Ok friends, I know I’ve been SERIOUSLY slacking on studio reviews. Somewhere between working five jobs, two of which are at fitness studios, it’s hard to make it to new classes. I do have one class per month on Classpass, though (gone are my days of excessive studio hopping), and now that I’ve been to Flywheel a few times, it’s time to write a review.
Flywheel has a ton of locations in Manhattan, as well as a new location in Williamsburg. Of the numerous locations, I’ve been to Astor Place and Upper East Side. Astor Place is one of the newer studios and is super sleek and modern, complete with new bikes, individual shower rooms, and self-locking lockers. The Upper East Side studio is in the same building as SLT and Fhitting Room on 67th and it’s a bit older, though when I went a couple of weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they’d updated the bikes and lockers.
The studios have similar amenities to your standard boutique fitness studios–lockers, showers with high-quality products (Bliss soap, in this case), a variety of primping materials (blow dryer, dry shampoo, hair ties, etc). Flywheel also has free fruit (apples AND bananas–lavish AF), free water bottles (along with a sign to only take one, lol) and shoe rental is free. This is definitely a better deal than Soulcycle!
For more info on the studios themselves, check out my Flybarre review from earlier this year.
I’ve taken class with Caitlin Jones and Kyle Axman. Both were energetic and managed to balance motivating the class with announcing the target speed of each song, and both had fun playlists, too. There are approx. one million Flywheel instructors, so it’s hard to give an accurate review of them having only taken a couple of classes, but both were friendly and approachable both before and after class, as well as in the studio.
Flywheel is very data-based. For each song during class, the instructor will announce the target speed/RPM and target “Torq,” or resistance/power. Higher speeds are paired with lower Torq and vice versa. Ranges are challenging (as a new rider, I often rode below the target range!) but accessible. All of the ranges/numbers/etc. can be great to make sure you’re pushing yourself throughout class, and they’re great tools for more advanced riders or those with a competitive streak. That said, it’s also a bit stressful, makes you take your focus off of your body and onto a number, and honestly keeps you from clearing your mind during class, which is one of the main reasons I work out. Actual footage of me in class:
The data-driven approach goes beyond the target ranges, too. Riders can opt into the TorqBoard, a board shown periodically through class that shows how your Torq/power stacks up to other riders. Don’t worry–it’s opt-in only, and it’s only shown for certain minute-long sprints. The board is divided by gender because SEXISM IS REAL, Y’ALL but also I’m kind of ok with it in this instance because it increases my chances of being on the board.
Lastly, on the Flywheel site (Flywheelsports, not Flywheel, which is a D-list ride service company), you can check out your profile, which contains everything from your stats from class to your ideal seat height. You can also connect your account to Strava if you track where you bike and stuff like that (clearly I don’t understand Strava).
In sum, Flywheel is a great boutique spin class for the more advanced, competitive rider who is more concerned with stats than partying on the bike. Definitely worth checking out if that’s your jam, and if not, still check it out–you’ll get a great workout and a free banana and water bottle #swag.
Flywheel still attracts your typical boutique fitness yuppie fan, though there’s a larger range in terms of age, gender, and fitness level than at SoulCycle. Still, the Flywheel brand is nothing to sneeze at, and it has a number of celeb fans, too. My friend in LA has seen Diane Keaton in class (she wears all black and sunglasses and rides in the back–same), and my cousin’s best friend saw Cam Newton in Charlotte (proving that even as a fitness instructor, I’m clearly not athletic enough for this class).
Single classes are $36, which is sadly standard for boutique spin classes in the city. Shoes are included, though, which is a plus. Cost per class goes down with packages, as you’d expect. The studio is also on Classpass (though it’s worth noting that your 3x/month limit applies to Flywheel Sports as a whole, so you can’t visit Flywheel and Flybarre 3x each). First time riders get their first ride for $15, so definitely worth checking out.
[image via Business Insider]