A feud between two fitness brands and their supporters is spiraling out of control.
Both Peloton and SoulCycle are doing whatever it takes to get well-toned butts back in the seats as evangelists struggle financially, in a shocking drop from peak popularity due to the pandemic.
So much so, the former Wall Street favorite cut equipment cost to increase sales, laid off 20% of its workforce and began to push for a return to recently cheaper face-to-face classes in their physical studios, calling pop star lizzo to wow passengers at a press preview ahead of its reopening in New York City on August 19.
Meanwhile, SoulCycle has been struggling with issues of its own after the once-trendy spin-studio closed all of its locations in the early days of the pandemic Y launched his own bike at home to keep up with Peloton.
Reviews were largely positive, but that couldn’t stop the company from posting its biggest year-over-year sales decline on record — nearly 30%, according to the numbers. denounced by Vox in February 2020 and questioned by the company – at a time when Peloton was enjoying enormous momentum.
It also couldn’t have helped that the company has come under fire due to accusations of racism, shaming, and instructors having sex with customers. as a 2020 report revealed. (“When we receive complaints or allegations related to behavior within our community that does not align with our values, we take them very seriously and investigate and address them,” the company said at the time.)
Fast-forward to now, and a battered SoulCycle is almost giving classes away: a $99 new member special offers two weeks of unlimited rides, while its website touts another 20% off the spin chain, where discounts some were once unheard of.
If that doesn’t sound like a company that has nothing to lose, the latest salvo sees SoulCycle going straight after the competition’s customers. A controversial novelty “Fuck it, let’s ride together!” The campaign bribes home enthusiasts who turn in their Peloton bikes with dozens of free, in-person SoulCycle classes.
From now until Wednesday, the first 100 people to turn in their Peloton bikes, who live within 20 miles of a SoulCycle studio and can prove they haven’t taken a class at the studio since the lockdown began, will receive 47 free classes. in the studio at any of SoulCycle’s 83’s. locations across the country. The New York City-based company even offered to pick up the Peloton bikes for free.
“We are totally determined to see you back with your package,” said the company, which charges $38 per class. on your website. (SoulCycle and Peloton did not immediately return a request for comment.)
But many platoon fans say they are determined to sit back and spin.
“My initial reaction was, ‘This is such an aggressive, desperate marketing campaign,'” said Melissa Ferrara, an event planner based in Weehawken, NJ and creator of the Moms of Peloton Instagram account, which has 80,000 followers and is not affiliated with the company. Ferrara has been a rider since 2019 and said he will never give up his beloved bike, or his favorite Peloton instructor, Cody Rigsby.
So when SoulCycle threw down the gauntlet, it rang.
“This is giving Regina George a lot working at a car dealership. [vibes]Ferrara said in a video to her followers, referring to Rachel McAdams’ “Mean Girls” character.
“There is no way real pelotoneros will give up their bikes. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s more than a bike, it’s a community and inclusion. It would feel like a betrayal,” Ferrara told The Post of the promotion.
Robin Rashbaum, 54, a Long Island-based life insurance sales brokerage manager who has been a member of Peloton since 2015, agrees.
“I ride or I die,” said Rashbaum, who rides her Peloton bike at least once a day and can’t imagine herself setting foot inside a studio regularly.
“My team is not a coat hanger,” he said. “There are no number of free SoulCycle classes that will make me change my bike.”
But not everyone is so loyal, especially if it means regaining a few extra square feet in their apartments that they’ve currently lost in Peloton.
Austin cyclist Sarah Barnes, 27, begged SoulCycle in all caps on Instagram to take her Peloton bike she bought in 2020.
“Right now, it’s taking up too much space in my one-bedroom apartment,” Barnes told The Post, adding that he has yet to hear from the company.
Like so many others, Barnes bought his bike during the early stages of the pandemic and took great advantage of it. Now, she’s not so sure she deserves a place of honor in her household.
When asked what he would replace it with, Barnes’ answer was simple.
“A chair,” she said.