Photographs by Bob Rozycki.
It’s often been said that necessity is the mother of invention.
And the proverb has been proven true yet again by John Foley, the enthusiastic founder and CEO of Peloton Cycle.
Foley and his wife — Manhattan residents devoted to boutique spin classes — found themselves frustrated a couple of years ago, he tells WAG during a recent chat.
Always on the go, they were repeatedly shut out of classes with “the best instructors at the best times at the best locations.”
“We weren’t the people who were able to be the first in line.”
So, he created a line-free solution in an at-home fitness system that brings not only a spinning cycle to you, but also offers unlimited access to live and round-the-clock, on-demand classes.
Peloton is sold online and in brick-and-mortar sites from Los Angeles to the Hamptons, from Boston to White Plains. The showrooms offer live demonstrations along with related apparel and accessories.
“It makes people who don’t spin get way more comfortable,” says Rob Piervinanzi, the manager of the Peloton showroom in The Westchester.
Customers, Foley says, are quickly learning just what’s offered by Peloton —its name a nod to the cycling term for the main pack of riders at the front of a race.
You can take a class at 5 a.m., at midnight or “1:40 in the afternoon when your daughter takes a nap.”
Classes are there, Foley adds, “any time you want to hop on the bike, whether it’s live or (on) demand.”
Foley — a former president of e-commerce for Barnes & Noble and founder and CEO of Evite.com who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School — says Peloton might even work best for those in the suburbs.
“Here in Manhattan, you might be two blocks away from a great studio,” Foley says. Out of an urban setting, it might take “10, 15, 20 minutes to drive to a boutique cycling studio.”
Peloton customers have their choice of classes that feature different types of training, music and instructors, including those with Tour de France experience. Participants can track their progress, add weight-training elements, video chat with other riders or take the scenic route.
“You can ride through a beautiful canyon in Canada,” Foley says, an example of the scenic ride offerings.
Classes originate in a Chelsea studio — Peloton customers can attend these in person — and offer those at home the chance to tap into camaraderie and support.
“It’s better than trying to motivate yourself at a traditional gym,” Foley says.
The clientele, Foley admits, grew somewhat differently than he expected.
“I would have thought that we would skew slightly female, but it turns out we’re exactly 50-50.”
And couples often purchase the Peloton cycle, which is $1,995 plus a $39 per month subscription that offers unlimited content.
“It’s a high enough price point (that) you get your spouse involved in the decision,” he says.
Today, Foley is proud of the company’s growth, building from the original showroom in The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey in late 2013.
Then, he says, “It was very much, ‘What is this thing?’”
Now, says Peloton operations manager Austen Asadorian, people are becoming more and more familiar with Peloton.
As staffers Micaiah Bell and Christa Panayotidis demonstrate the Peloton bike for us on a recent afternoon in The Westchester, Asadorian takes stock of the company’s progress.
“I think we’ve finally crossed the threshold.”
For more, visit pelotoncycle.com.