Category Archives: Studio Equipment

Information about studio equipment; indoor cycles, sound systems and other products.

Would This Improve Your Classes?

music too loud

Do you really know when your class music is at exactly the right sound level?

That it’s not too loud so it’s unsafe… or is bothering your neighbors next door.

But not too quiet that you miss out on that wonderful energy?

How about the level of your microphone… is it adjusted so your voice and cues are easily understood by your class?

I’ve been frustrated with not knowing this for years. My studio has what I call a cone of silence – with the front speakers pointing away from my position on the instructor bike, I don’t hear what my participants are hearing.


Often I find that I over compensate, playing the music too low = I miss out on much of the energy music (at the perfect safe volume) can create.

Other Instructors teaching in this room appear to be clueless = what sounds good for them is dangerously loud for the riders right in front of the speakers.

I got tired of waiting for someone else to find a solution and decided to try and fix this myself.

I have a buddy who’s an engineer and he built a prototype of a visual sound meter – specifically designed for fitness studios.

Next we launched an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds to complete the design and start production.

View our campaign here

Your feedback (positive or negative) is very important – please let us know if you feel this could improve the quality of your fitness classes.

MINDBODY Connect looks very cool – have you tried it?

MINDBODY Connect iPhone and Android for Indoor Cycling and fitness studios

MINDBODY sent me an email announcement about their new Connect App for Apple or Android devices. By leveraging the GPS location service in a user’s device (40% of all class registrations are by phones), Connect will display all the service providers near by that are using MINDBODY Online.

This App is very clever, benefiting both you as a studio and your current (and future) customers.

Not to mention completely free for you and your customers.

I saw this comment on their page in the iTunes store:

Love this soooo much! I can see my schedule across all my favorite wellness providers, buy class passes and other services as needed. And, I don’t need to go to each individual website to find class schedules, phone numbers, etc. It’s all in one place. No more multiple logins

In the past, we have encouraged studio owners to optimize their listings in Google Places/Maps and on Yelp, for the purpose of making sure your studio appears in location based searches. You can think of MINDBODY Connect as another location based search tool, where fitness minded customers can discover your studio and then easily find a class.

Here’s a short video that describes some of the features.

Build a relationship… starting with your greeting.

If you saw the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, you may remember how people are instantly identified (through a high-tech eye scan) as they walk into a retail store. The interactive merchandise displays changed to reflect the information on file for each new customer as they walk by.

Hearing; “Hello Mr. Macgowan, we have your cycle reserved and ready for you” from a front desk attendant as I walk into your studio, would be a nice initial touch point. While MINDBODY Connect doesn’t include any sophisticated scanning technology, it does know exactly where I am – as long as I have my iPhone in my pocket – which I do close to 100% of my day.

If you aren’t using MINDBODY you can give it a 30 day test drive here.

MINDBODY users will want to confirm their studio’s listing on both platforms. You can download Connect for Apple and Android 





Bicycle Shoe SPD Cleat Adjustment Tool You Need

Ergon SPD Cleat adjusting tool
I’m wasn’t sure if you saw this at post at about this amazing Ergon tool for adjusting your participants SPD cleats.

This $25 tool is very easy to use and, with 100% of Indoor Cycles featuring SPD pedals, it would make perfect sense for you to have one in your club or studio.

Profitably operating a boutique studio comes down to providing great classes and phenomenal service. I can’t think of an easier way you can demonstrate your commitment to both than to offer a custom cleat fitting as part of a shoe sale or membership / ride card package.
The trick would be to assign a value to this service; Cleat adjustments $20.00 and post it for your customers to see. Then you could sell it or include it as a value added service along with something a customer does pay for.

I found that I was actually enjoying how easy it was to adjust all the shoes in our house. Watch this video to see for yourself.

Improving the acoustics in your Indoor Cycling Studio

Improve the sound quality in your spinning studio

I have received quite an education about improving the acoustics of a room from Ryan Gibbons, an Applications Specialist with Auralex® Acoustics, Inc. In the interview posted below Ryan describes the typical problems that may exist in your studio and offers some suggestions on solving them. If after listening to this interview you would like more information they have a very comprehensive online resource available at If you would like a free acoustical analyses of your studio, that includes their detailed recommendations for making improvements, you can contact Ryan directly:

Ryan Gibbons
Applications Specialist
Auralex® Acoustics, Inc
6853 Hillsdale Court
Indianapolis IN USA 46250
317-842-2600 | 1-800-959-3343

Auralex doesn’t sell their products direct. Instead they use distributors and Ryan recommended that we work through

Nate Edwards is a Sales Engineer at Sweet Water and he has offered our members discounted pricing on the complete line of Auralex products they stock. Contact Nate and give him this promo code ICINE2011 800.222.4700 x1350

NOTE: this is a different distributer than the what is shown at

Listen to the complete interview here or if you are a subscriber to the Indoor Cycle Instructor Podcast you will see it as Podcast #147.

Enjoy and be sure to let us know it helps you improve your studio.



Studio Design 101 – Acoustic Solutions

sound diffusors for a spinning indoor cycling studio improve sound quality

Intro from Barbara Hoots –

As an indoor cycling studio designer, I’m often asked how to prevent class music from pumping through the walls and disturbing businesses next door. After interviewing many reputable sound control companies, Ryan Gibbons with Auralex wowed me with his brilliance and agreed to submit an article that would outline acoustical treatment options that studio owners can implement to ensure a happy environment for all. If you’re considering opening a studio, read this first!

Total Sound Control

By Ryan Gibbons, Sound Applications Specialist

As we all know, indoor cycling classrooms can present an array of acoustical issues for both studio owners and customers alike. Loud music levels and equipment noise can translate to a harsh acoustical environment inside the studio and can disturb neighboring businesses which ultimately leads to lower profits. Obviously, having happy customers and neighbors is essential to a successful business.

A question we often hear at Auralex is, “If I put some of your foam on the walls, will it keep my neighbors from hearing my music?” The answer is unfortunately a qualified “No.” We refer to the limiting of transmission of sound between structures as “isolation.” Properly isolating a space requires construction materials and would likely require a remodel of an existing space. This can be a time-consuming and sometimes expensive process; however, if done correctly it can be well worth the effort.

From our experience, the most efficient way to eliminate room-to-room sound transmission is to build what we call a “room within a room.” This involves two steps. First, decoupling (acoustically separating) the new structure from the existing structure is important to eliminate structure-borne vibrations. Generally these vibrations are caused by low-frequencies travelling through the walls, ceiling, and floor. This can translate to your attached neighbors as “boomy.” Decoupling the structure can help control those vibrations, thus reducing the amount of noise people in the other structures hear. Next, we suggest placing mass (drywall/sheetrock and insulation) between the existing structures to help control higher frequencies from travelling through the existing walls. Accomplishing these two steps should help improve your relationship with your neighbors considerably.

Auralex has a publication on the web called “Acoustics 101.” This is a great resource that can help guide you or your general contractor through the proper construction to isolate your space. It provides detailed drawings on the topics discussed, and is easy to read and understand. You can find this publication on the web at Also see our page, Bothering Your Neighbors? for helpful diagrams and audio clips.

When it comes to interior acoustics, there are many solutions for these dilemmas and a wide array of products designed to help you reach a comfortable acoustic environment.  The two most commonly-used sound absorption materials are high-quality acoustic foam and specialized acoustic fiberglass (no, not the stuff you buy at the hardware store). For brevity, at times we’ll generically call acoustic foam just plain “foam,” although there are very dramatic differences in cell structure and density between acoustic foam and the thousands of other types we could manufacture. (This is why you can’t just run down to the local SuperMart and buy mattress pads with which to acoustically treat your studio.)

In addition to the two most popular types of acoustic absorption materials, a Class A, fire resistant, natural fiber panel called SonoFiber. SonoFiber acoustic panels are the perfect solution for those budget-conscious projects requiring a Class A fire rating without the aesthetic demands of designer treatments such as fabric-covered panels.

Acoustic sound absorption foam is well-suited to alleviate slap and flutter echo, the two most common problems in rooms not specifically designed for music recording and performance. In fact, foam can turn even the most cavernous warehouse or gymnasium into a suitable acoustic environment.

Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions about your studio, and I’ll be happy to provide any assistance, suggestions, or solutions.  You can contact me at Aurale via email at or by calling 1.800.959.3343.

I have an interview scheduled with Ryan on Thursday March 24th. If you have a question you would like me to ask him send it to by the end of Wednesday the 23rd.

Spinner® Indoor Cycling Bike Seat Setup

spinner indoor cycle seat setup
Fix this and cyclists will love you for it!

After I set someone up properly on any Indoor Cycling bike, I tell the their seat height and seat fore/aft measurements. That way the student should be able to set themselves up on their next visit. This only works when there is consistency between each bike in your room, in how the seat is installed on the slider.
I made this short video to show you what I’m talking about.

The Magic of Light

When teaching becomes a burden and class attendance starts to wane, try this savvy little trick to boost enthusiasm and rekindle the fire.  Plug in the lights!

But not your mother’s lights!  I’m talking professional grade, LED color wash can fixtures.  Plug in a few of these babies around the perimeter of your room and instantly transform a mundane studio and ho-hum class into something spectacular.  American DJ’s new ProPAR 56RGB is an RGB color mixing fixture that plugs in to any standard outlet.   For about $280 each, these lights last almost forever and can shine still light or change colors to the beat of your music when switched to Sound Active mode.  I like to place cans on the floor of my studio and shine them towards the ceiling to add dimension and create a unique vibe in the room.

Face it.  Kitchens and bathrooms need updating.  Homes need fresh paint and new wallpaper.  Why is your cycling studio any different?  Make a simple investment and enjoy the rewards.  Your students will brag to their friends about the “new cool lights” and the best instructors in town will all want to teach at YOUR studio.

This lighting tip is courtesy of Barbara Hoots from SpinStudio Design, a CyclingStudio.Org partner

Buying used spinning bikes for your studio

If your are operating or starting starting a new cycling studio, one way you can potentially reduce your costs is by purchasing used indoor cycles.  There are pluses and minuses and this decision should be carefully considered.  If Schwinn or StarTrac are brands you are considering there is some interesting video content from an expert that you may want to reveiw.

Jeff Wimmer from is The Expert on Indoor Cycling bike maintenance. He has a series of 75 YouTube videos that go into great detail on a range of topic including inspecting used Star Trac Spinner and Schwinn bikes so you can make an informed decision.

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.