Sixteen Watt bikes, a pilates and yoga studio, and an enhanced café area are among the additions to a London “gym for cyclists” as work to expand the premises of the , Cadence Cycling Performance Centre in Crystal Palace nears completion.
Refurbishment of the 18th century building at Anerley Hill, previously the dance hall for the Crystal Palace Hotel and a car showroom before being taken over by Cadence in April 2012, began just six weeks ago and is now in its final phase.
Co-owner, Frank Beechinor, told RCUK that the work, which has included the installation of a mezzanine floor, would allow Cadence to provide “sophisticated indoor cycling services”, including a new test to assess critical power output for one hour, cyclist-specific stretching exercises, and pedal stroke analysis.
“We think there’s a market for sophisticated indoor cycling,” said Beechinor. “Most cyclists do spin classes and come out having sweated but not realising that in physiological terms, they’ve probably regressed rather than progressed.”
The new Watt Bike studio will host a range of classes, held seven days a week, from cyclist-specific spinning sessions to ‘brick runs’ for triathletes, where high-intensity Watt Bike sessions are immediately followed by an outdoor run. ‘Silver cyclist’ sessions for the over-60s, and traditional spinning classes targeted at mothers, where child care is arranged, are among those planned.
Sessions in the Watt Bike room will be led by Cadence’s instructors, but the room is available to hire for clubs who are then free to structure their own sessions. Wednesday nights have been booked until July by a club preparing for a major sportive, Beechinor said. Bookings can be made online, with free sessions offered for multiple class bookings. Annual subscription plans with monthly fees allow riders to use the studio at any time, and to join any class, in a bid to offer cyclists an alternative to mainstream gyms. New showers and toilet facilities have been installed.
A new fitness studio on the mezzanine floor is to be used for cyclist-specific stretching classes, and pilates and yoga sessions, with the stretching classes to be led by a sports therapist. Classes will be held every day and included in Cadence’s PedalFit programme, which will be launched next week.
PedalFit will integrate a training programme with an eating plan, combining Watt Bike and outdoor cycling sessions tailored to pre-assessed heart rate or power zones with meal choices, Beechinor said. Clients will begin their programme by supplying data from a three-day food diary, which will be entered into a database to produce a presentation of the rider’s nutritional intake. Cadence’s chef will then develop meal choices to address weaknesses in the rider’s diet.
The café area at the front of the shop will be enhanced as part of the refurbishment, and will serve recipes from the PedalFit programme. Cookery demonstrations are planned to teach riders to make nutritious meals to fuel training. Cadence’s chef, a Cat 3 racer who has designed the meals for the PedalFit programme, has designed the new menu for the café.
Vo2 Max tests, lactate threshold tests, and maximum heart rate tests will be held in the new fitness rooms, where Cadence will also offer its new ‘critical power profile’ test, developed with sports scientists at Kent University. “It’s a question of identifying a rider’s sustained power output for an hour,” said Beechinor, “and training him to achieve that.” The test, held over two appointments to allow recovery in between, begins with a Vo2 Max test with close analysis of power output. The second session involves to maximum power tests. Data is processed in an algorithm developed by the university to produce a target for which a training programme is then produced.
Cadence will soon become a stockist for the Giant Propel, the aero road bike ridden by German sprint king, Marcel Kittel, and his colleagues on the Giant-Shimano UCI WorldTour team. Cadence will launch as a Propel stockist next Friday (January 31, 2014).
Cadence completed 1,300 bike fits last year, said Beechinor, and will continue to offer Retul and dynamic bike fits to assess physiology, cleat position, and position on the bike. The shop’s head fitter has been working with the AN Post-Chain Reaction Pro Continental team in Calpe.
The refurbishment work is set to be completed by the end of the month.