Peloton Tread Review
Cons: Does not fold - larger footprint, very expensive, delivery and assembly costs extra, Peloton app adds monthly cost
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|Pros||Excellent screen, 12.5 mph top speed, speed and incline adjustment knobs, works with Peloton app, lots of safety features, fairly compact considering belt size, attractive design||Huge running surface, -5 to +20% incline, 400-pound weight limit, 22-inch touchscreen, works with JRNY app (comes with a free year membership), excellent warranty||Large tread surface, works with iFit app, 14-inch touchscreen, adjustable fan, -3 to +15 incline, AutoAdjust speed/incline changes||Large running surface, 12 mph top speed, 350 lbs weight limit, works with third-party training apps, good warranty||Affordable, 9 mph top speed, folds when not in use|
|Cons||Does not fold - larger footprint, very expensive, delivery and assembly costs extra, Peloton app adds monthly cost||Expensive, very heavy, large-even when folded, doesn't really work without JRNY membership||Fairly expensive, iFit app adds monthly cost, speed and incline controls could have better ergonomics||Moderately expensive, larger size||Smaller running surface, manual incline adjustment, 220 lb weight limit|
|Bottom Line||A sturdy and sleek high-end treadmill for those seeking the Peloton experience||A high-end, commercial quality treadmill with a massive tread surface, large incline adjustment range, and compatibility with JRNY and some third-party apps||A commercial quality treadmill that integrates with the iFit app through its swiveling touchscreen for a unique and immersive exercise experience||Connected features, a large running surface, and a huge speed range make this median-priced model a compelling option for any fitness level||A relatively basic but impressively affordable treadmill that gets the job done for lighter intensity workouts|
|Rating Categories||Peloton Tread||Bowflex Treadmill 22||NordicTrack Commerc...||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||Sunny Health and Fi...|
|Exercise Quality (35%)|
|User Interface/Ease of Use (25%)|
|Ease of Assembly (10%)|
|Noise Level (5%)|
|Specs||Peloton Tread||Bowflex Treadmill 22||NordicTrack Commerc...||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||Sunny Health and Fi...|
|Belt Dimensions||59" L x 20" W||60" L x 22" W||60" L x 22" W (measures 60.5 x 21.5)||60" L x 20" W||49" L x 15.5" W|
|Speed Range||0-12.5 mph||0-12 mph||0-12 mph||0-12 mph||0.5-9 mph|
|Motor||3.0 HP DC||4.0 HP||3.5 CHP||3.0 HP||2.2 HP|
|Incline Adjustment||Electric||Electric||Electric with AutoAdjust||Electric||Manual|
|Incline Levels||0 to 12.5%||-5% to 20%||-3% to 15%||0 to 12%||3 (0, 2%, 4.37%)|
|Weight Limit||105-300 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs||220 lbs|
|Open Dimensions||68" L x 33" W x 62" H||85" L x 39.6" W x 70" H||80" L x 38" W x 64" H||77.2" L x 35.5" W x 56.1" H||62" L x 26.5" W x 50" H|
|Folded Dimensions||n/a||44.5" L x 39.6" W x 70" H||52" L x 38" W x 68 " H||51.2" L x 35.5" W x 65.8" H||36" L x 25.5" W x 58" H|
|Display||23.8" HD tilt touchscreen||21.5" HD tilt touchscreen||14" HD tilt and rotating touchscreen||6.5" LCD blue/backlit, Bluetooth connects to devices||7" backlit LCD display|
|Workout Programs||Peloton App (All-Access subscription required)||JRNY app (subscription required) free for 1 year, works with some third-party apps||iFit app (subscription required)||30 pre-set programs, 2 custom, 1 heart rate control, plus it works with Zwift, Kinomap, Wahoo SYSTM through Bluetooth FTMS connection||9 programs|
|Heart Rate Sensors||works with Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate sensors (not included)||Comes with Bluetooth armband and Integrated heart rate hand grips||works with Bluetooth heart rate sensor (sold separately)||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, ANT+, works with Peloton App||Bluetooth, WiFi, works with JRNY App, also streaming entertainment and third-party apps||Bluetooth, WiFi, works with iFit app||Bluetooth FTMS and Auxilary input||No|
|Additional Features||Tread Lock, Safety Key, Adjustment knobs for speed and incline, quick-jump buttons, speakers, USB-C charging port, headphone jack, 8 megapixel camera, built-in microphone, 16GB internal flash storage, 4 GB RAM, transport wheels||SoftDrop folding system, built-in fan, Comfort Tech deck cushioning, speed and incline adjustment buttons, streaming entertainment, works with JRNY app, bottle holders, heart rate arm band, Bluetooth, transport wheels||AutoAdjust, ActivePulse technology, Runners Flex cushioning, Google Maps integration, adjustable fan, Premium Audio Speakers, bottle holders, swiveling touchscreen, works with iFit app, transport wheels, folding deck with soft-drop||Transport wheels, folding deck with soft-drop, heart rate sensors, auxilary plug, 2 bottle/cup holders, XTRASoft deck cushioning, quick jump speed and incline buttons, handlebar speed and incline controls, safety lanyard, built-in speakers, built-in cooling fan, accessory tray, Bluetooth, works with third-party apps||Folding, soft-drop, transport wheels, bottle holders, shock absorption, quick speed buttons, manual incline adjust, device shelf, safety shutoff lanyard|
|Warranty||12-month limited warranty||Frame and motor: 15 years, Mechanical parts: 5 years, Labor: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame and motor: lifetime, Deck and parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 3 years, Parts: 180 days|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Peloton is best known for the Bike, Bike+, and the incredibly popular Peloton app. In fact, they are one of the most recognizable names in home fitness, and they are continuing to expand their offerings with products like the Tread and the new Guide. The Tread features an elegant design, a top-notch touchscreen interface, and excellent integration with the Peloton app. It is quite expensive, but it offers top-of-the-line exercise quality and the Peloton experience that so many people love. After weeks of testing, we came away very impressed by the Tread, but it is not without its quirks.
The Tread is a high-end treadmill with the exercise quality to match. It has a relatively large running surface, a top speed of 12.5 mph, incline adjust up to 12.5%, and it integrates well with the Peloton app through its excellent touchscreen. It probably wouldn't be our first choice for truly hardcore runners, but it more than holds its own and works very well for the Peloton app's studio-style workouts.
Considering the smaller than average footprint of the Tread, it has a good-sized tread surface of 59-inches long and 20-inches wide. It's just a touch shorter and narrower than the largest models we tested, but it should be adequate for most users. While we generally prefer the largest running surface we can find, we felt very comfortable running at sprint speeds and never felt constrained by the size of the Tread's tread. A red line down the center of the belt is also a nice touch that we found helps to keep you centered and less likely to wander towards the side rails. At a claimed weight of 290 lbs, this is a very heavy and sturdy machine. It has a recommended user weight range of 105-300-pounds and it feels solid and stable underfoot with relatively good deck cushioning that helps to absorb impact while you walk or run.
The Tread has a top speed of 12.5 mph which is more than adequate for most users, whether you're following along to a power walking class or one of the higher intensity sprint workouts, it's all the range most people should ever need. Using a rolling measuring wheel, we performed a speed-accuracy test with the belt running at 6 mph for one minute and found it to be within 3 feet of perfect, or just 0.5% off. That is a very small margin of error, and we feel it is quite impressive. The Tread also has adjustable incline that increases in increments of 0.5% up to a maximum of 12.5%. It doesn't have the ability to decline, and this adjustment range is a bit smaller than some other models, but it is plenty for more moderate incline and hills training, and all that most people will realistically use.
While the real reason to get any Peloton equipment like the Tread is to use it with the Peloton app, you can also do manually controlled workouts. Through the screen, you can choose the just run option, and do any type of workout your heart desires. There are also a number of scenic run videos to watch and distract you while you tick off the miles. Realistically though, the Tread is just another treadmill, and a very expensive one at that, without the Peloton app.
Peloton's popular app is the real star of the show, and they have spent years making it one of the best in the business. While it may be similar to many other apps, Peloton has truly done a wonderful job differentiating itself from the competition with the experience they provide. The Tread uses WiFi to connect to the app through its best-in-test touchscreen and it is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ accessories like headphones, earbuds, and heart rate monitors. Once connected, the Tread integrates seamlessly with the app, and you've got a world of live and on-demand studio-style workouts at your fingertips.
The ongoing cost of any training app membership is a major consideration with any connected exercise equipment like the Tread, and Peloton All-Access doesn't come cheap. While it is less expensive than most gym memberships, $39 a month (the price is increasing to $44/month as of June 1st, 2022) is no small potatoes, especially on top of the already high price of the treadmill itself. That membership gets you multiple user profiles and works across all Peloton equipment, like the Bike or Bike+, so it makes more financial sense if there are multiple members of your household using it, or you already have a membership for your Peloton bike. While it may be expensive, it gives you total access to Peloton's complete library of Tread, Bike, and total body workouts.
There are several imitators, but no one has been able to replicate the experience that Peloton provides. With live classes daily and thousands of on-demand classes to choose from, there's a seemingly limitless supply of options. Peloton's production quality is also top-notch, with the best instructors in the business providing the motivation to push yourself and the engagement to keep you coming back for more. There are literally thousands of Tread-specific workouts varying from casual walking to high-intensity interval training, and everything in between. Filters help you narrow down the countless options by workout type, duration, music genre, and instructor, to find the class that best suits your needs. Your in-workout metrics like speed, incline, distance, and heart rate are displayed on the screen, and there is an optional leaderboard to see how you stack up against other users. Peloton keeps track of your progress with a workout history, milestones, and streaks, plus you can sync to Strava and Fitbit to track and analyze your data. The Tread does not currently support Apple Watch like the Bike+, though that functionality may eventually be added.
Peloton's app and instructors have created a huge user community and an almost cult-like following. For many people, the community aspect may also be a big draw. You can compete with other runners on the leaderboard or maybe even make new friends or followers, give high-fives, and even video chat with friends (when you're in the same class at the same time). When you're not in the mood for a run, the app has a huge variety of off-Tread workouts to choose from, with everything from strength training and pilates to yoga and meditation, so you can work on total body fitness and recovery. Of course, these studio-style workouts may not be for everyone, but if they are, the Peloton app is about as good as it gets.
User Interface/Ease of Use
The Tread couldn't be easier to use, and it features the best touchscreen interface we've used along with unique controls to adjust speed and incline. The screen is one of the highlights of the Tread, and it makes it impressively easy to navigate the Peloton app, choose a workout, and follow along.
Since the tread deck on the Tread does not fold when not in use, it is pretty much always ready to go. All you really need to do to get started is turn on the power. The main power switch is located down by the power cord at the front of the tread, and there is a power button on the back of the screen that also powers the Tread on or off. Once turned on, you need to enter the Tread Lock passcode (you need to do this every time you turn it on or if it sits idle for more than 45 seconds), and then you can navigate the Peloton app. Choosing what class to follow is often the hardest part given the sheer number and variety of options, but the 23.8-inch HD touchscreen makes it fairly easy. The screen has excellent touch sensitivity, and scrolling through the various classes is intuitive. Once you choose a class, it prompts you to connect Bluetooth accessories like headphones or heart rate monitors. It also has front-facing speakers and rear-facing woofers with relatively good sound quality, and large volume control buttons on the right side of the screen. We're a little disappointed that the screen does not rotate like on the Bike+, which would make it easier to view the off-tread workouts.
We think Peloton is on to something with their unique speed and incline adjustment knobs. This is similar to the resistance adjustment knob on the Bike and Bike+, and a logical carryover from that design that will be familiar to Peloton users. These knobs are located on the handrails in an easy-to-reach location, and making increases to speed or incline is simple by rolling the knobs forward or back. We would argue that the knob design is actually far easier to use while running than pressing small buttons. Each click of the speed knob increases/decreases the speed by 0.1 mph, and larger changes to the speed can easily be made by rolling it further or pressing the button in the center of the knob for a jump of 1 mph. Similarly, the incline increases/decreases by 0.5% with every click, while pressing the center button increases it by 1%.
The Tread is a well-designed machine that comes with all the necessary features, even in the "basics" version we purchased. Peloton also offers a number of Tread packages, Starter, Select, and Ultimate, that come with additional things like a workout mat, dumbbells, heart rate bands, etc, for an additional fee. After a major lawsuit and recall of the Tread+, the Tread now comes with more safety features than most other models.
One of the most obvious features of the Tread is its 23.8-inch HD touchscreen. The 1080p HD screen has impressive picture quality, is the primary user interface, and integrates with the Peloton app. It uses WiFi to connect to the app, plus it is Bluetooth 5.0 and ANT + enabled to connect to accessories like headphones and heart rate monitors. The screen is also home to front-facing stereo speakers and rear-facing woofers that have good sound quality, a USB-C port for charging your devices, as well as an 8-megapixel camera and microphone for video chatting with friends who are taking the same class you are. Below the screen between the handrails are two bottle holders with a small shelf in between for holding smaller items like a phone. Underneath the Tread, there are wheels at the front for rolling it across firm surfaces, and levelers at the back to keep it steady on uneven surfaces.
Treadmills are inherently dangerous and accidents and injuries can certainly happen, but Peloton went out of their way to add safety features to the Tread. It has a 4-digit Tread Lock passcode that is required when it is turned on or after it sits idle for more than 45 seconds. It also has a sensor built in that detects activity on the tread, and it will stop and lock after 10 seconds of inactivity. A magnetic safety key with a string and clip can be attached to your clothes and will shut the treadmill down if it gets pulled from the handrail. Removing this safety key also renders the Tread inoperable, so you could hide it from your kids, for example, to keep it from being turned on. All of the classes include reminders to keep kids and pets away when in use, double knot your shoes, and remove the key when you're finished.
Ease of Assembly
When we purchased our Tread, delivery and assembly were included in the price. Since Peloton has reduced the price of the Tread, however, delivery and setup now cost an additional $350 (this brings the total price to $2,695, $200 higher than the previous price that included assembly). Since you are basically required to pay for the delivery and setup, the new pricing structure seems perhaps a little misleading. Price aside, considering that assembly is done by Peloton's team, it tops the charts in this metric. All you really need to do is clear a space for the delivery crew to assemble it, and the rest is done for you.
When you order the Tread, Peloton provides you with the earliest delivery dates. In our case, it was about a month from the day we ordered it, but this may vary depending on the number of orders they have and your proximity to one of their distribution hubs. Prior to your delivery, they will contact you to confirm the date and time. The delivery team shows up at your house, moves the Tread to the location you want it (which is great because it is HEAVY), then assembles it for you and makes sure it's working before they leave. It doesn't really get any easier than that.
The Tread suffers a bit from a storability standpoint due to the fact that the tread deck does not fold when not in use. What you see is what you get, and there is no way to reduce its size. That said, Peloton did a good job designing it so that it is relatively compact given the size of its running surface.
The Tread is 68-inches long by 33-inches wide with a height of 62-inches at the top of the touchscreen. While it is a fairly large piece of equipment, it's actually impressively compact for the length of its running surface. Peloton achieved this by putting the motor under the tread, as opposed to in front of it like other models. That said, the tread deck does not fold, so you can't make it any smaller when not in use. It has transport wheels, so it isn't too difficult to move around on firm surfaces, but at a whopping 290-pounds, it is absolutely not easy to carry anywhere.
Slightly above average is the best way to describe the noise level of the Tread. We're talking about 2-5 decibels difference here, which isn't all that significant, but notable nonetheless. We wouldn't call it particularly loud, but like any treadmill, it isn't exactly whisper-quiet either. The 3.0 HP motor emits a reasonable amount of noise at varying speeds, at 1, 4, and 7.5 mph we measured 45, 58, and 66.5 decibels respectively. The noise level increases slightly with the user's footfalls on the tread belt/deck up to 52, 65, and 69 decibels at the same speeds listed above. The seam of the tread belt also makes a distinct and audible noise every time it passes over the rollers, which is also quite common, although this was a little more noticeable on the Tread than some other models. While it isn't the quietest model we tested, we certainly wouldn't consider its noise level to be excessive or a deal-breaker by any means.
Should You Buy the Peloton Tread?
If you're a fan of the experience that Peloton provides, then the Tread is probably high on your list of treadmill options. It is indeed a very impressive piece of equipment with a sleek design and seamless integration with the app and its classes through its best-in-test touchscreen and awesome controls. It is well suited to any fitness level and exercise intensity, and the app's classes and instructors will help keep you motivated and coming back for more. All this comes at a high price and the ongoing cost of the app membership needs to be considered as well. That said, if you can justify the expense, we doubt you'll be disappointed.
What Other Treadmills Should You Consider?
If you're after a connected treadmill experience, but the Peloton app's studio-style classes aren't for you, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is a great option. It integrates with the iFit app with AutoAdjust changes to speed and incline based on the workout you're following for a more immersive simulated outdoor workout. It has a slightly wider running surface, incline between -3% and +15%, and it costs several hundred dollars less (an iFit membership is roughly the same price as Peloton). If you're operating on a tighter budget, then the XTerra Fitness TRX3500 is a compelling option. It ditches the fancy screen, but it is compatible with a variety of third-party training apps like Zwift, Kinomap, and Wahoo SYSTM through its Bluetooth FTMS connection.
— Jeremy Benson
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