SoulCycle, the indoor cycling fitness craze founded in 2006 in New York, is coming to Atlanta...but only for a few days. In a city where their biggest competitor, Flywheel, has a made a strong showing (three locations and counting), it will be interesting to see the response to the event.
In a partnership with Target, SoulCycle is touring 10 cities nationwide for three days of classes from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day (class times are 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ) The tour comes to Atlanta January 29 - 31.
Classes take place at on the second floor at 200 Peachtree in Atlanta. The sign-up opens at 3 p.m. on January 22 and is expected to fill up quickly. All classes are free and cycling shoes will be provided. There will also be a pop-up shop with wellness products including exclusive Target x SoulCycle apparel, electronics, health & beauty and food & beverage.
"We wanted to bring SoulCycle to as many guests as possible, so we made sure the cities for the tour spanned different geographic regions across the country," said a spokesperson for Target. "Since SoulCycle is not currently in Atlanta, we wanted to give Target guests in the area unprecedented access to the growing fitness craze of SoulCycle and other healthy-living offerings to help kick-off the new year."
Not sure what SoulCycle is all about? Here's a quick primer:
The 45-minute class works upper and lower body as you ride a stationary bike in a darkened room. In SoulCycle studios, the bikes are arranged in rows and the front row is (naturally) coveted. Devotees describe a club like atmosphere in the classes with the instructor yelling and the music pumping.
You must have cycling shoes -- these are free on the tour -- but usually rent for $3 at SoulCycle studios. The workout (which costs about $34 a pop in NYC) is a hit with celebrities who have been spotted in classes on both coasts. Here is a video so you can see some of the signature SoulCycle moves:
Atlantans who are into indoor cycling workouts may be more familiar with Flywheel Sports, which now has three locations in the metro area in Buckhead, Midtown and Alpharetta .
Here is a little boutique fitness cycling history lesson thanks to Business Insider . Flywheel was founded in 2010 by former SoulCycle co-founder, Ruth Zuckerman and two partners.
Flywheel studios are stadium style so there is no coveted front row, but there is a leader board for competitive types. Flywheel is also pretty much straight riding (though they do offer some strength work.) They also offer a membership (SoulCycle is class-by-class.) Both have online sign-up systems and classes fill up quickly.
Both brands have also drawn criticism from some members of the fitness community who believe some of the moves they encourage while riding a stationary bicycle can be dangerous for some riders, particularly those who do not have the best form. And it's hard for an instructor to watch everyone's form in a room (dark or not) packed full of riders.
Flywheel has taken off quickly with almost as many studios around the country as SoulCycle. In cities with both studios, riders tend to strongly prefer one brand or the other. Will you give SoulCycle a spin?