Over the past two years I have consulted with dozens of cycling studio entrepreneurs —- and sometimes I get a chance to visit in person!. Earlier this Fall I visited JoyRide in Westport Connecticut, an amazing new studio that is really doing well. I wrote up a complete account of my visit at the Spynergy Consulting Blog, but here are a few highlights!
- I’ve visited many studios around the country….JoyRide is clearly one of the best (preferable in my opinion to the hotshot NY studios Fly-Wheel and Soul Cycle). This is a homegrown place that clearly “got it right”.
- JoyRide certainly has what you would expect in terms of the physical studio, online booking, and amenities.
- Instructor and Music were top notch, but not formulaic in any overdone way
But finally, and maybe even most importantly — this was a place that oozed community. The whole feel was something that only comes with talented, committed, local ownership that works hard to make you feel welcome. Read more at Spynergy Consulting….or better yet, visit JoyRide!
Bill Pryor owns successful 7-year old cycling studios near Boston and Chicago and also provides business plans, marketing plans and other consulting services to cycling studio owners and startups. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-254-3677
Well after only a few weeks, our studio owners group has grown nicely and been joined by a variety of folks from around the world. Over 92 Members at the time of this blog post…..are beginning to contribute in the “comments” section of the articles below, as well as in the Forum. If you haven’t joined a forum before, this is a great place to ask specific questions and share information. Just this past week, several owners shared their experiences (good and bad) about some specific bikes.
If you are just visiting the site for the first time, here are a few tips on navigation to find things you are interested in:
- Articles are listed in chronological order with the most recent article being at the top of the home page beneath the image
- Only the beginning of each article is visible on the home page….click “read more” to see the full article
- To view full articles, you will need to become a member (which is free)
- To find articles by topic, look at the “Resources” tab above, and view the drop down menu (or see the “categories” list on the sidebar)
- You can comment directly on articles, or you can go into the Forum and start your own discussions or comment on others
- If you have a good idea for an article (blog post), let us know and we can discuss publication!
Cycling studios are a growing phenomena and can be great businesses — with of course the challenges and risks of any business. Sharing information at a site like this is a great way to stay up to speed on what folks like yourself are doing to be successful. Join in!
This is an area of the blog where we hope studio owners will share information about the physical, psychological, emotional or even spiritual benefits of this unique workout. Those benefits may come from your own experience, or you may want to cite articles and research for various sources. One key to keeping your community of cyclists engaged — is to constantly educate and inform. Become the expert. When you do, your studio will benefit from the positive association. Whether you communicate via newsletter, via blog, via facebook or just via conversations at the studio — it is good to keep yourself apprised of fitness trends and especially the documented benefits of indoor cycling.
Positive affects of exercise on mental health and stress
Benefits of cardio exercise from About.com
Indoor cycling, exercise and your brain
Do you have other articles, source or ideas to share so we can spread the word? Love to hear them!
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 and 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:
- What type of bikes you have (some break down more than others, some are more expensive to fix)
- How often they are ridden (the more full classes, the more maintenance is needed)
- How much “day to day” maintenance you do (the more the better)
- How often you have them professionally maintained (regular visits? or only when the totally break down?)
- What your tolerance is for noise and vibration (if you and your customers don’t mind the squeaks, you can cut down on maintenance)
- 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.