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PPeloton Tread vs. Peloton Tread Plus: Comparing features, specs and price

Aside from price, what are the real differences between the Tread and Tread Plus?

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Peloton

Editor's note, May 5, 2021: Peloton has issued a voluntary recall of its newer Tread and original Tread Plus treadmills because of reports of injuries and a potentially fatal risk to children and pets. At this time, you cannot purchase the new Tread or older Tread Plus from Peloton. See the full details of the recall.

Our original comparison of the Peloton Tread and the Peloton Tread Plus is below.


Best known for its luxurious indoor spin bikes, Peloton introduced the Peloton Tread, its equally luxurious treadmill, in 2018. In 2020, the company introduced a smaller, less expensive (but still pricey) treadmill and rebranded the original Tread as the Tread Plus. The newer, smaller treadmill is now the Tread. 

If you're considering adding a Peloton Tread or Tread Plus to your home gym, this one-to-one comparison guide will help you decide which treadmill is right for you.

Read more: 4 treadmill workouts to torch calories, get faster and improve endurance

Peloton

The Peloton Tread is Peloton's "basic" treadmill -- basic in quotes, because this treadmill is nothing short of luxurious -- and the sticker price proves that, despite the Tread being the pared-down version of the Tread Plus. 

With a 59-inch continuous running belt and a 23.8-inch HD touchscreen display (with 50 degrees of tilt for floor workouts), the Peloton Tread is more than capable and its suite of high-end features are plenty functional enough for the average runner. 

The near-60-inch belt is made of woven nylon and textured PVC, two durable materials that should hold up meticulously through thousands of miles. You can adjust speed and incline by 1 mph and 1% using the adjustable knobs or the touchscreen. 

Speaking of touchscreens, the display on the Peloton Tread tilts up to 50 degrees, which is great for those who want to do floor workouts with the Peloton Digital app using the treadmill screen (instead of propping up your phone or tablet).

Constructed primarily of carbon steel, the Peloton Tread provides the sturdy and sleek feel "Pelo-family" members have come to love.

Peloton Tread cost: $2,495, or as low as $64 per month with financing approval. All-access membership is a separate and additional cost of $39 per month. At a list price of nearly $2,500, even Peloton's "basic" treadmill presents quite an investment for most people.

Peloton

Peloton's original treadmill (later rebranded as the high-end option) embodies everything that defines Peloton. It's large, sturdy, durable, sleek and immersive. But it's so, so expensive -- and the features that differentiate the Tread Plus from the Tread aren't worth the investment for the average treadmill runner. Even runners with a capital R may not find the "plus" features worth it. 

The Peloton Tread Plus boasts 67 inches of running space with a shock-absorbing slat belt. If you don't run enough to know what a slat belt is, you probably don't need it. People who run every day or have joint problems can benefit from this type of belt, though.

The screen on the Tread Plus is nearly 10 inches larger than the screen on the Tread. At 32 inches versus 23.8 inches, runners who love taking classes, watching instructors and following the leaderboard will get the most out of the Tread Plus. If you're not in it for the classes, the Tread's 23.8-inch screen will suit you just fine. 

What's interesting is that while the Tread Plus is considered the premium Peloton treadmill, it lacks in some areas where the Tread shines. For example, the Tread has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, an 8-megapixel front camera with a privacy cover and a four digital array microphone. Tread Plus, in contrast, has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a 4-megapixel front camera without a privacy cover and a built-in microphone that Peloton doesn't provide specs for on its website.

Peloton Tread Plus cost: $4,295, or as low as $111 per month with financing approval. All-access membership is a separate and additional cost of $39 per month.

Takeaways

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Both Peloton treadmills embody the luxurious feel that's become characteristic of Peloton. They're both fun, highly functional and versatile. But there's a steep price difference for what seems like minuscule alterations. Here are the bottom-line differences between the two Peloton treadmills.

Pricing: With a price difference of nearly $2,000, potential buyers really need to weigh the pros and cons of each Peloton treadmill. Aside from the screen size, overall size and running belt type, there aren't many differences -- unlikely enough to convince the casual indoor runner to splurge on Tread Plus.

Quality: Both treadmills provide Peloton-level quality and luxury. Both sport carbon-steel frames, adjustable control knobs, HD touchscreens and sturdy polycarbonate trays. The difference, once again, lies in the running belt. The Tread Plus slat belt is constructed of more than 50 individually mounted slats made of aluminum and rubber, which makes the belt much springier than the Tread's standard continuous belt.

Speed and grade: The Tread and the Tread Plus offer the same exact speed and incline settings, so there's no reason to buy the Tread Plus based on those features alone. However, the Tread Plus does offer "free mode," which allows runners to push the slat belt without powering the treadmill on. This activates different muscles and can help serious runners improve their leg strength and power.

Comfort: The slat belt on the Tread Plus may provide more comfort than the traditional running belt on the Tread, thanks to its shock-absorbing nature. The Tread Plus also offers more running space and is larger overall, which may convince taller runners to opt for the premium treadmill.

Display: Both Peloton treadmills have large displays with 1080p HD displays, but the Tread display comes in at 23.8 inches while the Tread Plus display measures 32 inches. The Tread's tilting abilities may make up for the smaller size -- you can tilt the screen up to 50 degrees, while the Tread Plus screen tilts only 30 degrees. 

Tech: The Tread and the Tread Plus have nearly identical tech specs, aside from the Bluetooth, camera and microphone assets described above. Both treadmills feature the same processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash storage and ANT Plus wireless connectivity. 

Size and space: You'll need more space for the Tread Plus than the Tread. Peloton recommends leaving 2 feet of space in the front and on both sides of your treadmill and 6.5 feet in the back. You should also have 20 inches (Tread) or 24 inches (Tread Plus) of space between your head and the ceiling when standing on the treadmill, according to the Peloton website. The Tread Plus is 4.5 inches longer, 3.5 inches wider and 72 inches higher than the Tread. The Tread is a better option for people who live in smaller spaces.

Warranty: The Tread and the Tread Plus both come with a limited 12-month warranty, which is indeed limited. The warranty covers the frame, motor and belt for five years; the other components and electronics for just one year. This very limited warranty might be a deal-breaker for sticker prices north of $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. 

If you don't think either Peloton treadmill is for you, no worries: There's certainly no shortage of treadmills on the market. From NordicTrack to Nautilus to TrueForm, there's a perfect treadmill out there for everyone, no matter what features you desire or how much space you have. Before you drop $2,000 or more on any treadmill, though, learn why running outside can make you a better runner

Read more: How to make running on a treadmill more fun

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.