The competitors that could crush SoulCycle

As SoulCycle expands, it faces tough competition.

Many cycling studios are vying to capture people who are interested in indoor cycling.

These other studios may not be as cultish or have as many studios, but they certainly have other bells and whistles — or none at all, which for some, can be equally enticing. Many are also on ClassPass, which allow people to dip their toes in cycling, without spending a fortune.

Flywheel Sports

Getty/Vivien Killilea
Olympian Lolo Jones, NFL players Alfred Morris and Matt Forte attend The Flywheel Challenge at the NFL House hosted by Shannon Sharpe.

What it is: Widely viewed as SoulCycle's biggest competitor, Flywheel offers a cycling workout that makes you accountable. A unique Torq board shows you your cadence, resistance, and power output. A voluntary leaderboard shows how you compare with your classmates.

Price: $US34 for a single class, $US375/month for unlimited FlyWheel membership (in New York City -- it's cheaper elsewhere).



What it is: A rapidly expanding franchise -- around 100 are expected to be open by the end of 2016. CycleBar has a unique high-tech cycling theatre, complete with a massive video screen, enhanced sound, and lighting designed to match the experience.

CycleBar is tapping the market that wants to work out at luxury studios, but can't necessarily afford expensive classes.

Price: $US18-20, depending on the location. Class packages are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100, and drop the per-class price down to as low as $US12 per class in some cities.


Facebook/Revolve NYC

What it is: Despite having only two locations (DC and New York), Revolve Fitness really fused the intensity of a traditional Schwinn (a methodology of indoor cycling training) classes with phenomenal music. 'I wanted Revolve to be awesome, to be safe to be a crazy effective workout with the drills and to be really music focused,' former creative director Christianne Phillips said to Business Insider.

Price: First class is $US15, single is $US29. A 10-pack is $US270. Memberships are $US259/a month. (New York).


Facebook/Cyc Fitness

What it is: Cyc is based in Atlanta, Austin, New York, Madison, and Boston. Instructors are called 'cycologists.' Studios have a drum to amp up the music, and Yelp reviewers in New York City hail the workout (and the space between bikes) in comparison to SoulCycle. Reviewers also mention Cyc utilises sandbag weights.

Price: In New York, a single ride is $US28, and 10 are $US240. An unlimited membership is $US348/month.


Villency Design Group

What it is: Peloton has one studio based in New York, but its more revolutionary program is its streaming service. Peloton streams classes in real-time, and has metrics to track your performance -- which, CEO John Foley told Business Insider are completely optional, as the classes can cater to those who are more Team SoulCycle or more Team Flywheel. Foley also said that like Flywheel, there's a leaderboard -- only you can see how you stack up against riders around the world. Foley called the ability to select your workout through its platform the 'Netflix of fitness.'

Price: You can also purchase a bike for $US1995 (with financing plans available) -- with a $US39/month fee for class subscriptions. A single class in New York is $US30.


Facebook/JoyRide Cycling Studio

What it is: With studios in Connecticut and Texas, JoyRide has many variations on the traditional ride, including rides that focus on resistance to rides that utilise live music. The studio is banking on boutique fitness, as it also offers high-intensive interval training classes, barre classes, and more. This allows people to get more variety in their workouts.

Price: A single class is $US26.99 and packages are available. The studio also offers a $US199.99 a month membership.

The Monster Cycle


What it is: 'Monster Cycle is the goth spin-off of Soul Cycle,' wrote Vice. While the two are unrelated, you might think The Monster was Soul's angrier sister; its mantra on its 'about' section on Facebook is 'we'll steal your soul.' While there is only one studio in Soho, New York, it could compete for some of SoulCycle's New York clientele -- especially those who don't buy into SoulCycle's euphoric kool-aid. Monster Cycle boasts music videos that play along during the ride. Yelpers liken it to a club-like atmosphere.

Price; The rides aren't cheap (a single class is $US33 and a 12-pack is $US330), but at least your first ride is just $US13.

Equinox's classes


What it is: Equinox, known for its lofty price and its sexy ad campaigns, offers not one, but 12, according to NYC wellness blog Well + Good, including a new class, Pursuit, with an interactive, immersive gaming component. Additionally, the site notes that all teachers are required to be Schwinn certified -- which means the style will be based off what you can do on a road bike versus crazy dancing.

Price: Unlimited classes through Equinox memberships are not cheap (roughly between $US160 and $US205, or $US225 for access to most gyms), but they're markedly cheaper than buying 10 classes at SoulCycle.

Any old gym's cycling classes


What it is: Not everyone can afford expensive boutique classes, let alone a fancy gym. Those who like cycling and choose not to pay per class will likely not be swooned by SoulCycle's tribal platitudes and will want something simple, but effective. Many instructors are trained via Schwinn methodology or Mad Dogg.

Price: Varies, based on local gyms.

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