Is the Peloton Tread truly deserving of all the hype? I’ve run more than 100 miles on it to find out.
Like the Peloton Bike, the Peloton Tread’s popularity is due to the wide range of live and on-demand classes with instructors who have a cult-like following. Whether you’re training for your first 5K, or gearing up for an ultramarathon, having a treadmill in your home can make fitting the miles in a little easier, especially when the evenings draw in and the temperature drops. Peloton just increased the length of their user trial, here's where to find out more, you can also now connect your Apple Watch to the Peloton Tread.
Dimensions: 68” L x 33” W x 62” H
Screen: 23.8 inches HD touchscreen
Running surface: 59” L x 20” W
Weight: 290 lb
Max user weight: 300 lb
Motor: 3 HP DC
Max speed: 12.5 mph
Connectivity: Wireless and Bluetooth
As someone who has tested and reviewed treadmills for years, it’s safe to say that the Peloton Tread is one of the best I’ve ever used. It’s compact enough to fit into most living rooms, it has a large, easy-to-see screen, and a host of game-changing design features I’ve not seen elsewhere. The downside, of course, is the subscription cost. Thinking of investing? Read my full Peloton Tread review here.
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Peloton Tread review: Price and subscription costs
The Peloton Tread costs $2,495/£2,295, although there are a number of installment plan options available. On top of this, you’ll need to pay a Peloton subscription which costs $39/£39 per month. It's worth noting, the price of the Tread is due to go up after January 31, as shoppers will have to pay $350 for the delivery and installation of the machine. This brings the price to $2,845/£2545.
There’s no question about it — it’s an expensive investment. That said, if you use the treadmill regularly, I’d argue that it’s still cheaper than most gym memberships. You can also create multiple profiles on the treadmill, so if you can persuade someone else in the house to split the monthly subscription cost with you, it gets even more affordable.
I would say, however, that if you’re looking for a treadmill where you can just run on, the Peloton Tread isn’t worth it. The main selling point here is the classes — they are what elevates this treadmill from good to great, so if you’re not bothered about them, save your money and buy something like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, which is around $500 cheaper.
Peloton Tread review: Installation and setup
Put your toolbox away — you absolutely won’t need it here. When you purchase the Peloton Tread, you’ll be asked to schedule a delivery slot that works for you. A few days before your delivery, a member of the Peloton delivery team will call and ask about the location you’re hoping to install your Tread. I soon found out that my dreams of installing the Tread in my spare bedroom wouldn’t work, as the age of the property meant the weight of the treadmill (and me running on it) might damage the ceiling joists. Peloton always recommends you come up with an alternative location before the delivery team arrives.
On the morning of delivery, I received another phone call, with a specific time slot. The team then set up the Tread, connected it to Wi-Fi, and talked me through the features before leaving. I haven’t needed to contact customer support, but I was given the details should I have any questions or issues. The entire service was first-class and completely stress-free.
Peloton Tread review: Design
The Peloton Tread looks like most high-end treadmills on the market. It’s matte black and has the red Peloton logo on the arms of the treadmill. Unlike other treadmills, however, the belt doesn’t fold away when you’re not using it, so this is something to consider if you are short on space. There’s also no fan on the Tread, which is a little annoying, especially if you don’t have air conditioning or a window nearby when using the treadmill at home.
The Peloton Tread has a compact design. It’s 11 inches shorter and six inches narrower than the NordicTrack 2950, and although you do need space around and above the Tread, it’s definitely compact enough for most home gyms. At five foot two, I felt like I could fully stride out on the treadmill —but that’s not saying much —so I asked a couple of taller runners, standing at 5 foot 8, and 6 foot 1, to jump on the Tread and have a go. None of us had any issue with the belt being too short.
One of the stand-out features of the Peloton is its large, 23.8-inch touchscreen where you view the live and on-demand classes. I found it easy to see while I was running, and it was a pleasure to navigate around. However, the screen can’t be adjusted, and a couple of taller runners who tried it felt like they were craning their necks downwards when running. If you are particularly tall, it might be worth trying the Peloton in a showroom near you first, to ensure you can comfortably run and watch classes.
The screen also has a USB-C charging port, allowing you to charge your smartphone while you run, a 3.5 mm headphone jack if your Bluetooth headphones have run out of battery, and front-facing speakers if you’d rather run without headphones entirely. There’s also an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which allows you to record video chats with friends if you run together, and a built-in microphone so your friends can hear you as you run.
While the screen is fantastic, I do wish it could rotate as it does on the Peloton Bike+ for strength and conditioning classes. I’ve tried doing classes with my mat directly beside and directly behind the Tread, and in each case, it is slightly tricky to see the screen clearly. Of course, you can always use the app on a phone or tablet, but a rotating or adjustable screen would solve the visibility issue.
I also wish that Peloton would roll out the Apple Watch recognition that’s available with the Peloton Bike+. Before starting a class on the Bike+, you can hold your Apple Watch up to the bike’s camera, and the activity syncs seamlessly, allowing you to track your session, and use your watch as a heart rate monitor. This isn’t something that’s currently available on the Tread, the Tread+, or the Bike, and while it’s a pretty niche issue, it does seem confusing that this technology still isn’t available on all of Peloton’s products.
The speed and incline adjustable knobs on the arms of the treadmill are fantastic. On other treadmills, I find it infuriating when I find myself stabbing at the screen mid-sprint as I try and slow it down. The Tread’s knobs allow you to roll your speed forward and back, and raise and lower your incline without needing to reach for the screen. They are positioned on the arms of the Tread, around where you naturally run, and reaching out to the side rather than forward makes for a much more comfortable running experience.
The knobs also double as jump buttons, which you can push to quickly increase your speed by 1mph, or your incline by 1%. These come in handy during short sprint sessions where you want to add speed quickly, and not spend too much time getting there.
Peloton Tread review: Performance and classes
In my 100 miles of testing, I’ve tried a number of different classes on the Peloton Tread — from hikes to 45-minute progression runs. The treadmill has a number of clever features that enhance the running experience, including the ability to connect your Bluetooth headphones to the Tread and change the sound settings. During a class, you can choose whether you want to hear more of the instructor, the playlist, or just the settings Peloton has mixed for you. I’ve played around with the settings and found that during harder sessions, I sometimes need the extra motivation of the music.
Talking of music, Peloton gives you the opportunity to save tracks you like into a playlist on your Apple Music or Spotify account (if you’ve synced it), which means you won’t spend the rest of the day wondering exactly what that Fleetwood Mac song was. (It was Go Your Own Way, for anyone wondering). You can also filter classes by the type of music you would like to listen to, and Peloton has various artist collections, which include artists like Coldplay, Elton John, and Lady Gaga.
During each class you’ll be able to see a leaderboard of other members — you can give fellow members a high five mid-class, and if you’re competitive, see how you’re performing compared to others in the class. There are also a number of training programs and challenges to keep things interesting — the You Can Run challenge, for example, takes beginners from zero to 30 minutes of sustained running in just eight weeks.
As someone who prefers to run alone, I was surprised to find how much I loved the classes on the Peloton. I’ve run with a number of different instructors — Becs Gentry and Suzie Chan being my favorites — and I quickly felt like I was running with a friend, or in a group, as I took their classes more regularly. You can filter classes by length, class type, instructor, music, difficulty, and subtitles, and bookmark classes you’d like to take in the future. You can also stack classes, which allows you to make your runs longer. If I wanted to fit a long run in, I’d stack a 10-minute warm-up, a 45-minute tempo run, and a 10-minute cooldown. As you finish one class, you can seamlessly switch to the next without having to return to the home screen. You can also schedule live classes into your calendar, and get notifications to your phone to remind you when your class is coming up.
If you’re the kind of runner who is driven by stats, the Peloton home screen makes it easy to see your progress over time. At a glance, you can see your workout history, your milestone achievements, your running streaks, and any badges you’ve collected along the way.
Finally, if you’re really not in the mood for a class, there are a number of ‘just run’ options on the Peloton. Whether you fancy running through the streets of London, or along the Pacific Highway, the options are endless and you can easily plug into a playlist and podcast and just run.
Peloton Tread review: Safety features
I’d be remiss to gloss over the questions of safety when it comes to the Peloton Tread, which was recalled due to safety concerns following the death of a child and a number of accidents. For complete clarity, I’ve been testing the treadmill in the Future testing facility, not my own home. I live in a 19th-century cottage and was advised that the treadmill would be too heavy to go upstairs. The only option downstairs was in my living room, and I didn’t feel comfortable using a treadmill with a puppy in the home or indeed, leaving the treadmill set up in a room where my puppy is often left unattended.
The Peloton Tread doesn’t have the option to fold up the belt when you’re not using it, but following the recall, Peloton added a Tread Lock feature. This is a four-digit code that locks the screen after a few seconds of inactivity, similar to the lock on your phone. There’s also the safety key, which prevents the treadmill from being turned on when it’s not plugged in. At the end of each class, Peloton instructors remind you to remove the key and store it somewhere out of the way to prevent unauthorized access to the treadmill.
Like I’ve mentioned, all of my miles have been run in a testing facility, away from small children and pets, although this is purely down to the age and layout of my house. If I were to add the Peloton to my home permanently, I’d want it to be in a room where I could shut it away from the dog when I’m not using it. Now to persuade my boyfriend to let me build that garden gym...
Peloton Tread review: Verdict
The Peloton Tread is a brilliant treadmill for anyone who needs the motivation of a class to want to run on the treadmill. I’ve always hated ‘dreadmill’ miles and until now, I’ve actively avoided running indoors unless the weather is too treacherous to run outside. That said, I’ve actively looked forward to my classes on the Peloton. After 18 months of running alone, jumping on the Peloton has brought that feeling of group training back into my life, and boy, how I’ve missed it.
That said, if you’re not a class person and just want to catch up on your favorite TV shows while you run, I’d without a doubt, save the money and buy a cheaper treadmill, like the Echelon Stride. The joy of the Peloton is the classes, and if they’re not for you, there are definitely cheaper options out there. An easy way to get a feel for the classes before investing is to sign up for the Peloton app and tune into a class from the treadmill in the gym. You’ll soon know if it’s for you.
Adding a treadmill to your home is a big decision, and this is definitely one of the more expensive options on the market, but if you use it, it’s totally worth it. The Peloton Tread is neat in design and nature, and if I could bottle the post-run buzz I’ve gotten after taking some of the classes, I’d be rich.