New Peloton Feature: Is being able to “pause” a ride an easy out?

Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON) today announced that it will implement a long awaited feature: a pause button.

That means now if you need to jump off the Peloton Bike or Tread for whatever reason in the middle of a class you can simply tap the button to pause the class and then resume when you return.

The pause button will roll out later this year.

I have mixed feeling about this one.

Previously there was no so option. Once you started a cycling class you were fully committed with no such escape option available.

Yes, this does make sense. Life is full of distractions, especially for those with large families. Unplanned things happened. And they might need your immediate attention. So I can see why people want the ability to take a momentary time out.

But, part of me wonders: is this an easy out?

Part of the thrill of a Peloton cycling class — be it live or on-demand — is that it’s sort of like getting into a rollercoaster. There is no return. There’s a certain apprehension there I’ve discovered in over a year with my Peloton. You know the workouts are good for you. On the other hand, I feel nerves making themselves known on rides that are going to be difficult (FTP test, HIIT, Tabata). One you hit “start” there’s no going back. It’s that sort of all-or-nothing, dive right in and get-to-it exhilaration that I think why our Peloton has really helped me out during COVID-19 and the lockdowns.

If I knew I could pause and take a breather, or maybe come up with a half-baked excuse (Oh, I need to get that Amazon delivery to the porch right this instance!) then the temperature and tension on the whole endeavor is somewhat muted.

Of course, you could just say that, hey, it’s just a new feature. If you don’t want to pause a class then, well… well don’t pause the class.

True. Fair enough. And, yes I won’t be pausing.

But the fact that the option there turns that rollercoaster into a video game version of a rollercoaster. You can pause and resume whenever you like. So much for commitment then.

Peloton Homecoming 2021

CEO John Foley says Peloton now has 4.4 million members.

Peloton plans to enter the Asia-Pacific region with expansion into Australia.

Star Peloton instructor Ally Love with musician Usher.

In any case, the new “pause” feature during a keynote presentation “The Pulse of Peloton” by co-founder CEO John Foley was part of the annual Peloton Homecoming event, a series of virtual sessions that demonstrate new features, or cover various fitness and mental wellness topics.

Other New Peloton Features

  • Programs 2.0 — “more structure and accountability,” an automatically structured set of classes with schedule, and you can now select a specific instructor to help meet your fitness goals.
  • Strive Score — you can now get credit for exercise take outside of the Bike or Tread. The score is a “non-competitive metric” based on your heart rate measured with a heart rate monitor.
  • Target Metrics for Tread / Tread+ — you can now see target metrics for speed and incline. You can also preview them before taking a class.
  • Scenic Relaunch — scenic classes have been refreshed with better interactivity and music for runs and rides with three class types: instructor-led Guided Classes, Distance-Based Classes, Time-Based Classes.

All these features are starting to roll out today.

Presenters at Homecoming 2021 include Usher, Alex Toussaint, Cliff Dwenger, among many others.

ALSO SEE: Peloton Acquisitions: AI voice assistant, wearables, interactive workout mat — clues to the future?

Always active and a corporate leader when it comes to social issues, Peloton is also hosting “The Peloton Pledge: Working Towards an Anti-Racist Future” — a conversation moderated by Peloton’s head of marketing Dara Treseder.

Homecoming 2021 runs this weekend, April 30 through May 2, 2021.

WATCH: Homecoming 2021 Keynote by Peloton Co-Founder & CEO John Foley

Disclosure: I’m a Peloton Bike owner and long PTON stock.

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