Online retail giant Amazon has launched the Prime Bike – an indoor bicycle that is clearly pitched as an alternative to Peloton, but which retails at $499, a quarter of the price of the rival product.
The bike, which CNN Fitness says is the first ever connected fitness product from the online giant, is actually made by Peloton competitor Echelon, whose own branded bikes sell for between $1,000 and $2,000 (one of its models is shown above).
Its unveiling is accompanied by Amazon’s launch of a new Prime Fitness channel that will stream fitness and cycling classes on monthly subscriptions, similar to Echelon and Peloton’s own business model.
But while Peloton’s bike – and the higher-end models from Echelon – have integrated screens, users of the Prime Bike will need to hook up an iPad or laptop to watch and participate in workouts.
News of the launch caused Peloton shares to drop by 2 per cent on New York’s NASDAQ exchange.
However, the company has thrived during lockdown as gyms have been closed both in its home market of the United States and in countries around the world where it has a presence.
That includes the United Kingdom, where it has nine of its own stores as well as a concession at John Lewis in Southampton, with two more opening soon at the department store operator’s branches in High Wycombe and Kingston Upon Thames.
According to the company, connected fitness subscriptions doubled to more than 1 million over the past year, and it expects them to exceed 2 million by the end of its 2021 financial year, anticipating revenue of between $3.5 billion and $3.65 billion.
Peloton itself revealed plans earlier this year to intoroduce a cheaper version of its bike to target the mass market.
Echelon too has seen huge interest in its products as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with founder Lou Lentine saying in March: “Connected fitness continues to be a must-have for anyone wanting to stay fit without leaving the home.
“Throughout the weekend we had over 1,000 people consistently shopping on our site for the Echelon indoor connect bike, rower, and Reflect Mirror.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.