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Founded2006; 13 years ago (2006)
FoundersElizabeth Cutler
Julie Rice
Ruth Zukerman
HeadquartersNew York, NY
Number of locations
88 (2018)
Key people
Melanie Whelan (CEO)
Number of employees
1,500 (2016)
ParentEquinox Fitness

SoulCycle is a New York City-based fitness company with studios in 15 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces.[citation needed][1] Founded in 2006, it offers indoor cycling workout classes. In June 2018, SoulCycle claimed to have 88 studios in the United States and Canada.[2]

Ruth Zukerman in July 2018


Ruth Zukerman began teaching spin classes In 1996.[3][4] In 2006 one of her students, former NFL football player Tiki Barber, proposed creating a new business together based on Zukerman's teaching style and techniques. Although Barber withdrew, the idea led Zukerman to co-found SoulCycle with Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice.[5][4][6] Rice previously had worked as a talent manager for Benny Medina's Handprint Entertainment, and Cutler was a commercial real estate agent.[7][8] SoulCycle's first studio was on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.[9] The three founders funded the venture, with a large amount of the money coming from Cutler's investment in Izze Beverage Co. after its acquisition by PepsiCo.[7]

Villency Design Group designed the SoulCycle stationary bicycle.[10] The firm designed the SoulCycle bike seat as a “split seat” to relieve discomfort found in conventional bike seats.[11] In 2017, SoulCycle's introduced the Soul Bike Next Generation. It has an aluminum frame, a carbon-belt rather than chain, and electromagnetic retardation.[12]

In 2009, Zukerman left SoulCycle and the next year founded competitor Flywheel Sports with Jay Galuzzo and David Seldin.[5][4] In 2011, a majority stake in SoulCycle was acquired by the Equinox Fitness subsidiary of The Related Companies and it now operates as one of their brands.[13] Melanie Whelan was named SoulCycle CEO in 2015.[14] In 2016, Rice and Cutler sold their remaining shares in the company to Equinox, stepping down from their roles as co-chief creative officers.[8][15]

In July 2015, SoulCycle filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering at a valuation of around $900 million. The company paused the process in 2016. In a May 2018 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the IPO was cancelled citing "market conditions."[16][17]

In October 2018, Whelan announced that SoulCycle will open in London in 2019.[18] In January 2019, Soulcycle announced that they are opening a new location in Tampa, Florida in Summer 2019.

Front entrance to the San Francisco SoulCycle studio.

Services and market[edit]

The firm operates on a pay-by-class basis and does not offer memberships.

In November 2017, the company created SoulAnnex, an off-bike fitness studio, first testing the idea at a studio in Manhattan. SoulAnnex has similar branding and pricing to SoulCycle, but the workouts do not involve bikes, and also involve yoga.[2][19] In February 2018 SoulActivate was announced, an on-the-bike class that incorporates high-intensity interval training (HIIT).[20] In June 2018, SoulCycle created a media division to create media programs and events.[2] In July 2018, SoulCycle and Equinox launched a talent agency to rep resent their fitness instructors, with WME in an advisory role.[21][22] In October 2018, SoulCycle partnered with Apple Music, making available instructor-curated playlists and motivational audio. That same month, the company launched an series of live concerts in tandem with traditional SoulCycle classes.[23] Some of the live concerts that SoulCycle did in the past was The Chainsmokers and Ciara's concerts.

[24]In a 2011 Los Angeles Times article that James Fell wrote about SoulCycle, he approved of the company's approach to entertain and motivate its customers, saying he encourages "the importance of finding an exercise you love and embracing it with fervor." However, Fell gave the company "a failing grade for exercise physiology and biomechanics" and pointed out that the co-founders do not have certifications in any type of exercise.[25][26] Elsewhere, SoulCycle has been noted for its mental health and wellness benefits and sense of community among its staff and riders.[27][28] Devotees of SoulCycle typically refer to the exercise as a strong emotional experience.[29][30]

In the media[edit]

SoulCycle is prominently featured in the 2018 film I Feel Pretty.[31]

SoulCycle was mentioned on "The Big Bang Theory" episode "The Decision Reverberation" on 25 April 2019.


  1. ^ "All Studios". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Raphael, Rina (20 June 2018). "SoulCycle just launched a new media division". Fast Company. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ Miller, Gerri (July 11, 2018). "Ruth Zukerman Spins Cycling Into Success". Jewish Journal.
  4. ^ a b c Schlossberg, Mallory (September 9, 2015). "One of Soul Cycle's founders turned on the brand and started its biggest rival". Business Insider.
  5. ^ a b Ogunnaike, Nikki (June 16, 2016). "How One Woman Single-Handedly Changed the Indoor Cycling Game". Elle.
  6. ^ Saint Louis, Catherine (2010-10-10). "In New York, a Rivalry Shifts Into High Gear". New York Times.
  7. ^ a b Li, Shan (August 9, 2015). "SoulCycle founders are peddling fun in the gym". Los Angeles Times. LA Times. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Romeyn, Kathryn (3 July 2017). "How an Ex-Talent Manager Co-Founded SoulCycle and Sold for $90M". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  9. ^ Hong, Nicole (2013-09-18). "How I Built It: Cycling Chain SoulCycle Spins Into Fast Lane". Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "The wizard of wellness design". Well+Good. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  11. ^ Kleiman, Jamie. "Soul Cycle - Villency". Villency. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  12. ^ Malik, Naureen (20 July 2017). "SoulCycle's New Exercise Bike Will Make Your Workout Even Harder". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Soul Cycle celebrity cult following". Vanity Fair. September 2012.
  14. ^ Bryant, Adam (14 May 2018). "SoulCycle CEO on her college wake-up call and the No. 1 thing women can do to get ahead". CNBC. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  15. ^ Henry, Zoe (20 Nov 2017). "The Co-Founder of SoulCycle Joins Another Hot New York Startup". Inc. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  16. ^ Fournier, Elizabeth (25 May 2018). "SoulCycle Shelves Plans for U.S. IPO After Three Years in Limbo". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  17. ^ Kopytoff, Verne (25 May 2018). "SoulCycle Ends Ride Towards an IPO". Fortune. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  18. ^ Gagne, Yasmin (22 Oct 2018). "SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan talks expanding abroad and online". Fast Company.
  19. ^ Olick, Diana (22 November 2017). "SoulCycle bets on a new brand, this one is off the bike". CNBC. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  20. ^ Raphael, Rina (26 Feb 2018). "SoulCycle expands further, gets into the HIIT trend". Fast Company. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  21. ^ Rina Raphael, Fast Company. "Equinox and SoulCycle are launching a talent agency for fitness influencers." Jul 19, 2018. Retrieved Sep 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Mims, Taylor (24 July 2018). "Equinox & SoulCycle Launch Full-Service Management for Fitness Talent". Billboard. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  23. ^ Raphael, Rina (1 Oct 2018). "SoulCycle is turning its rides into live music concerts". Fast Company.
  24. ^ Retrieved 2019-02-20. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ Fell, James. "In-Your-Face Fitness: SoulCycle's mix of cycling and upper-body workouts raises concerns". Op-ed. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  26. ^ Lutz, Ashley. "SoulCycle's founders have resigned". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  27. ^ Romanoff, Zan (4 Dec 2017). "The Consumerist Church of Fitness Classes". The Atlantic.
  28. ^ Acton, Annabel (13 Aug 2017). "5 Tips From SoulCycle on How to Build Brand With a Cult Following". Inc.
  29. ^ Van Dusen, Christine (25 June 2018). "The cult appeal of SoulCycle". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  30. ^ Bennett, Jessica (20 Oct 2014). "Why So Many Women Are Crying at the Gym". Time. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  31. ^ Hess, Amanda (23 April 2018). "'I Feel Pretty' and the Rise of Beauty-Standard Denialism". New York Times.

External links[edit]

  • ^ "How I built this: SoulCycle: Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler".