SoulCycle to compete with Peloton, launches on-demand streaming classes

The coronavirus outbreak has gyms asking members to stay home if they are sick

SoulCycle is peddling at-home fitness.

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The spin workout with a cult-like following and brick-and-mortar studios in New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Los Angles and throughout Canada released its stationary bike for at-home riders to stream cycling classes on-demand Monday in a move to compete with at-home cycling workout rival Peloton.

SoulCycle launched its at-home streaming service Variis on Monday. ​

The bike will feature a 21.5-inch full HD screen allowing users to stream cycling classes through its monthly content subscription platform called Variis. It costs $2,500 and includes, shipping and handling along with a five-class pack for in-studio workouts. Users will have to pay an additional $40 a month for a membership, which includes access to on-demand classes. The bike comes with cleats however, users will have to buy their own shoes to ride the 128-pound bike that has a 350-pound weight limit. To compare, a Peloton bike is $1,995, not including shipping and handling, plus a $39  monthly subscription and includes shoes, a floor mat, headphones and a heart rate monitor.

CORONAVIRUS THREATENS FITNESS INDUSTRY COOL DOWN

SoulCycle Variis subscribers must commit to a one-year subscription on the app and can access other workouts from its parent company Equinox’s classes like Pure Yoga and Precision Run.

SoulCycle’s streaming launch comes as many gyms urge members to stay home if they are sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The U.S. death toll rose to 26 as of Tuesday with the number of confirmed cases at 115,000. More than 4,000 people have died from the pneumonia-causing virus worldwide. Gyms in China have been forced to live stream their workouts as fears of the virus takes a toll on its business.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
EQXEQUINOX GOLD11.63+0.45+4.03%
PTONPELOTON INTERACTIVE88.56-6.67-7.00%

Some streaming services in the United States are even offering free access to at-home fitness because of coronavirus. Obé, a streaming platform that offers workouts like strength training, cardio dance, pilates and yoga that charges $27 per month ($199 per year), said Monday it would give a free month subscription to any members in quarantine or in areas affected by the virus.

“Over the weekend we learned several of our members are living in quarantined areas, so we made the decision to offer a free month of obé to anyone looking to begin working out from home,” Mark Mullett, co-founder of Obé said in a statement. “Our workouts offer a safe, effective way to get a premium fitness experience without leaving your home, and our digital community allows people to stay connected and support each other on a daily basis.”

HOW MUCH DOES A PELOTON BIKE COST? 

The at-home fitness space has become increasingly competitive. Earlier this month, Flywheel, another spin bike company, settled a lawsuit with Peloton over patent infringement and stopped offering at-home classes on March 1. Flywheel said it would continue offering its in-studio cycling classes.

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