Peloton's $90 armband offers more comfortable heart rate tracking

The Heart Rate Band may be a more elegant alternative to chest straps.


Peloton is once again expanding its fitness equipment, but this time it's focused on tracking your workouts. PCMag and The Verge note Peloton has unveiled a $90 Heart Rate Band that, as the name implies, moves monitoring to your arm. The optical sensor-based wearable is theoretically more comfortable and easier to use than a chest strap (which typically requires precise positioning and a moistened contact point) while remaining accurate. That's particularly important for people whose limb and mobility issues might prevent them from using chest trackers.

The Heart Rate Band is built to work with Peloton's app and devices, including all Bike and Tread models as well as the Guide camera. You're not locked into the company's ecosystem, though — the armband should support other products that recognize common Bluetooth heart rate monitors. Just be aware there's no ANT+ support.

The band is initially available in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK. The hardware has been development for a while — Bloomberg found early code for the Heart Rate Band in June 2021.

As The Verge explained, the Heart Rate Band might not be for everyone. While arm-based optical heart rate monitoring is common with smartwatches, it can have problems with some dark skin tones and tattoos. Obesity and loose fits can also cause problems. We'd add that $90 is nearly twice the normal $49 price for Peloton's chest strap. You'll have to really, truly value the convenience of an armband to justify that premium.