Category Archives: Cycling Studio Trends

national and international trends and ideas for dedicated cycling and spin studios

Dedicated indoor cycling 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 3 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 are there in the US and Canada?  A relatively small amount, but the number is growing.  Our estimate is that there are less than 625 dedicated  studios in North America, but over 200 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 625 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).

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 January of 2015,  the first cycling studio franchise company CycleBar launched with a turnkey indoor cycling studio business franchise.  .

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

Bill Pryor
bill@cyclebar.com
wellesley.cyclebar.com

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Spin®, Spinner®, and Spinning® are registered trademarks of Maddog Athletics

7 Reasons to Consider a CycleBar Franchise

If you’ve found this blog, you’ve probably already noticed that there is something highly appealing about the indoor cycling studio model.  Maybe you’ve read the national media coverage of Soul Cycle or FlyWheel*, or maybe you’ve just visited a great cycling studio and had the “experience”.Harry Victory_Spynergy_Portraits_912

We’ve owned a highly successful studio that is having it’s 10-year birthday this year….and we’ve spent the last 14 months building a national infrastructure to create massive differentiation and winning systems in the marketplace.  If you want to bring this amazing model to your city or community, here are some reasons to consider franchising CycleBar.

  1. The CycleBar model is based on proven best practices of an existing studio, with an extremely successful track record.
  2.  You can view an overview of startup costs as well as a detailed financial history and operating history.
  3. CycleBar has pre-negotiated best prices on key equipment and systems  (bikes, sound system, online booking, website, etc)
  4. You instantly inherit a professionally developed website, Smartphone App and brand that is market tested and proven.
  5. CycleBar franchisees will have access to a Grand Opening marketing strategy has been developed and field-tested.
  6. A well-executed indoor cycling studio is a very profitable, high-margin business that is also relatively straightforward to operate. There is no direct sales, no billing, very little staff and 90% of customers transactions are automated through online systems.
  7. The business is fun!  People rave about the unique experience, while at the same time getting fit.  Clients become passionate advocates, and the studio creates a unique, committed community.

*Soul Cycle and FlyWheel do not franchise, CycleBar is the first and only dedicated indoor cycling studio franchise.

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.;;

Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

Bill Pryor
bill@cyclebar.com

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Cycling Studio Franchise….Ready Now!

Finally….a ‘state of the art ‘ cycling studio franchise so you can smoothly bring this amazing business model to your community.

As you probably know, I have posted extensively on the amazing growth of cycling studios over the past 5 years.  I own and operate my own studios and I have also worked with dozens of entrepreneurs as they faced the challenges of starting a business.  It ain’t easy.  I believe the franchise model, done right, will ease the process of getting a studio going by addressing some of the main challenges startups have to face: .
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  • Creating an awesome experience.  The Big Guys have ‘raised the bar’.  Expectations around the cycling studio experience are high because of the national chains.  We strongly believe in the power of local community studios.  They can thrive if they provide an awesome experience.  There needs to be a crisp strategy here. 
  • Real Estate.  Selecting and securing the right location, both demographically and physically is a significant challenge requiring a special expertise.
  • Marketing and branding.  For many startups, this is a neglected area and it is absolutely critical especially in the early months.  The “if you build it, they will come” marketing strategy simply does not cut it.
  • Instructors.  These are the lifeblood of a cycling studio and there needs to be a clearcut plan for recruiting, training, compensating, and securing the best.
Our plan with CycleBar, is to provide a solution that addresses these critical challenges as well as many others that you will encounter during the building of your cycling studio business.
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Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.
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Spin® studio franchise or Cycling studio franchise

If you would like to open an indoor cycling studio, now is a great time.  The buzz is great for this boutique fitness model, people love them!  One option is to “go it alone” (this is a tough road, with lots of potholes)……The other option is to consider a franchise.

Soul Cycle franchise?  No such thing.  FlyWheel franchise?  No such thing.  Soul Cycle and FlyWheel don’t franchise*.  But, if you are interested in an amazing cycling studio business opportunity there is some really great news!

CycleBar Logo #1Finally — a turnkey cycling studio franchise opportunity is available.  The very first cycling studio franchise is called CycleBar.  CycleBar  is using the model pioneered over the past 10 years by Spynergy and Spynergy Consulting  so you can have a state-of-the-art indoor cycling studio in your community.

The formal offering is now available!

*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 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

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

CycleBar Logo #1

Spin®, Spinner®, and Spinning® are registered trademarks of Maddog Athletics 

 

 

 

 

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 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. (Note:  the new CycleBar Franchise has elements of both Yin and Yang in their classes)

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.  CycleBar offers a unique approach in this area and has a custom performance metrics system in it’s studio offering.  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 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

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

CycleBar Logo #1

 

 

 

Start-up Cycling studios are growing — Challenges to startup

Spynergy Consulting has helped dozens of entrepreneurs launch studios in the past 5 years.  Some have done well, others have struggled….one of the reasons we have embarked on our new franchise company: CycleBar, is because the franchise option addresses many of the kay challenges you see outlined below. 

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.   

 

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3) Location, Location, Location.   Our clients have launched over 80 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 (especially on Grand Opening).   If you aren’t good yourself, then outsource it.   By marketing I mean creating a ‘brand’ that is embodied in all you do….and a specific tactical plan to communicate that brand and its related elements.
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.
The brand new CycleBar franchise specifically addresses each of these challenges with tested solutions in its offering.
Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

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 over 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:  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 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

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

CycleBar Logo #1

 

 

IHRSA 2013 — Spinning® and Indoor Cycling

Las Vegas was………well, Las Vegas.  A bizarre, but somehow mesmerizing piece of America, right?  I walked for miles but never touched fresh air for two and a half days during IHRSA.  What a country.

No question that the “buzz” around cycling studios is accelerating.  I met with no fewer than 6 studio entrepreneurs at various points during the trade show, and the bike-makers confirmed that the steady stream of inquiries continues to grow.    IHRSA is a useful event to visit.  Only a small percent of the exhibit is indoor cycling related — but it’s all the latest stuff.  Here are some quick observations.

Schwinn AC Handlebars

While there were 9 or 10 indoor cycling bikes being shown in some way at IHRSA, there are really only 5 that I have seen cycling studio entrepreneurs show significant interest in:  Schwinn, StarTrac, Keiser, Freemotion and RealRyder.

Might there be others that would be suited to a new studio?  Maybe.   But for studio owners who’s concerns are durability, reliability and broad appeal….these are the bikes that seem to come up again and again.  I believe that for a studio….it’s much more about instructors than it is about bikes — so don’t get TOO obsessed about picking your brand.  That being said, here are some quick hits from IHRSA:

  • Schwinn AC Performance bike has comfiest handlebars ever, magnetic resistance which many are now loving, a cool white look, and as of this summer sometime a new wired console that will eliminate battery and other issues in the earlier console.
  • Freemotion S119

    StarTrac finally introduces power console on the Blade Ion.  It’s  simple and elegant to read (and powered by the bike!)….and is available June-ish.  Looks good in demos, but we need to see it “out there” in the real world for a while.  Console not available on lower priced models.

  • Keiser was the original bike with consoles to show power, and are still the only bike with an objective resistance number.  They’re “bike in the rear” design is unique, but nothing new announced at IHRSA.
  • Freemotion is a stylish bike with some cool touches such as the elegant mechanisms for tightening seat and handlebar adjustments.  Magnetic resistance and power console have been key parts of their offering from the beginning.  They also have that cool new Tour de France bike (more on that later).
  • RealRyder continues to pop up in studios as a unique alternative to stationery bikes.

StarTrac Trio Pedals

Other “stuff” we found interesting.

  • StarTrac has a new “Trio” pedal that can fit on any IC bike.  The Trio accepts Look or SPD clips and also has toe clips.  Best, there is an amazingly easy mechanism for changing out the toe clip by hand.
  • Performance IQ  has systems to project power or heartrate data in your studio and they work with ANT consoles that are (or will be) on Schwinn, StarTrac, Keiser and Freemotion bikes.  Still the best and only solution for those wanting to create the FlyWheel-type experience.
  • Wexer is a company that seems to have a strong lineup of video content to rival the higher priced MyRide offerings.  This kind of on demand video content has yet to break-into the US market as it apparently has in Europe, but at this price point it may be an option to consider.

We also made sure we got a chance to speak with the suppliers who can help studios get the best sound systems, flooring, insurance, supplies, lighting, online booking and other services.  These may not be the sexiest parts of your studio, but they are important to your overall business and financial success.

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.
Bill Pryor, CEO
bill@cyclebar.com
781-254-3677
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Flywheel and Soul Cycle are good for the cycling studio business

For many years, cycling studios and official SPIN®  studios, a relatively rare phenomena,  have flown “under the radar”.   There are some awesome and successful studios, but most communities are not familiar with them and the basic concept has been largely unknown.   No longer.

Two high-profile New York studios: Soul Cycle and Flywheel have recently received significant national press. Soul Cycle was acquired by national chain Equinox, and Flywheel has partnered with investors who have announced aggressive expansion plans throughout the U.S.

If you are a studio owner, or contemplating a studio in your area….this is good news!  Actually, let me correct myself….this is great news.  Here’s why.

1)   It helps legitimize the concept of a stand-alone cycling studio.  This is important if you are trying to raise money for your studio, or convince a landlord of the viability of the business.

2)   Their presence expands the market.  The more people that hear about indoor cycling studios….the better.  Cycling studios don’t just steal riders from health clubs they expand the market and make the workout available to a broader audience.  Their existence creates broad awareness that is helpful to all.

3)  It’s a cliche and it’s true.  Competition is good.  It makes us all better.  Knowing they are expanding makes studio owners evaluate how to do things better and secure their local position.

Would I want a Soul Cycle or a Flywheel to open across the street from my studio?  No, of course not.  But there are thousands of communities in the US (and abroad) that could support cycling studios…..and the more they open, the more the tide rises for the rest of us.

At the end of the day, cycling studios are not Starbucks, which serves up an identical product in every store you go into.   What we’ve learned at our Boston, Detroit and Cincinnati studios studio is that cycling studios are true local businesses that ultimately thrive on three things:  A) The creation of an awesome fitness experience, B) Talented, committed instructors, C)  The building of a vibrant community, and D) Smart local marketing deep into a community or neighborhood.

Net, net?  There is plenty of room in the market for Soul Cycle,  Flywheel, and also for talented entrepreneurs to build new, compelling cycling studios.   There are a few hundred cycling studios around the world right now, let’s not worry about market saturation until there are 10,000 (like there are in yoga).

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.
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Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here
 to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.


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

CycleBar Logo #1

Cycling Studio / Spin® Studio market research – survey results

In January of 2013 we surveyed attendees of our 50-bike, 7 year old cycling studio to learn more about our customers.  If you are starting a studio, you will find some of their answers interesting as you assess the viability of a studio in your area.  The survey was sent to over 2000 recent visitors and we received a 39% response rate….VERY project-able.  There are many pages of data and verbatim comments from the research….here are a few highlights.

Class attendance:
–  23% ride 3 or more times per week
–  51% ride one or two times per week
note:  these groups are critical and represent the lion’s share of ridership….but  one-quarter of our attendance are infrequent visitors (they add up over time!)

Geographic factors
– 55% of attendees live within 5 miles of studio
– 76% of attendees  that come 3 or more times a week live within 5 miles
note:  the folks that live within 5 miles represent over 83% of the total classes taken.  This is a fundamentally local business.

Gym membership and other activities
– 46% of  studio attendees ALSO belong to a membership-style fitness center
– 27% of studio attendees have quite a fitness center in past 3 years
– 44% attend another fitness studio of some kind
–  Top “other activities”:  Weights, Personal Training, Running, Yoga
note:  Amazing that so many attendees keep their gym membership, but see the benefits of getting a quality studio service.  This also speaks to high income.

Outdoor Cycling
– 76% of regular attendees to NOT regularly participate in outdoor cycling
note:  outdoor cyclists like to ride outdoors, you cannot rely on them to support a studio, though they like the “pay-per-class” model to use periodically.

Customer Satisfaction
– The #1 reason people return to the studio is “quality of instructors”
– The # 2 reason is “the music” (chosen by instructor in our case)
note: these factors were almost TWICE as important to customers as the next ones (quality of bikes, studio environment).  This is a critical success factor.

Other interesting results
– Over 50% of our attendees book classes using their smartphone app
– Word of mouth is # 1 source of new customers, web search is #2
– Verbatim comments revealed interesting issues about HVAC, room configuration, reservation issues and instructor performance

Spynergy Consulting has operated cycling studios for 9 years and has worked closely with over 80 individual cycling studio startup projects.  We have recently formed a new company called CycleBar:  the first indoor cycling studio franchise.  CycleBar will provide a turnkey cycling studio solution from top to bottom.

Learn More / Get Complete Details
Click Here to fill out our candidate questionnaire and you will receive a call where you will learn full details on startup costs, franchise fees, financial history of existing studios,  operations, branding, marketing and more.

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

CycleBar Logo #1