By James Forrest

SyncStudio is a company that is part of the emerging vanguard of community-based businesses centered on a mission. Formed by a group of friends who shared a love of stationary cycling, SyncStudio enters its second year stronger than ever, on the cusp of opening its downtown Durham location to complement its first space in the Southpoint area.

Incorporated in 2009, SyncStudio is a great example of how entrepreneurism blossoms from having a passion and simply sharing it with enough likeminded people who will support and sustain it.  Key to supporting and sustaining the Studio, which centers on SyncCycling, a new way of stationary training that doesn’t simulate road biking, has been its social component.  Even before the idea for a new gym came to life, this tight-knit group celebrated each other’s birthdays and other life events, shared cards, and gathered for meals.

At one of these dinners, the concept for the SyncCycling Manual, a template for personal health and a foundation for the new gym itself, was born. Throughout 2008 and 2009, a core group of the cycling fellowship wrote the book (now available at Lulu, Amazon, and ) and scouted the company’s first location, at 6815 Fayetteville Road.  This different form of cycling flows to the beat of the chosen music and integrates upper body movements to create a total cardiovascular workout.

Since opening the Southpoint location, the company’s scope continues to change and grow, due to the open source mindset that fuels the SyncStudio’s ethos.  According to Ashley Lively, a cycling instructor and one of two employees, along with studio manager Christine Wall, who run the facility, SyncStudio places almost no restrictions on the 20-plus instructors who lead cycling, yoga, and personal training for the members.  They are free to choose their own music and workout techniques in an effort to keep the experience fresh and new each time.

The management and ownership group at SyncStudio are excited to be a part of Durham’s rebirth as a community where people want to live, work, and play. With their new location at 913 Lamond Avenue coming online this fall, Ashley says it’s a particular source of pride for SyncStudio locations to stand at either end of the Durham portion of the American Tobacco Trail.

The company’s social focus has facilitated a variety of events.  In addition to keeping their tradition of celebrating member birthdays and other life events, SyncStudio has generously showcased other businesses by hosting trunk shows for local retailers.  A recent event featured a catered meal from Blu Seafood and Bar of Durham, served at the studio. An ongoing focus is to hold different exercise classes with the expressed purpose of participants getting to know each other socially, following the company’s trusted template that formed its roots.

For more information on SyncStudio, call Ashley Lively or Christine Wall at 919-572-7962 or visit their site at