Cycling studios are a dime a dozen these days, but Peloton isn't your run-of-the-mill. The New York-based company was founded on the idea of bringing the in-studio boutique cycling experience to people at home. The brand sells custom at-home bikes that come with a 22-inch touchscreen monitor, allowing users to ride along with live classes at its flagship 50-bike Chelsea studio or stream a class on-demand based on cycling style, level and music preference. You can even opt for a class taught in a language other than English.
We got a tour of the gorgeous multi-level studio, which bills itself as the Soho House of cycling, from cycling entrepreneur, Marion Roaman, who runs the studio and global content.
"It took us about 1.5 years to build out this space. It was kind of always understood that we would be in Chelsea; there's such a great mix of people here."
“I’ve been doing this for a long time [Marion opened one of the first boutique cycling studios, The Zone, in East Hampton in 1997], so at this point I have my favorite brands and I’ve watched them grow over the years. Split 59, for example, I stocked when they first hit the scene. They’re one of the coolest, hippest, best fitting brands and they have amazing little details. There are so many brands that make clothes that are great for yoga, running etc., but not necessarily for indoor cycling. Similarly, there are so many great brands that make fantastic outdoor cycling apparel, but you just look silly wearing them for indoor cycling. We’re very careful with what we stock here.”
“We’re going to be opening up retail spaces across the country and we want to be a one-stop shop. We want you to be able to buy our bikes, but also water bottles, apparel, accessories, weights, etc. We’re taking our time with co-branded apparel, however, because we’re still figuring out what our customer looks like. We want our co-branded merchandise to be uniform across the board so it needs to appeal to our clients whether they’re in Seattle or New York.”
“More and more luxury designers are bringing fitness into their lines. I love VPL. We stock a number of its pieces, including dresses – we want to give our clients the option to go straight from here out. As for our menswear, so far we’re sticking mostly to Nike and Under Armour. Because of the tech background of our company we actually have a good amount of men who come cycling here.”
“This is our check-in area. We have towels, shoes and water. I’m very proud of the water brand we work with. They’re a Panama-based brand called Aquacai and they replace every tree it takes to make their water. While you can take as many water bottles as you like, in an effort to minimize planet abuse, we encourage people to refill their bottles using our water fountains.“
Free Food and Drinks
“If you sign up on our website, your first class is free. We really believe in the brand and want to get people in here. Also, aside from water, we have a full juice bar and right now we’re offering free cold pressed juice, free muffins and free coffee. We’re working with Jack’s and they’re coming up with a curated menu of items to offer our members so there will be a rotating list of free items, in addition to others they can purchase, pre or post workout.”
“This is our lounge area. We really wanted to create a place where people can relax, hang out and socialize when they’re not in a class. We have WiFi here as well.”
“We have three bikes set up here so if a class is full, you can livestream it and ride out here. Or if you’re a beginner, we’ll teach you how to set up so you’re ready to go when class starts. People also can use these bikes to warm up before class. In the actual studio, the cameras are hidden so they won’t disturb you during your ride. We’ve really finessed the art of filming our classes. The challenge is that it takes light to film, but in order to lose yourself in the cycling experience, you need darkness. We keep the light mostly on the coach and riders at home. While they can tell that there are people in the studio taking the class, they cannot identify anyone’s face.”
"When a class is in session the 'On Air' button is lit up and that map shows areas where there are Peloton riders. Right now our bikes are on backorder, but in the next two weeks we'll be able to get a bike to you in two days, so this map will become significantly more populated!"
“Whether you’re here for 3 or 30 minutes, we really want people to feel like they’re on vacation when they’re here."
"We have Lafco products – our signature scent is rosemary eucalyptus. Right now we have deodorant, body lotion and a few other things but we’re working with them to come out with a number of new addition in the fall, including scrub, shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner. We also offer throwaway flip flops for the shower.”
“This is where the magic happens; this room gives me the chills! It’s an insanely complicated procedure because the person in the control room is operating the camera, sound and lighting but he’s not only dealing with the in-studio experience, but the livestream one as well. If, for example, the instructor suddenly screams on the mike he needs to react quickly so the people listening at home with headphones don’t get blown away!”
“This is Lauren who will be teaching our Mandarin classes. As we prepare for global expansion, we’re focused on building out our content in a number of languages. I’ve already tapped a bilingual school for the Mandarin rides so we’ll have some teenagers riding here!”
“This downstairs area is for our coaches to hang out and relax. We’ll have meetings here sometimes as well.”