Guides

Can Peloton Instructors See You? (Here’s What They See!)

The Peloton Bike, Bike+, and even the Tread come with a built-in, font-facing camera. If you’re about to go for your first ride or run, you may be wondering, “Can Peloton instructors see you?”.

No, Peloton instructors cannot see you while you ride or run. The built-in camera can only be used for video chat with a friend when you’re both in the same Peloton class. To use video chat go to Profile Settings and on the social tab click “Enable Video Chat”.

Video chats are completely optional, so if you decide that you don’t want to use the Peloton camera at all, that’s entirely your choice.

And if you ride right when you wake up in the morning, I don’t blame you for not turning on the camera!

What is the Peloton camera for?

I reached out to Peloton after purchasing my bike and they confirmed that their instructors CANNOT see you while riding.

Here is a screen shot of my conversation with Brittney H from the support team:

peloton support camera use

So if instructors can’t use the camera to see you, what is it for?

As mentioned, the camera is for live chatting with friends while you’re both in a class together. Live chats are completely optional but if you decide you want to check it, here’s how:

Enabling Video Chat

  1. First go to the Profile Menu and then select Profile Settings
  2. Then, on the Social Tab, click on “Enable Video Chat” 

Starting a Video Chat

  1. To begin a live chat you’ll need to be following the friend you want to chat with and you’ll have to be taking the same class at the same time
  2. You’ll both need to be using the same Peloton product (Bike users cannot video chat with Tread users!)
  3. Finally, join the same class that your friend is actively in and then scroll down until you find your friend’s username within the leaderboard on the right. Click on their name and then press the “talk” button to request the chat.
starting a peloton video chat

Why use Peloton’s video chat feature?

To be honest, I don’t use the video chat feature on my Peloton much.

But the few times I did were:

  1. Just for fun, dropping in on a friend somewhat unexpectedly to say hi
  2. As a bit of motivation – it can be nice working out/suffering with a friend occasionally

I know several Peloton users who ride the majority of the time with the video chat up, and a friend on the other end.

For me, that’s a bit much – most of the time I like riding solo. The instructor talking and the music bumping is plenty of stimulation for me.

Peloton camera specifications

All of Peloton’s products come equipped with built-in cameras. Here are the specifications:

Bike: 5 megapixel front‑facing camera for video chats with friends
Bike+: 8 megapixel front‑facing camera with privacy cover for video chats with friends
Tread: 8 megapixel front-facing camera with privacy cover for video chats with friends

Just incase you’re wondering, an 8 megapixel camera produces 8,001,700 pixels whereas a 5 megapixel camera produces 4,915,200 pixels (about 3 million less pixels).

5 megapixels vs 8 megapixels

Truth be told, you won’t notice a massive difference between the Bike and Bike+ cameras, if you even end up using the camera at all!

So if you’re debating between these two models, don’t let the camera impact your decision.

Peloton camera not working

If your Peloton camera is not working, it’s most likely because you have not enabled it yet! To enable your camera first go to the Profile Menu and then select Profile Settings. Then, on the Social Tab, click on “Enable Video Chat”.

If you’ve enabled the camera, but it’s still not working, make sure your privacy cover isn’t blocking the camera. I know this sounds silly, but you’d be surprised just how often this happens!

Finally, if the live chat feature is working but the video isn’t loading, or it’s extremely grainy and unclear, you could have a poor WiFi connection. Try unplugging your router/modem and waiting 60 seconds before plugging it back in.

Privacy concerns with the Peloton camera

The newer Peloton products come with a camera privacy cover built in. That way, if you have any concerns about the camera, you can simply close the cover, blocking the camera.

The Bike is the only product that doesn’t have this feature, so if you’re worried at all about the camera you’ll want to put a piece of tape, or some other covering over it.

And if you think people who worry about cameras are paranoid, think again. The security company McAfee released a report in 2021 that explains how hackers can gain access to your Peloton camera and microphone!

Peloton has since released a security fix for the vulnerability that McAfee identified, but whose to say hackers can’t, or won’t, find some other way to gain access?

The reality is that anything connected to a network can be hacked.

If I were you, I’d just play it safe and cover up your Peloton camera when it’s not in use. That way, you don’t need really need to worry about it. A hacker can’t remove the privacy cover!

What do Peloton instructors see during a class?

Instructors are extremely busy when they’re running a class. They are hosting a show, working out, and engaging with you, all at the same time.

So when you think about it, even if they could use the camera to see you (which they can’t), it wouldn’t really be feasible.

And on top of that, there can be hundreds of live riders in any given class, even thousands!

The instructor’s bike has a tablet that looks similar to yours but is functionally different.

Like us, they can see their metrics, time left in the class, and the leaderboard.

But they can also see some interesting stats like Total Output and Average Output from the whole class. And they have a Notes section on the left that they can use to help guide/cue them throughout.

Here is exactly what the instructor sees:

peloton instructor view

In addition to the tablet, they are surrounded by cameras. During the class they have to know which cameras to look at and when.

It’s pretty amazing how much they do behind the scenes to get everything just right, but then again that’s why many of them get paid six figures!

Conclusion

No, Peloton instructors cannot see you. The cameras built into Peloton products are for live video chats with friends who are in the same class as you.

Live chat is completely optional. If you do decide to use it, you’ll have to enable it first.

When you’re not using your Peloton, I recommend using the privacy cover to block your camera. If you have the Bike, you can use a piece of tape to cover the camera up. Remember, anything connected to a network can be hacked.

Peloton instructors are extremely busy when they’re running a class. They have to put on a show, workout and engage with you, all at the same time!