Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Peloton rolls cycling classes indoors with new iPad app

At-home fitness brand Peloton now enables cycling enthusiasts broader access to its gym experience from home with the introduction of real-time class participation through an iPad app.

Prior to development, Peloton cycling was limited to those who paid for classes at its New York studio or could afford to purchase a bike at $2,000. As a low-cost alternative, the application communalizes all spinners under one domain for indoor workouts from any bike, potentially swaying consumers away from joining a gym.

“The days of VHS tapes or DVD’s with fitness content are over,” said John Foley, co-founder and CEO of Peloton. “Live classes offer an opportunity to give call outs and motivation to riders in real time, which is something we are already doing… ‘I see that Jane in Wichita Falls just checked-in and joined the class.  Welcome Jane!’”

“If folks can get fantastic, highly motivating, highly effective workouts from home I would think that renewing the gym membership might give someone pause the next time they are doing their family budgeting” he said.

On-demand access
The app is free to download, but does require a monthly subscription fee in order to have unlimited access to classes. It comes with 20 free live-ride credits on top of four on-demand rides.

The experience is sleek and classes stream in HD live or on-demand with the capability to stream from an iPad to Apple TV using AirPlay. Users may explore the current day’s classes or what programs are scheduled to run during the coming weeks.

Peloton does well in recognizing that not everyone can, or may want to participate in on-site instruction, and that most consumers do not want to purchase the branded equipment. They want content that can be accessed on their mobile devices, which also includes music, videos and games.

When apps replace gyms
While joining a health club allows for access to a variety of equipment and classes to spice up workouts, some consumers prefer the home environment. The prevalence of smart devices has brought with it great exercise versatility and more convenience, with an increasing ability to deliver classes typically found at the gym.

In an era where phones monitor a user’s location and wearables may record every moment down to pulse, this should allow consumers to attain greater control of their lives, especially when it comes to health and fitness, an arena where data has potential to work well.

An app called FitStar, which debuted early this year, exemplifies where self-service tech is heading, especially considering the high percentage of failure, trial and error associated with fitness.

FitStar uses data about your body to eliminate intimidating workouts that lead to broken resolutions. The app creates customized exercise routines, presented in slick videos featuring telegenic NFL star Tony Gonzalez, and tailored to what users can honestly accomplish.

Based on feedback, it tailors future workouts based on how users actually perform. Start wobbling halfway through a set of push-ups? The app takes notice and limits how many it asks a user to complete until more strength is gained.  Its customization software also can draw on data collected by wearable fitness trackers made by Jawbone and Fitbit—devices that on their own have not been very successful at motivating exercise.

The app is free to download for iOS users and costs $5 per month, with incentives to keep user engaged via rewards such as $2 coupons for’s MP3 store.

While FitStar and Peloton are not the first fitness apps, they both notably replace impersonal, static workout videos and exercises that may not be tailored to a person’t age or fitness level.

“The main advantage is that riders can now take live classes from their existing home bikes any time they want.  This has not existed prior to yesterday,” Mr. Foley said.

“A secondary benefit is that they get to experience our great classes from home prior to buying a Peloton bike of their own.”  

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York