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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.