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Android-controlled exercycle excites Kickstarter fans

Jun 25, 2013 — by Eric Brown 2,259 views

After only two days on Kickstarter, an Android 4.1-powered exercise bike project has reached almost half its $250,000 goal. Peloton Cycle’s Peloton Bike is equipped with a 21.5-inch touchscreen console that runs Android 4.1 on a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM processor, offers multiple wireless options for connecting heart rate monitors, and delivers 1080p video chat and live on-demand indoor cycling classes.

With $4 million in VC startup funding, Peloton Cycle appears to be going forward with its Android exercise bike, Kickstarter or no. So far, Kickstarter fans have been kicking in eagerly, with nearly half of the bike’s $250,000 goal for its one-month funding period having been met within two days of going online on June 24. The company is building a 50-cycle spinning studio in New York City, and will offer live video broadcasts of several classes a day on the Peloton Bike’s console, so users can ride along remotely.

Peloton Cycle’s Android-powered Peloton Bike
(click images to enlarge)


According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Peloton Cycle was started by Barnes & Noble eCommerce execs. The company appears to be following a similar strategy as used on the Android-based Nook ereader. Peloton plans to sell the bike at far less than the $2,000 to $3,000 charged for similarly high-end exercise bikes, with the hopes of making its profits on $39 per month subscriptions to its video spin classes.


Peloton Bike console’s stats and group workout screens
(click images to enlarge)


Pre-orders should be available to Kickstarter backers on July 24 at $1,500 to $1,700, depending on various reports, but the Journal says the company hopes to eventually drop that to as low as $500. The company partnered with an ODM tablet manufacturer from Asia as well as a similarly unnamed exercise bike manufacturer.

Evolution of the Peloton Bike’s console design
(click image to enlarge)


The stylish bike has a number of mechanical innovations, including a “near-silent” belt drive system in place of the typical chain drive, and a magnetic resistance flywheel (see feature list below). The key selling point, however, is its 21.5-inch 1080p HD multitouch console, driven by a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4470 processor.

Combined with WiFi, the sweat-resistant console lets user access the company’s live or on-demand studio cycling classes. A front-facing 1.5-megapixel camera, a microphone, and speakers let users talk to other remote users while spinning. The console firmware is based on Android 4.1, but there’s no mention of access to general Android features such as a web browser.

The console includes Bluetooth and ANT+ radios that enable the connection of heart rate monitors and wireless headphones or speakers. There’s also an Ethernet port, as well as a Peloton Cycle data connector, presumably for hooking up future fitness and health add-ons.

Specifications listed for the Peloton Bike console include:

  • Processor — TI OMAP 4470 (dual-core @ 1.5GHz)
  • Memory — 1GB RAM; 16GB internal flash
  • Display — 21.5-inch 1080p PCAP (projected capacitive) multitouch
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11 b/g/n
    • ANT+ wireless
    • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O — 3.5mm TRRS headphone/mic jack; Peloton Cycle data connector
  • Other features — 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera; 2x 3 Watt stereo speakers
  • Software features:
    • Track calories burned (kcal), cadence (RPMs), and power output (Watts)
    • Detailed workout statistics showing progress over time.
    • Competition features
  • Operating system — Android 4.1

Other features listed for the Peloton Bike include:

  • Carbon steel and aluminum monocoque frame
  • Neodymium rare earth magnet resistance system
  • Ergonomic resistance knob
  • Poly V power transmission belt drive
  • Microadjustable sport series saddle with depressed ergonomic center channel
  • Microadjustable handle bars
  • LOOK Delta compatible thermoplastic pedals
  • 170mm carbon steel crank arms
  • 13/68mm precision steel bottom bracket


The Peloton Bike’s Kickstarter project video appears below.


Peloton Cycle expects to ship to U.S.-based Kickstarter backers in November , and will expand to international customers in January 2014. More information may be found at this Peloton Bike Kickstarter page and the Peloton Cycle website.

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