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Flywheel instructors are mourning the cult-favorite cycling brand as its remaining studios appear to shut down

  • Flywheel Sports is shutting down its indoor cycling and barre studios, sources close to the matter have told Insider.
  • In recent days, several instructors have shared public social-media posts reflecting on their years of teaching at Flywheel Sports and thanking their "#FlyFam" and devoted class attendees.
  • The fitness chain was founded in 2010 and had 42 studios in locations across the US at its height.
  • In March, Flywheel Sports laid off 98% of its employees, due to the coronavirus pandemic's impact on in-person boutique fitness experiences.
  • Representatives for Flywheel Sports did not respond to Insider's requests for comment on the status of the company and its studios.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Instructors at the cycling studio chain Flywheel Sports saying their goodbyes to their devoted class attendees on social media — an ominous message that could signal the closures of remaining studios.

At its height, Flywheel Sports, which was founded in 2010, had 42 indoor cycling and barre studios around the United States, including locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington state, and Washington, DC.

In March, the coronavirus pandemic caused boutique fitness studios around the US to temporarily close. That month, Flywheel Sports temporarily laid off 98% of its employees.

Now, many instructors and devoted riders appear to be finding out, largely through social media, that studios appear to be closing.

A source close to the matter told Insider that they received news that Flywheel Sports will close its remaining locations via an Instagram message from a friend who they said were employed at Flywheel Sports' corporate headquarters in New York City and was laid off on September 11.

The same source told Insider that some employees who were laid off on September 11 "posted individually on Instagram" to announce that Flywheel Sports would be closing.

The source added that "most instructors heard for the first time through someone else's posts."

A former Flywheel employee who said they were laid off in March, and spoke to Insider on the condition of anonymity, said that at the time company executives told laid-off staff they would be welcome to rejoin the company in the future.

A separate source close to the matter told Insider that Flywheel Sports members and class attendees have not received an official email from the company and have "found out through social-media posts from instructors" that their studios are closing.

Mike Piscadlo, Flywheel Sports' vice president of operations and people, told Insider in a LinkedIn message on Monday that he no longer works for the company and declined to provide further comment.

Representatives for Flywheel Sports did not respond to Insider's requests for comment on the status of the company and its studios.

In recent days, several Flywheel Sports instructors have shared public Instagram and Facebook posts tagging the official @FlywheelSports Instagram handle and using the hashtag #FlyFam to write about their journeys with the fitness studio.

View this post on Instagram

January 2019 @al.marie.lyons reached out to me and asked if I wanted to audition for @flywheelsports , and honestly I almost said no. I had a lot going on, but something in me said just do it and decide later. Well I said yes and March 2019 I was on the floor teaching classes. It was my first time teaching barre and boy did my body whip even more into shape. Thank you @flywheelsports for welcoming me into the #flyfam and my clients for being SO supportive (I’ll never forget my Thursday 4:30pm UES crew for welcoming me with the BIGGEST arms). I always thought @flywheelsports had some of the best clients who loved it and truly made it their point to come back every week (if not everyday?). I was teaching until the last Sunday we were allowed in the studios in March 2020 and guest what everyone still showed up! Cause that’s what the #flyfam did! It’s so sad to know that many businesses will truly suffer during this tough time, but for a inkling of hope it is teaching us to be resilient and adapt. Life will constantly throw us curveballs and what truly matters is how you respond to them. Nobody expected 2020 to hit us the way it did, but so many people are making the best and finding ways to thrive with the new hands they’ve been dealt and it’s amazing to see. Keep moving, keep pulsing, keep riding, #nevercoast ?

A post shared by S h a i n a M c G r e g o r ? (@shaina.mcgregor) on

View this post on Instagram

There are no words and no amount of pictures to capture how Flywheel, in a matter of 10+ years, changed my life. Thank you Ruth, David and Jay for scooping me up after being “exited” from Soul Cycle on 11/17/09. Over the next few months, what an honor it was to literally build Flywheel from the ground up. Legitimate home-grown with blood, sweat and tears — we were a family and everyone who came through our doors starting in February could sense that. Everyone we hired had to “feel flywheel.” I, personally, had the privilege of leading our expansion into markets like Atlanta, Charlotte, Seattle, DC, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, etc — I was able to hand pick instructors and build our family, one employee at a time. Naturally, our team of amazing instructors brought along the hard-working, dedicated riders and pulsers that turned our little home-grown business into the FlyFam we all know and love to this day. From instructors to clients to studio coordinators to the facilities team — people that came to Flywheel CARED. We wanted to work hard. We wanted to go the extra mile. We wanted community. We were authentic and we wanted to be better. It’s no coincidence I’ve met the most amazing people, including my fiancé @karaliotta (the literal face of Fly ?) and I hold dear the thousands of rides and classes we shared. With its’ official closing, I’m taking all the memories (good and bad!), lessons, friends, bad playlists, noise complaints, vocal issues and amazing clients and friends into the next chapter. Thank you Flywheel for everything. ??? ? circa summer 2010 Bridgehampton, NY @sarabethturner

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At the time of writing, Flywheel Sports has not shared an announcement regarding studio closures on its official social-media pages.

However, some apparent Flywheel Sports class attendees have written on Twitter that their studio locations are closing.

And on Sunday, a Flywheel Sports location in New York City's Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood shared an Instagram post thanking its attendees for "the last three wonderful years."

"Every rider, instructor, manager, and studio coordinator played an important role in making our studio home. We will miss your smiles, your PR's, your running in last minute (thanks L train) and all the fun memories you have given us since we opened in April 2017," the post read.

A screenshot of an Instagram post shared by Flywheel Sports Williamsburg on September 13.
Flywheel Williamsburg/Instagram

The Instagram account for the Flywheel Sports location in Williamsburg also updated its account's bio description to say "2017 – 2020."

A screenshot of Flywheel Sports Williamsburg's Instagram bio as of September 14, 2020.

In August 2019, Flywheel Sports closed 11 of its locations due to mounting competition with at-home cycling products, such as the Peloton bike.

"We decided to take a look at our national footprint and close studios that were under-performing," a Flywheel spokesperson previously told Bloomberg of its 2019 studio closures.

Flywheel Sports was launched in 2010 by cofounders Jay Galluzzo, David Seldin, and Ruth Zukerman, who also co-founded the competitor studio chain SoulCycle.

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