Published: February 20, 2020
Flywheel Sports is shutting down its at-home business, including hardware (the bike) and digital services (the streaming and on-demand classes).
How we got here: A few weeks back, Peloton and Flywheel Sports settled a legal dispute over alleged technology theft and patent infringement.
- The verdict: Flywheel acknowledged that it copied Peloton’s leaderboard technology. As part of the settlement, Flywheel agreed to pull the technology from its bikes within 60 days.
- The fallout: Flywheel’s admission of wrongdoing has proven to be the end of its at-home business — the company will stop offering virtual classes in late March.
In an email announcing the news to members, Flywheel also said “You will receive an email directly from Peloton shortly” with details about an exclusive offer. That offer, as it turned out, was the opportunity to trade in the now-defunct Flywheel At-home bike for a Peloton.
Between the lines: All signs point to some backroom dealings stemming from the Peloton vs. Flywheel litigation.
It’s no secret that Flywheel had fallen on tough times. When lenders seized control of the company in May of 2019, the outcome seemed clear. In September of 2020, the company declared bankruptcy and went of our business. Later, boutique operator F45 Training acquired the cycling studio’s IP and could relaunch the brand.
The big picture: In the end, Peloton’s real victory is Flywheel’s admission of wrongdoing that it will surely try to leverage against other players in the connected fitness space.