There’s no doubt that home spin classes have exploded in popularity over the past year or so. And I’m going to go ahead and go out on a limb and say that I don’t think the industry will be slowing down anytime soon.
If you’re looking to join in on the fun, the good news is that you have a lot of choices! We all know that Peloton was the first brand to make smart fitness bikes a major household name. But in its footsteps follows some pretty fierce competition.
In this article, I’m addressing a couple of those competitors. Two fitness brands, SoulCycle and MYXfitness vs Peloton are giving them a run for their money and putting their own spin (get it?) on connected indoor cycling.
Both of these brands have a lot to offer, but they’re very different. So let’s dissect these two bikes and let you decide which one is right for you.
SoulCycle Versus MYX II: Key Head-to-Head Information
Variis (Equinox) Mobile App includes spin, strength, yoga, and more
Spin, meditation, strength, yoga, and more **Now with Openfit + BODi (Beachbody) access
$40 per month
$29 per month
Important Similarities and differences
Starting with the obvious, these are both at-home connected spin bikes. Beyond that, these two bikes really don’t have a lot in common - and that’s a good thing! I love that we have the ability to choose the type of experience that we want to have.
Let’s take a look at the key similarities between MYX II and SoulCycle. Both bikes:
Key Similar Attributes
- Includes a 21.5” HD touchscreen.
- Stream workouts from their perspective apps/programming.
- Feature dedicated, experienced instructors.
- Allow you to get a great cardio workout from home.
- Feature a library of cross-training workout options (strength training, cardio, HIIT, mobility, yoga, etc).
Now, onto the differences. This is where you’ll really want to pay attention because not only are there differences in the bike itself, but the experience and workout style between these two are very different.
MYX uses its proprietary heart rate zone tracking system in addition to speed, cadence, and resistance metrics to track and evaluate your workouts. SoulCycle takes a more traditional approach, using just cadence and resistance to gauge your workouts.
MYX takes a holistic approach to overall health and wellness, incorporating mind, body, and spirit into their programming for a wellness from the inside out take on fitness. SoulCycle uses heart-pumping music and high-vibe energy to motivate riders and keep them engaged throughout the workout.
Bike Experience, Resistance, Classes and Screen Differences
SoulCycle’s class experience is all about how you feel via rhythm riding, whereas, MYX takes a scientific approach using your individualized heart rate zones to track your workout and efficiency. With SoulCycle, the experience is more of a cardio dance party where you’ll feel the beat of the music and the energy of a club-like atmosphere. MYX, on the other hand, does have music, but it’s in the background and the vibe is more relaxed, serious, and focused on the work ahead.
The resistance on these bikes is different. SoulCycle’s Variis bike features magnetic resistance where MYX uses friction. The serious cyclist may know and feel the difference between these two types.
Riding in a SoulCycle at home class feels as though you’re sitting front and center in an actual SoulCycle studio. A MYX ride feels more like a one-on-one training session with a personal trainer, a much more individualized approach.
The screen on the MYX bike swivels so that you can workout off the bike and maintain the best viewing angle. SoulCycle’s screen is stationary.
With the MYX II bike, you have the option to wear cycling shoes or regular shoes with the inclusion of double-sided pedals. The Variis bike requires designated cycling shoes which will be an additional expense.
SoulCycle streams live classes in addition to their library of on-demand options. MYX does not do live classes.
What kind of experience are YOU looking for?
After analyzing both bikes, and having personal experience with one of them, it’s clear that both options offer incredible value. The decision then comes down to the experience that each bike offers. Here’s the best way to break it down:
You should consider SoulCycle if you…
- Are a SoulCycle diehard who has been missing in-studio classes. This bike is designed to recreate that exact experience from home.
- Want the option to participate in live classes. UPDATE JULY 2021: MYX also has live classes now.
- Crave the feeling of the energy that comes from a high-intensity cardio dance party.
- Feel best tracking your output based on resistance and cadence.
- Are ok with spending $2500 + on a piece of equipment and an additional $40 per month thereafter.
Go for the MYX II if you…
- Want to cultivate an overall wellness experience that incorporates the mind and the body.
- Like working in a one-on-one setting, just you and your motivational coach.
- Are interested in tracking your workout progress based on your individualized heart rate zone in addition to resistance and cadence.
- Want the option to take scenic rides, watch the news, or fuel your mind while you ride through dedicated chats and programming.
- Have a desire to get a high-quality bike without the steep price tag.
- Plan to use your bike as your complete home gym system, utilizing the swivel screen to complete floor exercises.
- Want to have a complete home gym setup without the hassle and money by purchasing the MYX II Plus with its included weights and equipment.
As someone who has the MYX II system, I may be a little biased. However, I have done a lot of research into the Variis SoulCycle bike, and while it’s certainly impressive, even those who are SoulCycle diehards are finding that it’s lacking in some areas. Considering it’s so new, I have no doubt that the brand will continue to innovate and fine-tune their connected home bike, but in the meantime, it feels like an unnecessary extra expense for some.
If you’ve never taken a spin class before and don’t have any expectations, the MYX II is going to be everything you need and then some. On the other hand, If you’re used to going to SoulCycle classes, you probably aren’t going to be happy with MYX because it’s simply a different experience.I encourage you to take some time to think about what kind of experience you want to have every time you clip in and then analyze both options, taking a look at the specs, reviews, and other online information. And if you decide that neither of these options work, keep digging! I have several other comparison articles that feature other options like Bowflex vs Peloton, or Nordictrack.