Back in 2006, a long long time ago…. in a galaxy far far away, The Upper West Side in Manhattan was blessed with its very first Soulcycle. A place where cycling enthusiasts from all walks of life could come together for 45 minutes and ride a bike.
But what made Soulcyle different than the traditional cycling classes?
Within the dark studio, you find disco balls, neon lights, amped up instructors, booming music, and candles scattered around. Today, the soulcyclers call it “a cardio party”.
After living in Manhattan in the Upper East Side for a little over a year, I’ve tried many cycling classes across the city. Here are my top 3 spots (in no particular order).
Soulcycle, an indoor cycling funhouse, was founded by two girlfriends who had a passion for making workouts seem less like work and more like fun. You can find Soulcyle studios in Fidi, Park Slope, and many other areas across NYC. Soulcycle has expanded outside of New York and into other cities such as Chicago, LA, Denver, and Toronto.
If you love yoga pants, cycling shoes, and more branded Soulcycle merch, you can buy it online and in store.
Why I love: The instructors are super high energy and the music is usually great. It’s a little pricey, but worth it for a workout where you can have a good time and burn A LOT of calories quickly. It’s especially great if you’re tired after work and need an extra bit of motivation.
Flywheel was founded by one of the three founders of Soulcycle! Ruth Zuckerman started her 2nd cycling business 4 years after her 1st venture.
Flywheel offers a low-impact ride with weights that look like wands– they’re very non-traditional, which is why I think it’s a cool concept. During the entire class, you stay up to date on your resistance levels (torq) and speed (RPM) that’s located directly in front of you on the bike. For the 45 minute ride, you’re able to look up at the TorqBoard and see how you’re ranking up to others in the class.
Why I love: Free water bottles. That’s a huge perk! There are also different levels of classes. For example, power and tempo are more advanced, but the environment is all-inclusive. You’re in your own space, pedaling in the dark, but you feel the group energy.
3. Ryde Cycle
I found RYDE when I signed up for ClassPass a few months ago. RYDE by Revolve only has locations in DC and NYC today. The classes are either 45 minutes or 60 minutes in a dark room with loud, heart-pumping music. They offer a good amount of upper body/ab work which I love because it’s challenging and keeps your mind in the room and not wondering how much time is left in the class.
Why I love: The fitness instructors know what they’re doing. They’re always ready to help you set up your bike and they’re experts on form and will help you form correct if needed. They will “will push you to your limits all while enhancing your form and technique”. I’m always energized when I leave a Ryde 45 class.
Book a class here today!