“aTrend forecaster and buzzwords lover Ion Vallis wrote that nearly every industry will be “pelotoneized” in a post-pandemic world. In a blog at the beginning of last year. “Just as the hot VC phrase of the past decade has been ‘Uber for X,’ I expect that after the pandemic it will be ‘Peloton of Y’.”
You can see why Valis wants to be involved in everything when you start working out. In September 2020, Peloton announces a 172% increase in sales from the previous year and over a million new subscriptions to broadcast categories. The company, which sold its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013, has become known as one of a small group of “winners” from the pandemic, and along with Netflix and Amazon, its stock price has skyrocketed. By the end of 2020, it was worth $45 billion.
However, over the past year, the enthusiasm for cycling anywhere in your front room has waned. The company reported losses of $1.2 billion in the second quarter of 2022, and more than 750 layoffs were announced just before that in addition to the 2,800 laid-off employees in February. The stock price has fallen 88% over the past year.
The reason for the ups and downs of the Peloton is obvious: As soon as people started exercising in gyms and outdoors, the need for an expensive and bulky home exercise bike disappeared.
Peloton wasn’t the only epidemic hobby that turned into a fad: In kitchen cabinets across the floor, sacks of flour rot and kombucha kernels fade. But the financial outlay for that amusement was minimal, while most Peloton bike models cost upwards of $2,500. Thousands of bikes are now popping up on the Facebook and Craigslist marketplace, but can people get back some of their initial investment? Or are they stuck in what has become the most expensive clothes rack in history?
“I don’t like owning things we don’t use,” Heather and Aaron, Scottsdale, Arizona
Heather has logged about 50 rides during the pandemic, while their son, a homeschooled teen, has put in about 350 rides as part of his physical education requirements.
But now gyms in Arizona feel safer and their son goes to school in person, and the Peloton hasn’t been used in about seven months.
Heather’s husband, Aaron, is a firm believer in the Toyota Production System, a management philosophy that prioritizes waste disposal. “Part of that training is if you haven’t used something in six months, get rid of it, because all it’s doing is weighing it down in the back of your mind,” he says. “I don’t really like having things that we don’t use.”
With that in mind, he posted a listing of the bike, which originally cost $2,250, for $900 about a month ago. They’ve had some low ball offers but haven’t gotten rid of them yet. “I thought someone else could use it and save some money because it’s practically completely new. But if they’re going to get sloppy with their shows, it’s not worth selling it and dealing with the trouble,” says Aaron.
He has not yet removed the list. With Peloton announcing it recently They will raise prices by $500, he hopes selling it makes more sense. “It may be subconscious not to delete the ad,” he says. “Now that I know prices are going to go up, I’ll probably keep it there.”
“If I don’t get rid of it, I will probably start using it again.” Andy Mount Kisco, New York
Before the pandemic, Andy had tried everything: he had a treadmill, he went to the gym, he attended classes at Hiit and Orangetheory. Just before his fiftieth birthday, the Peloton craze reached its climax. “People kept talking about how amazing Peloton was,” he says. Therefore, for his birthday, he decided to choose one as a “big gift” for himself, for $2,200. He started riding it MuchBy trying almost every type of exercise that the Peloton program has to offer. Eventually, though, he realized that his hip was starting to cause him trouble.
He discovered he had arthritis in both hips, a problem Peloton did not. But with thigh pain, he found he could no longer push himself as hard in the exercises he wanted. . “I’ve promised myself if I get to the point where clothes get hung up, I’ll cut my losses and let someone else enjoy it,” he says.
Unfortunately, things were not that simple. His Craigslist ad ran for 20 days, and although there were some bites, it didn’t sell. He’s asking $1,650, a price he knows could be high for a used Peloton. Its ad acknowledges that it’s a bit pricey, but says, “If you want your Peloton assembled and ready to ride and don’t want to wait or organize a deal on the Peloton’s schedule, this is great for an all-new bike.”
He has yet to stop paying the monthly Peloton membership fee. “I probably don’t like having $60 in my bank every month. I think there was a part of me that thought if I didn’t get rid of it, maybe I could start using it again.” At the time of writing, he has not sold it yet.
“It’s a place for us to throw laundry,” Jason, New York
Jason and his wife, Megan, bought the Peloton when Meghan became pregnant in October 2021. “Although gyms reopened, as she was pregnant and Covid started to rise again, we made the decision that we needed a good way so my wife could exercise while pregnant. “.
They bought the base Peloton bike model for about $1,900, and it included an extended warranty and accessories. Now, just under a year later, Jason is trying to get rid of him.
Part of the problem, he says, has been the batting cycling shoes you need to ride a bike — Peloton sells its own pairs for about $125. “I think almost immediately, I got nervous by putting on my boots and cutting on and off the bike.”
More importantly, his wife’s carry – which is the main reason they got the bike in the first place – ended up presenting a bigger challenge to using the Peloton than they expected. I felt insecure getting on and off the bike, and soon they both stopped using it altogether.
“It was the most efficient place for us to throw in the laundry,” he says.
In mid-August, he and his wife finally decided to try to get rid of the thing. Just over two weeks after listing, he’s been able to find a buyer at his asking price, less than half of what he originally bought it for.
“I’ve used it all four times,” Erica, Palo Alto, CA
Before the pandemic, Erica was a thirsty for SoulCycler. When you stepped up your Peloton storefront next to your usual SoulCycle studio, you didn’t see the allure of riding back home. But then the epidemic happened and her usual routine stopped. For about a year, I thought about getting the bike, but it kept running late due to the cost. “Then with the pandemic just going on, I started thinking about it more and felt like I was really missing out on that rotation and that height that I’m getting from the spin class.”
In the summer of 2021, a neighbor was commuting and offered to sell his bike for $850. She accepted them with her offer, but it was never worth it.
“I’ve used it four times,” she says. “I don’t like it. It was a total pain in the ass to get to our house. We have a three storey detached house and we brought it up two flights of stairs, and that was the biggest exercise I’ve ever gotten from him in all time.”
I found that what I really love about Soulcycling is the environment. “It was like a nightclub experience in my twenties,” she says. With Peloton, you could never really mirror the experience of being in a dark, crowded room and loud music.
Fortunately, after about three days of mixed offers and delays on Craigslist, she was able to sell her for $950, $100 more than what she originally bought. It was sold to a young attorney who just moved to the Bay Area from the East Coast. He previously had a peloton that he had sold rather than carried around the country.
Even with the sale being successful, Erica remains skeptical about the future of the Peloton. “I just think people are doing their best to live pre-pandemic lives, and that didn’t include Peloton in the beginning,” she says. She’s not yet back in SoulCycle either. You’d rather ride a real bike to work, instead.
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