The race is on.
Equinox Group, the parent company of SoulCycle, announced Wednesday in Fast Company that it would launch fitness equipment and streaming classes this fall. The launch will include two pieces of hardware: Equinox’s proprietary Precision Run treadmill, and, notably, its SoulCycle stationary bicycle.
That puts Equinox and its forthcoming devices in direct competition with Peloton, the billion dollar at-home fitness juggernaut that has set the tech industry standard for what a hardware + subscription services start-up can achieve.
The Equinox devices will come with screens that play pre-recorded and live-streamed classes featuring Equinox, Precision Run, and SoulCycle instructors. The latter offering could be a huge draw for customers. SoulCycle instructors in particular garner devoted and loyal riders who follow them from studio to social media. Streamed classes offer another way to interact with these fitness celebrities.
Equinox Group is arguably best known for its luxurious, pricey gyms. It might seem counterintuitive for a company that deals in physical spaces — including Equinox gyms and SoulCycle studios — to encourage customers to work out in their homes. But Equinox Media CEO Jason LaRose says the company sees the at-home screening offerings as a compliment to — not replacement for — working out in studios, classes, and on the gym floor.
Besides, fitness equipment is a $2.1 billion industry, according to the market research firm IBISWorld. Peloton is eating up an increasing amount of that market. And the ever-expanding Equinox — now featuring a hotel and a talent agency — isn’t going to let them keep the slice of that carb-free pie all to themselves.
Equinox hasn’t announced any pricing, the name, or a firm launch date for the new venture. Its fall launch will reportedly be invitation-only.
But with such a formidable player entering the market, and extremely loyal SoulCyclers now having an on-brand option for at-home fitness, the folks at Peloton might be working up a sweat.