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. The industry leader in delivering these kinds of solutions is Chicago-based Performance IQ. Their technology is starting to turn up in many Indoor Cycling and Spinning® studios in a variety of configurations.
Last 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. Further, Chicago-based Performance IQ, in partnership with companies like ZingFit, LiveEdit and Mindbody Online, has led development of products that can 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. Paul Harmeling, co-owner of Full Psycle in Costa Mesa, California comments
“……Performance IQ, along with instructor quality, facilities, and customer service, differentiates us from the rest. It’s an excellent tool for both in-class participation and for post-class customer retention……..”
Karen Casler, owner of CB Cycle Barn in San Clemente also commented:
“…..PIQ absolutely keeps people coming back. Especially those that are there to work hard! I definitely feel that it also breeds loyalty and retention…..”
Spynergy Consulting has provided business planning and consulting services to over 80 studio startups in the past 2 years, and we have noticed a dramatic uptick in interest in how technology elements can be used to enhance the cycling studio model. Performance IQ has 85 clients in 9 countries and is anticipating 100 more installations this year. Bike suppliers like Schwinn, StarTrac, Freemotion, Keiser and Real Ryder have all acknowledged the importance of performance metrics in one way or another with their products and planning. (We will report more on this after the upcoming IHRSA show in March).
If you would like to learn more about the capabilities and pricing for performance metrics systems —- or would like a free demo from Performance IQ or related suppliers: CLICK HERE
IHRSA Note: Visit Performance IQ at the IHRSA Trade Show coming March 13th to 15th in San Diego. PIQ products can be seen at the booths of several major indoor cycling bike suppliers. Spynergy Consulting (Bill), will also be at IHRSA, drop me a line if you would like to meet and chat! firstname.lastname@example.org