Pedaling an exercise bike in your basement is one of the most boring activities imaginable. Participating in a well-taught cycling class — with an instructor pushing you to climb and sprint at all the right moments — can be one of the most exhilarating. Make the former feel more like the latter, and you have a business, decided John Foley.
He’s CEO of Peloton Cycle, which aims to provide a boutique fitness experience to anyone, anywhere through a touchscreen tablet mounted on its sleek bike. The company opens its eighth retail store nationwide this Thursday, in Tysons Corner Center.
Customers will be greeted by five models of Peloton’s signature product, and are welcome to grab a towel, saddle up and try a class. The screen (four times the size of an iPad) allows users to select from an extensive on-demand catalog, or stream video live from Peloton’s New York studio, which opened in May.
You can see the instructor and students in the room, hear the music and monitor your performance by checking on your cadence, calories burned, distance, resistance and output. A leaderboard appears along the side to appeal to your competitive impulses. And you can open a video chat with a Peloton pal streaming the same class if you’re looking for more of a social outlet.
Want to take that experience home? The bike is $1,995, plus a monthly $39 subscription fee for unlimited content. Considering that classes at studios can cost $30 a pop, that’s not a bad deal.
The goal isn’t to replace cycling studios completely, notes Foley, who still appreciates that in-person experience. “But what if you wake up at 6 and need to be in the shower by 7?” he says.
The indoor cycling trend shows no sign of slowing — particularly in Washington, which just got its first SoulCycle location and is awaiting the opening of two new Zengo studios (one in Fairfax and another in Gaithersburg, Md.). The more people who appreciate that riding a bike can be a low-impact, effective and fun workout, Foley says, the better it is for his brand.
So this might turn out to be just the first Peloton store in the area.
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