UPDATED OCT 30, 2019
If you want to hop on a bike and pedaling until you can’t pedal any more, you’re in luck — Boston's indoor cycling scene is legit. The only thing tough than the class itself? Choosing a studio. So put this guide to use and get to work.
Music can take an ordinary workout and take it to the next level. With studios downtown on Federal St. and outside the city in Wellesley, B/SPOKE has its hand on the dial, cranking the tunes while you spin the pedals. The spot-on playlists designed by each instructor bring out the inner athlete in every rider. This allows you to cycle harder and faster, making you stronger with each rotation. Arm weights, a little dancing on the bike, and some steep, heavy climbs hurt oh-so-good.
SoulCycle is almost synonymous with boutique cycling these days. Boston’s experience started with a SoulCycle in Chestnut Hill and has rapidly expanded to include studios in the Back Bay, Seaport, Beacon Hill, and Dedham. SoulCycle’s emphasis on the mind and the spirit encourages riders to understand the connection between what they do on the bike, plus their life outside of the studio.
Unique to other studios in Boston, Flywheel uses numbers to push each rider. Each bike has a mini screen that tracks the amount of resistance, the RPM, and the power that the bike is producing. This real-time personal performance reporting is the real deal. And while Flywheel surely appeals to the inner competitor in all of us, if you’re not into the numbers, let your body do the talking as you kick it into a whole new gear. You’ll find Flywheel Sports Back Bay in the Belvedere Arcade of the Prudential Center.
You’re gonna get hooked on The Handle Bar pretty quick. With studios in South Boston, Fenway, and Harvard Square, this indoor cycling studio is alive with hot beats, low lights, and epic sweat sessions. They use a combo of arm weights, tap backs, and good ol’ fashioned sprints to keep the mind guessing and the body working. Add in some motivational instructors and hold on because you’re in for one wild ride.
The instructors at Recycle Studio like to say that while their bikes are stationary, you’re still going places — to strength, to health, and to betterment. Boston’s first and arguably finest boutique cycling studio has a home in the South End. Back in the day, Recycle introduced Boston to sweaty spin classes with low lighting and loud music. And today, they’re still up to their old tricks… in the best way. Plus, with Recycle you never have to take a day off — the studio is open every day except the Fourth of July.
This studio at the end of Hanover St. near the Waterfront is the first to ride into the North End. Of course Ride has all the cycling essentials, like bikes and a full-body workout. But this studio cranks up the music and hits the climbs, sprints, jumps, tap backs, and push-ups extra hard, taking your ride to new heights. Bonus: there’s a smoothie and juice bar (courtesy of e.t.c. juicery) inside of the studio, so you can grab a refreshing beverage to refuel on your way out.
If you want to ride at a studio where everybody knows your name, look no further than ctowncycle. But don’t be fooled by the super-friendly atmosphere because the studio’s classes are no joke. Set to energetic music to really get your heart and legs pumping, each one is different, so you’ll never get bored.
Lots of indoor cycling studios pride themselves on having the most motivating music, but Turnstyle takes this to a whole new level. Classes like Beyoncé vs. Jay-Z or Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups will have you rocking hard as you push the pedals. And with five studios in the area — Back Bay, Charlestown, Kendall Square, South End, and Woburn — there are dozens of these super fun classes to choose from every day of the week.
There have been a lot of changes at Cyc Fitness in the past years, but if there’s one thing you can always count on: you’re going to have the ride of your life there. The studio re-opened their doors in BSC Lab at 699 Boylston St. in 2017, and you’re going to want to check out the state-of-the-art space. Classes use a combo of intervals, weights, and high-energy playlists to help you go the extra mile.
Tucked away in both Beacon Hill and Jamaica Plain, you can find REPS Fitness cycling classes, which are really turning up the heat. You have three options of classes to maximize your burn: REPSCYCLE, KORECYCLE, CYCLE & FLOW. Each workout begins with 30 minutes of intense cycling to get your heartrate up, with the next 30 minutes focusing either on strength training, a core burn, or yoga flow depending on which you sign up for. Or you can try them all (you should) to really get a feel for the REPS experience.
While only available to Equinox members, The Pursuit is a one-of-a-kind cycling class that’s centered around motivation. Prepare to have your stats displayed on a wall for the whole class to see as you pedal your hardest to win a series of games. While you can compete as an individual, games also involve teams, challenging riders to improve upon their speed as well as mileage. The end result? A 50-minute sweat sesh that makes high-intensity interval training a little fun. Buying the Equinox membership might be worth it after all.
**Updated by Faith Brar, October 2018