Written by The Business Journal Staff
Come December, indoor cycling enthusiasts will no longer have to wait in line for a bike at the local gym. Instead, they will have the opportunity to sign up for a class and reserve a bike in advance through CycleBar.
CycleBar is one of several new businesses launching into the Fresno market and setting up shop in the Park Crossing Shopping Center on Friant Road, between First and Fresno Streets.
Owner Rachael Orlando, a local commercial real estate broker who also owns the Blown Away hair salon in River Park, said CycleBar is a big city concept she and her husband Peter Orlando are proud to bring to the Central Valley.
“Some of the major players, the corporate companies, may not be coming to Fresno because its not on their radar because they are infilling in a lot of different areas, not just in California, but other markets and big cities,” Orlando said. “CycleBar is really an opportunity to bring that same big city feel item or retailer to our market and that is really important for Pete and I.”
CycleBar differs from gyms that have cycling machines and offer classes in that memberships are not required — its pay as you go — and when someone decides to take a class, they are able to select the style, instructor and bike they want to ride, whether it be one right up front near the instructor or one placed all the way in the back for those not as confident.
“If you’re a diehard and you want to be in the front row, you can pick a bike in that row and there is no waiting, it’s booked. If you’re bike No. 2, that is your bike and there is no wait around the building, hoping that you find a bike in the room. It is already pre-done,” Orlando said. “You can walk in two minutes before class starts, throw your shoes on and get on the bike. It’s all set up for you. There is water there; your towel is there. Those customer service pieces make it very appealing.”
Orlando said the CycleBar atmosphere is also unique. Machines are set up theater-style and the beats played through Spotify are made available to those in the class so cyclists who like a particular song don’t have to rely on their instructor to remember the names of each title on the playlist. Likewise, those who monitor their performance are sent their stats right after class so they know how many calories they burned, their rank in the class and other information within minutes of their workout.
Above all, Orlando said what makes CycleBar special is its community involvement.
“CycleBar’s mission statement is fueling energetic communal experiences — fun and community are the things I pull the most from,” she said. “Both Pete and myself like to have fun and like to be a part of the community so being a part of a brand where that is the mission was really appealing to us. We do lots of different events in the community, meet-ups and popups. We do CycleGiving and charity rides and sponsorships so there are things we have going on right now that are really great.”
Before even opening its doors, Fresno’s CycleBar sponsored this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and CycleBar has already signed on to sponsor Fresno High School cross country team members participating in the upcoming Two Cities Marathon. On a national level, CycleBar also supports large organizations like the American Heart Association. Orlando said her goal is to partner with more local nonprofits and organizations.
“CycleGiving is huge for us. Our goal is to give $100,000 to local community charities in 2017,” Orlando said. “CycleGiving is where your nonprofit can come in and use our studio on the weekend and we pass that money back through the charity; it is a direct pass through. We feel that by bringing in different groups and allowing them to do something different that is healthy for them promotes wellness and allows different groups to raise funds for their nonprofit. We are asking people now to reach out to us and we’re already scheduling our first quarter of ClycleGiving rides.”
Cycle Bar also invites local businesses to partner with them as part of a company wellness program.
“We do corporate and private rides so if you’re a company that has a new wellness program for your employees, we’ll work with you to create a package that works for your group,” Orlando said.
A price has not yet been set for individual classes, but Orlando expects prices will be competitive with The Bar Method, which offers a drop in rate of $25 a class. Packages, Orlando said, will be even more affordable and there are discounts for students as well as military, police and fire personnel. At the beginning, free and discounted rides will be offered to those who sign up for CycleBar’s e-mail list at fresno.cyclebar.com.