If you’re looking for a treadmill that functions as both an exercise device and a status symbol, you’ll want to consider the new Peloton Tread which does both with aplomb. The connected tread from the luxury fitness brand is a slightly downgraded version of its more-expensive Tread+ (which is the rebranded name of the original device Peloton launched in 2018). But the Tread has enough going for it to make it our upgrade pick.
At a glance: The Tread’s speed ranges from 0.5 to 12.5 mph (a blistering 4:48-mile pace, the fastest we tested) and its incline ranges from 0% to 12.5% (second only to NordicTrack and Bowflex’s range). It has a 20-inch wide, 59-inch long belt and a 3 HP motor (slightly smaller and less powerful than NordicTrack’s, and Peloton does not specify if it is continuous or maximum HP), and a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds (on par). You must include at least a one-month membership to Peloton’s all-access subscription with your purchase , which is $39 a month. You can cancel it at any time, but we think its fitness programming is a big part of what makes the Tread worth it.
Assembly is included with purchase of the Tread, and, when built, it comes out to 68 inches long, 33 inches wide, and 62 inches tall with a generous 23.8-inch screen. I thought it looked sleek and sophisticated—if you’re planning on getting a treadmill to keep out in your living room, this is probably the most visually appealing option.
The speed and incline are controlled by knobs on the right and left handrail of the Tread, which you adjust with a twist (or even just a flick of your palm). You can also customize three shortcuts each for your own favorite speed and incline settings on the touchscreen. I thought the shortcut buttons were a little small and tough to hit accurately, especially when I was finishing up a sprint interval, but the knobs made it quick and easy enough to change the speed that I didn’t find myself worrying about the shortcuts too much. Its screen can only be tilted (not pivoted like its new Bike+), but it's large enough that I didn't have any trouble following off-tread classes.
For me, the Tread’s main draw is its integration with the Peloton platform. It’s easy to figure out how to find and filter classes that suit your needs, whether it’s running, speed walking, bootcamp (which involve alternating intervals of on- and off-tread runs and exercises), or Peloton’s off-tread offerings, which include yoga, HIIT, strength training, barre, stretching, and more. The Tread also has access to a new feature, called Stacked Classes, which allows you to queue up as many as 10 classes and play them in a row—a nice touch that makes planning out full-body workouts easier. I liked stacking my runs with strength classes and stretches, so I didn't forget to do them or have to fiddle too much with the screen in my post-cardio haze. All the instructors are fantastic—and vary enough in teaching style that if one doesn’t strike your fancy, another probably will—and create an atmosphere that made every workout I took genuinely fun (even the ones that included long uphill runs). In addition to the extensive on-demand library, about five live classes are offered every day from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The screen also displays just the right amount of metrics—including pace, average speed, mileage, elevation gain, time remaining in the class, and calories burned—plus a leaderboard, which shows information on how you stack up against everyone else in the class and your own past performance in similar classes. (You can also use the leaderboard to send virtual “high fives” to fellow Peloton runners, which creates a nice sense of camaraderie.) And, if you don’t want to see something on the screen, whether it’s the leaderboard or the time remaining in the class, you can send it away with the swipe of your finger.
Still, despite its nifty features, the Tread has a few odd quirks. Because its screen is so large and extends above the console, it tends to wobble some, especially during high-speed runs. As I inadvertently learned, it’s also missing the “Free Mode” feature that comes with the Tread+, which allows you to disengage the motor and power the belt with your own feet by bracing your hands on the handlebars, which creates extra resistance and activates different muscles. I wouldn’t have missed this if it weren’t for the fact that a lot of the classes I took used this feature—before I started a class, I got a notification telling me to just run at a high speed when the instructor called for Free Mode, but I still felt unmoored during those bouts. However, because I tested the Tread before it was available to most people, I’m hopeful that future classes will be updated with relevant instruction to both Tread and Tread+ owners. Finally, it has wheels to roll it around, but this is not a folding treadmill, so it's a big space commitment.
The Tread costs $2,495, and you can finance it at zero interest for $64 a month for 39 months. Like all Peloton products, the Tread’s warranty is a little disappointing, given its price—it offers three years on the frame, motor, and belt and one year on the components, screen, and labor. You can also tack on a service plan within your first year of purchase for $270 or $325 that adds on an additional 12 or 27 months of parts and labor coverage (not a bad idea if you opt for financing, so you’re covered at least until you finish paying for it).
First year total cost (if paid in full): $2,495 + $468 (one year Peloton membership) = $2,963