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Peloton reports a defect in its bike seats after users report injuries, also announces ninth straight quarter of loss

This marks the fourth time the beleaguered fitness brand has identified a product defect recently, with 12 injuries, including a wrist fracture being reported this time

American fitness company Peloton has identified a defect in its entry-level bikes’ seat posts after 12 reports of injuries sustained by users emerged, including one user left with a fractured wrist, while also announcing at the same time a wider than expected loss in the current quarter, marking a ninth straight quarter of losses.

The defect, which has affected at least 35 users so far, involves a defect on the part attaching the saddle to the frame on its “Original Peloton” indoor stationary exercise bike, which costs around £1,350.

The seat post was vulnerable to breaking at the weld joint, according to the company. One user commented on social media: “I’ve had my seat a few times just fall down”, while another person wrote that the seat would “regularly slip no matter how tight it was”.

Many even said that they were completely unaware that there was a defect and just assumed their issues being an isolated case, with a lot of people ending up getting the seat post tube changed themselves.

Peloton said that it has notified the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about the “potential product safety issue” and is working with the regulator to finalise a corrective action plan.

The company disclosed the issue in a filing on Thursday following its quarterly earnings report, posting a loss of $275.9 million, which was “wider-than-expected”, with. Revenue also declined 22 per cent from a year ago, while its stocks tumbled as much as 17 per cent on Friday following these reports — the most in the last seven months.

> Peloton cuts cost of exercise bike by 20 per cent as losses worsen

The fitness equipment maker has also agreed to pay $75 million to settle an dispute with Dish Network over content-streaming technology. The cost will put significant pressure on free cash flow, said Chief Executive Officer Barry McCarthy.

McCarthy said: “We're definitely uncertain about what's next in terms of the economic environment,” adding that the next quarter “will be among our most challenging from a growth perspective.”

In January this year, Peloton agreed to pay a $19 million fine for failing to promptly report a defect with its Tread+ treadmill that could cause serious injury. The 150 reports included the death of a child and 13 injuries, including broken bones, lacerations, abrasions and friction burns.

Peloton and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jointly announced the recall of the Tread+ treadmill in May 2021. The penalty also settled charges that Peloton knowingly distributed recalled treadmills in violation of the CPSC’s Safety Act.

> Peloton teams up with Amazon in bid to halt sliding bike sales

In August, we had reported that Peloton teamed up with online retail giant Amazon in a bit to halt the decline in sales of its static bikes, in a first-time move that saw the brand, which until then only sold its equipment through its own website, showrooms and other direct sales channels, has partnering with a third-party retailer to reach consumers.

A month before that, the New York City-based company announced that it will stop manufacturing its bikes and treadmills in-house and within the US, and will instead outsource the process to Taiwan and existing partner Rexon, with shares at an all-time low.

Peloton saw booming sales in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic led to governments in key markets including the US and UK impose lockdown measures, leading people to undertake exercise at home. But its been a difficult few months since then, with the company fighting to stay afloat and promise growth to shareholders.

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago

It's ludicrous that a company that produces fitness videos and makes a fairly bog standard exercise bike can't make money and is on course for a billion dollar loss this year. 
Since the era of cheap VC credit appears to be over for the next few years hopefully this wave of hyper aggressive American startups will start to die off.   Zwift and Wahoo excepted 🤞

bobbinogs replied to Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago
1 like

It's even more mind boggling that they managed to avoid breaking even during a pandemic which had millions of people throughout the world locked up at home and exercising. Joe Wicks et al seemed to do very well but all Peloton offered was endess excuses for poor financial performance and the promise of jam tomorrow.  Bonkers!

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