Bill Pryor from Spynergy Consulting visited the annual IHRSA Show last week to learn what”™s new for cycling studio owners and entrepreneurs.  Here are some highlights and photos from his report.

"......once I got over the sensory overload, I made a point of visiting all the bike manufacturers to ride the bikes and hear about new trends.  I also tried to see what kinds of metrics, programming and video content are out there.  I even spent some time with the flooring, lighting, sound system and insurance folks to see if there's anything new studio owners might want to hear about......"

UPDATE: listen to Bill's review of all the indoor cycles at IHRSA.

StarTrac.  The market leader in bike sales, they were of course showing the NXT and the Blade which have been recently re-designed (very cool styling.)  One of their engineers also walked me through a demo of a new console (measuring power) that will be built into the Blade within the next year.  You'll be able to get the Blade with or without a power console.

Schwinn.  I also rode the magnetic resistance Schwinn AC and got a close look at their console.  Power is measured as well as heartrate, cadence and more.  Data from the console can be downloaded to a USB pen drive, or wirelessly transmitted via ANT transmission to a garmin or other device.

New Keiser handlebar

Keiser.  A new handlebar design for the Keiser M3 should silence complaints from some smaller riders who had troubles with bike fit.  They have an established power console and also numbered resistance which lots of people really like.  Performance IQ was co-exhibiting with Keiser...they have a system for projecting on-bike data to a screen so instructors and students can view their data.

RealRyder.  This uniquely designed bike with the swaying motion is becoming a favorite with some studio-starter who want to have something to clearly delineate them from the large gyms and health clubs.  Optimizing the experience does require some special training for instructors and students, but they make a compelling case about the differences and benefits once folks learn.

Freemotion.  These guys are the newest player but have created good buzz as they have made the power console and related programming an integral part of what they provide.  The design of their console is well organized and  highly readable.  At this show, they also introduced a quieter "carbon drive" to make for a more smoother, quieter ride, with good durability

Livestrong.  I had not ridden their bike before and found it really comfortable.  Outside riders will love the fact that there are a wide range of hand position options including actual "drops".  The bike was cool, but to be honest it was hard to focus on the bike because they were showing it in conjunction with the MyRide virtual ride video system with was absolutely astounding....more on that below.

MyRide video management

Non-Bike Highlight:  No matter what bike you have or choose....the good news is that if you want to use a video system, there's an amazing one out there.  I have seen a lot of video for indoor cycling classes, but the MyRide systems from Matrix/Livestrong was absolutely stunning. The video itself (multiple terrains and imagery), but also the control system interface.   There are systems deployed in Europe, but this is brand, brand new in the U.S.  A pilot studio is up in San Francisco.

More on the show and the independent cycling studio phenomenon at the Spynergy Consulting Blog.

Bill Pryor owns a 48 bike studio in the Boston area and is also founder of Spynergy Consulting, helping entrepreneurs launch and develop their businesses.




Originally posted 2012-03-20 12:29:26.

Bill Pryor

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