Momentum is important for organizations to survive their competition. Look at any successful product or service and notice the improvements made after the product is introduced. Club members are constantly introduced to new and improved products, yet when they show up at an indoor cycling studio, they face the same white walls, mediocre sound system and bike arrangement you had when the doors first opened. In order to maintain a competitive edge, club owners must constantly renovate, rethink and renew their cycling program.
Updating your studio’s physical appearance is one of the easiest, most impressive quick fixes you can implement to boost momentum. Stadium seating, ambient LED lighting, simulated wind resistance, performance tracking, and chilled, post-ride towels are just a few of the emerging trends. With demand for indoor cycling classes rising, the following eight tips will help transform your predictable, mundane studio into a functional, motivating environment where members can train to their full potential.
Studio acoustics should be taken seriously. It is not uncommon for business neighbors to complain when music travels through electrical outlets, walls and plumbing, so find a reputable source for professional acoustic treatment and ask for a personalized room analysis.
Three unique lighting choices are necessary for a functional environment. Your studio should feature a bright overhead light option for studio cleaning and bike repair. It also should include warm, natural lights on a dimmer and LED wall wash lighting with an RGB controller. If your studio has risers, diffused illumination should be installed under each step for safety.
Sound system and microphones
Invest wisely in a professional four-channel mixer, speakers with individual volume controls and a small subwoofer. Microphones should be waterproof and designed specifically for the rigors of a cycling class. Keep several microphones available for team rides, special events and for backups.
The ability to manage studio ambiance during class is an essential tool for the ultimate indoor cycling experience. Install an electrical panel beside the instructor’s bike to control lights, fans and air conditioning.
Studios offering video rides or performance tracking often make the mistake of mounting TVs too high, and students soon complain of neck pain from looking up for an extended period of time. Position the screens where neck and spine are in alignment while seated and out of the saddle. They should be installed about eye level and tilted slightly downward to avoid glare.
Although many club owners are lured by a hardwood or concrete floor, consider the slippage standards used by insurance companies and know your risk of a lawsuit. Your flooring concerns should address acoustics, sweat and body oils pooled on the floor, cleaning the floor between classes and yearly maintenance.
Team rides and special guest instructors
Create an opportunity to hype your program with occasional team rides featuring three or four of your instructors on stage at once. Periodically invite guest instructors with impressive credentials to teach as well. These special motivating rides will introduce students to new music, fresh coaching styles and re-energize your staff of instructors.
Creative class marketing is essential for sustained growth. Create brochures that describe your program, provide free guest passes, host rides for charity and foster a team of passionate, world-class instructors.
About the author
As a veteran indoor cycling studio instructor with a passion for people, Barbara Hoots combines a rich knowledge of cutting-edge studio design skills with creative marketing ideas to ensure a program's success. Offering a wide range of consulting services for both small boutiques and large corporate/franchised programs, she works with each client to create beautiful, highly functional environments on any budget. She can be reached at Barbara@indoorcycledesign.com.