If you’ve wandered down the High Line in Hudson Yards and peeked in the high-rise windows of the rich and fancy (or simply peered into the garage of your neighbor with a tech job), chances are you’ve spotted those pricey, powerful, pretty Peloton bikes. There’s no doubt that the status exercise bikes have become nothing short of a home fitness phenomenon in recent years; despite that one really cringe commercial, the bikes have become a must-have for the fitness-conscious who have the money (and space) to bring one home. A new Peloton bike starts at a hefty $1,445, and you’ll pay up to $2,875 for the most deluxe packages. But in the world of stationary bikes, a new status bike is here—and she’s even pricier. We’re talking about the Carol Bike 2.0.
The price for one of these suckers starts at $2,595—nearly twice that of a Peloton. But there’s powerful tech built into these machines that are meant to justify the price tag. The Carol Bike is a smart exercise machine that uses ~*artificial intelligence~* to personalize your experience with optimal resistance training (aka an auto-adjusting feature to keep your ride challenging, but within your capabilities for optimal fitness results) and a range of short workouts. It features Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT), which is a signature workout that Carol claims offers double the health benefits of traditional home cycling machines; according to the brand, the signature REHIT workout, which can be completed in just five minutes, offers similar health benefits to that of a 45-minute run. That’s right—the bike’s creators say that it’s worth every penny because you’ll get maximum results out of the shortest workout possible. A study by Western Colorado University that included 32 participants, found that users can burn more calories during a 15-minute ride on the machine than on a 30-minute run. So, how’s its actual performance? Users have given the bike a 4.7-out-of-five star rating for whipping them into shape. “It’s easy to fit a quick five-minute workout in, especially if you don’t need to shower after your workout!” one hygiene-averse reviewer said on the company’s website.
More specs: the bike features handlebars with five grip positions, a wearable heart rate monitor to track performance, an 11” touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to pair with your Apple watch and apps including Netflix and YouTube—even Peloton, its arch nemesis. Commitment-phobes rejoice, because a membership is free for the first three months to see if it’s a fit. If you decide to go all in, keep the bike, and continue your membership, you get that fancy AI-optimization that calculates your optimal resistance, 18 workouts and fitness tests, and a personalized dashboard with performance metrics for easy tracking—all for $15 per month. But, of course, that’s on top of the initial investment in the bike.
It’s also a visually impressive piece of equipment—compact, but sleek, and check out that spinner in the back. I would have put my Hokas runners in storage and invited Carol over instead, but it’s a no-go for my budget. I can buy hundreds of bottles of pumpkin lube for that kind of moola. But, it does sound like something special—who wouldn’t want to workout for just five minutes a day and see a difference?
Now, go rub elbows with old money and work those quads, you fit king.
The Carol Bike is available at carolbike.com.
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