InSync Cycle Studio Post-Mortem Interview

Charles (Spook) Hilgartner teaching his class at InSync Cycle
Charles (Spook) Hilgartner teaching his class at InSync Cycle

It began as the dream of many Instructors – starting your own fitness business. Charles (Spook) Hilgartner made his dream real by opening the first dedicated indoor cycling studio in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. It was very sad to hear that InSync Cycle Studio closed last month.

Spooks final note from their website…

On a personal note:
For the past three years, I have enjoyed the challenge of creating and operating InSync. I have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and greeting hundreds of riders and making some special friends.This, I will really miss.

But what happened in the studio, during class was really incredible. We have had the best instructors! Their teaching skills and unique styles, music and personalities created an amazing cycling environment that all of us have enjoyed. I thank them for that.

It’s the combination, of instructors and dedicated riders, that has made InSync Cycle Studio a pretty good place to ride.

Some of Spook’s Instructors created this very touching video as a good-by.

I’ve known Spook since before InSync and appreciated his agreement to be interviewed on the Podcast. Our intent is to help other existing (and potential) cycling studio owners. We discuss his thoughts and feelings about what he did right… and what he did wrong.

Two main points surfaced during our conversation:

  1. Spook’s experiences reinforced the absolute importance of having quality Instructors + a bench of available substitutes.
  2. He feels he would have benefited by having a partner with complimentary skills to his.

I wasn’t previously aware of this regulatory issue > Depending on your studio’s pricing model, your state or city may require you to secure bonding to protect customers who purchase ride cards with future expiration dates. Spook explains this need for bonding during the interview.



Looking for a used studio sound system? You can contact Spook  444-722-5433 or

3 thoughts on “InSync Cycle Studio Post-Mortem Interview

  1. I can sympathize with Spook about the heartbreak in closing your Studio. I recently closed my studio, Go Epic Indoor Cycling, after two large gyms moved in within 1/2 a mile from us. The competition and their large marketing budgets were just more than we could compete with…..even with amazing instructors! Having a partner with the same passion and time commitment would have really helped us battle the giants.

    Best of luck to Spook in his next great adventure.

    ps…if you’re looking for used bikes give me a call at 208-866-6354.

    1. Loved your story and sad you closed your studio. I hope you are happy in your new endeavors.
      I’m Interested in bikes and sound system for sale. I’m a huge cycling fan too but even bigger group fitness junkie and personal trainer!

      1. All bikes have been sold. Still have sound and video. Message me on Facebook InSync Cycle with your email and I will forward you info.


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