You’ll Be Sorry If You Miss This Ultimate Guide To Peloton Auto Resistance

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BY Chery Donald
Updated on 08/17/2022

Generally, resistance indicates how heavy the bike flywheel feels. Together with cadence, it is one of the two key metrics while cycling. As resistance adds up, you will find it increasingly hard to keep working out at the same cadence.

During Peloton high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, resistance constantly changes. Hence, practitioners may find it difficult to closely follow instructors’ guidance and pay attention to such changing resistance at the same time.

Fortunately, Peloton has introduced auto resistance as one of the special features added in its Bike+ and makes tracking fluctuating resistance easier than ever.

So, keep rolling down this article to know everything about it!

What Is Peloton Auto Resistance?


Peloton bike+

Overall, resistance makes moving in the desired direction more challenging. At Peloton, there are 100 resistance levels (1 – 100%) and the trainers will provide instructions about which level you need to work on.

The Peloton auto-follow resistance feature is operated by modern software. Utilizing its assistance, you can conveniently synchronize your exercises to the resistance level given without having to manually adjust the resistance knob.

For instance, if your instructor asks you to cycle at a resistance level of 40 – 50 for the next 2 minutes, the Peloton Bike+ will automatically set it up for you. Yet, if you find the volume set not suitable for you, just reach out for the knob and manually modify it.

How Does The Peloton Auto Resistance Work?


Peloton auto resistance illustration

Broadly speaking, the Peloton auto resistance functions by adhering to the pre-determined target metrics. The next parts will explain what target metrics are and how Peloton uses them for the auto-follow resistance feature.

What Are Peloton Target Metrics?

Generally, Peloton target metrics are built based on instructors’ recommended in-class resistance and cadence ranges. You could find them in on-demand classes on the Peloton Bike, Bike+, Tread, and Tread+ to opt for suitable classes for your training goals.

Does The Peloton App Have Target Metrics?

Basically, it depends on which Peloton device you own.

If you own a Peloton Bike+, you are also granted with all-access membership. Hence, you can easily acquire your target metrics without having to install the Peloton app.

Otherwise, you will need to register for a membership account on the Peloton app because, without it, the only metrics you can see on the app are class descriptions and plans.

What Is A Good Resistance For Peloton?

Your age and riding ability level determine the optimal resistance on the Peloton cycle. However, if you are keen on getting the most out of your resistance, those levels of more than 60 will suffice.

Ideally, during most of the sessions, you should be around the 50 – 70 zone in terms of resistance.

Is Cadence or Resistance More Important on Peloton?

In general, it is all up to your personal objectives that decide which one of them plays a more important role.

Cadence puts strain on your cardiovascular system and raises your heart rate, while resistance builds muscle and strengthens your legs. In other words, cadence is essential to cardiovascular fitness, and resistance is the key to leg strength.

How To Automatically Control Peloton Resistance?


Peloton resistance knob

As a whole, the resistance level on the first version of the Peloton Bike can only be adjusted manually by rotating the knob as the auto-follow resistance feature is exclusively available on the Peloton Bike+. So, let’s find out how to install and use the function in the next parts.

How To Install The Auto Resistance Feature?

To set up this function on your Peloton Bike+, follow these steps:

Step 1. Select “Settings” in the top right corner of your screen.


Choosing settings

Step 2. Click “Device Settings”.


Choosing device settings

Step 3. Choose “System”.


Choosing system

Step 4. Click “About Tablet”.


Choosing about tablet

Step 5. Find “Build Number” and tap on it 7 times to activate “Developer Mode”.


Tapping build number

Step 6. Once “Developer Options” are available, click it.


Developer options

Step 7. Select “Gestures”.


Gestures in developer options

Step 8. Click “Peloton Gestures”.


Choosing peloton gestures

Step 9. Turn on “Enable In Class Gestures”.


Enabling in class gestures

Once successfully switching this function on, you can use two or more fingers to swipe on the screen to adjust your Peloton Resistance level. Swiping up will add 5 points to your current resistance, and, vice versa, swiping down will subtract 5 points from your current resistance.

With this feature, you do not have to rotate the knob to adjust the resistance range. Yet, you still can. When the automatically set resistance level is too high or too low, feel free to manually adjust the knob based on your personal preference.

How To Use The Auto Resistance Feature?

Below is the list of all the simple steps you need to take to use the auto resistance feature on the Peloton Bike+.

Step 1. Join an on-demand class. 

Please be noted that this class must have been available in the Peloton library for more than 24 hours since live and encore ones have not yet enabled this feature.

start-a-cycling-class (2)

Start a cycling class 2

Step 2. Find the lock icon. 

In the bottom right corner just above your resistance metrics, you should seek a little lock icon in a yellow circle.


Resistance level on the console

Step 3. Click the icon to initiate the feature. 

Upon clicking, you can see the icon highlighted. This indicates that the auto resistance is activated, and the resistance will be altered automatically whenever the class demands a transition.


Click the lock icon

Afterward, just get all hyped up and immerse yourself into an exciting Peloton ride knowing that the resistance is set at the ideal level.

Besides, you are also informed about how much time you have left before the resistance changes thanks to the time interval revolving around the icon.

Peloton Auto Resistance Advantages

Quite apparently, the auto-follow resistance offered by Peloton brings numerous benefits, such as

  • Saving time: The Peloton auto resistance helps you follow the instructions even when the pace is fast, thereby saving a lot of time.
  • Elevating concentration: With this feature, you do not have to worry about manually adjusting the knob, especially during fast-paced sessions.
  • Motivating: The given resistance levels may be a little bit challenging for you. Yet, successfully performing at such a resistance rate proves your ambition and passion for the ride.
  • Diversifying options: Thanks to the auto-follow resistance feature, you can choose between rotating the knob and leaving the resistance range automatically changed.
  • Enhancing cycling effectiveness: Using the auto-follow feature will make you strictly follow the resistance levels suggested by the instructors.

Peloton Auto Resistance Disadvantages

Though the benefits of using auto resistance are diverse, it is undeniable that the feature still has some drawbacks.

  • Being inappropriate for certain fitness levels: Particularly, the Peloton auto-follow resistance is not cut out for newbies (as it may be too tough) and professionals (as it may be too easy).
  • Posing lag time: Technical problems may happen, making your resistance level on the bike different from what the instructors ask for. So, if you are concerned about this, just switch to the manual way.
  • Limited access: The feature is exclusively available for the on-demand rides and on the Peloton Bike+, meaning you cannot utilize it if you possess a regular Peloton Bike or participate in live classes.
  • Inconvenient settings: Since the function is not always on, you have to switch it on every time you wish to use it.

Should You Use Peloton Auto Resistance Or Manual Resistance?


A woman cycling on the peloton bike

In general, it comes down to on your personal preferences. 

Peloton Auto Resistance Peloton Manual Resistance
Significantly improving your training effectiveness Barely having any impact on your training effectiveness
Helping you rest assured and pay all attention to the rides Distracting you to adjust the level every time the instructors ask
Forcing a higher or lower range than your ability Granting you all the power to freely seek your ideal level

Is Peloton Auto Resistance Available For Scenic And Live Rides?

Peloton users are truly fond of participating in scenic rides and live rides. Thus, the question regarding whether the auto-follow resistance feature can be employed in these rides has been attracting intense attention. Let’s find your answer now!

Do Peloton Scenic Rides Have Auto Resistance?

The answer is: NO.

Generally, just some of the Peloton scenic rides include auto cadence. Hence, when participating in these sessions, you have to change your resistance level by hand.

Do Peloton Live Classes Have Auto Resistance?

The answer is: NO.

Since the auto-follow resistance feature is always added to the rides 24 hours afterward, you will also need to adjust the resistance knob manually during these sessions.


All in all, whether using auto or manual resistance is better counts on users’ personal preferences.

You can reach out for the auto resistance feature when you want to completely focus on the workouts, then when you just feel like cycling at the level you love, you can manually rotate the knob to gain a better experience.


1. Is the Peloton auto-follow resistance worth it?

The answer is: YES.

Without being distracted by the constantly changing resistance levels, you can entirely engage in the rides. The feature also has a slide bar with a range for you to adjust based on your personal objectives, thereby enhancing your experience.

2. What type of resistance does Peloton use?

Peloton utilizes magnetic resistance. This type of resistance allows the flywheel to be smooth and silent even at the highest resistance settings.

3. Does Peloton adjust resistance based on weight?

The answer is: NO.

However, your weight still casts an impact on resistance at Peloton.

Heavy people usually find maintaining certain resistance levels easier than slim ones. This happens because they have more weight to transmit on the pedal, making moving the flywheel simpler.

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