EQUINOX’S PURSUIT: When you think spin, you think SoulCyle, Flywheeel or 10s of other high-end boutique brands, but Equinox is trying to change that.

In an effort to compete with its rivals, the upscale fitness chain, which happens to own SoulCycle, is rolling out a new class called The Pursuit. It competes more directly with spin studios like Flywheel, Peleton and Swerve to monitor performance.

At Equinox, The Pursuit uses technology that was developed in-house to measures riders’ performance, while incorporating gaming data.

The fitness club has accomplished that by wiring the same Schwinn stationary bikes it uses in its current classes to track distance, wattage and speed via a leaderboard. That data is measured and projected on a screen behind the instructor’s bike during the class. If it sounds a bit like what’s already on the market, it sort of is, except at Equinox, each bike is represented on the screen by a gear icon with a bike number. Using those icons, riders take part in games in teams and individually.

Last week, the gym opened its doors to select editors and fitness gurus. The class began with a sort of virtual reality ride through a projected image of a dark tunnel, and progressed into a high-intensity cardio session filled with races. The final 10-minute race took place on a virtual track, in which riders were broken up into three groups, which represented by gear icons that slowly spun their way to the finish line.

The Pursuit, which has a strength class called Build and a HIIT class called Burn, will roll out in clubs in New York and Los Angeles in mid-December, followed by regional clubs in early 2015.

 

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