Peloton Tread review: An excellent running machine - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Peloton Tread review: An excellent running machine

The Peloton Tread didn't have the best start in life. It's the second treadmill to be launched by Peloton, but after safety issues with its larger Tread+ sibling, and screen issues with the Tread itself, both were recalled.

The Peloton Tread+ remains unavailable, but the Peloton Tread is now back on the market, bringing the excellent Peloton experience to runners once again. It is one pricey bit of kit though - more so than the Peloton Bike+ - and it's not small either.

Is it worth it though and if you're in the market for a treadmill, is the Peloton Tread the running machine to buy? Here's our review.

Very premium design

  • Dimensions: 1730 x 840 x 1570mm / Weight: 132kg
  • 23.8-inch 1080p touchscreen, 0-50-degree tilt
  • Belt: 1500 x 500mm 
  • Step up height: 200mm

Peloton isn't always in the press for the right reasons, but there is no denying the company makes some excellent products. There are cheaper treadmills out there of course, but the Peloton Tread is premium in every way and offers a fantastic build quality, just like the Bike+.

Featuring signature red accents, the Peloton Tread offers a combination of metal, rubber and plastic within its build and as far as running machines go, it looks excellent. The frame is made from carbon steel with a soft-touch coating, and there are two circular rubber knobs positioned either side, allowing for quick adjustment - just like the Tread+ offered.

The knob on the right adjusts speed, while the knob on the left changes incline - it is possible to set the Peloton Tread to automatically adjust incline though, which is helpful. Both knobs also have a "jump button" within their centres that increase speed by 1mph or incline by 1 per cent with each press - great for when you're doing a HIIT workout and you need a quick increase. There are on-screen shortcuts too but the knobs are much easier to use, especially when you want to reduce speed quickly following a sprint.

Like the frame, the base is also carbon steel and offers a solid structure for the belt to sit on, which is evident when in use. The belt - which is made from woven nylon with a textured PVC top - has a contrasting red centre-line and there's an embossed Peloton logo on the platform next to the belt on the left. A premium "P" sits on the frame at the front too, all adding to the premium build.

The star of the Tread is a 23.8-inch HD touchscreen, which is stunning. It's all-encompassing when running, putting the content and classes at the forefront of your view to keep you motivated and engrossed - it's a real shame you can't stream TV shows or movies to be honest, as they would look epic.

There is a camera at the top with a physical privacy slider, while volume controls are positioned on the right edge. The display is lovely and bright with punchy and vibrant colours that make the studio classes look excellent. However, while it tilts between 0 and 50-degrees, it can't be spun around, like you can with the Bike+. This makes it less useful for doing other workouts besides running, depending on where you have positioned your Tread.

Beneath the display is a polycarbonate tray with two cup holders and a space in the middle. This isn't big enough to hold a tablet though so you'll struggle to balance one there if you want to watch Netflix or another streaming service, given you can't do that on the Tread's screen. There's also the red magnetic safety key below the tray, which will need to be attached for the Tread's belt to move, and there's a large red stop button too.

Overall, the Peloton Tread does what other Peloton products do in terms of design - offers a wonderfully premium finish that means you don't mind having them on display in your home. That said, the Tread is not as dainty and elegant as the Bike+, and even if it is more compact than the Tread+, it's still big. You'll need to consider the space you have in your home and how happy you are to allocate some of it - or perhaps, a lot of it - to the Tread.

Setting up the Peloton Tread

  • Delivery, assembly and setup performed by Peloton ambassador staff
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac - 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Qualcomm QCS605, 4GB RAM, 16GB internal storage
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Power required

The Peloton Tread isn't just premium in its build quality though, it's premium in its experience too. The device is delivered by a couple of Peloton ambassadors and assembled wherever you want it in your home - just be sure where that is, because you won't want to be moving it after it's set up if you can avoid it. There are wheels on the bottom if you really have to, but it's very heavy and not an easy feat. 

Once assembled - it comes in several parts - the Peloton ambassador will take you through some of the basics on how the Tread works and how to access the content - don't worry if you forget, there are videos to remind you. You'll need to make sure you have power close by to where you want your Peloton Tread, as well as a good Wi-Fi connection. You won't be able to access the Peloton content without it, and you don't want to be half way through a run and the class to start buffering, so make sure your connection is solid.

You also need to make sure you have 600mm (24-inches) of clearance to the left, right, and front of the Tread and 2-metres (78.7-inches) of clearance behind the Tread. There also needs to be 510mm (20-inches) or more from the top of your head to the ceiling, so when we said you need space, we weren't joking.

The Peloton ambassador will make sure the belt is aligned within the two red dots on the front of the base - but you'll need to check this every once in a while to make sure the belt hasn't shifted. Unlike the Bike+, there isn't much to adjust on the Peloton Tread so once it is built, you're pretty much good to go. You can change things like your preferences for the screen shortcuts - for increasing speed and incline - but otherwise, there's nothing to change between users like there is with the Bike+.

How the Peloton Tread works

  • Live classes and thousands On Demand
  • Individual profiles for household access
  • Tread Lock and Safety Key
  • In-workout metrics: speed, mileage, elevation gain, heart rate,
  • Leaderboard to workout alongside other members

One of the best things about Peloton - and likely why it has such a strong fan base - is the no-fuss approach. This applies whether you've got a Bike, Bike+ or a Tread. Warm-ups and cool downs are incorporated into runs - and other workouts, which means when you pick a 20-minute run, it can be exactly that - a 20-minute run, rather than 25-minutes or 30-minutes. It's perfect for the time poor, and those with busy schedules.

There are separate cool-down runs that will appear as a recommendation after a class, along with strength classes or meditation, but the beauty of the Peloton Tread is you can pop your trainers on, jump on that belt and be running within seconds. The hardware is excellent but the content it serves up is the reason you buy this treadmill over others. The beautiful display constantly feeds you with workouts and runs on your profile's home page, which are tailored to your preferences. This gives you so many excuses to do a run - whether that's an endurance run, pop run, intervals run, dance music run, or something else - rather than not to.

Peloton offers thousands of On Demand classes, as well as Live classes, and like Bike+, there are also Just Run and Scenic Routes for those times you just want something pretty to focus on. We have to say though, we didn't like the Scenic Routes anywhere near as much as the classes. For the times we didn't need the motivation from a class, we ran outside instead, but it depends on what you enjoy. The Just Run mode, meanwhile, is pretty boring, and if that's what you plan on using with the Tread, we'd recommend buying a cheaper treadmill - the main reason to buy the Tread is definitely its content.

As we briefly mentioned, there is an auto-incline option for the Tread, which is handy for the classes that use incline, especially as you can still adjust the incline manually too. There's no auto speed though - which would have also been useful. We understand why there isn't - if you weren't paying attention, you could go flying when that speed increases - but it would still be nice to see it as an option. The knobs allow for quick adjustment but there is a little lag between turning them and the Tread responding with an incline or speed change.

As with the Bike+, you'll take to certain instructors more than others. All Peloton instructors have similarities - they are all very motivational - but some are definitely chirpier than others so you'll have your preferences. We love Jon Hosking for the running workouts but half the fun is finding what you enjoy - Peloton has nailed this in its offering, and delivers something for everyone. We challenge you to not find an instructor you love.

It's worth mentioning that all the Peloton instructors will remind you to make sure no children or animals are near the Tread when you start any workout, and to remove the safety key when you're finished. As an additional safety precaution, there is also a Tread Lock on the screen which kicks in after 45 seconds of inactivity. It's a bit annoying but we understand why it's there.

During workouts, the Peloton community is excellent for motivation and there are some great features, from high fiving fellow members taking the same class as you at the same time, to leaderboards, challenges and being able to video chat friends whilst you're both doing the same workout. You'd be surprised how much that random high five from a stranger can do for your motivation when your heart rate is in the red zone and you're wondering why you got on the treadmill in the first place.

The Tread's simple interface means the various features it offers - of which there are plenty - are really easy to navigate, but we're sad to see there's no Apple GymKit  like there is with the Bike+. This is a shame for those with an Apple Watch, as you can't just tap to connect - however you can start a class through the Peloton mobile app and use your Apple Watch as a heart rate monitor that way instead.

It's also possible to connect an external heart rate monitor to the Tread, whether that's Peloton's own offering, which is great, or a third party option. We do recommend connecting a monitor as you get a better idea of how hard you're working, your calorie burn and a more accurate Strive Score too.

Cost and subscription

  • All-Access membership required - £/$39 per month
  • Tread starts at $/£3495

As with the Peloton Bike and Bike+, there are several packages available with the Tread, all of which include various bits of extra equipment such as Peloton weights, the Peloton heart rate monitor and a Peloton water bottle. 

All the packages can be financed if approved and they range from $/£3345 for the Tread on its own, to $/£3620 for the Tread, three sets of weights, workout mat, water bottle, yoga blocks, yoga strap and a Peloton heart rate monitor. Which package you select will depend on which workouts interest you, as well as what equipment you already have.

If you just want to run and you're not interested in doing strength training, or the Tread Bootcamps, then you may not need anything more than the Tread Basic package - though we would advise buying a heart rate monitor as a basic extra. The Tread Bootcamps are very good though - and a good way to combine strength training and running for something a little different (even if some of them are very hard!).

It doesn't stop with the cost of whatever Tread package you select though - there is also the cost of the All-Access subscription to consider too. This subscription isn't optional either - it's what you need to actually use the Tread and get access to the classes - both Live and On Demand. You can cancel the subscription at any time but doing that effectively makes the Tread redundant so you need to be prepared to pay the £/$39 a month for the foreseeable future.

Peloton is a long-term investment - and a continuous one. The All-Access membership does give you access to the Peloton mobile app too though, so if you go on holiday, you can do workouts from there to keep you going. You can also have up to six profiles under one membership so you don't pay per person. 

The way we look at it is a gym membership in a city would likely cost you more and the All-Access membership gives you access to so many classes, from running to cycling, strength, yoga and meditation so it can be justified. But you - and anyone in your family that is going to use the Tread - has to be up for the Peloton way.

Is the Peloton Tread worth it?

  • Front-facing stereo speakers, 2.2 rear-facing woofers
  • 8MP front-facing camera with privacy cover for video chats with friends
  • Built-in 4 digital array microphone
  • USB-C charging port for devices
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Our quick answer to whether the Peloton Tread is worth it: Yes, it is, but you need to be all in for the Peloton culture, as we mentioned. The Tread offers great performance, excellent content, fantastic sound output - especially for dance runs when you crank up that volume - and an overall brilliant experience. 

There are things to consider before you buy it though, and really consider too.

Firstly, you need to make sure you have the space for the Tread in your home and you're happy for it to be on display if you don't have a separate room or gym to put it in. It's not as pretty as Peloton's Bike+ despite being exceptionally well built, and it's much bigger too, so we recommend marking out the dimensions and the recommended clearance dimensions to make sure you are fully aware of the space it will occupy. Don't forget about that 2-metres behind it either.

Secondly, decide whether running on a treadmill indoors is something you will enjoy and continue to enjoy. There are some great benefits to running on a treadmill, but it's also not the same as running outdoors in the fresh air with natural inclines, weather factors and changes in terrain.

Keep in mind that the Peloton Tread does thud when you sprint (around 8mph and over) and it is probably narrower than some treadmills at the gym so may not suit everyone - it's designed for heights between 150cm to 193cm or 4'11" and 6'4" and weights between 48kg to 136kg or 10lbs to 300lbs. 

It's not especially noisy though and the red central line on the belt does help with aligning your feet, while the Tread also offers speeds up to 12.5mph and inclines up to 12.5 per cent so there's plenty on offer.

Thirdly, while the initial outlay of the Tread is very expensive - especially when compared to other treadmills on the market - the monthly subscription cost is the biggest commitment. It's ongoing for the entire duration of you having and using the Tread.

You need to be invested in the idea of you using the Tread month after month - not just the first few weeks when it's new and shiny - and while Peloton makes it very easy to do a workout, it can't force you on the Tread. You have to put those trainers on and press start yourself so you need to make sure you are committed to doing that, whilst also paying that subscription.

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