WASHINGTON, United States — Amazon has denied claims it is set to launch an at-home bike with Echelon Fitness after the latter announced the forthcoming release of a “Prime Bike” developed in collaboration with the tech giant.
On Tuesday, Echelon, which already sells a line of its own smart fitness equipment, said it had teamed up with Amazon to create a lower-cost connected spin bike that would be available exclusively for Prime subscribers. The news immediately drove down the share price of rival Peloton, however, by Tuesday evening the press release had been removed, as had the bike’s listing on Amazon’s website.
“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” an Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg. “Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding.”
According to Bloomberg, Echelon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment so it is still unclear as to what lead to the mix-up.
However with the original press release stating that the bike was built on “the idea of attainable fitness for everyone”, with the collaboration, which aimed to create an amazing, connected bike for less than $500 “proving to be a phenomenal match”, it suggests some sort of miscommunication is at play. For now, at least, the at-home fitness category, which is still reeling from the news of Apple’s foray into the sector, can breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Just last week, the tech behemoth announced its intention to leverage the growing demand for digital fitness offerings with the forthcoming launch of Fitness+, a fitness subscription platform built around the Apple Watch. According to the brand, the platform, which will give users access to studio-style workouts delivered digitally, will incorporate health metrics from the Apple Watch — such as heart rate, calories burned, pace and distance.
The news didn’t seem to faze Peloton’s CEO John Foley, who told CNBC that, if anything, Apple launching a fitness platform is a “legitimization” of this type of content. However, the news can’t have been welcomed by the growing number of smaller entrants that are trying to carve out a space for themselves within the burgeoning category.
For now, it remains to be seen how Echelon will respond to this apparent gaff. However, speaking to Welltodo last month, CEO Lou Lentine revealed that the brand had lots of other exciting plans in the works.
“We’re really focused on using technology and AI to better understand our members and create rides that they love. In the US and soon after in Europe we’re launching two treadmills. We’re also launching a new bike at the end of the year designed by Eric Villency, who designed the SoulCycle and Peloton bikes,” he commented.
Adding: “We’re building a new studio in Europe that will open by the end of the year and in the US we’re building a mega studio with almost a dozen different studios under one roof that will open in 2021.”
With or without Amazon, the brand appears to be focused on building momentum.