Peloton bike
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Easy by Design: Peloton

In our Easy by Design series we explore innovative, well-designed products, services, and experiences. This week: Peloton.

Read Time: 4 minutes
The pandemic has turned many of us on to the convenience of at-home, on-demand fitness, with Apps like Nike Training Club and Daily Burn and YouTube channels like Yoga With Adrienne and Fitness Blender becoming go-tos when lockdowns took effect. One home-workout brand that has exploded over the past year is Peloton, makers of smart spin bikes and treadmills that allow you to stream live and on-demand workout classes.

Here at Jot, we like to squeeze in a workout when we can, and so, in our never-ending curiosity about ways to make life better through impeccable design, Sarah and Adam, from our marketing team, gave Peloton a try.

Quality Score: 8.5/10

The challenge for a product like Peloton is that it’s actually many products in one: a bike, a software, a workout protocol, and each specific teacher’s class style. Meaning, there’s a lot that Peloton has to get right in order to create a winning experience overall, and, in general, our reviewers think they’ve done a good job.

“I really like the attention to detail,” Adam said, “the way they built the adjustment knobs with longer handles to make them easier to tighten and loosen but with an added feature so that you can then move the handles out of the way of your pedal stroke. It’s clear they tested the bike itself and the service elements extensively.”

Another reviewer, Sarah focused on a software feature that lets you rank your performance against other riders who have taken that class. “I’m extremely competitive,” she said, “so I love that they have a leaderboard to rank performance compared to other Peloton riders even in non-live rides. I always get a great workout in because I’m always pushing myself on the leaderboard.”

Convenience Score: 9.5/10

In the before-times, taking a spin class meant you had to select a class from a relatively limited range of style, time, and length options, make a trip to a spin studio or gym, check in at the front desk, change clothes in the locker room, and then devote up to an hour and a half, just to get one workout. If you want to take three classes a week, that becomes a significant time investment. So, compared to the old way, it’s hard to imagine anything more convenient than Peloton.

As the mother of two young kids, Sarah loved how simple Peloton made it to get a workout in: “I love that I can get such a high quality experience in my own home. Working out for me is something I’m always trying to find time for in my busy day.... A quick change of clothes is all I need.”

Ease Score: 7.5

Our reviewers did find some room for improvement on the question of ease of use, which could partly be driven by sticker shock. At a recently reduced cost of $1,495 for its lowest-price model and $39/month for an all-access streaming membership, Peloton’s price does not give its users much reason to be forgiving of shortcomings they might overlook otherwise.

“The navigation is a lot less intuitive than it should be,” Adam said. “It feels more like wading through Youtube for content than what I’d expect for something that costs as much as it does.”

“I wish you could pause a ride (which I’ve heard is a feature in the works),” said Sarah. “I’m often interrupted by my toddler who is extremely jealous of my Peloton and will throw tantrums to get me off the saddle. I usually can clip out and back in within a few minutes once I’ve distracted him with something, but then I’m jumping into a ride where I’m feeling totally lost.

Our Takeaway

In general, the Jot crew was pretty impressed by Peloton’s smart, attentive approach to home fitness. Sarah summed it up well when she said, “The price for a bike and monthly app isn’t cheap, but for the value it brings with convenience and ease I think it is definitely worth the price. Peloton kept this mommy sane during the lockdown.”

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