Official statement from Peloton:
“Apple GymKit is designed to work with equipment-based cardio workouts. However, Peloton recently implemented GymKit with Bike Bootcamp, a multi-disciplinary class type that combines strength and cardio, which the feature does not support. Members can still use GymKit to sync their cycling-only workouts to their Apple Watch from the Bike+.”
One of the selling points of upgrading to the newer, upgraded, and more expensive Peloton Bike+ was the inclusion of the Apple Gym Kit, an Apple platform that makes it very easy to pair the bike with your Apple Watch to see your heart rate and have your workouts directly imported into Apple Fitness and Apple Health.
In fact, when I bought my own Peloton Bike+, I also decided to buy an Apple Watch specifically because of the inclusion of Apple GymKit.
With one of Peloton’s latest updates, they have disabled the direct pairing of the Apple Watch to the Bike+ Bootcamp Classes (in addition to it being already disabled for Strength and Yoga Classes).
The only classes Apple Watch still pairs with are the Cycling Classes. While I first thought this might be an accident, Peloton pretty much put that to rest on Sunday when responding to a comment on Instagram:
The question that should be asked is: Why take it away?
Why remove part of such a widely used tool that was sold as an upgraded feature for their premium Bike+?
One possibility is that Peloton is planning to release its own version of a smartwatch in the near future.
And this could be soon, as the company is planning to make some big announcements at the end of April in its annual Homecoming Event.
But even if it is planning a release later this year, taking away some of the Apple support now could be a strategic tactic to help early adoption.
The timing of this lines up, as one of the companies Peloton has acquired earlier this year, is Atlas, which specializes in making smartwatches to help track and count reps during workouts.
On top of that, one of the most expected announcements to be made this month is the introduction to some sort of boxing classes. And you know what pairs really well with boxing classes? A smartwatch that tracks your reps and overall power output.
Of course, this could be all be for nothing. Maybe they just felt like removing the Apple Watch Support for no reason, or it was an issue on Apple’s end, which can happen occasionally. Only time will tell.