If you’re going to want to row at home it’s going to cost you.
At least if you opt for a Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON).
The much leaked, much anticipated Peloton rower is here. Called the Peloton Row it starts from $3,195 USD for the base model and 12-month limited warranty. Various kits — Row Starter, Row Select, Row Ultimate — which include various accessories can drive the price up to $3,570. A Peloton membership is not included. That will cost an additional $44/month to access streaming classes via the rower touchscreen.
As for the rower itself, it’s both large and (sort of) compact at the same. In this case 8 feet long by 2 feet wide, and weighing in at 157 pounds. (Note that the industry leading Concept2 rower also has an 8×2 footprint).While that might seem huge, by rower standards is not too bad, and actually maybe even on the smaller side, especially when you note the open side design with minimal frame — most prominent at the front, before extending elegantly in a simple, modern line to the rear. Still, there’s no denying that the Row will take a chunk of space so you’ll either need a big room, or be a very dedicated rower willing to deal with some inconvenience.
Like the Peloton Bikes and Treads, instructors will lead you through classes that you can follow on the touchscreen (23.8-inches, 1080p HD), mounted on a swivel mount on the front. On the screen you’ll find key metrics as you workout: stroke rate, pace, output and distance.
Peloton says the Row is “near silent.”
One nifty feature is something called the “Form Rating.” At the end of each class the rower will provide a personalized breakdown of your form — insights like Catch, Drive, Finish, Recovery.
As for storage, you can store the Peloton Row vertically near a wall. An upright wall anchor is provided to secure it and prevent any accidents; though Peloton recommends a professional installed. If you have the space, of course, you could just leave it as is along the floor. Those in tighter spaces, apartments or dorms will likely need to get creative, and find some vertical space to store the rower when not in use.
Stark Insider Take
Aesthetically this is quite a pretty thing. I like the typically Peloton dark, gunmetal finish. The large touchscreen will be ever familiar for existing Peloton customers. And I expect the quality of the instructor-led content to be the same as the Bike and Tread which is to say: phenomenal.
As for the price?
That’s a tough one to swallow. We’re likely in a recession. Inflation is still rampant. And many companies are laying off staff and cutting costs (while some are still hiring — it’s an odd economic environment).
Are many prepared to pay $3,195 plus taxes for a discretionary product?
My guess is no — probably only a niche of buyers will be. But that’s probably okay with Peloton management as this is likely more of a margin play than a volume play. At the very least the company needs something that will help with margins and offset those massive quarterly cash losses.
As a Bike owner I’m on the fence. Just as I’m about to pay-off my pandemic Peloton, along comes another device that I could use to take advantage of my existing membership. I already pay $44/month (a steal that covers both myself and Loni compared to a gym membership) so that content is already sitting out there — free in essence — available to use. Plus a Bike/Row or Tread/Row is a nice combo as one focuses mostly on lower body and the other both lower and upper body (Peloton says it will workout 86% of your muscles).
Then there’s the sheer size of the Peloton Row. It’s not insignificant. We’d need to shuffle stuff around to make room for something that measures 8×2 feet in size. Basically the “home gym” part of our home would grow substantially. I guess at that point we’d be a gym with a small home added on the side!
Hard to say. I like the idea of fitness of course. And because the Peloton Bike is always a stone’s throw away here at home, we use it a lot. Every day pretty much, aside from travel.
Regarding the competition. There’s many (far) cheaper options out there. Some obvious ones include:
- NordicTrack RW 600, $999
- Echelon Row, $799
- Hydrow Rowing Machine, $2,395
- And… Amazon has no shortage of lost cost rowers
In any case, with its premium Apple-like product positioning, the Peloton Row is available for pre-order, starting from $3,195. That includes delivery and setup, but not taxes.
Peloton expects to start shipping the new rowing machine in early December.
Meantime, Amazon has opened its own Peloton store and is offering a significantly discounted Peloton Bike.
Parting thought: Part of me can’t help but wonder if Peloton intentionally over-priced the Row in hopes of keeping initial demand low and subsequently ironing out supply chain and delivery issues, before introducing an “entry-level” model (~ $2,000) to scale for the broader market?