If you paid more than $4,000 for Peloton’s Tread+, you’d expect that treadmill to be yours. And it is. Kind of. But the thing you should know about connected devices is that ownership isn’t as straightforward as simply buying a gadget.
Yesterday, Peloton notified Tread+ owners that they would no longer be able to use the “Just Run” feature without subscribing to Peloton’s $40 monthly membership. “Just Run” was a mode that let you use the Tread+ without Peloton’s classes, and, crucially, without paying for that subscription. The reason Peloton gave for the change was its Tread Lock software update, which added a 4-digit passcode to prevent unauthorized access. Tread Lock is part of Peloton’s voluntary recall for the Tread+, following numerous reports of injuries and in one case, a child’s death. The response on Twitter has not been kind. Some went as far as to call this ransom and extortion under the guise of improving consumer safety.
“Unfortunately, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership, which means Tread+ owners without a subscription cannot access Just Run at this time,” a Peloton spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email. “We waived three months of All-Access Membership for all Tread+ owners.”