Peloton’s Video Game Feature Is Here, and It’s Fun – Gizmodo

February 18, 2022 by No Comments

Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

Peloton is having a rough time. The connected fitness company is struggling to sell bikes it once couldn’t keep in stock, its CEO was just replaced with a more competent officer, and it just laid off 2,800 employees. But Peloton has never struggled in one specific area: its classes. And so the company hopes to catch a break today when it launches a Lanebreak feature that turns Peloton rides into video game levels.

The feature has been in a rolling beta since last summer, accumulating thousands of Bike and Bike+ users at any given time. Peloton gave me early access to Lanebreak a couple weeks ago to take it for a—literal—spin. If you’re a Bike owner looking to switch up your routine, Lanebreak is a really fun way to ride.

Will Lanebreak solve Peloton’s numerous problems and pull the company back from the brink of catastrophe? No. Will it entertain Peloton owners who might be warily eyeing their bikes, dreading what seems to be an inevitable Amazon acquisition? Yes.

How Lanebreak Works

Lanebreak is a new feature available only on the Bike and Bike+, accessible under the “More” tab where Peloton’s free rides and scenic rides live. There are about 20 levels to start with varying musical themes in partnership with Warner Music Group. You can currently choose from 5-minute cool-downs and warm-ups, 10-minute hip hop classes, a 20-minute level with a soundtrack curated by Peloton fave DJ John Michael, and even a 30-minute class. Most of the levels are bite-sized, designed to stack with other rides (though actually stacking them is impossible—more on that in a minute).

To fill up a breaker like this one, you have to pedal furiously to max out the points you can earn.

Screenshot: Peloton

Each level looks the same, with the same gameplay. There are different playlists for each, and you can choose from four difficulty levels (beginner to expert), but otherwise the visuals are the same—a futuristic look that evokes Tron. Lanebreak also has a minimalist Mario Kart Rainbow Road vibe, except rather than careen around a track as Inkling Girl, dodging obstacles and throwing turtle shells behind me, I’m pedaling to hit specific beats, fill up breakers by pedaling furiously, or keep up a stream by maintaining a cadence, all the while using the bike’s resistance knob to switch between six lanes. You’re rewarded with points for hitting all of the targets.

The mechanics of the game are inspired by Peloton’s instructor-led classes, according to David Packles, Peloton’s senior …….



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