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.
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. 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.