Q&A with Ruth Zukerman, Flywheel Co-Founder
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the fitness scene lately, you’ve most likely noticed that Flywheel has a bright, shiny new look, along with some new classes, and an updated website. According to Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zukerman, “The refresh started with our riders and pulsers. It grew out of what we heard from them, and what we wanted to do for them — which was to bring our brand up to speed with the actual Flywheel experience.” We were able to catch up with Ruth for a few quick questions about the Flywheel rebrand.
What is the "spirit" of Flywheel, and how do you keep this intact as the brand grows bigger and bigger? How have you been able to make sure this is the same at every Flywheel location?
There’s a common theme here – how do we manage our quality control, and manage that as we expand? The most important principles for us are 1) inclusiveness, and 2) the effectiveness of the workout. Although I am one of the founders, I am still an instructor at heart – I understand the experience of the rider, and how both the rider and the instructor feel in the classroom.
We wanted to be the anti-intimidation, and create a space where everyone feels comfortable. We achieve that inclusivity feeling a few different ways. Riding in a dimly lit room, so people don’t feel self conscious if they aren’t keeping up, and we also encourage people to ride at their own pace if they want to. When they walk in the door, we hand them shoes, water, they never have to pull out their wallet and pay for every little amenity. Also our staff in the classroom is always there to set up the bike, to make you feel comfortable.
I frequently visit locations, and it helps that our Senior Creative Team has stayed consistent throughout. As the instructor group grows, we make sure they are still instilling the method that was at the roots of the business, it is effective and it differentiates us from all other spin studios.
What is changing with the redesign/relaunch, and what will stay the same?
The website itself will be cleaner and clearer. As we’ve grown, we’ve also grown so much clearer as to what we actually are as a brand. In addition to the overall tone, the site will have better features — it can now track what classes/instructors you are taking, and will suggest other similar classes/ instructors with a similar style to try. On the instructor pages, now you can see what kind of music they like and an updated bio, so the rider really understands who their instructor is.
We also have new classes – FlyBeats started about a year ago in select studios, and will now be in all of our studios. In contrast to our signature Flywheel class, which is anaerobic and aerobic, the FlyBeats class is aerobic the whole time, and riders move to the beats of the music. But you still have the best of both worlds – the analytics that Flywheel is known for, plus a new mindfulness in the ride.
We also added a 30 min Power Ride, a really intense, quick ride for New Yorkers on the go. That soft launched about a month ago at our Chelsea location.
If you could describe Flywheel in 3 words...
Authenticity, inclusiveness, results!
Ruth Zukerman is a leading fitness instructor, indoor cycling pioneer, and Flywheel Co-Founder and Creative Director, as well as the driving force behind one of the nation’s most effective, empowering workouts. With a background in dance and exercise physiology, Ruth has played an integral role in creating a fun, results-driven indoor cycling experience that — in just five years — has made Flywheel an unstoppable force in the boutique fitness space. A workout unlike any other, Flywheel’s warm, welcoming community and technology-based performance tracking work synergistically to change minds and bodies every day. As a multitasking powerhouse, this entrepreneur and mother of two continues to teach several sold-out classes every week, both in NY and at Flywheel’s 30+ studios nationwide.