When it comes to indoor cycling, I’ve been to several studios and gyms around Cincinnati (LA Fitness, YMCA, Revolution Fitness, Eastside Wellness Connection, Yoga Alive), but none are like Cyclebar Cincinnati, which is in Rookwood Commons near Whole Foods. This place is fancy, like multiple iPads used in class fancy.
Cyclebar is an indoor cycling studio that touts the instructors, their playlists, the studio experience, shoes, towels and water provided as a way to distinguish themselves and justify the $20 per class price. I wanted to take full advantage of their free classes to meet several instructors, hear their music, and try out different spots in the studio.
To register for a class, visit the Cyclebar website, create an account and then choose your day. From there, you will pick your bike and it is important you don’t switch to a different bike once you arrive because your cycle stats are connected to the bike you are registered on. After I booked my classes, I put the bike number in my calendar otherwise I would forget.
It is recommended you arrive 15 minutes before class, this allows time to use one of the three iPads on the desk to check in, grab shoes if you’re not bringing your own, and get bike setup. They told me they have plenty of shoes in the popular ladies’ sizes.
Before heading into the studio, you’ll pass mens and ladies shower rooms (ear plugs and hair ties available on the sinks) as well as an area with day lockers. You can set your locker combo, unless you’re me and you can’t get the sequence down and you lock in your bag. Also, a big bin for returning shoes and towels.
If you brought a water bottle you can refill or grab one to take. Inside the studio, each bike is numbered and a towel and body bar is provided. After class, wipes are provided. Please WIPE DOWN your bike and body bar!
I knew this space had been a yoga studio so I knew how big it was (or wasn’t) and after seeing 50+ bikes on the schedule, I wanted to know how they fit them in the space. Very closely.
From the bike layout on the Cyclebar website, I couldn’t tell where the door was and what bike would be the best pick for a not slim lady like myself. I now know to choose a bike in the front row despite any hesitation I have about potentially interacting with the instructors due to proximity. And by interaction, I mean woo-ing. Plan to do lots of woo-ing in these classes! Let’s practice.
Cycle Star (that’s their name for instructor): how you doing?
Cyclers (that’s you): Woo!
Cylce Star: Is everybody sweating?
Each bike has a computer that shows RPMs, watts, resistance, time, and there is a second area for time and miles for the competitive portion of the class. For example, in two of the classes they did half mile sprints and then the results were shown on the big board.
During my first class, I had my doubts. I wasn’t used any part of the bike. My pants (Old Navy, if it matters) seemed to catch to the rubberized seat and I didn’t realize there was a delay for what the monitor showed as the resistance to what I adjusted so it felt like I fiddled with it a lot. Subsequent classes were better and why I don’t think you can judge any cycling class on one visit alone.
The classes are 50 minutes and by the time I got home, I had an email with my cycle stats showing my distance, average speed and perceived calories burned. This is great if you’re competitive, if not, you can turn it off in your online profile.
Classes are $20 each (less if you buy a package) and your first intro class is free.
As someone who likes to workout before work to help with restless desk syndrome (I think coined that phrase), I want to commend them for offering at 5:30am class that would allow someone like me to workout, shower, and make an hour commute by 8am. I’m not planning to give up my gym membership, but I could see myself registering for a class like competition or endurance as a personal challenge.
One of the best things about a new place in town is that it shakes up the fitness landscape and other studios step up their game so we all win!