Last month, Peloton issued a recall for its treadmills due to pressure from the CPSC. The company also agreed to add new safety features to its treadmills, though its first safety-oriented update has broken the free “Just Run” mode on Tread+ machines. To make up for the problem, Peloton is offering Tread+ owners a three-month All-Access Membership for free.
Most of the Peloton features that you see on TV, like video workouts, require a $40 per month Peloton subscription. But the free Just Run mode lets you use Peloton like a regular treadmill, without all the fancy internet-connected features.
But the latest Tread+ software update makes Just Run impossible to access without a Peloton subscription. This isn’t an intentional change—it’s a result of the now-required Tread Lock feature, which hides treadmill functionality behind a 4-digit passcode. For whatever reason, Tread Lock is only available for Peloton subscribers, so free users cannot access Just Run at this time.
Yeah, it’s an annoying and confusing mess. But this is the most proactive safety measure that Peloton has taken this year (or maybe ever). The company spent months publically fighting the CPSC’s recall. Disturbingly, its CEO insisted that a Peloton treadmill was not responsible for a child’s death, blaming the incident on user error and poor parental supervision.
And on the upside, Tread+ owners are getting three months of free Peloton All-Access. That’s a $120 value! But we’re still left wondering why Peloton didn’t offer the Tread Lock safety feature to free users in the first place, and why Peloton is forcing users to deal with internet-connected features when they didn’t need to in the past. It’s an annoying reminder that you don’t really own your internet-connected devices—someone will always try to control how you use it.