Following the Peloton bike formula for success, the Peloton treadmill combines premium machinery with clever training software. As detailed below in “What We Like,” the Peloton Tread is quite well constructed—as one would hope for the price. This holds true from its 67” cushioned rubber slat-style track to its 32” flat screen display with high definition. The use of rubberized slats over a conventional belt gives the premium treadmill a huge upper hand in terms of longevity that comes with a caveat. First, you’re effectively paying for not having to replace a treadmill belt in the increased sticker price of the Peloton, and (likely) more importantly, the firmness of its slats means this sleek new treadmill won’t be ideal for the runners/walkers in the room who suffer from joint stiffness and pain. All told these are solid upgrades, but where Peloton tries to set themselves apart is through its training software, and connecting owners directly with Peloton’s fitness studio in NYC’s West Village.
Peloton’s city studio never sleeps—classes run ‘round the clock—allowing owners of the Tread to log in and join a class at any time. A team of three camera operators in the studio basement helps make it possible. This setup allows you to communicate directly with the instructor and compete with your classmates. As far as virtual “just like being there” experiences go, this ticks just about all the boxes (without any of the potential unpleasant aromas). This key selling feature is not included in the Peloton’s sticker price, but instead comes as a $39/month fee. While an added monthly expense typically isn’t what treadmill shoppers are after (considering a home treadmill helps you ditch that pesky gym membership), but it’s also a nice perk to gain access to this kind of real-world training from the comfort of your home.
Designed with the idea of competing with traditional gyms, the Tread will connect its owners with a wide variety of Peloton studio classes both live and on-demand. Different styles of treadmill workouts are scheduled for all ability levels, including options that add strength training to cardio exercise. (Peloton refers to these cross-training treadmill workouts as “boot-camp” sessions.) A sample format is ten minutes of treadmill running followed by ten minutes of exercises for the abs, arms and glutes. Additionally Peloton members can take part in classes focused entirely on off-the-treadmill exercises for flexibility, toning and strengthening the whole body. Access to more than 4,000 video classes for use with the Peloton bike is part of Tread purchase too.
The only thing we can’t help but ponder is the longevity of this type of service programming. Yes Peloton has proven to be quite successful since its launch in 2012, but they are also a very new company in the grand scheme of things. (By comparison NordicTrack has been in business since 1975 and is still going strong.) Round the clock live training is a hot ticket now, but are the sales of these treadmills and memberships going to perpetually be running at a high enough volume to keep Peloton’s 24/7/365 live training profitable in the long run? We suppose time will tell.
Full price for the Peloton Tread is $4,295. The machine can also be financed over 24 months, although the end price is then higher if you aren’t already a Peloton member. The purchase includes a $300 flat fee for shipping and treadmill assembly.
What We Like:
- Tread Belt Durability: Far superior to just about any tread belt, the Peloton Tread running surface is extra-long at 67” and consists of thick rubber-coated aluminum slats. These shock-absorbing and interlocking pieces make running on the Tread easier on your body compared with outdoor training, but not as forgiving as a conventional belt setup. Peloton hasn’t published just how far this track can take you, but the belt reminds of the vulcanized rubber tracks on high-end manual treadmills by Woodway, which are advertised to hold up for at least 150,000 miles.
- 32” Display: A 32”-diagonal HD touchscreen is your portal to virtual NYC studio training whenever you please. The large view along with audio helps create immersive training experiences. The size has a more practical benefit too, as the wide screen lets you clearly see demonstrations of off-treadmill exercises.
- High Quality Audio: The Peloton treadmill console has a powerful soundbar that delivers respectable sound quality. During live classes, Tread instructors can address riders by name for extra guidance and motivation. The high fidelity system also helps make the most of workout music. The Tread provides a Bluetooth connection, a wireless headphone connection, as well as a jack for wired headphones.
- Incline and Speed Controls: Another Tread benefit is uniquely smooth adjustments for incline and speed. Peloton introduced a new way to adjust these settings, letting you turn a dial for very fluid change. You can also press a button in the center of the dial to adjust slope and speed by whole integers at once.
- Live Workouts: Live and on-demand workouts have been key to Peloton’s success with home exercise bikes, and Peloton Tread owners will get the same “virtual studio” experience. Peloton owns a boutique fitness studio in NYC’s West Village, and from there a three-woman team of videographers captures courses for Peloton members around the world. Step aboard the Tread anytime of day or night for live cardio workouts led by world-class instructors, including Peloton’s own Vice President of Fitness Programming. Starting in Fall 2018 the team will make four class types available on the Tread with about 10 to 15 selections each day:
- Walk workout classes for low-impact cardio and building your endurance
- Run workout classes for the whole spectrum of runners, from new runners to marathon trainers
- Total Body workout sessions that mix treadmill cardio with off-treadmill strength training exercises
- Floor workout classes focused on strength, flexibility and toning exercisesDuring live class broadcasts a Peloton instructor can communicate with participants through the Tread camera and soundboard. A leaderboard compares performances to give you extra motivation; classmates can compete. As a Peloton member you’ll have on-demand access to previous classes as well.
- Manual Treadmill Mode: The Peloton is motorized but can be used in manual mode too. Manual mode provides a new type of muscular challenge because the track can only move with your bodyweight.
- Performance Tracking: Peloton members can use the company’s mobile app for iOS. The Peloton app tracks your workout history, makes it easy to choose from thousands of on-demand classes, provides a workout scheduler and has other features to help maximize your progress.
- Assembly Included: Professional set-up is included with purchase.
Peloton Tread Treadmill - Key Specs:
|Incline:||Incline to 15 percent|
|Running Area:||20" x 67"|
|Top Speed:||12.5 MPH|
|Weight Capacity:||300 LBS|
|Dimensions:||72.5”" L x 32.5”" W x 72”" H|
- Price: At $4,295 the Peloton Tread is one of the priciest home treadmills on our review site.
- Additional Monthly Fee: Building out the home gym typically means cutting out a gym membership, whereas the $39/month fee for Peloton’s live training classes still leave you with a monthly bill—granted, for a pretty cool service if you commit to using it.
- Not For Sore Joints: Great as its slat belt is for durability, if you’re not in prime form you’re going to be better off/more comfortable on one of our other favorite home treadmills. (You’ll save on the sticker price too!)
- No Android App: The Peloton App for scheduling and tracking your workouts is for iOS devices only.
Is the Peloton Tread worth your fitness dollars? For a very specific set of demands and interest, sure, but not for most. This trainer costs more than double the typical home treadmill upfront, yet its durability suggests that the Tread is actually a decent long-term buy at over $4k. Essentially it’s a high-end commercial-quality treadmill designed for home use. Mechanically you might consider it a fitness machine to last a generation, or to serve your household for at least a decade. The vast majority of home treadmills under $2,000 aren’t likely to last as long if used equally, but again it comes down to how intensive your fitness goals really are and what your long-term strategy is.
As we mentioned earlier, a bit of faith is involved regarding the live programming. Workouts aren’t programmed into the console, and buyers trust that Peloton will follow through on years of daily class delivery. The promise seems manageable for a company with a cult following and great track record, and now valued at $1.25 billion, but again time will tell.
Of course, your personality or workout style is a critical consideration too. The Tread is especially meant for those who’d get motivated by high quality workout classes in real time. That’s not everyone; some people would rather exercise almost mindlessly with TV as distraction. Others would prefer the interactive training available on iFit Coach treadmills, with the one of our top picks being the NordicTrack 2450 ($1,999). While iFit Coach treadmill workouts won’t literally let you interact with personal trainers like the Tread will, the video technology makes it seem as if you’re exercising alongside a world-class coach. Maybe most exciting is how an iFit Coach treadmill can work with Google Maps to show paced street views of routes around the world. Members get access to a library of standard video workout classes too, with a selection that’s more diverse than what Peloton now offers.
You won’t get the rubber slat track, a 67”-long running area, and 32” HD display with NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line iFit Coach treadmill, but considering the $1,796 savings between the two models the decision isn’t particularly cut-and-dry. The Tread is a luxury buy, and for now there’s no treadmill quite like it, but given how technology has been advancing lately we don’t doubt that in a few years at fitness shows and tech shows, we’ll likely see other treadmill brands emulate the Peloton approach. The studio-at-home idea is revolutionary, and Peloton has already proven with their bike that there’s at least a modest niche market for it.
To try the Peloton treadmill before making a down payment, look for a Tread showroom in your region.