Starting today, SoulCycle riders in all 48 contiguous states can bring the sweaty, high-energy, in-studio experience into their home with the national launch of SoulCycle’s at-home bike. Initially released to a small set of markets in March, this national launch coincides with the co-launch of Variis mobile app. SoulCycle’s live and on-demand classes stream to the at-home bike’s screen via Variis, Equinox Media’s digital fitness media platform. In addition to powering the digital SoulCycle experience, the standalone Variis mobile app also launches today, powering digital access to a variety of Equinox’s other notable digital fitness and mindfulness modalities.
Not surprisingly given the current climate, demand for SoulCycle’s at-home bike skyrocketed after safer-at-home orders were issued earlier this spring, necessitating a change in rollout plans for the greater launch. According to Equinox Media and Variis CEO Jason LaRose, “We launched this March to select markets and had planned to test and iterate before going national. With the pandemic, it felt critical to accelerate our roadmap and give our members and riders the ability to pursue fitness from wherever they are. On the first day we started taking SoulCycle at-home bike orders, consumers from 47 states and 11 countries were reaching out to us asking when the bike would be available to them.”
SoulCycle’s at-home bike experience now includes both on-demand and a growing schedule of live classes. Class length ranges from 20, 30 and 45 minutes, and difficulty from beginner to advanced. Riders can filter by instructor, and peek at class playlists before committing to a ride (something never possible with the in-studio experience). Following rider demand in test markets, SoulCycle and Variis accelerated the addition of live classes. These live rides have been a major hit. According to LaRose and member data, “We’ve seen tremendous reception to the launch of our live rides last month—97% of riders have shared positive user satisfaction ratings, and live riders now ride an additional class per week. We are also building in community features that enable riders to see where others are joining from, and how many people they’re riding alongside—so wherever they are, they’re part of the pack.”
Plans for the standalone Variis mobile app launch were similarly expedited, based on Equinox member demand and a spike in at-home usage. Initially intending to introduce the app in a phased rollout in the spring, Variis accelerated the launch by more than six months and expanded from one market to 14 in less than two months. According to Equinox member data, since Variis’s pilot launch in March, those members who use the app are working out nearly 20% more per month compared to last year. Approximately 2.5 of these workouts each week take place via the app, across 2.3 types of classes. The Variis app now offers, via a monthly subscription, unlimited classes across Equinox’s own roster, as well as SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, Precision Run, HeadStrong, and now [solidcore], Rumble and TB12. LaRose hopes that, starting today, Variis can offer, “an unrivaled streaming experience… classes that best suit each modality, and translate each brand’s deeply engaging real-life experiences—from SoulCycle to [solidcore] to Rumble—to the world of digital.”
The SoulCycle and Variis at-home fitness experiences continue to show the demand for, what LaRose calls, the, “first 360 digital-meets-physical experience on the market.” Since launching in mid-March, LaRose shares that, “Demand for the bike has consistently outperformed forecasts, and sales have increased 115% week-over-week upon our recent introduction of financing and live classes, all of which drove us to double production heading into the tail end of the year, while allowing us to maintain an industry-leading delivery window of 1-3 weeks.” He continues, “Through our partners at Equinox and SoulCycle, we are uniquely positioned to deliver on this hybrid model, and have accelerated our reach and rollout since our March launch to meet the overwhelming demand for premium content and quality instruction that is currently unmet in today’s fitness landscape. Scaling access rapidly, market by market leading to today’s national availability, this is a watershed moment for our brand to continue the forward momentum.”
With this launch LaRose would like, “To inspire and equip you to pursue fitness every day—whether that’s through movement, recovery, meditation, or whatever your, his, her, or their body needs to be ready for today—and we hope this release helps our members and riders achieve exactly that.” Next up for SoulCycle and Variis? Riders will soon be able to “free ride” while streaming entertainment from Netflix, Amazon and Disney+, a first for fitness hardware.
As of today, the SoulCycle at-home bike is available for $2,500. The Variis app is available to download as a monthly membership for $39.99/month. Exclusively at launch, Variis app memberships include four Equinox day passes, as well as a virtual or in-person fitness assessment on your first visit. A monthly Variis membership of $40 powers the SoulCycle at-home bike and gives riders unlimited, on-demand access to content from SoulCycle and and other, leading fitness partners.