In addition to our continuing coverage of product and retail trends from this year’s Health and Fitness Business, SNEWS is shining the spotlight on new and cool brands and products that caught our eye on the show floor at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
John Foley, founder and CEO
New York, N.Y.
Founded: 2011 / Product Launching: 2013
As industry newcomer John Foley sees it, there are plenty of spin bikes out there for consumers to choose from, but no matter which one they buy, the outcome is almost always the same.
“People buy a spin bike because they’ve enjoyed the classes at the gym. They bring it home, put it in the basement, but soon realize it isn’t as rewarding — they don’t have a spin class in their home,” Foley said. “We want to bring the spin-class experience to the home.”
His new company, Peloton Cycle, sets out to achieve the goal with the debut of a spin bike attached to an impressive 22-inch tablet (more than twice the size of an iPad) that is Wi-Fi networked to Peloton's high-end spin classes from its store/studio in New York City.
“We built a bike and a tablet,” Foley said, noting they had to custom-build the tablet to make it waterproof from sweat, and make the screen large enough to engage consumers.
Perhaps more significant, the company is building content and services with those streaming classes to drive additional revenue beyond the initial purchase. For $39 a month, users have access to the live and taped classes, plus the ability to compete and even video-chat with friends over the network. Users can choose classes by time or instructor and get started right away, or pin it to their calendar for reminders on the fully functional android tablet.
“Spin bikes are so much more than just the product,” Foley said. “People are addicted to the classes, the instructor, the network and the comradery.”
To entice consumers to buy the bike and get hooked on purchasing the classes, Peloton Cycle is pricing its high-end, belt-driven and magnetic-resistant spin bike and tablet package well under cost at MSRP $1,190. The device is also Ant+ compatible for live feedback of user data like heart rate.
The company introduced itself to the public through a Kickstarter campaign this summer — raising about $307,000 in a month — and also is privately funded by investors. Foley, who formerly served in executive roles at Internet firm IAC and Barnes & Noble, describes the Peloton Cycle team as a "bunch of techies passionate about fitness."
The decision now is where to sell the Peloton Cycle, Foley said. The initial thought was to go direct-to-consumer — online and through its store in New York City — but he came to HFB to gauge interest from retailers.
“They represent a great opportunity to break into the market and reach more consumers,” especially in the heart of the country, he said.
As technology and connectivity continue to spread within the fitness industry, expect to see more brands getting into the content business in addition to their equipment. While the trend may not be new — think P90X and TRX training videos — the technology advances and influx of new blood like Peloton Cycle is bringing more large-equipment brands into the fold, keeping consumers coming back for more.