There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned bike ride through the neighborhood — it brings out the kid in you. But then you remember that you’re an adult, and there’s also nothing like clipping into a shiny stationary bike under ambient lighting and sweating your ass off to some rad tunes with a motivational instructor at the helm.
Here, we present you with our favorite indoor cycling studios in the Queen City, so get yourself under those flashing lights and enjoy the ride!
A fitness fanatic walks into a bar… Okay, there’s no punchline here other than the swift ass-kicking you’ll receive before exiting the high-energy and hot beats behind CycleBar’s doors. In addition to feeding your legs’ need for speed and power, you’ll work your upper body with push-ups, presses, crunches, and more. Between a variety of themed rides (led by their top-notch instructors, the CycleStars), DJ rides, and their signature ride, there is something on the schedule for everyone. And with locations in Midtown, Waverly, Lake Norman, and SouthPark (coming soon), it’s easy to hit up the bar regardless of your CLT whereabouts.
Thrive on competition? Hop on the Flywheel torque board and be prepared to sweat buckets in pursuit of gaining some mad power points. Flywheel Sports didn’t become the nationally-recognized behemoth it is today out of nowhere, and we’re happy to have them in Cotswold. They offer a variety of rides, from their classic interval-based “Method 45” to a more challenging “Power 45” to their more dynamic “Tempo 45”, where you ride to the rhythm and follow the lead’s athletic choreography. (Even if you and crazy Aunt Karen share the same dance moves — it’s fun, dark, and no one will notice).
Right in line with the South End ‘hood, you’ll find an animated and upbeat vibe at First Wind. In lieu of lining the room with typical cycling studio mirrors, they’ve opted to populate their walls with vibrant graffiti. Listen, we’re not judging you if you’ve stared at yourself in the other mirrors (we’ve all done it), it’s just refreshing to truly focus on your ride. Also, their bikes move — as in they turn and sway from side to side. That’s what you get with their RealRyder bike setup, and you’ll feel like Lance freakin’ Armstrong in the Tour de Charlotte in there. Fitt Tip: they bring in adoptable dogs from time to time — don’t miss out.
You’re hard-pressed to find a dope fitness studio within Uptown Charlotte’s corporate cluster… CycleSouth being an exception, of course. For those of you fast-paced biz professionals looking to get in an efficient sweat during your weekly grind, saddle up! Expect an energetic-meets-therapeutic challenge led by one of their fun and motivational instructors. Not to mention, the Uptown convenience factor (just a five-minute walk from Trade and Tryon) makes an easy pre-, mid-, or post-work sweat session hard to pass up. All fitness levels are welcome—first ride or 500th—as they specify, “it’s tough, but it’s for everyone”.
If you think you know what a cycling class is all about, then you haven’t been to STAX. At this Tryon St. studio, you can clip into their stadium-style cycling room and crank up the RPMs in their Beat or Hip Hop classes. Plot twist: once a week they host a Mystery class featuring a surprise musical theme — but you gotta show up to find out whether you’ll be pedaling to the sounds of Kanye or Luke Bryan.
You already know South End’s URBAN MVMNT has CrossFit and houses the popular South End Grind coffee bar, but you’re missing out by not hitting up a class at their Ride or Die Spin Studio. With all the respect for your busy life, these high-energy rides are all 45 minutes long and designed to get you movin’ and groovin. And if you’re sick of the saddle, sign up for one of their new Spin + Flow Classes — 30 minutes of cycling followed by 25 of yoga.
**Updated by Finley Amato, October 2018