Peloton has made headlines for many reasons since coming into the cycling community's consciousness, but the provider of indoor bikes and associated training platforms has hit the big time with a discussion around whether President Joe Biden will be permitted to take his machine into the White House.
Users of the exercise bike can join live spinning classes, connecting to other uses and the coach via the microphone and camera on an accompanying device. Biden having confirmed he is an avid user, the questions now are around the potential for security risks as a result.
Biden confirmed that he's a member of the Peloton peloton in his podcast "Here's the Deal", stating: "I try to get out of bed by eight o’clock in the morning and I have a gym in my house upstairs. I have a treadmill and a Peloton bike and some weights. And I try to work out every morning for me. That sort of gets me going."
Users can watch and follow Peloton indoor cycling classes from a library of pre-recorded sessions, but they can also tune in live.
The potential security risk posed by the latter was raised by Popular Mechanics. Speaking about the potential issues, Max Kilger, Ph.D., director of the Data Analytics Program and associate professor in practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio told Popular Mechanics: "Because you're connected to the internet, even though there are firewalls and intrusion detection software ... those things can be gotten around if you’re really good and skilled."
Kilger added that it is likely measures could be taken to mitigate this risk, adding: "If you really want that Peloton to be secure, you yank out the camera, you yank out the microphone, and you yank out the networking equipment ... and you basically have a boring bike."
Peloton is no doubt getting excited about being a part of the furniture in the White House, with the brand tweeting an image of Nicholas Cage, with the caption: "I’m gonna get a Peloton bike in the White House,” in place of the iconic line “I'm gonna steal the Declaration of Independence.”
Cycling Weekly tested the Peloton bike in January 2020.
We were a bit disappointed that it didn't have an inbuilt strain gauge, instead making power estimates based on resistance levels and cadence, but we did quite enjoy some of the workouts.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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