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Pelton Tread Indepth Review | Should you buy this $2500 Treadmill?

So today we are going to review the Peloton Tread. We can ignore that Peloton's first treadmill made headlines after injuring several people and even killing a child. But this isn't that treadmill. Let's rewind a bit. Peloton's got two treadmills. There's The Tread Plus, which launched back in 2018 and costs over $4,000. I don't know about you, but forking over more than $4,000 for a treadmill, that I can barely squeeze into my apartment is absolutely bonkers. That's why at the height of the pandemic, Peloton announced it was making The Tread, a sleeker, smaller, and more affordable treadmill that would hopefully expand its reach to new customers. At least that was the plan.

peloton-tread-reaview girl working out

The reality is, The Tread has had an incredibly rocky launch. It was supposed to arrive in February 2021,that got pushed to May and then just before at official launch, The Tread got recalled alongside The Tread Plus because of a wobbly display. Fast forward a few months, Peloton's made some design adjustments, and it got the okay to launch The Tread in August. That's about when Peloton started pedalling itself straight off a cliff.

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In case you missed the news, Peloton's business is a hot mess right now. In the past month, co-founder and CEO John Foley stepped down and 2,800 employees were laid off after investing hundreds of millions into its North American manufacturing. Peloton also said that whole project was caput. And then some of the fired Peloton employees gate-crashed new CEO Barry McCarthy's first all-hands. You also have a hoard of angry investors who want Peloton to be sold to a bigger company like Apple, Amazon, or Nike. It makes perfect sense that they're angry. Peloton's valuation plummeted from a pandemic high of $50 billion to $8 billion. So that's where Peloton's currently at. Which is absolutely wild when you think about how successful the company was during the early days of the pandemic.

Usually when a company screws up this badly it's because they have a bad product. That's not quite the case with Peloton. The Tread is actually an excellent treadmill. It's well built, the rotating display is gorgeous, and these nifty knobs make it so much easier to control speed and incline, which if you've ever been in a treadmill class last thing you wanna do is tap the screen because you can't get the speed down fast enough.


It's a lot smaller and quieter than The Tread Plus, to the point where most people would definitely be able to fit it within their homes, without pissing off their neighbors. Most treadmills are ugly as sin, but I wouldn't be ashamed to have one of these in my home.

Peloton's also taken some effective measures to make this treadmill safer than its predecessor. You've got the tread lock screen that requires you to input a passcode, to unlock the display. The treadmill also won't turn on, if the safety key isn't in place. Without these two components, you simply can't turn on the treadmill. It's sort of like having two factor authentication. And while the hardware is top notch, the classes are where Peloton really shines. There's so many to choose from, with all kinds of instructors, set to curated playlists. I don't love treadmill running, but you know I felt myself inspired to push it in a few of the classes. So once you've taken a class, it's easy to see why so many people are enamoured with Peloton's platform. It's always easier to do hard things when someone's cheering you on, even if that person is inside of a screen. Basically you have a winning combination of excellent hardware and software. Great, right?

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So what does Peloton's fall from grace have anything to do with you? The most tangible way Peloton's floundering business impacts consumers right now, is you've guessed it price. I'm gonna use The Tread as an example again, but reminder, this is the affordable Peloton treadmill. So let's do some math. It retails for $2,500. And that's not including the $40 monthly membership fee. But starting January 31st, Peloton tacked on another $350 charge for assembly and delivery. Something that had previously been included in the original price. At their Q2 earnings, Peloton admitted that it did that to boost the bottom line. So it was supposed to be Peloton's more affordable treadmill, is now pushing up on $3,000. And the more expensive Tread Plus was a little over $4,000. So we're getting to the point where you're not saving more. It's not really that much more affordable.


We don't know for sure whether this price hike is permanent. That depends a lot on McCarthy's vision for where Peloton's headed next. In his first few interviews, McCarthy hinted that he's open to futzing around with Peloton's entire pricing structure. That includes lowering the prices of the machines and possibly bumping up the cost of membership. McCarthy's also floated the idea of creating different subscription tiers. So you could totally buy into Peloton now, expecting one thing, but get blindsided down the road if and when things change and, let's be real, there's a pretty good chance that things are going to change.

Peloton's misfortunes, also point to a broader issue within the whole connective fitness industry, closed ecosystems. Let's say you decide to shell out for The Tread. Technically speaking, you only own the hardware. That shiny tablet can't do anything other than play Peloton content. The Treads tray also isn't big enough to prop up a tablet, in case you want to watch your own content. Believe me, I tried. At least the fancy treadmills at my gym can stream Netflix and sync automatically with my Apple watch. This is a machine that's been meticulously crafted to hook you into Peloton's ecosystem. If you decide to cancel your membership, you're left paying a premium for something that's the same as any other treadmill.

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Perhaps Peloton's biggest problem so far is that it's been confused as to what it's real product is. It's not the bikes, it's not the treadmill, it's the classes. But if Peloton can't sort itself out, then that excellent product disappears. And once again, you're left with a bricked device that you paid too much for. A lot about Peloton's future is up in the air. We'll have to see whether Peloton's new CEO can steer the company through pretty sever cost restructuring plan. But on the bright side, connected fitness is on the rise and it's not like Peloton's completely given up on its plans. There are a ton of products rumored to be in the pipeline including a new connected rower, which has been rumoured for forever, and the forthcoming Peloton Guide. And as we've seen in the past, Peloton knows how to make a good product. So I'm not saying Peloton's destined for failure, it's just something you have to think about.

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