UPDATED SEP 17, 2020
All it took was some club lighting and fire Spotify playlists to make indoor cycling explode. When you’re ready for tapbacks, hill climbs, and possibly a hair flip, check out the best rides in NYC.
Beyoncé, Anderson Cooper, Katie Holmes, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Hale, Michelle Obama, and John Kerry… it’s easier to ask who’s not cycling with Soul than to ask who is. If you somehow haven’t heard of SoulCycle, with 21 studios in NYC and the surrounding neighborhoods, it’s time to slip on some cycling shoes to hit up the cycling cardio party that riders say has changed their lives. With a workout that is as soulful as it is efficient and enjoyable, pedal hard in a dark room romantically lit by sweater-scented candles and prepare to feel empowered. Still not convinced? Didn’t we mention the possibility of celebrity sightings?
The cycling classes at this Williamsburg joint take place in the basement, which they call “bassment” (which, basically, paints the picture of this rhythmic ride). This dance-based workout will keep you bouncing and pedaling the whole time. The biggest differences between SYNCSTUDIO and the other classes on the list is that you’ll be out of the saddle the entire time (standing), and you have the option to wear sneakers or clip-ins. Plus, SYNCSTUDIO is one of the only studios in the city that hosts cycling and yoga classes under the same roof — say “goodbye” to tight cycling hips. With day passes as opposed to individual class passes, this is an excellent spot for people who make a habit out of two-a-days.
Peloton has developed the type of cult-like following most fitness startups have only dreamed of. In part, that’s because it is the most high-tech studio on the list; this Chelsea studio records and live-streams each class for those who own a Peloton bike at home. The rides are both in and out of your saddle, with one upper body segment using one-, two-, or three-pound weights. Here, the instructors are joined in the studio by a live DJ who mixes the hottest tracks so you can jam in a next-level cycling experience. Tech nerds and early-adopter fitness junkies — strap in and prepare to go for a digital high.
Get your pedal on in Midtown or the Flatiron District with an indoor cycling studio that adds an element of teamwork to the mix. Co-founded by three college athletes, the class is divided into three teams: red, blue, and green. Over the course of 45 minutes, each team will work together to beat the others in multiple sprints, hills, and intervals. At the end, each person’s performance is averaged into his or her team score. Basically, you’ll feel like you’re back on your school’s turf, itching to call your instructor “coach”, all while enjoying flashing lights reminiscent of a disco-themed frat party. Adding to the social vibe is the first-floor juice bar and lounging area.
Originally from DC, this studio has plopped itself into the heart of NYC: Union Square. That’s good news because it’s accessible from nearly every subway, and you won’t feel deprived for pre- or post-ride fuel. With a range of different classes—including a Sunday class exploring Billboard charts dance hits—Ryde is all about helping you hit your fitness goals. Touting instructors who actually care, personality-filled playlists, and supportive community, expect a full-body workout that leaves you drenched. But at least it’s one of the few on the list with showers — get your sweat in before work!
Grab your swimsuit and check out the only cycling studio in New York that offers classes… in a pool. With three stories, a chic entrance, and a sleek changing room that offers all the amenities you would want, this Tribeca hot spot is seriously making waves. Because of the buoying effects of water, AQUASTUDIO is a great alternative for people with joint issues. Just remember to bring rubber water shoes or prepare to spend $2 to borrow a pair.
When it comes to cycling, Monster is as unapologetic as they come. With all-gender locker rooms, uncensored beats, and explicit music videos projected onto studio walls, this fitness hub has all the makings of an awesome nightclub. And in case you’re wondering, yes, a parental advisory plays before class and the cycling shoe strap-ins are leather. Plus, with art and fashion installments in its two locations (shoutout SoHo and Limelight), Monster is basically a hip rave that just so happens to have indoor bikes. Monster virgins, get there early to check out their gear, which is displayed in a metal cage, or to fuel up pre-ride with wholesome juice made at the in-studio smoothie bar.
This Long Island City studio has elements that SoulCycle and Flywheel regulars will recognize: stadium seating, candles, and hand weights. The studio prides itself on offering the high-quality atmosphere and teaching of well-known brands without the you-just-can’t-ride-with-us vibe (that also means it’s cheaper). And with a family-like feel and “Built On Love” motto, who wouldn't want to pump and peddle here?
Check ICE NYC on the Upper East Side for a one-of-a-kind biking class. Inspired by the piece of equipment CrossFitters lovingly call the “assault” bike, this class takes place on and off an Airdyne-style bike and is truly an assault on calories. With a juice bar up front and first floor flooded with light, you’ll want to get there early enough to grab a protein shake or people-watch through the front windows. And if you love their kickass but community vibe, check out their CrossFit, Row, TRX, and HIIT classes.
With four locations in Manhattan, Cyc combines calorie-burning endurance with high-energy playlists and instructors. With pink, red, and blue lighting reminiscent of a 70s disco and playlists that’ll get you dance-pumping your heart out, the classes are as energizing as they are intense. Hit up this party-on-a-bike cycling studio for 45 minutes of cycling intervals and weight movements. But riders beware: their classes fill up quickly, so be sure to book ahead of time for a guaranteed spot.
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