Hop­ing to pedal to suc­cess

Ex­ton-area Cy­cleBar lo­ca­tion has been of­fer­ing free rides to at­tract res­i­dents to its in­door cycling stu­dio

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

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.”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Al­li­son Weller, man­ager of Cy­cleBar at Main Street in Ex­ton.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Above, Cy­cleBar at Main Street in Ex­ton. Be­low, the cycling clothes bou­tique at Cy­cleBar.

Show­ers at Cy­cleBar at Main Street in Ex­ton.

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