Look out, cycling fanatics: there’s a new studio in town, and it’s in one of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods. As of September, athletes from across the city are meeting “down the alley” just off of Division and Ashland to get their sweat on in a unique space that matches the industrial Wicker Park vibe perfectly.
A year ago, Liza Solberg got the idea to expand the Spynergy cycling experience in the city to bring a new wave of riders the second-generation studio of the original Winnetka-based location, which her mom and aunt have owned since 2002. And although the Winnetka studio originally started out with only 15 bikes, there are 35 to choose from in the brand new Wicker Park studio.
The 26-year-old Winnetka native strives to make riders feel more like family than strangers when showing up for their 50-minute sweat sesh. Spynergy aims for a more intimate, community-driven atmosphere that has more of a coffee shop or speakeasy feel, rather than a generic or intimidating one.
As soon as you walk into the studio, you can’t help but notice the exposed brick walls and the giant skylight overlooking the middle of the space. You can even catch the sunrise and sunset during those early-morning and late-night rides, which is a rare feature in most studios.
“The traditional studio has a more cavernous atmosphere, whereas at Spynergy, it almost feels like you’re indoor cycling outside,” says Solberg.
And although some teachers opt to use a shade over the skylight if the sun gets too bright during class, the studio also has two garage doors that flank the cycling space, so you can always count on natural light and outdoor views (when it’s not already dark outside).
One of the best parts about the Chicago fitness scene is how often studios partner up with each other — especially those in the same neighborhood. And although Spynergy’s the new studio on the block, it’s already fitting in perfectly. Each month they team up with a local studio and offer special combo classes with fun swag from Outdoor Voices.
Spynergy also has newbie specials that are affordable and fun — like their current promo this month, “Friendsgiving November,” where you get a chance to win special prizes for first-time riders you refer to the studio.
Regardless of the month, all new riders get their first ride (and shoes) for $15, and an additional three-ride package for $40. Oh, and if you’re uncomfortable renting shoes that aren’t your own, Spynergy’s bikes have pedals that allow for non-cycling shoes, too.
As if we didn’t have enough reasons to go to Wicker Park already, we may have just found our new favorite.