Maintenance costs for indoor cycling and SPIN® bikes

If you have a thriving studio, you know your bikes take a real beating.  100 to 300 pound cyclists pound on them, sweat on them Help with Indoor Cycling Maintenanceand  rock them 3 to 7 times a day in a hot moist environment.  With that kind of treatment, maintenance and TLC is a necessity…..and a cost.   Some of this maintenance can be done by the studio owner with some basic tools and a regular time commitment — but unless you are hugely handy (and trained), a good portion of your maintenance will be outsourced to a professional in your area.

Maintenance needs evolve and increase as your bikes age, but our experience has been that well-maintained bikes can last 3 to 5 years or more if they are properly maintained.  There is also a reasonably good re-sale market for used bikes making it a little less expensive to upgrade to new equipment when your lease expires.  We have had good success selling old bikes on Craig’s List, or directly to our customers (though you may want to limit those sales if you think it will keep someone in their basement and out of your studio!).   Often the reason for moving your bikes on is because you want the nice new model…..and maintenance costs are starting to creep up.

I would love to hear how other people deal with the maintenance issue, I feel like your cost is based on a few factors:

  1. What type of bikes you have (some break down more than others, some are more expensive to fix)
  2. How often they are ridden (the more full classes, the more maintenance is needed)
  3. How much “day to day” maintenance you do (the more the better)
  4. How often you have them professionally maintained (regular visits? or only when the totally break down?)
  5. What your tolerance is for noise and vibration (if you and your customers don’t mind the squeaks, you can cut down on maintenance)
  6. How many bikes you have (the higher the number, the lower cost per bike since repair guy is there already)

One sample studio’s 2- year experience (basic cleaning and lube done by owner)
40 bikes / Schwinn Evolutions
Average 22 classes per week
Total bike repair costs:  $4450
Cost-per-bike:   $56 per year

If you have a similar example from your own studio, or thoughts on maintenance, please share them with comments here!   Thanks.

About Bill

Studio owner since 2004 and active in business plan and marketing plans for multiple cycling studios around the US and Canada. Devoted outside and inside rider, father of 3, teacher of 3-5 classes per week.

10 thoughts on “Maintenance costs for indoor cycling and SPIN® bikes

  1. Hi Bill –

    I have only been open 4 months now. I bought all new spinner pro bikes from Startrac. I didnt want any issues off the bat with maintence. I live in a very small town who knew pretty much nothing about spinning so for the last 3 months I may have only used less than half of my 20 bikes on a regular basis. I am just now getting a little more riders in the studio and now up to using almost half of those bikes. I try to keep up with the regular daily/monthly stuff but have had no real problems yet. Since I am in a small town I am having a friend, who is an outdoor cyclist help me with bike maintenence. Together so far we have adjusted the chain tension & fly wheel on a couple of bikes. I hope to do minimal maintenence over the next year since they are new.

    Angie

  2. I had recently purchases 27 Star Trac Spinner Pro bikes for my new studio and I am very unhappy with them. We bought the bikes brand new and they are now 6 months old and have many problems with them. The handlebars shake so we had to add velcro to keep them from moving. They are also rusting. We have complained to Star Trac many times and they still have not taking care of these problems. I would advise anyone that it opening a spin studio not to purchase Star Trac bikes.

    1. Wow Tracie, that sound like a real problem………I have never heard of rusting after 6 months. Are you having students wipe down bikes after each usage?

  3. We’ve only been open a month and a half here in Salem, Oregon. We are leasing 20 brand new Schwinn AC Sport bikes from the Portland Distributor, Foundation Fitness. First, I have to give them kudos as our experience with this distributor has been excellent, we were given white glove installation and they made every step of the process from initial estimate, to arranging leasing, to installing the bikes, easy.

    After the set up we were shown the minor maintenance (besides cleaning after each use the goes without saying) that needs to be done to these bikes to keep them in good working order. Then we were to call or e-mail if there is ever any issue. We’ve had two instances so far with a bike making a strange sound we couldn’t identify, they sent a technician the next day (an hour drive) to check it out and make the adjustments, free of charge. No problems since.

    Our bikes are beginning to get more use as classes start filling but we feel very confident, and have been told by our distributor, that with the regular maintenance we’ve been shown, and can easily do ourselves, we can expect to have very little need for repairs for 3-5 years, even with heavy usage. Part of the reason these bikes require less maintenance is the design uses magnetic resistance on the flywheel, rather than the traditional pads that become stiff over time and must be replaced. Since the magnets never touch the flywheel, just one less item to get wear and tear.

    In the case of other repairs, chain or pedals, we’ve been assured that they will be there to make them, with only cost of replacement parts. The technician also reminded us to advise our instructors to do all static stretches off the bikes (ie none of the stretches where you hold your weight on the pedals and stretch, this puts a lot of pressure on the pedal arms which is why they will break more often over time – just a hint to add to the longevity of your equipment)

    We are very happy with our decision to go with Schwinn and Foundation Fitness. The bikes were more expensive initially but we feel we are going to save in the long run on very low maintenance/repair costs. Bonus, the ride and bike fit are awesome!

    1. Very curious to hear your report 6 months and one year from now……if indeed there is virtually zero outside maintenance needed, then Schwinn has made a huge leap forward with the new resistance stuff! That would be great because I will be in the market for 40 of them in about a year.!!

    1. Best practice is to ride them at local clubs, see what you like….and talk to managers or others about their maintenance experiences. There are several good bikes out there. To be honest, I would worry more about finding good instructors than finding good bikes. Thats the bigger challenge in this business.

  4. We purchased Keiser M3’s and opened the end of February. We had one fly wheel scared and and pedal that when in badly. Kesier had the parts to us in no time. We check everything on a regular basis – mostly to check the gear shifts to make sure they are tight. We move the bikes around on a regular basic and change the instructor bike out every month. There is another nice feature that shows an overall odometer readying. This would allow you to move lesser used bike to the popular locations. This helps keep a balance on usage. However, that be a little anal, but could stretch the life of the bikes. Our riders love the bikes.

  5. I bought 12 bikes last year for my small studio and didn’t think of maintenance costs till had problems with them. First they sent a technician the next day to check it out and make the adjustments, free of charge. The second time I had to spend $50 for replacement parts. It should be considered as yearly depreciated cost I think.

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