5 of London’s Best Boutique Spin Classes
With a good old spin being an ideal way to get sweaty, build strength, and release tension, boutique cycling classes are all the rage. But with so many different studios, it’s difficult to know which kind of spin class best suits you.
We went to five of London’s iconic cycling studios, and broke down all the details for you. Now – time for an ice bath!
SOULCYCLE: CONNECTION + COMMUNITY
The ideal class for… Those seeking a sanctuary of sweat, spiritual connection, and self-love. In a dim, candlelit room, you’ll be surrendering yourself to the beat of the music, and pedalling through the pain in search of a deeper mind-body connection.
What’s the vibe of the workout? A SoulCycle class is as much focused on the mind as it is the body. Championing self-celebration, community connection, and being in the moment, the inspiring instructors encourage tons of whoops and high-fives, and drum up an empowering group energy that’ll leave you feeling awakened and strong both physically and mentally. Expect HIIT-style tracks, tons of stylised choreography, plenty of dancing and cheering from your instructor, and a chance to ride through and sweat out any negative energy.
Is it beginner friendly? Theres loads of extra hands on deck to help you get set up on the bike, and the general supportive environment of the classes will leave you feeling super welcome, whatever your fitness abilities may be. The choreography is pretty challenging and dance-focused, so having a bit of natural rhythm will certainly be helpful!
Any extra facilities? Small but super clean changing facilities, and also an awesome amount of merchandise and activewear available in the main shop. You can also get fresh juices.
Where can I find the studios? Currently, the only SoulCycle studio is in Soho. However, a studio in Notting Hill is set to launch later this month.
How much is a class? A class is normally £24, but beginners can get a Starter Class for £16.
BOOM CYCLE: YOU DO YOU BOO-M
The ideal class for… Party vibes, high-energy music, and a no-pressure atmosphere. Feel encouraged and supported to push yourself as far as you want to, in a fun and varied spin that will get those endorphins pumping.
What’s the vibe of the workout? At Boom 45, you can expect an ultimate ‘party on a bike’ experience, where the low lights, world class sound system, and encouraging instructors will guide you through a full-body workout to some epic beats. You’ll be transitioning a lot between being seated on the saddle, and standing up in the pedals – but any choreography is pretty easy to pick up, and is focused on challenging your body, rather than competing against others or trying to co-ordinate as a group. Quite simply, it’s just about you, your bike, and the beat!
Is it beginner friendly? The studios are intimate but spacious, and the instructors are generally already setting up about ten minutes before the class – so getting assistance is really easy. The smaller setting also means there’s no problem hearing or understanding what your instructor is saying.
Any extra facilities? The changing rooms were fantastic, and also had really big wash basins – great for if you just want to freshen up before a post-spin breakfast, but couldn’t be bothered to pack all your shower products. Juices, protein shakes and coffees are available, and some of the studios even have proper cafes with sofas.
Where can I find the studios? In Holborn, Battersea, Hammersmith, Monument, and Waterloo
How much is a class? You can get three intro rides for £29 – a total bargain, considering a class is usually £18.
1REBEL: RAUCOUS RAVE
The ideal class for… Amping-up the whole squad before a big night out. The disco lighting and non-stop clubby tunes make the warehouse-style studios at 1Rebel the ultimate destination for a pre-party energiser.
What’s the vibe of the workout? The 45 minute classes are high-energy to the max, and a full-blown cardio session. Bustling with groups of friends and colleagues, you can expect lots of blood-pumping sprints, and more of a focus on enjoying the music and crafting your workout to suit it, than tricky choreography. To break up the cardio, there’s an arm weights track, which was really challenging – and will leave you aching all over the next day. It’s a feel-good party – so enjoy the music, and get sweaty.
Is it beginner friendly? The warehouse-style studio was massive – and even had a mezzanine – which meant that although there was a real collective buzzing energy throughout the class, there wasn’t much opportunity to get help with setting up your bike, as the instructor had so many people to try and see. If you’re a spin bike novice, try to get a seat on the lower level so you can guarantee a good view, or even get there early and ask one of the lovely instructors to give you a quick tutorial before the class. Once you’re set-up on the bike you’ll be good to go, regardless of fitness levels – the class is really adaptable.
Any extra facilities? The changing room was really big, with showers, lockers and lots of products. You could also order smoothies after the class. Plus, there’s free Prosecco after the last Friday evening class!
Where can I find the studios? Bayswater, Southbank, Angel, Victoria, St Mary Axe, and Broadgate
How much is a class? One session is usually £22, but beginners can get a Fresh Meat Single for £14.
DIGME: SPIN WITH THE STATS
The ideal class for… Straight-forward, statistic-loving spinners with long-term fitness goals. Named after the Hawaiian beach that marks the start-line of the Ironman World Championship, Digme encourages tracking progress over time, and digging deep for real gains – rather than just a quick-fix body blitz.
What’s the vibe of the workout? With an awesome immersive technology system that lets you see your avatar riding amongst the rest of the class on the big screen, and real-time digital data on your progress as you spin, the 45 minute RIDE class at Digme is ideal for those looking to track their ride, and challenge themselves, in an engaging and energised environment. Less of a focus on stylised, dance-based choreo and short but frantic HIIT tracks, RIDE is more of a test of endurance and stamina; but don’t be fooled – you’ll definitely be sweating!
Is it beginner friendly? The instructor was super helpful at setting up bikes and changing shoe sizes if needing – but the bike was actually not at all hard to alter, and even had numbered gears, so it was really easy to get used to. With no choreography, easy tracking abilities, and the engaging use of virtual reality-esque tech, it was super accessible.
Any extra facilities? The changing facilities were really spacious, and had good-sized lockers. Fresh Press cold-pressed juices are also available at every studio – and in Moorgate and Oxford, you can even have a protein shake!
Where can I find the studios? In Richmond, Moorgate, Blackfriars, Fitzrovia, and Ealing
How much is a class? With the Intro Offer, you’ll get three class credits – as well as a Digme tote bag – for £30. A class credit normally costs £22.
PSYCLE: HIIT THE BEAT
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WHY I RIDE: “Being in that room with all of you, I feel my skin, my breath, the way that my biography and my biology informs the way I move. It’s a kind of bliss, even when it’s really hard and you want to give up and walk out (because we’ve all had those moments, too). But it’s worth it. To feel connected and challenged and alive in my body. Nothing has ever made me feel so free or so vital. It’s a feeling I want to repeat over and over.” -Cescie, Instructor, Ride
The ideal class for… Those seeking a high-intensity ride with a like-minded tribe. A combo of cardio HIIT bursts, and rhythm-based group choreography, you’ll be tapping into the contagious energy of your fellow riders, pushing those pedals to the beat, and embracing physical and psychological release.
What’s the vibe of the workout? Ride 45 is the signature class at Psycle, with each track signalling a significant change in pace, gear, and posture. One minute you’ll be pushing through the burn of lactic-acid build-up as you pedal to a slow and sticky beat, and the next you’ll be standing up in the saddle, and swapping gears for pace as you sweat through some group choreo. There’s also muscular strength training throughout; expect plenty of push-ups and pulses over the handle bars, and an awesome upper body track with dumbbells.
Is it beginner friendly? Newbies were totally cared for – there were a couple of lovely members of staff on hand in the studio to help with setting up bikes, and the instructor was really attentive throughout the class. The fast-paced choreo will take time to get to grips with, regardless of fitness levels – so allow yourself a few sessions to fully master it. Apprehensive, novice spinners might want to build up confidence at a more standard and choreography-free style of cycle class, first.
Any extra facilities? Good sized changing rooms filled with a range of toiletries and products, and large lockers that are easy to use. For post-workout recovery, the Energy Kitchen has a full menu of shakes, grab and go snacks, nutritional boosters and fresh roasted coffee.
Where can I find the studios? Mortimer Street, Shoreditch, and Clapham
How much is a class? One class credit is £22, but with the Universal Intro offer, you pay just £22 for two credits, and one buddy credit.