The birthplace of spin just got another cycling studio with CycleBar riding into town this week, offering free classes in their state-of-the-art theater on new electromagnetic bikes. The studio offers concierge service and premium amenities, including live performance tracking.

“Premium indoor cycling is the niche,” owner Tony Virella said. The Malibu resident is opening up franchises of the Costa Mesa-based studio here and in Manhattan Beach.

“It’s addictive, it’s fun,” Virella said of the cycling trend, which has experienced a resurgence in recent years with boutique cycling studios offering immersive, music-driven experiences.

Virella says the new studio is opening with a nod to cycling’s Santa Monica roots. Local cyclist Johnny Goldberg, also known as Johnny G, invented spinning in his Santa Monica garage in the 1980’s, eventually designing the first indoor spin bike.

Thirty years later, there are about a half-dozen boutique cycling studios in city limits, including SoulCycle, Flywheel and Cycle House. Attendance usually costs about $30 for a single 45-minute class.

“What I keep hearing is, ‘I want to do more but it’s bankrupting me,’” Virella said.  The studio owner says he hopes to compete on price, offering unlimited classes for $139 a month.

Through Friday, locals can ride for free in classes offered as early as 6:00 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m. Sign up and view a full schedule at

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press