Indoor cycling has been around since the ’90s, but it’s undergone a makeover in the past few years thanks to the rise in popularity of “boutique studios.” Enter CycleBar St. Matthews, Louisville’s new boutique spinning studio.
Everything about CycleBar is specialized to its studio. Its high-energy, customizable 50-minute rides are led by specially trained instructors called CycleStars inside a multi-sensory, high-tech, concert-like environment called a CycleTheatre. Riders can also track and monitor their personal data using CycleStats, as well as download class playlists called CycleBeats.
That isn’t the only thing that sets CycleBar apart from other boutique fitness studios. Lockers are USB equipped so your phone can charge while you work out, motivational phrases and mantras cover the walls throughout the lounge space, fresh fruit and filtered water are available while you cool down in the community room, and the changing room is stocked with DryBar primping products.
Unlike most single-discipline studios, there are no memberships at CycleBar. All of the more than 200 franchises across the country use a pay-per-class model, with packaged deals, making the cost $15-$20 per ride. Firefighters, police, EMT personnel, veterans, active military, teachers, students, nurses and clergy always enjoy discounted rides.
Katie Kannapell Ryser is the owner who brought this immersive fitness experience to Louisville. She grew up in northern Ohio but most recently spent 15 years in New York City. As one of the first clients at SolCycle’s flagship studio in 2005, and later as an original spinner at Flywheel in 2010, Ryser’s devotion to indoor cycling is nothing new.
When her family decided late in 2015 to relocate to Louisville, Ryser knew she wanted to find a way to share her passion for wellness with others on a daily basis. When she discovered the city’s lack of spin studios, she says CycleBar just “made sense,” adding that “Louisville is such an active, vibrant area and CycleBar fits into our community’s health and fitness lifestyle while making the experience fun for both new and experienced riders.”
Ryser also wanted to incorporate her years of philanthropic experience and expand the opportunities for Louisvillians to give back to the community. A major component of that includes the brand-program CycleGiving, which has the studio partner with local organizations and national charities to help raise donations. The studio will offer 200 classes per year (that’s several per week) that riders can join for donation. CycleGiving will begin at CycleBar St. Matthews on December 19, one day after its current grand-opening celebration (and its special promotions) ends. VT
Cyclebar is located at 4600 Shelbyville Road and open seven days a week. For more information or to get your ride scheduled, visit stmatthews.cyclebar.com.
STORY BY KRIS RITCHER