Crash Course: Peloton Cycle in Chelsea is the flagship location for the brand. It is the home of their corporate offices, production studio, retail store, and in-house cycling studio. Peloton’s business model is built around selling bikes for home-use, so they only have one brick and mortar location offering classes. This New York hub is where classes are filmed and streamed live to users on Peloton bikes all over the world. Check Peloton Cycle’s schedule for more details.[line] [left]where: 140 West 23rd Street
bring: your speediest legs
perks: lux locker rooms, towels, free coffee, free shoe rental
sweat score: 8 out of 10[/left][right]wear: comfortable, breathable bike clothes
instructor: Lisa Niren
cost: first class free | drop-in $30 [/right][line]
Peloton Cycle is one of those exciting brands that is really pushing the envelope when it comes to boutique fitness. Their business model is built around selling high-tech Peloton bikes for users to have at home, in the office, or wherever they want to break a sweat. They come equipped with a high definition computer screen that streams on-demand and real time spin classes led by instructors from their New York City studio. It’s like having a spin-studio quality workout right at your fingertips whenever you want, wherever you want.
While I’m not in the market to bring one of these bad boys into my tiny New York City apartment just yet, I did have the opportunity to head over to Chelsea to check out a class at their flagship store and studio complex.
Because all of their content is streamed through the bike, Peloton has only one brick and mortar studio where they offer traditional classes. This is the location where the filming and production magic happens. Real instructors teach to real classes to real crowds at the Peloton store in New York, and that content is then shared live or stored for later use by Peloton bike owners around the world. How cool is that?
So first, let me talk about the studio space. Bottom line: it’s absolutely stunning.
Past the front-desk is a wide-open lounge for hanging out before and after class. It looks like it was lifted right out of West Elm. Very industrial and modern with just a touch of eclectic flair. Basically the kind of well put together space where you’d want to lounge for awhile before heading out into the chaos of the real world. There are fresh magazines and newspapers to read, cushions to prop your feet up on, and even a barrista stand offering complimentary iced or hot coffee. In case anyone is curious, I ordered an extra extra large iced coffee with almond milk.
The locker room is by far one of the highlights. Literally, the nicest I’ve ever seen. It’s immaculate. There is so much attention to detail – from the beautifully folded fluffy towels to the crisp white orchids – that I was ready to steak my claim to locker number fourteen and move into the place. Excuse me Peloton, where do I sign the lease?
It is fully stocked with hair dryers, makeup removing wipes, plastic bags for your sweaty clothes, disposable flip flops to use in the shower, hair ties, cotton balls, and essential oil lotions and cleansers. Basically anything you would need for a head-to-toe refresh after your workout. Absolute heaven for the on-the-go fit crasher.
I attended a 7 a.m. weekday class with instructor Lisa Niren, who showed up in snazzy print crops, a neon orange sports bra, and matching washboard abs. Basically the kind of person you want to lead you through an early morning sweat fest. After strapping into my complimentary Peloton-branded bike shoes, I walked into the studio and realized immediately that this was going to be different than any other spin class I had taken before. Perhaps it was the production quality lighting, camera tracks along the ceiling, or the sheer enormity of the space.
A number of Peloton staff were on hand to help situate students on their bikes. They adjusted my seat and handlebars, and also walked me through creating a user profile on the touch-screen computer attached to the bike. Each bike in the studio is hooked up to the broader Peloton user base, so you can track everyone else riding with you that morning, whether they are located in Chelsea or Canada. Your profile also tracks and saves your stats from each class you attend, so you can watch yourself improve over time.
Peloton instructors have access to a list of everyone logged in to their class from around the world. Throughout class, Lisa would periodically make comments to students not physically present in the studio after an impressive spike or strong segment. She was talking to Peloton cyclists using their bike at home. How cool would it be to be on your spin bike thousands of miles away from New York City and still have an instructor call you out by name?
The bikes themselves were smooth as butter and entirely quiet. I’ve been on many a spin bike in my day, and I have honestly never been on any quite like these.
Lisa’s morning class was such a fun experience. She brought an incredible energy that seemed to ping-pong off of every student in the room. The music was loud and the cues were clear, leaving us to focus on bringing our best effort.
We did sprints, climbs, and everything in between. There was also a short arm segment using tiny hand weights. I remember this being tough, but not as obnoxiously long as at some other spin studios. Short, sweet, and sweaty.
While you don’t have to keep the computer screen on during class, I loved being able to track my power output and overall ranking. I’m competitive and realize this isn’t a motivator for everyone. Sometimes you just want to close your eyes, shut out the world, and do you during class. I get it. But putting a screen in front of me that shows where I rack and stack among all riders is going to light a fire under my pedals. I’m a fan. A sweaty, tired, huffing and puffing fan.
Will I be going back? You bet your spandex I will. Immaculate space, decadent locker room, helpful staff, fun and challenging class, rock star teacher, free coffee. The entire experience was exactly what boutique fitness is all about: an sweaty escape from the ordinary.
For my DC readers out there: while there isn’t a Peloton cycling studio near you, the brand is opening their first local retail store at Tysons on September 18th so you can go check out the bikes for yourself. A little birdie told me they’re hiring too, in case you want a new job with that sweet new bike.