We can’t put the New York company, SoulCycle, anywhere other than the top because it was their genius trail-blazing that took indoor cycling back in 2006 and graffitied all over it with a healthy dose of soul. Recently opened in London, here’s what to expect during a typical SC sesh: a boutique venue, intense rave-like routines, awesome tunes and motivational (bordering on the evangelical) instruction. In short, get ready to sweat and high-five. A lot.
Not one but four venues to choose from, Boom were actually the first to open a boutique spinning studio in London and boy, did it catch on! Popular for keeping bike-loving peeps on their toes, the classes involve lots of switching between standing and sitting, as well as a love for arm presses too. Trust us, those instructors won’t give you a moment’s peace, but in a way that you’ll respect them for afterwards.
Battersea, Hammersmith, Monument and Holborn.
A.K.A: a really lovely big space. With comfy bikes nicely spaced out, it’s not hard to see why these full-body workout classes are always full. And a whole-body workout it really is as they’ll work your arms and abs too – you have been warned. Energising tracks played at top volume and instructors who you’ll love and hate in equal measure, there’s nothing else for it than to get on that bike and ride!
Covent Garden and Bank.
This is one ride of your life you won’t regret. Boasting one of the largest spin programmes in town, a Psycle session is designed to strengthen core muscles as well as the upper body with the addition of hand weights. This slick, cool venue is definitely the place to be seen spinning in (as the latest gym gear-wearing peeps around you will comply). Instructors are hardcore but friendly, bikes are top of the range and the weekend rides are equal to a great night out. What’s not to love?
Oxford Circus, Shoreditch, Clapham and Canary Wharf.
Whether you’re a rebel or not, get used to being called one! It’s a real thing here, along with plenty of high-fiving too. With an atmosphere closer to a nightclub than a fitness centre, a ‘ride class’ will see you giving it your all amongst trendy exposed brickwork and lots of neon signage. Themed music sets the scene, from the old-school garage to 90s club classics and the awesome changing rooms alone are worth the fee. Get ready to unleash that inner rebel!
St Mary Axe, Broadgate, Southbank, Bayswater and Victoria.
For serious contenders and those born with the competitive gene, these classes are worth their sweaty weight in gold. A 45-minute session allows you to track your performance on a virtual display board and take on anyone as you cycle through palm tree-lined vistas to rugged mountain landscapes. Fun but challenging; a ‘Perform’ class demands you push yourself with power, speed and distance, whereas ‘Beat’ is all about the tunes. A friendly and inspiring atmosphere too, you’ll find your new tribe here for sure.
Blackfriars, Moorgate, Richmond and Fitzrovia.
Famed for taking workouts up a gear, ‘Bikes and Beats’ isn’t one for putting on the breaks. Taking a ride with these guys will see you sprinting and hill-climbing with the best of them, all to crazy-loud and energetic party tunes. And if that hasn’t got you in a sweat, then their ‘Cyclone’ and ‘Cycle Connect’ classes will; 30-minute intensive cycling sessions and collective goal group-riding will leave you exhausted, yes, but never bored.
Various multiple London locations.