Earlier this month, author Robert Hackett wrote about Peloton in an article for Fortune magazine. The main focus of the article was looking at Peloton’s explosive growth over the last year, and wondering whether Peloton would be able to sustain that growth over time.
As part of the article, he had interviews (both virtual & in person) with some of Peloton’s executive teams. This included a tour of some Peloton facilities. One of those visits included a visit to a Peloton R&D lab, where a rowing machine was spotted undergoing testing in Peloton’s R&D labs – which could be the long rumored Peloton rowing machine. Here is an excerpt form the article that mentions what he saw (emphasis & bolding is ours):
On a mid-January day, I tour a new Peloton R&D facility that opened as the pandemic struck. Here, Peloton tries to improve its products and dream up new types of torture racks for its customers.
At one point, cofounder Cortese lets me peek inside a room that contains equipment undergoing testing. Near the doorway, a bicycle hooked up to a computer is pedaling away with no one in the seat, as though a ghost is riding it. On the other side of the room, I glimpse something I doubt I’m supposed to see. It’s a long-rumored follow-up piece of equipment that the company has never officially confirmed: a rowing machine.
When I ask about the machine later, a Peloton spokesperson says the company “often reviews and tests all kinds [of tech], but that doesn’t mean we plan to pursue any of those particular product areas.”
A few caveats are worth mentioning here – like the Peloton spokesperson said, Peloton tests a lot of products, and few see the light of day. Earlier this month, Peloton CEO John Foley gave an interview where he mentioned all sorts of crazy stuff being in their R&D labs. In that same interview, he did mention Peloton would eventually release new products, but most of the focus was on what hardware strength product Peloton might introduce to compete with Tonal & other connected home fitness strength products.
Also, it is not confirmed that the rower that was spotted in the research & development lab was one Peloton was actually developing – it could be a third party rower like a Hydrow, or Concept 2, that was just being tested, or even used for the team to just get some workouts in.
With those caveats aside – there has been a lot of previous evidence pointing to a Peloton Rower. In September 2020, Bloomberg had a report that confirmed a Peloton rower was still in development, stating “The company is also working on a rowing machine, but that is not expected to be announced until later.” Bloomberg’s first confirmation of a Peloton rower was an article in 2019, where they also revealed the new lower cost Peloton Tread which is just now launching for sale worldwide.
Also, a few months ago a developer looked at some of the source code that comes loaded on a Peloton Treadmill. In it, he found some internal code names for Peloton products. The code names revealed a mystery product known as the “Peloton Mazu”, which is believed to possibly be a working code name for the Peloton rower.
One important thing to keep in mind is that even if a Peloton rowing machine or Peloton strength device is confirmed to be the next product Peloton is announcing – it seems unlikely at this point that it would be available for customers in the near term. Peloton is still dealing with massive shipping & logistical delays and have order backlogs on their existing products that are months long. We would not expect to see a new product announced (or at least available to order) until Peloton is able to get the order delays on all their existing products back under control.
You can keep up to date with all the news about Peloton Rower (or Peloton rowing machine) here.
This note in the interview was first highlighted by @jbs5 on Twitter.