Peloton Tread Treadmill Review – Pros & Cons (2020)

Kristen (Kacey) NelsonKristen (Kacey) Nelson

Last Updated: October 27, 2020

The Tread is the newest piece of fitness equipment in the Peloton lineup. It is designed similar to a Woodway treadmill with rubber slats that run horizontally along a reinforced platform. There is no cushioning in the deck and it does not fold up, but the rubber slats are designed to absorb shock while they move underfoot. It has a massive 32” touchscreen attached to the front to showcase Peloton’s vast array of classes and trainers. While the Tread is certainly different and cool, it has an asking price of $4295, which is on the top end for home fitness equipment. We’ve evaluated the hardware and software on the Peloton Tread to see if it’s worth the heavy sticker price.


Who It’s For: The Peloton Tread is for die-hard Peloton enthusiasts who love the content and are willing to try a unique treadmill design with a hefty price tag

Our Video Review


Pros
  • Rugged design is unique and cool
  • Peloton content, as always, is engaging and keeps you motivated
  • The screen is clear and large, you really feel like you are part of the class
  • Console is sleek with minimal buttons
  • Bluetooth enabled so you can listen to the Peloton instructors on your personal headphones
  • Extra long 67” deck gives you plenty of running space
  • Speed and incline options for maximum training variables
  • Closed Captioning is available in certain classes
  • Metrics are extensive and precise. You get a full readout of your average pace, wattage, total kilojoules, and distance. Additional metrics can be found on the home screen after you complete the workout.
Cons
  • Expensive! Tread price is $4295 and Peloton subscription is $39/month
  • No console buttons; knobs control speed and incline. There is a jump button which will take you up to the next even metric, (4.2 to 5.0) but you can’t quickly move from 2mph to 8mph with just a touch button.
  • There is no down jump button, so you have to turn the knob to decrease speed or incline
  • Slat belts are rubber, but otherwise there is no cushioning in the deck
  • There is no decline
  • Tread is very heavy at 455lbs total weight
FeaturesSpecifications
  • Slat Belt: 67″ L x 20″ W
    The belt is constructed of horizontal rubber slats that move along the tread deck. The slats provide a solid footing and nice toe-off. However, there is no cushioning in the deck other than what is provided by the rubber slats.
  • Motor: 2 HP AC
    This is less horsepower than comparable models, but it is an AC system rather than a DC which is what most treadmills use. The Tread is powerful and does not lag when adjusting speed or incline.
  • Slat-belt: 59 aluminum slats with rubber overmold, on ball bearing rail system
    We love the slat design! Peloton claims the slats are nearly indestructible and will last the life of the Tread. They feel sturdy and supportive underfoot.
  • 32” 1080p HD touchscreen
    This eye-catching touchscreen is crisp and vibrant. Classes and content are easy to see and the touchscreen is navigable. There’s a little wobble in the screen when running high speeds because it hovers above the Tread rather than sit embedded in a console. With less support, we noticed more screen rocking.
  • Speed and Incline knobs with jump buttons
    Situated conveniently inside the handlebars is a speed knob on the right and an incline knob on the left. These are a nice size and feel good in your hand. It is intuitive to spin the knob forward to increase and pull it back to decrease. A jump button in the center of each knob will take you up to the next even number. However, this isn’t as precise as preset buttons and it can be tricky to find the right level each time.There is no quick Jump button to go down — and no automation within the program, so you have to manually make all speed and incline adjustments.
  • Bluetooth audio-ready for external devices
    Yes to Bluetooth headphones! The Tread easily syncs with personal headphones so you can listen to the classes.
  • 0-12.5mph Speed
    This is a good speed range and should offer plenty of speed for most runners.
  • 0-15% Incline
    The Tread feels sturdy when inclined and the motor pivots the deck up and down smoothly. There is no decline, which is unfortunate.
  • Free Mode
    A free mode button on the control bar disengages the Tread belt from the motor so you can manually push the belt along with your feet. This is a challenging exercise and will kick your heart rate up in a hurry! It also engages more upper body strength, so it’s great for full body workout.
  • Peloton Subscription required for all content
    There isn’t really any preprogrammed content on the Tread. It is designed to be used with the Peloton app. If you don’t plan to use Peloton subscription, this is not the best machine. There are cheaper, better options out there if you are not a Peloton devotee.

Construction:

  • Footprint: 72.5” L x 36.5” W x 72” H
  • Slat Belt: 67” L x 20” W
  • Step-up height: 11.5”
  • Total Weight: 455 lb
  • Tread: 430 lb
  • Screen: 25 lb
  • Motor: 2 HP AC
  • Power Requirements: 120V, 60Hz, 15A dedicated circuit (U.S. only) (avoid GFCI outlets)
  • Slat-belt: 59 aluminum slats with rubber overmold, on ball bearing rail system
  • Carbon steel and cast aluminum with soft‑touch coating handrail

Console:

  • 32” 1080p HD touchscreen
  • One-touch wake/stop/sleep button
  • Speed and Incline knobs with jump buttons
  • One-touch Free Mode button
  • Front-facing Volume up/down buttons
  • 2 water bottle holders
  • 20 W soundbar with 70Hz to 20KHz frequency response
  • USB charging for wireless headphones
  • 3.5 mm jack for wired headphones
  • Bluetooth audio-ready for external devices
  • 5 megapixel front‑facing camera

Functionality:

  • 0-12.5mph Speed
  • 0-15% Incline
  • Free Mode
  • Screen Adjustment: 0-30 degrees vertical tilt
  • Requires Peloton subscription ($39/month)

Warranty:

  • Touchscreen: 12 Months
  • Frame: Five Years
  • Tread Components: 12 Months
  • Labor: 12 Months

In-depth Review of Peloton Tread

Construction

Frame

The Peloton Tread is sturdy. At 455lbs, it sits firmly on the floor. There are four leveling feet under the deck you can adjust so it sits squarely without rocking or tipping side to side. It feels sturdy even when fully inclined. Solid steel beams reinforce the deck and the slat belts offer good support. Uprights are power-coated steel, so they are firm as well. A zipper on the side of the track opens for extra storage.

Our concerns with the frame are a limited warranty and lighter than expected weight capacity. While it weighs 455lbs, the Tread will only support 300 pounds, which is lighter than we would expect considering the solid construction. The warranty on the frame is 5 years, which is half what you will get on a NordicTrack treadmill and Sole treadmills offer lifetime warranties, so 5 years is on the lower end — especially for fitness equipment over $4000. The warranty for labor, parts and touchscreen is only one year.

Deck

  • Cushioning / Feel
    The Tread has a different feel underfoot than other treadmills. Since the running surface is composed of slats rather than a singular tread belt, it feels solid. The rubber slats do provide a bit of shock absorption, but it isn’t the same as comparable treadmills with adjustable cushioning in the deck. We have several reviewers at Guru who regularly run on the Tread, and each one feels some discomfort by the end of their session. Our taller and heavier reviewers notice discomfort earlier, while others are able to run longer. Peloton advertises the Tread as a training machine that mimics outdoor running with less cushioning and a solid foot-strike. However, fatigue time was significantly sooner on the Tread than on other treadmills, so we couldn’t run as long or as hard as we could on the NordicTrack x32i or x22i. Even after several training sessions and long-term use, impact discomfort is still an issue.
  • Length / Width
    The Tread is 20” wide by 67” long. 20” lateral space is pretty standard on a treadmill of this size, however, the 67” in length is 7” more than comparable treadmills. The extra length is nice when you are running. There is plenty of space for kickback and you have some room to move without encroaching on the console. The only issue here is the adjustment knobs are pretty far forward on the handlebars, so you have to stand moderately close to the front to adjust when the trainer directs. If the knobs were a little farther back, you would be better able to take advantage of the extra length.
  • Rubber Slats

  • The Tread deck looks like a tank wheel, with horizontal slats that roll over the top of the platform. This style does have some benefit, there is no slapping sound from the tread belt (since there isn’t one), and the belt doesn’t move or shift from side to side like traditional belts tend to do. Maintenance is also pretty easy and Peloton claims the slats won’t wear out. (We can’t verify this since the Tread hasn’t been on the market very long.) Personally, I like the feel and look of the rubber slats. I have a good foothold while running and it never feels slick or like I might slip. If there were cushioning under the deck it would be my preferred running surface.

Motor

The Tread has a 2.0 HP motor, which has been mentioned as a concern by potential users. Most treadmills in this price range feature 4.0 or 4.25HP motors. However, the Tread has an AC motor rather than a DC motor, so even though it is only 2.0 HP it generates plenty of power. The Tread never feels underpowered or like it’s lagging. Peloton recommends a dedicated 120V, 60Hz, 15A circuit so you don’t trip a breaker while operating. I am impressed with the Tread’s power. It gets up to speed fast and transitions between inclines and speeds quickly.

Console / Controls

Screen

The 32” touchscreen is clear and easy to see. I find Peloton screens to be the best on any fitness equipment. This makes sense, since content is the main selling feature for Peloton. Touchscreen capabilities are quick and responsive, even with sweaty hands, and the screen is easy to see and navigate. The screen pivots up and down so you can adjust it to avoid overhead glare or reposition if you have multiple users. The screen does not rotate side to side however, which is a bit of an issue if you are doing a floor class off the treadmill. The screen is large, but you have to stand directly behind or to the side of the treadmill to see the instructor. It would be nice if the screen rotated side to side.

The other issue we had with the screen is the way it is attached to the frame. The screen is not embedded as part of a solid console, instead it hovers at the front of the Tread and is connected via a steel bar in the back. When running fast or hard, we found the screen rocked and wobbled noticeably. While the design looks simple and chic, limited structural support for such a large screen creates stability issues.

Layout

  • Console

  • There isn’t really a “console” on the Tread like you find on other treadmills. Peloton has streamlined almost all functionality into the touchscreen. The only button on the screen is a small -/+ volume button on the bottom. There is also a safety key and a STOP/wake/sleep button on the horizontal push bar. Control knobs for resistance (left) and speed (right) are on the side handrails. While the streamlined look of the screen and handlebars is nice, it limits functionality a bit.
  • Control Knobs

  • The control knobs are a good size and it feels natural to roll them forward to increase and back to decrease. However, there are no presets anywhere, so you can’t quickly move from one speed or incline to another without repeatedly twisting the knob or hitting the jump button. While I like the way the knob feels, it could work better. You kind of have to guess how much to turn it up or down and then watch the numbers on the screen tell you where you are. I frequently have to play with it a little to get it where I want it. Also, there is no automated incline/decline or speed control that syncs the Tread with the class. In other programs like NordicTrack’s iFit, the treadmill will automatically adjust incline and speed per the instructor’s cues. (You can always manually adjust the speed or incline yourself at any time to override automation.) This allows you to run without having to constantly listen to the instructor or play with the controls. Since the Peloton doesn’t have this, it’s a bit more frustrating to have to continually turn the knob or hit the jump button to move between settings.
  • Jump Buttons

  • A button in the center of each control knob will jump you up to the next even metric. (For example, if you are at 4.2mph, the button will take you to 5.0). These are handy and easy to touch with your thumb. The buttons will only take you up by 1.0, and they will not drop you down. It would be nice to have a button to quickly drop a level as well.
  • Screen Controls
    You can choose 3 preset incline and speed options on the screen to quickly tap when needed. This is handy, but not ideal. Preset buttons for each speed and incline — or a jump button that takes you up AND down — would be very useful.

Fans

There is no fan on the Tread. Fans are really useful, especially on a piece of equipment this size. Because it is so large, most people will probably place it along a wall or in the corner of a room. This limits options a little for setting a fan close by. Also, at this price point it’s kind of annoying to have to also buy a fan separately.

Storage Tray

A plastic storage tray spans the width of the treadmill. It has two cup holders, one on each side. This tray is really flimsy — which is a surprise since everything else on the Tread feels sturdy. The plastic tray is easily bendable. Water bottles placed in the holders rattle around when you run. The tray is great for holding a phone or something light, but we don’t recommend placing anything heavy or valuable here.

Functionality

Performance

The Tread provides a healthy foot strike while running. The horizontal design of the slats increases stability; they move steadily across the platform to create a comfortable surface. The belt never feels (or sounds) slick and I don’t find my foot catches on the grippy rubber slat. However, the lack of cushioning under the deck is noticeable. Foot fatigue and joint discomfort are more pronounced on the Tread. We do not recommend this to anyone who has joint issues or needs added cushioning in the deck.

Incline / Decline Range

The Tread will incline to 15% but it doesn’t decline. Comparatively, the NordicTrack x32i (in the same price range, but with a slightly lower price tag) inclines to 40%, declines to -6%, has a 12mph max, and automated incline/decline and speed. The Tread is missing a little functionality here since a little decline goes a long way in adding training variables, and providing gentle conditioning to knees and quads. Automated incline and decline that syncs with Peloton programming would also be beneficial.

Pre-programmed workouts

There are no pre-programmed workouts on the Tread. Unless you have a Peloton subscription, you can’t access any content. The only thing you see is the main screen. You can increase speed or incline and a gray bar along the bottom will display how fast you’re going, but that is all that is available without a subscription.

Class Options

Subscription content is where Peloton really shines. Peloton has created some unique features that make exercising fun and addicting. Here is a general overview of the types and classifications of Peloton classes:

  • Peloton offers Live classes and On-Demand classes. Both classes feature a Leaderboard that ranks users by kilojoules.Live classes are scheduled so you can join a live-stream and participate in a class as it is happening. The Schedule tab displays upcoming live classes. All classes are filmed in New York, so they are East Coast time, which can be early for West Coast users. Live classes rank users in real time based on their kilojoule output.On-Demand classes are recorded classes you can select anytime. Leaderboard rankings can be divided by: “Here Now” and “All Time.”
    • Here Now ranks those who are doing the class at the same time.
    • All Time ranks everyone who has ever taken the class.
  • Classes are also divided into two categories: Tread and Floor. Tread classes are any that include the treadmill while floor classes are done completely off the treadmill.
    Tread Classes include Running, Walking or Bootcamp (a combo of tread + weights)
    Floor Classes include strength, stretching, yoga, meditation, and cardio (like kickboxing, etc.)
  • Collections include a group of related classes. Most collections have between 8 and 16 classes. Collections change based on season and topic. Examples include:
    • Instructor Top Picks
    • All Time Favorites
    • Running
    • Pre & Postnatal Yoga
    • Gratitude
    • Special Events
    • Pride
  • Programs are groups of classes with a related emphasis, such as:
    • Total Strength
    • Welcome to Running
    • Crush your Core
    • Road to a 5K
    • Bootcamp explore
  • Challenges are currently running challenges for all Peloton users. Examples:
    • Monthly activity challenge
    • Monthly running challenge
  • Other is a subheading for non-instructor led workouts so you can manually do your own thing. There is no leaderboard or other community functionality in the “Other” workouts
    • Just Run: you create your own route and pace while the Tread keeps track of your metrics.
    • Scenic Run: a drone-shot landscape video plays on the screen. No music or instruction is included.

What we love about Peloton classes:

  • Instructors are interactive and engaging. We’ve tested several fitness subscription services by various companies and Peloton is among the best. Their instructors are engaging and since the camera is on them 100% of the time, they interact regularly with both the studio class and online members.
  • Peloton trainers give cues about form and function while you exercise. While you aren’t in a real class with a trainer who can actively correct posture and form, Peloton instructors do a good job at cueing general instruction to help users self-correct. (I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Cody Rigsby say, “Hips back, chest lifted,” but it’s a good reminder every time.)
  • There is a wide variety of classes with daily updated content. You won’t get bored with class options or variety of instructors.
  • The Leaderboard gives you an idea of where you rank compared to other users. This is a fun feature that makes Peloton competitive and challenging.
  • Some classes include Closed Captioning. When filtering search criteria for classes, you can select those that include subtitles or captions.

What we don’t love about Peloton classes

  • No pause button. In order to keep the Leaderboard accurate, there is no pause button on any class — live or recorded. This way, users can’t take a break, catch their breath and then sprint to manipulate their rank. While this makes sense and keeps the Leaderboard fair, it is a hassle not to be able to pause a class. One of the advantages of exercising at home is being able to pause quickly to answer a call or help a child, etc. You can step off the machine, but the class will continue to run in the background.
  • The Leaderboard is distracting. For those who love it — or for those days when you are feeling really competitive — the Leaderboard is fun. This is one of the features that makes Peloton unique — the ability to see and compete with other users. But can also be discouraging and distracting. For new users or those who are just beginning their fitness journey, it’s not always helpful to be ranked. It’s kind of discouraging to see a rank of 4672 out of 4725. You can always hide yourself from the board or push the Leaderboard screen to the side, so you don’t see it. But the rankings are a prominent part of Peloton and one of the reasons people are drawn to it. If you aren’t a competitive person or you don’t like to be ranked, there are less-expensive programs with the same functionality that don’t feature a Leaderboard. The Leaderboard isn’t a bad thing, but some users may not find it as enjoyable as others.
  • Speed and incline are not automated. Sometimes it’s a hassle to watch the instructor, listen for cues, and then adjust speed and incline when needed. There’s a lot going on and none of it is automated. Add to that the fact that you can’t pause, so just looking to the side or checking a text can cause you to miss a cue. Also, having to manually adjust the controls is a hassle. We would love to see Peloton incorporate automation into their programming as other companies have done.
  • Occasional language by instructor; explicit music. Class instructors speak casually and with emotion during class, which occasionally involves expletives that may be offensive to some people or small children. You can adjust your class settings so those that feature language or explicit music are excluded. Most users will probably use headphones, so it shouldn’t be an issue. But just be aware you have the option to modify class search criteria should you so choose.

Outdoor Routes

There are no trainer-led outdoor routes on Peloton. All programs are class based in a studio. The Scenic Ride option will display a landscape video, but there’s no program to accompany it. If you love classes, then Peloton is great. If you would like the option of an outdoor route led by a trainer, there are better subscription services available.

Noise Level

Average Noise: ~93 decibels (decibel meter on console tray)

  • Tread belt just running by itself: 88 db
  • 0 incline, 3mph: 90 db
  • 0 incline, 6mph: 97 db
  • 3 incline, 3mph: 90 db
  • 3 incline, 6mph: 98 db
  • 6 incline, 3mph: 90 db
  • 6 incline, 6mph: 97 db
  • 10 incline, 3mph: 90 db
  • 10 incline, 6mph: 95 db
  • 15 incline, 3mph: 90 db

The Tread belt is loud. Just running by itself it registered at 88 decibels. In general, it runs about 10 decibels louder than comparable treadmills.

Storage / Folding

The Tread does not fold up. It is very hard to move. Peloton recommends you select a dedicated space and leave your Tread there. This is not a machine that is designed to be moved often.

Bottom Line:

The Peloton Tread has a unique frame that is rugged and sporty. The 32” touchscreen and streamlined design are eye-catching and chic. Peloton has positioned itself as not only a fitness company, but a status symbol, and the Peloton Tread is great if you want to pay for it. Peloton’s subscription content is impressive and we like the slat belt design. However, with minimal cushioning, clunky control knob functionality, no fan, no speed/incline automation, and a limited warranty, the Peloton Tread is not worth its high price tag. If you are considering a Peloton Tread, we recommend looking at comparable models and doing a bit of research before you commit.

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