Pelothon 2020: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Pelothon 2020

The 2020 Pelothon is officially half over, so it’s a good time to check in on the event to see how it’s going. If you aren’t participating in Pelothon 2020, check out this previous article I wrote. Let’s dig into my Pelothon review.

The good

I love the concept of the Pelothon, and I’d like to see Peloton do something similar each season. Even without it being a charity event, I believe people enjoy having something to strive for during their workouts, love the group aspect, and love competing against others. I love the added gamification aspect that it gives to your workouts. I was way more excited than I should have been that #BreakthroughCrew was leading after week 1. From a business perspective, Peloton wants people to be working out (the opposite of a regular gym) to keep users paying for the subscription. If customers get excited about Pelothon, that’s good for Peloton’s business overall. To sum it up: People who are using their Peloton service don’t cancel their Peloton service.

Peloton absolutely nailed the entire concept from a high level, but their execution leaves much to be desired. Let’s dig into what they should do for the next Pelothon-type event.

The bad

Peloton’s instructions for what each week requires has been quite confusing. Week 1 requires each person to do a workout with each person in their class. There is no way to know if you’ve completed one, though. The only way to confirm you’ve completed the requirements is to pull up the team instructors on one device, and then look at your workout history on another.

Week 2 was slightly less confusing for completing the actual requirements. All that was required was to compete in two live classes with any instructor. My issue with week 2 was that Peloton’s live schedule class isn’t fully back from the shorter schedule that was implemented during COVID-19, so it wasn’t near as convenient to catch a live class as it would have been otherwise. I personally like to work out early in the morning, but Peloton’s first live during the week is usually around 7 a.m. EST. If you are in the UK, this means your first live class isn’t available until noon. The schedule is starting to get back to normal starting next week. As you can see in the photo below, there are now 7:30 a.m. classes for the UK riders.

For Week 3, the challenge is to work out five of the seven days a week. For week 4, Peloton says you have to take one of the Pelothon 2020 classes. Looking at the archives, I am not totally sure what is considered a Pelothon class, but it’s likely these will be released that week. I am unsure if they are new classes or something in the archives will be designated as a “Pelothon 2020” class.

Part of the event is about supporting various charities, but I am having trouble connecting the challenges to the charities. If I complete more challenges, does the charity get more money? I don’t think so, but it’s quite unclear. In the future, I’d love to see teams assigned to a charity, and the more workouts they do, their charity would get a bigger slice of the pie, etc.

The ugly

The absolute worst part of the Pelothon is the overall technical implementation of it inside of the Peloton service. The problem with the implementation is that there is no integration whatsoever. It’s likely that this idea was somewhat last minute, so there was no possible way to develop better integration, and if Peloton does a future Pelothon, it will be built into the service. As of now, it’s a website, hashtags, and a collection of classes in the app.

If Peloton does another Pelothon, there should be a place in your profile to show what you’ve checked off, what you’re still missing, how your team is doing at any particular time, etc.

What do you think about the Pelothon? Let me know on Twitter what you liked, didn’t like, and what could be improved.


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