Definitive Ranking of Manhattan's Cult Spin Studios

The stationary bike has revolutionized exercise and it's no secret that the spinning craze is here to stay. For up to $40 a class, (ehem...SoulCycle Hamptons) many New Yorkers are willing to pay the big bucks for a 45 minute ride. If you don’t know where to start on your cycling journey, this article will guide you in the right direction.

Photo: @cycfitness

Photo: @cycfitness

Cyc 

As a SoulCycle loyalist, I was hesitant to try Cyc. My first class was a CycLift class in Hell’s Kitchen and I LOVED it. As you can see in Wisco’s Cyc article, CycLift classes place an extra emphasis on weights and core. The amazing music and upbeat vibes of Soul are still there, but I definitely felt it more the next day. My instructor, Ellie, even played the drums at the end of our 5PM class. The next time, I took an 8AM Cyc45 class, which was not quite as enjoyable but I still felt the burn. If you’re looking for a super fun but less culty experience than Soul, Cyc is the place for you.

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Instagram: @cycfitness

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

SoulCycle

I have been spinning to amazing music at Soul in my hometown on Long Island for over a year now, and I will be the first to admit it’s hard NOT to become obsessed. I mean, I went all three days to the Nashville pop-up and even did a double with my co-SBIC, Abbey.  I always walk out of Soul feeling energized, stabilized and ready to buy their merchandise. I live for theme rides and Soul Survivor hour-long classes on the weekends. However, I do sometimes find myself questioning the quality of each workout. Sometimes, instructors will not tell you how much to turn up your resistance and the arm workout only lasts one song. That said, I will always be down to grab a few friends and head to a Soul class before grabbing an acai bowl.

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Instagram: @soulcycle

Photo: @flywheelsports

Photo: @flywheelsports

Flywheel

I have taken three Flywheel classes and I can definitely see why competitive people love this. With locations all around New York, you can pretty much sign up for a class whenever you want and the waitlists are definitely less difficult than SoulCycle's. Flywheel has a “TorqBoard” where everyone is measured up against one another. Personally, I don't like the competitive nature as I think that everyone has different capabilities, so I choose to opt out of the board. However, I do like being able to see my “torq,” or resistance number, and “current” on my bike and seeing my stats on my account online after each class. Flywheel is not as fun as other spin classes but you will definitely feel challenged during and after this experience.

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Instagram: @flywheelsports

Photo: @pelotoncycle

Photo: @pelotoncycle

Peloton

The Peloton bike is a newcomer and revolutionary concept in the spin world. Known as "indoor cycling: reimagined for the home" the Peloton bike is available for purchase and you can livestream classes or tune into them at your own convenience. The bike and class subscription are both extremely pricey, so when I saw the Peloton studio on my block I knew I had to give it a try. The bike was definitely high-tech and the cameras for livestreaming in the studio surprisingly didn't bother me. However, the class was not as fun, the music was not good and most of the class was done while sitting. You can measure your metrics, like at Flywheel, but the music was a major turn-off for me.

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Facebook
Instagram: @pelotoncycle

 

 

The message here is that spinning is an amazing workout. From a 300 calorie to 800 calorie burn, and from super fun to super competitive, Manhattan has a huge variety of classes to choose from. So, hop on a bike and get cycling.