OFF THE GRID

SoulCycle Vs Flywheel - see this  bloggers take on the luxe spin studio!  longI feel like it is the talk of the town. SoulCycle opened their first studio in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood last month. With a huge cult following, the new spin studio has definitely been hyped up. I tried my first class over the weekend and, as an avid Flywheel girl, I had to do a compare and contrast!

I first discovered spin 10 years ago and fell in love immediately. Not only is is a great workout, I always leave feeling accomplished and satisfied. Spinning is the best cardio workout for me.

Over the years I've become something of a spin snob. I only like the best of the best classes with the best of the best instructors! I'm a firm believer that spin class should never be boring (nothing is worse than going to a gym-run spin class where you sit on a bike and just listen to music for an hour!), which is why I turn to spin-focused boutiques like Flywheel and SoulCycle!

Here is my take on the two leading spin studios, SoulCycle vs Flywheel:

Flywheel

I took my first Flywheel class in the beginning of this year and fell in love with spin all over again. Booking with my ClassPass app, I've been going at least once a week even since. Sometimes I even buy extra classes to compliment my ClassPass schedule!

Pros

  • I got a better workout, each Flywheel bike has a monitor that shows resistance levels, Torq and RPMs. The instructor gives you lofty goals to hit, so I am constantly working at my maximum and pushing myself to work harder.
  • Not only do you get workout stats in real time, but performance is measured, recorded and emailed to you! Everything is recorded in your dashboard that you can access on your desktop or in their app so you can easily compare and contrast rides and see if you reached a personal record.
  • The class is very music oriented, including popular music and or themed classes so you get really into it (especially if your jam comes on)! Music motivates.
  • Using geo-location, you can check in to class on the app on your own phone if you are near the studio.
  • The facilities are clean and offer tons of amenities!
  • The Flywheel in Old Town has a spacious lobby with places to socialize and lounge while you are waiting for class!
  • They are on ClassPass.

Cons

  • Some complain about the music being too loud, which I understand if it's hard to hear the instructor. They have ear plugs at check in.
  • At Flywheel Old Town water is not complimentary (but it still is at Flywheel Gold Coast!).

SoulCycle

First off, the entire day leading up to class and the entire class I could not stop thinking about the parody of SoulCycle in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  After going to class I must say that it is pretty spot on.

Pros

  • Instructor would not stop moving, if she wasn't dancing on her bike she was dancing around the room or waving candles around. Made for some entertainment!
  • There is no doubt that I got a great workout.
  • There was more ab work and jumps, and you still got to work your arms!
  • The facilities are clean and offer tons of amenities!
  • They gave a complimentary Smart Water when you checked in.

Cons

  • I got a great work out, but I didn't have any numbers to show for it.
  • The music was OK, there we're no hits and it was clear that music was not the focal point of the class.
  • I'm all about channeling my inner peace when I am in Yoga class, but it is hard for my to get spiritual when I am working a heavy piece of machinery trying to get a killer cardio work out!
  • SoulCycle is $5 more expensive than Flywheel.
  • This is probably a personal preference, but there is no screens or technology in the room and I think I was going through withdrawal!
  • The lobby was tight, before and after class (it felt like Michigan Avenue at Christmas time!).
  • They are not on ClassPass.

The Verdict: SoulCycle vs Flywheel

Everyone need to find the right spin class for them, and both SoulCylcle and Flywheel are a great workout and beat a crappy sit-on-your-bike-and-do-nothing spin class found at some gyms. I personally like's Flywheel's more robust technology throughout the entire experience, from check in on your phone to RPM and resistance goals in class to a performance review after class. I always like to see if I beat my last classes power! If you want to leave class feeling warm and fuzzy, then SoulCycle might me more your jam. I get that SoulCycle is supposed to be a spiritual experience with no competition, but like a true American I love competing (even with myself) and believe it pushes us to be even better than we thought we could be!

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