New cycle studio owner Mollie Herrera needs only a sentence to sum up what she believes a person needs to launch a successful cycle studio in a post-pandemic world.
“You need to focus everything around the community people have been missing during the lockdown, and you need to fill it with Johnny G Spirit Bikes.”
Herrera recently launched Denton Spin Company, located about an hour north of Dallas in Denton, Texas, and already she says her classes are filling up and she’s had to bring on new instructors to meet the demand.
“It’s absolutely a dream. I still have a hard time believing that this is my studio and everything in here is mine,” Herrera says, looking back a few months after the launch. “It just blows my mind.”
That doesn’t mean her decision to open, at a time when the fitness industry has had some serious struggles, was easy.
“I had a lot of people in my ear saying ‘Are you sure? We don’t know where this is going.’,” Herrera recalls. “I didn’t want to ignore it, but I still wanted to keep moving forward because I knew that the fitness industry was still going to thrive, I think now – even more than before.”
Her confidence, she says, was based on the rise of at home indoor bikes, and all of the new people who had been introduced to the concept of cycling for fitness – people who are primed to love a live, in-person cycle class experience.
“A lot of people bought at-home bikes and did virtual workouts during the pandemic, but so many of these people don’t know what it’s like to take a class in person,” Herrera says. “So when they walk into a studio like ours, and they experience what it’s like to be surrounded by real people, working hard, it makes it that much better.”
Herrera says she’s made inclusiveness and community an identifying trait of Denton Spin Co.
“With our brand, we really thrive on community. Anyone can get on a bike at home and do what an instructor is telling them to do. But showing up to class, making friends, and sharing life together is just something you can’t get out of virtual classes.”
The other thing, she says, that sets her studio apart was her decision to fill her studio with Johnny G Spirit Bikes.
“Choosing a bike was the most anxiety driven process because I knew it would make or break this business,” Herrera recalls. “Our goal was to be different and unique. There are a lot of mainstream bikes out there, but I had some people around me that opened me up to try something different.”
She says a friend of hers had a Johnny G Spirit Bike he used at home, and he encouraged her to try it out.
“It was not seconds after I was on it that I knew – this was it,” she recalls. “You can tell from the moment you clip in and you’re moving your legs that it is a beautifully constructed bike.”
When asked what makes the bike feel different, Herrera has a hard time narrowing it down to just one or two features.
“The smoothness of the fly wheel – just pedaling – it didn’t feel like I was on a stationary bike, it feels very real,” she says. “Plus, it has a futuristic console with lights that pop up and say ‘Enjoy the ride.’ It’s a message that is so simple, but it really spoke to me.”
Herrera says the console and gearing system of the Johnny G Spirit Bike also make it very easy for instructors to guide their classes with consistency.
“Being able to read the gears and RPM is so important,” Herrera explains. “It lets my instructors know how to guide people uniformly. They can tell everyone to be in Gear 1, which eliminates any kind of confusion, instead of telling them to do a quarter turn on the resistance knob, which can be done inconsistently.”
The build quality of the Johnny G Spirit Bike is also exceptional, Herrera says.
“The durability of these bikes is insane. It just feels like a tank,” she says. “I know when we were unloading all 30 of our bikes, I got what was probably one of the best workouts I’ve gotten all year. You can really feel the work that was put into these bikes. It’s a quality-focused build.”
Herrera has been able to use the bike to get people to come to her studio for the first time, and often, she says it’s what keeps people coming back.
“The excitement that we built around this bike was actually pretty cool, even with something as simple as the seats,” Herrera explains.” “When someone comes into a spin class normally, people who sit down on the bikes usually complain about the seats, but I’ve actually gotten a lot of good responses from people saying that they thought the seats on our Johnny G Spirit Bikes are comfortable.”
Based on the response she’s seen in the first few months of being open to the bike and to the community she and her instructors have built, Herrera is projecting a lot of growth in her first year. She says she still has a hard time believing it’s all real.
“Seeing the people walk in and just have a place to be and let go has been so rewarding. We’ve had such a great response, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.”