The Franchise: Cincinnati-based CycleBar offers stationary cycling classes. Founded in 2004, the company operates about 120 franchise locations – with another 30 slated to open soon – in 33 states and Canada and has a client base of more than half a million.
Schroeder moves back to her hometown, Milwaukee. She first learns about CycleBar while researching other cycling studios in the area, and contacts CycleBar about opening a franchise.
Schroeder buys into the CycleBar franchise a month after she visits its headquarters for a trial weekend. Her ensuing search for a facility is difficult and longer than expected.
“The furthest north we wanted to go was Mequon, which is where we ended up. But because we were the first CycleBar to open in Wisconsin, we were hoping to be closer to downtown. Due to our requirements, we couldn’t find an ideal downtown space, which was frustrating.”
CycleBar Mequon officially opens at 11104 N. Port Washington Road after a four-month build-out process. The 3,300-square-foot space features a cycling “theater” that fits up to 50 Schwinn stationary bikes, showers and a community area. Seven instructors lead classes in the mornings and evenings.
“The way we run each class is similar but all of our instructors have their own style and music preference. We incorporate sprints, hills, high-intensity interval training, and a set of arm exercises – 30 minutes into the class with a four- or six-pound bar.”
CycleBar Mequon sees an average class size of 15 to 25, and sometimes up to 40. Schroeder hopes to increase class sizes by redesigning the schedule and using Facebook and Instagram ads to attract new riders.
“I feel good leaving (the studio) every night, knowing I am contributing to people’s health and happiness, and the community that we’re building is really fun.”
The franchisee fee
CycleBar’s buy-in fee is $50,000, with a monthly royalty fee of 7 percent. An owner can open one or three locations at a time.