New Peloton Patent for Treadmill Rear Guard – Potential Fix for Peloton Tread+

A new Peloton patent application shows a rear guard for a Treadmill – which could potentially be used as the fix for the Peloton Tread+.

Update – The CPSC has officially approved a fix for the Peloton Tread+ in the form of a rear guard.

For those who have been following along with the recall of the Peloton Tread+ and what it will take for it to come back to the market, Peloton has explicitly stated in the past that they hope that a rear guard would be approved by the CPSC to fix the safety issues. When Peloton announced last October that they were extending the deadline to return the Tread+ under recall until November 2023, they specifically mentioned a rear guard, saying:

In cooperation with the CPSC, we are also developing a rear guard solution that would help protect users against the risk of accidental pull-under at the back of the treadmill. Before implementing such a solution, the CPSC must first approve the rear guard as part of Peloton’s voluntary recall. Currently, we do not have additional information about the timing for the availability of this possible rear guard solution for our Members.

One thing to keep in mind is that this application doesn’t state whether it has been approved or reviewed by the CPSC yet – which would be a necessary step in the process.

Image from Peloton patent application for the rear guard that could be used on the Peloton Tread+
Image from Peloton patent application for the rear guard that could be used on the Peloton Tread+

The patent application was initially filed on September 7, 2022 but has just been made public this week. This was first discovered by Bob Treemore on Twitter. All of the images used in the patent application show a Peloton-branded treadmill with slats – the same design as used in the Peloton Tread+.

It is titled “Guard Assembly for Exercise Machine” and has the patent application number US-20230072180. The abstract of the patent specifically mentions how the guard is designed for safety purposes:

An exercise machine with a movable belt includes a guard assembly with a flexible guard that extends towards the rear axis and is spaced apart from the movable belt by a first gap and is exposed by the housing body, a rigid guard positioned downstream of the flexible guard with respect to a moving direction of the belt and spaced apart from the movable belt by a second gap, and a channel disposed between the flexible guard and the rigid guard. The guard assembly protects the user from injury and prevents damage to the exercise machine.

Patent application showing part of a rear guard on a Peloton Tread+
Patent application showing part of a rear guard on a Peloton Tread+

As mentioned above, the design would have two separate guards – one flexible guard on the outside, separated via a small gap from a larger, more rigid guard. It mentions this design would help prevent pinching fingers or otherwise allowing objects to get stuck:

Thus, the flexible guard may be configured to prevent objects from moving under the treadmill, without providing a pinch point, or other small gap between the guard and the surface or belt, in which a user’s body part could become trapped. The inner wall or rigid guard may form a small gap, which could be a possible pinch point, but the rigid guard is placed or positioned under the treadmill at the back of the channel, and thus at a position that is generally inaccessible or unreachable to a user. Therefore, the guard assembly can facilitate the blocking or prevention of objects moving under the treadmill (via the moving surface or belt), without exposing small gaps between components to users of the treadmill, among other benefits.

The patent application for Peloton’s treadmill rear guard states that it could be designed with a combination of rubber & bristles:

A flexible guard 152 may comprise a material such as a rubber. Suitable materials include butyl rubber, silicon rubber, polyamide, various rubber block copolymers as known in the art, and generally elastic materials such as low density polyethylene. In some embodiments, the guard may comprise a plurality of bristles, e.g. polyamide bristles. The flexible material of the flexible guard may extend for a distance of from 25 to 30 mm.

The patent also states that the rear guard could work in combination with mechanisms to shut off or slow down the treadmill under certain scenarios.

Another image of the rear guard of the Peloton Tread from the patent application.
Another image of the rear guard of the Peloton Tread from the patent application.

These could be implemented either by an infrared beam or a mechanical switch:

In some embodiments, the treadmill can include an object detection mechanism, such as an infrared (IR) beam trigger mechanism, that is positioned under the deck of the treadmill (e.g., near the rear). The object detection mechanism can detect an object within the channel, moving within the channel, or otherwise under the treadmill, and modify operations of the treadmill, such as slowing down the moving surface, shutting off the moving surface, or otherwise adjusting to a different state of operation.

In some embodiments, the treadmill can include other mechanical or sensor-based detection mechanisms or components. For example, the treadmill can include one or more inclinometers, accelerometers, gyroscopes, or other sensors that can detect when a rear of a treadmill is moving upwards, tilting at an angle, or otherwise abnormally, and cause the treadmill to modify operations, such as slowing down, shutting off, or otherwise adjusting to a different state of operation.

As always, patent applications just show some versions of how an invention can be implemented. If this ends up being approved by the CPSC, we will have to wait and see how the final version that gets integrated with the Peloton Tread+ is designed and constructed.

As mentioned above – any solution Peloton implements as a fix for the Peloton Tread+ will have to be reviewed and approved by the CPSC. This could be a slow process, so the filing of a patent showing a potential fix doesn’t mean that Peloton is moments away from being able to sell the Peloton Tread+ again. There could be many other steps required behind the scenes before this can happen.

However, since Peloton has repeatedly mentioned a rear guard being their solution to fixing the safety issues of the Peloton Tread+, this does seem like a big important step in Peloton being able to bring the Tread+ back to market and being able to sell it to members again.

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Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis is the creator & founder of Pelo Buddy. He purchased his Peloton in 2018, and uses all the different devices: Peloton Bike, Tread, Row, and Guide. He has been involved in the fitness industry for more than a decade - previously co-founding the websites Mud Run Guide & Ninja Guide. You can find him on the leaderboard at #PeloBuddy.

1 Comment

  • Robert Acosta says:

    i have TWO Questions:

    When will the Tread+ be released or projected date?

    When will the Rower Class Content be released to ALL ACCESS members?

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