Here’s a new spin on group fitness: Be part of a cycling class without leaving your living room. By live-streaming workouts to tricked-out stationary bikes, Peloton Cycle, a New York-based company that’s matured from a Kickstarter campaign to a venture capital-backed brand, hopes to provide sweaty spin sessions to busy fitness enthusiasts around the world.
The Peloton Difference
Outfitted with a large touchscreen console that displays the ride of your choosing (based on preferences like duration, style of ride and music), the state-of-the-art Peloton bike relies on a belt system connecting the pedals to the flywheel. The result: A completely smooth, quiet and efficient ride that makes the $1,995 price tag and $39 monthly class subscription a little easier to swallow.
There’s no room for slacking off even if you’re miles away from your instructor, though. Since riders can see metrics like cadence, resistance, calories burned and wattage in real time, Peloton is eliminating the guesswork of how hard you should be pushing during each stage of the ride. Plus, riders can choose to see the stats of fellow Peloton members for an extra boost of motivation.
“Offering these metrics is a fantastic training tool,” says co-founder Marion Roaman, who’s known as a pioneer in indoor cycling since she brought spinning to New Yorkers nearly 20 years ago. And while the metrics can help measure the success of a workout, Roaman explains, Peloton doesn’t make them the be-all and end-all.
Workouts that Go the Distance
The classes themselves are filmed live in New York City at Peloton’s spacious flagship studio, which has 60 bikes and broadcasts up to 12 classes each day to viewers worldwide. Stephanie Nieman, Peloton’s Head Coach since January, says she treats the camera like another rider in the room even though she knows her voice will be heard much farther than the studio walls. “It’s so easy to live and think in a five-mile radius,” she says. “When you broadcast live to people in in Oslo, Beijing and Sydney on a daily basis, you’re forced to think globally. I love it.”
And Peloton is truly catering to their diversity of members. They plan to offer workouts from a wide roster of instructors in English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, Arabic and Italian. One of the walls in the New York City studio will even display a world map with LED lights to show exactly where users are tuning in.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Roaman, who notes that her team is in the process of developing new strengthening moves with weights and shorter, more intense rides. And Nieman expects that with the metrics collected from riders, Peloton will be able to determine which songs, instructors or time slots provide the best possible spinning experience. For example, “we may notice six months from now that users are dropping off after riding enthusiastically for 10 minutes,” she says. If that’s the case, Nieman plans to design power rides that incorporate more high-intensity intervals.
No matter if you’re in the live class or sweating it out miles away, prepare for an indoor cycling journey with your fellow riders as you crush hills and smash sprints. “The trainings and programs I have developed over the years have always come back to this: helping people sweat to great music while smiling, feeling good, and moving their bodies,” says Roaman.