Revocycle is a freewheel cycling studio located in Portland, Oregon. In this studio spotlight, we interview owner and founder Michael Hosking about how he makes his studio stand out in a crowded playing field.
1. HOW DID YOU COME TO OWN AND OPERATE REVOCYCLE?
I’ve been a cyclist and racer for over 20 years. After I quit racing and just rode for pleasure, I came to realize I was using my cycling as a way to calm my mind, reduce stress and get myself into a better emotional state.
I decided I would open up Revocycle as a health and happiness business, not a fitness business. Rather than focusing on calories burned and muscles toned, we’d be about exercise as a way to a happier and healthier life. We like to tell customers exercise is much too important to be about a hot body.
2. HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION FOR THE STUDIO?
We looked for three things when choosing our location: residential density and walkability, parking availability and the future growth of Portland. Our location is in a very large and dense urban renewal district of Portland. Some 30,000 people live within a one-mile radius of our studio and all can easily walk to us in 15 minutes or less.
3. HOW DID YOU BUILD THE REVOCYCLE BRAND?
The Revocycle brand is about mindful movement. It’s a beautiful, safe and effective indoor cycling technique in a welcoming and safe atmosphere. Because our program is a new concept in spinning, we have tried to be very strategic in our communications and marketing. Our program requires a bit of a mind shift and some education on proper bike fit and pedaling technique. It’s difficult to communicate in ads that we are not a dance party on a bike type of workout. So we have done almost no advertising and instead depend on word of mouth, giving each customer a great Revocycle experience.
We find that once someone has experienced a spin class at Revocycle, with our focus on technique and the calming benefits of cycling, they want to tell their friends! This approach has gotten us 20% month-to-month growth for two years and 100% year-to-year growth.
4. HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELVES FROM OTHER SPIN STUDIOS OUT THERE?
Revocycle is not a typical spin studio. In fact, some people might not even recognize it as “spinning.” We also like to think of ourselves as more than a fitness brand — we are a health and happiness business, too!
We have developed some great practices during our 20 years in the field. We fit every rider to their bike as if they were buying it at a bike shop, because proper fit on the bike is essential whether you’re riding indoors or out. We maintain set positions on the bike during class to ensure the cycling muscles are engaged effectively and to prevent injuries. Additionally, we bring research-based cardiovascular training techniques into our classes — warm-up, heart rate and power metrics, cool down. We teach in a style similar to that of a yoga or barre class — calm voice, frequent reminders to check body position, to tune into the muscles.
Finally, perhaps most importantly, we use freewheel indoor cycles. With our freewheel Natural Pedaling Method, the flywheel never powers your legs around. You power the full circle pedal stroke by effectively engaging the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes. This supple motion develops better muscle toning, creates a calorie burning workout and is easier on the knees.
Our focus on mental happiness as well as fitness is a big differentiating factor.
5. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FEEL ENGAGEMENT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA IS?
Social media is very important to establishing our brand. We use it to promote good form in indoor cycling, safety and effectiveness, and mindful movement. Our social media voice communicates our knowledge of the cycling exercise form, our commitment to safe and effective cycling practice, and our desire to seek the higher ground in life through mindful movement.
6. HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?
Right now, our clients are typically of the “first adopter” mindset. We like to think of them as open-minded, thinkers and movement professionals. We have many clients who are avid outdoor cyclists who would have never thought to go to a spinning studio before but are very receptive to our method of indoor cycling. But we still have lots of clients who don’t own a bike!