ANT+.
Monitoring your heart rate accurately is a great way to gauge exertion levels during any type of exercise, and with Peloton the information is used in the Strive Score that appears during your workouts. This score works well across different workouts, so you can judge whether you’re pushing harder in runs or cycles than in HIIT sessions.
I always use a chest strap heart rate monitor for my run to get more accurate tracking than with a wrist-worn optical heart rate sensor. Moving an optical sensor to the forearm or bicep also improves accuracy.
The Peloton band was good for accuracy on my forearm or biceps compared to readings from a Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap, and the lights on top make it easy to see what heart rate zone you’re in – although this information is even easier to see on the screen if you use it with the Tread or Peloton bike.
However, there was a weird spike, and sometimes at the start of workouts, my Peloton band heart rate reading was too high for the first 10-15 minutes, which obviously messed up the Strive Score.
Overall a chest strap is more accurate and it’s easy to pair one to the Peloton app and machines. However, if you don’t like the feeling of wearing a chest strap, an armband is a good option and the Peloton band is comfortable if slightly bulky. Given the Peloton band’s limited connectivity and high price tag, I’d recommend the Polar Verity Sense if you prefer that style of monitor.
You take the pod out of the band to charge it in a dedicated cradle, and it lasts 10 hours on one charge. Again, this compares unfavorably to other options: the Polar Verity Sense lasts 30 hours on a charge, and heart rate monitors that use watch-type batteries last months before needing to have their battery replaced.
It’s at least easy to monitor the battery level on the Peloton heart rate band thanks to the LEDs on the top.
Is the Peloton heart rate band worth it?
No. It offers less connectivity and battery life than chest straps that cost half its price and are more accurate, including Peloton’s own chest strap. Even if you prefer an armband, the Polar Verity Sense is a better all-around product that costs less. The only feature worth noting here is the LED display, which is well made but largely useless most of the time.