SoulCycle vs. Flywheel: A comparison shop and spin

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A pro South African cyclist named Johnny G created Spinning to train during the off-season. Then it went from buff to fluff when the pink-Lycra gym-going set hijacked it, turning indoor cycling classes with grueling hills and all-out sprints into a 45-minute cardio-music class.

Fast-forward fifteen years and indoor cycling is having a renaissance. Spinning’s second generation marries athleticism, house music, and inspiring platitudes borrowed from the yoga world. (“Trust yourself to close your eyes and BE here in this room.”) The result is a cardio workout tailored to 30-somethings and up, who want sweaty intensity without the joint-pounding that accompanies running.

While gyms like Equinox are responding by kitting out Spin studios with new high performance Schwinns, the race for indoor-cycling dominance is taking place in high-end boutique studios. One-time spin sisters Elizabeth Cutler, Julie Rice, and Ruth Zukerman founded SoulCycle in 2007. This winter Zukerman left SoulCycle and teamed up with sports broadcaster and Spinning aficionado, Tiki Barber, to create Flywheel, which opened in the Flatiron last week.

So SoulCycle and Flywheel are now competing for Spinners willing to drop $30-plus per class. Well+Good visited both studios several times to bring you the comparison spin:

SOULCYCLE, www.soul-cycle.com

SoulCycle Tribeca wellandgoodnyc.com

SoulCycle Tribeca, the spin empire's newest location

VIBE: SoulCycle channels high-end spa design with its white interiors, ubiquitous scented candles, copious towels, and creature comforts (gum, hair bands, and an array of grooming products for the taking).

PROS: Three city locations and a ton of classes make it easy to get into one. Passionate teachers and generally inspiring music. The workout includes an upper body segment using one-pound weights—it’s more challenging than it sounds!

CONS: Where to begin?

Nickel and diming: The $32 price tag doesn’t include water or mandatory cycling shoes. The shoes cost $3 a pop to rent and water’s $2 if you forget yours, meaning it’s easy to spend $37 for a 45-minute spin class.

Loyalty is not rewarded: Class cards don’t come with a meaningful discount; instead they just allow you the ease of online sign-up.

Cultish and scene-y: SoulCycle can feel like the Scientology of Spin.

Terrible lobby layouts and tight studio quarters: Getting in and out of SoulCycle is about as pleasant as the Barneys Warehouse Sale. The studios are crammed with 70-plus bikes, meaning that during the upper-body workout portion of class you cannot do an overhead chest press without hitting your neighbor with a hand-weight.

When I commented on the sardine situation to one of the staff members, she suggested I turn my body 45 degrees to avoid hitting my neighbor. So this is a place where the trainers would have me compromise the accuracy and benefits of the exercise to pack more people in.

Bottom line: Whenever I leave SoulCycle, I always feel like a sucker. The studio’s marketing wooed me with the promise of exceptional customer service and instruction, and they’re just not keeping pace.

FLYWHEEL, www.flywheelsports.com

Flywheel wellandgoodnyc.com

Flywheel's stadium seating translates into great views of the instructor and plenty of room.

VIBE: Flywheel, with its steely gray interior and high-tech computerized bikes, feels like a state-of-the-art athletic facility. A lounge next to the reception desk provides space for Spinners to socialize before and after class. The spinning studio itself, with its three-tiered stadium seating, feels airy and spacious. There’s truly no bad bike in the house.

PROS: Lots

Track performance and progress: Each bike comes with a proprietary Torqboard that allows you to see your real-time stats. You can monitor your resistance, RPMs, and total workload. Mounted computer screens allow cyclists to compete against each other, although you can opt out of transmitting your stats to the big board if you just want to compete against yourself. The results of each ride get saved in your Flywheel profile, accessible online, making it easy to track your progress whether you’re trying to drop fifteen pounds or train for a summer race.

Comfortable design and appealing atmosphere: It’s a pleasure to enter and leave this studio, even before and after a full class, because you can actually sit down and put on your shoes without getting jostled or swapping sweat.

No hidden costs: Water and clip-on cycling shoes are complimentary.

Loyalty is rewarded. Individual classes cost $30. But if you buy ten rides, it’ll cost you $25/ride. Or $180/month gets you unlimited spinning, which bring it down to $22/ride if you go just twice a week.

One stop shopping: A yoga studio is slated to open soon for stand-alone yoga classes as well as Spinning-and-yoga combo classes.

CONS: Only one location, on 21st Street, between 5th and 6th, for the time being. Flywheel just announced an Upper West Side location for later this year, though we hope a downtown studio is also in the works.

Bottom line: These unlikely business partners (Zukerman was Barber’s favorite Soul Cycle instructor) have created a terrific unisex experience that appeals to athletes of both genders. And instead of feeling like a chump after class, here I just felt like a Spinning champ.

Have you tried SoulCycle and/or Flywheel? Tell us about your experience, here!

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99 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. JDC
    February 22nd, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Great roundup! Been to both studios and agree with everything you have said. Just wanted to add that the temperature in Flywheel is SO much better than the way-to-hot room at SC. Doing vigorous activity in a room that is that hot is just not healthy.

  2. Marget
    February 22nd, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Nice job. That was a very thorough review.

  3. Edwardo
    February 22nd, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Been to both as well. SC was the original but Flywheel takes it to a new level. Beautiful space. Awesome bikes and great teachers.

  4. Scott Baio
    February 23rd, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Just took my first FW class this weekend – it’s like being part of the future. SC was always nice – but the staff and the space at FW made the workout experience transcendant.

  5. February 24th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for this review!! I did a review of Soul Cycle on my blog, and for a while i was obsessed, but now i’m starting to see the “cracks.” I was wondering how FW was — I’ll have to check it out.

  6. Well+Good
    February 24th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Hi Erika,

    I just read your review. Great post and I love your blog! I too was an enthusiastic Soul Cycler in the beginning. The experience was so superior to my gym’s tired old spinning class. But the more I went the more annoyed I became at the high prices, lack of discounting for frequent users, and crammed surroundings. I was amazed by how much more pleasant the cycling and customer service experience is at Flywheel. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Flywheel once you check it out. Thanks for your comment.
    Best, Alexia

  7. March 16th, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I love the hot room at soul cycle it allows your body to warm up, and your to really get a good work out. I hate when the room is cold, i just feel a fan on me. Is fw very cold? if it is i will not go..

  8. April 14th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Flywheel is amazing. Obviously Ruth is a total star, but other ‘less known’ instructors absolutely kill it too- check out kate or reign (10:30 m/w/f) to burn major calories. you can check exactly how many on their site- it rocks! no better way to do cardio in the city…and i’m no athlete!

  9. May 1st, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I also love the Soulcycle hot room. I sweat in spinning and can end up with a cold/flu with too much frigidaire. I also love the SC customer service.

  10. May 28th, 2010 at 12:02 am

    When will someone open one in South Orange County, CA ?

  11. June 16th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I am not a fan of Soulcycle. As a spinning instructor, many of the movements they encourage are unsafe and can increase the possibility of injury.

  12. July 27th, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I loved Sould Cycle on W. 72. Took a couple hundred classes there. Purchased a new $310 class package as was my practice. Two weeks later had major kneee surgery and was out of action 4 months. Lost my entire $310 because it expires after 90 days. I can see airline miles expiring, but not something I paid for and did not get to use.

  13. Well+Good
    July 27th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Hi David,
    Did you show them a doctor’s note and explain what happened to your knee? If so, that’s pretty egregious.

  14. August 24th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Does flywheel have a shower room? if so, is it bigger then SC?

  15. September 21st, 2010 at 4:26 pm
  16. October 3rd, 2010 at 3:49 pm


  17. October 10th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I move to NYC 4 months ago (NC) and have been looking for a great spinning studio for when it gets cold. Thanks for this review of the studios.

    FYI – found your site via the NYT article.


  18. October 10th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I have taken a few classes at the scarsdale ny soul cycle location. I felt like I walked into a scene of mean girls for the suburban housewife. Not a pleasant experience at all. Rumor has it it is run by a group of scarsdale women who belong to the 100 or less club. (you have to weight less than 100 lbs) They organize the seating, monopolize some of the classes and are rude to any outsider.. It is not pretty… would love to try another option!

  19. October 12th, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Both are great but if you really want to know the BEST spin exclusive studio… Ride The Zone..no gimmicks …also the blogger ht the nail on the head..SC is CULTISH ..fantastic teachers but the aura is very spooky and dark.. unhappy pretenders..BULLIES .. “Soul Cycle can feel like the Scientology of Spin.”

  20. October 25th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    As a Spin Instructor myself for over 15 years, I have to say that Soul Cycle was no great shake. Over priced and over rated for sure. The room was certainly a potential fire hazard. I spent a good portion of the ride looking for the fire exit. The instructor was a Broadway wannabe looking to stay skinny for her discovery. Coming from NJ specifically to experience a class it turned out to be a GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT to say the least.

  21. November 16th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    tried soul cycle first. the teacher announced : no judgements people…then later when i asked to have a fan turned on near me, he sniped me with, “what!? it is freezing in here…!” and it was actually quite warm…why announce no judgements and go on to humiliate a rider? why the fake vibe of peace an tranquility?

    went to flywheel and it is pitch perfect for this rider. joined for six months. comes down to 12 bucks a ride if you go three times a week.

  22. November 19th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Quite simply, flywheel has saved my life, literally and figuratively. I heard that flywheel was thinking of opening a bklyn spot but decided to take Manhattan first. THis is crazy, brownstone brooklyn would have been FREE $. There is a place opening in the Slope but they will NOT have torqboards and their prices are absolutely laughable, more expensive than FW, and you have to rent shoes. Hello! You are in Brooklyn! I will have no trouble getting on that train to go into the city.

  23. December 18th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    @suzie….. Yes, we are the residents of Brooklyn who don’t have to worry about scratching our backs up simply by doing a 360 in our bathrooms. People like you is why we hate traveling to Manhattan for anything. Better Spinning and restaurants in Brooklyn!

  24. January 17th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Hmm…I wouldn’t say that was a very good analysis at all. First of all, Soul does offer discounts (albeit only a $1 a class, but ultimately your statement is incorrect). Secondly, you’re missing the entire point of this specialty studios. How good is the work out?

  25. February 6th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    […] Today the much-buzzed about—and pretty controversial—SoulCycle Union Square location opened in the backyard of its competitor Flywheel. […]

  26. April 11th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    concur with the analysis!!
    one of the original instructors of SC were toxically nasty about a small spin group in the hamptons “just for fun ” during a spin class …and as i looked around at a lot of re-touched bodies the whole vibe gave me a sick tummy
    so i became a flywheel person when i do it ……

  27. April 14th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Why is nobody talking about the contraindicated moves the majority of the instructors at both these studios are teaching?! RPMs exceeding 120, old-school moves like “hovering”, sprints defined as “going as fast as you can” (come on, this is called momentum, it’s not actually hard work). I guess no one complains about the lack of well thought out training rides based on real cycling techniques because all the real cyclists are outside & not buying into the hype, or as I prefer to call it- the BS. But I’m sorry, for the price tag & for a studio that is only about cycling I expect instructors to actually “instruct” & give me a workout that will enhance my bike performance. & pushups on bike- really???

  28. April 14th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I should clarify- my previous comment said “a majority of the instructors” I cant actually say this because I’ve only taken from 5 of them (3 at flywheel & 2 at soul). At flywheel I was always top female on the torque board but it was because I ignored the instructors requests to do speeds that are down right dangerous & I didn’t waste my cardio time with the upper body segments. I’m still searching for an instructor at these studios that doesn’t do contraindicated moves so if anyone knows of an instructor that teaches an authentic based ride & is a “coach” not just a cheerleader then let me know & I’ll give the studios another go.

  29. April 16th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Sorry Rachel but the riders at BOTH studios LOOK fantastic, however , so many of YOUR riders have that “cyclist” body …rolls of fat hanging over the tight lance armstrong get up You “cyclist” instructors are always knocking a style that IS safe, but most of you CAN’T do because you are too busy clogging the wheel. YOUR DATED style causes women to get FAT THIGHS.

  30. April 17th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Sean, it’s not dated- it’s called exercise science. It’s sad that the MYTH that cycling causes women to get fat thighs (interesting you say just women- can men not get fat thighs?) is still out there. I lost 50 pounds with indoor cycling. I’ve seen riders at a variety of studios with a variety of body types. There are many factors that determines body composition. I’m sure there are instructors teaching great rides at these studios, but so far I’ve experienced classes that taught moves that are dangerous. These studios are amazing & the music & enthusiasm of instructors is incredible! But out of saddle at 120 rpms no gear- come on, maybe it’s “fun” but it’s ineffective & unsafe.

  31. April 17th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Just tried flywheel this morning again- took from Grant- he did an authentic ride, no bells & whistles! Thank you grant for a Great solid road based well coached class!

  32. April 17th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    From what I’ve noticed letting a heavy wheel drag your legs around at crazy RPMs doesn’t give you skinny thighs. One usually achieves those by starving oneself.
    No resistance on the wheel means no work (simple physics). No work means no results. if you want results, be it skinny thighs, or better cardio capacity or higher endurance, turn the knob clockwise and do work.

  33. April 17th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    To sweat puddle- exactly!! Thank you :)

  34. April 17th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I am a certified indoor/spinning instructor who stays up to date with my continuing education of safe and effective techniques on the bike.Spinning is meant to be a cardiovascular workout not an upper body strengthener. Your hands are supposed to be on the handlebars not lifting little weights in a little bike seat while your legs are going in circles. The only person I have ever seen do that professionally on a bike was a clown juggling on a unicycle. I think that most instructors are creative people and have tried to be creative in their spin classes, forgetting what they have been told by the experts about what is safe and what is potentially unsafe on a bike. If you want to strengthen your upper body then get out of the spin room and into the weight room and lift some real weights, safely. Use your creativity to design great classes that include tough hill climbs, flat roads and sprints(with some resistance please), and intervals. Use great music and be a good motivator/coach and you will work your ass off. Great instructors stick with what they know is safe and effective and do not succumb to the pressure to be like everyone else. Sweat Puddle and Rachel B, keep doing what your doing. I wish I could take your classes. I have a feeling that neither one of you has huge thunder thighs and muffin tops for spinning.

  35. April 17th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    “But out of saddle at 120 rpms no gear- come on, maybe it’s “fun” but it’s ineffective & unsafe.”

    Well we will have to agree to disagree. It is not unsafe and like I said the riders at Flywheel and Soul Cycle LOOK much much much better than the riders who take a “cycle” class..BRAVO to the spin studios who get it.. you are NOT outside!!! this is an innovative and SAFE way to go beyond the limitations of outside..Rachel you will never get it.. and you can’t do it ..don’t hate and please it is not about momentum.. when I see Stacey, Ruth , Clare, and Laurie riding its a BEAUTIFUL thing. I look at your group and its UGLY ….no spirit no joy no soul just a textbook and a closed mind..sad

  36. April 17th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    and just answer me this WHY do I burn 900 calories in Stacey’s class and 320 in your style of class ( and I FOLLOW to the t what the instructor says) WHY Rachel WHY?.

  37. April 17th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    and Robin S is that southern confederate motivation??? PLEASE your class sounds like death on a bike my hips are expanding just thinking about it

  38. April 17th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Sean, guess we will agree to disagree. I have no doubt they are amazing instructors because they have obviously effected you and that’s ultimately what it’s about. If their style speaks to you than go for it! I have not taken from Ruth or stacey but I certainly will, I too have heard amazing things. I was only speaking of certain moves by certain instructors that can be proven in a lab to burn less calories, be less efficient, & increase risk of injury- but if you don’t believe the data that’s fine. I don’t know if you have taken my class or who you are because you didn’t leave your full name. In terms of caloric burn there are a million factors- metabolic rate, heart rate, wattage, bike setup…
    Sounds like your mind is more open is certain styles of class – that probably inspires you & motivates you & you are able to work harder in such environments- like I said, if that works for you do it! :)

  39. April 17th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I have been reading along with the discussion very carefully and thought it was time to address a few points.
    First off, Robin S, you are correct spinning IS a cardiovascular exercise. Yet its funny how in mentioning that you IMMEDIATELY mention climbing heavy hills and spinning with resistance. Funny, doesn’t sound like CARDIO to me.You see in case you are confused its ANEROBIC exercise involving BOTH speed and strength. But oddly enough many of you “instructors” (Rachel B being one, because as a member of Equinox who has taken your class twice) completely MISS the first concept and focus SOLELY on the other!! Created a tired, dead, boring, and INEFFECTIVE workout. Robin if you are so versed as an instructor why is it that Schwinn and Johnny G note BOTH STANDING RUNS AS WELL AS JUMPS INTO THE SPIN PROGRAM AND MENTION THE SPEED IN DOING THEM TO BE 100 and ABOVE?! Are the certifications incorrect as well?!
    I’d like to point out that as an avid spinner for five years, I don’t mind paying for multiple gym memberships (which I currently do) to take FANTASTIC spin classes because most of these “instructors” don’t know what there doing at all. But I DO FIND that when people DON’T know how to do something they completely demonize it. Having taken your class at Tribeca twice Rachel its CLEAR that you don’t possess the skill set to teach a class out of a paper bag, much less, cue any type of interval to a class. If you actually spent the 45 focusing on YOUR CLASS and how to get them better and more equipped to move, instead of your own reflection, the majority of them wouldn’t be out of shape, with this ILLUSION that they are working. How can a class such as that be effective when most of the members have huge bellys and fat a**es? I agree with Sean, you burn MUCH more calories with instructors who get it. Take Ruth from Flywheel for example she is 52 and RUNNING OUT OF THE SADDLE! Not because its “FUN” because its ATHLETICISM PLAIN AND SIMPLE, and it gets and keeps you in shape. If you can’t do it FINE but don’t knock instructors who teach it and who KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. No one wants to climb and grunt to long boring hills, with off beat music, and listen to an instuctor who could care less weather you’re working or not. The worst part about this is that the spin certification is the easiest certification to get, OPEN BOOK TEST, with A SIT THROUGH PRACTICAL NO WONDER MOST OF YOU ARE SO HORRIBLE AND CLUELESS its the THROW AWAY certification, just another thing to put on your resume. If you want REAL instructors how about Ruth Zuckerman, Nella Vera, Carl Hall, Joshua Segarra, and thats just to name a few!

  40. April 17th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Wow…I”m shocked to see these comments. Alex and Sean – are you possibly the same person because using ALL CAPS is really scary. You guys sound like complete idiots. And to be so malicious in your comments about spin shows you and your friend sean must have pretty pathetic lives. Robin and Rachel offered insightful thoughts and you guys are on the offensive like two petulant little boys. I will offer this….I take Rachel’s class a couple of times a week and take others as well… i have been to soul cycle to the famous MB’s class and have been to flywheel. There is no instructor that i have been to that puts the effort and passion into every ride and works to motivate than Rachel does and to openly criticize her is just flat out a joke. Her classes are always full and I know of no equinox members that wouldnt agree (except you if you are not full of it) As Rachel and Robin said, you are free to like what works for you but do yourself a favor and dont embarrass yourself by putting others down that have more much knowledge and time invested into indoor cycling than you.

  41. April 17th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Ok Sean/Alex or Alex/Sean if you prefer it that way. You feel very passionate about the way you do things. Let’s compare numbers. When you mentioned 900 cal workout I hope you were using a heart monitor, but in any case… I hope you’re familiar with the terminology and understand what the numbers mean.
    I’m 37, 5’7″, 137. My HR max is 180, my resting HR is below 45. I can work longer than 5 min at higher than 90% of my max. I can drop my heart rate from 170 to 120 in about 30 sec while continuing to work. I run a 6 min mile, 20 min 5k, 43min 10k and 13.1 miles in under 100min. I did a 60 min ride at flywheel in a style you’ve described as fat thigh making. My heart rate averaged 158, peaked at 170 and I ended up with around 1080 cal workout. And I wasn’t going all out. By that I mean I can do 2 classes like that back to back.
    What can you do?

  42. April 17th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    First of all LS19 you sound like every other idiot mentioning personality and “feeling” as opposed to the actual workout, secondly the use of ALL CAPS is draw attention to points that were previously mentioned. If you looking to avoid scary, stop looking in the mirror. If you’ve indeed been to Flywheel and SoulCycle to take the rides, then you would notice they are complete polor opposites of the rides that many other instructors, Rachel included, offers. Also lets not be foolish in talking about numbers in classes, they mean absolutely NOTHING. If you are a WACK instructor in a prime time slot, you are bound to have a decent attendance in your class. Futhermore with the convenience of online signup any random BOOB can have what appears to be a sold out or packed class, with no one showing up, or at least no one with any real skill or athleticism. Furthermore no insightful thoughts are mentioned by EITHER OF THEM about cycling skill or actual class structure. Just random BS about a style of cycling that others choose to do that they CAN’T do, read carefully dear. Additionally SweatPuddle, I’m 5’7, and 160 pounds, with a resting of 54 and a max of 194, and two spin classes a day sweetheart PLEASE that’s the warm up. Try that with a Flybarre, or a Chisel Class following or better yet, try a double in the morning followed by another spin class in the evening followed by a Chisel or Sculpt class then speak to me about numbers. Don’t play yourself.

  43. April 18th, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for proving my point sweetheart. None of what you said means anything, besides one thing. Your height and weight mean that your bmi is 25.1 (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/). To save you the trouble – it means you are overweight(clinically speaking, not that it means anything). I guess all those classes are working for you.

    P.S. And please don’t cry. Just so it’s easier for you to understand, a different set of numbers. I wear size 28 “7” jeans and no I’m not brand dropping. Only mentioning so you can go see if you can fit in those. And again, please don’t cry.

  44. April 18th, 2011 at 12:22 am

    You’re an idiot. Not only am I 6.2 PERCENT BODY FAT but my waist is a 29 you idiot. I am BY NO MEANS OVERWEIGHT. The only thing that you have shown other than being on the way to 40 and trying to brag about the “money you have” (typical, next step), is that you’re just as clueless at your friend. You’re tweakin bitch.

  45. April 18th, 2011 at 12:30 am


    Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits:

    •It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.

  46. April 18th, 2011 at 12:31 am

    you’re getting lost in your own lies you silly queen. Go to bed. You have classes to take tomorrow.

  47. April 18th, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Like I said before, You’re tweakin bitch

  48. April 18th, 2011 at 12:43 am

    sweatpuddle is very tweaky

  49. April 18th, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I am still confused . .why is a Equinox instructor bashing Soul Cycle? NOT COOL ..

  50. April 18th, 2011 at 1:19 am

    @Sean because you know what they say about those who can’t do….

    Her and SaggyPuddle

  51. April 18th, 2011 at 10:46 am

    It was not my intention to bash soul cycle, flywheel, or the instructors. I was commenting on contraindicated biomechanics (that can be seen at any health club). I even complimented some of the instructors in my comments because i know they are awesome! and i have respect for any teacher that can move their students to be so passionate- I said that too. I apologize if you felt personally insulted or attacked, your comments about me were certainly hurtful but you are entitled to your opinion. Again, I have nothing against these studios that promote health & fitness and get people excited about cycling. I was intending to stir up a friendly debate about potentially controversial movements- this is certainly not a friendly debate so I can no longer participate.

  52. April 18th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Rachel you don’t play fair you stir it up and then play the victim card.. typical. I don’t know you and unlike Alex, I have never taken your class. However , as a “cyclist ” and a “spinner” who understands both I was put off by your attack on a concept that I enjoy and that has worked for me. You and the likes of Robert Pennino are not in possession of the Holy Grail on spinning. Please stop the attacks

  53. April 18th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    As someone newly jazzed about spinning – I have only been doing it for 2 months now – I wanted to lightly weigh into this heated debate. I played my sport at the highest level, trained with some of the best trainers in NYC + LA and pride myself on being a hustler/scrapper/tough girlie chick. I never took a spinning class in my entire career and got hooked on it at Equinox when I unknowingly stumbled into one of Carl Hall’s classes. I followed him like a groupie before he left the club. Rachel B filled his spot and won me over, giving me what I realized I was really craving: A hard ass workout. It was different packaging + different music, but still me on the bike.

    In the last 2 months, I have tried FLYWHEEL + SOULCYCLE and I love them both. In each place, I’ve found my favorite instructors. At FW, I love the Torqboard, free water/shoes and Ruth, Holly, Jesse + Grant. At SOUL CYCLE, Rique gets me every time. All of these instructors work to motivate me, teach me how to burn more, ride better, get more flexible, push harder.

    I get the turf war stuff + respect the legitimacy of the ride. But, from a person who doesn’t know numbers and is still learning the logistics of rockin’ it out on a bike, I’m having a blast in the NYC spinning world. My dream team: Carl, Ruth, Jesse, Holly, Rachel + Rique. Maybe time will harden me, but for now, if you make me sweat + also make me smile, imma keep ridin’.

  54. April 18th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    “I have only been doing it for 2 months now” – I never took a spinning class in my entire career and got hooked on it at Equinox when I unknowingly stumbled into one of Carl Hall’s classes. I followed him like a groupie before he left the club

    Crista S …Liar liar pants on fire..Carl Hall hasn’t been with Equinox since the beginning of January

  55. April 18th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Sean – are you serious? “liar liar pants on fire”?? Sounds like something Alex would say….losers! Get a life and stop bashing people that are just having a healthy debate (so maybe she was two weeks off). You and your douchebag (that’s being kind) friend represent everything that is wrong with our world – you are not intelligent enough to have a debate and revert to childish behavior and unfounded criticism (and terms like tweakin bitch?)…read what you’ve written…how you are not embarrassed i have no idea. You guys, if you are even different people, disgust me and i could say any level headed person/athlete reading this would agree. You have gotten crushed and you continue to argue back – it’s laughable….go back to your hole. No one likes you or thinks you have anything to add here….well, except for you boy toy alex…

  56. April 19th, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Bitch you still talking? No one likes you here? Where have I heard that elitest white banter before?? You’re still tweakin…bitch

  57. April 19th, 2011 at 6:45 am

    LS19 sorry my keypad doesn’t have Novacaine ..truth hurts doesn’t it? “so maybe she was 2 weeks off” TWO weeks??? again you are a liar… 3 months off .

    Let’s be honest the problem is you have always been looking from the outside of Soul Cycle wanting to get in . You are obsessed with Soul Cycle and crave the success and fame of their instructors.

    Rachel you get nowhere ini life looking at others. My advice mind your own business. You are like some rigid Julliard student complaining that Britney Spears has a record contract

  58. April 19th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I could be 2 years off for all i care, doesn’t change my point or make it any less true. I’m psyched about spinning … what everyone here seems to have in common.
    My point – to be specific – was that whatever Carl Hall did – for me on that day in that class – hooked me. And, as a result, I’ve found something I really love.

  59. April 20th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    soul cycle is absurdly over priced spare your money and get a membership to equinox. equinox has many fantastic spinning instructors including jamie morales, greg cook and rachel b. Equinox cost 180 bucks a month vs soul cycle 900 a month if you do class every day.

  60. May 8th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    OK… everyone has an opinion. Next topic.

  61. July 20th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Hey everyone – on another note – I thought I would point out that the statement in the blog that 1 month unlimited costs $180 is not accurate – I was super excited when I saw this as it is obviously much more cost effective than Soul Cycle – but then I went to the website and it shows that the beginning price of unlimited starts at a 6 month commitment – which is $395 per month.

    Just thought people might want to know :)

  62. August 8th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Is Soul Cycle advertising where they are expanding to nationally? I can’t find this information anywhere.

  63. August 12th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    […] York is filled with fitness rivalries: Mets vs. Yankees, Flywheel vs. SoulCycle, and now Jade vs. Manduka—the manufacturers of the best-selling yoga […]

  64. August 12th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    […] and new places and products that caught our eye.Happy Friday!More room at the barre. This week Flywheel Sports knocked down a few walls (and obstructing floor-to-ceiling beams) in their Flatiron studio to […]

  65. October 21st, 2011 at 1:01 am

    […] Well, apparently it’s causing the bikes to rust, and the Wall Street Journal reported that Flywheel is solving the problem by creating its very own sweat-proof bike. The bikes will be […]

  66. November 17th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    […] an amazing new line that I love. This way she can keep warm whenever she comes to visit me at Flywheel headquarters in NYC this winter.Download the Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for these healthy gifts and […]

  67. November 30th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    […] WireWednesday, November 30, 2011SoulCycle wants you to dance while you spin(Photo: Dailycandy.com)SoulCycle is adding some more rhythm to its spin classes with a new Saturday night SoulDanceParty, announced […]

  68. December 5th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    […] We heart Keoni, Noah, and Joey, though all the instructors are pretty great.)4 Cycle (We love that Flywheel now has showers, making a lunchtime class possible. Kate, Holly, and Aleah are our go-tos)4 Yoga (No […]

  69. January 9th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    […] or trance or club music—became the definition of pop, says Scott Melker, who mixes beats for Flywheel and Physique 57, and as such has become the city’s resident fitness DJ.“And club music […]

  70. January 30th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    […] your diary, finds Mahri Relin, one of the instructors who runs six-week Flybarre challenges at Flywheel. Participants are highly motivated by the numbers that measure change in their bodies. […]

  71. April 1st, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    […] Not unlike spinning: “SoulCycle was conceptual—it was about how good you feel after class. Flywheel took that experience and quantified it,” says Remorca. “We’re doing that with group training.”You'll strap […]

  72. April 27th, 2012 at 12:17 am

    It feels like Ruth Zukerman paid the author to write this article. I’ve tried both Soul Cycle and Flywheel and I definitely prefer Soul Cycle. You can bring your own spinning shoes to Soul Cycle but you are required to wear Flywheel’s shoes. When I got my pair they were still wet with the last cycler’s sweat!! I’m sorry but I find that FOUL.

    In addition, Soul Cycle smells delicious and I love the serene vibe of the dark room with candles. Flywheel felt more impersonal and “jockish”.

    Stick with the Soul!

  73. April 27th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    […] And search under “spinning & cycling” yields class times for Cycle Bar in Brooklyn, but not SoulCycle or Flywheel.To live up to the Open Table analogy, Go Recess (and its competitors) will have to work hard to get […]

  74. May 3rd, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    […] with Flywheel tanks.Residents of Dubai might have to get used to seeing sweaty women in sports bras.Flywheel Sports announced today that it will be opening its first international studio in the Middle Eastern city, […]

  75. June 8th, 2012 at 7:51 am

    […] socks for a fitness tour of Los Angeles’s larger boutique studios.   SoulCycle The popular spin brand, now owned by Equinox, just opened its first LA location in West Hollywood. The public areas are […]

  76. June 14th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hello there,

    I just wanted to share my weight loss and over all fitness success with a community that cares so much about their clients and the other people in the spin classroom. I joined SC about 2 years ago, I attend an average of three classes a week. That’s including out of state vacation time when I don’t get on an indoor bike. I do spend four out of five weeks in NYC. Food is VERY important to me. I have tried many boutique studios that target core strength and touch on cardio for about 20 minuets over the hour class time. With these studios I gained muscle, but sadly did not lose fat. At least I felt stronger but I wasn’t trimming down.

    My goal is still today to maintain a size 6 dress and to enjoy the food on my plate, where ever my cravings may take me within reason. I have kept my to my goal, and in fact am slipping into a size 4 today. I am injury free (which is a change from when I was taking the core-fusion classes) and I look forward to being energized by the room of SC classmates. I give my all in each class, where ever I may be feeling that day. I adore the fact that when I need to ‘back off’ the tension of the flywheel I can. Sometimes the intensity is something I have to adjust.

    For the 2 years I have been attending SC I have felt stronger with each day. This class gives me the opportunity to drop off emotional garbage and connect to a overwhelming feeling of good. I love the community I ride with, and I owe the people I ride beside and the instructors a very big “THANK YOU” for propelling me to where I am today from a fitness and emotional standpoint. Never tried Flywheel, maybe I will someday. I am happy with my pack.

  77. June 25th, 2012 at 6:30 am

    […] now, the war for spin domination has been waged between two big-name NYC-based brands, SoulCycle and Flywheel Sports, each of which has amassed toned armies of loyal followers. And the two have engaged in a fitness […]

  78. July 12th, 2012 at 6:30 am

    […] We interviewed fitness expert and cycling guru Kristin Kenney, as well as top instructors from rival studios Flywheel and SoulCycle, Holly Rilinger and Kym Perfetto. Their findings? Indoor cycling does not […]

  79. July 19th, 2012 at 4:03 am

    […] York is filled with fitness rivalries: Mets vs. Yankees, Flywheel vs. SoulCycle, and now Jade vs. Manduka—the manufacturers of the best-selling yoga […]

  80. July 23rd, 2012 at 11:24 am

    i worked @ equinox ans it sucks the way they treat there people and they workers sucks i no i worked there and its suck as a fitness center they got mexcans working not on the books not thats wackand they dont give them a raze @ all

  81. September 26th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    […] better than charity, in the end, to bring rival studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel and Tracy Anderson and Body by Simone […]

  82. October 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    […] better than charity, in the end, to bring rival studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel and Tracy Anderson and Body by Simone […]

  83. October 22nd, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I’ll take both of these and raise you with Defy Gravity in Corona del Mar, CA for those of you in So Cal! http://www.DefyGravityStudio.com

  84. January 27th, 2013 at 1:27 am

    […] thing has so totally been done, a longgg time ago, by fitness gurus more expert than I. See here, here, and […]

  85. March 5th, 2013 at 12:02 am

    I am really pleased to read this website posts which contains plenty of useful information, thanks for providing these
    kinds of information.

  86. March 22nd, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Would love to get an updated review of these studios and the newer studios that have popped up, like Revolve. I took my first class at Revolve a few weeks ago and was blown away, but I’ve never tried SC or FW so I have nothing to compare it to. The price tag of these classes is really what holds me bach which is such a shame because I LOVE me some spin!

  87. April 2nd, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    […] the 2 spin phenomenons stacked up and was pleasantly surprised by the answers from this article by well + Good!!!  Go […]

  88. September 16th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    […] explain themselves, recognized that green markets are as beloved as museums, and saluted the battle between two top-rung spinning studios that’s approaching Mets vs. Yankees […]

  89. November 13th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Barry rocks!

  90. December 12th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    As a girl who goes to Soul Cycle Scarsdale and EH and The Barn, id just like to say that yes they do not turn on fans and will yell at you to keep on pace but whats the point in going if they do not give you an exercise. Also a flywheel is opening here in Scarsdale and I know that me and all my friends that go to Soul will not be trying it. We have our place and were not leaving it. BTW there is no 100 pounds club.

  91. January 5th, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Go see Pablo Toribio at Pablo Fitness on E54th Street. A legit cyclist who teaches the right way with the right music and incredibly motivating. If he can’t get the effort out of you, no one can. That said, FW is always fun, especially the torque board. I’m a real cyclist and just ignore the dangerous movements. Yes, that includes high speed running in second position.

  92. April 22nd, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Im sorry but Sou Cycle is infinitely more fun of a class than Flywheel. And that’s what really makes you keep coming back. Exercise is all about music and rhythm and Soul Cycle masters it like no other. Flywheel class is too technical.

  93. May 18th, 2014 at 11:42 am

    when i say i hate soul cycle i mean it with passion haha i think it is the worst fitness fad. horrible workout. to save my typing i wrote a blog post on it so ill attach the link. i did flywheel for the first time this week and loved it. im going to post on that soon, too. comparing the two etc…much like you did here. flywheel > soul cycle…not even a competition. soul cycle sucks!!!!


  94. May 24th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    i think soul cycle is a scam. first off, who likes to spend 45 minutes to hang out with the biggest japs of scarsdale? it literally makes me noxious. i honestly feel like i am paying upwards of 35$ to sweat for 45 mins in a soul cycle class. its so hot in there that those with even mild asthma cannot breath. if you cannot breath well, how are you supposed to exert energy? yes you should be out of breath but sitting in a soul cycle class is so humid that it can literally feel so impossible to breath that you are forced to slow down so you don’t pass out.

  95. June 25th, 2014 at 1:56 am

    I NEVER LEAVE COMMENTS. So please take my comments with the following caveats and expertise:

    —i do not like spinning (why bike inside?)

    –i am a working ? fit middle-aged competitive professional who loves to run, ski, snow shoe, swim, paddle board, weight lift, hike, etc.

    –I have a teenage daughter who heard about soul cycle

    –soul cycle came to malibu

    –she wanted to try it (so we did)

    –we like it!!!!

    –look, I know and read all the critiques etc…..but any exercise my daughter and her friends want to do, I will join them and surprisingly it is like a hand ball court session—-2 liters of sweat and to be honest we all feel pretty good afterwards

    –negatives, poor instruction on form (I am an md/professor and into fitness and found the female instructors better here–positives–many for the young

    advice—focus on your instructors who support form and continue all yr other fitness regimens (don’t rely on cycling)

  96. December 7th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    LOVE ME SOME FLYWHEEL! I have been to other spin studios (chain and mom/pop), but none compare to FW. The displays are unlike the others as they tell you what your torque level is so you can alter the level without guessing. The instructors seem genuinely happy to be teaching and spinning. They get off the bikes to check in with new spinners. They have great music and some even do theme nights (i.e.: Ryan M with his awesome 80s classes!). The staff are unanimously gracious and you can’t beat the free shoes/water. The only critique is that the Upper East Side studio needs a major facelift. The other locations are exactly as billed above in the review.

  97. December 29th, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I just have to share my opinion about this debate, as I have been riding in Soul Cycle classes since August 2014. I regard the studios I got to as my “place”- those classes are the 45 minutes that I get just to myself, and I can be the strongest, sexiest, most bad-ass person when I’m pedalling my ass off in the room.
    I disagree with you on your point that loyalty is not rewarded. Is the only reward you expect from something monetary? They may not give you discounts for attending a bunch of classes, but the love you receive from the community is priceless. When you are a regular, the instructors know you- they know what is going on in your life, how your day is going. I ride in two instructors’ classes regularly, and I text them both, share pics with them, and we chat- outside of the studio. I celebrated my birthday in a special Rave Ride, and the instructor, Mark, made sure everyone knew that it was my birthday. The people who were working that night brought me a cupcake and sang Happy Birthday in a room filled with sweat, energy, and love. The front desk staff know you, they make sure your bike is set up with your settings, and that you have what you need for class. I have never walked into the studio and not come out feeling a hundred times better. That reward is worth more than any amount of money.
    I respect that everyone forms their own opinions of things, especially things like SoulCycle, but I also had to share my own opinion of this debate. I was not in a good place when I first began taking classes, having just gotten out of a bad relationship, and SoulCycle has literally changed my life. I am healthier, mentally emotionally and physically. But not only that, I am taking care of myself and living every day to the fullest. Soul Cycle is a community I belong to, and I am proud to say I love it dearly.

  98. Name*
    January 29th, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Flywheel sounds like a great place with one exception: most families budgets don’t allow for such extravagant expenditures. Good thing I’m hundreds of miles away or I might be tempted. Besides, here in MI we bike outside all year long. :) For the rest of the indoor cycle enthusiasts there’s Peloton; spend $2,000 on the top indoor bike w/21.5″ full HD 1080p touchscreen, in-home delivery & setup $250, and for $39/mo. unlimited live and on-demand streaming with unlimited accounts for friends & family. Enjoy the studio, its traffic, and dropping $180/mo. each…

  99. October 25th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    There are some serious mean people on this thread from a few years back. It’s easy to call someone a “tweakin bitch” when you’re hiding behind a username, I suppose.

    I’m a big fan of Flywheel, which I use as cross-training (I’m a musical theatre performer). It definitely burns more calories and increases my cardiovascular health. This is MY EXPERIENCE and I’m not taking away from what anyone else has said about their experiences.

    There are many Flywheel and SoulCycle locations for me to choose from when home in NYC but I’ve only seen Flywheel consistently in the many regions I tend to get hired in (WDC, Chicago, Boston, Philly, several areas in Florida). Ive tried both and find Flywheel provides an overall better and safer experience (I teach Pilates as well so I know a thing or 2 about form). I just didn’t buy into the marketing and branding at SC & the nearly nonexistent discount is a buzzkill.

    I’m doing a show in Philly now & doing the Flywheel 28 day challenge. I’ve made some great friends and really like it so far.

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