When famed spin instructor Marion Roaman settles into the saddle of her stationary bike, she’s not just leading a standard indoor cycling class—she’s being broadcast all over the world. That’s because Roaman co-founded an ambitious New York–based start-up called Peloton that aims to bring the boutique spin studio experience into homes across the globe. The company spent two years developing their proprietary bike, which comes with a 21.5-inch tablet for live streaming classes with highly sought-after instructors.
“At places like SoulCycle and Flywheel, the classes with top instructors are sold out in 30 seconds. Only 50 people get bikes, but maybe 500 want in,” says Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley, who previously ran e-commerce at Barnes & Noble. “I thought, What if we created a platform where 1,000—or even 100,000 people—could be in that fantastic class at the exact same time?”
The company’s Manhattan flagship officially opened on May 1, complete with a retail space, lounge, coffee bar and state-of-the-art spin studio. There, classes are streamed with the help of four cameras, white and color LED lighting and a basement-level control center where Peloton’s tech gurus produce a custom broadcast for riders at home. Bike owners can also choose from a growing library of on-demand classes, with the option to filter by class type, length, instructor and skill level. The bikes—which cost $1,995 plus $39 a month for classes—became available for pre-order in last year, and quickly sold out. They’re now available to purchase, with slight delivery delays, but a recent $10.5 million investment will likely speed up production.
Going forward, Foley intends to bring Peloton’s presence to the hospitality world. By the end of this year, Peloton bikes will be in all Standard Hotel gyms—and he has even loftier dreams for the company beyond that. Says Foley, “My goal is to create the most coveted consumer product in the world.”
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