Would you pay $4,000 for this high-tech treadmill?
Posted January 5, 2018 10:13 a.m. EST
LAS VEGAS (CNNMoney) — Indoor cycling startup Peloton wants to revamp another piece of home exercise equipment: the treadmill.
The company on Tuesday unveiled the Peloton Tread ($3,995) at CES 2018, the annual tech show taking place in Las Vegas this week.
Peloton, which launched in 2014, has gained a cult following for its professional indoor cycling classes that are streamed live or on demand to a user's home. You have to buy the company's special internet-connected indoor bike ($1,995) and class subscriptions, which cost $39 per month.
Now, fans of Peloton have another option for their workout: running.
Like the company's exercise bike, the Peloton Tread has an HD touchscreen for watching classes taught by instructors live from New York City. At 32 inches, the treadmill's touchscreen is more than twice as big as the bike's.
"Treadmills are generally pieces of hardware people don't like," Peloton CEO John Foley told CNN Tech.
But Peloton is marketing a treadmill that isn't just about running. Classes also include circuit training, hiking and walking. They can also incorporate weights and mat exercises.
The company will separately sell additional equipment, such as Peloton weights, but hasn't announced pricing for it yet.
There are also different options depending on how much time you have. For example, you could take a 10-minute class focused on your arms or a 60-minute bootcamp style class.
Peloton says one of the features that sets its treadmill apart is its 59 shock-absorbing slats, which make the run more comfortable by creating a softer impact on the user's feet.
I tested the Tread at CES and found it does indeed have a lower impact on my feet, performing more smoothly than more traditional treadmills I've used.
Another feature that makes the Tread stand out are two knobs that let you easily adjust your speed and incline without disrupting your workout. The variety of classes and customization options it offers is also appealing. For example, you can select classes with your favorite music genre, such as hip hop or classic rock.
Still, the hefty price tag could be a major drawback for some consumers. Treadmills typically range in price from $900 to $3,000, according to a 2016 report from Consumer Reports -- placing Peloton's very much at the high end.
Peloton is part of a growing trend of boutique fitness workouts. But while popular classes such as SoulCycle and Barry's Bootcamp require you to come to a studio, Peloton is banking on people wanting to exercise on their own schedule and in the comfort of their own home. Their target demographic is people aged between 35 and 65 who have busy schedules.
Its strategy seems to be working. The company has over 600,000 members and says it's been growing rapidly. In May 2017, Peloton closed a funding round for $325 million, resulting in a $1.25 billion valuation.
However, the company sees itself more as a software company than a hardware business.
"Our intention was never to be a stationary bike company. We plan to be a disruptive company at the nexus of fitness, technology and media," Foley said.
Peloton is already looking into new areas, such as yoga. The company also has another secret hardware platform in the works.
For now, the Tread is available for pre-order online starting Tuesday and will begin shipping in the fall.