Everyone always tells me they think I would love Flywheel - SoulCycle's equally trendy and expensive but less cult-ish and more performance-based counterpart.
The class was held at Flywheel's Chelsea location (on 17th Street between 7th & 8th Avenue) but they have many throughout New York City (9 to be exact) and throughout the US. They've even gone International - hey, Flywheel Dubai!
Everything looked new and sparkly clean but walking in was totally overwhelming. It was PACKED and I was surprised to find that there were no locker rooms - just shower/changing rooms and a bathroom. The lines were long and class started late because there were still so many people waiting to change.
There were lots of things around the waiting area that were convenient - like hair ties and mints, apples and bananas but I wish there had been locker rooms.
The cycling studio itself was large and set up stadium-style so that no matter where you were sitting you had a great view of the instructor.
Flywheel offers 45, 60 and 90 minute classes and the one I took was 45 minutes. For me, that's a good amount of time for a spin class because I typically am able to push myself realllly hard and am completely dead after those 45 minutes.
WHAT I LIKED:
-The shoes all seemed brand new and the bikes were nice as well.
-Focus on Metrics: Each bike has a small computer that lets you know metrics throughout your ride including RPMs, torque (resistance) and an overall score.
-TorqBoard: Another thing I loved about the class was that if you had a username registered with Flywheel, it appears on a leaderboard (the "TorqBoard) that comes up on the screens throughout class so you can see how your score stacks up. They also give you the option of opting out of the TorqBoard, which I think is great since some people might not feel comfortable with it.
Having metrics is HUGE for me in a spin class. It's why I love SWERVE and Peloton so much. Not only does it ignite my competitive spark with the other people in the class, but it drives me to do better each class that I take and to compete against myself.
-What I appreciate about Flywheel is that while they have you "tap it back" a number of times throughout class, that's pretty much the extent of the movement on the bike. There's no crunches and squats and other weird bullshit that you would never do on a bike (I'm looking at you, SoulCycle and Cyc!)
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
There was one song that focused on arms during the class - using 2 or 4 pound bars instead of free weights. As usual, I half-assed this portion and focused on keeping my legs going.
The instructor was great about letting you know how much resistance should be on your bike and how fast you should be aiming to spin during every song.
The music choices were solid as well and there was just the right amount of inspirational babble. I'm not being sarcastic - there really is a sweet-spot for that kind of stuff during a class.
THANKS RACHEL & JORDAN!
After class, we all got goody bags from Rachel and Jordan filled with chia seeds, Justin's peanut butter and other treats. There was also free Suja juices and samples of Barely Bread awaiting us in the lobby. I was so surprised by how delicious the odd-sounding red-cabbage, lemon water concoction was! (It was the Lavenade that I tried). The Barely Bread grain free loaf was ok, but the bagels were downright disappointing.
THE STUDIO - 6
The amenities were gorgeous but it was a real bummer not having a separate girls locker room where I could change. Instead, tons of people were waiting in line for the changing rooms. The line was so slow moving because people from the previous classes were showering.
CLASS SIZE - Large
There are probably around 50 bikes per class so you definitely won't be getting any personalized corrections or attention from instructors during a Flywheel class, but spin is one of those things were a large class doesn't really make or break the workout. You've got your own space so it doesn't feel overcrowded.
SWEAT SCALE - 8
I always leave spin a sweaty, sweaty mess. This was no different at Flywheel.
FUN FACTOR - 7
The fun factor here didn't really come from anything that Flywheel did, but rather the fact that I just generally enjoy spin classes. Give me a dark room with loud music and some stats to push myself and I'm having a good time.
AMENITIES - 9
Free apples, bananas, water bottles, hair ties, mints and shoe rentals earn Flywheel a big thumbs up.
COST - $34
It's expensive, but standard nowadays in NYC.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Everyone who told me I would love Flywheel was right. And if I could afford it, I might become a regular. Flywheel is a no-nonsense on the bike spin class that uses metrics and a competitive atmosphere to push you to a great, sweaty, workout. Flywheel has secured itself a spot in my top three spin studios and I'll certainly be back.
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