Scroll down to Power Accuracy Analysis in the attached review for a more complete explanation:
The Peloton Bike/Bike+ (and associated platform) is by massive margins the most popular consumer fitness bike in the world, and largely for good reason: It just works. Every…single…time. But up until the Bike+, there were elements that weren’t as polished.
But here's the punchline:
Still, this is a darn impressive set overall. I know that may not be obvious, since I tend to focus on the nuances of where things went wrong – but let me be super crystal clear here: This is more accurate than either the Wattbike ATOM 2020 or Stages SB20 Bike. It’s also on-par with either the Wahoo KICKR Bike or Tacx NEO Smart Bike (though, the Tacx Bike took countless months after launch to fix, the Peloton Bike+ worked out of the gate). Again however, do NOT convey the Bike+ accuracy to the original Peloton Bike (non-Plus).
I too am an avid cyclist and switched to a Bike+. The "original" Peloton bikes are mechanically (vs digitally) calibrated. Honestly, the power outputs are all over the map. My riding crew used to descend on the Peloton 23rd Street studio in the winter months to compete with each other, and it didn't take us long to realize that some bikes were "doped". It only matters if you want to compete across the Peloton platform (versus you-against-you), and it certainly makes a mockery of the current Leaderboard. If you want to get a sense of this, just look at virtually ANY final Leaderboard standings and you will see IMPOSSIBLE outputs!
So, here are my suggestions: 1) If you're competing with friends, make them all upgrade to P+
; and 2) As I and others have suggested many times already, Peloton should consider: a) offering a separate Leaderboard for P+ riders that want to opt-in, and b) having Peloton instructors ride P+ bikes during classes (for the Auto-Follow crowd).
Meanwhile, the weather's improving, so we will be outside crushing it on the road anyway! Look forward to seeing you out there!
Meanwhile, you can join my tags: #PeloPlusCalibrated or #PelotonPCalibrated to ride with like-minded souls!