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Hey, Indoor Cycling Studios: What's Your 'Thing'?

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Photo by Lisa Russman, courtesy of <a href="http://swervefitness.com">Swerve Fitness</a></span></p>
Photo by Lisa Russman, courtesy of Swerve Fitness

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Welcome to Workout Wednesday: every hump-day, we'll be rounding up some of the city's hottest fitness trends and studios.

The boutique fitness scene has obviously exploded in New York City over the past decade, and the number indoor cycling studios has seen one of the greatest increases. You probably know the drill by now of what to expect from these places—loud music, dark room, laboring through metaphoric uphills.

But no two places are exactly alike, and what you prefer for your workout likely has an effect on how much you'll push yourself during a ride—and whether you'll return to that studio at all.

Ahead, we've looked at ten indoor cycling studios to determine what they're doing differently from everyone else—also known as their "thing"—whether it's incorporating your upper body, attaching high-tech gadgets to the bike, or competing against others in your class.

We've also included the basic must-knows: the price for a single class, whether they have an intro special, and if you'll need to pay for clip-in shoes. Read on to figure out where you'll ride next.

This new studio caters to the rider who likes to go at her own pace—there's no determined resistance level or speed you need to pedal at, so long as you're challenging yourself. The space is also very no-frills, as there's no screens on the bike, showers, or even lockers, which helps to keep their prices comparatively low.
Cost: $26; new clients get their first ride free.
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: 258 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights

During a recent session we attended, it looked like our entire class was doing a choreographed dance to George Michael's "Freedom," all while peddling to the beat. Expect to get drenched doing a lot of upper body movement, like a zillion half push-ups that deliver a surprising blast to your core.
Cost: $25
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: Locations in Upper East Side and Long Island City

Cyc via GiltCity

Though several cycling classes incorporate weights to engage your upper body, Cyc focuses on moves that mimic a sport, like volleyball or swimming. They've also got a charity aspect here: for every mile you ride, they'll donate money to charity.
Cost: $25; includes access to David Barton Gym for two hours before and after your class.
Shoes? $2 for clip-in rental
Location: David Barton Gym, 4 Astor Place

Are you fueled by the thought of riding harder than everyone else in class? Flywheel has a board that shows your rank among classmates throughout the whole ride—though you can opt out if you're not comfortable sharing—and you can track your stats online. Their studios also feature stadium seating, so no one's Spandex-covered butt is in your face when you're leaning forward.
Cost: $34
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: Locations in Flatiron, Lincoln Center, Tribeca, Upper East Side, Upper West Side

This new arrival is really into their tech: Every ride is live-streamed so that clients who have their own Peloton bikes at home can follow along. Each bike is also outfitted with a tablet showing your cadence and resistance, which is calculated into a total output number and ranked against other class members.
Cost: $30
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: 140 West 23rd Street

Revolve via Winick

Whether you're following your revolutions per minute on a mini-screen attached to your bike or just peddling in time to the music, you're on track at this Union Square studio. They also have some of the best music selection around—be on the lookout for theme rides like 90s hip hop.
Cost: $25; $15 for first-timers.
Shoes? $3 for clip-in rental
Location: 52 East 13th Street

Participants here have described these classes as "emotional"—riding is a full mind-body experience, not unlike yoga, where instructors encourage you to set an intention for your workout. Also expect to see a lot classmates donning branded gear with the studio's signature skulls, crossbones, and wheels.
Cost: $34; First class is $20.
Shoes? $3 for clip-in rental
Location: Studios in Flatiron, Noho, Lenox Hill, Tribeca, Union Square, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village and Williamsburg

Inter-class competition is the name of the game here. But unlike Flywheel, classes are broken up into teams, and a video screen shows which team pushes the hardest during a sprint—and the bike number of the teammate who's leading the pack. An email sent right after class shows your rank among your team and the class overall.
Cost: $30; Buy one, get one free for new clients
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: 30 West 18th Street

Syncstudio photo by Rebecca Dale

Since cycling classes take place in the "Bassment," there's obviously a heavy focus on music here. Rather than trying to hit a certain revolutions-per-minute number, riders are constantly going to the beat of the song—while riding "out of the saddle" the whole time—and also incorporating a lot of upper body movements to engage the core.
Cost: $25 for a one-day pass to the studio; right now, new clients can get a two-week unlimited pass for $45.
Shoes? You can wear your own sneakers with pedal cages, or $2 for clip-in rental
Location: 133 South 2nd Street, Williamsburg

Test out one of their combo classes here: To really maximize the fat burn, try the Torque-RX class, which includes an intense simulated ride and a TRX suspension training workout in 55 minutes. Or for something a little gentler, add on a 30-minute yoga session after a 45-minute ride for just $4.
Cost: $24 per class; first-time clients can get a week of unlimited classes for the same price.
Shoes? Clip-ins included in the price
Location: 74 North 8th Street, Williamsburg
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