When Amy Glosser found out her local Park Slope cycling studio was closing, she promptly bought all of the fixtures (AKA the 25 bikes). Two months later, this past April, she opened BYKlyn (pronounced Bikelyn), on Flatbush Avenue, just three blocks from the Barclays Center, and a half mile from where the bikes were before.
“This opportunity came along and it felt right—both the timing and the business idea,” she says, though it happened quickly. “I asked to meet with Cycle Bar right away. They were looking for a good home, and I was that. Since the purchase, they’ve been involved and really helpful as a sounding board throughout the process. And I love it when they come to BYKlyn for classes.”
BYKlyn’s location, in a former Chinese restaurant, is decidedly low-key and shows all kinds of resourcefulness. The walls were completely covered in shiny aluminum before, “which would have been terrible for acoustics,” Glosser explains. One patch remains, paying homage to its previous life, and an open-to-interpretation serpent-like graffiti mural adorns the spin studio wall, a half-completed project by an artist, which just causes Glosser to shrug.
And the sparsely furnished outsize lounge covered in a no-slip surface is used for combo classes with yoga, cardio core, and HIIT boot camp. She sweetly calls this area the “front gym.” She’s also passionate about supporting Brooklyn businesses wherever possible and will tell you where everything comes from—from the soap used to clean the floors to the granola they sell.
While the class price isn’t dirt cheap, it’s lower than most ($26, shoes included). This is meant to help draw neighborhood residents, not necessarily those already taking part in the city’s boutique fitness scene, or even aware of it. For locals “and people who might be intimidated elsewhere,” Glosser thinks there’s room to be a “Pottery Barn of fitness.” That means, taking a “high-end spinning concept and the boutique fitness experience, and making it affordable for many.”
Glosser is seeing triathletes and first-timers, old and young, of all different nationalities riding at BYKlyn. “The diversity is exciting—and we’re unified by a desire for a great work out,” she says, noting the diversity on the teaching roster, too. “Many gyms our size would have maybe six instructors. We have 12. They all teach a consistent BYKlyn class, but they all have different styles that cater to our diversity.”
We rode with BYKlyn’s master instructor, Kat Piola, who’s also a marathoner and a Pilates instructor. Her rad playlist and encouragements had a schooled-in-Manhattan vibe, without being too polished or precious. Which, for Glosser, is the whole point. “Like the locavore trend in food—we are that in fitness,” she says. “Not a chain, not a big company, just some Brooklyn folks getting it done for Brooklyn.” —Melisse Gelula
BYKlyn, 258 Flatbush Ave., between Prospect Place and St. Mark’s Ave., Prospect Heights, www.byklyn.com