- Courtesy of SoulCycle
SoulCycle’s cofounders are leaving their positions at the brand.
Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice “have resigned as co-chief creative officers to ‘pursue new projects,'” SoulCycle confirmed to Business Insider.
It added that “they will continue to serve on the board to support the long-term vision of SoulCycle. We are forever grateful to Elizabeth and Julie for creating this incredible company.”
The pair founded SoulCycle a decade ago with one studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York.
The brand filed to go public in July, but gym brand Equinox owns a 97% stake.
The brand is planning an expansion into new studios and at-home cycling workouts.
With each class costing $34 and no unlimited-membership option, SoulCycle can get pricey. SoulCycle is also known for its famously loyal clients who sign up for the week’s classes at noon on the dot each Monday.
SoulCycle has also come under fire for being elitist with its famous front-row policy that forbids new riders from riding a bike in the front of the studio. Experts have called the safety of the classes’ “dance” routines on the bike into question.
In 2011, James S. Fell gave SoulCycle “a failing grade for exercise physiology and biomechanics” in an article in the Los Angeles Times. He pointed out that neither Cutler nor Rice had a background in exercises science or any indoor-cycling certifications then.
SoulCycle’s third founder, Ruth Zukerman, left the brand and started a major competitor called Flywheel. Zukerman told Business Insider that Flywheel was meant to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
“We have created a very kind of supportive and encouraging community of people where it’s not about who’s prettier or who has more jewelry or who has the better workout outfit,” Zukerman told Business Insider last year, ostensibly alluding to SoulCycle’s famously wealthy clientele.
Recently, Flywheel announced huge expansion plans.
Many cycling studios are vying to capture people who are interested in indoor cycling, but SoulCycle is still the undisputed leader. SoulCycle is so popular it is embedded into pop culture; “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” went so far to parody its guru-like instructors.
“There is really something about putting people in the dark, letting their endorphins flow, playing loud music – we call it the perfect storm,” Rice told The New York Times.
“We founded SoulCycle ten years ago with a mission to create happiness and empowerment through exercise. To see what SoulCycle has become, the community it created and serves, and the positive impact its had on the lives of our riders and our staff has been humbling,” Cutler and Rice told Business Insider.
“Like all entrepreneurs, our passion is to create, and that is what we are making the space to do today. As board members and as riders we remain committed to seeing SoulCycle succeed.”