Anna discovers the New York-based fitness company that’s transforming the way we workout with its exercise bikes and spin classes.

After rushing past the same Kings Road shop a hundred times, with clearly my bare-minimum observation skills engaged, I would always wonder to myself why there was always somebody in the window furiously peddling an exercise bike. Last week I realised that the shop was Peloton, and my brain finally registered the shop name after linking it to the bombardment of recent TV adverts.

The New York-based fitness company that’s transforming the way we workout launched in 2012 offering a highly effective and surprisingly immersive addition to the spinning scene.
Peloton has sold more than 400,000 bikes and amassed more than one million members, which helps explain why the company is worth an estimated $4 billion.

Having only recently discovered real life spinning classes myself (after joining the Classpass app) I realise how very late to the cycling party I am. But how could sitting on a bike in your living room with headphones on possibly recreate anything like the did-I-just-go-nightclubbing feeling one gets on leaving a studio.

The company’s recipe for success includes community and convenience. Without any classes at a studio, everything is beamed to you online. Each Peloton bike is equipped with a 22-inch HD sweat-proof touchscreen which lets you tune in to a library of 22 daily live and 10,000+ on-demand spin classes, running, yoga and strength sessions, without having to leave your house.

Members can join the other one million fellow Pelotonians on a real-time leader board which pops up with names of other riders tuning in remotely to take the class. The optional on-screen performance tracking metrics allow you to measure your speed, resistance and power, motivating you to pedal for personal bests.

Peloton’s offering is made up of the Peloton app and the bike itself. The bike’s not cheap but then again nor is doing three spin classes a week at £20 a session. For the bike on its own, you’re looking at just under £2k. Add the bike shoes, weights, water bottles and a mat that stops your floor getting damaged and very sweaty, and it’s closer to £2,500. Then the monthly subscription, which is around the average monthly cost of a gym membership.

The celebrities love it. Richard Branson has eight of the bikes on Necker Island and Michael Phelps is known to keep up his fitness by competing on the Peloton leader boards under a pseudonym. Hugh Jackman regularly posts his rides to Instagram, David Beckham Instagram stories his rides and Ellen DeGeneres openly says hers changed her life.

Maybe it’s time I hopped onto that bike in the window to see what all the fuss is about.

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August 2019

By Anna Bance