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Peloton announces host of new features, including finally letting people pause their indoor bike rides

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Andrew Griffin
·2-min read
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The fitness company recalled pedals from 27,000 of its bikes (Getty Images)
The fitness company recalled pedals from 27,000 of its bikes (Getty Images)

Peloton has announced a host of new features coming to its smart bikes and treadmills, including finally letting people pause their workouts.

The new updates were trailed by the company’s chief executive, John Foley, as part of the company’s annual “Homecoming” weekend.

But they also come at a difficult time for the brand, with US regulators instructing people to stop using its treadmill to do so immediately, amid fears it could kill children and pets.

In all, the company said it would bring five new updates to its platform: a new “Strive Score” that is intended to rank how hard people are working, a relaunch of its “scenic rides” that allow people to cycle through different landscapes, a relaunch of the “programs” that allow people to follow a routine over time, and updates to its treadmill so people can see how hard they are working.

But the most celebrated is likely to be a new “pause” feature that will finally let people temporarily stop their workout if they need to answer the door, attend to a waiting child or are otherwise distracted. The platform has seemingly refused to add such a feature until now – apparently amid concern it could be used to game its leaderboard – but will at last finally relent and add the feature.

It will do so in a way that “maintains the integrity of the leaderboard”, Peloton said.

The new Strive Score feature is intended to allow people to understand how hard they individually are working, in contrast with the bike’s famous leaderboard, which measures absolute output in watts. Instead, it will analyse its user’s heartrate, and come up with a calculation based on how high it has been pushed, similar to features that are already offered on platforms such as Strava.

The new scenic rides will allow people to do scenic rides through location such as Big Sur that are led by its instructors. Until now, the feature has also just shown users a video, but the update will finally allow them to move at the pace a person is pedalling.

The new programs update also allows people to follow a plan over time – such as a series of strength workouts, for instance – so that people will know what classes they should be doing.

And the updates to the treadmill will show target metrics so that people know how fast or uphill they should be running. That tool already exists on the bike.

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