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SoulCycle Photo by Alli Harvey/Getty Images for Spotify
SoulCycle's heart is still cycling, but it has been expanding into non-cycling offerings to allow its riders cross training options.

SoulCycle Opens Non-Cycling Concept, Expands Pop-up Offerings

SoulCycle opens SoulAnnex, the first of what CEO Melanie Whelan reveals is the company's plan to expand beyond cycling classes

SoulCycle isn't just about cycling anymore. In October, the New York-based company opened SoulAnnex, its new studio concept that steps away from cycling. But the company also has been opening pop-up locations of its cycling concept in various markets throughout the year.

The SoulAnnex concept opened in Manhattan and offers non-cycling classes that incorporate HIIT, yoga and meditation practices. Classes include Cardio Kombat, an MMA-style class; housework, a combination Pilates and high-intensity strength training class with cardio; and Le Stretch, a 50-minute mat class focused on mobility and flexibility.

SoulAnnex may just be the first of several changes from the 11-year-old brand with 82 studios in 15 markets, Melanie Whelan, SoulCycle CEO, told Vanity Fair in a November article. The idea for SoulAnnex stemmed from requests from long-time riders who wanted new challenges and more options from the brand. Research by SoulCycle showed that the brand's riders also took yoga, Pilates and boot camp classes.  

This location has served as a testing ground for the concept, she said.

"What I’ve been surprised about—we knew that people wanted to move and we knew that they would want to define—but the demand for the Align classes and the active recovery," Whelan told Vanity Fair. "Busy New Yorkers want to figure out how to recover both their minds and their bodies, which to me is a really exciting trend."

She noted that future changes could include hybrid cycling and strength classes as well as SoulCycle bikes sold to the home market.

In addition to SoulAnnex, the company is running pop-up locations, which it calls Destination SOUL, in collaboration with smartwater, according to a media release from SoulCycle. In August, the brand hosted a pop-up location on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. This December, the company will host pop-up studios in Aspen, Colorado, and Palm Beach, Florida. The brand does not have studios in any of these cities. The Aspen pop-up, which will have 58 bikes, will run from Dec. 21-Jan. 1 while the Palm Beach pop-up will run from Dec. 15-Jan. 1.

In early 2016, SoulCycle partnered with Target to offer complimentary 45-minute classes over three days in 10 cities: Washington, DC; Houston; Seattle; Atlanta; Nashville; Denver; Miami; Chicago; Minneapolis and Los Angeles.

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