Peloton CEO hints at cheaper bike as usage soars

Lockdown has seen worldwide usage rise dramatically

Peloton Indoor Training Bike

Peloton CEO John Foley has indicated in a recent interview with Time magazine that the brand is in rude health and is looking at bringing the costs of its indoor training bike and services down significantly in order to capitalise on the recent uptake owing to the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown.

What is Peloton bike and how does it work? 

If you're unfamiliar with the brand, it produces the £1990 Peloton bike and accompanying app that links the rider to live virtual spinning style classes taking place throughout the world. In some ways it isn't targeted specifically at cyclists but more at the average frequenter to gyms and spinning classes - it can however, be used to create more structured training sessions as well. Currently some 2.6 million members are signed up to Peloton worldwide.

Peloton has not been without controversy in the past few years - attracting negative attention for sending a cease and desist letter to YouTuber Shane Miller for his use of the word ‘peloton’ as well as picking up damages bills for allegedly using songs without proper license. 

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During the lockdown period Peloton has reported some interesting figures that indicate the growth in the use of indoor fitness equipment. On the 25th March Peloton recorded over one million workouts undertaken worldwide in a single day. To top this in April its first 'Live at Home' workout class became the largest ever virtual fitness class with over 23,000 participants.

All you need to know about indoor training

Peloton has increased the free trial period for it's services from 30 days to 90 to provide more incentive for people to take up at-home fitness workouts. This bumped its digital subscriber numbers from 100,00 to 1.2 million.

>>> Zwift v Peloton: which is best for your at-home workouts?

In the Time interview, Foley said: "Six months ago, I think we had around 100,000 digital subscribers to that business. And within 45 days, we had I think close to 1.2 million people who had jumped on the trial. So it was—call it a 10x increase in engagement. In weeks."

In the recent interview Foley has implied that he doesn't see a 'huge rush back to crowded gyms' and has indicated that over the coming months Peloton is working towards dropping the price structure for its Peloton bike, specifically the ability to pay for the equipment over a month-by-month basis.

Foley said: "We want to make our products even more affordable than they are today. Right now our bike is just over $2,000. But it’s $58 a month [for a 39-month, interest-free loan that covers the cost of the bike]. $58 a month [divided] by two people who are going to use it. Maybe even three people in your home. If we can get those monthly payments down, we can really open it up."

"We want everyone in every socioeconomic class to be able to afford Peloton. That’s a big focus for us in the coming years."

But even more interesting than that, Foley also indicated that it is looking at bringing out a second, more wallet-friendly version of the Peloton bike in order to widen the appeal of Peloton even further and making it's services more accessible to a wider audience.

Asked if he was referring specifically to a cheaper bike, he said: "Well, let’s not call anything cheap that Peloton does. Let’s say that a year or two from now, we might have two products in the fitness category."

Details and timescales are vague currently but Foley did mention that this new bike could be half the price but is more about reducing monthly costs to below $20 (£15.99).

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James Bracey

James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.