SoulCycle is entering the at-home fitness fray with the launch of a $2,500 bike to compete with Peloton.
According to the cult indoor cycling brand’s website, the at-home bike will be available to pre-order in select markets from Friday 13th March, with those purchasing the product also receiving a five-class pack to use in one of its physical studios.
A monthly subscription to the service will cost $40, which will also enable users to stream on-demand classes from Equinox, Pure Yoga, Precision Run and other fitness brands, via a new fitness platform from Equinox Media called Variis.
“The most important thing for us is to bring that real-life experience to your home,” Equinox Media CEO Jason LaRose told Refinery29. “You’ll have instructors on podiums, taking you through what a ride would look like in studio.”
SoulCycle master instructor Melanie Griffith added: “Our at-home experience is a great addition for riders who want more flexibility, and an amazing option for those who otherwise haven’t been able to access our studios.”
The launch follows the recent release of data from Earnest Research, which revealed the boutique fitness brand had experienced its biggest year-on-year sales slump ever, during a four-week timeframe over December and January — a period in which at-home cycling phenomenon Peloton claims to have seen its sales rise.
SoulCycle was quick to dispute the figures at the time, calling them “completely false,” however with the multi-billion dollar at-home fitness market continuing to pick up speed, news of an at-home proposition suggests the brand isn’t taking any chances.
A swathe of disruptive startups, including Mirror, Tonal, Hydrow and Tempo have all entered the digital fitness category over the past 18 months, intensifying competition in the space, however none with such an established presence or loyal following as SoulCycle.
But while entering the digital fitness category might seem like a natural progression for the 14-year-old brand, with its secret sauce created via its immersive in-person experience, whether that magic will translate into the at-home environment remains to be seen.
One factor that could help to drive initial sales, at least, is the growing concern among consumers around the spread of coronavirus. With the outbreak forcing the closure of gyms in countries hit the hardest and encouraging higher participation levels in at-home fitness elsewhere, offering customers the ability to participate in boutique-style fitness classes at-home has suddenly become more crucial to the bottom line, than ever.