I Tried SoulCycle's At-Home Bike for 30 Days, and My Mental Health Did a 180

Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cell phone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise-pants trend.

Photo:

@erin_jahns

Name: Erin Jahns

What did you try?

Spending 30 minutes—at a minimum—on SoulCycle's at-home bike (powered by the Equinox+ app) every day for 30 days.

Why did you try it?

Pre-pandemic, I was a complete gym rat, and while expensive, my Equinox membership was one of my most cherished investments for both my mental and physical well-being. That said, I ultimately had to cancel my membership in 2020 when gyms were shut down, and after getting used to the whole working-out-at-home thing (and being able to safely attend some of my favorite workout classes around L.A. once things started to reopen with mask mandates), I never restarted my membership.

Fast-forward almost two years, however, and I started to get a little bored with my daily runs, walks, and at-home barre workouts. I've always loved cycle classes (and literally nothing can compare to the energy and serotonin high of a SoulCycle studio), so when the opportunity arose for me to try its at-home bike for a month while I was home for the holiday season, I couldn't resist. I had been craving a convenient and fun way to spice up my workout routine while simultaneously banishing stress and anxiety, and this felt like a great option. 

Photo:

@erin_jahns

How did you prepare?

As the demand for at-home bikes has increased the past couple of years, I was super worried it would take forever for the bike to be delivered to Arizona, where I was staying with my family for a few months over the holidays. I had heard stories from friends about waiting months and months for their bikes from other brands to arrive. I need not have worried! It was fast and easy to work with their team to pin down a delivery date, and the bike was delivered about two weeks later. (FYI: SoulCycle promises a <3 weeks guaranteed delivery window, and if for some reason there's a delay, they'll give you a complimentary Equinox+ membership for 6 months.)

The delivery team did all of the setup for me—I opted to keep my bike in the garage versus inside—and I was also sent snazzy cycling shoes, a mat, and SoulCycle's quintessential hand weights ahead of time so I would have everything I needed to get started right away. Getting the tablet set up and synced with my Equinox+ app took about half an hour, and then I had free reign of the widescreen tablet, which features a custom-designed sound system for immersive classes. (It's truly the next best thing to being in the actual studio!) You can select “free rides,” which allow you to stream Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime while you do your own thing, or you can choose a class from the app's insanely huge library of rides. (You can choose your ride based on tons of different criteria like class length, instructor, music type, skill level, etc.)

What happened during the whole process?

Every night before bed, I would sit and plan my workout routine for the following day and pencil it into my agenda. I would decide if I wanted to wake up and do a full class in the morning or if I wanted to do something a little more low-key (like a free ride) in the middle of or at the end of the day. Everything else was easy! I'd simply connect my AirPods to the tablet's Bluetooth, put on my Legend 2.0 Cycling Shoes ($215) and workout gear, select the program or streaming service I wanted on the bike, and I was off!

Any challenges?

Zero! From start to finish, the whole process was so seamless. I had one little software glitch when I was setting up the tablet (it simply needed an update), but I received a super-fast reply and resolution from the app's support team via email, so there were no inconveniences or challenges on the technology front.

Initially, I was worried I would get sick of the bike after the first week or so, but I actually experienced the opposite. Starting my day off with an energetic ride or taking a 30-minute break during lunchtime while watching an episode of Emily in Paris made a huge difference in my energy levels and motivation. Now I can see why everyone I know who has some kind of at-home riding situation is so obsessed with their daily practice! I truly looked forward to it each and every day. I can't really imagine my wellness and workout regimen without it. 

Photo:

Courtesy of SoulCycle

Photo:

Courtesy of SoulCycle

Any surprises?

Not really—just how easy to navigate (and use) the app and tablet are. And of course, how much fun I had on the bike and how much I ultimately looked forward to my ride each day.

How did you feel afterward? What kind of changes did you notice?

No matter what's going on in my life, I feel significantly better after a session on the bike. I've always been diligent about having a regular workout routine. Of course, I have times when I'm working out more than others, but even if it's just an hour-long walk, I try to make it a point to get at least 45 minutes of movement in each and every day. If I don't, it really takes a toll on my stress and anxiety levels, and I always feel calmer, more energetic, and overall much healthier when I'm regularly moving my body. Having an enjoyable, positive, and accessible way to squeeze in one of my favorite studio workouts each and every day did amazing things for managing and reducing stress. I don't own a scale, and I try not to focus on my weight or body in regard to how "successful" a workout regimen is, but I definitely felt lighter, tighter, and healthier than I had in months after working the daily rides into my everyday lifestyle. Most days, I would also choose another type of workout (barre, a run, some core, a walk, etc.) to enhance my results even more and to keep my exercise habits well-rounded. 

What did you like about it?

Everything I've explained above! The flexibility of having the bike at home, how fun the classes are, and how it helped me manage my energy and anxiety levels. I loved having access to something in my own home that I used to have to spend time commuting to and from when I was in L.A. The Equinox+ membership (which costs $40 per month) gives members unlimited access to live and on-demand SoulCycle classes on the bike, obviously, but I also love that you have access to classes from other top-tier brands on the Equinox+ app like actual Equinox classes, Rumble, TB12, and more. So you're really getting a lot of bang for your buck, and as someone who gets bored easily, I appreciate all of the options.

Photo:

Courtesy of SoulCycle

Photo:

Courtesy of SoulCycle

What did you dislike?

Nothing! As an editor, I was lucky enough to be able to have a trial with the bike for free (however, I did pay the $40 per month for the Equnox+ app), but the price of the bike normally (though it's an amazing investment and, in my opinion, very worthwhile) is a pretty penny. The SoulCycle At-Home Bike is available for $2500 (including one-to-three-week shipping and handling) with financing options available, making it more accessible to a wider audience (as low as $64/month with 0% APR with 39-month financing).

Objectively, I think the initial sticker shock would be the biggest downside, but then again, when thinking of how much I've spent in the past for gym memberships plus expensive studio classes and/or streaming, it's actually a super-smart and efficient way to invest in your health.

Would you try it again?

A million percent, yes.

Any advice for anyone who's thinking about trying it?

Go for it! I know it's a big investment, but in all honesty, it's more than worth the money thanks to how much use you'll get out of it and how customizable and easy to use it is. Regularly cycling has done amazing things for managing my stress levels and my mental and physical health overall. I can't recommend the SoulCycle At-Home Bike enough. 

Shop all of my favorite workout and wellness essentials