I was intimidated by indoor cycling before I took my first class. I thought that you already had to be at a certain fitness level to even think about riding. So much resistance, speed, and choreography to worry about! Still, some part of me knew that I’d love it if I could push myself to clip in for the first time. I was right. There’s something about the whirring sound of a room full of flywheels before the first song hits the speakers. There’s something about the mental impact of indoor cycling, taking you to a different place while you physically stay in one spot. There’s something about the feeling of pedaling in unison with 40 people to a heavy beat in a dark room. I finish every ride feeling stronger than when I started.
While my indoor cycling obsession began at SoulCycle and continued with rides at Revolve and Pedal, I finally found my perfect match last week. Flywheel and I were love at first climb. A lot of people ask me about the difference between each of these studios. I believe they each have their own personality and offer a slightly different workout, but that’s another post for another time. This one’s dedicated to sharing why I think Flywheel is the perfect studio for serious spinners.
After connecting with me on Twitter last week, the Flywheel team invited me to take my first class on them. I signed up for Ryan Makely’s ride on the Upper West Side that very night. The moment I arrived at the studio, I was blown away by how spacious and tech-savvy it was. There’s a lounge area and retail space. You sign in on an iPad and pick up your (FREE) shoes in cubbies that coordinate with your bike number. After stashing your bag in an electronic locker, you pick up your (FREE) towel and bottle of water before heading in to the stadium-style studio. Let’s talk about Ryan.
Image via Flywheel
What Others Said
“Teacher. Leader. Hard Worker. Positive Reinforcer. Influencer. Energizer. Friend. These are only a few of many amazing qualities that Ryan embraces during EVERY SINGLE RIDE.” – borntofly1482
“Before every class Ryan will introduce himself to both Flywheel newbies and Ryan newbies. I love that he announces ‘You might not know me, but by the end of these 45 minutes we will be besties!’ And it’s honestly true. He’s the kind of instructor that makes a personal connection with his students.” – Dancey Pants
What I Thought
I introduced myself to Ryan before class and asked if he’d explain the small computer attached to my bike and how it connects to the Torqboard. These bikes are specifically designed for Flywheel and are the love child of a tech nerd and a fitness junkie. The computer tracks metrics like your resistance, speed, and power output. Then, you’re given a score that ranks you against the other riders on a monitor at the front of the room. Talk about added motivation. The metrics also immediately upload to your online account after the ride, so you can track progress and set goals for yourself. I came in 6th out of 40 during my first ride.
Ryan was fantastic. He made the hour-long ride as fun as it was challenging. It also helped that he kicked off the ride with my new favorite song, Lorde’s Royals. Although it was my first Flywheel ride, Ryan made it easy to keep up. He included intervals at different hand positions, sprints, hills, corners, and tapbacks. There was also a strength segment using a weighted bar. Most importantly, he motivated the group without being too cheesy and pushed me far past my comfort zone. Even though the Torqboard was ranking our stats at the front of the room, Ryan focused our attention on our effort rather than the numbers. That’s the sign of an excellent fitness instructor.
Locations: Studios in six states (and Dubai)
Price Per Class: $32 per class in NYC