A fight between two fitness brands and their followers spirals out of control.
Peloton and SoulCycle are doing whatever it takes to get some well-toned butts back in the seats as the spin-vangelists struggle financially, in a shocking drop in peak popularity from the pandemic.
Earlier this year, Peloton saw ridership plummet and inventory pile up, its pricey bikes and treadmills becoming harder to sell as demand for home fitness dries up.
So much so that the former Wall Street favorite slashed the cost of equipment to boost sales, laid off 20% of their workforce and began pushing a return to newly cheaper in-person classes at their physical studios. , claiming pop star Lizzo will surprise runners at a press preview ahead of its reopening in New York City on August 19.
Meanwhile, SoulCycle has been grappling with its own issues after the once-hip spin studio closed all of its locations at the start of the pandemic and launched its own home bike to keep up with Peloton.
Reviews were largely positive, but that couldn’t prevent the company from posting its biggest year-over-year sales decline ever – nearly 30%, according to figures reported by Vox in February 2020 and challenged by the company – at a time when Peloton was enjoying huge momentum.
It also couldn’t have helped that the company was criticized over allegations of racism, fat-shaming and instructors having sex with customers, as a 2020 report revealed. “When we receive complaints or allegations related to behavior within our community that does not align with our values, we take them very seriously and investigate and address them,” the company said at the time. )
Fast forward to now, and a beat-up SoulCycle is nearly giving away classes — a special $99 deal for new members offers two weeks of unlimited rides, while its website is offering an additional 20% off the Spin Channel, where discounts were once unknown.
If that doesn’t sound like a company with nothing to lose, the latest salvo sees SoulCycle go after the competition’s customers squarely. A new “F—k it, Let’s Ride Together!” the campaign bribes at-home enthusiasts who return their Peloton bikes with dozens of free in-person SoulCycle classes.
Through Wednesday, the first 100 people to ditch their Peloton bikes, live within 20 miles of a SoulCycle studio, and can prove they haven’t taken a studio class since lockdown began will receive 47 classes in free studio in one of SoulCycle’s 83. places across the country. The New York-based company even offered to pick up Peloton bikes for free.
“We’re determined to see you back with your backpack,” the company, which charges $38 per class, said on its website. (SoulCycle and Peloton did not immediately return a request for comment.)
But many Peloton fans say they are determined to sit down and spin.
“My first reaction was, ‘This is such an aggressive, desperate marketing campaign,'” said Melissa Ferrara, Weehawken, NJ-based event planner and creator of the Moms of Peloton Instagram account, which has 80,000 followers. and is not affiliated. with the company. Ferrara has been a cyclist since 2019 and said she would never give up her beloved bike – or her favorite Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby.
So when SoulCycle threw down the gauntlet, it rang.
“It gives very Regina George working at a car dealership [vibes]Ferrara said in a video to her followers, referencing Rachel McAdams’ Mean Girls character.
“There’s no way real Pelotoners are giving up their bikes. As corny as it sounds, it’s more than a bike, it’s community and inclusion. It would be like a betrayal,” said Ferrara to The Post about the promo.
Robin Rashbaum, 54, a Long Island-based life insurance brokerage director and Peloton member since 2015, agrees.
“Ride or die,” said Rashbaum, who rides his Peloton bike at least once a day and can’t imagine setting foot in a studio on a regular basis.
“My gear is not a hanger,” she said. “There are no amount of free SoulCycle classes that would make me trade in my bike.”
But not everyone is so loyal – especially if it means reclaiming extra square meters in their apartments that are currently lost to their Platoon.
Austin-based racer Sarah Barnes, 27, begged SoulCycle in all caps on Instagram to take her Peloton bike she bought in 2020.
“At this point, it’s taking up too much space in my one-bedroom apartment,” Barnes told the Post, adding that she hadn’t heard back from the company yet.
Like so many others, Barnes bought his bike at the start of the pandemic and enjoyed it immensely. Now she’s not so sure it deserves a place in her home.
When asked what she would replace it with, Barnes’ answer was simple.
“A chair,” she said.
New York Post