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SoulCycle competitor Flywheel files for bankruptcy

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

BOSTON - JANUARY 17: Flywheel Sports - Dedicated fitness buffs power through a spin class taught by Jon Malone, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 at Flywheel Sports in Boston, Mass. Flywheel Sports is one of the new breed of boutique spin studios that is currently invading Boston. (Photo by Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Flywheel, a SoulCycle and Peloton competitor, has filed for bankruptcy as the pandemic continues to devastate the boutique fitness industry.

New York (CNN Business)Flywheel, a SoulCycle and Peloton competitor, has filed for bankruptcy as the pandemic continues to devastate the boutique fitness industry.

Its parent company filed for Chapter 7 in New York late Monday, signaling that it is likely liquidating and permanently closing its remaining studios.

Peloton sued Flywheel in September 2018, alleging the smaller company copied the technology used to create its in-home bikes and the leaderboard that lets customers race against each other.

The decision made Flywheel's at-home bikes unusable, with Peloton offering its own bikes to Flywheel's customers.

In summer 2019, Flywheel permanently closed about a dozen of its studios.

And in February 2020, Flywheel was forced to shut down the virtual classes that were connected to its in-home stationary bikes because of the two-year legal battle with Peloton over patent infringement.

Weeks later, the pandemic stuck and forced Flywheel to temporarily close all its studios.

Flywheel had recently begun offering classes in two cities (Hamptons, New York and Miami, Florida), but those are no longer bookable, according to its website.

Without studios or an at-home bike, there isn't a strong path forward for Flywheel.

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