SoulCycle is launching a Peloton competitor that costs more but offers more, too

The stationary-bicycle-cult sector is heating up.


SoulCycle wants its customers back. In a partnership with Equinox Media, SoulCycle is releasing exercise platform Variis to Equinox members on March 13, according to Refinery29. That same day, a Peloton-esque stationary bike will be available for pre-order for the competitive price of $2,500. The tail-end of 2019 was catastrophic for SoulCycle and these new offerings could provide a much-needed boost, assuming it can win back those who've defected to Peloton.

How does it compare to Peloton? — On its face, the $2,500 price tag seems more expensive than a Peloton bike. Once you factor in the included five IRL SoulCycle classes, shipping, and installation, the two companies are in a dead-heat, though. SoulCycle’s monthly subscription through Variis is only $1 more at $40, and bike purchasers will have to signup for a full year. The app will be included in the Equinox membership and roll out to those customers first. In addition to SoulCycle classes, yoga, meditation, and other instructor-led classes will be also available.

A Variis app mockup.Variis

SoulCycle’s bike will match Peloton’s with a 21.5-inch full HD display, but it will have twice the giddyup with 4GB of RAM as well as peculiar perks like a G-sensor and NFC support. Through materials and a slightly larger frame, the SoulCycle bikes will support a slightly wider range of people, potentially opening the door to professional athlete endorsements. Peloton’s weight capacity caps out at 300 pounds and recommends users be between 4’11” and 6’5”. SoulCycle folds in those up to 350 pounds with a height range of 4’10” to 6’10”.

You’ve seen this bike already — This bike should look familiar, and not just because it mimics Peloton. SoulCycle teased the stationary bike and Variis back in August. You just don’t remember it because it happened the same week as the boycotts over the Trump fundraiser. The boycotts proved highly effective and revenue continued to trend downwards into the holidays. Data from Earnest Research shows SoulCycle customers are increasingly interested in Peloton products, so edging into Peloton’s lane makes a lot of sense for the maligned cycling company.

It's too early to tell whether guided, remote-exercise offering like Peloton, Mirror, and Amazfit HomeStudio are here to stay or merely protracted fads, but with the reported cases of coronavirus continuing to climb, we suspect the home exercise market could, along with cleaning products, be one of the few industries set for an uptick.