Laura Ngan


Peloton Row

Ergonomics Prototyping
& Testing

Problem Statement:
In 2019, Peloton had released its flagship Bike and Tread (now Tread+). They were looking to expand into an additional type of exercise equipment and decided on a rower. The Hydrow had proven out the value of a connected rower, and Peloton decided to create a competitive product.

Project Details:
Role: supporting product design engineer
Team: lead product design engineer, industrial designer + me
Note: There were many others who supported the effort, but during my time on the project, I primarily and consistently interfaced with two other hardware folks.
Timeline: ~4 months (2019)

Build a low-fidelity, true-to-scale engineering prototype out of 1020 aluminum to demonstrate initial rowing experience and ergonomics.

Low-fidelity prototyping
Usability/ergonomics testing

Minimally functional, true-to-scale prototype of the Peloton Row built out of 8020 aluminum, MDF, and off-the-shelf components
Prototype was used in a user research study that tested ergonomics and experience against that of a competitor rowing machine
I assisted in building the prototype and running the user testing study.

Much of consumer electronics is at a smaller handheld or tabletop scale, so it was valuable to mock up a larger system and learn the methods by which to build something large quickly.

The components we used were modular, and we took advantage of this structure along with several off-the-shelf components that slotted into it to learn and iterate on the design on a skeletal level.

User testing a rowing machine for ergonomics emphasized slightly different variables than what I had previously experienced because it is a full body process with heavier implications. Rowing form and technique is notoriously tricky to master and rowing improperly can lead to injury, so ergonomics for this product went beyond user experience into the realm of safety, which increased the stakes of the work.

I spent a relatively short time on this project, which engaged with far more departments, people, and resources than the other products I have worked on. Two years after I left the company, Peloton released the rower, and it was fascinating to me to see how it has changed since its initial inception.