SoulCycle vs Peloton: Which Indoor Cycling Bike Is Better? [WITH VIDEOS]

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When comparing Soulcycle to Peloton, the benefits of both indoor cycling programs are undeniable, even phenomenal. When boiled down to its basics, it becomes more about what motivates the rider in a Soulcycle vs Peloton comparison.

In short: The Soulcycle and the Peloton are two very different programs that use an indoor cycle made by the same company, VDG, at its core. Both offer a high quality, high intensity training workout that maximizes calorie burn and helps you meet your fitness goals in a proven, effective modality. They are both performed using a stationary indoor cycle in a motivational class setting. 

If you are ready to get started on your indoor cycling fitness journey, seeing which indoor cycling bike is better can help you maximize your efforts.

My Experience

Years ago, I found myself in a collection of fitness classes doing work that I did not fully enjoy. I would wake up early and drag myself into a class setting that was, at its foundation, not motivational for me in spite of the other class participants enjoying it.

I knew what I was doing was good for me, however, it just wasn't a fit. I eventually started making excuses why I couldn’t attend the classes and over time, dropped out.

It was my desire to stay in top physical condition that helped me find another modality that fit my personal preferences and kept me motivated.

However, if I had access to programs such as the Soulcycle or Peloton available today, I would have experienced a much greater level of efficiency and effectiveness in my workouts than anything I was able to find at the time.

SoulCycle vs Peloton Review

The Soulcycle is actually a physical indoor workout cycling experience set up in specific locations across the United States and other countries.

Participation is scheduled through an online website at a per class cost, with no membership dues or fees required.

It is instructed by highly motivational and qualified staff whose mission is to provide a quality workout that feeds not only the physical body, but the mind and soul as well.

It is like meditation on a fitness bike.

Peloton is also an indoor cycling class experience, but is set up in an individual's private space such as their home or office.

A fitness bike is purchased through Peloton, along with a membership, providing access to their live and on demand streaming of multiple classes per day. 

Participation has no schedule, but requires a monthly membership. It is instructed by highly motivation and qualified staff focused on obtaining a fun and effective indoor cycling experience that is geared more towards competition.

Let’s look at the two structures in detail.

Soulcycle Vs. Peloton Comparison

Soulcycle and Peloton are both top notch indoor cycling workouts that promise to yield both intense and effective results. Although Soulcycle is more of a high-end studio experience, similar to its direct competitor FlyWheel, when compared to Peloton’s on demand and live streaming classes, both options offer incredible benefits when it comes to workout quality.

Factors to Consider

SoulCycle

Peloton

Resistance 

Magnetic

Magnetic

User’s Weight Limit

Cannot exceed 350lbs/must be over 4'11"

Cannot exceed 300lbs/must be over

Additional Equipment

Special shoes required ($3 rental fee)

Peloton shoes - $125

Financing

N/A

$58/mo for 39 mo w/appr financing

Price

$20-25 for first class/$30-$36 thereafter

$2,245-$2,694 (does not include membership)

Membership​

NA/requires a free account

Required $39/mo

First Year Cost

$3,120 

$2,713 (basic pkg plus membership)

Second Year Cost

$3,120 

$468

Free Trial

Minimal discount for first ride package

FREE 30-day trial available...

Mobile App

Yes. Free

Yes. $19.95 per month

Weight

 80 lbs.

 83 lbs.

Transferability

Only scheduled rider (non-transferable) 

One membership required per bike (unlimited
Riders 

Bike Manufacturer

Villency Design Group  

Villency Design Group  

Warranty

N/A

1-year

Fitness Level

Beginner to advanced

Beginner to advanced

Soulcycle Review

SolCycle bike

Soulcycle is a total wellness package! It focuses not only on physical activity that is guaranteed to burn calories and help you get fit, but it also takes into consideration the overall total wellness aspect of the participant including mind, body and soul within a highly motivational and supportive group setting.

Class participants, also called riders, can use a variety of methods to schedule their class at one of their existing brick and mortar facilities in the area.

 After creating a free online account at Soulcycle, the rider can purchase a single ride experience or a package deal with multiple rides, up to fifty rides.

To schedule a ride, just log into the online forum and select a class at a studio in your area. Classes can only be scheduled on Monday at noon each week for all open classes for the week on a first come, first served basis.

You show up 15-minutes prior to your class time at the studio you selected, check in at the front desk where they will get you set up and answer any questions you may have. Then you ride!

Each class experience may be slightly different in terms of location, instructor style and musical theme, however they all offer up a soulful and connected experience in a room complete with ambient lighting, aromatherapy and a fun and healing atmosphere.

You are guided through a 45-minute to 60-minute intense indoor cycling experience that guarantees to burn calories and pent up energy and emotions.

All cancellations must be completed by 5 pm the evening prior to your class or you lose your purchase for that class altogether.

Pros

  • Pay per class
  • Highly motivational, fun and full of energy; a PARTY
  • Physical brick and mortar locations across the globe
  • Focuses on community and the emotional support of all participants
  • Pleasant atmosphere, with magical instructors, excellent music and low-lighting ambiance for a soulful experience

Cons

  • Limited locations
  • Requires a safety waiver
  • Cannot transfer a class purchase to another rider or participant
  • Expensive, especially if you wish to attend more than one or two classes on a regular basis
  • You must schedule and cancel any participation in advance (you cannot just show up or miss a class due to illness)

SoulCycle Customer Reviews

Here is what some of the Soulcycle participants have said about their experience:

 I LOVE SoulCycle! I honestly am someone who hates working out but I love going to SoulCycle because it feels like you are out dancing with friends instead of working out and I always leave feeling so energized!!

The energy in these classes is amazing!!! Nothing better than a soul cycle class to start off your day/week. Every instructor has so much energy, the music is a vibe and it’s so fun!

I love soul cycle! I burn the most amount of calories and feel so energized when I leave. The staff is great and the teachers are full of life and energy. I feel like the classes are amazing and really throughout. Stellar place.

Peloton Cycle Review

Peloton cycle

The Peloton is an excellent indoor cycling bike and experience with a greater amount of scheduling freedom than its competition. 

Unlike many Peloton competitors, It provides a motivational interactive class experience, with live participants all streamed into a workout class no matter where you are located.

Owning a Peloton is similar to owning an indoor cycle (Echelon, Keiser M3i etc), but with a twist. 

As part of the purchase, you are required to join a monthly membership at an additional fee to their exclusive online network of classes, both live and on-demand.

Joining into a class requires nothing more than logging into your account either via the screen or from your peloton app, and following the cues for a class or on-demand library selection.

In fact, the Peloton Digital app is what brings about the Peloton experience and all the hype. Its that good, no doubt about that. Notwithstanding the outrageous price tag many people prefer peloton for its immersive and community-based experience. 

There are many who buy other Peloton alternatives such as the powerful Keiser M3i bike and hook it up with the Peloton Digital app for a similar experience.   

Any adjustments to the bike can be made before starting your workout. Just log-in and ride!

Each class experience is vastly different, with class times, intensities and musical selections guiding the workout.

There is also a leader board for those on the competitive side of cycling that helps give you a real-time race experience no matter your fitness level.

Pros

  • Workout at anytime and anywhere
  • Variety of class lengths, levels and intensities to choose from
  • No limitations on who can use it; friends, family and coworkers alike
  • Membership includes treadmill workouts, boot camp, yoga and a plethora of other types of workouts
  • Peloton bike is a one-time purchase that you own with unlimited access to a variety of classes, both live and on demand

Cons

  • Requires large upfront purchase price
  • Must purchase membership when you purchase the bike
  • Digital interaction only either via bike screen or phone app

Peloton Customer Reviews

Here are some of the reviews of Peloton bike owners:

“Life changing! - Having this bike in my home was the best decision I have ever made! The instructors are amazing and there is a real sense of belonging and love within the Peloton community. Love everything about it!”

The Best Piece of Exercise Equipment - I've had a hard time finding something that kept me motivated. This is it! A good friend of mine recommended the bike and I have never been so addicted to working out! This is by far the best piece of equipment I've used and I'm very glad to be a p[art of this community.”

“Loving every minute on this bike! - The bike is sturdy, solid and smooth. It feels like a high quality machine. It's easy to learn how to setup and use. The classes are awesome! Instructors know their stuff and are very motivational.”

Soulcycle vs. Peloton: Things to consider before buying - Buyer's Guide

Price 

The price for both options may seem a bit more expensive that other fitness classes, with one boasting an upfront cost of $2,250 to $2,700 and the other, a per class charge of between $30- $36, or around $30 per class for package pricing.

The reality is that neither option is for the individual looking for a budget workout program, but rather those who have the funds and the motivation. In approximately 75 classes worth of Soulcycle, you could own your own Peloton.

That’s roughly $288 per month if you take two Soulcycle classes a week for approximately 9 months to equate to owning a Peloton.

This does not include the monthly membership required to operate the Peloton cycle, which is around $40 per month. In terms of available options, Peloton is the certainly the better deal for the dollar.

Usability  

Obviously, the ease of working out at home can outweigh many of the inconveniences of having to reserve your spot in class and travel to a secondary location.

Having a cycle that provides a motivating experience and quality classes on demand holds a higher chance of actual usage than having to go online, reserve a spot in “class” and then drive to the class.

Soulcycle has rigid scheduling and cancellation rules which Peloton does not.

Dimensions 

This is only relative to the Peloton, which is approximately 2’x4’ (3’x4’ if you use the mat underneath).

Extra space is necessary to set up the biking equipment and any other peripheral equipment used. Also, attention will need to be paid to storage space if you do not wish to have the bike available or out at all times.

Music and Motivation 

Both the Peloton and Soulcycle utilize motivational music and quality trained instruction in their programming, with Peloton users citing a lesser music quality than Soulcycle.

Although both options are motivating in their own right, individuals who do better in a physical group setting may find a higher level of success in Soulcycle.

Fitness Level 

From beginner to advanced, both systems offer a range of options in alignment with fitness level.

Peloton has a more diverse selection of options geared towards a specific need than Soulcycle, allowing the beginner to select a beginner class instead of making modifications to an advance class to fit the beginner.

Commitment/Contract

Soulcycle has no commitments or contracts and is a pay per class or pre-purchased package plan system. However, if you forget to cancel a class or get sick, you will lose access to that specific experience.

If you fail to schedule your classes within the specific timeframe, you run the risk of your class access expiring. Your classes are non-transferable. Cut and dry. Peloton simply requires a paid monthly membership that allows you to participate in the various classes being offered.

Neither program has a contract, except any financing contracts you enter into with the Peloton bike.

SoulCycle vs Peloton Workout 

When compared side by side, both Soulcycle and Peloton offer a range of indoor cycle programs.

Soulcycle boasts a tribal experience and community benefit, often with musical themed classes and a distinct ambiance within a set workout timeframe of approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

Whereas Peloton offers a greater selection of fitness options including intensities, lengths and even options such as yoga, strength training and bootcamp to diversify the experience.

Warranty 

Peloton has a 1-year warranty on its bike packages.

Features and Benefits: Soulcycle Vs Peloton

Side by side, both indoor cycling options have extensive benefits to fit the individual rider and to help make a better informed decision.

SoulCycle Benefits:-

  • Non-competitive
  • Better for true athleticism
  • Highly motivational and supportive
  • Requires no contract or membership plan
  • Focus on mental, physical and soul fitness, or total wellness
  • Excellent high energy workout in a comfortable studio setting
  • Offers additional paid features such as tracking, concierge service and fitness gear

Peloton Benefits:-

  • Great for competitive riders
  • No scheduling or class limitations; just log in and ride
  • Unlimited on demand and live class streaming access
  • One-time purchase of equipment for use in the home or office
  • Excellent for those who enjoy the competition aspect of fitness
  • Can use membership at hundreds of hotel locations across the country when traveling
  • Lots of options relative to fitness levels, intensities, time and even non-cycling workouts, including over 90 live classes each week

Similarities between Soulcycle vs Peloton 

  • Display screens
  • Quality motivational instruction
  • Top of the line equipment and clothing
  • Calorie burn potential of up to 700 plus per class
  • Downloadable apps and wellness blogs, providing ongoing support and community

Differences between Soulcycle vs Peloton 

  • One is a digital experience and the other, a brick and mortar facility
  • Soulcycle provides a tribal or cohesive social experience, with candlelight, aromatherapy and emotional support as part of the class, while Peloton is primarily accomplished in the solitude of your own home or office
  • Soulcycle can be very expensive as a pay per class option, while Peloton offers a one-time purchase price and financing to those who are on a budget and qualify
  • Peloton is more family friendly, allowing for anyone to use the program and the equipment. Soulcycle only allows the purchaser to attend the class and is non-transferable to friends or family
  • If schedules are hectic or you have obligations that can cause you to cancel, Soulcycle has a rigid cancellation policy, not to mention, classes fill up quickly. If you miss the deadlines, you could miss your workout without a refund. Conversely, Peloton has both on demand options and live stream options available all day, every day and allows for unforeseen schedule changes without penalty or loss


Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

# DOES SOULCYCLE USE PELOTON BIKES?

Both Soulcycle and Peloton bikes are manufactured by VDG, Villency Design Group.

# HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN IN SOULCYCLE VS PELOTON?

Indoor cycling can burn anywhere from 300 calories up to nearly 800 calories in a 45-minute class, depending upon intensity and resistance level used.

# ARE PELOTON CLASSES LIKE SOULCYCLE?

Although they are similar, Soulcycle is a brick and mortar facility full of bikes ready to ride at a preset class time while Peloton’s classes are both live and on demand, making them available for use at any time of the day or night. Soulcycle’s mission is more geared towards community and the total wellness experience, while Peloton is focused on the competition and the workout itself.

# DO I NEED SPECIFIC GEAR FOR INDOOR CYCLING CLASSES?

Depending upon the option you choose, you may require special shoes for your bike. Soulcycle requires specialty shoes, while Peloton recommends buying toe cages and specialty shoes, but they are not necessary and do not come standard with a basic bike. It is recommended you have plenty of water and comfortable free-moving clothes.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an Indoor Cycling experience to help you get fit and fabulous, not matter your current fitness level, Soulcycle vs Peloton are both top-notch programs.

 

Neither option is appropriate for those on limited incomes, but then again, you do get what you pay for in terms of results.


As far as benefits, the Soulcycle is best for individuals who like consistent classes and brick and mortar facilities, full of motivation and support.


Conversely, Peloton is best for those with hectic lifestyles or obligations and those who enjoy competition but prefer to work out on their own time and with limited crowds.


Peloton offers greater benefits for the price, especially long-term, although it requires a significant amount of self-motivations and space for the equipment.

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