Peloton will brick your $4,300 treadmill if you don’t pay the $40 monthly fee

Peloton Tread
(Image credit: Peloton)

After Peloton issued a massive recall in May, the company has decided to require all Tread and Tread+ owners to maintain an active $40/month subscription to continue using the fitness device. Those that do opt not to pay will have their devices made inactive. This is really only a problem for the subset of users that don't have a membership, but enjoy the "Just Run" feature. 

The major policy change comes after an agreement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which allowed owners to get a full refund of either $2,495 and $4,295 for their Tread and Tread+ treadmills respectively. The refunds were issued after reports of safety problems that left at least 70 injured and one child dead. Users can still return their Tread+ treadmills per the terms of its voluntary recall.

The change in the agreement first came to light from Peloton user Brianna Wu. The shift effectively made it impossible to use the Tread or Tread+ as a standalone treadmill. It's a big ask for a fitness device that costs over $4,000. 

In a statement to Tom's Guide, a Peloton representative said, "In our ongoing work to ensure that our products are even safer, and as part of our voluntary recall in collaboration with CPSC, we released Tread Lock, a four digit passcode to secure Tread+ against unauthorized access."

By unauthorized access, it could refer to people, especially children, who may be using the device without supervision. Peloton requires that subscribers use its Tread Lock feature, which locks the treadmill behind a passcode. 

"Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership," a Peloton representative said. 

It's uncertain if Peloton could implement a similar pin code system in the future for those who don't want to pay the $40/month membership cost. Luckily for all users, the next three months of All-Access Membership have been waived. 

"We have waived three months of All-Access Membership for all Tread+ owners, so those without a subscription will need to activate their free 3-month All-Access Membership to enable Tread Lock before they can access Just Run," a Peloton representative said. 

Apart from that, it seems that after the three-month window, if Peloton is unable to fix the issue, then users will need to start paying up. 

Tom's Guide asked Peloton what percentage of customers opt not to get an All-Access Membership subscription, but did not receive an answer. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.