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Peloton Outage Prevents Customers From Using $2,500 Exercise Bikes

from the dumb-tech-is-smart-tech dept

Peloton hasn’t been having a great run lately. While business boomed during the pandemic, things have taken a sour turn of late on a bizarre host of fronts. In just the last month or two the company has seen an historic drop in company valuation, fired 20 percent of its workforce, shaken up its executive management team, been forced to pause treadmill and bike production due to plummeting demand, been the subject of several TV shows featuring people having heart attacks, and now has been caught up in a new scandal for trying to cover up a rust problem to avoid a recall.

Some of the issues have been self-inflicted, while others are just the ebb and flow of the pandemic. Most users still generally love the product, and a lot of these issues are likely to fade away over time. But adding insult to injury, connectivity issues this week prevented Peloton bike and treadmill owners from being able to use their $2000-$5000 luxury exercise equipment for several hours Tuesday morning. The official Peloton Twitter account tried to downplay the scope of the issues:

For much of Tuesday morning the pricey equipment simply wouldn’t work. I have a Peloton Bike+, and while the pedals would physically spin, I couldn’t change the resistance or load into my account; you just were stuck staring at a loading wheel in perpetuity. Some app users say they had better luck, but many Bike, Bike+, and Peloton Tread owners not only couldn’t ride in live classes, they couldn’t participate in recorded classes because there’s no way to download a class to local storage (despite the devices being glorified Android tablets).

The outage (which occurred at the same time as a major Slack outage) was ultimately resolved after several hours, but not before owners got another notable reminder that dumb tech can often be the smarter option. Your kettlebells will never see a bungled firmware update or struggle to connect to the cloud.

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Companies: peloton

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Comments on “Peloton Outage Prevents Customers From Using $2,500 Exercise Bikes”

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16 Comments
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And yet somehow people want to connect even more shit to the internet of shitty bad ideas.

This morning your exercise bike said no classes for you, this afternoon your Tesla said no brakes for you, this evening your internet connected fridge lost connection and cooked everything inside of it… why… because we decided if you didn’t pay us to be connected to our server we’d ruin all your things.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I suppose it depends on how you define "unusable". Sure, they were able to be used as "dumb" bikes during the outage, but those bikes potentially cost 1/10 of what people are paying for the Pelaton. So, they weren’t bricked, but people lost every advantage that made them choose to buy a more expensive bike.

Not disastrous, perhaps, but it’s yet another reminder that if you’re expected to pay a premium for something that can lose the value of the premium at a moment’s notice for reasons beyond your control, you shouldn’t be paying that premium.

The fact that the technical capability to have offline prerecorded sessions is absolutely there but they haven’t bothered to implement it is the part that pushes this over the line from "oh well, everyone has problems now and again" to "what’s the point in paying extra?".

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Blast from the past?

"Your kettlebells will never see a bungled firmware update or struggle to connect to the cloud. "

Reminds me of something I once read on an old BBS dedicated to long-suffering sysadmins way back. Dawn of time stuff from the 90’s.

"I work for an investment bank. I have dealt with code written by stock exchanges. I have seen how the computer systems that store your money are run. If I ever make a fortune, I will store it in gold bullion under my bed. "

  • Matthew Crosby

It should be comforting to see that some things never change.
Why am I not comforted?

Coffee U (profile) says:

Dumb equipment

Back in 2018 I got a bike trainer to supplement my running, and used Zwift as people in my run group did too. Shortly into this I upgraded from a dumb trainer to a (used) Kickr Snap (a smart trainer). This worked fine with zwift, but eventually I got sick of paying a subscription when I mostly bike to get recovery levels of cardio. But the problem is that the smart trainer manufacturers essentially don’t make any simple control methods (like you can’t just bike and change the resistance as needed), and the few that do don’t have sometime simple and instead course sell their full-blown workout software on the subscription model.

Fortunately I found a free Android app that also has a one-time purchase to make the app more usable (i.e. use it for over an hour at a time). But it’s ridiculous the low number of non-subscription options there are to make use out of a multi hundred dollar piece of equipment.

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