Well I didn’t see this one coming. Then again, with Peloton Interactive, Inc (NASDAQ: PTON) you just never know these days.
Today the somewhat beleaguered fitness company released its own heart rate monitor.
The Peloton Heart Rate Monitor sells for $90 USD and is available with either a small (7.5-10.5 in) or large (10.5-13.5 in) adjustable strap which you wear on your forearm. A small row of LEDs along the top of the device show your current heart rate zone. Peloton says the band should last about 10 hours before needing a charge.
Here’s what the Peloton Heart Rate Band looks like:
You can automatically sync the Peloton Heart Rate Band with any of its fitness devices including the Bike, Bike+, Tread and Tread+.
The ordering page which is now live shows the band delivering in “5 to 7 days.”
Stark Insider Take
This announcement is a bit of a surprise. Given all the negative press surrounding the company’s woes regarding supply chain, demand swings and overall brand reputation a non-critical HRM would be the last thing on my to-do list for this company.
Then again, the team probably had this device designed and ready to go as part of its wearables strategy well before the stock crash and accompanying production issues (reportedly!).
Heart rate monitors are pretty much a dime a dozen. You can easily sync many third party bands with the Peloton including leading manufacturers such as Polar, Scosche and Wahoo (I use the Tickr Fit on my Peloton bike and it works great). So I’m not entirely sure why Peloton thought it necessary to jump into this arena when there are already brand name products that do the job just fine.
As an Apple Watch owner and die-hard ring closer, I would’ve rather have seen Peloton focus on extending compatibility with existing fitness trackers and smartwatches. While the Apple Watch is supported on the digital app for the iPhone or Android it’s not supported on the Bike itself. That’s a shame. Being able to communicate with it for heart rate data would mean I’d need one less device to worry about — a dedicated HRM — before working out. I suspect Garmin owners would feel the same. Hey, we’ve already invested in a fitness tracker Peloton! Please let’s see these things supported!
I should also point out that Peloton, in its email marketing for this announcement, emphasized that when using this band you can “see your Strive Score” (“Strive Score is a personal, noncompetitive metric based off your heart rate.”). While that may be true, the same is true for any HRM used with Peloton. There’s nothing inherently unique to this band that unlocks any specific feature not readily available using any other compatible HRM product. Just a heads up for those shopping for a heart rate monitor for their Peloton.
In any case those new to at-home workout tech may want to enjoy the whole Peloton experience and buy everything they need direct from the company and be ready to go when all arrives rather than piecemeal together all the different parts from multiple sites and brands. I could see that making a bit of sense — and why, for instance, the company makes other branded gear (shoes, weights, etc.).