One of the most commonly asked questions by new Peloton users is “Does the Peloton bike have a pause button” – to which the answer is no. However, Peloton digital users on the app *are* able to pause their workout. The disconnect there is that users on a Peloton Bike or Tread have power output, and therefore show up on the leaderboard. App users don’t have any output numbers, and aren’t competing on the leaderboard, thus a pause button doesn’t impact anything.
Over the past few weeks, Peloton has been surveying a random group of Peloton members with different questions around if they would like a pause button to be available on on-demand workouts on the Bike or Tread, and if so, how that should work. From the sounds of it, the current line of thinking would be that a pause button would only be available for on-demand workouts, not necessarily live or encore classes, though that of course would be subject to change (assuming the research moves to an actual implementation). The survey is also trying to gather information & feedback on how the leaderboard aspect of a Peloton class should work if a pause button were added to the mix as well.
Several questions are asked in the survey, starting off more generically, then getting more specific. For example, members are asked how important the leaderboard is to them personally and then whether you use the leaderboard mainly for competition, or for the social/high five aspect. The question is then posed whether you personally would like to have an option to pause an on-demand workout – followed by if you’ve ever had the need in the past for a pause button. A follow up relates to if you have ever needed one in the past, what your reasons might have been for it.
The survey then moves on to questions related to leaderboard functionality, assuming a pause button does get added. One simply asks for a yes/no (with degrees of strongness within) if you think users should be removed from the leaderboard if a pause button were used. It then gets a little more nuanced, and asks if there should be thresholds for removing someone from the leaderboard: if you pause it at all, pause for more than a minute of the class, or more than a certain % of the class. The survey also asks if you think that pausing a class should disqualify you from being able to earn a PR/Personal Record on that class.
The survey also asks members if they have any reasons they would NOT want to see a pause button added to on-demand workouts (with responses including potential to game the leaderboard or PRs, decreased motivation to finish a full class, losing the feeling of live class, and more). Another question revolved around what type of on-demand classes should a pause button be added to: all of them or only ones without a leaderboard like yoga or strength.
Note that just because Peloton has sent a survey to some members doesn’t mean a pause button is a guarantee to happen. Peloton R&D surveys lots of different ideas to users, some of which end up making it as features, and others that get dropped at different stages of development. Peloton CEO John Foley did recently tease “great new features” coming in 2021 in his recent year-end letter to members – we’ll see soon enough if this is considered one of them.