Many Hoboken residents love to get their fitness on, and when one local cycling studio had a dramatically reduced schedule earlier this summer, riders were concerned. The Hoboken location of CycleBar, located at 720 Monroe Street, Suite C301, abruptly changed its schedule to only a handful of classes per week, when typically there would be several per day. While the studio appeared closed to many, it did remain open — but the lack of communication with members and the skeletal schedule had many worried about the future of the boutique studio. The Hoboken Girl chatted with Caisy Falzone, an instructor at the studio, to learn what happened. Read on to learn more about what went on behind the mysterious cancellations at CycleBar Hoboken.
(Photo credits: @cyclebar)
CycleBar is a music-driven, instructor led cardio cycling workout that delivers a fun but low impact workout, according to its website. There are six types of classes ranging in intensity from the beginner-friendly Foundation class to the Performance class, which uses rider statistics and class participation to create in-class challenges and races. The Hoboken location is in the Monroe Center and opened in 2017.
The Confusion + Mysterious Cancellations
On August 13th, a user posted in our Hoboken + Jersey City Insiders Group to inquire about what was going on with CycleBar.
“Classes have been canceled all week and there aren’t any classes scheduled for this weekend,” the user wrote. “I haven’t been able to get in contact with anyone at the studio.”
Other users commented that they experienced the same thing. While some speculated that the location had temporarily closed, others were quick to point out that it was just a setback and that the location was actually still open.
CycleBar released a statement to Hoboken members, stating, “We are currently facing a few challenges that we are working through over the next 30 days. We fully anticipate getting back to a normal state of business in the near term.”
With many in a state of confusion, not knowing what was happening or when the studio would be back to normal, CycleBar then sent out another statement about the situation a couple weeks later. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced at your local CycleBar. Simply put, it is not acceptable,” the statement read. “We hold ourselves to a high level of standard and those standards have not been met by local ownership.”
The statement went on to explain that the CycleBar corporate team would be stepping in to help smooth everything out, though it did not provide further insight into what actually happened to cause the previous month’s problems.
A Change in Ownership
The reason behind the rough waters this summer boils down to a change of leadership.
CycleBar is part of the Xponential Fitness brand, which also owns other fitness brands including PureBarre, Row House, and Club Pilates. The Hoboken, Fort Lee, and Closter CycleBar studios were owned and operated by another franchise. This summer, Xponential took over the operation of the three studios. The change in ownership was predicated by what was described as a disconnect between the way the studios were operated and the CycleBar brand’s standards.
Instructor Caisy Falzone said that things were being operated in a way that made many instructors feel unsafe and unsupported. “The conditions were not great for me as an employee and an instructor to be operating in that space,” Caisy said. “Many people involved stepped back from the transition to see how it would shape up.” She went on to say that the transition was especially challenging for the instructors. “These studios are a community, our homes away from home, we all look to these spaces to get away, feel good, it’s a lot of people’s safe haven,” she said. “Not being able to access that resource was very difficult.”
(Photo credits: Brenna Marie Photography)
Caisy said that the transition was so rocky because of the lack of communication from the studio to its members. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. We weren’t able to access any social media accounts, email addresses, or phone numbers,” she said. “Members would call or reach out and we simply couldn’t get back to them.” This disconnect led Caisy, and other instructors, to personally reach out to members when they saw conversations and queries on social media or local message boards. In fact, it was Caisy herself that helped set the record straight when users first speculated that CycleBar Hoboken had closed.
Another layer to the challenge was the timing of the transition. “Since it was August, a lot of instructors were on vacation or out of town, and many other instructors were stepping back because of the impending leadership change,” Caisy said. “Between the instructor absences and the thin schedule provided by the previous operator, it looked bad to riders.”
Presumably, the previous operator was reducing the class schedule in anticipation of the leadership change. The whole situation painted a grim picture for studio members, and there was no way to dispel the myths that were running rampant online.
What To Expect
Post-transition, Caisy said that everyone is excited to welcome riders back. The three studios are now operated by Xponential Fitness. “Having Xponential Fitness operate the studios means there are so many more resources for instructors and members,” Caisy said. “It’s been difficult, but this is a positive change and we’re excited to see where this takes us.”
(Photo credits: Brenna Marie Photography)
The instructors who had stepped back from CycleBar while awaiting a leadership change are now back in the mix. The schedule is nearly full, and Caisy said that more good things are happening in the future at the studio. “We’ll be doing an open call for more instructors,” she said. “Riders will feel way more supported through a more robust class schedule.”
Perhaps most notable is the studio’s desire to connect with members directly. “We have a team member who will be dealing with members, in particular to handle things that fell through the cracks during this transition,” Caisy said. “Many members had issues with their membership charges, or other problems, and weren’t able to get an answer or a resolution. We will be working hard to fix that. We will be able to answer questions for people’s problems.”
Overall, Caisy says that big things are on the horizon for CycleBar under its new operational structure. “We’re excited to be back, we love the space. The instructor community is so tight knit, same with the riders,” she said. “We’re excited to get back to what we love doing and we want riders to feel the same way.”