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Take a spinning class anywhere there’s a bike with CycleCast

Love the SoulCycle workout but can’t stand SoulCycle? I understand, and so does CycleCast, a mobile environment and experience that launched today, bringing the energy, intensity, and community of indoor cycling out of the studio and onto your phone. Giving you the freedom to get your sweat on without ever leaving your home (or your own personal bike), CycleCast delivers “hit music and world-class instructors directly to you.” Simply choose one of many in-demand instructors, select how long you’d like to ride (36 different workouts in 20-, 40-, and 60-minute intervals are available), and then just find your bike and hit play. And with CycleCast’s integration with Apple Health and MyFitnessPal, you can keep track of your progress, making this cycling workout one of the most personalized experience available.

“The goal was to make great cycling classes accessible to people who don’t live near a studio.”

While workout classes have become all the rage in the last few years, finding the time, effort, and yes, the budget to accommodate the rather inflexible schedules of various gyms can be quite the challenge. As such, CycleCast founder Doug Lotz told me, “I looked for a mobile solution that I could listen to on my iPhone while using a bike at the gym,” but alas, there was nothing available. So in a display of good old-fashioned ingenuity, Lotz decided to build it himself.

“The goal was to make great cycling classes accessible to people who don’t live near a studio, don’t have time to get to a class, or can’t afford to pay the roughly $30 per class that popular cycling studios across the country charge,” he told me. And at $9.99 a month or $89.99 a year, CycleCast just may be the solution.

To recreate the same sense of communal encouragement and adrenaline-pumping atmosphere, CycleCast focused on two key elements: motivating music and instruction. “So much of the energy of indoor cycling comes through sound,” said Lotz, “And no amount of fellow cyclists or mood lighting can ever outweigh the importance of it.” As such, their instructors “are essential in bringing studio-quality cycling classes to mobile. They provide all the energy through the effectiveness of their coaching and the power of the music that they choose.”

Whereas a traditional cycling class can only accommodate a few dozen cyclists, the mobile environment allows instructors to connect to a few thousand at a time. “The connection that riders feel with their instructor is really important to us and through the profile page in the app we sought to open an avenue for that relationship,” Lotz noted. “During every ride, the instructors encourage their riders to check in and leave a note on their profile page, which is readily accessible at the end of every class.” 

Of course, one of the key concerns with any fitness class is safety, which may be compromised without an expert on hand to ensure correct posture and safe riding. As such, Lotz says, “We encourage all new riders to check out our Ride Guide before starting their first class for instructions on how to set up their bike and ride safely and comfortably.

“Cycling is inherently a low-impact activity, but maintaining good posture is extremely important to reduce the risk of injury or post-ride pain.” And while an instructor won’t be physically by your side, Lotz points out, “Throughout each class, our instructors check in with riders about posture to ensure that they’re maintaining a safe and healthy position on the bike. They also encourage riders to listen to their bodies and to take ‘posture breaks’ if they need them.” Moreover, the the founder assured me, “you’ll hear the instructors reminding riders to drink plenty of water and stretch after each ride” to prevent dehydration or stress injuries.

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Interestingly enough, because your entire workout lives on your mobile phone, you could theoretically take your workout to the great outdoors if cycling in place just isn’t your thing. “If you had a long and fairly flat track,” says Lotz, “You could possibly follow a guided class. However, like the outdoor bike on a trainer, it’s all about safety and your comfort level on the bike. The instructor asks you to adjust resistance and get up out of the saddle a lot, so it would require you to be pretty nimble and balanced.” So careful daredevils — cycle at your own risk.

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While CycleCast is currently a cycling-only endeavor, the team notes that “any fitness activity in which music and coaching could come together to propel you to perform, but that doesn’t rely on very detailed visual cues (like weight training, calisthenics, yoga, etc.) could adopt a similar at-home model.” Watch out, SoulCycle. Your biggest competitor may just be … well, the comfort of our homes.