Did you ever think we would be posting pictures of exercise equipment on our social media feed? It wasn’t too long ago that our home fitness equipment was strategically placed in the home to ensure that no one would know you had it. More than a few of us hid our equipment under laundry, trying to avoid the shame of never being seen on it.
Buying New Fitness Equipment
In the late 90s, I spent some time selling fitness equipment at Sears. This was a fantastic place to work as a high school student, but I learned quickly that fitness – and fitness equipment, especially – had a bizarre business model. Every year, new treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, weight systems (and even the oddball Gazelle) would make its rounds on QVC or late-night infomercials, and flocks of buyers would come out of seemingly nowhere in search of the next piece of equipment that was finally going to change them forever. I don’t pretend to know the psychology behind it – but we’re all guilty of it at one time or another, and it works.
Well-intentioned fitness seekers would come in, browse the new models, and try out their selected piece of equipment, convincing themselves that this time was different. This machine was the one that was going to change their life: no more beer and near-instant six-pack abs were just a few reps away! Until, three months later, the machine was spending more and more time alone. It would eventually make its way to the garage, and then into the garage sale ,where some other sucker had the same mental conviction (if not a tighter hold on fiscal responsibility). That same person was weak in the face of a “deal” that promised physical greatness for relative pennies on the dollar.
Modern Home Fitness Gear
Fast forward to 2012, and the game was starting to change, as Peloton brought fitness into the 21st century. I didn’t catch a Peloton ad until sometime in 2016, but when I did, I felt like I was smarter than most and I wasn’t going to fall for another fitness fad. But the Peloton had something different. I resisted the pull for a while, but in 2017, I broke down and ordered one. I figured, for that kind of money, I would not dare to quit. Or put my laundry on it.
I also felt like it took some of the stigma off of home fitness equipment. The fancy big screen right on the front was a great addition. The Peloton was impressive, felt solid, and the interface was easy. But more importantly than that, it was captivating: it didn’t take long before I was doing 45-minute rides, 6 days a week. I lost 30 lbs, and showed my doctor that my blood can be fixed without Big Pharma. I was arguably in the best shape I had ever been in – and I could feel it.
Instead of being excited for this, it was here that I felt like the mission was over. I had reached the top of the mountain and I no longer had a goal. The novelty began to wear off. I began to find myself seeking other things to do while on the bike – multi-tasking other activities that I would be doing anyway, to help keep my motivation up. I searched for other things I could do while riding – I played Xbox, I listened to podcasts, I watched TV, but none of these really kept me wanting to be in the saddle.
For some reason, bringing my computer to the bike gave me the freedom to do all of those things. The laptop allowed me to change from day to day: Netflix, work, reading, research, all of it. I had one problem, though – balancing the laptop on the bars, which was a potentially expensive gamble every time I did it. I wanted my computer on the bike, so I went to work on a solution.
Spintray, Peloton, and Drip Accessory
I’ll save you the boring part, but this is where our very own Spintray was born. I had stumbled across the Drip Accessory Spintowel in a Facebook post around this same time, and I had the epiphany that I could jump in behind this novel idea of fitness accessorizing with my newly invented Spintray. It didn’t take long to realize that accessorizing your fitness equipment was a market that was virtually untapped. I believe that the industry knows that most equipment gets abandoned, and that accessorizing it just didn’t make sense. But the Peloton, having some vanity appeal and a rabid customer following, broke that mold. Fitness equipment accessorizing is still a pretty novel idea, and is relegated to mostly the Peloton space, but those of us on the inside know that we are on the cusp of something awesome.
- Russ Hadlock