CES 2018, Las Vegas, NEVADA – 10th January 2018
Indoor cycling startup Peloton wants to revamp another piece of home exercise equipment: the treadmill.
CES 2018, the annual tech show taking place in Las Vegas this week saw the company unveil the Peloton Tread with a US$3,995 price tag.
Peloton, which launched in 2014, has gained a cult following for its professional indoor cycling classes that are streamed live or on demand to a user’s home. You have to buy the company’s special internet-connected indoor bike (US$1,995) and class subscriptions, which cost US$39 per month.
Now, fans of Peloton have another option for their workout: running.
Like the company’s exercise bike, the Peloton Tread has an HD touchscreen for watching classes taught by instructors live from New York City. At 32 inches, the treadmill’s touchscreen is more than twice as big as the Peloton bike.
“Treadmills are generally pieces of hardware people don’t like,” Peloton CEO John Foley told CNN Tech.
But Peloton is marketing a treadmill that isn’t just about running. Classes also include circuit training, hiking and walking. They can also incorporate weights and matt exercises.
The company will separately sell additional equipment, such as Peloton weights, but hasn’t announced pricing for it yet.
There are also different options depending on how much time you have. For example, you could take a 10-minute class focused on your arms or a 60-minute bootcamp style class.
Peloton says one of the features that sets its treadmill apart is its 59 shock-absorbing slats, which make the run more comfortable by creating a softer impact on the user’s feet.
Tests found the Tread does have a lower foot impact, performing smoother than more traditional treadmills.
Another feature that makes the Tread stand out are two knobs that let you easily adjust your speed and incline without disrupting your workout. The variety of classes and customisation options it offers is also appealing. For example, you can select classes with your favourite music genre, such as hip hop or classic rock.
Still, the hefty price tag could be a major drawback for some consumers. Treadmills (domestic) typically range in price from US$900 to US$3,000, according to a 2016 report from Consumer Reports — placing Peloton’s very much at the high end.
Peloton is part of a growing trend of boutique fitness workouts. But while popular classes such as SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp require you to come to a studio, Peloton is banking on people wanting to exercise on their own schedule and in the comfort of their own home. Their target demographic is people aged between 35 and 65 who have busy schedules.
Its strategy seems to be working. The company has over 600,000 members and says it’s been growing rapidly. In May 2017, Peloton closed a funding round for US$325 million, resulting in a US$1.25 billion valuation.
However, the company sees itself more as a software company than a hardware business.
“Our intention was never to be a stationary bike company. We plan to be a disruptive company at the nexus of fitness, technology and media,” Foley said.
Peloton is already looking into new areas, such as yoga. The company also has another secret hardware platform in the works.
For now, the Tread is available for pre-order online starting Tuesday and will begin shipping later in 2018.
For Aussies, Peloton haven’t quite made it over here, but WNiF are seeking more information on a release/launch date.