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Flywheel will shut down its virtual classes after admitting it illegally copied Peloton

Flywheel will shut down its virtual classes after admitting it illegally copied Peloton


Flywheel At Home customers can trade in their bikes for a Peloton-branded bike

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Image: Flywheel

Flywheel will stop offering virtual classes in late March after the exercise company settled with competitor Peloton over patent infringement earlier this month. Live classes will end on March 1st, but on-demand classes will continue to be offered through March 27th.

Peloton is also now giving current Flywheel customers the option to trade in their At Home Flywheel bikes for a refurbished Peloton-branded one. However, one customer forwarded The Verge an email thread in which a Peloton representative said the company would not extend its offer to people who financed their bikes. Flywheel says it’ll stay in the in-studio virtual class business, and subscriptions for the at-home classes that renew on their own will be terminated automatically.

Peloton sued Flywheel in September 2018 over claims that Flywheel copied its tech-infused exercise bike and the concept of at-home streamed classes. Peloton specifically took issue with the way workout metrics were displayed on Flywheel bikes and the fact that live riders could compete against one another, like on Peloton’s platform.

Peloton also claimed a Flywheel investor misrepresented himself to Peloton CEO John Foley at a private conference by posing as a potential investor who was curious about the company’s business plans. Three months after that meeting, Flywheel launched its Fly Anywhere bike. At the time, Flywheel denied the accusation, claiming it had been working on a leaderboard-style competitive class structure years before Peloton’s signature exercise bike launched. However, Flywheel later admitted to infringing on Peloton’s patents. We don’t know the details of the settlement.

Update 2/19, 5:22 PM ET: Updated to reflect that Peloton won’t extend the trade-in offer to people who financed their Flywheel At Home bike.