In recent years, quite a few indoor cycling studios have opened in the city. It takes major differentiators to break into the spin scene here. But when I heard CYC Fitness, which was previously only in the college towns of Austin and Madison, was headed to Manhattan, I was, well, psyched. CYC was created by Under Armour-sponsored athlete Keoni Hudoba to do three things: give college students a place to be social while they sweat, give back to the community by donating to charity for each mile ridden, and give the spin-obsessed a more well-rounded workout. All of that is now available inside DavidBarton at Astor Place.
All images via CYC Fitness
This is the first indoor cycling studio in the city to be located inside a fully-equipped gym. DavidBarton is all low lighting, thumping music, mirrored walls, winding staircases, and velvet curtains. Purchasing a CYC class credit (called a road trip) gives you access to the entire gym within two hours of your class, including the giant locker room. That’s a major differentiator. CYC, all edgy and modern, fits right in on the bottom floor of DavidBarton. And the staff couldn’t be friendlier. I got to meet Keoni when I arrived with fellow fitness blogger Michelle Roos, but Dara Hartman led our road trip.
Dara is a firecracker. From the moment we clipped in and started our warmup, she was shouting into her microphone, turning the music up, and whipping her hair around. CYC has an amazing sound system, the best lights I’ve ever seen in a studio, and an actual drum on the instructor stand. Everyone rides with the beat and completes a series of “challenges” that include tapbacks, jumps, sprints, etc.
The big difference from other cycling experiences was the use of weights. Everyone used 1-2 lb sandbag weights to complete strength segments inspired by different sports. While riding our bikes and holding our weights, we performed movements based on volleyball, swimming, and boxing. The boxing was, by far, my favorite. Dara put on Snapbacks & Tattoos, which had the perfect beat, and even walked up to me to have me uppercut my weights into her hands. And then she told me I was strong after class, which made me happy dance inside. Throughout the ride, Dara fluidly played with the lights and the drum to compliment her playlist. She led the room with a sassy, no-nonsense attitude.
I left feeling the workout in my arms, legs, and abs, which is more than I can say about other cycling classes I’ve been to. I also walked out to find the New York Rugby Club waiting to go in for a private road trip. I was tempted to clip back in right then, but I know I’ll be back for more.
Location: 4 Astor Place
Price: $25 per road trip
NOTE: CYC allowed me to visit for a free class, but I was in no way compensated to review it on my blog. These are honest opinions.