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The Cult of Peloton: Reinventing the Fitness Industry, and Becoming a Microcultural Phenomenon

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Dana Millard
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Until a month ago, I had never taken a spin class.

Inside the windowless room one wall was lined with mirrors while discreetly located cameras trained on the high-octane instructor.

We increased resistance to the beat of “Who Do You Love,” pedaled hard, used hand weights to do bicep curls and on the instructor’s command alternated our speed.

More than SoulCycle 2.0, this is a tech startup that is reinventing the estimated $83 billion global fitness industry.

The 6-year-old company’s business model is based on digital content and a growing rider community—1 million at last count (celebs like Michael Phelps and Neil Patrick Harris are fans)—connected through Wi-Fi and social media that does the heavy brand lifting.

SoulCycle was founded in 2006 by Elizabeth Cutler, Julie Rice (a former talent manager) and Ruth Zukerman with a single Manhattan studio.

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Dana Millard
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