Attendees of the ever-popular spin class will no longer need to fight against packed classes and expensive rates.
Peloton, a revolutionary indoor-cycling company based out of New York City, answers the call of inconvenienced boutique fitness fans by bringing immersive cycling classes into their homes.
Hailed by Men’s Health as “the best cardio machine on the planet,” the Peloton bike sets a new standard for excellence in both the home fitness and studio cycling arenas.
BTR sat down in Peloton’s Chelsea Lounge to chat with co-founder Graham Stanton about the bike that’s taking the exercise industry by storm.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): Many Peloton fans are likely familiar with other stationary bikes. Which specific features take the Peloton bike above and beyond?
Graham Stanton (GS): We don’t see ourselves as competitors to other stationary bikes; our entire purpose is in bottling up the energy and experience of an indoor class, and letting clients take that home with them.
Our bike is the top bike available in many ways. It’s sturdily made from carbon steel and uses magnetic resistance. It’s definitely the smoothest breaking unit out there.
It also utilizes a belt drive, the same type found in motorcycles, instead of a chain.
In addition, customers have a 21.5-inch HD touch screen tablet mounted on their bike, through which they can choose between live and on-demand classes filmed in our NYC studio.
BTR: What was the original prototype for the bike like?
GS: The original prototype was put together using commodity parts, a bike and computer, in an office not too far from here. We took a corner of the office and put black sheets up to make it a studio, just to prove that the concept would work.
Later, we even streamed our first class to the original Kickstarter backers in that original space.
BTR: How does Peloton differ from other cycling options available?
GS: We have the flexibility to cater to all sorts of different tastes, and obviously we have a fixation on quality. We try to reach a broader range, because we have an on-demand library that makes hundreds of classes available at any time.
Then we have the studio for New York City clients. One of the advantages of running only one spin studio is that we haven’t focused on expanding to studios beyond that. We can work on perfecting everything here, rather than trying to maintain quality across multiple studios.
That’s a main differentiator, but the most obvious is in regard to convenience: the idea that you can keep this bike at home, next to your bed. Bike owners can wake up at six thirty in the morning, and just get straight to a workout without fuss or delay.
No one before us has truly attempted to achieve this same goal. Home fitness has always been about just buying a machine—maybe it’s made well, but typically it isn’t—and pointing it at the wall or TV. That’s very telling, because if you have to watch TV while you’re completing the workout, you’re distracting yourself from the workout as if it’s a chore.
Boutique studios have really taken off because they’re fun—it’s an experience people look forward to. I think we are really the first piece of home equipment that has tried to bottle up that feeling.
BTR: So beyond the on-demand feature library, can bike owners actually join a live class as it’s happening?
GS: Because we live-stream everything, we’ve discovered dedicated riders who coordinate with each other and plug in for specific live classes. They see each other on the leaderboard in real time that way, and feel as if they’re involved in the class beyond just their virtual presence.
But actually, the majority of our riders prefer on-demand. It’s just impossible to attend live classes while balancing a busy schedule.
BTR: Do you think that the leaderboard feature helps riders engage more effectively?
GS: I think so!
It’s certainly not for everyone, but you can always hide that feature on your bike.
Many people who previously assume they will dislike it often find that they love this feature for a little extra motivation. My sixty-year-old mother texts me when she’s doing particularly well on the leaderboard. I really never expected that she would do so.
BTR: Can you tell me about your other retail locations?
GS: We’ve been coming up with a formula on where to put these retail stores and show rooms, because we want to give our potential customers the chance to actually test out the bike. It really is so different from anything else out there, and the bike sells itself.
Suburbs of big cities certainly work for retail locations, areas where residents don’t live within a reasonable distance of boutique studios. We find a lot of the time that these people who move out of the city want access to the bike when they leave.
We tend to favor locations where the most potential customers live, and at this point we only have 12 locations so far. We’re looking to double that by the end of the year.
BTR: Who would you say is the ideal client?
GS: The ideal client is anyone who’s looking to show up with energy and feel good for the rest of the day. Not necessarily hardcore cyclists, or even people who have taken a cycling class before. Beginners love the classes just as much as their more practiced counterparts.
We end up selling to, and finding, our most avid fans in people from all walks of life; from young adults just out of college, all the way up to older customers. We actually just sold a couple bikes to some people in their 90’s, who are now riding.
That’s why we focus on the experience and convenience, in making certain users have a good time rather than centering on weight loss and such. This is something you can add to your life, to make it better.
BTR: Who is your ideal instructor?
GS: We have very experienced cycling instructors, because we find the highest-rated people with the best reputations. We’ve also hired people from other performance backgrounds if they have the right personality and energy. We definitely require a bit more energy than a typical cycling class, because instructors need to translate through the camera.
BTR: What, ultimately, can people gain by taking these classes and buying the bike?
GS: I think that if someone isn’t currently active, as most of us at various times in our lives are not, they often forget how great it feels to get a real workout in every day. I think people who begin to work out daily definitely improve their outlook on life.
Meanwhile, people who are very active find that fitting a workout schedule into their life presents a big challenge.
The ability to just sneak in a workout whenever you need to, a workout that brings in the full energy of a class while allowing you to feel connected with everyone involved, changes everything.