Here’s what you need to know about the just-released Peloton $4K treadmill

There’s no getting around the fact that sometimes, you just don’t have enough hours in the day to get in a workout. But Peloton, a billion-dollar company with a tricked-out indoor spin bike that streams live and recorded fitness classes, has been aggressively trying to solve that problem with at-home equipment that offers a in-studio experience—a huge trend that the company largely pioneered. And this fall, Peloton is expanding with its just-announced $4,000 Peloton Tread treadmill, which also streams running classes. (So save your pennies.)

First the obvious question: What justifies that price, since the going rate for the (somewhat old-school) fitness equipment usually costs around a fraction of that? (The Peloton Bike also weathered its fair share price of criticism at $1,995 plus a $39 monthly subscription fee required to stream the classes.) Well, in this case, the Tread encompasses a complete, built-in fitness studio experience—the kind that comes with a motivating instructor pushing you to sprint, or raise the incline.

How does it do that? Similar to the Peloton Bike, the Tread has a 32-inch HD touchscreen (the bike’s is 21.5 inches) from which you’ll be able to participate in treadmill-based classes. These workouts will range in length, says Peloton CEO and co-founder John Foley, to suit different schedules and will include a number of different modalities such as running classes, total-body training (circuit/bootcamp style), floor workouts, and walking classes.

Peloton Tread looks to be solving for the issues of runner’s motivation and camaraderie in the way that the Peloton Bike solved for access to boutique-fitness quality rides.

As the passionate Foley would say, this is a wildly different version of the treadmill your dad bought—then never used. The Tread’s technology is custom, and cutting-edge, with a shock-absorbing slat-belt running surface, a built-in sound bar, and speed and incline knobs. And the workout, the brand promises, won’t get old: There’s a top fitness instructor coaching you, you’re connected to other viewers via your screen, and you do a mixture of runs and strength-training mat exercises during your session.

“The Peloton Tread is now the best synthesis of hardware, software, and class content in the category, Foley said in a press release. “It allows members of all ages and fitness levels to take effective, fun and motivating circuit, running, and strength workouts on their schedules and in their homes.” And being in your home is big, no, huge business.

The Peloton company was just valued at 1.25 billon, and its big move into running makes strategic sense. Running is one of the perennial fitness categories loved by nearly 65 million Americans—and yet it can also be somewhat solitary (oh, and weather dependent). By offering instruction, music, and motivation, the Peloton Tread looks to be solving for the issues of runner’s motivation and camaraderie in the way that the Peloton Bike solved for access to boutique-fitness quality rides. We’ll find out for sure this fall.

In other noteworthy news, Rumble could be on it’s way to becoming the SoulCycle of boxing, and Natalie Portman’s husband is venturing into the digital-workout space. 

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