Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

23 Sep 2019 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
Sign up for FREE ezine

Features List

Health Club Management
2018 issue 10

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Cycle forward

Cycling part 2

Cycle forward

As we discovered in part one of this series, indoor cycling is diversifying and evolving. In part two, Steph Eaves continues to explore the trend, and look at the latest bikes

Steph Eaves, Health Club Management and Sports Management
Indoor cycling

Indoor cycling is changing. Last month, we looked at how a variety of trends, including training like an athlete, classes led by rock-star instructors and gamification, have raised gym-goers' expectations for indoor bikes. So how can operators not only meet these expectations but continue to exceed them?

"We’re seeing more gyms moving away from traditional classes and expanding their offering to focus on the overall experience," says Doyle Armstrong from Life Fitness. "Gone are the days when operators could just fill a room with bikes and expect members to react in the same way. Studio design is fast becoming a USP and we’re seeing investment in interactive elements – music, lighting, virtual technology, etc. – to deliver a holistic experience that, crucially, still achieves results."

Staying on track
And results are all important, explains Stages Cycling's Elena Lapetra. "There are two very distinct pelotons in indoor cycling. The performance gang and the rhythm one. You may think that the rhythm guys will be all about the beats and a themed ride, but reality is that the super-connected generation wants to have fun, for sure, but also wants to have a workout that counts."

She continues: "Tracking what riders are doing is so popular now that even well-known and established rhythm-only cycle brands are investing in allowing their riders to take their data away, even if it's not being mentioned to members at all during the classes.

"Thirty per cent of millennials regularly use trackers, with a predicted growth of 15 per cent per year from 2016 to 2020."

Age before beauty
But millennials are not the only ones driving the evolution of indoor cycling. "We have an ever increasing over-60s market," says Tracy Morrell, director of React Fitness. "People are living longer, they may simply want to stay well and pain free. Studies show that exercise is the best prevention against age-related disease, and indoor cycling is one of the safest ways to exercise."

"The industry must look for additional market segments and kill the lazy, one-size-fits-all timetable," agrees Lapetra. "We can do this with classes and technology that allow everyone to train at their own levels, while still feeling part of the group."

Morell sums it up: "Incorporating trends such as HIIT training, gamification, virtual reality, progress tracking and small group training, in a way that's easily accessible for all ages and levels must surely be a priority for indoor cycling.”

Stages Cycling
Model: SC3
Price: £2,150


Elena Lapetra, commercial director

Top feature:
The Stages Power Meter – accurate, lightweight measurement born from the needs of some of the world’s best professional cyclists and perfected for indoor cycling.

Other features:
• Riders control resistance in two ways for a customised experience
• Efficient indoor cycling drivetrain, designed to deliver a road feel
• Digital console, with no battery changes required
• Simple height adjustments for a comfortable and secure ride
• Quick adjustment functions to set riders up for their best performance
• Data capture via Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT+ enabled sport devices

Elena Lapetra, commercial director
"In performance training, everything is focused on allowing riders to achieve the best of themselves.

At Stages, not only do we support some of the best cycling athletes in the world, but we also have – as part of the Stages team – three current world champions, one UCI Master World Champion, two silver-medallists in UCI world track championships, four US national champions across track, road and cyclo cross, and one US Olympic cycling coach.

We know what will make a difference, because we live and breathe it and we don’t believe in creating products, experiences or brands from inside the bubble of our glass offices without having real roots in the playground.

Our constant desire to beat boundaries on bikes – whether they're stationary or not – is what drives us."

Key clients:
David Lloyd Leisure, Equinox, Places for People, Everyone Active, Lifetime, Virgin Active, Fitness First, YMCA, Gold’s Gyms, Soho House, Shire Hotels, Kew Green, Juicy retreats, Soul Cycle, BeCycle, Psycle London, Tribes, Synergy81, Aura, H2, Oxford University, Detroit Pistons, US Navy and Sony Picture


Stages draws in its background in competitive cycling to create its stationary bikes

React Fitness
Models: Expresso GO – upright and recumbent models
Price: starts from £5,995


Tracy Morrell, director

Top feature:
Fully-immersive, 26.5" touchscreen showing on-demand classes and 300+ miles of roads of varying gradients.

Other features:
• Users can race other riders on 43 different interactive roads
• The bikes have responsive handlebars, which are fitted with heart rate sensors, that turn to steer while riding
• The bike has ghost riders to increase motivation
• HIIT games
• Magnetic resistance drive simulates the feeling of the road and varying gradients, shifting through 30 gears to control resistance
• Connects to third party apps such as Strava and MyFitnessPal

Key clients:
Equinox, New York Sports Clubs, Caesar’s Palace, Gold’s Gym and several high-end cruise ships

Tracy Morrell, director
"The key feature on the Expresso bike is the level of engagement it creates by offering riders the opportunity to take part in challenges, join group rides and also to get ranked on global leaderboards.

Scientific studies have been done on athletes using virtual reality, to learn more about how the brain influences athletic performance. Expresso uses ‘Ghost Riders’ to offer a mental motivator – something that's been scientifically shown to produce results in top athletes.

We provide clubs with digital artwork to enable them to market the monthly challenges on websites and social feeds.

We know member engagement increases retention and Expresso has proven this. Data shows that an engaged exerciser will ride for 50 per cent more days than a casual exerciser (defined as one who doesn’t fully register their account online), and this can have a huge impact on the bottom line.

In addition, operators can customise the interface to advertise in-club promotions, such as retail, F&B and special events to members, helping to increase secondary spend."


The Expresso bike from React Fitness is specified by Equinox

Life Fitness
Model: IC8 Power Trainer
Price: £2,560


Doyle Armstrong, Business manager

Top feature:
WattRate TFT Computer with Polar View, which delivers superior data, performance and connectivity.

Other features:
• Wattrate Direct Power Meter
• Bluetooth and ANT+ connection
• 0 – 3800W magnetic resistance
• Oversized chain with automated tensioning system
• Freewheel drivetrain
• Pro-performance handlebars
• Advanced bike fit
• SPD dual-sided pedal with toe cage
• Coach by Color, ICG’s training system that combines accurate zonal training with colour to help coach a member’s effort during the workout

Key clients:
David Lloyd Leisure, Edinburgh Leisure, University of Exeter, Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club, Anytime Fitness Peterborough and Needhams Health and Fitness

Doyle Armstrong, Business manager
"The IC8 is designed by cyclists, for cyclists and athletes seeking a superior cycling experience indoors.

It combines a variety of features including pro-performance handlebars and a freewheel drivetrain to emulate the performance and experience which are found in outdoor bikes.

The oversized chain and automated tensioning system are designed with the aim of giving optimum performance, durability and reduced servicing; an important consideration for operators.

It’s also self-powered so it can be positioned on the gym floor without cabling.

For facilities wanting to explore virtual training to expand their offering, the IC8 can also be integrated with Myride VX Personal – a virtual training experience that gives clubs and gyms the opportunity to provide the same instructor-led workouts via the bike’s own built-in screen."


The IC8 from Life Fitness can be integrated with a VR training experience

Octane Fitness
Model: Octane Fitness xR6000XT seated x-trainer Price: £6,995


Neil Campbell, General manager

Top feature:
Can be used for upper body-only, total body workouts, lower body workouts or even just with any one limb.

other features:
• A lower body ‘power stroke’ which gives added glute work and allows the user to work the machine with only one leg if they want to
• Multi grip handles to change the muscles worked for the upper body workout
• HIIT training challenges
• Adjustable seat back position for added comfort

Key clients:
David Lloyd Leisure, Everyone Active, Places for People, Serco Leisure, Parkwood Leisure and Nuffield Health

Neil Campbell, General manager
"The Octane Fitness xR6000 offers lower body-only, total body and upper body-only workouts. For me, this makes it one of the most versatile piece of cardio equipment on the market.

It's an alternative machine to add to the gym floor, to give members a different workout option.

There's an IFI version available, which pushes the fittest to their limits while also catering for people with disabilities, deconditioned and older users."


The Octane xR6000 has an IFI accredited version suitable for all users

Originally published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 10

Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd