Are you serious about starting an indoor cycling studio? We’ve done it. We can help.

Spynergy Studio Curve

Our studio near Boston

9 years ago, in 2005, my sister Alex and I opened Spynergy, the first indoor cycling studio in the Boston area and one of the first in the country.  I was a corporate executive looking for a business I could feel more passion for and my sister was a stay-at-home mom seeking a challenge to put her skills to work.   Today, our Spynergy studio is highly successful and profitable; it has grown every year for 9 years.  We have 50 bikes and run 35-40 classes per week at high occupancy.  Along the way, through a consulting practice, I have also assisted in the startup of over 75 studios in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Asia and Europe.  We feel we know better than anyone how to create a successful, unique, community-oriented cycling fitness studio.

CycleBar Logo #1In the fall of 2014, we begin a new chapter.  Spynergy will be changing its name to CycleBar! We will be offering the same great cycling experience and an opportunity for you to own a turnkey cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar franchisees will get a highly refined cycling studio solution with professional support from top to bottom! Right now, however, CycleBar franchises are not quite yet offered or available for sale. We are currently in the “paperwork process” gathering and completing all the necessary information for proper franchise registration so until that time, we cannot provide detailed information to prospective franchisees.  Feel free to contact us, however, and to get put on our waiting list! Once it is appropriate to do so we will tell you all the details about this new opportunity.

Here are a few articles you may find interesting….to get you started.

Articles beneath here date back a few years and appear chronologically (most recent first).  You can also navigate to articles of interest by checking the “Categories” listed in the right hand side of this page.

Would you like to connect?  Click Here to schedule a phone chat at your convenience.

Bill Pryor,   781-254-3677  (call anytime)
bill@cyclebar.com
www.cyclebar.com

 

 

 

 

Dedicated indoor cycling and Official Spin® studios, a market on the rise.

Indoor cycling classes are one of the top group exercises in North America and around the world for good reason.  When they’re done right, these classes are tremendously effective workouts that can thrill and inspire.  Historically, they have been done in large multi-purpose fitness facilities,  the exciting news we have discovered is that independent cycling studios are on the rise!  In the last 2 years,  the business model has come of age.

Late last year, Spynergy Consulting completed a comprehensive review of independent cycling studios in North America*.  How many indoor cycling studios or spin studios are there in the US and Canada?  A relatively small amount, but the number is growing.  Our estimate is that there are less than 350 dedicated cycling or SPIN® studios in North America, but over 100 of those have been launched in the last 12 months alone, and dozens more are in the works.  Compare this to yoga where there are between 7,000 and 9,000 studios, and we believe there continues to be huge potential here for the committed entrepreneur.

*For the purposes of this analysis we have defined a “Dedicated Indoor Cycling Studio” as a facility where group cycling classes are the primary activity.   Some of these studios also offer other classes (yoga, zumba, pilates, etc.), but their primary activity is indoor cycling or SPINNING®.   I have not included group cycle-training programs inside retail stores or other facilities.

Here is a summary of key findings about the dedicated cycling studio marketplace  (remember, this data does not include cycling and SPIN® programs being conducted at multi-purpose fitness centers and health clubs).

  • While the number of cycling studios is growing, it is still on a very small base.  Spynergy Consulting estimates there are just under 350 dedicated cycling studios in the US and Canada
  • California has the most studios, followed by New York, New Jersey and Florida (note: yes, these studios can do well in “warm weather” states).
  • Other states with 5 or more studios identified include Massachusetts,  Minnesota, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Texas
  • Our review indicates 21 states where there is no identifiable, dedicated indoor cycling studio.
  • Significant cities where we could not identify a single studio:   Cleveland, Sacramento,  Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Jose, Memphis, Hartford.  New Orleans

There are two major national cycling studio chains:  Soul Cycle and FlyWheel.  These are privately held NY-based companies that do not make franchises available.  In the fall of 2014, the first cycling studio franchise company CycleBar will debut with a turnkey indoor cycling studio business franchise.  Note:  CycleBar is a company started by Spynergy that is based on the operating practices of Spynergy studios.

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us. 

Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

 

6 Reasons a dedicated studio can “outSPIN®” big health clubs

We launched our first studio in 2005 and have had 9 consecutive years of growth in attendance, revenue and profit.   How is that possible when we have a ’boutique’, pay-per class offering, and big health clubs nearby offer cycling classes or Spin® classes as part of their low-cost membership?   A cycling studio, done well, is a classic “niche” business.  The good ones create a unique, effective, entertaining fitness experience that health clubs don’t.  They work for a few reasons:

1) Focussed Mission. A dedicated studio pays attention to the details and focuses on one thing:  the best  classes possible.  Equipment, sound system, decor, amenities, teachers………are the best available.

2) Convenience.  A studio is single purpose, “in and out”, simple, easy to reserve, easy to purchase, easy to participate.

3) Flexible payment / no membership commitment.  In a studio, you can pay-per-class and when you don’t attend….you don’t pay.  People are increasingly turning to “best of breed”  fitness offerings from boutique studios and don’t want to be locked-in to long term memberships.

4) Customer experience. No waiting in lines, no getting “shut out”, no calling the night before to reserve.  You can easily reserve online, show up 2 minutes before the class, and enjoy!  The environment is comfortable.

5) Community. A small intimate studio encourages sharing and interaction amongst students if they so desire.  Instructors and students interact to optimize fitness, growth and enjoyment.

6) The little things matter. Quality sound, outstanding teachers, attention to detail, lighting, mirrors, equipment, announcing schedule changes and subs, personal touches, amenities

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the waiting list to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us. 

Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

 

Opening a cycling studio: The big question

If you talk to your friends or family (or a lender) about the idea of a dedicated cycling studio, something comes up that I call The Big Question.   If you want to start a studio you better learn to answer it crisply, because everyone’s going to ask you, and it strikes at the core of the viability of this business.

“…Why will people pay-per-class for spin classes when they can join a nice big gym and get unlimited spin (indoor cycling) and other cool stuff along with their membership?….”

OK, there are several ways to answer this.  If you want to be a bit fresh, you can answer a question with a question:  Why are there a growing number of highly successful cycling studios around the country that are right near big gyms?  Or Why are there THOUSANDS of successful yoga studios when you can do yoga in almost every big gym?

But actually, you can answer the question by citing several of the specific reasons people like (and will pay) to attend a well-run niche cycling studio:

  • the creation of a powerful and inspirational fitness experience (as opposed to just a workout) is something people love
  • the convenience of an online reservation and purchasing system
  • the ability to get in and out of a class without waiting or stressing
  • the flexibility of “pay-per-class” options and not having to “join”
  • the feeling of intimacy and community in a small studio
  • the attention to quality and detail that a studio provides in every aspect both in and out of the class

These are the things people want and these are the things consumers have demonstrated they will pay for. (Just look at Soul Cycle).

Yes, a studio can be more expensive but the reality is that the studio experience is often a much better VALUE.   You can buy coffee at the gas station for 79 cents but people routinely go to coffee shops and pay $3 because the experience and the product are better.  It is no different for a cycling studio.

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us. 

Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1


 

 

 

Spin® studio franchise or Cycling studio franchise

If you would like to open an indoor cycling studio, now is a great time to start thinking about it!  The “buzz” is great for these businesses because quite simply people love them! If you are interested in a cycling studio franchise opportunity there is some really great news!

CycleBar Logo #1This Fall — a turnkey cycling studio franchise opportunity will be available.  The very first cycling studio franchise is called CycleBar.  CycleBar  is using the model pioneered by Spynergy and Spynergy Consulting  so you can have a state-of-the-art indoor cycling studio in your community.

Right now, however, CycleBar franchises are not quite yet offered or available for sale. We are currently in the “paperwork process” gathering and completing all the necessary information for proper franchise registration so until that time, we cannot provide detailed information to prospective franchisees.  Feel free to contact us, however, and to get put on our waiting list! Once it is appropriate to do so we will tell you all the details about this new opportunity.  Also, keep up with us by viewing progress at the CycleBar website.

Note: Soul Cycle and Flywheel are not franchises.  They are corporate entities that own and operate their own studios, they will not part with their brands and do not franchise. 

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the waiting list to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us. 

Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1


 

 

 

What makes the “wheel go round” for a studio business? INSTRUCTORS

 Lot’s of talk about technology lately — but let’s not forget what is STILL, the fundamental attraction of successful studios:  a gifted instructor that uses unique energy and the power of music to create an exhilarating experience in the studio. 

Katie 3_Spynergy_Portraits_161Earlier this week, I was powerfully reminded of the importance of instructors.  I took off my instructor/studio owner hat and became a student….a class attendee.  I went to the brand new FlyWheel and Soul Cycle — both in the Boston area.  Both had uber-trendy decor, both had custom-made bikes, both had great sound systems and cool lighting, one had ‘power-metrics’, one had free shoes……guess which class I liked better?

THE ONE WITH THE BETTER INSTRUCTOR…..PERIOD.

In the final analysis, it’s about instructors.  All the rest is trappings.  If you ask 100 hard core Spinners / Indoor cyclists what’s the most important thing about the experience — 98 of them will tell you the instructors.  Which would you rather attend?  A rundown studio with a fantastic instructor, or a state-Harry Victory_Spynergy_Portraits_912of-the-art facility with a boring / annoying instructor?  You’re not alone.

Nature or Nurture?  Are great instructors born or made?  In my opinion its 80% nature.  The ability to capture a roomful of people using the power of your personality — and to truly engage and motivate them…..is an ability one is born with.  Yes, you can hone that skill and improve it through practice and training, that’s the other 20%.   If you believe this, the challenge for a studio owner is primarily hiring and retaining great instructors.  Training is important, but useless if you’ve hired the wrong people.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll look at all the fancy bells and whistles at IHRSA — and I’m curious what the latest products and technologies are, but when push comes to shove the secret to getting ‘butts into seats’ is only a little bit about the products….it’s a LOT about the people.

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us or visit our evolving website.
Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

Cycling Studio Trend: Peformance metrics as one way to differentiate and build loyal client base

Summary:  Indoor cycling studios are opening at an increasing pace,  and studio owners are looking for innovative ways to differentiate themselves and to motivate clients.  In that effort, many are choosing to add “performance metrics technology” where clients can view, save and track workout performance data.

yin yang imageLast year, we posted an article in the Spynergy Consulting blog on the “Yin” and “Yang” of indoor cycling experiences.  “Yin” classes as exemplified by studios like JoyRide, Spynergy and Soul Cycle, stress the immersive, escapist experience that can be created using music, lighting and talented energetic instructors.   “Yang” classes, as exemplified by studios like Full Psycle and FlyWheel  use some of those same elements but also stress performance data as a key element in class construction.   Both kinds of studios have been successful but recent technical developments have led a number of startups to take a hard look at integrating performance data in some way to their business.

In a number of cases, the use of performance metrics is changing the face of the traditional indoor cycling or Spin® class.  Outdoor cyclists have long had access  tools like Computrainers to allow them to measure and analyze their efforts, but for indoor cycling  classes, the introduction of this kinds of technology is a recent phenomenon that is picking up steam.  Many new studio entrepreneurs are building some form of performance metrics into their cycling studio model and many of the early adopters feel it is a differentiator and selling point that helps their business.

What really is “performance metrics” as it pertains to a cycling class?  The major bike manufacturers all offer consoles or metrics capabilities as a built in feature or as an add-on option.  These consoles measure, present and track a few different kinds of data:  Cadence, Heart Rate, Power (watt) output, Calories burned, and mileage.  This information can be viewed in several ways

1)    On-the-bike….so each rider can see real time data and instructors can refer to the data and coach/teach using the info

2)    In front of the class….so class participants can see their own information as well as data on fellow class mates

3)    After the class (data tracking)….performance data can be stored online so riders can view and compare historic performances including some interesting stats like average and maximum power/HR and power per pound of body weight.

Different studio owners are deploying this in different ways depending on their vision and their clientele.  Some use it only in select classes, others make it an integral part of each class.   We have spent considerable time getting up to speed on the technologies and issues that enable all this.  It’s getting better all the time!

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us or visit our evolving website.
Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

 

Start-up Cycling studios are growing — Challenges to startup

Spynergy Consulting clients in the last 5 months have signed leases or opened in New Jersey (2), St. Louis, Portsmouth, Oakland, Princeton, San Francisco, Birmingham, Brooklyn, Portland (Oregon AND Maine), Long Island, Sydney, Richmond, Montauk, Columbus, and Worcester……..what about your town?  Each of these entrepreneurs is embarking on a life-changing adventure, and each has a chance…with hard work, to create a profitable, fun and rewarding business.     

Indoor cycling and Spin® studios are here to stay!  All market indicators are up.  That being said — like any business, there are challenges to getting started, and signficant work to be done.

 

1) Planning.  It is important to get your arms around a) the investment, b) the income potential, c) the timing, and d) the key things that need to be done to make the business successful.

 

2) A Vision for your studio.  Successful studios create an experience in each class.  There is no one right answer and different studios create very different experiences.  What is your vision?  Ideally it should be unique based on your area, your clientele and your own unique approach.   

 

target

3) Location, Location, Location.   Our clients have launched over 60 studios in the past few years.  If you asked them all the toughest part?  Here would be the answer: “finding a the right location at the right price and building out the space”.  This more than ANYTHING is what can delay your startup, and is also where you may need professional help

 

4) Marketing, Marketing, Marketing.

Other than choosing the wrong location a key mistake made by startups is NOT TAKING MARKETING SERIOUSLY…..You need to spend time AND money on marketing.  If you aren’t good yourself, then outsource it.
5) Instructors, Instructors, Instructors.  Seriously, let’s not over complicate what makes a studio successful.  I wrote a blog post in 2010 on this topic and it is just as true today:  People come back to cycling studios because of instructors.  Bikes, studio decor and amenities are nice….but without top instructors your studio will struggle.  You know it in your gut….don’t forget it.
Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us or visit our evolving website.
Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

 

5 new cycling studios just opened their doors!

Spnergy Consulting has worked on dozens of studio startups over the past few years…here are a few recent ones!  Visit their sites (and their studios!)…..wishing them the best of luck! 

Ultimate Cycling, near St. Louis

     Stuart and his wife open for business December 9th!  Equipment includes Schwinn Bikes, Performance IQ.  Spynergy business plan delivered early August, we also provided operating manual and studio set-up consulting.  Ultimate Cyclng stresses the class experience,  “green” policies and technology as they build their studio brand.
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Wired Cycling, Washington DC

    Leticia is a superstar instructor who is also offering here own Wired Cycling instructor  certifications.  Her 25 bike studio opens in early January, their tagline is:  Cycling. Training. Seriously   Spynergy began working with Wired in January of 2013 and provided business planning and operations consulting.
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  Ride Revolution, Northern New Jersey

   Stephanie contacted Spynergy in January of 2013, so the journey was 10 months.  Studio offers a range of classes from 45 to 60 minutes, Schwinn bikes, Performance IQ, and a 10-class rate of $210.  Ride Revolution tagline is Reach Your Own Peak.

 

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Burn Cycle, Portland

   Jessi was a busy lady….she had a baby a month before the studio opened….WOW.  Their 10-class is $165 and they have a couple of great taglines:  Cycling for Every Body and Welcome to the Pack, Let’s Ride! 20 bikes, nice branding effort.  Launched in early fall, is now adding bikes and classes.

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Evolution ByCycle, New Jersey

   Alison got moving in earnest with a Spynergy project in April.  The studio is one week old and working out the bugs.  She loves her Schwinn bikes and will implement Performance IQ later.   10-class pack is $145.  Tagline:  Believe.  Achieve.  Evolve.
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Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us or visit our evolving website.
Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1

Survey of cycling studio and Spin® studio owners

wheel imageHow are cycling studios doing?   Spynergy Consulting has aided close to 80 cycling studio startups in the past 2 years.  Recently, we conducted a survey of independent cycling (and Spin) studio owners who have actually opened their doors.  43 owners responded to a variety of questions about the startup process and their business issues.

General Highlights

  • Half the studios are less than 2 years old, half are older than 2 years
  • Most important “success factors” noted by owners: Instructors and Location
  • Most effective marketing:  1) Search engine findability, 2) Social media, 3) Groupon, etc.

Question was asked:  Do you have a non-spin secondary offering?

  • 70% are Cycling only, 30% have a secondary offering (barre, core, yoga, etc.).       Note:  5 of the top 6 studios in terms of revenue were cycling-only.

Question was asked:  How’s the studio doing financially? 

Highly profitable / above expectations:       9.5%
Profitable / per expectation                             19%
Breaking even / optimistic                                39%
Unprofitable / optimistic                                  25%
Unprofitable / concerned                                  7%
Note:  This is existing studios.  In a separate analysis, Spynergy Consulting discovered a 17% failure rate amongst studio startups within 2 years.

Question was asked:  What have been your major challenges?

” getting the word out is harder than expected ”
” runaway startup costs ”
” finding great instructors ”
” competition from cheaper alternatives  or the big guys ”

Question was asked:  Are you having fun?
YES:   84%
NO:  16%

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 75 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar, that is the first indoor cycling studio franchise company.  Starting this Fall, CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.  To get on the mail list and to learn more about CycleBar feel free to contact us or visit our evolving website.
Bill Pryor
781-254-3677  
bill@cyclebar.com

CycleBar Logo #1