Peloton tread cover

Peloton tread cover DEFAULT

Peloton Recalls Its Tread+ and Tread Treadmills After They're Linked to Serious Safety Hazards

In light of the CPSC’s warning and the severity of the injuries, CR removed the Peloton Tread+ from its ratings and stopped recommending the product while the investigation was ongoing.

The treadmill’s safety risks first became apparent in March after Peloton's CEO, John Foley, wrote to users of the exercise machines regarding an incident with the Peloton Tread+ that led to the death of a child. Foley advised consumers to “keep children and pets away from Peloton exercise equipment at all times” and to “remove the safety key and store it out of reach of children” when the treadmill was not in use.

The widely publicized fatality prompted the CPSC to request information from Peloton, and the company disclosed that there were additional injuries and incidents tied to the Peloton Tread+.

As the CPSC investigated the reports, including the viewing of disturbing home video footage of a child being sucked underneath a Peloton Tread+ (but escaping without serious injury), the agency asked Peloton to recall its treadmills. But the company refused.

Shortly before the CPSC’s public warning, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., asked for details about the CPSC’s investigation, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., urged Peloton to issue a recall.

The standoff with Peloton draws attention to the fact that the CPSC can’t force companies to issue a recall without taking them to court, even when the agency’s safety experts have tied a hazardous product to deaths or serious injuries.

“The CPSC took a strong and principled stance for safety, and clearly that’s what made Peloton come to the table and agree to offer a full refund,” says William Wallace, CR’s manager of safety policy. “It shouldn’t have required so much time and effort to get this product recalled. This episode underscores why we need to overhaul our outdated laws so the CPSC has the ability to take quicker, forceful action when a product is putting people at risk.”

CPSC's acting chairman, Bob Adler, said in a statement today that he is pleased that the agency and Peloton have agreed on recall terms. He added that the recall “is the result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers.”

Foley apologized for the company’s initial response to the safety issues. “The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s Members and their families," he said. "I want to be clear: Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

When the CPSC first issued a warning last April, Peloton's home page didn't mention it even though the agency directed people there. Moreover, the page for treadmills still displayed large ads for the products and pricing information as late as May 7. Amelise Lane, a company spokesperson, confirmed to CR that the company “immediately disabled the existing sale feature” for the treadmills.

She also said that it announced the recall widely through its social media channels and direct email to users, adding that it was working hard "to update the footer on the main page, and that will be live in the next few days.”

But CR’s Wallace says this is insufficient.

“It’s rare for a recall notice not to be on a company’s home page days after an announcement, especially when that’s where Peloton is directing people to seek a refund," he says. "Peloton should immediately make the recalls prominent on its home page, and make it clear throughout its website that the recalls involve serious safety hazards.”

When CR staff clicked through the steps a customer would make to seek a refund or repair, it required navigating through multiple clicks and screens.


Why Peloton's Tread Could Strengthen Its Connection With Customers

Popular exercise equipment maker Peloton Interactive(NASDAQ:PTON) is hoping to become even more popular with customers in the coming months and years. The company just introduced its updated treadmill product, the Tread, to other markets (including the U.S.) after initial success in the U.K. 

Management noted that with the international expansion, the Tread could become its best-selling product. That's strong praise considering how popular its first interactive machine, a stationary bike, is with customers. In other words, there are more runners worldwide than bicyclists. Here's why the updated product could strengthen its relationship with existing customers. 

A runner works out on a Peloton Tread treadmill in a room with furniture, shelving and a window.

Image source: Peloton.

Importantly, the new Tread should not be confused with Peloton's Tread+. The latter was recalled back in May after several reports of injuries involving children who were playing around the machine and getting caught under the tread while it was actively rotating. The new version has fixed the issue by adding a security code users must input before the machine will operate, hopefully under adult supervision.  

It offers better membership value to households

On Aug. 30, Peloton launched the Tread in the U.S. and Canada, with an introduction in Germany later in the year and in Australia soon after. There is reason to believe the product will receive a warm reception: In the U.K., the Tread has a Net Promoter Score of 85. NPS is a widely used market research metric that asks respondents to rate (on a scale of -100 to 100) the likelihood that they would recommend a product to a friend.

The Tread could solidify Peloton's connection to households that have another of its products. In its most recent earnings conference call, management said interest in the product is high, and nearly 50% of it is coming from households that already have one of its products. 

Peloton claims a customer retention rate of 92% for its connected fitness services. The company offers a subscription to interactive exercise classes along with its machines for $39.99 per month in addition to the cost of the equipment.

And it allows households to share a subscription, meaning a home with two Peloton products pays only one membership fee of $39.99 per month. That gives extra value to owners who add a Tread to another of the company's products, perhaps creating longer-term customers.

The downside is that sales of Tread to existing customers will not necessarily generate more memberships. And with 50% of the interest for Tread coming from existing customers, it could create more households with multiple users.

What this could mean for investors 

Moreover, the Tread will initially generate a lower gross profit margin compared with the Bike. Management said it has only been producing the Tread for a few months and hasn't had a chance to reach efficiencies of scale. To assuage investor concerns regarding margins, CFO Jill Woodworth pointed to the progress it made with the Bike:

But also, I would put in the back of your mind, think about what we did with Bike over the last five years. On an index level, let's say, five years ago, it cost us $1 to make a bike. It costs us $0.40 today, even with the commodity and freight rate increases. So I think given our very lean portfolio and our ability to build very few [stock-keeping units] with great capacity will give us a tremendous margin power over the next few years.

As it builds more units and removes inefficiencies from the process, Peloton can improve profit margins on the Tread. But it remains to be seen what magnitude those improvements will be. And as is the norm, when a company adds uncertainty to the business, it increases risk. That's partly why the stock sold off after Peloton discussed the launch in the fourth-quarter conference call.

Fortunately for shareholders, the company remains popular with customers. That, along with the fact that it did it before, is reason enough to give management the benefit of the doubt and trust it can improve margins. 

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Peloton says that it’s working on an update to make its Tread Plus treadmill usable without a subscription, after news broke today that a $40 a month membership would be required after a software update. In a support email sent to at least one customer, the company said that its “Just Run” feature, which previously allowed users to use the $4,300 Tread Plus as a normal treadmill sans subscription, is currently inaccessible without a membership.

The Just Run feature now requires the Tread Lock feature, which secures the treadmill with a four-digit passcode and is available only to those with a subscription. The company told The Verge that “due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership.” The company does say that it’s “working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership.”

The email sent to a customer after they inquired about the missing feature.

The company hasn’t said when that update will be ready, but it’s giving Tread Plus owners three free months of membership, which will enable the Tread Lock feature.

While the sudden change is deeply annoying to some Tread Plus owners (and a reminder that the functionality of internet-connected machines is always subject to change), Peloton made the update after a string of injuries and even one death led to the company issuing a voluntary recall. If owners want, they can return their Tread or Tread Plus treadmill for a full refund.



Once you have a Peloton bike, your attention turns to accessories. Whether you think the seat isn’t comfortable, or you want a fan to cool off, there are many beneficial accessories you can get. Below, we list some popular and recommended Peloton accessories that can enhance your Peloton experience. If you are looking for a more traditional Peloton Gift Guide, don’t worry, we have that too, just click right here! Otherwise, continue on for the Top Peloton Accessories. Note that some links may be affiliate links – so by purchasing through the links on this page (for the same price you would otherwise), you support our site. We only list products that we, or members we know, have tried out and recommend!

A common complaint of people is that the seat is uncomfortable. While a lot of people find after 10 or so rides they get used to it, others need additional help. A seat cover or padded gel seat might be just the thing to make your ride more comfortable!

Looking for an alternative to a chest-mounted heart rate strap? These armbands come highly recommended!

One of the most common complaints about the Peloton bike is that the sound quality of the speakers can be a little lacking. You can pair a set of bluetooth headphones or speakers to solve that problem easily!

Along the same lines as the mat to protect your floor, you’ll want some towels to get the sweat off you and your bike!

Peloton Laptop holders, phone mounts, trays, water bottles and more. All the things you don’t realize you need for your Peloton until you do!

Getting a bit too warm on the bike? Grab yourself a fan to cool off! If you sweat like Matt Wilpers, you might want to look at our first two options, which are larger fans that are capable of cooling a whole room. For the lighter sweaters, or if you want a mobile option, you can look at a portable battery operated fan that could clip on the Peloton screen on handlebars.

As you use your Peloton more and go for longer rides & run, you’ll find you might start needing some nutrition and snacks while on the bike & Tread. There’s a number of options out there – experiment, and see what works best for your body & stomach! What works best for one person might not be what’s best for you. This can either be nutrition for while actively working out, or for fueling pre and post class.


Whether you put your bike on hardwood floors or carpet, you’ll find that there will be a large build-up of sweat under your bike. Placing your bike on a mat will make it easy to clean up and protect your floor!


Cover peloton tread

Editor's Note: The Tread will be available for purchase in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom on August 30.

Peloton delayed the initial rollout of the Tread after announcing a recall due to issues with the Touchscreen. The company also recalled its Tread+ model due to safety concerns about the design of its rear roller, which could be hazardous for people with small children and pets.The new Tread aims to deliver enhanced safety features including the Tread Lock and a removable safety key. “We’ve worked hard to make sure the new Tread truly earns its spot in Members’ homes," says John Foley, Peloton's CEO and co-founder. "We’ll always continue to innovate our hardware, software and safety features to live up to our commitment to Member safety and to improving the full Member experience.”

The following review was originally published in February 2021.

I’m going to start this review with a quick confession: I’ve hated working out for most of my life. While this may resonate with some readers, I’ll remind you that I literally work at Men’s Health. My job is largely focused on sharing leg day finishers and recommendations for adjustable dumbbells, and over the last few years I've integrated words like “jacked” and “ripped” and “cut” and “swole” into my vocabulary with alarming regularity.

But, growing up, I avoided weight rooms and the judgement I assumed lurked within them at all costs. I loved sports, but I was simply very bad at them. I was better at theater, and aside from learning choreo for Fiddler on the Roof and learning to walk in stiletto heels because my role in The Producers required me to complete a song-and-dance number in full drag, there was very little rigorous physical activity I was forced to encounter. I was a varsity athlete in high school, but it’s important to note that I lettered in bowling.

The irony is not lost on me, then, that I work at one of the world’s foremost health and fitness publications for men, a job I landed without having to do 100 burpees on-the-spot or climb a large rope to the ceiling of our office in some capitalistic nightmare version of the Presidential Fitness Test. Still, over the last few years, I’ve begun to make my health and wellness more of a priority. Beyond cooking more nutritious meals, cutting back on booze, and seeing a therapist, one lifestyle choice has been more transformative in the past year than the sum of all my lifestyle choices in all previous years: I joined Peloton.

I was more than a little skeptical when I started a free trial for the digital fitness streaming service. But once pandemic lockdown hit, Peloton became a lifeline during days that were filled with dread and foreboding. With our gym closed, my wife and I bought a stationary bike for our apartment and we’d stream spin classes, pedaling away from daily anxiety that came from Erin’s work at a hospital in New York and a world that seemed to be collapsing around us. I’d also do yoga and meditation off-bike, as well as strength training that inspired me to get my first pair of adjustable dumbbells. Peloton’s guided outdoor runs helped me get better at running—an exercise I’d long despised more than any other—so I could train for my first 5K (I ran another the week after, and then kept running them).

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Over weeks and months, Peloton classes became a part of our daily routine, helping to keep the Quarantine 15 at bay and pushing us to break our PRs. But it wasn’t until I was invited to test the Peloton Tread that this new lifestyle really clicked into place. Over the past 45 days, I’ve put the treadmill through its paces, learning the ins and outs of Peloton’s latest release. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Peloton Tread, which will be available for purchase starting May 27, 2021.

It’s a beautifully designed piece of hardware.

Space is limited in my apartment, and I was wary of adding any piece of fitness equipment. But I was pleasantly surprised by the Peloton Tread’s efficient design, with its 68” L x 33” W footprint—smaller than many sofas—wedging into a corner in our second bedroom/office with ease. And while its frame is certainly compact, its belt provides 59 inches of running space, meaning I can run without constantly worrying where my feet are touching down.

The carbon steel platform, as well as its woven nylon base and textured PVC top running belt, are built to take a beating, providing a sturdiness I wasn’t accustomed to running on more commercial, bulkier treadmills at the gym. And perhaps the most striking visual detail is the 23.8” HD touchscreen, which is sweat-proof and easy to clean. As someone who started last year doing workouts off my small iPhone screen, it’s really staggering to how transportive the high-quality streaming video is when it comes to an immersive workout.

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The Peloton Tread is impressively quiet. I can toss on a pair of headphones and get work done at my desk a few steps away while my wife runs on the treadmill behind me, which is a huge asset in the WFH department.

I also found the controls to be intuitive, with basically zero learning curve necessary to get up and running only minutes after the Peloton Tread was assembled in my apartment. The knob for incline is on your left and the knob for speed is on your right, with "jump" buttons in the middle of each that quickly take your level up to the closest whole number. Since a lot of the Peloton running classes are intervals-based, the responsive controls become second nature to your workout, not having to pause or get tripped up because you’re accidentally jogging up a huge hill when you’re meant to be sprinting down a straightaway.

It’s so much more than just a treadmill.

While the sleek hardware is no doubt first-rate, it’s the software that has managed to convert me to a Peloton devotee. Peloton, at its core, is a content platform featuring hundreds upon hundreds of on-demand fitness classes, as well as live classes, that suck you in the same way that Netflix sucks you in on a lazy Sunday. But instead of bingeing a true crime series in one sitting, you’re bingeing Progression runs or intermediate yoga classes or a challenging Total Strength program.

The instructors are really Peloton's secret weapons, filled with personality and expertise, each with their own unique style of fitness coaching. Depending on the day, I’m drawn to different instructors: Jess Sims when I want my ass kicked, Matty Maggiacomo when I want to laugh, Emma Lovewell when I want to vibe out to good music, Becs Gentry when I want some positive reinforcement, or Alex Toussaint when I need to get hyped. That I’ve never met these instructors doesn’t mean I don’t feel a special connection to them, one that certainly motivates me to work on days when I’d rather sit on the couch. Many of the instructors also specialize across multiple types of fitness on the platform, so you feel more comfortable trying new workouts because there's a friendly face.

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Good music is essential to my workouts, and Peloton programs many of its classes with a special emphasis on the soundtrack. While I enjoy the more basic themes like "90s Hip-Hop" or "Dancehall," I'm especially drawn to Peloton's Artist Series, where the playlist is all one artist—like Beyonce or Prince or Bob Marley or Lady Gaga or Elvis Presley—and the instructor mixes in music trivia and history with the workout. If you have Spotify, you can "favorite" tracks that come up in your workout and they're automatically added to a playlist, giving this machine an edge when it comes to music discovery.

The Tread isn’t just about simple running—it’s also about grueling hikes, recovery walk/runs, HIIT workouts, and bootcamps that take you on and off the treadmill in the same workout. While using the Tread, you also have access to non-running classes, and the screen tilts 50 degrees so you can easily see it while doing off-Tread yoga, strength, pilates, and other workouts.

I like how Peloton gamifies working out, incorporating your “streak” into profile and offering a suite of performance analytics that makes everything feel more personalized. Within the software, there are badges and milestone achievements to earn that incentivize pushing yourself to work harder and more often. If you’re the kind of person who likes tracking your health on a smartwatch, the Peloton Tread will similarly scratch that itch.

It’s an investment in your health and wellbeing.

At $2,495, the Peloton Tread is not cheap. However, that price tag is a little more accessible than the Tread+, which goes for $4,295. With the Tread+, you get a little more running room, a slightly bigger screen, and a shock-absorbing slat belt, which over time may be a little kinder to your legs. But if you’re used to a treadmill with a classic, continuous running belt, you’ll be more than satisfied with the Tread experience.

For the full Tread experience, you’ll also want to have a workout mat, some free weights or resistance bands, and a heart rate monitor, which syncs up with the treadmill via Bluetooth. You also have to pay $39 per month for an All-Access Membership. That certainly adds up, and there are more affordable treadmills with fewer bells and whistles you can buy if you’re trying to upgrade your home gym.

But in a time where you might be less eager to go to a crowded gym or do intense cardio in a face mask, the Peloton Tread’s price may be right given all its benefits.

It’s an invitation to a bonafide fitness community.

And while you might roll your eyes at Peloton’s rah-rah vibe at first—I certainly did—I’ve found the instructors’ ability to make you feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself to be nothing short of remarkable.

You can view the leaderboard on any Peloton Tread workout and feel like you’re not just running alone in your little apartment, but you’re doing it alongside thousands of other people trying to be just a little bit healthier. In a time of increased social isolation, that’s especially empowering, and it’s a main reason I feel grateful to have found Peloton when I did.

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Spencer DukoffDeputy Editor of Content StrategySpencer Dukoff is the deputy editor of content strategy at Men's Health where leads audience development efforts across all platforms for the magazine.

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Test Run: Trying Out the New $2,495 Peloton Tread

Constantly wiping off the dust from the screen, finding that it was exposed to sun rays if facing the window and turning a shade darker, or even finding paw scratches on your peloton screen is never anyone’s ideal cup of tea. And if you are reading this, you must share my sentiments as well.

Nevertheless, there is no reason to suffer when the solution is only ten bucks away, right? So whether you are using the Peloton bike plus or the original bike, we all would love the same thing; the best screen cover for peloton bike or bike +.

Best Screen Cover for Peloton Bike and Bike Plus

I will share top-quality yet valuable screen covers that I appreciate for the peloton bike. The best part is that they retain our pride, the Peloton bike logo, and one even shares what we pride ourselves doing; sweating in the ride!

1. Heavy Duty 600D Polyester Oxford Screen Cover for Peloton Bike Plus

If you own a Peloton bike plus, which has a larger screen than the original peloton bike screen, here’s a top-rating solution for you. This dust cover is made from high-quality and heavy-duty 600D polyester oxford material, which facilitates performance and durability.

Moreover, the cover is dust-proof and UV rays proof, hence providing all-around protection to your screen. Therefore, you no longer have to compromise your favorite riding position by the window to keep the screen away from sun rays.

The cover is also easy to install and remove from the screen, hence saving you time. You don’t need any installation tools, neither do you need time figuring out the shape; it is simple and clear.

Amazingly, the cover comes with a peloton logo, which adds to the pride of your studio even with the screen covered.

Are you wondering what will happen if the cover doesn’t match up to your standards? You can return it for a full refund on the purchase.

2. Wassers 420D Polyester Oxford Dust Cover for the Peloton Bike

For the lightest yet aggressively strong screen cover for your original peloton bike screen, the Wassers have a unique solution. At only 2.08 pounds, the cover is easy to install and remove even when you are on the bike. Actually, one of the customers claimed that she uses the cover while on the ride whenever she wants to cover screen content and concentrate on the tv.

Other than that, the cover has measurements that are exactly what you need for the bike screen. It, therefore, fits perfectly, which provides an elegant bike screen image.

Then there is the peloton logo, which is well-engraved at the back of the screen cover. It acts as a guide on the cover positioning and adds to the posh look of the bike and its screen.

With a 12-month warranty, the cover guarantees top-notch material quality. After all, it is a 420D polyester oxford. It is suitable for protecting the screen from moisture, small scratches, dust, and harmful sun rays.

3. Heavy Duty 600D Polyester Oxford Peloton Bike Screen Cover

When you want a screen cover that constantly reminds you of your ‘Ride and Sweat’ goals on the peloton bike, this piece is an excellent addition to your peloton. It has this inscription written in bold, which is cute and matching to the peloton bike workouts.

Most importantly, the cover has ideal compatibility with the original peloton bike screen. After all, it is made for the screen!

The cover is made in high-quality, heavy-duty 600D polyester oxford, bringing on board durability and long-term performance. In addition, this material facilitates optimal protection against dust, moisture, and UV rays.

The cover is easy to install and remove, and you don’t need any tools for convenience. And when not in use, it is also easy to organize and keep away.

For maximum satisfaction, you have the option to return the dust cover if you feel unsatisfied with its quality or performance.

Why You Need the Peloton Screen Cover

Basically, the peloton screen cover is meant to protect the screen from dust and other particles. However, it does more than that. The screen cover also ensures that your screen is safe from UV rays, which cause screen darkening and damage.

Secondarily, the screen cover keeps the screen from pet paw scratches and from attracting kids, who could cause it damage.

Factors to  Consider When Buying the Best Screen Cover for Peloton Bike and Bike +

  • Size: there are different screen cover sizes for different screen sizes. Ensure that the screen you buy has a sizing that is compatible with your bike screen. Remember that there are two peloton bike sizes, the bike plus and the original bike screens, which are different. Check which bike screen the cover is compatible with when making a purchase.
  • Quality: Identify quality cover material, both in terms of performance and durability. This will enhance your satisfaction with the cover.
  • Weight: lighter covers facilitate versatility so that you can even install it and remove it while on the ride without straining.
  • Cover Design: Look for a peloton bike screen cover that fits well on the screen without looking bulky. It will give the screen an elegant outlook. You can also consider the inscriptions on the cover, which add to a lovely outlook.
  • Color: Usually, the darker shades are best for a screen cover. This is because they facilitate protecting the screen against the sun rays even better. They are also easy to maintain, as they are simpler to wipe and keep clean.

Read Also:

In a Nutshell:

When looking for the best screen cover for Peloton bike and bike plus, always aim to get the best out of it. At least, ensure that the above five features in the factors are in your favor. After all, it should add to the efficiency of your peloton screen.


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Peloton Interactive, the cultish fitness company that sells internet-connected exercise bikes and treadmills, has recalled more than 125,000 treadmills and paused sales of the equipment after the machines were linked to the death of a child and dozens of other injuries. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission also announced a separate recall of the Peloton Tread and Tread+ treadmills and urged people to stop using the treadmills immediately.

Peloton’s voluntary recall comes nearly three weeks after the CPSC initially warned consumers about the potential risk of injury or death from the treadmills, and more than a month after Peloton first shared that it had become aware that a child had died in an accident involving one of the treadmills. Peloton’s chief executive, John Foley, apologized today for his earlier insistence that the company would not recall the treadmill—a reaction that had befuddled some people who work in or closely follow the connected-fitness industry.

“Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+,” Foley said today in a statement. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

Before Peloton’s safety hazards were made known to the public in March, the company had been considered one of the home-fitness success stories of the pandemic. The company’s sales surged in 2020, despite the notoriously long wait times for deliveries of newly ordered exercise bikes and treadmills. Peloton claims more than 1.7 million members have either bought into the company’s pricey home equipment, paying a monthly fee of $39 for access to video classes, or pay $12 per month for mobile-only access to fitness classes. But shares of publicly-traded Peloton stock sank after the joint recalls were announced this morning.

Ultimately, the design of Peloton treadmills—particularly the Tread+, which uses slat-belt technology and leaves a gap between the moving belt and the floor below it—is central to the CPSC’s technical investigation, leaving questions about how Peloton might address the design concerns in future iterations of products.

First Step

Peloton revealed its first treadmill, called Peloton Tread, in January 2018 at CES in Las Vegas. It started shipping that fall. The treadmill was notable for its size. (Even Foley said at the time the Tread wouldn’t fit in his apartment, so it would have to go in his summer home.) It had a large touchscreen (32 inches) and an even larger price tag: $4,295. Eventually, Peloton would release a less expensive treadmill for $2,495 and name that product the Peloton Tread, while the more expensive model was renamed the Peloton Tread+.

The price tags weren’t the only difference between the two models. The less expensive Peloton Tread had a smaller touchscreen, measuring 23.8 inches diagonally. It also had a more traditional conveyor belt design, featuring a continuous 60-inch belt made of woven nylon and lightweight plastic.

The Tread+, on the other hand, used slat-belt technology—a series of rubberized panels or slats that move on a ball-bearing system. These types of treadmills are generally considered more shock absorptive—Peloton marketed its higher-end treadmill as “made for the ultimate low-impact and comfortable running experience”—and therefore are often priced at a premium. Woodway treadmills, which have been around since the 1970’s, are best known for this technology. Some of the brand’s slat-belt machines are priced around $10,000, and are mostly sold to gyms, fitness studios, and professional athletes.

Both Peloton Tread and Tread+ ended up being recalled Wednesday for safety issues, but for different reasons. According to the CPSC, the potential hazard with the smaller Tread is that the treadmill’s touchscreen can potentially become detached and fall. The safety commission says it’s aware of 18 incidents of the screen becoming loose or detached.

The concern with the larger Tread+ is much greater: The CPSC notes that a 6-year-old child recently died after being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, and that Peloton has received “72 reports of adult users, children, pets and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.” A disturbing video shared by the CPSC shows a toddler being sucked under the Tread+ as the child approaches it with a ball in hand. (The end of the video clip shows the child managing to get free and walk away from the equipment.)

“We’ve received reports of child injuries involving treadmills before, but a lot of them have to do with acceleration. This is different,” Joe Martyak, director of communications for the CPSC, tells WIRED. “I want to emphasize that our technical evaluations are continuing, but some of the factors that appear is that there is a unique slatted belt, a lack of a guard at the rear, and a large clearance underneath the treadmill.”

Peloton declined to comment when asked about specific design elements of its Tread+ treadmill, instead pointing us to the FAQ posted on its website, which includes this statement: "We are working to develop additional modifications to the recalled Tread+ that will address the hazard of adult users, children, and pets being pulled below the Treadmill and suffering serious injury or death."

The company also said it will offer full refunds to any Tread or Tread+ customers who request one. And it has offered to move the treadmills to another (presumably safer) place in customers’ homes, free of charge.

Serious injuries, and sometimes recalls, are not uncommon in this product category. The CPSC told The Washington Post that there were 22,500 treadmill-related injuries treated in the US in 2019, and that it received reports of 17 deaths involving treadmills between 2018 and 2020. According to the agency’s website, over the past decade there have been recalls of StairMasters, elliptical machines, weight racks, pull-up bars, and ab straps for pull-up bars. One such recall was of a Schwinn-branded elliptical machine made by Nautilus, a global fitness equipment manufacturer. In that case, though, there were just nine reports of foot plates becoming detached, and the most severe injury documented was a hurt knee.

“I think there are a couple reasons why the Peloton incidents are getting this attention,” says Ray Maker, the author of the popular fitness blog DC Rainmaker, where he writes extensively about technology products for runners, cyclists, and triathletes. “The death of a child likely catapulted this higher into the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s purview, compared to other injury-type scenarios.”

“But also, I think it’s the sheer numbers being recalled and the size of the company,” Maker continued. “If you look at most treadmill manufacturers today, most are owned by larger conglomerates and they have a bunch of different model numbers, so it’s harder to latch onto one particular model. Peloton only has two models, and they’ve effectively all been recalled.”

Maker, who says he has run on an uncountable number of treadmills, also noted that while other treadmills may be susceptible to the same problem as the Peloton Tread+, some manufacturers have installed low-lying bars along the back of their treads. These, in theory, are supposed to prevent children, pets, or objects from being caught underneath.

Jeff Douse, who used to run a Houston-based running program and boutique running studio called RacePace, had at one point invested in 25 Woodway 4Front treadmills for his gym because the slat-belt treads offered better shock absorption for runners. But the inherent risk with any slat-belt treadmill, Douse says, is that “as those slates come towards the end of the treadmill and rotate around and go underneath, the slats actually start to separate and create gaps, where someone could probably stick a finger.”

The clearance height, or distance from the bottom of the treadmill to the floor, is also a consideration, Douse says. The Woodways he purchased, at $10,000 a pop, were low enough to the floor that anyone tasked with cleaning the floor below the machine struggled to reach underneath it. The Peloton Tread+ appears to have more clearance space, Douse says, with wheels on the front of the treadmill and adjustable levels on the back—which means it might be relatively easy to reach under, but could create “potential areas of vulnerability.”

On Guard

It’s unclear at this point what Peloton’s next move will be. The company says it's working on modifications to the recalled treadmills, but those designs will have to be presented to and approved by the CPSC before Peloton can resume sales.

Maker, the fitness blogger, suggests that Peloton could explore a software fix to correct the issue, in addition to considering a physical redesign to the machine or adding a safety guard. A software-based lock, one with a PIN code, could work in situations where an adult has to temporarily hop off the treadmill but forgets to pull the physical key card to stop the belt. The belt would auto-lock, and it would require the adult to enter a PIN before resuming the activity. “Sort of like the way your phone auto-locks,” Maker says.

But even if Peloton manages to fix its treadmill problem, its image as a high-flying fitness company that dug in its heels on a safety recall following the death of a child might be harder to repair.

“I see both sides of it, in the sense that Peloton said it designed a treadmill for people aged 16 and older, and people do get hurt on treadmills, and all that is true,” says Douse. “But the fact is that these things are in living rooms and bedrooms and playrooms, and Peloton also designed a treadmill that’s going to have some risks around it, and so maybe there are things they should be doing that the typical treadmill manufacturer doesn’t do.”

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