The Future of Indoor Cycling – Part I of II

While the next two posts are titled The FUTURE of Indoor Cycling, before looking into the Future, this PART I looks to the PAST and also the CURRENT state of indoor cycling as an essential fitness option for many…around the world!  Let’s go for a ride…

While the earliest evidence of indoor cycling goes back to the 1800’s, and more so, in the early 1900’s…this brief timeline starts nearly 3 decades ago in the 1990’s:

NOTE:  Be sure to click on embedded links to related content, including some great videos!

1991-1993:  Johnny Goldberg, better known as Johnny G., and John Baudhuin team up to design and produce early models of the Spinner® indoor bike and eventually develop and launch the original Spinning® group fitness program in the United States.

1993-1995:  Mad Dogg Athletics is founded and owner of the Spinning® brand, including variations of the brand name (Spin®, Spinner®, etc.).  An instructor certification program is developed to maintain integrity of the program.   Spinning® is featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s HOT LIST.  A partnership with Schwinn to manufacture Spinners® to meet growing demand.

1999:  Les Mills group exercise, and Body Pump creator, partners with Michael McSweeney to launch RPM (Raw Power in Motion).  The global program is updated through a quarter release schedule, and creates SIZZLER videos that include ride highlights of the current release.  RPM’s current release #85, will be followed by another update soon, in 2020.  Other indoor cycling programs under the Les Mills brand include Sprint (a 30 minute HIIT format) and The Trip (an immersive audio-visual experience with a large screen).

2007-2010:  Ruth Zuckerman‘s SoulCycle and later Flywheel open in New York and other major markets throughout US…becoming iconic lifestyle brands popular with celebrities.  The success of these brands spawned thousands of local and regional boutique studios dedicated to cycling or cycling combined with yoga, barre, strength/TRX, etc.

2013-2014:  Peloton launches an in-home option bringing the studio feel (instructors and live classes) into homes, on-demand.  Similarly, Zwift launches an in-home alternative to road/trail cyclists who prefer to use their outdoor bike inside with a trainer and connective technology to ride with others in a virtual setting.  Both platforms leverage the convenience of fitness at home.

2016-current:  Success of the recent in-home programs has attracted other companies to follow suit.  Les Mills has an on-demand in-home subscription service, Flywheel offers in-home equipment and programing, and the original Spinning® brand is more actively marketing their equipment and in-home, on-demand programing.  At the same time, big-box fitness and boutique studios continue to thrive and offer a variety of studio cycling.

At the risk of “preaching to the choir”, here’s another look at why indoor cycling has great potential for a strong future…

I found this post by Jennifer Wang at, and couldn’t agree more with her assessment!  The following is a brief recap of Jennifer’s ten points…but be sure to check out the entire post for all the details and color commentary:

1. It’s a HUGE calorie burner.
2. It can help build STRENGTH and not just in your legs.
3. It’s LOW IMPACT and easy on your joints.
4. ANYONE can do it, anytime.
5. You’re alone but still in a COMMUNITY.
6. It’s a MAJOR stress-reliever. (Think “mental health”!)
7. It requires little skill or coordination.
8. You don’t have to think.
9. You can go fast.
10. You leave feeling UPLIFTED and euphoric.

To be continued…The Future of Indoor Cycling – Part II

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