Peloton’s new Lanebreak is a rhythm action game, but for exercise

An example of Peloton Lanebreak's user interface
(Image credit: Peloton)

Peloton’s latest new mode is a combination of rhythm action games like Guitar Hero or Beat Saber mixed with some of the most intense workouts you’ll get from an indoor cycling experience.

It’s called Lanebreak, and it’s designed as an alternative to traditional Peloton classes. If you have a Peloton Bike product, and you subscribe to the service, you’ll find it’ll start appearing on your bike from February 17 for those in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia.

The game itself loses the Peloton instructors you’re likely used to, and instead has you riding on a virtual road that feels like it comes directly from the movie Tron. The aim is to hit certain elements along the track, which requires changes in effort, and increase your high score.

David Packles, Director of Product at Peloton Interactive, told TechRadar, “There’s always been strong gamified elements within our ecosystem, whether it's badges or leaderboards. And there's always kind of been an appetite to continue pushing in that direction.

“A couple years ago, we ran a small test. We basically built a bunch of mini experiences where we tried out different mechanics and we saw it worked. We built 12 different mini experiences within a few weeks.

“We landed on this idea that between rhythm, following the beat and the compliance of different challenges is something that really resonated. It kind of capitalized on things that Peloton already did well, which is coaching and music.”

Lanebreak sees you pick a workout from a musical genre, a difficulty level, a duration (some even start at five minutes) or a workout type. Then you’ll be straight onto the virtual road where the experience begins.

As you ride, you’ll be able to change between five lanes using the resistance knob. If you turn your resistance up, you’ll move to the right hand lane; if you turn your resistance down, you move to the left hand lane.

Along the way, you’ll find a variety of challenges that allow you to rack up points. For example, one element called Breakers means you have to increase your effort for a small period of time to ensure you can hit maximum points.

Other elements on the track include markers that you need to hit in certain lanes, which may mean increasing your effort for a short amount of time.

The aim here is to get the highest score. You’ll be ranked compared to other competitors, or you can just try to beat your own high score. We’ve tried out Lanebreak for around two weeks, and it’s an interesting new addition to the service.

Lanebreak isn’t a direct reason to buy a Peloton bike, but it’s useful for when you want something a little different to a traditional workout. The game mechanics may make you more competitive than your average Peloton leaderboard as well.

Sometimes we want to be able to have a short game of Lanebreak, rather than a full workout with an instructor. The gamified elements meant we were more competitive than we were in a class with a leaderboard, and that led to more intense workouts overall.

Expect the company to continue experimenting here, too. Packles told TechRadar, “We intend to continue experimenting in this space. So we're excited to use some of the ideas that we did experiment with.”

Lanebreak is currently limited to the company’s indoor bike products, but that may change at a later date. Packles said, “Right now, Lanebreak is bike only. However, this space is right for innovation and we're committed to continue pushing this direction and you could imagine where that could take us.”

If you own a Peloton Bike, you’ll be able to play this new game from February 17 with it rolling out to users around the world.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.