I was going to wait to write about my latest indoor cycling adventures until I’d tried all the studios in Manhattan (well, most of them at least), but my two most recent rides warrant writing about. My Tour de Spin Class so far includes:
Here’s me in front of Monster Cycle
Aside from both having swanky juice bars and plush couches, Monster Cycle and Peloton couldn’t be more different. Albeit, both left me sweaty and worn, but one in the pitch black while watching subversive music videos, and the other with a primped-for-prime-time instructor and an electronic leaderboard.
Maybe I don’t have enough tattoos yet (both the instructor and several riders were covered in them at Monster), but my initial attraction is to Peloton’s pampered approach. You walk in and are greeted right away with a smile, shown to the shoe window where you’re handed clip-in shoes and a complimentary bottle of water. There’s staff walking around to help you adjust your bike, and a touch-screen tablet on each bike so you can log your effort, RPMs, and distance. You can choose to watch or hide the leaderboard. (I learned at the end of class that I ended up 39th place out of 50, so mine’s gonna stay hidden!)
I like numbers, and there were plenty of them at Peloton. My effort, cadence, and resistance were all right in front of me. I could aim to match my numbers with the ones called out by the peppy, on-camera instructor. All the classes stream live on-line so you have a little added pressure to keep up. And aside from the jam-packed locker/changing area, the pampering continues post-workout with 4 separate showers and bathrooms, and complimentary coffee and snacks.
That said, and despite the SoHo snob factor at Monster Cycle, the more I think about it, the more I might head back to Monster Cycle first. As much as I like numbers, they can be distracting, and they tend to co-exist with anxiety. At Monster, you can see your RPMs, and other than the R-rated videos, not much else. It’s dark and the music is loud, and you bike to the beat in the basement. There was no 5-minute upper-body hand weight break either. Just intense cycling, mostly out of your seat. A much grungier vibe with an equally intense burn. Upstairs, you can leave the grunge behind and enjoy a smoothie from the hipster juice bar, Salud on a plush couch. There’s no freebies though– you have to either bring your own cycle shoes or strap in with sneakers, and bring your own water so you don’t have to pay the $2.50 for a small Fiji.
I’m still dying to know what Soul Cycle is like since it seems to be the gold standard, and I’ll probably dish out the out-of-network bucks (since they’re not on ClassPass) to try it. But I have a feeling both these studios (which are comparable in price) are in the same league.
Any Soul-cyclers want to chip in on their experience?
Coming soon: A spreadsheet with the prices, pros, and cons of my Tour de Spin Class NYC.