Hoping to pedal to success
Exton-area CycleBar location has been offering free rides to attract residents to its indoor cycling studio
On its face, the new CycleBar in the Main Street at Exton shopping center would appear to be the latest alternative for those looking to lose some weight or stay in shape.
And it is those, but the franchise takes a different approach from the many gyms in the area.
“We don’t compete with LA Fitness or ACAC,” said Allison Weller, general manager of the Ohio-based company’s first Pennsylvania franchise. “We provide an experience. We bring out all of our energy. When it’s done, (participants) should say, ‘oh, was that 50 minutes?’ ”
The new Exton studio is one of 100 CycleBars expected to open nationwide to riders in 2016. For the past 10 days, it has held its CycleBlast, offering 50 free classes over 10 days.
More than 54 million Americans are working out at boutique fitness studios, which makes it the fastest growing sector of the fitness industry, the company said in announcing the Chester County opening. Franchisees pay at least $350,000 to start a new CycleBar location.
During a tour of the facility
“It’s a workout for everybody. You can adjust the resistance according to the shape you’re in.” – Allison Weller, general manager of CycleBar in Main Street at Exton, the Ohio-based company’s first Pennsylvania franchise
last week, Weller showed off the sound-proof cycling studio, which features tiers for 44 bikes plus LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and state-of-the-art audio with a DJ booth. Riders can also track performance data via CycleStats and can download music used in the class session. For those who don’t like loud music, earplugs are provided.
After class, riders cool down with fresh fruit and enhanced water, while aromatherapy helps guests relax throughout the facility.
The average 50-minute ride burns 400 to 600 calories, Weller said. If they care to participate, riders can compete with others, she added.
There is a lounge area with lockers and a drink bar. The reception area contains the shoes given to participants during their rides, shirts and cycling pants and scented products for sale.
During the soft opening in October when the rides were free, 70 percent to 75 percent of the cyclers were women, Weller said. The ages varied.
“It’s a workout for everybody,” the general manger said, noting that the music selections can be tailored according to different age groups. “You can adjust the resistance according to the shape you’re in.”
CycleBar offers a pay-perclass model, with no membership necessary. Online booking allows guests to purchase class packages and reserve a specific bike up to a week in advance. Service and amenities include free towels, showers, lockers, and shoes.
The Exton location has 11 instructors to give classes seven days a week. CycleBar recommends beginners take classes two to three times a week. More experienced riders often participate four to five times a week, Weller said.
Becoming GM of a cycling was a big career change for Weller, 28, who worked for First Resource Bank before starting at CycleBar four months ago.
“I just really didn’t want a desk job,” she said. “I always liked spinning and really wanted to get into the fitness industry. This is more about making people happy.”
Allison Weller, manager of CycleBar at Main Street in Exton.
Above, CycleBar at Main Street in Exton. Below, the cycling clothes boutique at CycleBar.
Showers at CycleBar at Main Street in Exton.