Flywheel Bikes No Longer Work, So You Get a Free Peloton Instead

Flywheel bike owners will no longer have access to live-streamed or on-demand classes.
Flywheel bike owners will no longer have access to live-streamed or on-demand classes.
Screenshot: Flywheel

Peloton accused rival stationary bike company Flywheel of stealing its ideas back in 2018, and now the two companies have settled. Flywheel is ending its at-home classes—both live-streamed and on-demand—in March, The Verge reported, which means Flywheel bike owners won’t have anything to watch on their giant screens. But don’t worry: Peloton is offering those riders free Peloton bikes, which is kind of a win-win for everyone.

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The Flywheel-Peloton drama began back in 2018, when Peloton accused its competitor of infringing on its patents. Flywheel isn’t just another connected bike with live-streamed workout classes—the company also implemented the leaderboard that separates Peloton from other connected home gym equipment.

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Peloton also alleged that a Flywheel investor got inside intel from Peloton CEO John Foley by pretending to be a potential Peloton investor. The timeline of that discussion was a little suspicious—Flywheel launched its own bike just a few months later. The company admitted to infringing Peloton’s patents earlier this month.

Flywheel will stay in the boutique fitness class business after discontinuing its bike and streaming workout classes. As in its on-demand classes, the company also uses a leaderboard in-studio. I’ve actually taken a couple Flywheel classes—they’re fine, but the in-class leaderboard is actually kind of stressful to watch. If you’re looking for a more competitive, less woo-woo version of SoulCycle, Flywheel is an option. (The company closed 11 locations last year after Peloton filed suit, so there may no longer be a studio near you.)

If you want to trade in your Flywheel bike for a refurbed Peloton, fill out the form here.

Consumer tech editor, Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

Sounds suspicious. Why is Peloton feeling so generous, when they won the case? Or is Flywheel somehow paying for the replacements? (How much did that cost them?)

Or maybe Peloton is just counting on a subscription renewal down the line?