The Wheel and Sprocket Story:
The Training Hub

As another winter season approached, Chris Kegal, owner of Wheel and Sprocket, and his team talked about how to keep staff employed in the cold, wet months when the outdoor season tapered. Chris and his team were committed to growing the business; increasing the number of customers in their seven stores. So this winter they decided to pivot and create a new department within the store – The Training Hub. Results: It produced revenues and cash flow to bridge the slow months during the winter (see financials below). Wheel and Sprocket is the first US retailer to start an indoor training program powered by the latest in technology using certified cycling coaches.

Training Hub Riders

An impressive 524 riders between the 7 store locations participated in the inaugural year for the Training Hub. Riders rode together from 1-5 times per week, depending on the Hub package they chose. Participation nearly doubled in the second session as riders shared with friends their improvement in strength, power and technique. And, not one single rider got dropped!

Additionally, in a progressive coached class format, where outdoor riding techniques are simulated on indoor trainers, riders learn to use data from the Heart Zones System with real-time feedback from the Big Board, to gauge their effort and measure their watts.

The Training Hub’s social aspect with fun, friendly group training clinched the experience. Customer loyalty to the Wheel and Sprocket brand and their stores transferred to outdoor riding when the warm weather of spring came around again. Result: more customers and more revenue from the Training Hub’s winter indoor cycling department.

Steps in the Process

Pre-Launch: After working out the budget and timeline, Chris charged Amelia Kegel with developing the Training Hub Department. Amelia offered her staff the chance to coach and to become cycling certified, ordered equipment, created marketing materials, determined a price structure and rolled out the launch.

Program Methodology: The Heart Zones System co-developed by coach Laura Jensen from Tri Faster and Heart Zones founder and president, Sally Edwards. This smart cycling program caters to all levels of riders based on the latest in exercise science.

Program Basics: A 10-week program for $150 – $350, depending on the number of Training Hub workouts. Tri Faster and Training Hub Head Coach, Lauren Jensen with her team of certified cycling coaches led the progressively more challenging rides, as well as supervised the program. The first 10-week session focused on riding technique, rider’s effort and heart zones training using the patented Threshold Training System. The second 10-week session introduced power watt-training to those who rent or have access to power meter equipment.

Launch: Two 10-week sessions were held from October-December and from January-March. As word got out, rider numbers grew each week.

Added Program Values: Additional revenues from in-store amenities like bike storage, bike fit, accessories and product sales.

training hub cycling plus heart zones system
training hub coaching cycling
training hub cycling riders

Financial Results

Immediately in year one the Training Hub broke even and by year two, with initial investments taken care of, the Training hub had become profitable and hugely beneficial to the Wheel and Sprocket business. Not only did this impact the winter months, but there were residual effects for the summer as customer loyalty grew from the positive experiences with the winter program.

bike shop financials