Dropping the Peloton

OK, so this is only one story, but still — is anyone surprised that another pricey indoor-exercise phenomenon may have gone kerblooey?

Quoth The New York Times of the once-mighty Peloton:

The pandemic status symbol, which customers once waited two months to get their hands on, may soon become the modern equivalent of the 1990s NordicTrack: a high-priced piece of exercise equipment that becomes a glorified clothing rack, cluttering up a home until it is sold or dispatched to the curb.

Signs of its cultural downfall are hard to ignore. Sales of Peloton’s stationary bikes and treadmills fell 17 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2021, and the online resale market is flooded with used bikes selling at a discount.

Those of us who have real bikes* and ride them outdoors have seen this buyer’s remorse before as we pedal around our neighborhoods with one eye peeled for hidden treasure at the garage sales.

The Fitness Flavor of the Month (stationary bikes, treadmills, free weights, etc.) may be rockin’ around the Christmas tree, but chances are it will drop right out of the Hit Parade by Valentine’s Day. Goodbye, laundry room; hello, eBay. This exercise shit is hard! Who knew?

Those of us who have real bikes* and ride them outdoors, that’s who.

Dodging pickups and potholes, patching punctures, ducking and moving, bobbing and weaving, wearing all manner of kit through all four seasons — it’s so … random! Also, fun. Plus, like crucifixion, it gets you out in the open air.

Of course, some of Peloton’s plummet can be attributed to the stir-crazy dashing back to their gyms, where for a small consideration they can ride other people’s exercise bikes indoors. This explains much about the state of the human condition at present.

* E-bikes not included. See “Fitness Flavor of the Month.”

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18 Responses to “Dropping the Peloton”

  1. SAO' Says:

    There’s something wrong with us when a 17% decline in the middle of financial chaos is some horrible thing. Stuff happens. They surged, grabbed the low hanging fruit, and now should be stabilizing. Shouldn’t be a big deal.

    And if they are buying parts smartly, got decent margins, and have good relationships with partners, vendors, and customers, who freaking cares what they’re stock price is?

    Financial news is no different than political news. All tragedy and triumph, with no room for the middle or anyone who quietly gets the job done.

    Personally, group spin classes look like torture to me, and a virtual version wouldn’t be any better. But few ever went broke selling overpriced shit to rich people, and it’s no skin off my nose which freak flag anyone chooses to fly.

    I just don’t get why everything has to be the best or the worst.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Seems like Peloton has a number of problems, including a self-admitted lack of discipline, overconfidence as regards product placement (ever see anyone croak using an Apple product on TV?), the treadmill recall, an expensive product(s), and uncertainty as regards the home fitness market as some well-off sorts find themselves being called back to the office or lured back to the gym.

      Shiny Object Syndrome has to play a role, too. We’re all prone to that, even the press. The glitter and gleam has faded, so it’s time to seek out The Next Big Thing®.

      • Late update: OK, so it almost feels like someone is actively fucking with Peloton now. What next? Does the head of an instructor turn up in John Foley’s bed?

      • SAO' Says:

        I’m still thinking … an e-Peloton … a stationary bike that pedals itself … Plug it in, adjust the seat and the seven cup holders, set your iPhone on top of your iPad right next to the built in 27” screen, and then let the bike do the work.

        Anyone want to get in on the ground floor? Just need a catchy name.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    As Larry’s wife would say, “People are stupid”
    And I too prefer the open air.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    The State of the human condition is something George Carlin warned us about. “Never underestimate the power of large groups of stupid people.” The stupid unvaccinated
    people have decided, like their leader, that they are the only ones that matter. I assume they also think the sick and old need to be culled. The good ole USA has the worse track record in the world for COVID with the most cases and deaths of any country. We have 4% of the world’s population but vaccine to throw away. What a great example.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    I meant to mention that Pelotons even made it into Frank Bruni’s column in the NY Times, to wit:

    “…That news media includes more Democrats than Republicans. And its naysaying depends on the irascibility and volubility of Democratic officials complaining about other Democratic officials. Democrats don’t need Pelotons: They’ve turned finger pointing into an aerobic workout….”

  5. SAO' Says:

    I get the New York Times for the recipes in the crossword puzzle. And it is going to be a hard sell come re-subscription time

  6. Dropping the Peloton – Rosalina Health Says:

    […] Dropping the Peloton […]

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