Peloton may have been the first on-demand fitness streaming bike, but Equinox wants in. Today, the Equinox Group has announced it plans to launch its own bike and treadmill under the SoulCycle, Equinox, and Precision Run brands, according to an exclusive by FastCompany.
The new hardware is expected to drop later this year, though it sounds like Equinox is simply slapping on a screen to its existing SoulCycle stationary bikes. It’s also planning on selling proprietary Woodway treadmills found at Precision Run Studios, which can best be described as SoulCycle, but for indoor running. The platform will at first be invitation-only, with hardware available for purchase in winter and wider rollout slated for early 2020.
It’s not exactly clear yet what this new on-demand platform will be called. That said, the on-demand programming will reportedly include classes from top instructors from each of the three brands. Like Peloton, FastCompany reports the classes will include both live and recorded video and audio classes, and members will get access to exclusive Project by Equinox content.
If you’re unfamiliar with SoulCycle, it’s kind of like a neon hellscape nightclub where you huff and puff to death on a stationary bike with a horde of sweaty strangers. Ostensibly, the on-demand platform will mimic that vibe for the at-home crowd. Music is a big part of that experience, however, and Equinox will likely have to work out some sort of licensing deal with record companies, lest they incur the same, life-threatening copyright wrath that Peloton recently did. Though Soul Cycle’s owner, Stephen Ross, probably poses a greater threat to the company as his penchant for throwing Donald Trump political fundraisers has sparked an outcry from customers and employees.
Since launching in 2014, Peloton has spawned a number of copycat, on-demand fitness startups—Mirror, Crew, FightCamp, and Tonal to name a few. Equinox, however, has the benefit of having a built-in customer base—and if you’ve ever had a friend who got into SoulCycle, you know how eager they are for you to join them in their cult-y fitness journey. Whether that translates to success, however, will depend on how creative Equinox gets with pricing. Peloton bikes retail for about $2,000 with a $40 monthly subscription, while its treadmills are roughly $4,000. There’s also no word yet on how much Equinox’s gear will cost, but it wouldn’t be outrageous to expect similar pricing. Sure, that’s costly, but then at least you can die a sweaty death in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
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