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

cyclecast spinning class at home feat
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.

CycleCast-003 

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.

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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Wearables

Win your gal's heart (and wrist) with the most stylish smartwatches for her

If you're looking to buy that special woman in your life a smartwatch this Valentine's Day, we're here to help. Here are our top picks of the best smartwatches on the market for ladies. We have something for any style or budget.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.