Review: Flywheel Cycling

by agirlandhermutt on November 8, 2013

Big news…I don’t have to have surgery! I’ve been dealing with a knee thing for a little over 3 months now. It was beginning to bug me when I first started boot camp and then became increasingly uncomfortable. By the time I got to a Sports Medicine doc, I was having problems bending, straightening, feeling weak, etc. Not good.

After x-rays, a MRI and a few doctors visits, we have decided that I am getting a cortisone shot and that is that. I’ve also started to do a few exercises to help strengthen my inner leg muscle. I’m thrilled!

Once my doc said I was fine to keep working out I was ready to get back on the spin bike. Oh spinning. How I love you! Our chat was just in time for me to head over to Flywheel, a spinning studio that just opened a new location in Boston.

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Flywheel is brand new to Boston and is located in a slightly deserted section of the Prudential building.


*iPhone photos FTW! Sorry guys. I need to get back into carrying my real camera. Lazy blogger alert!*

Because it is so new, everything was nice and clean. Just the way I like workout spots. My regular gym is a funky mess of germs so this was a fun change!

Part of the class fee, which we will get to in a minute, are towels and bike shoes. You can’t wear your regular sneakers when spinning at Flywheel. They have plenty of sizes and when you sign up online they ask you what your size is so they have them ready to go for you.

The shoes were similar to my regular spinning shoes, but just had different clips. Is clips the right word?! Lets go with clips.

While we were waiting to go in for class I checked out the space. They don’t have traditional locker rooms, but they do have private bathrooms and a few showers. The private bathrooms are perfect for all you bathroom selfie loving folks.  Also, I get a kick out of their own soap by Bliss. Classy.

  

They do have lockers available for your to store your stuff that have a built in lock. I love not having to remember to bring my own lock each time!

Right as we were walking in I discovered the water bottle refill station. When I was telling my BF about this place I kept referring to this spot as “water on draft” like it was something fancy. Finally he said, “Do you mean a water fountain?” Well. No, not technically. But basically yes. Still! I love this!

Flywheel is “stadium cycling”. Just like stadium seating at the movie theatre (although not as extreme), there are several rows of bikes. This allows every single person a direct view of the instructor without having someone’s big head bobbing up and down in front of them the whole class. I think this idea is fantastic!

The instructor is at the center of the room and when the room is dark there is a nice light that shines directly on her. This light combined with the mirror covering the wall makes it easy to see exactly what she is doing in case you can’t hear her instructions.

Which is good because that is exactly what happened with me. Sad smile

For this class I was assigned Bike 1. I was directly under a speaker. It wasn’t particularly loud, but it was muffled. I could hear a few of the instructions she gave, but not every one of them was clear for me. If I was a newbie spinner, I would have been frustrated. When you sign up online you actually get to pick your bike. On my next go round I want to pick a bike more in the middle of the room to see if that helps.

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Ok, so what makes FlyWheel different than another spinning class? Well, there are a few things.

1. The bike itself. FlyWheel has a little monitor called a “tech-pack” attached to each bike. This monitor displays your “torq” (resistance), “RPM” (speed), and your “Power”.


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If you have ever been to a spinning class you will know that the instructor lets you know that you are going to be climbing a hill. That means you want to really dig deep and feel the burn in your legs. This might usually mean 3 turns to the right with the resistance knob to get the desired difficulty. On a Flywheel ride, your instructor will give you a “torq” range to shoot for. Ranges are given for both RPM and Torq throughout the class so you really have an idea of how hard you should be working. Want to work harder? Fine. Want to work slower? That is fine too! If you have a tendency to cheat a little on those hills or sprints, this will keep ya honest.

2. COMPETITION! This isn’t going to be a plus for all of you, but for me this was HUGE. I’m a bit competitive, but only in weird things. I don’t care if your football team beats mine. I do care if you finish a knitting project before me. At Flywheel you can choose to participate in the “Torqboard”. It is a big screen at the front of the room that the instructor will turn on at various points in the class to show you how the class is ranking up. This perfect for those of us who don’t want to be last! Just a reminder…I’m Bike 1. BOOM!


*Just a note: I did awesome despite not riding in several weeks and a slight knee injury. I will dominate the next time!*

After every ride, your bike stats are stored and made available to you through your account on their website. This would be a great way to track your improvements and set goals for each class. We all know I love goals!

3. Weighted bars. My regular spinning studio utilizes weights in some of the classes depending on the instructor. In Flywheel classes, the weights are always part of the class.


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For at least one song, usually near the end of class, you take a small break from pushing it with your legs and work the upper body. Flywheel has a 2lb and 4lb bar attached to every bike for you to use. If you are feeling particularly strong, you would easily double up on the weights. Showoff.

The weights portion of the class came at just the right time for me to recover and then get ready to push it for the last hill and sprint of the class.

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Just like any other spinning class, what can make OR BREAK a class are the instructors and the music. Flywheel is no different. Each instructor choreographs their own class utilizing a playlist from a collection of music that Flywheel puts together.

My class instructor was Meredith. She was NO JOKE. The class flew by because she seamlessly mixed together hills, sprints, and jumps. I loved that she did the entire class on the bike and seemed to be working just as hard as we were. There is nothing more irritating than having a spin instructor just walk around throughout the class. Boooo! I also appreciated that she spent time before class helping people make sure their bikes were set up appropriately.

The music was a mix of pop, hip-hop and two pop country songs. Nothing stood out to me in the playlist, but I also found myself concentrating so much on the little tech-pack that I didn’t think much about the music. I think if I was a regular that I would notice the music more.

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Now here comes the rough part of this little review…cost.

Each ride is $28. Five rides is $125. Unlimited classes with a 3-month commitment is $220/month.

I know that this type of price is normal for boutique fitness places in NYC, but not something I am used to yet. I pay $20/month for my gym. Although, it does smell bad and I have to show up 45 minutes early to get a spot I enjoy. The $28 includes the online sign-up, participation in the torqboard, shoes and towels.

Final Verdict:

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I absolutely adored my Flywheel experience and I will definitely be returning. I’m excited to try a different position in the room, another instructor and to see how much I improve in my stats. Also, is it possible for me to get an even better burn than my first experience?!


HELL YES! 700 calories in 45 minutes?! I’m in love.

Just how often? I’m not so sure. It depends on my wallet.

For those of you on the fence, sign up for an account online. Once you do, your first class is free. FREE! Check out Flywheel and let me know what you think!

*Just a note: I was invited to attend a complimentary class. No review was required and I was not given any other compensation. As always, opinions are my own.*

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If you noticed I didn’t do an official weigh-in on the blog this week. I will be back next week with an update on all things weight loss related. If you are on this adventure with me, stick with it, stay on track and remember to BE POSITIVE this weekend!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mindy @ just a one girl revolution. November 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

This sounds awesome!! The competition would totally get me going!

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Krista @ Can't Survive on Yarn Alone November 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm

The checked out shoes made me think of the sweaty cousin of bowling shoes.

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Jan @ Sprouts n Squats November 10, 2013 at 6:23 am

Great news on not having to have surgery done :)

Sounds like an awesome class, so cool you get to book your bike online and I’d probably be competitive too with the rankings displayed.

Reply

Noelle November 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am so glad you don’t have to have surgery! Now, I have a 6 year old that is particularly fond of visiting every dang bathroom in every dang place we go LOL So I am pretty up on things is public bathrooms! I have no clue what that metal looking contraption is behind you in the selfie. What is that? A bike rack? LOL I also think water on tap is super cool!

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