Live video content is precisely the thing Peloton is known for tol keep us coming back to our bikes instead of gathering dust in basements like so many other exercise equipment fads of the past. The Peloton videos have also turned New York City spin instructors into quasi-celebrities among the broader cycling community.
Peloton videos are streamed through a 22-32 in touchscreen that’s attached to the front of the bike. It runs a custom Peloton operating system, built on top of Android. The display has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, and all of the video content is streamed in 1080p HD. It’s a thick, unremarkable monitor, with a camera in the front, volume buttons on the side, and speakers in the back.
Up to 14 Peloton classes are streamed live every day. If you can’t tune into the live streamed classes, you can view over 5,000 classes on-demand. They vary widely in terms of intensity, length, style, and instructors. The instructor is positioned in the center of the frame with a squad of Peloton riders behind him or her, all real people, who are taking the class in Peloton’s New York City studio. Along the bottom of the display, you see your stats: your cadence, your resistance, your output or overall exertion level, and if you wear a heart rate strap, your heart rate. Along the right hand side of the screen is the all-important Leaderboard.
Peloton Streams up to 14 live classes per day
This is where you can challenge your efforts to other people taking the class. If you’re live-streaming a class, you’ll see your output and your class rank in real time. If you take an on-demand class, you’ll see the numbers on the leaderboard for other participants who have already done the class, giving you a kind of illusion of a live leaderboard, but it’s not actually live.
It’s not uncommon for a few hundred people to be participating in a class simultaneously. Sometimes that number even creeps up over a thousand.
The Peloton Tread is here to meet every home gym fitness challenge you set yourself. Experience a mix of live cardio and strength workouts to fit your goals, and training by top NYC instructors that fits your schedule. Welcome to your very own private fitness studio.
While gym and health club memberships in the US have been rising steadily in recent years, reaching a high of 55.3 million Americans in 2015 (the most recent data), less than 50 percent of members are considered to be “core” members or frequent gym-goers. More than one study has shown that the user retention rate on home exercise equipment like treadmills is dismal.
Peloton is capitalizing on bigger trends, the obsession with cycling communities like SoulCycle, the proliferation of screens and Wi-Fi connectivity in our lives, and a growing emphasis on health and wellness.
It’s also worth noting that the Peloton tablet attached to the bike has a front-facing camera and microphone built into it. Peloton says this can be used for video chatting among members.
How you feel about the camera and microphone probably depends on whether you’re also the kind of person who covers up their laptop camera and uses encrypted messaging apps.
The Peloton bike is like a Spin bike, since“Spin” is trademarked, let’s call it an indoor stationary cycling bike for your home gym. It’s a carbon steel and aluminum bike with a weighted flywheel in the front that determines the level of resistance while you’re riding. It’s nicely constructed and, at 135 pounds, so heavy that I needed help moving the bike around my apartment. This is not something you assemble at home, either. It requires in-home delivery set up process.