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There are a lot of pros to working out at home. For one, you can do it at any time. You don’t have to pack a gym bag, and you don’t have to wear flip-flops in the shower afterward. But, of course, there are also a few cons: It can be hard to stay motivated, your level of intensity may not be as high, and it’s harder to feel like you’re part of a community. However, after trying SoulCycle’s at-home bike for the past month, I’m convinced I could skip the gym forever. This is a SoulCycle at-home bike review, according to a former fitness class lover turned pandemic couch potato.
But first, what’s SoulCycle?
SoulCycle is a boutique indoor cycling studio where each class is like a “cardio party,” according to the company. The classes are traditionally 45 minutes long, with a five-minute arm toning workout incorporated. SoulCycle classes are beat-based, meaning riders are expected to follow the instructor to ride to the beat of the music. There is some choreography involved in most classes as well, including tap backs, pushups and crunches all on the bike.
SoulCycle’s first studio opened in 2006 in New York City, but today it has studios in major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Denver, London and more. And now, the company is part of the Equinox Group, which takes us to its latest venture with Equinox+, the SoulCycle at-home bike.
OK, what’s Equinox+?
Equinox+ by Equinox is an app that offers classes from SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, Precision Run, Rumble, [solidcore], Headstrong and TB12 (Tom Brady’s workout program). You can purchase the app as a standalone digital membership to take advantage of all of the classes, but it’s most fun with the SoulCycle at-home bike. With the bike and the app, you can livestream SoulCycle classes or opt for pre-recorded ones.
Tell me more about the SoulCycle at-home bike.
If you like taking fitness classes, the SoulCycle at-home bike will transport you right to the front row. It feels like the same bike you’d use in the studio, but it’s outfitted with a 21-inch touchscreen, speakers and a power meter for measuring cadence, power and mileage. It can accommodate riders between 4-foot-10 and 6-foot-10 and up to 350 pounds.
The Equinox+ app offers live and on-demand SoulCycle classes that are 20, 30, 45 or 60 minutes long. Plus, there are five, 10 and 15-minute arm workouts you can add on. All of the classes feature popular music from your favorite artists — you can even sort classes by musical genre if you want.
SoulCycle At-Home Bike, $2,500
Riders can also “free ride,” which essentially means you can ride the bike without taking a class. Of course, while all indoor spin bikes can do this, SoulCycle’s allows you to connect your Spotify, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime accounts to watch movies, TV shows or listen to your own music. Also, it will continue tracking your workout with the power meter while you do so.
After each class, you’re also shown your personal stats. The app shows you how well you stayed on the beat, your average and max cadence (RPM), your average and max power (watts) and overall distance rode in the class. All of that data is saved for you to look at in your activity history. Plus, you’re given an overall average based on your last 10 rides on the bike.
Is SoulCycle good for beginners?
If you’ve never taken a SoulCycle class or even taken a spin class before, no big deal. On the app, you can sort classes by your personal fitness level: beginner, intermediate or advanced. However, it also offers tutorials for how to set up every part of the bike, proper riding form, how to do certain choreography, how to clean the bike and more. During class, there’s also a form rider that demonstrates at a side angle how your body should be positioned.
Of course, you also can start out slow with a 20-minute ride and gradually work yourself up to the longer classes as your endurance increases.
Finally, here’s my SoulCycle at-home bike review:
I’ve almost always enjoyed working out, mostly cardio, but I go in spurts. Pre-pandemic, I ran a marathon. Then in 2020, I became a bit of a couch potato. Like a lot of people, between COVID-19 and working from home, I wasn’t feeling motivated to get moving most days.
However, I’ve always loved SoulCycle. Actually, a few years ago, I became a SoulCycle addict. At one point, I was even taking classes back to back for a combined 90 minutes of spinning. Heck, I even tried out to be an instructor! (I was cut in the first round.) Then, I took off spinning for a year or two to amp up my running, and I started taking more dance classes — but I’ve always remained a fan.
Then, I heard about the SoulCycle at-home bike. Full disclosure, the company sent me a bike to test out for a month or so. However, my review is real and only this long because I love it that much.
The SoulCycle at-home bike is so smooth to ride; you can really go fast without holding anything back. Its matte black design is also incredibly sleek. I thought I’d hate it sitting in the middle of my apartment living room, but it’s really grown on me.
I’ve found that the 20-minute classes were perfect for my first week of riding. To be honest, cardio can be hard if you haven’t done it in a while! But I’ve gradually increased the class time up to 45 minutes. Now, if I take a 20-minute class, I usually end up adding on an arm workout and then another 20-minute class. Yes, I realize that’s about 45 minutes, and I could have just done that class length from the beginning, but starting with 20 minutes feels less intimidating.
Since having the SoulCycle at-home bike, I’ve ridden it almost every single day. Even when I don’t feel like riding, I usually convince myself to get up on it, and I’m always happy I did. I feel so energized after a class!
Of course, if you’re spinning at home, you can also stop riding anytime. Start a class and change your mind? No big deal, hop off.
Go ahead and compare it to Peloton. You know you want to.
Of course, people will naturally compare the SoulCycle at-home bike to Peloton’s. I’ve actually ridden both, and this bike is causing a small divide between my Peloton-obsessed mother (she has the Peloton bike and treadmill) and me.
Personally, I like Peloton’s classes and instructors, and its app is fantastic. But I like SoulCycle’s bike better. It has a wider base, so it feels a bit more stable. Plus, I like how SoulCycle’s classes feature other real riders in its studio and include choreography. To me, small bits of choreo break up the movement, and it makes me forget that I have sweat in my eyeballs.
Additionally, the Equinox+ app has tons of other workout options from other fitness brands when I don’t feel like spinning. Yes, Peloton has a plethora of class types too, but they’re all taught by the same instructors, in the same studio, and sometimes I even find its other classes to not be challenging enough.
How much is the SoulCycle at-home bike? And how fast can I get it?
The SoulCycle at-home bike costs $2,500 (shipping and handling included). However, there are also financing options. You could pay as low as $64.10 per month with a 0% APR for 39 months. Another tip: Eligible AMEX Platinum Card Members can enroll through their AMEX offers to redeem a statement credit of up to $300 on their purchase of the bike if ordered before Sept. 30, 2021.
Once you have the bike, you will need to purchase an Equinox+ membership, too. It costs $40 per month, which is similar to the price of one in-studio SoulCycle class. The membership will give you full access to all of the SoulCycle classes and other fitness brands previously mentioned.
Equinox+ also promises to deliver the SoulCycle at-home bike in one to three weeks, which is pretty fast considering other brands have a months-long delivery window. If for some reason it doesn’t deliver the bike within three weeks, Equinox+ will provide a free six-month membership.
All in all, I give the SoulCycle at-home bike an A+ rating. Not only can I work out whenever I want, but I can also get an intense heart-pounding workout. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much room (about as much as a yoga mat) and the instructors are incredibly motivating. It checks all of my boxes for a great at-home workout.
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